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Cameron doesn’t really want to reform the EU – he just wants to keep foreigners out.

“The battle for Helm’s Deep is over, the battle for Middle Earth is about to begin.” So tweeted the anti-European MEP Daniel Hannam celebrating David Cameron’s assault this week on the European Union, or Mordor as he would presumably call it. Well, in his dreams. In fact, Cameron is not taking on the might of … Continue reading

Meghnad Desai: Hubris – Why Economists Failed To Predict The Crisis And How To Avoid The Next One (Yale University Press)

The 19th-century idealist philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was not renowned for clarity of expression or intelligibility. Even so, an aphorism of his which has always stuck in my mind is the one about “the Owl of Minerva only takes flight at dusk”. By which he meant that we only understand history with 20/20 hindsight. … Continue reading

The cosy cliches of austerity economic.

READ IAIN ON TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS AND SUNDAYS IN THE HERALD AND SUNDAY HERALD Live within your means. Balance the books. Fix the roof while the sun is shining. If these cosy household financial cliches have an antiquated ring to them that’s because they refer to an essentially Victorian approach to personal and public finance. We … Continue reading

Charles Kennedy was a victim of one of the most remarkable shifts in political alignment in British history

  He was the Liberal Democrats’ most successful leader for 80 years, who won 62 seats in 2005, yet to many people he was “chat show Charlie”, a bibulous lightweight and an embarrassment to his party. Everyone went on last week about his alcoholism – sometimes referred to has his “demons”. I could name a … Continue reading

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