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The euro is not the problem; it is the solution.

   I’m in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with the eurosceptic Telegraph commentator, Jeff Randall, even while he lambasts people like me who supported, and continue to support, the single european currency. He’s right that some politicians were profligate fools for believing that monetary union could be achieved without any political union. He’s right that … Continue reading

So is this a Great Depression? Pt Deux

    Economists cannot predict the future; most can’t even predict the past.   The dismal truth is that no one really knows what is going on – economists, politicians, historians all pretend to have some grasp of events but are only fooling themselves when they aren’t trying to fool others.  Journalists at least don’t … Continue reading

So, is this a now Great Depression or what?

  So, we are in the midst of another global financial shock.  Stock markets bungee jumping.  Dire warnings from the IMF.  Countries collapsing under the weight of their own debts.  Unemployment rising as real incomes fall (except of course for the rich who do well whatever happens).  What do we call this?  Is this still … Continue reading

Quick – send for Gordon. Or anyone who knows what they’re doing

 Quick. Someone send for Gordon. What is signally lacking in this new and most dangerous phase of the Great Contraction is someone, anyone,  who seems to command the authority to get political leaders to focus on resolving the crisis.  In 2008, at the London G20, Gordon Brown banged heads together and got the international community … Continue reading

9/11 Origins – How America joined the bad guys

 Everyone remembers where they were when the towers came down. I was in my attic writing a column for the Herald about Tony Blair’s forthcoming confrontation with the Trades Union Congress in Brighton. I turned on the television to catch the live conference coverage and found that I was watching a Hollywood disaster movie. If … Continue reading

Why the absence of communism is behind the financial crisis.

 It is a convenient myth of democratic politics that we elect people who know what they are doing.  We don’t. We elect people who look good, can raise a lot of campaign funds and sound plausible.  They might be good; then again they might be smooth talking scoundrels like Tony Blair who, it has emerged, … Continue reading

Murphy review of Scottish Labour leaedership. Same difference?

  It may be the biggest overhaul in 90 years, but I’m not entirely sure what has changed in the Murphy Review of the constitution of the Scottish Labour Party.   Mr Murphy says that he intends to make devolution a reality within the party.  “From now on, whatever is devolved to the Scottish Parliament … Continue reading

The Big Optimistic Case for the Union.

     Another review of the Barnett Formula.  Just what we need, as Scotland slips into a treble dip recession. I think that probably makes six reviews of Scottish spending since the Tory Scottish Secretary, Michael Forsyth, started publishing the GERS figures on spending in Scotland, which was supposed to resolve the matter once and … Continue reading

Tramageddon: Swinney steps in.

   What is infuriating about the people who are supposedly running the civic administration of Scotland’s capital city, is that they seem unable to accept responsibility for their actions.  After the Finance Secretary, John Swinney, refused to accept their plan to pay three quarters of a billion on a tram service that goes nowhere near … Continue reading

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