Economics

The problem with world fisheries is nobody sticks up for the fish

April 16, 2009

“The problem with world fisheries is nobody sticks up for the fish.” Charles Clover, The End of the Line. While Somali pirates are taking hostages, killing and getting killed by the French navy, French trawlermen are blockading Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk. The Somalis claim they have taken to robbery and kidnapping because their traditional fishing livelihoods have been abstracted by factory ships. The French trawlermen are protesting more or less the same thing, except that their fishing methods are somewhat more automated and their temporary victims are a bunch of... 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

Throw away your crutches and limp down to the McJobCentre, says PM

December 10, 2008

no malingering in back-to-work Britain In yet another demonstration of the sort of lateral thinking that has made Gordon Brown not only saviour of the banks but saviour of the world, Work and Pensions Minister James Purnell announced a government pledge to force long term sickness benefits claimants and some single mothers back to work. The Welfare Reform White Paper has also been welcomed by the Conservative Opposition, largely because it steals their thunder by arguing that unearned benefits undermine society and destroy the work ethic. a spot of hard work never hurt anybody... More