Wednesday , December 19 2018
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Society

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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Brexit’s game of fools

fools mate

In the game of chess, the grandmaster seeks to dominate the game from the opening move.  The amateur, in contrast, risks making so bad an opening that the game is lost immediately.  One such opening is known as “fool’s mate,” which requires so foolish an opening move that none but …

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The difference between “can” and “can”

Manned space flight

According to the green energy enthusiasts, we are well on the way to a world powered by renewables energy and an end to concerns about climate change.  Unfortunately, a more sober examination of the data produced by the International Energy Agency tells us that, in fact, new renewables (solar, wind, …

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Peak medicine

Antibiotic Resistance

One of the central themes of The Consciousness of Sheep is that systems fail at their weakest point.  When they do, there is often a cascading knock-on effect in which things that had been taken for granted suddenly become impossible.  For example, during the UK fuel crisis in September 2000, …

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A cautionary Brexit tale

A cautionary tale about Brexit

Everything seems to be going wrong for Britain’s Tory government since the loss of the Brexit referendum and the resignation of David Cameron.  The coronation of Theresa May was supposed to usher in a new era of strength and stability.  Instead it has brought vacillation and U-turns, a disastrous general …

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When your enemies insist you stay

Tory leadership contest

One of the ways you know you are living through a crisis is when satire offers a more accurate picture than news.  This was particularly true yesterday when the satirical website News Thump published a piece that told us everything we need to know about the antics of UK Foreign …

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IRA ghost may come to haunt the Tories

Industrial Relations Act protest 1972

The echoes of the 1970s are all around us.  Minority governments propped up by the Ulster Unionists, social division over Europe, the rise of extremist political parties, and terror attacks in our cities.  It is, however, the ghost of the less well known of the two IRAs that were around …

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