Crowding out commercial lending

A recent Oxford University report points out that banks’ lending to the property sector ‘crowds out’ commercial lending to companies. Usually we are told that government spending ‘crowds out’ private spending. That is a fantasy, but this report shows that the private banks creation of money actually has effects. Although this is no real surprise… Read more

Voting for the Nasty Party

YouGov, a polling operation part owned by Conservative MP, Nadhim Zahawi, has been reported as running a poll that includes a question as to whether ‘those who receive more money from welfare benefits than they pay in taxes’ should be allowed to vote. Apparently (and mercifully) there was much opposition to this. It ought to… 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

Private Emergency – or Accident?

I have always been surprised by how the Accident and Emergency crisis has never been linked to any  aspects of the private health sector. The chart below suggests NHS Intensive Care Units [ICU] seem, between them, to accept (per year) well over 3000 patients transferred from private hospitals with no ICUs. This cannot help the… Read more

Dysfunctional Britain

Unaccustomed as I am to reading the ‘Spectator’, I think this article worth highlighting. It not only draws attention to an informative book, ‘Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain’, recounting the author, James Bloodworth’s experiences in Britain’s ‘gig’ economy, the ‘Spectator’ article actually thinks it is worth sending to the Prime Minister. The Spectator… Read more

The government, by definition, owes a duty of care

I wonder if it is possible for those MP’s who consider many of their constituents to be lazy, scrounging, thieving, irresponsible and generally feckless, to be in a position to understand any of the consequences of their policies. To judge by a recent ‘Guardian’ report this is actually the only possibility that seems remotely comprehensible:… Read more

The Old for the Young – or Pensions for the Future?

There is much publicity about the University Pensions strikes. A solution has been suggested by Alexander Douglas Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews, who puts forward a government guarantee for the University Superannuation Service (USS). It sounds like self serving advocacy but he also suggests good reasons that this could be opposed including,… Read more