On Populism: What do we do? vs Who do we blame?
09/16/2016 08:01:00 AM
If you ask the wrong question, the answers will not work."Populism" is, like pornography, hard to define, but you know it when you see it. Wikipedia defines it thus"a political ideology that holds that virtuous citizens are mistreated by a small circ > read more
Banning the Burkini
08/24/2016 05:09:00 AM
The Mayor of the French town of Nice has passed a law banning the Burkini, a full body cover designed for swimming. Quite how you define this is beyond me. I for example am luminously pasty and often cover up on the beach because while I CAN go out i > read more
Brexit: Four scenarios.
08/17/2016 08:15:00 AM
There has been a significant rally in markets, if not yet in business sentiment since the Brexit referendum. Much of this rally is down to currency, as the UK local (stocks with >60% UK earnings) remains down, especially if you measure it in $ terms. > read more
So We Have a New PM. Yes, this is Democracy.
07/11/2016 06:45:00 AM
So Theresa May is going to be Prime Minister soon. We live in a representative democracy, not a direct one, and the Conservative party was elected by an electorate who (could have) had the full knowledge that Cameron wasn't going to contest the 2020 > read more
The Mary Whitehouse Experience
07/07/2016 03:36:00 AM
The "Bastards" who see the British membership of the European Union as the central question of politics are not only petty-minded nationalists. They are also mostly small-minded, authoritarian christian bigots. They aren't just coming for free moveme > read more
Labour and Tory are Electoral Coalitions Which Have Been Broken
07/02/2016 13:35:00 PM
The referendum last week as a fundamental break in British politics. While article 50 remains uninvoked, I remain hopeful it won't be. There is now a pro-European backlash representing nearly half the country. Maybe more, given the buyer's remorse fr > read more
The Upsides of Brexit
06/29/2016 03:16:00 AM
For weeks I have been asking for an upside to Brexit, some benefit to me that justifies the destruction of the UK and a significant fall in our prosperity.We're all agreed the "it will have little effect" argument was nonsense? Good.First up "Democra > read more
Well, The Wish Has Been Granted
06/25/2016 02:32:00 AM
So, the polls were rightish, and the Turkeys did vote for Christmas. A sledgehammer has been taken to the post-cold-war security architecture, and Vladimir Putin is happy.What Next?Well. There is much that can happen. Article 50 will be invoked by th > read more
Referendum Prediction: On Polling Day. And After.
06/23/2016 06:57:00 AM
OK: Going to stick my neck out: Remain to win, by over 10 points. Jackart (@VeryBritishDude) June 23, 2016You know my views on this, and it looks like sanity will prevail over the dread forces of nativist populism.I think a few Tories who threw th > read more
A Former UKIP Branch Chairman Backs REMAIN
06/23/2016 02:50:00 AM
Cards on the table. Many moons ago I was a member of Young Independence and established the Bolton Branch of UKIP. I was a member when UKIP was in favour of a flat tax, slashing the size and scope of government and was at least pretending to be lib > read more
Prediction: A Week Out, And Thoughts on a Murder.
06/17/2016 03:51:00 AM
My track record is good: I nailed the Scottish referendum, and the 2015 General election. The polling average at time of writing is a 4-point lead for the leave campaign. I still think (70% confidence interval) Remain will win. Here's why.The polls s > read more
An Open Letter to Jean-Claude Juncker
06/02/2016 12:39:00 PM
If, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland votes as expected to remain in the European Union, you should not take it as an endorsement. Britain is a great nation, once the hub of the greatest Empire the world has ever seen, Victor a > read more
On the EU Army Nonsense.
05/23/2016 04:05:00 AM
The UK military has operated independently twice in the past 400 years with a 1-1 scoreline. The treasonous war of American so-called "independence", and the Falklands conflict. Otherwise we always operate in an alphabet soup of foreign alliances.The > read more
On the "Brexit and War" Question: Not as Silly as it Sounds
05/13/2016 04:23:00 AM
Russia conducted an exercise of 80,000 troops in 2014 simulating an invasion of the Baltic States of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. It isn't unreasonable that our Article IV NATO allies and EU partners feel a mite worried about the bellicose behaviou > read more
'Leave' Has Just Lost its Economic Argument
04/20/2016 17:20:00 PM
Michael Gove, who is likely to be the person most responsible for setting the parameters of Britain's negotiation with the EU after a leave vote, > read more
I dislike the EU intensely. I'm voting to Remain in.
