Brief thoughts on the upcoming Swedish election

Sweden is viewed very favourably in Britain. It’s seen as tolerant, liberal and friendly country, committed to modernity yet proud of its traditions. Sweden seems to get the balance right between supporting free markets and free trade on the one hand, and having a compassionate approach to the poor and refugees on the other. Yet …

Continue reading ‘Brief thoughts on the upcoming Swedish election’ »

The sorry state of British education, part 3, universities

The conclusion of a three-part series on British education. You can read the first part on GCSEs here, and the second part on A-levels here. British universities are amongst the best in the world, beaten only by the United States, a country with five times the population. They attract high numbers of students from virtually …

Continue reading ‘The sorry state of British education, part 3, universities’ »

The sorry state of British education, part 2, A-levels

The second in a three-part series on the sorry state of British education. You can read the first part on GCSEs here. A-levels are the exams British students take at 18 years old to assess whether they can go to university, and how prestigious a university they can go to. They are also important when applying …

Continue reading ‘The sorry state of British education, part 2, A-levels’ »

The sorry state of British education, part 1, GCSEs

The first in a three-part series on the sorry state of British education. Hope you enjoy these multi-part blogs.  I started secondary school in 2008. Then, British secondary education was in a terrible mess; the Labour Education Secretary Ed Balls was presiding over a period of serious grade inflation. GCSEs, the qualification achieved by British …

Continue reading ‘The sorry state of British education, part 1, GCSEs’ »

Why Jeremy Corbyn should resign.

Last week I posted about why the centre-left is in decline. Today, I wanted to talk about a party that has bucked the trend. Since Jeremy Corbyn succeeded Ed Miliband as the British Labour Party leader following its defeat in the 2015 general election, he has done what hardly anyone thought possible- substantially increase the proportion …

Continue reading ‘Why Jeremy Corbyn should resign.’ »

What went wrong for the Left?

All across the developed world, mainstream centre-left parties are in decline. In France, the Netherlands and Greece, they have ceased to be even remotely relevant. In countries like Ireland and Italy, they have been replaced by left-wing populist movements- Sinn Fein and M5S respectively. In France and to a lesser extent Spain, they have been …

Continue reading ‘What went wrong for the Left?’ »

Trump’s economic delusions: Why the current boom won’t last

A few days ago, Trump gave a press conference regarding the state of America’s economy. He announced that American GDP had expanded by an annualised rate of 4.1%. This, along with a range of figures including a low unemployment rate and decent wage growth, seemed impressive. Trump predictably credited the economic buoyancy to his policies …

Continue reading ‘Trump’s economic delusions: Why the current boom won’t last’ »

Epicurus and politics, a response

If you type in ‘Epicurus and politics’ into Google, the first result you get is an excellent post by Robert. Here, he explained Epicurus’ arguments against politics- the needless anxiety caused by a gullible public being fooled by charlatans only interested in their own gain. Charismatic figures will emerge, appealing to the public’s sense of …

Continue reading ‘Epicurus and politics, a response’ »

Were Londoners right to protest Trump?

On Thursday, 12th July 2018, I took the train from my small hometown into London. I was only planning a nice paddle boat ride in a lake in Regent’s Park, to celebrate graduating from university. Instead, I was greeted with huge crowds, who had gathered to see Trump’s helicopter land in the park. Many of …

Continue reading ‘Were Londoners right to protest Trump?’ »

How to raise children, Epicurean-style

It goes without saying that raising children is one of the most important things humans do. But there is so much bad advise on how to raise your children. In this post I’ll try to address what both the liberal secularists and the religious conservatives get wrong on parenting, and how to do it in …

Continue reading ‘How to raise children, Epicurean-style’ »

Should the Democrats embrace socialism?

On June 26 2018, a young woman called Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won a Democratic primary for New York’s 14th seat in the House of Representatives. She beat the well-established incumbent Joe Crowley, running on a platform of radical wealth redistribution, relaxation of America’s immigration laws and enforcement, and strong policies to deal with climate change. In …

Continue reading ‘Should the Democrats embrace socialism?’ »

Should California declare independence?

California is a wonderful state. It enjoys the world’s best tech companies, bountiful and increasingly eco-friendly energy resources, a entertainment industry unparalleled in global clout, a vast array of productive and innovative businesses, and almost perfect weather. But in recent years, and particularly since Trump became president, Californians feel increasingly dissatisfied with Washington. On every …

Continue reading ‘Should California declare independence?’ »

Why virtually everyone gets Italian politics wrong

Italy held a general election on 4 March. After weeks of deliberation, a government was formed, between the hard-right Lega Party and the populist Five Star Movement. But governing has been fraught. The ideological divisions are the coalition make forming a coherent policy platform challenging. Many of the policies, such as harsh restrictions on immigration, …

Continue reading ‘Why virtually everyone gets Italian politics wrong’ »

Are Oxford and Cambridge prejudiced?

David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham in North London, has recently acquired data on admissions to Oxford and Cambridge universities. It shows that the vast majority of those who get in to the UK’s two best universities are from relatively wealthy families. A disproportionate number are from London and the South East. And while ethnic …

Continue reading ‘Are Oxford and Cambridge prejudiced?’ »

Abortion in Ireland: the weaknesses of the Repeal campaign.

On 25 May, Ireland will vote on whether to repeal the 8th Amendment to its constitution, which prohibits abortion unless a mother’s life is threatened. Based on opinion polling, the Repeal campaign should win. But polls have tightened in recent weeks. About a fifth of Irishmen are undecided. The result will almost certainly not be …

Continue reading ‘Abortion in Ireland: the weaknesses of the Repeal campaign.’ »

How the Trump presidency has improved American politics.

It’s fair to say I think the Trump presidency has been an unmitigated disaster.  His casual bigotry, dishonesty and regressive economic policies are terrible for America, and have made the world a less stable and safe place. The most recent example of Trump’s destructiveness is his withdrawal from the Iran deal, which will only hasten …

Continue reading ‘How the Trump presidency has improved American politics.’ »

Are the super-rich uncaring?

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the richest part of Europe, recently held elections for the borough council. The elections were believed to be unpredictable because of a terrible tragedy that had occurred last year, where a public housing tower block called Grenfell Tower burnt down, killing 71 people. The tower burnt because it …

Continue reading ‘Are the super-rich uncaring?’ »

Why Westchester County should vote Democrat.

Today (Tuesday),  the New York state senate has two by-elections. Should the Democrats win, New York state will be under unified Democrat control; the governor’s mansion and lower house are already blue, but the senate is still mostly Republican. One of the senate races is a safe-Democrat Bronx seat. So the only election that matters …

Continue reading ‘Why Westchester County should vote Democrat.’ »

War is not conservative: The hypocrisy of Trump and May

Being politically conservative is a vague, hard to define notion that depends heavily on the context in which the term is used. To be a conservative in an Islamic theocracy is very different to being conservative in a communist dictatorship or a liberal democracy. Even within a country, the meaning of conservative can change over …

Continue reading ‘War is not conservative: The hypocrisy of Trump and May’ »