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Business and Society Economics Philosophy

Socialism, Free Markets, Capitalism and Christopher Snowdon

Why do I consider myself to be of the ‘left’ rather than the ‘right’, despite the tendency for each term to be converted to a straw-man for all the pet hates of those attaching to the opposing label? For me, to be of the left designates a prioritisation of co-operation over competition. It is to […]

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Business and Society Equality Inequality Politics

Equality of Voice – An Introduction

Everyone in British politics, right and left, is now talking about inequality and social justice. But there is much confusion and obfuscation. Specificity is required. Social justice has rather different implications depending on whether it comes from the right or the left of the political spectrum. Leaving aside issues of capital ownership, right social justice […]

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Economics Money and Banking Politics

Bad Targets for Policy 1: Government Debt

This is the first blog in a two-part series on ‘Bad Targets for Policy’. The second in the series will be on immigration. We’ve seen a lot of focus on the ‘costing’ of policies in the parties’ manifestos for the forthcoming UK election. But we must remember that money is only a means of keeping […]

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Economics Healthcare News Politics

Explaining the NHS Crisis: Lies, Damn Lies and Health Spending

Introduction Just how much cash does the NHS and social care need to prevent the distressing stories of patients languishing on trolleys for hours in A&E departments? Can we possibly afford what it needs, or is it really a ‘bottomless pit’ as often claimed? Do we need to lower our expectations of what can be […]

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Business and Society Economics Equality Philosophy Politics

Modern Thinking: Atomism and Communication

‘Modern Thinking: Atomism and Communication’ – Although written four years ago for an essay competition, I still think this piece encapsulates as well as anything my approach to economics, politics and social institutions. Bertrand Russell, the great British mathematician and philosopher, believed that to be ‘modern-minded’ was to make the error of thinking with the […]

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Business and Society Politics

Leveson, the Press and Labour

This post was published on LabourList on 16th August 2012, under the title ‘Labour must free the Press’. The first instalment of Lord Leveson’s inquiry report into the Culture, Practice and Ethics of the Press is due in the autumn. It’s vital that Labour are ready to argue for a truly free press. We should […]

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Business and Society Inequality News Politics

The Riots of August 2011

The riots that engulfed London and other cities in England began one year ago today. Just to hark back to my piece ‘Riots: Looking Deeper’ on this topic last year, written one week after they started. I think it’s fair to say that it was a reasonable analysis. In particular the Independent Panel set up […]

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Business and Society Money and Banking

Bailouts and the Future of Banking

Long piece today by the Guardian’s economics leader writer, Aditya Chakrabortty, on the cost of the banking crisis, bank misconduct and what should be done about it. I agree wholeheartedly with the thrust of this piece, and indeed said much the same two and half years ago in my piece on the Guardian Cif site. Aditya’s piece concludes […]

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Business and Society Economics Politics

Economics and Perception

I’ve read with interest the recent Labour List posts of Owen Jones and Emma Burnell. I think on the politics Emma is right, but on the economics Owen is right to call for a fresh plan of action. Politics these days is a performance, and it’s increasingly a self-interested one where concern for the greater […]

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Economics Money and Banking Politics

Commentary on GolemXIV in Edinburgh

David Malone, a documentary film maker, perhaps better known these days as blogger on the financial crisis and its causes – operating under the name GolemXIV – gave a talk in Edinburgh on the 6th of December. He’s quite a charismatic guy and gave an effective talk in a church with no aids other than […]