04/04/2016 05:30:00 AM
I get it. You hate the EU, and Jean Claude Juncker's a twat. I get it, the desire to kick Guy Verhofstadt in the bollocks. I understand on a deep and visceral level the desire to headbut Martin Shultz and wedgie Neil bloody Kinnock and hang him on a > read more
The 2016 Budget; Things Other Than The Sugar Tax...
03/17/2016 08:23:00 AM
There is much to like, and much to deplore.The steady cuts to personal income taxation continue the trend under this Government of moving the tax burden from income to consumption. The continued cuts to corporation tax are welcome, and whatever idiot > read more
I don't buy Any of the Arguments for Brexit
03/07/2016 05:30:00 AM
If you listen to Brexiteers, the EU is holding us back from trading with the world. The only thing stopping the UK having free trade with everyone is the EU. Upon leaving the EU, we'd lose none of the trade advantages with the EU (on which more later > read more
The Madness Stalking Democracy will Pass.
03/02/2016 04:27:00 AM
"Has there a general election, Mr Blackadder" asked Mrs Miggins, unaware, until Edmund points it out, as neither she nor Baldrick have a vote. "Hardly seems fair to me" she says."Of course it's not fair -- and a damn good thing too. Give the like of > read more
The Eurosceptic case for voting 'Remain'.
02/23/2016 05:43:00 AM
I came of political age as the ERM debacle and Maastricht ratification process corroded the Tory party. Saving the pound against its "inevitable" inclusion in the Euro project made me a Eurosceptic. The Queen on the money, the ability of the state to > read more
On Those EU accounts that "haven't been signed off"...
02/16/2016 05:20:00 AM
They have. Each and every year.It's sad that such a central trope from the 'Leave' campaign turns out to be an outright lie, but there you go. I suspect it's because grunting 'KIPpers cannot tell the difference between "material error", around 4.8% ( > read more
Why the UK Won't Vote to Leave the European Union
02/09/2016 04:40:00 AM
Supporters of the UK leaving the European Union are excitedly sharing the latest YouGov poll which suggests a 4-point lead for leave. Thus Louise Mensch former MP for Corby said Out will win because the PM's deal is so "disastrous". I offered her a b > read more
01/15/2016 05:42:00 AM
Every time I hear about Transgenderism on the radio, and it is nearly every morning, I ask myself "what are we talking about here?". How has this become such a prominent issue in the public life of the nation? Let's be clear, I have enormous sympathy > read more
The Annual Prediction Game: the world is STILL getting better. Mostly.
12/30/2015 06:54:00 AM
Electorates across the rich world are losing the plot, and increasingly backing utter numpties all over the place. Mostly, the likes of Trump, Le Pen and Corbyn will not win elections, and sanity will prevail. The last 6 years have seen middle-class > read more
Trump and Corbyn, Le Pen and Farage; Putin and the Crisis of Democracy
12/17/2015 11:03:00 AM
Vladimir Putin runs a managed democracy. He controls the media, he ensures that any opposition figures that make it to telly, are risible tosspots. Credible ones are killed, unless they're too famous, like Gary Kasparov, then they're just ignored. Th > read more
What is Putin up to in Syria?
09/30/2015 10:47:00 AM
First let's get one thing clear, Putin is not making a principled, humanitarian intervention against Islamic State.Assad is Russia's ally in the region. The major disagreement between Russia and the West is Assad's place in the post-civil war Syria. > read more
The Real Reason Drugs are Still Illegal.
09/28/2015 09:15:00 AM
I have outlined many, many times why drug policy is insane, and how a properly regulated supply-chain, generating taxes rather than spending them on the futile task of interdicting supply, would be better than the current system of prohibition.The ar > read more
Prime Minister's Questions: Whither the Bear-Pit?
