Category Archives: Politics

Very basic politics #5: why the rich tend to get richer

Whenever one talks of raising taxes and increasing benefits, a lot of people have this quite understandable reaction: “Why should people who work hard to earn money give it to people who don’t?”


But there is a good reason that every civilised country in the world[1] has a progressive tax system — one where people with high incomes pay a higher proportion of that income in tax[2]. It is that, other things being equal, there is a tendency for rich people to become richer and poor people to become poorer — and progressive tax systems are intended, at least, to ameliorate that tendency and prevent it from running wild.

But why does this tendency exist?

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Why do I bother writing to my MP?

I’ve written to my MP, the Conservative Mark Harper (Forest of Dean) quite a few times in the last few years, on many different subjects. (I use the “Write to Them” site.)


And to give him credit, I have nearly always received a reply — in the post, printed on nice, heavy parchment-style paper.

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** Reminder ** Biometrics Registration

Just got this email from our boys’ school

Dear Parent

Just a gentle reminder to return the reply slips for the Biometrics registration as soon as possible please.

I understand that 6th form believe they do not need to register. This is not the case, all pupils need to return their slips and register.

The registration days will be held in the Sports Hall on Friday 2 December and Friday 9 December and further information on times etc. will come from form tutors in due course.

Thank you for your co-operation.

[Name redacted]
Finance Manager


What Trump did right

In the spirit of reconciliation, I thought it would be good to say something positive about Donald Trump. So here goes.

Trump, and Trump alone, had the strategic insight to realise how right Michael Gove was in the run-up to the Brexit vote when he argued that people “have had enough of experts”. Seeing the result of that vote, Trump alone had the courage to run with Gove’s observation to its obvious conclusion, that people have had enough of facts.

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They walk among us

There are many, many reasons for rational, humane people to be dismayed at the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States. I won’t rehearse them all in any detail — the horrible lesson that outright lying wins elections, the normalisation of racism, the appalling role-model he presents, the very real threat that he’ll start a nuclear war just because he can, and so much more.


But none of that is what dismays me most.

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American presidents through the ages


“I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.” — George Washington, 1st president. Continue reading

Trump and Hillary, they’re as bad as each other

Well, America, it’s make your mind up time.


And what a heartbreakingly difficult choice it is!

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