"I hope Putin wins"

I know it's cheap and tawdry to base an essay on a comment on the Daily Mail website but bear with me OK?The Mail pointed out that..

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"I hope Putin wins"

04/16/2014 05:44:00 AM

I know it's cheap and tawdry to base an essay on a comment on the Daily Mail website but bear with me OK?The Mail pointed out that the Ukraine crisis might just be the start of WW3. Personally, I think this unlikely. I doubt Russia will even Annex Ki

Prediction: a Year Out

04/14/2014 08:09:00 AM

The Tories are going to win the General Election next year, there's an outside chance of the Lib-Dems securing enough to be worth hanging onto as coalition partners.Everything is in place for a Tory victory in 2015. Don't believe me?Even Gordon Brown

The Post Office IPO

04/02/2014 03:53:00 AM

Most of the objections raised in the media concerning the sale of the Royal Mail are spurious. Most IPOs get away at a discount. Investors are taking on significant risk in buying a share for which there is no established market, and therefore price.

What Happend in Ukraine?

03/13/2014 04:45:00 AM

It's not very often, now the daily blog has migrated to twitter, when I simply point to someone else's work. Tim Snyder Professor of History at Yale, and currently occupying Philippe Roman Chair of International History at the London School of Econom

The Western Playbook in Ukraine.

03/03/2014 06:50:00 AM

Consensus appears to be that Russia has "won" and "the West", meaning the EU and USA is weak.Russian Troops in Ukraine (source)Strong countries do not have trouble keeping their satellites in orbit. The need of Russia to intervene in its near abroad,

Hankering after a Better Yesterday

02/27/2014 10:36:00 AM

When I was 19, getting pissed and partying, with school receded into distant memory, university finals were still a long way away. Hangovers were something that happened to other people, and I was made of rubber and kevlar. I could run the 2.4km of t

Won't someone Think of the Children?

02/20/2014 06:19:00 AM

Kathy Gyngell, Research Fellow and bansturbationist at the centre for policy studies is worried: the people who perturb me are middle-aged political converts to this ‘cause’ – Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage, Daniel Hannan and Norman Fowler. Whether i

McJobs, long-term unemployment and the Minimum Wage

02/17/2014 07:01:00 AM

Labour love to decry insecure jobs on low wages, of which flipping burgers for McDonalds is the archetype. The insecurity of self-employment, contracting or "zero-hours contracts" (what I used to call "temping") is another.It's terrible, the lament g

Angry Public Sector Workers Shout At Me.

02/13/2014 09:50:00 AM

What you have in the comments here, is a circle-jerk of indignation from people who enjoyed public spending (largely paid for by the taxes levied on banks bankers by Labour...) which, when the golden goose was killed, suddenly dried up. The public se

Academics are Left Wing because...

02/04/2014 02:10:00 AM

Chris Bertram is professor of Social and Political Philosophy at Bristol, he tweets as @crookedfootball and blogs at Crooked Timber. In Today's post he argues that "Squeezing the rich is good, even when it raises no money". Essentially his argument b

Maajid Nawaz & Jesus and Mo

01/30/2014 03:33:00 AM

A while ago someone who is trying to be, but won't be an MP (anyone think a Lib-Dem will win the UK's tightest 3-way marginal?) tweeted a cartoon purporting to show the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him).

See Bike think Horse & the ASA.

01/29/2014 02:39:00 AM

To The Advertising Standards Authority. (mattw@asa.org.uk)Reference your ruling A13-238570 on the Cycle Scotland - see bike, think horse advert.The basis of your ruling is wrong. Cycle helmets have little effect in open traffic as they are not design

Why the 50p Tax Rate is a bad idea.

01/27/2014 07:01:00 AM

The purpose of progressive taxation is to put the greatest burden on those with the means pay more. This makes economic sense due to the theory of the marginal utility of money: a further pound to someone on £100k is worth less than a further pound

12 Years A Slave

01/20/2014 03:53:00 AM

In 1785, Thomas Jefferson wroteThe whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other.

Why Evidence-Based Policy is a Bad Thing.

01/07/2014 08:05:00 AM

Who could possibly be against "evidence-based" policy?Via Dr Brook Magnanti on Twitter.The problem is very simple. It's almost impossible to conduct experiments in the social sciences. No government can alter one economic variable and measure the out


01/06/2014 06:36:00 AM

Perhaps slavery would have been abolished in the Americas nearly a century earlier, had the Colonists lost the war of Independence?Most wars are about economic matters, and it's difficult to over-state how central slavery was to the economy of early

2014 is going to be the best year in human history.

12/31/2013 03:33:00 AM

This time last year, I made some predictions: 2013 is going to be the best year in human history. It was, for most of the world at least. And 2014 is going to be even better, for all the same reasons.How did I do with my prognostication?The scourge o

A Christmas Adventure in Venice...

12/25/2013 06:36:00 AM

This is the view looking south-east from Venice, near St Mark's square on a damp Christmas morning, 2013 at dawn. You can see the spire of the San Georgio Monastery which reflects the Campanile in St. Mark's.Spectacular and memorable to be there with

Gender Segregation in Universities

12/12/2013 03:23:00 AM

If you believe the hype, you'd think British universities are going to be routinely segregating by gender in order to appease islamists. Twitter is outraged. This is about new guidance from universities UK which suggests that some external speakers m

The Ukraine

12/11/2013 07:35:00 AM

Insofar as the world's rivalries exist, generally were 'the west' win, the outcome is better for ordinary people. The Ukraine had a choice between the EU, which whatever its flaws has been a force for democracy and prosperity in post-soviet Europe, a

What Chancellors Do and Don't Influence

12/06/2013 04:54:00 AM

The Commons hue and cry of the Autumn Statement has died down. It was clear that at some point growth would return, and when it did, Ed Balls would be left with egg on his face. And so it transpired. There is a problem with the Cost of Living, but it

Beside the sea or in the city: the best locations for weekend breaks in the UK

12/06/2013 03:43:00 AM

When it comes to planning a holiday in the UK, regardless of whether you opt for a city break or a seaside holiday, there are a number of places to choose from.The first thing you should consider is the time of year you wish to embark on this break.

Labour's dishonesty on tax.

12/04/2013 05:54:00 AM

There are few things that annoy me more than watching Labour complain about a "tax-cut for the rich". The top rate of tax is higher under the coalition than it was for all but one month of Labour's time in office. The rate was raised as a nasty polit

It isn't about cyclist behaviour.

11/18/2013 07:02:00 AM

Whenever a cyclist dies, and there have been 5 deaths in London in the past 10 days, there's always a chorus of voices saying "yes, but they run red lights". The word "They" is always a handy combat indicator of sloppy thinking. When you lump everyon

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