Category business

The Age of the Individual

Where did it all go wrong? The age of the individual could have been a good thing. It was supposed to be a good thing, because the institutions the “individual” was supposed to be fighting against were giant soulless beasts and no one was rooting for them. The machine, the corporation, the oppressive state. So […]

Alas, Poor Google

I’ve kept pretty quiet about the whole data-theft-whistle-blowing-seeking-asylum-in-country-where-anti-government-journalists-just-get-shot mess so far for a number of reasons. Firstly, I’m not entirely sure where I stand on it. I’m not too bothered about my own personal data – hell, I hand it out like candy anyway – but I accept that other people have justifiable concerns about […]

Praise the Lord and Pass the Collateral

I read an interesting blog the other day, with a line that made me stop and think for a moment. The blog is here, and the line in question was this one: the willingness of government and regulators to allow banks to borrow among themselves on secured terms (with collateral being passed round like a […]

Choice. Respect. Wibble.

This morning, the new London Gateway “super-port” opened for business. Lots of big ships will come and unload their fridges and cars and 50″ plasma TVs and rare and exotic potatoes, and because the population density is so high in the South-East of England, this will mean things arrive in the country that little bit […]

HS2? Don’t make me laugh.

You wouldn’t want to be running PR for HS2. Not these days. Every time you open your mouth to announce something good, it’s been spiked before you’ve got your first sentence out. So just last week, just as Government was sternly reminding Labour that the project needs cross-party support if it’s going to survive and […]

The beatification of the businessman

The world’s a very different place from the one I grew up in back in the late seventies and eighties. I’m not talking pace-of-life, or geopolitics, or technology, although obviously all of those things have changed beyond comprehension (which should give anyone who thinks they can predict what things will look like in thirty or […]

“I agree with Nick”

Where, as The Pixies so memorably sang, is my mind? You know how this blog works. I take a major global story everyone’s talking about, add a unique slant no one else has thought of, and a million people say “wow, that’s cool”. Or I take a tiny local story, add an interpretation that relates […]

Vincent Cablepots

The Grumpy Prat (with apologies to TS Eliot, and Jennyanydots, the original Gumbie Cat). I have a Grumpy Prat in mind, his name is Vincent Cablepots. His forehead’s always rather lined, through cutting through financial knots. All day he sits and writes and talks and passes time and chews the fat; He spouts and spouts […]

Waiting for the evidence

Let’s take three questions, three politically-sensitive decisions subject to much overheated public debate and scientific scrutiny. Question 1: Should there be a minimum price per unit of alcohol? Would this do anything to avert potential crises in liver disease and associated conditions, ease the strain on the NHS, reduce alcohol-fuelled crime? Question 2: Should cigarettes […]

Yes, I remember Kenneth Clarke

(With apologies to Edward Thomas, and in gratitude for Adlestrop ). Yes, I remember Kenneth Clarke — The name, because when there were none Of note and few who shone he shone Remarkably. He was alone. The party hissed. Someone cleared his throat And muttered “left” and “Europe”, Tore down his platform. What remained Was […]