Offence

A defence of offence In my first year of university, I saw the stand-up comedian Jerry Sadowitz. He started his routine as follows: ‘Nelson Mandela: cunt!’. This immediately generated shouting and heckling to which he replied ‘don’t drink on an empty head’ before finishing the line as best he could against the noise ‘he [Mandela] […]

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A World for the Many not the Few? Modesty, policy, and the dangers of the global-liberal consensus.

On Monday 26th March, the Labour Party launched its new policy paper on international development: A World for the Many not the Few. The paper aims to set out a radical and revitalised development strategy for the British government, based in five priority aims: a fairer global economy; a global movement for public services; a […]

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Rage against the machine

The notion of a pension fund deficit is slippery. Currently, the USS pension scheme is not in deficit: in 2017, assets generated £2bn income and paid out £1.8bn to existing pensioners. This on the basis of a massive £60bn asset base. But, evaluations of the fund’s financial sustainability do not make a simple balance of […]

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Civilisation

When carrying out fieldwork in Rwanda, there was a bar in Kigali I’d go to in the evenings. I was always the only white person there and I would sit outside with some nice cold beers, a cigarillo, and a book getting nicely toasted. On one occasion, a big air-conditioned vehicle drove up, stopped, and […]

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Socialism 2049

The state we are in Since the early 1970s – and even then only for quite small spaces and for some people for some periods – it is difficult to portray capitalism as offering an optimistic future for humanity. Growth has been weak and unstable, there have been many economic crises, wages have been stagnant […]

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