Lessons from Tyler

30 January 2009 16:59

At an Economist roundtable, Tyler Cowen makes a bold suggestion: First, to the extent that the real problem is fear, this militates in favour of placebo policies. By that I… Continue reading


GOP Heads in the Sand

30 January 2009 15:28

Oh dear. Jonah Goldberg has been in Britain and he doesn’t like what he sees. Fair enough, there’s plenty to deplore about the present government. But what Goldberg is most… Continue reading


The Segolene Show Runs and Runs

30 January 2009 14:17

The old line de mortuis nil nisi bonum has been joined, these days, by a convention that vanquished politicians respect the verdict of the electorate and mumble something nice about… Continue reading


"The concept of good and bad schools is false"

30 January 2009 3:53

Meanwhile, away from the budget ballyhoo comes a reminder of one of the problems afflicting Scotland: the teaching unions. Today sees the publication of an eminently sensible report from the… Continue reading


Holyrood Drama? Not so fast, my friends!

30 January 2009 3:09

Well, that didn’t last long. The entertainment (see yesterday’s post) at Holyrood seems to be coming to an end. As predicted by Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting, there seems every… Continue reading


Talk Radio Governance?

30 January 2009 0:44

Arizona’s John Kyl had this to say about the Republican attitude to the stimulus package: "They can cram down a stimulus package without Republican support," said Kyl, "but if that… Continue reading


Obama’s Trade Credentials

29 January 2009 17:46

The stimulus bill working its way through the Congressional sausage-grinder contains "Buy American" provisions that are, unsurprisingly, resisted by American companies that like selling things overseas. Not unreasonably they fear… Continue reading


Holyrood Drama! For Real!

29 January 2009 16:54

So, what to make of yesterday’s drama at the Scottish Parliament? First things first: it’s good to have some actual drama. Secondly, the failure to pass a budget marks the… Continue reading


White House Style

29 January 2009 14:40

At long last, the long national nightmare is over. From a fun NYT piece on Obama’s looser White House regime: If there is one thing Mr. Obama has not gotten… Continue reading


Do the Republicans have a plan?

29 January 2009 14:00

Good question! One of the odder aspects of American politics – at least for foreigners used to the rough and tumble of the House of Commons – is the elevation… Continue reading


Our Age of Abundance

29 January 2009 4:40

Despite the tenor of the times, it is still the case that almost all of us have never had it so good. As Brad DeLong writes at The Week: The… Continue reading


Chutzpah of the Day

28 January 2009 19:17

Gerry Adams, writing in the Guardian: The recent assault on Gaza is a brutal reminder of the destructive power of war and of the human cost of failure. It is… Continue reading


What English backlash?

28 January 2009 17:01

My sense is that, like their Scottish counterparts, English nationalists are disproportionately vocal online. Certainly, anything one says about Scotland and the future of the United Kingdom seems to draw… Continue reading


Dating a Banker Anonymous. Yes, really.

28 January 2009 14:34

For all that it’s often criticised in the blogosphere, there’s an awful lot of good stuff in the New York Times. And some of it is very well written. This,… Continue reading


The Unconventional Problem of Conventional Wisdom

28 January 2009 13:45

An oldie but a goodie: Frank Foer’s defence of Conventional Wisdom dates from 2001 but it still a jolly read: Since 1980 the New York Times editorial page has published… Continue reading


Ulster Lessons

28 January 2009 12:33

I’ve a piece up at the New Republic today, looking at how George Mitchell’s experience in Northern Ireland may inform his approach to his role as Barack Obama’s middle eastern… Continue reading


The Terminator Tweets!

27 January 2009 19:09

If you go here you can follow Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Twitter feed. Granted, it’s mostly just eco-friendly Californian politics at the moment, but once you sign up to the Governor’s feed… Continue reading


The Freedom of the High Seas

27 January 2009 16:38

I’m a sucker for Seasteading. That is, I can’t resist articles about what’s called "homesteading on the high seas" – tiny floating communities based in international waters and thus, happily… Continue reading


Reforming the Lords?

27 January 2009 13:54

The downside to this latest outbreak of "Labour Sleaze" is that we’re going to hear an awful lot of talk about "reforming" the House of Lords. (Will anyone be brave… Continue reading


So. Farewell then, Bill Kristol

26 January 2009 23:07

Tough news for neoconservatism. From today there’ll be no more Bill Kristol columns in the New York Times. One could react to this news in a number of ways. Here,… Continue reading


The Lorettonian Curse

26 January 2009 18:56

Now that I think about it, Simon Heffer’s broadside against Caledonia-dire-and-rotten, missed one obvious target. Sure, Alastair Darling is a much-ridiculed, much-villified Chancellor of the Exchequer but so too was… Continue reading


Have Scots Ruined Britain?

26 January 2009 16:27

Under the headline "Scots have brought Britain to its knees" Simon "John Wilkes" Heffer began his Telegraph column on Saturday like this: As Scots the world over prepare to celebrate… Continue reading


Cannabis Confusion

26 January 2009 15:48

There’s something cheering about today’s announcement that the government has decided to ignore its own experts and reclassify Cannabis as a Class B, rather than a Class C drug. Not… Continue reading

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Where there’s a web there’s a predator…

25 January 2009 22:18

Or not. Are your kids safe online? A recent report about this sensitive subject is stirring up controversy. The study, released by Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society,… Continue reading


In Defence of Lobbying

25 January 2009 20:05

If it’s easy to pick on politicians, it’s easier still to pick on lobbyists. This is true on either side of the Atlantic. As Peter says, today’s allegations in the… Continue reading