Contracting out democracy – why not?

During the 1971 debates over the UK’s entry to what was then called the “European Communities”, the violinist Yehudi Menuhin suggested that Britain offer other countries a “rent-a-government” service, so great were the UK’s politics and civil service. Actually I would have probably – just about – agreed at the time – but how are… Read more

Three Reasons for Brexit?

I have heard only three arguments which carry some weight in going ahead with Brexit. All from private conversations but there are echoes elsewhere. The first was a senior criminal lawyer, who dealt in fraud cases such as motor accident claims. Deliberately causing crashes, by for example slamming on brakes without any notice, so that… Read more

Anyone for prestige gilts?

There is an interesting article in the New Statesman by Ann Pettifor where she indicates that currencies are made stronger by the taxpayer. She appears to share her view with Thomas Edison: If the Government issues bonds, the brokers will sell them. The bonds will be negotiable; they will be considered as gilt-edged paper. Why?… Read more

Oh to be in New Zealand

Th FT of 21st January had an item by the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ‘New Zealand hopes to lead the world with wellness-based policies’, which was perhaps, ostensibly pretty pedestrian-based stuff. But it has notable insight. Starting with: Ours was the first country where all women won the right to vote back in… Read more

Vegan meat problem

A short pointer towards a suggested read – Joanna Blythman’s concise article here (in the food trade Bible – ‘The Grocer’) ‘Why we should resist the vegan putsch’ on the suggestion that we should eat very little meat from the Eat-Lancet Commission. Surprisingly and worryingly to me, it seems to have the chemical company, Monsanto,… Read more

Government policy mistakes and failures: unintended or ignored consequences?

We all know – or at least those of us who are able and willing to undertake periods of self-evaluation and critical thinking do – that our actions have both intended and unintended consequences. This applies regardless of whether we act as individuals or as members of groups and collectives (e.g. families, interest groups, political… Read more