A thought occurred to me listening to the discussion of value added tax on Vox’s the Weeds podcast this week: how lucky I am that I have to spend so little time thinking about paying tax. I’m not poor or financially insecure enough to have to scrutinise each pay slip and watch the money into […]

So some people are swooning at the fact that France’s President can casually discuss Hegel, and contrasting Emmanuel Macron’s erudition favourably with British politicians. I think that’s probably a bit unfair. Surely you don’t get through three years of PPE at Oxford without being able to name-check the odd philosopher. So I decided to look […]

The contest for leadership of the Scottish Labour party has re-opened an old debate: is it acceptable for egalitarians to send their children to private school? One candidate, Anas Sarwar, has come under criticism for sending his son to the £8,000 a year Hutchesons’ Grammar school in Glasgow. The row echoes similar controversies around left-wing […]

There’s an ongoing debate as to whether there are too many left-wing academics, and whether this is a problem, potentially leading to groupthink in research and a skewed worldview presented to students. Some say the same about the tendency of school teachers to skew left, and whether this compromises their ability to “help our students […]

A recent Guardian article asked the question ‘Should we stop keeping pets?’ Yet instead of a thorough examination of the moral arguments for and against pet ownership, it fell into a crude dichotomy: either pets are property, to be treated by humans however they wish, or they must be emancipated. For a clearer statement of […]

Here’s a question, amid the slightly odd political row about whether Britain should allow the import of ‘chlorine-washed chicken from the US: if people hate chlorinated chicken, why do they need to ban it? Why can’t they just not buy it themselves? According to the Adam Smith Institute (ASI), permitting the American practice of washing […]

Among the innumerable ways in which life has got better for those of us living in rich countries over the past 200 years, one of the most easily overlooked is the price tag. In the early 19th Century, almost every purchase involved a process of haggling – very few goods or services had set prices. […]