Category Uncategorized

Does Varieties of Capitalism Theory condemn Britain to inequality?

Jeremy Cliffe made some interesting points on twitter over the weekend about the relevance of Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) theory to Britain today. Cliffe’s own BBC documentary provides a good introduction to the theory, but here is the general idea.  VoC suggests that successful modern economies can take one of two forms: they can be […]

My year in Lists

It’s nearly the end of 2016, so I decided to channel my inner Rob Fleming, and do some lists of things I enjoyed this year. May contain some good recommendations for others in 2017. Rules are that I had to ‘discover’ (i.e. read, see, eat etc) the thing for the first time in 2016, not […]

What should voters look for in their politicians?

Amidst the political chaos of the past few months, some have taken the opportunity to reflect on what it all means for democracy. In particular, the question of whether individual Members of Parliament are bound to permit Britain’s exit from the European Union because their voters supported it has led to a number of reflections […]

We’ll miss him now he’s gone: in defence of David Cameron

I thought I had longer to write this – that’s why it is a little late. But politics moves too quickly for all of us these days. Last Monday morning David Cameron believed he had another two months as British Prime Minister; in fact he had barely two days. It seems unlikely he will be […]

Voters or residents: how should we draw our electoral map?

In recent months, the Right in both Britain and the US have been accused of trying to manipulate electoral rules to increase the influence of their supporters, and diminish the power of left-leaning voters. Both cases raise important questions about the objectives and principles underpinning electoral democracy, and specifically who elected representatives are supposed to […]

In defence of the ‘Westminster bubble’

Andy Burnham, in standing for the Labour leadership, has placed great emphasis on his desire to “take Labour out of the ‘Westminster bubble’”. Yet his opponents, particularly in the media, have taken great pleasure in pointing out that Burnham himself has been a professional politician for most of his life, and so is as much […]

Is it worse to be poor in India or in Britain?

According the Economist, Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, believes it is worse to be on benefits in the UK than poor in India “because at least everyone else there is poor too”.* Is she right? A useful starting point is to distinguish between goods that depend on a person’s […]