09/16/2015 08:03:00 AM
Jeremy Corbyn's first outing in the bear pit of Prime Minister's questions went better than either man could have hoped for. Corbyn, a lousy speaker and poor debater got off lightly, and the Prime Minister avoided the obvious banana-skin of publicly > read more
On Germany's "Morality"
09/07/2015 08:27:00 AM
Germany's population is falling, German women are breeding below replacement rates and so they have 1.7m empty homes. Thus offering to house 800,000 Syrians is a great deal easier for Germany than it is for the UK, which has net migration of more tha > read more
Dead Children in the Mediterranean
09/02/2015 10:39:00 AM
The independent leads today with harrowing photographs of a small boy, maybe two years old, face-down in the surf having drowned. You will see this image shared on social media, along with impassioned pleas to "do something", as if opening Europe's b > read more
09/02/2015 06:54:00 AM
What fun!First, I am not a neutral observer. I am a £3 Labour supporter and Voted for Corbyn. I have a £10 bet with betfair at 23:1 (and a few quid on the others to ensure I come out ahead, whoever wins). But it looks like the Labour party is going > read more
Immigration: Some is good, More isn't Necessarily Better
08/11/2015 06:44:00 AM
The reason the UK is attracting migrants from all over the world is, thanks to our Empires, our Language is the word language. Migrants are more likely to speak English than French (which is why Algerians and Senegalese tend to stay in France). There > read more
The Calais Migrant Crisis
07/30/2015 05:26:00 AM
Thousands of people are camped at Calais, and are trying to board lorries as they cross the English channel on the Eurostar or Ferries. Most of these people are from Somalia, Eritrea, Syria and Afghanistan. The tone of the debate is ghastly. On the o > read more
How to make Him/Her Fall in Love With You
07/29/2015 03:31:00 AM
US Glamour magazine has found itself under fire from the perma-outraged social justice warriors of Twitter and facebook for its guide to women who want to make a man fall in love with them. Outraged, single women have been sharing this list with the > read more
Supporting Labour as Virtue Signalling.
07/23/2015 03:11:00 AM
Imagine you're not very politically engaged. You're reading this blog, which probably means you can name the whole cabinet. Most people could probably recognise the PM, Chancellor and Home Secretary, but only name two of the three confidently. This i > read more
07/16/2015 04:34:00 AM
Taking the great whales out of the southern ocean led to less Krill, their principle food. Whale shit is rich in iron; iron is the limiting nutrient in many ocean ecosystems. So whale shit was a major source of iron for Phytoplankton, which is eaten > read more
How Syriza crashed Greece.
07/13/2015 04:50:00 AM
Consider a single-currency area, like the UK. There are bits of it that are doing well. London and the South-East for example, that subsidises the rest from its excess taxation over expenditure. Only London and the South Eastern regions are net contr > read more
Budget 2015 - it's as if Gordon Brown never left.
