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UK government ‘not serious’ about Brexit

Customs post

Employing and training several thousand new customs officers is not something that can be done overnight.  According to the National Career Service the usual route to becoming a customs officer is to begin as an Administrative Assistant , Assistant Officer or Administrative Officer within the service and then to progress …

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Brexit home truths

Brexit down and out

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood took to social media over the weekend to criticise the UK Labour Party stance on Brexit: “Time and time again, Labour fail to stand up to the Tories and oppose their extreme version of Brexit. “In Wales, the Labour Welsh government signed up to a …

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Brexit: where the art of politics breaks down

Brexit negotiations

Politics is the art of compromise.  Whatever the issue, for the greater good of society no side can be ignored entirely and the winner cannot take all.  Everyone gets some of what they need and nobody gets everything they want.  It is a messy and often dissatisfactory process, but it …

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Taking a Russian approach to climate change

Fake News

The problem with Russian “fake news” is that it isn’t all that fake.  This is why Western politicians go out of their way to avoid giving examples, while media outlets attempt to conflate it with the output from Bulgarian clickbait factories. Outlets like Russia Today and Sputnik use a different …

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UK government has a cruelty problem

Tory cruelty

This morning, observant people in Cardiff will have learned from their local paper (these things never make the national news) that: “A 32-year-old woman has been found dead in a Cardiff park.” In homelessness, at least, it would appear that government attempts to promote gender equality are paying off.  As Dawn …

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Thatcher’s legacy

Thatcher's legacy of debt

Twenty seven years ago today one of Britain’s most successful – and divisive – prime ministers left 10 Downing Street for the last time.  In her wake lay the ruins of Britain’s industrial past.  Coal, steel, shipbuilding, factory and rail towns had been reduced to a shadow of their former …

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The Root of All Evil

In the millennia prior to the creation of modern finance, everybody knew that money was the root of all evil. Most religions bracketed the sin of usury – charging interest on money loans – alongside murder. Usury was so ruinous of individuals and civilisations as a whole, that periodic “debt …

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A very European Brexit

European Brexit

It wasn’t meant to be like this.  Although Margaret Thatcher was supposedly anti-EU, when it came down to it, her scepticism was primarily a negotiating ploy.  Thatcher understood that the threat of a referendum was powerful.  It bought Britain its rebate, its opt out from the social chapter, and fortuitously …

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A question of professional standards

Lying politicians

Earlier this month, the financial advisor John Redwood – Chief Global Strategist for Charles Stanley – penned an opinion piece for the Financial Times (paywall) in which he told his clients that it is “time to look further afield as the UK economy hits the brakes.”  This is unquestionably good …

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Civilisation and the fall

Agriculture and The Fall

Relating the Ricky Gervais story about the punishment of the snake in the Biblical story of The Fall recently got me thinking about the origins of the punishments handed down to the people.  In the Bible, Eve persuades Adam to partake of the forbidden fruit (possibly an apple or a …

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