Sunday , April 21 2019
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An echo from the Victorian past

California homelessness

Californian cities are full of shit.  I don’t mean figuratively full of shit.  I mean California really does have a public health problem with human shit fouling pavements and drains as a result of the lack of facilities for the state’s exploding homeless population.  As Nathan Robinson reported in the …

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Lest we forget

Last day of WWI

“At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month the guns fell silent.” The phrase has been repeated at Remembrance ceremonies and media commentaries around the world so often that the full horror contained in those words is missed by almost everyone who hears them.  For what …

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Endgame

Brexit checkmate

If there is one thing that Theresa May cannot be accused of it is being decisive.  Her entire – hopefully short-lived – premiership will be defined by indecision and prevarication:  The ill-fated general election that she vowed more than twenty times would never be called; the horrific Universal Credit rollout …

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UK poverty cleansing

DWP poverty

Management guru Anthony Stafford Beer famously argued that “the purpose of a system is what it does.”  While this sounds like a tautology, what he meant was that we should judge organisations by the results of their behaviour rather than the purpose stated in their PR materials: “There is after …

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Enemy already within the gates

Enemy within the gates

While the government attempts to microwave its cold war with Russia, a more menacing adversary may have already breached the national firewalls.  I speak, of course, of the other emerging power in the new tri-polar world: China. In many ways, the new Chinese imperialism is very similar to the nineteenth …

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Checkmate

Brexit checkmate in Salzburg

Believe it or not, EU leaders were attempting to bolster Theresa May’s position ahead of what is likely to be an unpleasant Tory conference ten days from now.    EU negotiator Michel Barnier had unexpectedly indicated that the so-called “Chequers proposal” provided the basis for a future Brexit deal.  Crucially, however, …

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Where good intentions lead

Road to hell

Labour MP Lucy Powell’s Ten Minute Rule Bill to be presented to Parliament today has all of the hallmarks of the good intentions that pave the road that leads to you know where.  At face value, it is packed with banal measures aimed at tackling one of the thorniest issues …

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How the left enabled Hitler

Nuremberg exhibition image

Given the current fashion for hurling the words “fascist” and “Nazi” at anyone we happen to disagree with, it is worth remembering that the Nazis were elected to government (as the largest party) in 1932.  Not that they would not have seized power by other means in future if need …

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You’ve been Trumped

Trump Joker

There were two messages on the back of Melania Trump’s now famous jacket (no, one of them was not an Italian fascist slogan).  The first was the one aimed at the US media – “I really don’t care; do U?”  That is, in the age of 24 hour news and …

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