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They promised a small state. They gave us a weak state

Corporate welfare

While the 2008 financial crash finally exposed the infantile economic theories behind neoliberalism, most of its political claims remain unchallenged.  Key among these is the belief that somehow successive neoliberal governments have been “rolling back the state.” Ripping up so-called “red tape,” cutting taxes and providing ready access to finance …

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Michal Kalecki: Populism, fascism and the failure of elites

Michal Kalecki

Every 40 year or so, it falls to the mass of the population, led by a politicised youth, to deliver a knockout blow to the prevailing economic/political consensus.  The affluent (neo)liberal classes are inevitably horrified when this happens, since it rocks the foundations of their comfortable way of life.  The …

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Never let a good crisis go to waste

Never let a crisis go to waste

As the full horror of the Grenfell fire became apparent, millions of ordinary Britons experienced shock, sorrow and an outpouring of sympathy.  Many people in the immediate area rushed to volunteer – opening up community facilities and distributing food and clothing.  Others reached for their wallets to donate the cash …

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Is Britain on the edge of disaster?

Is Britain on the edge of disaster?

On a cold Sunday in December a subcontract electrician makes some final changes to a railway signalling circuit.  The electrician is at the end of his thirteenth consecutive week of seven day working.  He is not entirely sure that the work he has done is correct.  But any problems will …

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The second Grenfell disaster has already begun

Grenfell Fire Disaster

If official estimates of fatalities are correct, then the Grenfell fire will be Britain’s fourth worst (non-terror related) disaster in modern times.  If estimates made by residents themselves prove to be correct, it may even be the worst – overtaking the Hillsborough, Piper Alpha and Herald of Free Enterprise disasters.  …

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Not the Brexit election Mrs May expected

UK election 2017

The British general election on 8 June was meant to be The Brexit Election that would provide incumbent Prime Minister Theresa May with the strong and stable majority with which to go into battle against the EU 27. It didn’t turn out that way though.  A strong Labour campaign worked …

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Britain’s coming food crisis

Food riots coming to a city near you

It is no accident that we remember Marie Antoinette for supposedly saying “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche (let them eat cake).”  Whether she actually said it is irrelevant.  The fact is that the French Revolution evolved out of food shortages that forced the desperate poor to take to the streets …

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The killer problems that politicians dare not even mention

Existential crises

Once again the people of Britain have been forced into an election that they did not want.  Facing opposition from her own party, observing the early indicators of a coming recession, and faced by a divided opposition, British Prime Minister Theresa May has chosen to trigger an early general election. …

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America’s bloody future

Second US Civil War

Conventional wisdom has it that all new governments get to enjoy a “100 days” honeymoon in which they can implement the most pressing of their campaign promises.  After that, all bets are off because of what former UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan supposedly called “events dear boy, events.”  For Donald …

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United Airlines: “the singularity” in action

United Airlines

Getting beaten up and thrown off the plane by a bunch of goons is simply the United Airlines’ digital version of a long-established banking practice according to Izabella Kaminska at the Financial Times: “Some might call it “bad public relations”, but we would prefer to call it a sign of things …

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