07/10/2015 03:52:00 AM
So, the laws of supply and demand have been suspended for a Tory chancellor? Because his "living wage" of £9 an hour by 2020 will (by his own admission) cost jobs. 60,000 of them, according to the OBR. Just as the minimum wage cost jobs for young pe > read more
On, the UK, Russia and the EU
06/06/2015 08:51:00 AM
The Centrepiece of this parliament will be the in/out referendum on British Membership of the European Union. It will probably define the UK's very survival as a nation, and define the UK's place in the world over the next few years. I am sceptical a > read more
on the Psychoactive substances bill
05/28/2015 05:28:00 AM
America has a law called the "Federal Analogue Act" which attempts to do what the Conservatives are planning to do with the Psychoactive substances bill in the Queen's speech. It didn't work in the 'States, and it won't work here. It's vague: What do > read more
On bad Left-Wing Arguments
05/25/2015 11:23:00 AM
Elections are won by the side that can reach out beyond their core supporters and persuade a plurality of voters that theirs are the best policies. What is striking at the moment, is how completely the left have failed to understand their opponents' > read more
On First Past the Post
05/15/2015 03:45:00 AM
The purpose of democracy is not to conduct a tribal headcount, but to allow the people to chuck the rotters out from time to time. Does anyone think 1979 or 1997 didn't accurately reflect the country's desire for a change?No electoral system is perfe > read more
The Euro Referendum, Scots Nationalism and Tory Wars
05/11/2015 02:51:00 AM
I went drinking with a nest of pinkos at the weekend (the collective noun for lefties is "nest", everyone knows this). What struck me is their constant refrains: "Tories should want Scotland to become independent", and "Tories will implode with over > read more
An Election Result
05/09/2015 04:13:00 AM
Few expected a Tory majority until the Exit poll. I didn't dare hope until about 2am.In Eastern England, a Region with a bigger population than Scotland, The Tories' hegemony is greater than that of the SNP's in Scotland, yet no-one is going to give > read more
05/06/2015 08:13:00 AM
I think the bottles of port, beers and cases of wine I've bet with twitter correspondents, friends and colleagues are going to bankrupt me if Labour win, and give me alcoholic liver disease if the Tories do. So, hot on the heels of my correctly predi > read more
On the African Boat People and Katie Hopkins.
04/20/2015 08:06:00 AM
My CV reads a lot like that of Katie Hopkins. We both went to RMA Sandhurst. We both dropped out close to commissioning, and both on medical grounds. We both then became polemicist commentators: her on TV, me on here. She made a living out of it, I d > read more
On the "Patriotism" of UKIP
04/17/2015 05:18:00 AM
Patriotism, wrote Samuel Johnson, is the last refuge of the scoundrel. In the election TV debate UKIP leader Nigel Farage claimed the UK couldn't adequately defend the Falklands. As well as being demonstrably untrue, this demonstrates several mental > read more
The Tory Party Wants to Win Again.
03/24/2015 06:59:00 AM
Even the awkward squad have been silent. There is no dissent from the back-benches and Cameron's gaffe - that he will not serve a third term - meaning there will be a leadership contest at some point in the next parliament, is being described as "a d > read more
On Osborne's Inheritance Tax Cut
03/18/2015 04:21:00 AM
Back in 2007, I wrote there is a very simple solution to the problem, which prevents middle Britain being hit by a tax that is designed to punish the very rich: first homes should not qualify for IHT (subject to caveats such as time occupied and valu > read more
On Discrimination Laws
03/12/2015 07:38:00 AM
So, Nigel Farage wants to scrap discrimination laws.And I sort of see where he's probably coming from. The left and right have very different views of what's in the driving seat of society. The left, with echos of Marxist-Leninist 'vanguard of the pr > read more
The Politics of "Ditch Decisions"
03/10/2015 08:01:00 AM
The role of the young army officer, like politicians, is to make expensive decisions, under pressure with inadequate information. Imagine you are walking down the road and you come under effective enemy fire. It doesn't matter which ditch you jump in > read more
Meet the UKIPpers
02/23/2015 04:45:00 AM
British politics is a pretty unpleasant sight. There's an anti-politician mood stalking the country. Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind are being hauled over the coals for things that aren't against the rules, nor even against British interests. Rifkind > read more
The Triumphs of British Foreign Policy Are So Complete, We Take it For Granted.
02/18/2015 05:54:00 AM
The British Empire was founded on Trade, not conquest. We largely bought our empire, then co-opted its citizens by encouraging them to get rich and take up cricket. And then when they tired of the British Empire's excesses, the Empire became too expe > read more
Autonomous Vehicles Being Trialled in Britain
02/11/2015 09:18:00 AM
The UK is aiming to become a hub for driverless car technology, and has sought to iron out the obvious legal and regulatory issues prior to the technology becoming widespread.I am going to use the word "moron" a lot. This is not a pejorative. Everyon > read more
On that One, last, Insurmountable Inequality Between the Sexes.
