I’m a social democrat. My political hero was Denis Healey. So why am I even thinking about voting for Jeremy Corbyn?
Pfizer’s putative takeover of British pharma giant Astra Zeneca exposes yet another intellectual paradox of free market economics. Left to their own devices, firms will always try to takeover other firms or force them out of business. But every takeover (or bankruptcy) by definition reduces… Read More
I’ve just caught up with Alan Yentob’s BBC documentary on Machiavelli and The Prince, broadcast (I think) around Christmas. Old Nick is going through something of a rehabilitation at the moment (Jonathan Powell has recently published a sympathetic “updating”, for example) at the hands of… Read More
Manuel Valls, France’s new prime minister, is often compared to Tony Blair. He even describes himself, without apparent irony, as “Blairiste”. Surprisingly, this hasn’t done him much harm. In recent months, Valls has emerged from relative obscurity to become by far the most popular member… Read More
Is France going into a deflationary spiral? Some economists — a minority, admittedly, but a growing one — fear it might be. If so, the consequences for France, for the eurozone and ultimately for the UK, would be serious indeed. In 2013, inflation in France… Read More
Saint Denis was beheaded on the hill looming over northern Paris now known as Montmartre. The legend is that he picked up his own head and carried it several miles north, before finally collapsing and expiring on the site of the present day suburb that… Read More
This is an excerpt.
This graph from Monday’s Guardian tells you most of what you need to know about the housing crisis in the UK. It tells a simple but very sorry tale. Nothing much happened to private sector housing completions for thirty years, at least until they fell… Read More
Osborne’s recovery is just like Darling’s – only slower, weaker and later. George Osborne’s crowing over the economic recovery reminded me of George W Bush, strutting around on the USS Abraham Lincoln celebrating the ‘end’ of the Iraq War on 1 May 2003. As Bush spoke, a… Read More
Do you ever think, looking at the British political scene, that all possible results of the next election just feel wrong? That no one deserves to win? That we’re in a weird place where the 2015 poll might as well be decided by rolling dice… Read More