• EU,  Politics,  UK

    Maybe economic efficiency is not all it’s cracked up to be

    Neil Irwin writing in today’s New York Times has suggested that the chasm opening up on both sides of the Atlantic is between the economic elite who favour a “dynamic globalized economy” – bankers, trade negotiators, international business people and mainstream political leaders. “Efficiency sounds great in theory. What kind of monster doesn’t want to optimize possibilities, minimize waste and make the most of finite resources? But the economic and policy elite may like efficiency a lot more than normal humans do.” ” Perhaps the pursuit of ever higher gross domestic product misses a fundamental understanding of what makes most people tick.” There has been a rejection of expert opinion in the…

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  • EU

    Muddling through Brexit – still no one knows what will happen

    What happened? 10 days on it is still hard to make sense of what has happened. It is clear that those who voted for Brexit wanted to send a message to the Westminster and Whitehall establishment, to some extent the Brexit vote had some of the characteristics of a by-election rebellion. At least some of those who voted for Brexit were just wanting to protest and they did not expect or want to win – and they are saying so to camera. Ipsos Mori interviewed 1,077 people poll for BBC Newsnight on 29th and 30th June. 5% of Leave voters would now reverse their vote 2% of Remain voters would…

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  • EU

    It is going to be a messy divorce – if it happens….

    When people divorce they want a fresh start, sometimes they already have a new partner in mind. Less often they just want to be clear of a relationship which although once significant  enough to them to generate a marriage, no longer is. In the Brexit divorce the party suing for divorce is a many headed hydra – during the campaign many promises were made,  some of which have already been disowned by Brextiers. The Brexiters never has and agreement about what they wanted post Brexit. The Brexiters are already divided and planning to exclude the man who started it all. Nigel Farage’s supporters are not going to accept that and…

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  • Culture,  EU

    The morning after …

    I am disappointed but not surprised by the outcome of the referendum and by Cameron’s decision to resign. Those Conservatives who express surprise that he has gone and who signed the letter asking him to stay on should note that you do not always get what you wish for. There are some grounds for thinking that what we have participated in as a referendum on membership of the EU was actually a campaign to determine the leadership of the Tory party. If you want to know who voted Out – the best data available is here The 17,410,742 people who voted for Britain to leave need to remember the promises…

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  • EU

    I want my country back…..

    On the bus in Manchester this week: two NHS nurses in their late fifties, lamenting the state of the NHS, the queues and waiting lists, the missed appointments, the cost of interpreters, the lack of funding, the state of Britain and what it all means for their grandchildren. They are both going to vote leave because they are sick of Westminster politicians – as one said to the other “It can’t be worse if we leave….” For once in their lives, every vote counts: for too long, mainstream parties have courted the floating voters and ignored the alienated and the dispossessed. For once in their lives, they have a chance…

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