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Was Cameron Lucky to win the 2015 UK General Election?

Oxford Professor Simon Wren-Lewis wrote an interesting piece in the immediate aftermath of David Cameron’s win in the 2015 General Election, to which I added a comment which I have copied below. S W-L (as some of his commenters refer to him) pointed out some of the luck Cameron had had, but was that it? Was his election victory purely down to luck?

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Why Independence for Scotland could be good for Conservative Politics

London based politicians have for generations got Scotland wrong. This is particularly true of the right wing Conservative party who have practically no representatives in the land of the Picts. But Independence could change all this. Continue Reading »

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Should 40 per cent tax relief on pensions go?

Latest news on pensions, released nicely in time for the weekend papers to make a big thing out of is the suggestion that 40% tax relief on UK pension contributions should be limited to 20%. The timing is interesting not just because of its focus on the current dissatisfaction with the higher paid, but it also nicely distracts from the current mess over the NHS in which some Conservatives have even suggested Andrew Lansley should be shot. Cameron of course, the great PR man that he is, knew he had to come up with some other eye catching story that would hit the headlines. What better than a class issue of rich v poor? Continue Reading »

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Ta Ta to Tetley Tea?

Just saw the side of my box of Tetley Tea – now sporting the new label “Tata Global Beverages”. What’s that all about? Someone messing with my tea? Something’s stirring in the markets, and somehow I think it’s more than just my cuppa… Continue Reading »

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Why a smaller Trade Deficit is bad for Britain

The UK’s latest Trade deficit figures are being lauded as positive news and the “best ever since 2003“. Now, when deficits get smaller it’s supposed to be good, right? In this case, wrong. It’s actually quite a bad sign, especially when you compare it to Germany which is in the supposedly hopeless Eurozone. Continue Reading »

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Nokia deserts Europe

At one time Nokia represented 54% of the Finnish stock market. They were also a major employer of Finns. Since their change of strategy two years ago it seems they have gone from bad to worse, from the frying pan into the fire, and now it seems are planning even to undermine their own support base in Finland by moving to Asia. Continue Reading »

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How to make Britain ‘more like Switzerland’

Back in December 2011 David Cameron used Britain’s EU veto and caused a lot of ill feeling with its EU partners for the sake of placating the ultra-right wing Eurosceptic part of his party. This was welcomed by the Eurosceptics, and one of them, Mark Reckless said on BBC Radio 4’s Today program “Now we can be more like Switzerland.” He was joined in the media many times by commentators, bloggers and newspaper reporters. Guests on BBCs late night Newsnight news program used it all the time – but strangely, only the right wing ones. The ones who fought against the AV referendum, who want Brussels to devolve power to Westminster, but who aren’t willing to devolve power to the regions. Plus a few uninformed commentators looking to fill column inches of course.

Do any of these people actually understand just now much Britain would have to change to really become more like Switzerland? I do. I live in Switzerland and can tell you, UK right wing politicians wouldn’t like it – but you might.

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