Monthly Archives: October 2012

The energy market is a victim of the democratic cycle

The energy market in gas and electricity is one of Britain’s success stories. It was an extraordinary feat of imaginative policy making to introduce competition, not just in the capital markets via privatization, but for consumers and retailers too. This … Continue reading

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Lying by implication

For months now, the Scottish Government has been giving the strong impression that it had sought specific legal advice on whether an independent Scotland would be allowed automatically into the European Union. It has blocked attempts to force it to … Continue reading

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The revolutionaries

Settling down to a rare TV treat on Tuesday made me think about the nature of nationalist politics in Scotland. The Border ITV franchise includes both parts of both Scotland and England, so you get to see England football internationals … Continue reading

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More choice on the railways

The Ministry of Truth has decreed that rail privatisation has been a failure. I’m not sure about that. Most of the indicators show that things were even worse under British Rail, not that that’s saying much. But there’s one thing … Continue reading

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All benefits should be universal

You can’t talk about the benefits system unless you mention taxes too. Both have become so complicated that fiddling with one has unpredictable consequences for the other. The only sensible solution is for all benefits to be universal, regardless of … Continue reading

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A u-turn on wind farms?

With the exception of independence itself, renewable energy is Alex Salmond’s greatest political passion. So what’s he doing appointing a rural, ex-Tory, bird-loving windfarm sceptic as Minister for Environment and Climate Change? Read my take on it here.

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Would Scotland have done better on its own?

An entertaining debate is taking place between the economists George Kerevan and Brian Ashcroft – and they seem to be pointing to some surprising conclusions about the performance of the Scottish economy.

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Saving the taxpayer from lobbyists

An Australian State is legislating to stop lobby groups using taxpayers money to try to change government policy. As far as I know this is the first attempt to restrict the ‘government-lobbying-government’ problem that so bedevils modern politics.

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