Category Archives: UK

Post Leveson proves the case against Leveson

Until the Leveson Report came out I was pretty agnostic about the whole thing. Aren’t we all ‘regulated’ by Parliament, after all? In a sense, having to regulate the press via an arm’s length body might actually make it harder … Continue reading

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The e-cigarette revolution

I’m fascinated by e-cigarettes. In case you haven’t seen them, they look just like real fags, weigh a bit more, and have a light that glows when you puff on them. Instead of inhaling tobacco smoke, you drag on, and … Continue reading

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Is the ‘living wage’ to be the new minimum?

Where did this ‘living wage’ malarky spring from? It seems a group based in East London has been urging employers to increase wages. Sometimes, it seems, this improves morale and productivity to the extent that it pays for itself.

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Renewable energy – dependent on English gold

I’m always a little bemused why the Unionist camp in Scotland doesn’t make more of the fact that renewable energy here benefits from an enormous subsidy transfer from the rest of the UK. It must be worth about half a billion … 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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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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Exam puzzles

The row about exam results in England presents something of a puzzle. If (as the government seems to admit) GCSE’s suffer from grade inflation, does that mean that the improvements in English schools over the last decade and more are … Continue reading

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Romney’s right

Despite my almost complete lack of interest in US politics, I couldn’t resist clicking through to Mitt Romney’s latest gaffe. Writing off half the electorate is a bit of a howler, but doesn’t he make an important point?

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Time to denationalise planning

The wind farm controversy shows how ineffective our planning system is. A lot of people are vaguely in favour of wind farms, but that’s because they don’t live anywhere near them.

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