EU rules are rules

I draw attention to a marvelous and illuminating quote from an EU official quoted in the Independent: “There is not an issue of general distrust towards the UK. That’s not the issue, but the EU is a rules-based system. Why is that? It’s because 28 member states do not trust each other spontaneously; they trust… Read more

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The magic multiplier effect

When you plant a tree in the ground, it grows, producing seeds which become the source of new trees. But remember, trees can only grow where there are resources – water, sunlight and nutrients in the soil. We can think about government investment in the same way. In a democracy, government spend happens because society… Read more

Hegemony 2: the rise of the wreckers

One of the hallmarks of any hegemonic system such as we have in the UK, is a common world-view that acts to unify the bloc (i.e. all the various entities, actors and agents in the system). This world-view includes ideological elements from varying sources, but its unity stems from an articulating principle which always comes… Read more

Ideas ready for a crisis

On Thursday last the ‘Guardian’s economic correspondent suggested that the left should be ready for a crisis suggesting that ‘The right sees opportunity in a crisis. Why can’t the left?’ This is so very true. The left (in effect Gordon Brown assisted by Alistair Darling) diffused the General Financial Crisis in the UK, and probably… Read more

Hegemony in the UK means there’s no need for a “coup” after Brexit

In his recent blog http://www.progressivepulse.org/brexit/the-state-of-the-unions-between-england-scotland-and-northern-ireland my fellow PP blogger, Sean Danaher, makes his usual excellent dissection of recent polls on the subject of Brexit and the way this may impact relations between the various countries of the UK and Ireland, and specifically the potential for creating opportunities for a united Ireland and independent Scotland. Sean also… Read more

Brexit and the State of the Unions between England, Scotland and NI

Introduction Two major opinion polls have been published this week, the Scottish Independence and Brexit chapter from the British Social Attitudes survey (20 June) and Lord Ashcroft’s Poll on Brexit, the Border and the Union (19th June). These give a good insight as to current public opinion, with the usual caveats that no poll should… Read more

Gin Drought Possible

Worrying, nay shocking, news has reached me that Brexit might provoke a gin drought. Without a shade of irony ‘Harper’s Wine and Spirit’ reports: “If Britain were to leave the EU without a deal, distillers fear that supplies of juniper and other botanicals such as lemon peel, liquorice, orris root and angelica root would be… Read more