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Forget pensions – the way things are going you might not live to collect.

PENSIONS? Just don’t go there. If you want to buy a pension delivering a modest £20,000 a year, index-linked, you would need to save well over £600,000 at present annuity rates. That’s more than someone on average earnings of £26,000 earns in 20 years – all of it. No-one tells the truth about personal pensions … Continue reading

Shock: Tony Blair is right about immigration. (Well, sort of).

DENIAL isn’t just a river in Egypt, or so the saying goes, and it’s still running through Tory, and  thinking about Europe. Now that “hard Brexit” is a busted flush there are all manner of alternatives being talked about: like the Tory leader, Ruth Davidson’s “open Brexit”, John McDonnell’s “jobs Brexit” and the old favourite … Continue reading

Ten years from Northern Rock, the real financial crisis is just beginning.

TEN years ago, a relatively obscure French bank, BNP Paribas, blocked withdrawals from two hedge funds. It was the beginning of the biggest financial crisis in 80 years. Within days, queues of worried savers were forming outside Northern Rock, a British bank that had specialised in lending 125% mortgages. Its rocky business model depended on … Continue reading

Twenty years on, was devolution a “motorway to independence”?

BLISS it was to be alive in those early days of devolution – except that it wasn’t. The rebirth of Scotland’s democracy after 300 years in spring, 1999 proved to be a painful affair, and plunged Scotland into a period of post-natal depression, which ended the careers, and the lives, of some of the architects of … Continue reading

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