Ha-Joon Chang on why separating politics from economic policies is bad for democracy. What free-market economists are not telling us is that the politics they want to get rid of are none other than those of democracy itself. When they say we need to insulate economic policies from politics, they are in effect advocating the castration of democracy.
The governments of the United Kingdom and Scotland agree on a framework for the latter to vote on independence
. Other reporting in the Telegraph
and the Scottish Sun
The referendum, for this nation of 5.25 million people and a unicorn as its national animal
, will be held before the end of 2014. [more inside]
The Big Three of EU Foreign Policy
: Stefan Lehne on the contrasting roles of Germany, France and the UK.
Robert F. Gallagher served in the United States Army's 815th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Third Army) in the European Theater during WWII. He has posted his memoir online: "Scratch One Messerschmitt,"
told from numerous photos he took during the war and the detailed notes he made shortly afterwards. [more inside]
In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year
, NATO may lose in Afghanistan
, the UK gets a regime change
, China needs to chill
, India's factories will overtake its farms
, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum
, the stimulus will need an exit strategy
, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2"
, African football
will unite Korea
, conflict over natural resources will grow
, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled
, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable)
, technology will grow ever more ubiquitous
, we'll all charge our phones via USB
, MBAs will be uncool
, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest
, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world
. And so the Tens
The Economist: The World in 2010
. [more inside]
It's the story that has Britain in uproar*: Cliff Richard and General Franco: the 1968 Eurovision mystery
. Did General Franco scupper the judging? Exhibit A: Cliff's UK entry, Congratulations
. Exhibit 2: Spain's winning entry by Massiel, La la la
. For added measure, exhibit iv: here's Cliff's 1973 entry, which believe it or not also did not win, Power to all our Friends
(though Cliff's spectacular moves should not sway your opinion on the controversy* in any way
7.5% of the UK's population was born outside the UK and Ireland. This fascinating mini-site from the BBC shows where they all came from, and where they live now.
has been a hot-button issue in UK politics for a while now. In Scotland
, they want more immigrants
. In England, at least on the right, they want far fewer
The conservative right hate Europe
, and hate immigration
. Perhaps we'd better not tell them that Germans
are the third-largest immigrant group (India
at 1 and 2), while the USA-icans
languish in 5th.
You may have heard of the "McLibel Two
", the pair of Brits who, as part of a group called London Greenpeace (not affiliated with Greenpeace International, by the by), published a flier
decrying the nutritional and corporate values of McDonalds, and who subsequently lost a libel action brought against them by the corporation. It took a few years, but The European Court of Human Rights has overturned the decision
, based on the fact that the two did not receive legal aid assistance during the trial (where they represented themselves).
The British National Party
. Britons: remember to vote on Thursday to stop these guys getting their first European MP.
Trusting The Redcoats:
How many independent-minded Americans actually rely on the BBC (specially the World Service
) for accurate coverage of American politics? Not to mention The Guardian
. Is it a strictly an elitist, liberal/left-wing phenomenon? What does it mean? What does it say about better-informed liberal newspapers and media of the U.S.? If so, why aren't like-minded Europeans just as cosmopolitan and, say, pay the same attention to news sources like The New York Times, NPR and others, rather than stolidly sticking to their own national staples?
"There Is Only One Sale"
is the traditional January sales slogan of Harrods'
department store in London, where the elbow-fest begins next Monday
. With disappointing Christmas retail sales
being reported more or less everywhere
, it looks like the U.S. National Retail Federation's statement "What's going to be crucial now is the week after Christmas" is not the usual BS. Sales in Europe are still month-long extravaganzas
where unique bargains can be had. In the U.S. they seem to be more frequent, shorter and somewhat diluted. Assuming you're normal (a stingy, somewhat gullible and opportunistic shopper like the rest of us), what are your post-holiday shopping objectives? Which department stores will you be hitting? Or is it all just a big con?
Have the anti-Euro lobby shot themselves in the foot?
A video promoting opposition to the UK joing the Euro has been critisized for including a spoof of Hitler praising the currency. It's attracted publicity for the campaign, all right, but has it unmasked the "No" campaign as anti-Europe "little Englanders"? (Guardian link)
Time for a change of business strategy focus?
Nokia and VolksWagen are the examples given,
'the heart of productivity growth is what happens inside the firm, and firms are first and foremost organisations of human beings'
positive role models to lead us from downturn alley?
The Eurovision Song Contest is tonight.
Being an American, I don't understand it one bit, especially since the grand prize seems to be a one-way ticket to eternal obscurity. But someone must like it. "I want to shower you with sugar lumps/and ride you over fences..."
Guardian weblog has assembled
a special page with foot-and-mouth disease links, mostly (tho not completely) Eurocentric. The links include one to an elaborate backgrounder (with a few graphic photos)
Why Big Oil Backed The Fuel Protests In Europe
-- "Watched from a distance, the oil blockades in Britain look like spontaneous popular uprisings: regular working folk, frightened for their livelihoods, getting together to say, "Enough's enough." But before this David and Goliath story goes any further, it deserves a closer reading...."