Author Archives: Do Ants Dream of Empire?

Democratic Values… or … A Brief Homily on Using Values as Starting Point for Discussion, Not an End of Conversation

The ERS are conducting a members’ survey.   One of the questions is   Can you tell us the 3 democratic values or principles that are most important to you?   The space for the answer implies that a concise … Continue reading

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And So To Work

And So To Work… Or … Now that the Referendum is Behind Us, Some Preliminary Thoughts on What I Will Be Looking At There are three Big Issues for me. They are the Economy, the Environment and Constitutional and Electoral … Continue reading

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Safe Seat Blues

Safe Seat Blues or … A Brief and Hazardous Analysis of UK Seats Contested Under First Past the Post and the Alternative Vote Systems Looking at two very different UK seats under both First Past the Post and Alternative Vote … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Vote, First Past the Post, Voting Reform | 1 Comment

A Subtle Transfer of Value

A £15 billion reduction in benefits bills is a significant transfer from the unemployed to taxpayers. Benefits reform may drive claimants into the jobs market and therefore reduce wages for people already working in low skilled jobs. Whilst the minimum wage prevents labour rates falling beyond a certain level increased competition does mean that more jobs become minimum wage jobs. The transfer to the middle classes is, therefore twofold, a transfer from not paying the benefits bill for those not working and a reduction in wages for those working in low skilled jobs. Continue reading

Posted in UK Economy, UK Labour Market | Leave a comment

Defining the Double_Dip

After some analysis of growth trends from 1955 to the present day it appears that for the UK it is slightly more usual for the economy to fall back into negative growth before it has had two quarters of good growth than not. Given how poor the fundmentals look for the UK economy over the next few quarters I think it likely that we will see a quarter of negative growth before a long slow haul back to sustained close to trend growth. If you want to call this a double-dip recession than by all means be my guest but you also have to say that double-dip recessions are not that rare.

If Type 2 Double-Dip recessions are not that uncommon should we be worried? My view is that whether the economy falls into negative growth for one quarter or not will have a smaller impact on workers, citizens and voters than how long the economy under-performs trend and what the impact on job loses or creation is. For some reasons to be cheerful see Duncan Weldon Economics post
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Posted in Double-Dip Recession, UK Economy | Leave a comment

Too Small to Regulate

This post explores how technological and market changes that are unfolding now may change the demographic of electricity generation market participants and some of the implications for policy makers and large scale investors.
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Posted in CHP, Feed-in Tariff, Micro-Generation, UK Energy Markets | Leave a comment

Why Met Gate Matters…

Met Gate matters because it raises questions about how fairly the people who set the system’s rules are behaving. This ulitimately leads to poor economicy performance. It is an issue of corporate goverance.
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Posted in Corporate Goverance, Political Corruption, Strategy in a bad world | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Do Ants Dream of Empire?

I want to have the kind of conversation about policy that you can’t have in the letters page of the Daily Mail. Continue reading

Posted in Opening Remarks | 2 Comments