Sunday , May 26 2019
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Tim Watkins

The end of May changes nothing

Theresa May resigns

It is a tribute to Theresa May’s stubbornness that she managed to hang on as long as she did.  Lesser mortals would have run away in shame after recording the biggest defeat in parliamentary history.  Not only did May not do so, but she engineered the third worst defeat in …

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The fourth industrial revolution in practice

Smart Meter display

Among the more comical ingredients of the various forms of proposed green new deals, the high-tech “fourth industrial revolution” ranks highly.  Central to this techno-utopian vision is the electrification of the economy and a switch from a manufacturing to a service economy.  And key to this is the comprehensive installation …

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Divided down under

Coal mine in Queensland

Australia is the latest democracy to discover that climate emergencies are incompatible with neoliberal inequality.  In a repeat of the 2016 Brexit and Trump votes, all of the polling for last week’s general election predicted that a strong environmental platform would propel the Australian Labor Party into government.  Instead, in …

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Situating the appreciation

Inequality UK

Sir Angus Deaton is the latest apostolic legate of the econometric priesthood to be given the unenviable task of coming up with a cause and a cure for income inequality and its socio-political consequences without challenging the underlying disease.  The motivation for appointing Deaton – a Nobel laureate economics professor …

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Yellow vests at the ready everyone!

yellow vests

The defenders of green capitalism have been quick to portray any criticism of their attempt to deplete the planet in order to save the planet as synonymous with a denial of the crisis itself.  This has been made easier, of course, by the hysterical screaming of climate change denying right …

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Getting social mobility wrong

Graduate underemployment

In the years leading up to their election in 1997, the neoliberal New Labour leadership continuously repeated the “education, education, education” mantra.  In doing so, they were drawing on a deep-seated myth that lies at the heart of Western civilisation’s quasi-religion of progress.  To understand this, consider Thomas Frank’s criticism …

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What is this Climate Emergency you speak of?

Climate emergency

This morning I awoke to the news that we now have something called a Climate Emergency (note the capital letters).  This is clearly something different to the (lower case) climate emergency that scientists and campaigners have been warning about since I was a child; and it seems to be something …

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Trapped in Brexit’s web

Brexit web

Yesterday – we are told – Chancellor Phillip Hammond and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell held meaningful talks about the way ahead on Brexit.  Everyone – we are assured – is taking the cross-party talks seriously.  None – they tell us – wishes to allow petty personal or party concerns to …

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Let’s talk about Ebbw Vale

Ebbw Vale town centre

Ebbw Vale is back in the news again thanks to a fleeting visit from émigré Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr in preparation for a TED talk that is currently doing the rounds on social media.  Her aim was to copy the US Democrats in claiming that their political decline can be …

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Not so good news

Eneco wind farm North Sea

Protesters today intend bringing central London to a standstill by blockading several major arterial roads into the capital.  For once, this has nothing to do with Brexit.  Instead, it concerns the increasingly urgent call for government to “do something” about climate change.  Exactly what that “something” is that must be …

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