02/05/2015 08:01:00 AM
If the Pompeii Graffiti and Punternet agree, the price of a shag with a lady of negotiable virtue has remained about a working man's daily wage for at least 2,000 years. With this in mind, let's not try to pretend human nature has changed all that mu > read more
Charybdis and Scylla
01/26/2015 03:36:00 AM
Alone among the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain), Greece was running a massive structural deficit before the crisis. Ireland and Spain in particular were torpedoed by the financial crisis, despite running prudent fiscal surpluses in 20 > read more
Politicians with their own views, whatever next?
01/02/2015 07:43:00 AM
The normally excellent Tim Worstall (who is a UKIP economics advisor) succumbs here to one of his party's central idiocies: That it is the job of the politician to reflect the views of the electorate. Im pretty sure, in this democracy thing, that > read more
2015 Is Going to be the Best Year in Human History
12/31/2014 14:02:00 PM
Last year I wrote some predictions How did I do? The FTSE100 will reach an all-time high, for the first time since 1999, and will continue the bull-run. 7,000 will be left behind. Thanks to tightening money, The Oil Price will fall below $100 and sta > read more
Women in the Front Line
12/19/2014 02:44:00 AM
Women do a fantastic job throughout the Army. On the operations the Army has undertaken over the past twenty years, women have been vital. There are things a woman can do - dealing with survivors of rape for example - where a man would be inappropria > read more
Kill All Drug Users?
12/12/2014 07:18:00 AM
I don't know if any of you are on the YouGov site. But it is addictive. A bit like twitter, but with 500 characters. I wrote an Opinion on the Legalisation of Cannabis.Why do we gift the most profitable industry in history to criminals? Successful In > read more
The Oil Price Collapse, & why No-One Starves in the West.
12/09/2014 10:41:00 AM
Two years after the fall of Soviet Communism, a visiting Russian official seeking to learn about how free market systems worked, asked the Cambridge economist Paul Seabright "Who is in charge of Bread Supply in London. He was astonished by the answer > read more
Gordon Brown's Legacy is Perpetual Austerity. Good.
12/03/2014 05:56:00 AM
"Why are you so ANGRY?", I am often asked. I don't mind people who disagree. But what I cannot stand are people for whom the managerialist, high-spending government IS THE ONLY WAY. These are the people who will, with graphs and "facts" confidently t > read more
What Libertarians can learn from Antonio Gramsci and Why they Should Join the Tories.
12/01/2014 07:09:00 AM
I describe myself as a Libertarian, mainly because the traditional labels of 'left' and 'right' don't fully fit. As P.J. O'Rourke remarked "Turn right at Economics, Take a left at sex and drugs, straight ahead to paradise"*. The right are largely eco > read more
Why the NHS is like a Porshe 911.
11/24/2014 06:18:00 AM
The Porshe 911 suffers a fundamental design flaw: it's engine is in the wrong place, over the rear axle, leaving the car struggling for grip at the front, and tail happy. Decades of development have seen the engine's weight move towards the middle (w > read more
Government and Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs
11/19/2014 15:14:00 PM
Life, even after a few years of falling wages, is pretty good in the west. Whatever the idiots of the left tell you, you need to pretty comprehensively screw your life up to be homeless in any developed western economy. Some people fall through the n > read more
On Being a "Real Conservative"
11/14/2014 04:31:00 AM
Tim Montgomerie, formerly doyen of Conservative home, now at the Times, has returned to his former bailiwick to explain why he's not joining UKIP. Basically, they're a bunch of clownish amateurs, however much he likes having his prejudices stroked by > read more
Landing a Probe on a Comet vs Tackling Poverty
11/13/2014 10:37:00 AM
On March 2, 2004, an Ariane 5 rocket took off from French Guiana containing the Rosetta spaceship. A few days later, having escaped the earth's gravity and put into a heliocentric orbit, Rosetta commenced a 10-year 6,500,000,000 km journey which invo > read more
No, Abi, the Poppy Is Not associated with Racism, Nationalism and Islamophobia.
