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


Oh Caroline!

25 January 2009 18:10

A very entertaining piece on Caroline Kennedy’s "run" for the vacant Senate seat in New York by Larissa MacFarquhar in this week’s New Yorker. There are moments at which one… Continue reading

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Still the Dismal Science

24 January 2009 22:22

Preach it, Brother Wilkinson: When I see Delong more or less indiscriminately trashing everyone at Chicago, or Krugman trashing Barro, etc., what doesn’t arise in my mind is a sense that… Continue reading


The Era of Regulation Never Ended

24 January 2009 20:50

For reasons I don’t entirely understand the impression that the present regrettable economic circumstances have been caused by a hands-off, laissez-faire approach to regulation seems to be widely held. This… Continue reading

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Blagojevich: Entertainer of the Year

23 January 2009 22:28

Can we agree that Rod Blagojevich is making a great run at the title Entertainer of the Year. Here’s the disgraced governor of Illinois protesting his innocence (again!) today: I… Continue reading


Knife Crime Hysteria?

23 January 2009 19:56

There’s an old newspaper adage that "If it bleeds, it leads" that helps explain the current obsession with knife crime. But there’s another old truth that it would be useful… Continue reading


If Obama is Othello, who plays Iago?

23 January 2009 16:16

Good grief. From the Guardian’s theatre blog: Shortly before the inauguration of Barack Obama, I received a press release from the RSC with the subject line: "Obama: Is he an… Continue reading


Progressive libertarians!

23 January 2009 13:21

That’s not, of course, a contradiction in terms. (Which may be why I’m less spooked than some by the idea of "Progressive conservatism") Another way of putting this is, as… Continue reading