Category Archives: Politics

Interesting people disagreeing about inequality

Here is a fascinating series of four articles.

 

It starts with Paul Graham’s recent essay Economic Inequality. (Many readers of this blog will know Graham from his many fascinating essays, including Why Nerds Are Unpopular, What You Can’t Say and The Age of the Essay; and from his excellent book Hackers And Painters [Amazon US][Amazon UK].) Graham is broadly in favour of inequality as he sees it largely an honest signal of different ability and willingness to create value for society.

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Post-politics life, day 1: status update

Mood: liberated.

I feel like I can do other stuff now, without feeling nagging anxiety that Important Things are happening that I need to know about, have an opinion about, and tell other people what to think about.

I recommend it.

Politics: the end

Imagine you’re in a job that you’re not enjoying, a job that’s sucking up your time and energy and affecting your emotional state. One day it occurs to you that you don’t actually have to do the job: you can walk away and do something different. Doesn’t that feel good?

Or suppose you’re in a relationship. You drifted into it without ever really making a deliberate choice, and a couple of years in you realise it’s making you unhappy and irritable. You know what? You’re not married or anything: you can just walk away.

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Dear Lord, no!

The vicar’s daughter who talks all the time about Christian values but has apparently never read the 9th commandment goes against her five-times-repeated pledge “No general election until 2020“.

The Fixed Term Parliament Act of course exists precisely to prevent this kind of opportunistic capitalising on a weak opposition. But that was passed waaay back in 2011, and who care about all that six-years-ago stuff?

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The Brexit deal that Theresa May should be aiming for

Once this idiotic willy-waving over Gibraltar is over (The Sun: “UP YOURS SENORS“, without so much as a comma or a virgulilla), we can hope that Theresa May and her subordinates get down to actual negotiation with the EU. (It’s ironic that at a time when all the principals are arguing about whose Brexit is biggest and hardest, what we really need is someone to lie back and think of England.)

What should be May aiming for in the negotiations? Here are the important things as I see them:

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The sad tale of Uriah Kemp

Uriah Kemp had been married for many years, more or less happily, to Eunice. They had both gone into the marriage optimistically, but as the years passed Uriah became disillusioned. He kept thinking back to days before his marriage, when he had travelled around the world making conquests wherever he went. As age started to catch up with him, he pined for his lost youth and started wondering about leaving Eunice.

There was no one thing about her that he didn’t like. It was lots of little things. For example, she would often invite relatives to come round and do little jobs around the house — putting up some shelves, fixing leaking taps, that sort of thing. Uriah liked getting the work done cheaply, but didn’t really like having Eunice’s relatives around.

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Quick thoughts on the future, if any, of the United Kingdom

Great Britain consists of England, Wales and Scotland; and the UK is “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. This map shows nicely how it breaks down:

Scotland held an independence referendum three years ago and voted narrowly to remain in the UK (55%-45%). But post-Brexit, the choice for Scotland is to remain either in the UK or in the EU. So when the unavoidable 2nd referendum is held, it seems at least fairly likely that Scots will vote this time to leave the UK — so they can retain their larger trading partner and a more global vision.

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