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German Politics

German Elections – give us a traffic light

It???s about 4 hours after the polls have closed in a remarkable election in Germany. Probably for the first time in a few decades, it looks very hard to presently predict what is going to happen. A quick summary of the results (roughly): SPD ??? 33% (down 5%) CDU ??? […]

EU Politics

Kroes should just be Trouw to the European ideal

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes has put her foot in it by writing in a newspaper that the Germans electing Merkel would be a good idea. This has led to a chorus of howls from Social Democrat MEPs that she has no right to say such things about national politics […]

Fat Blokes
UK Politics

The fat blokes are back!

They are back. Or at least they look like they are trying a bit. The fuel protestors that did their best to bring the country to a halt in 2000 are trying to gear up once again. Seems things are staring slowly though. The population – in their infinite wisdom […]

EU Politics

UK Startling Statistics

In a column in today’s Guardian by Polly Toynbee, on what would happen if a natural disaster hit the UK: Poor London victims would also have nothing more than the clothes they stood in. Nationally 27% of people have no savings, not one penny; 25% of the poorest have at […]

German Politics

What’s going on in Germany?

It’s the economy, stupid. Or this election is stupid. I can’t make up my mind. After 10 days away, I’m back in touch with the world and the level of interest in the German election, even in the UK media, seems to be growing. A stinging attack on Gerhard Schroeder […]

EU Politics

Cost offsetting & climate change

A really ingenious suggestion at bowblog has made me think once more about cost-offsetting and climate change. The idea would be to put a small levy on purchases made using eBay to account for the distance that goods would have to be shipped. Read the post here. It has made […]

EU Politics

The challenges to globalisation

There’s a very lucid and internally coherent column in today’s Guardian from Larry Elliott entitled Edwardian Summer, drawing parallels between today’s economic stuggles (oil prices, flexiblility, worker backlash etc.) and the period pre-1914, the first era of globalisation. You have to take what Elliott says with a pinch of salt […]

EU Politics

The couch potato, the chav, and the Oxford English Dictionary

Apparently we should not use the term couch potato [Wikipedia definition] any more as this is giving the humble potato a bad image, according to the British Potato Council. Read more here. They are apparently mounting protests outside the offices of Oxford University Press – printers of the Oxford English […]

UK Politics

Britain’s Dire Houses

An Englishman’s home is his castle. So goes the old phrase anyway. In truth, it’s probably more likely to be a nasty, damp, poorly maintained house on a anodyne street in some suburban area. Oh, and the house will cost a fortune to buy or rent, the windows will let […]