Monthly Archives: May 2014

Socrates and the euro elections: A democratic dialogue

SCENE: A LONDON BACK STREET…

SOCRATES: Hey, you there, why are you tearing up those placards?

ANGRY VOTER: It’s over, the racists have won. It’s a black day for democracy.

SOCRATES: Ah, you’ve been taking part in the recent election. I’m an immigrant from a fellow democracy myself, so I’m fascinated to understand your system better. Continue reading

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Filed under Freedom, History, Politics

Don’t misunderstand business beasts: Like Godzilla they’re on our side

IT LOOKS like the monster showdown of the year. I’m not talking about the sadly limited charms of the new Godzilla movie, but the public clash between the state-sanctioned might of Westminster’s MPs and corporate behemoth Pfizer over its takeover bid for Astrazeneca. Yet the monstrous truth is that while the latest kaiju film with its plus-sized lizard king makes for underwhelming popcorn fodder, it shows every sign of being smarter than the commons select committee that quizzed Pfizer boss Ian Read this week. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Film, Politics

Our real crisis is government silencing the sound and fury of capitalism

THE STRATEGY is set for the general election on 7 May next year. Expect 12 more months of Labour banging on about the cost of living crisis, and a year of the Conservatives talking up the long-term economic plan. If only they weren’t both wrong.

Yes, the Conservatives can justifiably point out the country’s return to a decent rate of growth and heartening levels of job creation. Labour understandably enough is looking the other way, focusing on how tough it can still feel to live in Britain in the wake of a vicious recession. Statistical grandstanding is better than anecdotal resentment, but as they talk past one another, both sides miss the point: a truly flourishing modern economy will feel exciting wherever you stand.  Continue reading

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Filed under Economics, Politics

This is how elites die: The establishment bubble has no answer to Ukip

IT IS time to give up the pretence that Ukip is an anti-establishment party. Clearly, the UK Independence Party is the power behind the British establishment’s throne, its secret master. How else did it persuade bien pensant opinion-formers to coordinate a series of cheap, alienating broadsides on its candidates and policies that have served only to push it ever-higher in the polls? Continue reading

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Filed under Human nature, Politics