Countercyclical Assets

8 March 2009 13:47

One of my favourite features at Marginal Revolution is Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok’s occasional look at countercyclical assets – ie, products and economic sectors that are doing quite nicely… Continue reading


Sarah Churchwell Gets Under the Skin of Republican Philistines

8 March 2009 12:19

I now get magazines sent to my home rather than my office, which means that I actually read them from time to time. The latest issue of The Liberal, for… Continue reading


The Complex Personality of Peter Hain

8 March 2009 9:58

A good mini-scoop from the Independent on Sunday based on an article from Peter Hain. News stories based on articles by politicians are often the last refuge of a political… Continue reading


Obama more out of touch than Bush, Hoover, Everyone combined…

7 March 2009 22:22

How so? Well, how can he say stuff like this and expect to be taken seriously? Mr. Obama rode to the White House partly on his savvy use of new… Continue reading



7 March 2009 13:22

Astute readers will have noticed that I’ve finally got round to adding a blogroll. All blogs listed are, of course, recommended. I’d particularly like to highlight, however, a couple to… Continue reading


Harriet’s At It

6 March 2009 23:57

My politics students at City University in London were delighted to have a visit from a master hack today. Kevin Maguire was an entertainining and marvellously indiscreet guest. The final… Continue reading


Giftgate Continues!

6 March 2009 18:34

On the one hand, the rumpus over the gifts exchanged between Gordon Brown and Barack Obama is, as TIME’s Michael Scherer puts it, "exhausting". Also, magnificently trivial. But let’s face… Continue reading


Ending the Drug War. Now.

6 March 2009 15:06

Although there are encouraging noises coming from Latin America, much of the western world remains deaf to common sense. Still, let’s hear it for the Economist which this week repeats… Continue reading


When philosophers attack…

6 March 2009 14:23

Australian foreign minister Steven Smith sees trouble ahead: "This was very much an existentialist threat to Pakistan itself," he said. Quite so. Readers are invited to pair schools of philosophy… Continue reading


Didn’t He Do Well?

5 March 2009 23:38

I have had some time to think about Gordon Brown’s performance in Washington now and I would agree with an American liberal friend  I spoke to on the phone this evening… Continue reading


Jon Stewart Pops CNBC’s Bubble

5 March 2009 23:13

As Clive has noted, the financial press did not exactly cover itself in glory in the run-up to the present economic difficulties. No-one ws a bigger cheerleader of heroic capitalism… Continue reading


David Frum vs Talk Radio

5 March 2009 18:14

David Frum called in to Mark Levin’s radio show the other day to respond to, inter alia, "debate" the suggestion that Rush Limbaugh does not represent a profitable future for… Continue reading


Buckley and Limbaugh: Contrasting Conservatisms

5 March 2009 1:42

Ross Douthat is obviously (well, it’s obvious to me) right to think that Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer and not someone who ought to be considered a spokesman for the… Continue reading


The Next Labour Manifesto

5 March 2009 0:14

Taking a cue from Vogue and other glossy mags, the New Statesman has decided to liven things up attract some publicity by inviting a celebrity to be "Guest Editor" for… Continue reading


Hollywood Beckons

4 March 2009 22:04

You will all be delighted to hear that today I finally signed away the rights to my life story. Stop laughing at the back! Longstanding followers of The Bright Stuff will… Continue reading


Why waiting for Obama to fail is not enough

4 March 2009 20:55

Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, says everyone should calm down and have a cup of tea: Barack Obama and the Democrats have the initiative. Until such time as their… Continue reading


The Problem of Being Like Scotland

4 March 2009 19:13

One of the problems with nationalism is that it craves attention. The Scottish variety is no exception. Thus, for instance, the normally sensisible SNP Tactical Voting asks: One day we… Continue reading


The Ulster-Scots Style

4 March 2009 1:51

Line of the day comes from David McNarry, an Ulster Unionist member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, looking forward (or not) to an entry to the Belfast Film Festival: "Porn… Continue reading


Conrad Black and Paul Pennyfeather

4 March 2009 1:39

Conrad Black, late of this parish of course, describes his daily routine after his first year in prison: I get up just after 7 except on the weekends and holidays… Continue reading


Obama to World: Drop Dead!

3 March 2009 17:35

The White House could easily have granted the press conference Gordon Brown so clearly craved. Though there was something a little craven, a touch humiliating about much of the build-up… Continue reading


Blogging the Stimulus

3 March 2009 14:08

Steve Coll, late of the Washington Post and now ensconsed at the New Yorker and the New America Foundation, is a brave, brave man. He’s actually going to read the… Continue reading


Fear and Loathing at the Heart of Government

3 March 2009 10:16

There’s some really fascinating stuff knocking around today. Rachel Sylvester’s column in The Times is really quite extraordinary. She claims that in a conference call with Peter Mandelson and Ed… Continue reading


Pakistan Edges Closer to the Abyss

3 March 2009 8:15

Sometimes it’s the seemingly minor events – minor, that is, in the grand scheme of matters, not necessarily small or insignificant at the moment they occur – that can carry… Continue reading


Mr Brown’s Trip to Washington

3 March 2009 4:43

Poor Gordon Brown. Yes, really. The expectations for his visit to Washington this week could not have been framed more unkindly. It’s as though the Prime Minister has been set… Continue reading


Pollsters Go To War

3 March 2009 2:00

I sometimes wonder about pollsters and political consultants. That is, I wonder if they are rather like the financial Masters of the Universe whose mastery turns out, it seems, to… Continue reading

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