Monthly Archives: July 2011

Is the suit losing its status?

Dress code angst has been a recurring theme on this blog because, over a decade after the introduction of dress-down Fridays, it is still causing problems. Yesterday’s Evening Standard carried the story of Peter Bingle, chairman of Bell Pottinger, being … Continue reading

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Land Value Tax – an idea whose time has come

Many conservatives argue there should be no need to raise taxes or reduce public service provision to bring down the UK’s deficit. Simply cutting out all that waste in the public sector, they say, would solve the problem. The mirror image of … Continue reading

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Word snobs – more irritating than jargon, Americanisms and teen-speak

Every so often, someone writes an article on words they don’t like. Sometimes they have a go at teenagers’ language, other times it’s business jargon. Those of us who follow John Rentoul on Twitter are reminded of his banned list … Continue reading

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HMRC faces a colossal task

The National Audit Office published a report yesterday expressing some doubt about HMRC’s ability to achieve 25 percent cost savings over the next four years. Tax expert Richard Murphy put it more bluntly: They might just as well have said they can’t … Continue reading

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Nudge is not enough on its own

The House of Lords report on behaviour change makes fascinating reading. Its overall conclusion is that persuasion alone is not enough to change the behaviour of large groups of people. Incentives and sanctions are necessary too. The ‘nudge theory’, which … Continue reading

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The Murdochs v the MPs – seasoned professionals v casual amateurs

Compare this: Rupert Murdoch, facing his first grilling from a parliamentary select committee, was being briefed this weekend by lawyers and a public relations expert who helped salvage the reputation of American chat show host David Letterman when he was … Continue reading

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MPs need better interviewing skills

Andy Hayman’s protests about his treatment by the parliamentary committee last week have been drowned out by his critics. Those on the receiving end of media firestorms usually find themselves shouted down. Mr Hayman may not be the country’s most popular copper … Continue reading

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Praise from Down Under

It might have been a crap week for Rupert Murdoch but it’s been a storming one for this blog. Wednesday’s post, in particular, attracted a lot of attention and was picked up in a number of other countries, notably those … Continue reading

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This is the dawning of the Age of Austerity

At least, that’s the impression you’d get from reading the coverage of the Fiscal Sustainability Report, published yesterday by the Office for Budget Responsibility. Actually, the OBR’s forecasts are not as pessimistic as some of the others I have covered on this … Continue reading

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Murdoch’s Frankenstein

The phone hacking scandal has all the usual elements of a media firestorm; the feverish atmosphere, the pace, the stream of allegations, each one worse than the last, and the righteous indignation from politicians and commentators. There’s only one thing … Continue reading

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