Monthly Archives: February 2009

Yes, the middle classes are revolting, but I don’t predict a riot

February 25, 2009

Riot shields ready to dodge the flying quiches. Set tasers to stun those unemployed analysts. Truncheon the bourgeois materialists. They no longer matter. We’ve bled them dry. Recently, The Guardian reported police warnings of a ’summer of hate.’ Sources of Intelligence (in short supply in the police) ‘indicate’ that middle class anger at economic turmoil will boil over into violent civil disobedience, including riots and, improbably, looting. David Cox, my favourite agent provocateur, helped set this hare racing a few weeks ago. The government, always on the lookout for a... More

British Rail Fares 50% higher than European average – why oh why etc.

February 19, 2009

There should be a sign upon disembarking at London St Pancras International train terminal: “Welcome to Britain, where everything’s a lot dearer and a little bit rubbish.” We already know why British rail passengers, especially commuters, pay 50% more for our generally uncomfortable and squalid rail journeys. It’s because we’re a nation of prats, governed by numbskulls. But enough of the sociology, let’s cut to the chase. Railways are a public utility and virtual monopoly. They cannot be run as though they exist in a free market competitive framework. Yet... More

Liberty in Britain is suffering death by a hundred cuts

I still cannot quite believe this is happening to my country. It feels like a bad dream. But it is happening, and we must stop it. Now. For thirty years I have been travelling to unfree places, from East Germany to Burma, and writing about them in the belief that I was coming from one of the freest countries in the world: Britain. I wanted people in those places to enjoy more of what we had. In the last few years, I have woken up – late in the day,... More