Politics is the art of looking for trouble …

Groucho Marx via Execupundit: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.” Our Home Secretary’s skin-crawlingly poisonous plan to force firms to declare their foreign workers comes to mind. That can hardly be a way to build a successful, global-trading economy. It’s no way to […]

Casual contempt for the customer #Volkswagen

The discovery that Volkswagen’s US models were fitted with a device that automatically cheated environmental tests will cause huge damage to the firm. Already, facing fines that could reach $18bn, the company’s shares have plunged 23%.  However, fines may only be the most concrete issue; a company that has long traded on its reputation – […]

Calories In, Calories Out – @ASI

Another cunning plan thwarted. I was about to propose that the tax raised on fatty, sugary foods could be used to subsidise the purchase and delivery of Active-Waist trousers for those who, paying more for their fatty, sugary delights, could no longer afford to side-step the ring-of-guilt that is the outmoded and traditional, “inactive” waist-band. Less guilty […]

It usually begins with Ayn Rand – @asi

Here’s a nicely considered piece on the impact and appeal of Ayn Rand, from the Adam Smith Institute’s Eamonn Butler. I trudged (and trudged and trudged) my way through Atlas Shrugged.  It’s maybe a thousand pages too long and, as Eamonn comments, no work of great literature but it has an appealing kernel that’s inspired a couple of […]

2018: the next party!

The simple spectacle of 888,246 ceramic poppies slowly flooding the Tower of London’s moat has been immensely popular and powerful. Each poppy, one for every fallen British soldier of the great War, was paid for by a member of the public.  The moat filled in the weeks leading up to 11th November (I took the above […]

Speeches: Compare and Contrast

It’s not that often that we get such a direct opportunity to compare and contrast the presentation styles of our political leaders.  This article from the BBC, covering yesterday’s Annual Conference of the CBI is  interesting.  The conference was addressed by three of the UK’s leading politicians: Prime Minister David Cameron (leader of the Conservative party) […]

Independence: Won’t get fooled again

Here’s an interesting reflection on secession, from James Taylor  at Bleeding Heart Libertarians. I’m particularly struck by his fifth and last point: “For some people—perhaps even most people—a successful secession will simply mean that they are subjected to the will of a political class that’s different from the former political class they were subject to. Meet […]

Independence: Won't get fooled again

Here’s an interesting reflection on secession, from James Taylor  at Bleeding Heart Libertarians. I’m particularly struck by his fifth and last point: “For some people—perhaps even most people—a successful secession will simply mean that they are subjected to the will of a political class that’s different from the former political class they were subject to. Meet […]

Scottish Independence: head over heart

I once believed that independence for Scotland was a head versus heart decision.  Years before this impending referendum, I told myself that the heart said yes and set about addressing the needs of the head.  I should have dug deeper. The fact is that I will be no more or less Scots five years from […]

The sharp slap of the familiar

Today’s press is full of discussion about whether, in the event of a Yes vote in the Scottish Independence referendum, the remaining UK should have a new flag.  According to a survey by the Flag Institute (the UK’s national flag charity – who knew?), the answer is yes and a new flag should include an element […]

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