Monthly Archives: January 2014

Democracy, what democracy?

January 5, 2014

“A democracy cannot survive as a permanent form of government. It can last only until its citizens discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority (who vote) will vote for those candidates promising the greatest benefits from the public purse, with the result that a democracy will always collapse from loose fiscal policies, always followed by a dictatorship.” Lord Thomas MacCauley 1857 Whenever you hear politicians or pundits use the word ‘democracy’ you can be almost sure that they mean ‘representative... More

Happy New Fears for one and all

January 2, 2014

Another year will bring another set of reasons to be fearful, as sure as eggs contain salmonella and the ghost of Jimmy Savile haunts the BBC. Thus far, none of these fears have carried off the planet. Some, like Aids, have been worse than others but proportionally no worse than, say, the Black Death. Others, such as bird flu and Mrs Thatcher, were quite simply hopelessly overblown conceits. Humans have only been around for a million years. Our capacity to seriously mess things up has increased dramatically over the few... More