I’ve just been re-reading the end of Robert Skidelsky’s biography of Keynes. Here’s something interesting. Skidelsky frames the debates in Whitehall about British proposals for the post-war economic settlement and about the negotiations with the USA as being between two key groups, whom he defines as the multilateralists and the Schachtians. Schachtian, of course, is…Read More Who is the man….SCHACHT!
Out funder Peter Hargreaves thinks leaving the European Union would be “like Dunkirk” and would turn us “into Singapore”. That he mentions two of the most catastrophic disasters in our history is surely Freudian. Dunkirk saw the British Army booted off the continent of Europe, forced to sabotage every bit of its equipment heavier than…Read More #Brexit: strategic incompetence for fun and profit
This Peter Hitchens post is fascinating. First of all, there’s the massive degree of psychological projection on show. He spends hundreds of words berating literally the whole of the nation for lacking the courage to leap out of the European Union in favour of….whatever it is the Outs are in favour of. And then he…Read More The Hitchens has spoken, and he said “You go first”
Over at the Pol, I’ve been trying to answer the question: how long until robots take Brussels lobbyists’ expense accounts? Software. It’s eating the world, they say. You may already have guessed that this is a reprise of Project Lobster, and you’d be right. The inputs are the European Transparency Register, which lists lobbyists and…Read More Eurolobster: a technical appendix
So, the urban development that kicked off all the protests in Turkey. “This is the only place to hang out here,” says Yavuz Selim, 17. “And everything is very expensive. As students we cannot afford it.” His friends agree. “We are quite bored here. There is nothing to do for us.”… While the municipality has…Read More Here’s something about Turkey, and everyone else
Runciman x Moore x Thatcher. Ed Miliband is hoping that it’s 1977 all over again and he can be the one who surfs to power on a sea-change he has initiated in the battle of ideas. He is also, presumably, drawing comfort from the fact that before 1979 no one saw her as prime ministerial…Read More interview with a pleasant dinosaur
So I was talking about ostalgie kitsch and people sleeping in Wartburgs in north London. What, they cry, is he on about? Well, let me throw this one out. When the word was invented, the people who felt ostalgic were a pretty well-defined group sociologically – they were the people who had been part of…Read More feeling westalgic yet?
OK, here’s a photo from my summer. The car, in front of the modernist building, in the rather dilapidated car park, is an actual product of the DDR, a Wartburg, with Hungarian plates. Where are we, and why? Obviously, we’re in Archway, N19, north London but not the cupcakey sort. The car park is next…Read More What I did on my holidays: a stability pact photo
Quietly, the Eurofighter project seems to be running into trouble. First of all, Dassault got the Indian contract and the Indians claim that Rafale is dramatically cheaper. Further, they weren’t impressed by the amount of stuff that is planned to come in future upgrades, whose delivery is still not certain. These upgrades are becoming a…Read More slow-motion procurement failure
This LA Times story about the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (so called because it’s still a dream – let’s get the last drop from that joke before it goes into service) and the role of outsourcing is fascinating. It is partly built on a paper by a senior Boeing engineer which makes among other things, this…Read More 787: the plane Milton Friedman built, and about as well as you’d expect