11/05/2014 15:41:00 PM
Abi Wilkinson, a generally thoughtful breed of lefty, has nevertheless, in this article, succumbed to the temptation of projecting her prejudices onto something she doesn't understand and in doing so caused some offence. I said I would explain why th > read more
Obesity and the Daily Mail
11/04/2014 03:41:00 AM
The Daily Mail's editor may or may not have been exhorted to "give them something to hate every day" by its proprietor, Lord Northcliffe, but today, the subject of the hate is fat people. Apparently 12,000 people are on disability benefit because of > read more
What Free Parking Tells Us About UKIP
10/29/2014 05:10:00 AM
In UKIP's "policies for people", I find two mentions of Free Parking. The first under "The National Health Service","...UKIP will commit to spending £200m of the £2bn saving to end hospital car parking charges in England" > read more
On Charlie Elphicke's plan to ban the Trolls.
10/27/2014 06:27:00 AM
I write as a pseudanonymous blogger. My nom-de-plume is an old nickname from growing up. It's useful mainly because It means I can keep my political writing and activism separate from my professional life. But if you really, really want to find out w > read more
Cameron's European Immigration Gamble.
10/22/2014 07:04:00 AM
When Jean Claude Juncker was "elected" EU Commission president, he indicated he'd be happy to work with Cameron to renegotiate some powers. The one 'Red Line' he would not give is the free movement of people, enshrined in the Treaty of Rome.There's a > read more
A Caledonian Prediction
09/18/2014 02:56:00 AM
The eve-of-voting polls are remarkably consistent pointing to 48-52, with 5-10% undecided, in favour of no, so this is going to be the baseline of my prediction prediction. But the pollsters are not at all confident of their weighting methodology.'Do > read more
09/17/2014 05:18:00 AM
Let's get the identity thing out the way: I'm British. My Mother is Scottish, with Ginger hair and Gaelic-speaking parents, a fear of sunshine and everything. My Father is mostly English, with a Welsh grandparent and an Irish surname. So as far as I > read more
On Representative Democracy
09/14/2014 15:02:00 PM
An individual is generally a pretty competent judge of his or her interests. We are pretty efficient at judging what's best for friends and family too. And in certain cases, distributed decision-making is better than individuals, because a market pri > read more
Douglas Carswell, Direct Democracy and the Clacton By-Election.
08/29/2014 10:05:00 AM
When Quentin Davis defected to Gordon Brown's Labour party in 2007, Matthew Paris remarked "when a Tory crosses the floor to Labour, the Average IQ of both parties goes up..." which is one of the most deliciously bitchy political insults of all time. > read more
On Social Mobility and "Who Runs Britain"?
08/28/2014 05:52:00 AM
There's a report from Alan Milburn's Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, which suggests, amongst other things, companies should publish social mobility audits, revealing how many privately educated employees they have. This offensive, ridic > read more
Why our Leaders are Pygmies.
08/11/2014 03:24:00 AM
It's simple: Nothing I've seen of the leadership of the UK suggests the calibre of people is any better or worse than in previous ages. It's just the issues they're dealing with are smaller, and the scrutiny they face is much more immediate, superfic > read more
A Conversation about Drugs with some Policemen.
08/05/2014 05:59:00 AM
I had a (social) conversation with some people who worked for Dibble at the weekend. Some were world-weary cynical beat officers, who ultimately agreed with me. The younger warranted officers, and those civilians (I hate it when the filth use that wo > read more
The Iron Curtain
07/24/2014 03:26:00 AM
For my generation, growing up, the Cold war was a fact. There was "us": the Americans, and the Atlantic Alliance, and there were the Soviets. And there was a line through Europe that was called the Iron Curtain.I was born in 1977. I remember the Gero > read more
Bicycle Helmet Compulsion
07/23/2014 10:15:00 AM
Whatever internet libertarians think, car use has externalities, and bicycle use doesn't. So it is a reasonable goal of Government to facilitate cycling especially for short journeys. Standing in the way of more people jumping on their bikes for shor > read more
Some Strikingly Weak Arguments against Cannabis Legalisation
07/22/2014 05:31:00 AM
James Snell wrote the "no" piece on this online poll. I don't know whether he's writing for pay, or whether this is actually what he believes, but the arguments are strikingly weak. What's also remarkable is that he writes for HuffPo, Left Foot Forwa > read more
A "One-State" Solution for Israel/Palestine?
