In a recent piece for The Atlantic, “How the UK Became One Of The Poorest Countries in Western Europe”*, Derek Thomson wrote ” When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, it hit hard, smashing the engine of Britain’s economic ascent. Wary of rising deficits, the British government pursued a policy of austerity, fretting about debt rather than productivity or aggregate demand. The results were disastrous. Real wages fell for six straight years. Facing what the writer Fintan O’Toole called “the dull anxiety of declining living standards,” conservative pols sniffed out a bogeyman to blame for this slow-motion catastrophe. They served up to anxious voters a menu of scary outsiders:Read More →

There is something both off-putting and at the same time intensely compelling about the tragedy currently playing out at the heart of UK politics.  As a Prime Minister who is so utterly unsuited, unable and unworthy of the job for which she has battled, schemed, twisted and turned all her adult life seems to be the only person who cannot see the writing on the wall. Go and for God’s sake, go now! Everyone is to blame, the markets, Mad Vlad and most of all KamiKwasi who had to be tossed under a bus after years of friendship. No amount of past alliances, co-authorship or ideological purityRead More →

Whatever happened to the high wage high skills economy that Boris Johnson promised us at the last year’s Tory conference? Remember just a year ago when the UK government pretended that the lorry driver shortage and the empty supermarket shelves weren’t a direct result of the Tories’ isolationist policies but instead were a mere temporary obstacle on a high speed journey to higher pay? This year we – or at least the wealthy – were briefly promised high growth and low taxes. Then the chancellor u-turned and it’s now more unclear than ever how the Tories intend to solve the UK’s myriad problems. Every wayRead More →

Thank goodness we have finally reached election day. Both Tory and Labour constantly getting air time for repetative anti SNP messaging. No idea what they intend to do for their local councils as what little policy they have spouted is not attainable by councils. Indeed some of what the Tories are spouting are only do-able by the Tory Westminster government. Talking of which, Boris Johnstone has been unable to crow over his own war, so he seems to have hijacked the war in Ukraine and used language of the past which I am sure the Ukranian parlimentarians didn’t understand. I certainly hadn’t a clue! AsRead More →

One of my favourite cliches is “be careful what you wish for”. Recently I’ve been contemplating just how much this applies to the poor misguided souls who keep parroting the mince about Scotland being unable to afford to be independent. The essence of this argument is that Scotland is subsidised by the poor people of England. Now, I grant you that many of them are good, decent, kind-hearted folk who would help anyone in need. There is, however, also a large group who have a wide streak of selfishness and lack of human kindness. You might characterise it as the Archbishop or the Home SecretaryRead More →

There is a legend that the great Mongol warrior Genghis Khan used a very brutal form of psychological warfare on every city which he attacked. On the original approach his army would, if possible, surround the city and his own tent would be covered by a white cloth. This signified that if the city surrendered immediately only the ruling family would be killed. This would stay in place for 2 days. If the city had not surrendered in that time, the covering cloth on his tent was changed to red. This indicated that if surrendered, only the ruling families and the officials would be killed,Read More →

Who, I wonder, is the biggest liar? Is it the “Government spokesperson” who creates a fabrication to cover the humiliation of their boss? Or is it the media commentator who, knowing the truth, chooses to go along with, and repeat as “fact” the fabrication and in so doing deliberately deceives millions of viewers or listeners? I was watching the recent utter and total humiliation of the current occupant of the job of UK Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, at the hands of Russia’s Sergey Lavrov. Lavrov, in case you had forgotten, dismissed Truss as “like talking to a deaf person”. Given that he has been aRead More →

So there is a wee shuffle around in Downing Street. We really are being taken for fools. Same faces, different titles and the new leader of the Commons is under investigation for how he treated a female, Muslim MP. As I heard a comedian state on the radio ‘they are doing me out of a job’. The really scary thing though is how the ordinary working people are being treated. We already have the lowest paid having to choose between food and heat. Remember these are not skivers, they are very low paid and often juggling more than one job. People who pay up frontRead More →

2022 is here. Forty nine years ago we joined our European partners and began building relationships. How many remember what life was like prior to 1973? The vegetables and fruit you ate were seasonal and mums and grannies preserved some for when they were not in season. Family members going to work abroad often lost touch if they couldn’t find time to write. Macaroni cheese was exotic and people like my dad didn’t like it. Slowly over the years my age group expanded our horizons. It became easier to travel abroad, especially the European Union countries. As technology developed so did all sorts of agreementsRead More →