The only bit of Neoliberalism that isn’t Fascism is the ‘Neo’ bit

It really does seem that the only remaining difference between Neoliberalism and Fascism is a slightly more liberal social policy outlook – although even that might be debatable in some cases. I now discover that whereas Hitler started the privatisation lark, his Fascist colleague, Benito Mussolini, started the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Admittedly, it wasn’t… Read more

The real origin of privatisation

At the risk of proving Godwin’s law to be irrefutable I confess that this extract from James Meek’s ‘Private Island’ brought me up short. Certainly, the American academic, Sidney Merlin, summarised the true effects of privatisation as ones we’ve come to properly understand only almost eighty years later. And when, as it sometimes does, it… Read more

Président Macron’s government to sell Paris’s airports

I was most impressed with a journalist’s summation on France 2 of the proposal by Président Macron’s government to sell Paris’s airports. They are currently owned by just a shade more than 50% by the state.. The Prime Minister has said it is not part of the government’s purpose to extract dividends from infrastructure. Though… Read more

The REAL argument for Universal Basic Services

As a postscript to the previous piece on Universal Basic Income, (together with the interesting comment from Charles Adams on the same page) an American article makes a coherent case against a full Universal Basic Income: Our current economic crisis goes beyond the problem of income inequality. While inequality garners the most attention, it’s a… Read more

The English Civil War and its Ongoing Legacy

I know the English Civil War started in 1642 and ended 9 years later so you’re probably thinking it can’t have much of a legacy now. I just think it might. In the 1580’s the cleric, Richard Hooker, often considered to have written Britain’s first philosophical treatise, ‘The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity’ wrote  [Book 1… Read more

Everything you ever wanted to know about Bitcoin – and just a little bit more

There is a marvelous article in the ‘Washington Post’ (yes, I know it’s owned by Bezos, the man that owns Amazon, so is not my usual read either) but it provides the best summary of Bitcoin that I’ve yet encountered. I’ve quoted the introduction to whet the appetite: Bitcoin changes prices too quickly to be… Read more

Using Local Currency for Reform – Radical or Reckless?

It seems clear that Manchester is not going to be reimbursed by central government for the full cost of the Manchester arena terrorism attack by central government presumably because central government ‘does not have enough money’ – although it prints it. Perhaps a local currency could provide a little help. Local currencies seem to be… Read more

Weeping for Kensington

The report by the MP for Kensington and former Kensington & Chelsea councillor, Emma Dent Coad, “After Grenfell: Housing and Inequality in Kensington and Chelsea” makes for horrific reading. Is this really Britain’s richest borough? Is this really Britain’s richest borough in 2017? The reasons why Dickensian diseases are reappearing two centuries later is obvious… Read more