Monthly Archives: July 2017

HBO’s Confederate: What about the half that hasn’t been told?

The team behind Game of Thrones is bringing a new series to HBO. It’s set in an alternative present. In Confederate the south won the American Civil War. Consequently, the Confederate States of America and slavery still exist in the 21st … Continue reading

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The tribunal fees case and why we still need unions

Yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court declaring employment tribunal fees to be illegal came as a surprise, even to the experts. As Darren Newman said: Whatever side of the employment law fence you sit on, we should first of all … Continue reading

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The rise and fall of the property-owning democracy

Sometime in the late 1980s, a friend who was on the libertarian right of the Conservative Party explained the idea of the property-owning democracy to me. The point, he said, was to detach the respectable working class from their poorer … Continue reading

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Brexit: the visionless vacuum

Here’s a situation I’m sure will be familiar to many of you. You embark on a major organisational change programme. At first things go well but soon you run up against a problem. There are important decisions that need to … Continue reading

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An honest debate about austerity and tax

I first heard the term ‘Candour Deficit’ in a presentation by the Resolution Foundation’s chief economist, Matt Whittaker, shortly before the 2015 election. He was referring to the unwillingness of the main political parties to be honest with voters about … Continue reading

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The end of the state-shrinking dream

I’m old enough to remember when the libertarian right in the Federation of Conservative Students (FCS) sang Tomorrow Belongs To Me. At the time it seemed all of a piece with the Hang Nelson Mandela posters and their other leftie-baiting antics. … Continue reading

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A UK-EU customs union: An option most of us could live with?

Michael Barnier laid it on the line today. In a short but direct speech he emphasised that the UK leaving the EU will inevitably increase friction in trade: Why do our Member States benefit from ‘frictionless’ trade in goods with … Continue reading

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