07/18/2014 10:36:00 AM
The Israel/Palestine question splits neatly along left/right lines. The rights and wrongs of this conflict are characterised by grievance-mongering from the supporters of either side. For the left, it's axiomatic that Israel is an aggressive, invasiv > read more
On "Assisted Dying".
07/18/2014 06:40:00 AM
I don't like Euphemism.Let's be absolutely clear what "assisted dying" is. It is asking a Doctor to kill you. Sure, a terminally ill patient, in theory, pulls the trigger, but it's the doctor that sets up the drip, inserts the catheter and explains e > read more
On the Legitimacy of Strikes
07/10/2014 10:13:00 AM
My good friend Joel compares the turnouts in Strike Ballots with the turnouts in elections. Obviously, it's ridiculous to say a person "was elected by 25% of the electorate" when 50% of those who voted voted for him. Abstention is a legitimate democr > read more
The Tour De France in Essex
07/08/2014 06:29:00 AM
Yesterday, the world's biggest sporting event (live audience measured in Millions... there's nothing else that comes close) travelled through Cambridgeshire, Essex and into London through the rolling countryside that the Tour organisers call "flat" b > read more
Britain in the EU after Juncker
07/02/2014 10:09:00 AM
Obviously David Cameron's defeat over the Commission presidency is a disaster for him, right? Daniel Hannan wrote The game is up. No one will now believe that the United Kingdom can deliver a substantively different deal in Europe. The FCO's ploy of > read more
Bracken's Law and the NHS
06/20/2014 07:30:00 AM
Everyone knows Godwin's law:"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1". > read more
On the Right of Recall
06/05/2014 03:46:00 AM
I'm not a fundamentalist on this issue. We have a right of recall, it's just we might have to wait a few years to exercise it. Neil Hamilton was booted out by the electorate in Tatton in 1997 and now pathetically plods along, embarrassing UKIP rather > read more
A Very Good Description of UKIP
05/30/2014 03:23:00 AM
From the Australian magazine Inside Story:What is UKIP? A short answer is that it is a right-wing British nationalist party, promoting a tale of national decline and elite betrayal, dedicated to exit from the European Union and minimum immigration, m > read more
The Rise of UKIP Heralds a Return to Two Party Politics.
05/27/2014 03:49:00 AM
The Liberal Democrats have based their political offer on a number of things. First a certain honesty about policy. Remember "1p on income tax to fund education" for example, and a general willingness to "think the unthinkable". Clegg coming out as a > read more
Cameron, Farage and the Referendum
05/21/2014 02:42:00 AM
In 2007, when Cameron made his "Cast-Iron" guarantee about a referendum on the Lisbon treaty, it was made in the context of an election which was anticipated in 2008. This was probably his greatest political mistake. In not making this abundantly cle > read more
Gary Barlow, Pfizer & some Increasingly Common, but Stupid & Illiberal Ideas
05/14/2014 07:30:00 AM
Gary Barlow, formerly of take that invested in a scheme which has subsequently been ruled offside by HMRC. As did Jimmy Carr. Neither of these individuals is a finance professional. They were advised that these schemes were legal, followed advice whi > read more
Oderint Dum Metuant
05/08/2014 11:25:00 AM
UKIP is based on the idea that the educated and intelligent, who have a certain set of views, should kowtow to the brute and unexamined opinions of the uneducated by sheer dint of the latter's numbers. "The liberal metropolitan elite" don't know how > read more
In-Group Preference and Jeremy Clarkson
05/02/2014 07:29:00 AM
The Daily Mirror has "outed" Jeremy Clarkson (a long-term opponent of the Mirror's former editor, and most unpopular man on earth, Piers Morgan) as a "racist" because he might have used what is always euphemistically described as the 'n-word'. For th > read more
"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 > read more
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 > read more
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. > read more
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 > read more
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, > read more