As the Kremlin’s spokesman tells us – somewhat improbably – that regime change was never Vladimir Putin’s goal, the debate on whether Russia and Ukraine should be negotiating gets another bounce.
Depressing – but necessary – to bear in mind that a settlement will rest more on power than on justice.
Some other lessons from the conflict also seem to be getting neglected.
Continue reading “Ukraine: what’s to negotiate?”
In fact, they are acutely focused on what job they might be able to get after the next general election, due in 2024.
Prospects looked worse after new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his mini-budget on Thursday. His programme: rolling tax increases for the next six years. And because tax thresholds are not being raised in line with rising prices and wages, persistent inflation (which also seems more likely) will make it more painful.
Have a smidgen of sympathy for the poor multi-millionaire. Under the current bipartisan rules of the game, there is no alternative if the growth in debt is to be curbed. Those who produce the most, must give the most.
Continue reading “Who says Britain’s Conservative MPs are not future oriented? “
America’s Democrats sighed with relief after Tuesday’s mid-term elections, even though they look likely to narrowly lose control of the House of Representatives, and perhaps even the Senate.
Because notwithstanding high levels of voter dissatisfaction, the widely-anticipated Republican wave petered out.
We should be impressed with the ability of diverse voters and voting regimes over a sprawling continent to deliver such finely nuanced results (including decisive victories for Trump Republican rivals such as Brian Kemp in Georgia and Ron DeSantis in Florida).
Continue reading “US elections: when in doubt, do nothing”
Well, Elon Musk certainly is.
The man is shaping as the Gordian knot cutter of the age. Or at the very least, the one able to set the most hares running.
This seems unlikely to get much credit from New Zealand’s authorities (read Thomas Cranmer on their differences).
But then not many people could – or would – take over a stagnant global media platform. Then immediately fire its entire top team. To be followed by the swift departure of half its workforce. Oh – and end home-working.
Continue reading “Is the Bird free?”
An insightful mini-essay from Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen on how his “own preferred slant of classical liberalism is being replaced” by what – for want of an agreed term – he categorises as the “New Right”.
At his level of intellectual discourse, this means “the smart young people I meet who in the 1980s might have become libertarians”.
Presumably they didn’t. But nonetheless “the New Right doesn’t entirely reject the basic principles of free market economics”. (Is ‘entirely’ redundant here?)
Continue reading “Excellent writing on the New Right. The Old might read “
It seems such a long time since our governments (well the left-wing ones anyway) were steering us deftly through the pandemic?
Sure – there were a few glitches – ‘transitory’ inflation for one. But there was a catch-all explanation – supply chain disruption. And normal service would be resumed shortly.
But like most comfortable explanations, there seems to be a little more to it than that.
Continue reading “Supply chains are the least of it – labour markets signal change”
The MPs of Britain’s ruling Conservative party don’t lack confidence.
Having defenestrated PM Liz Truss, the choice of the non-Parliamentary party as leader, they decided to take no more silly risks, and installed their own choice, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, without troubling to consult the membership.
Time will tell if the members thank them.
Continue reading “Just don’t call it creative destruction, Rishi”
It is perhaps unfortunate that the UK’s Conservative party MPs have never thanked the party members for saving them from the disaster of Theresa May’s premiership.
Perhaps they weren’t even grateful, seeing how quickly they recoiled at the members’ choice of Liz Truss. Truss – who announced on Thursday she would step down – wasn’t even given enough time to dig a shallow grave, in contrast to May, who was indulgently permitted to erect an elaborate mausoleum and find out that no-one else would join her there.
Continue reading “Courtesy is so important in politics”
More than most things, you don’t control war. It controls you.
Something about having to commit your life and treasure to a cause, concentrates the mind. Particularly when the cause is run by other people. Established relationships and certainties go to one side, until the immediate problems of survival on reasonable terms are solved.
Continue reading “War means change”
Despite the buffeting, politicians in recent years have done a surprisingly good job at seeming to be in charge. Of course the markets and central bankers have helped them out a bit.
So it will have come as a shock to Britain’s PM (for now) Liz Truss, that things could fall apart so quickly, and so very comprehensively.
Continue reading “Liz Truss – living in interesting times”