capitalism

Why are there so many recruiters?

04/10/2015

I don’t know about you, but 90% or more of my linkedin contact requests come from recruiters. I don’t accept them all. Am I the kind of talented high-flyer you would want to headhunt? Probably not, in person I’m rather shy and certainly not management material. I suppose I just know a few esoteric programming tricks and have a good understanding of data and information architecture. What’s more, apart from a few modules taken as part of an Open University degree, I’m entirely self-taught.

Confusing arguments about Refugees

15/09/2015

Some of us are fully aware of the semantic differences between refugees and migrants. A migrant is anyone who moves from one region to another. All people classed as refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants, emigrants, settlers, travellers or nomads are migrants. Migration is a wholly neutral term that implies nothing about our motivations or plans or indeed whether we are moving to another continent, country or just another region of the same country. By contrast a refugee is a special category of migrant fleeing persecution, war and/or environmental calamities.

Imagine there's no countries...

13/09/2015

Reflections on Global Convergence

As an idealist teenager John Lennon’s Imagine became my anthem. I yearned for a future devoid of the seemingly pointless nationalist rivalry and imperialism that had fuelled two world wars and enslaved millions in the colonial era. I dreamed innocently of a world where different peoples would learn from each other, share their experiences and cultures altruistically and fairly. Yet as I travelled around Europe, South America, Southern Africa and India, another reality emerged.

Managing the Opposition

23/08/2015
Jeremy Corbyn looks set to become Labour Leader and may soon trigger a realignment of the variety show called British parliamentary politics. Don’t get me wrong, Jeremy Corbyn was one of the few Labour MPs to take a consistent stand against recent military interventions and oppose the government’s love affair with global corporations. I’d certainly agree with him on some other other issues such as the re-nationalisation of railways and energy companies, which are natural monopolies. Yet on other issues such as his steadfast opposition to welfare reform and immigration controls, he may tick all the politically correct boxes and win much kudos among the rhetorically left, but fails to present a coherent alternative that can stand a moment's scrutiny.

Bursting at the Seams

02/08/2015
Europe faces an unprecedented stream of human traffic from Africa, the Middle East, Southern and Central Asia. As wars rage from Afghanistan to Yemen and Darfur while deserts expand and arable land available for each inhabitant shrinks, this crisis shows few signs of abating. The heart-wrenching scenes of refugees huddling together on makeshift rafts in the middle of Mediterranean should concern any conscientious human being, but why would anyone go to such extreme lengths to seek economic betterment? Why did this not happen on such a large scale 20 years ago when people in the developing world were arguably even poorer?

Addict Nation

24/05/2015

There has always been a thin dividing line between legal and illegal or between therapeutic and recreational drugs. We tend to call bad psychostimulants “drugs” and good officially sanctioned mind-altering pills “medication”. While the former are distributed by underworld dealers, praying on our psychological weaknesses and the cool factor, and the latter are aggressively pushed by pharmaceutical multinationals.

Surprise: The Big Business Party won

15/05/2015

I predicted a hung parliament that would ditch any manifesto promises at the behest of corporate lobbyists. A weak government is arguably more malleable than a strong one, unless the strong government does exactly what its true masters want. I suspect the new Conservative administration will disappoint many traditional small-c conservatives as it pursues a rigorously corporatist agenda while undermining the very United Kingdom it claims to champion.

Whoever wins the election it will be business as usual

25/04/2015

I wish ballot papers had an extra box titled None of the above for I might very well be tempted to use it. None of the parties have a coherent set of policies that can deal with the fundamental stresses and strains of our overheated economy and overburdened environment, but some have policies I can at least sympathise with.

Why do people get depressed?

19/04/2015

With so much media attention, you’d seriously think depression awareness raising charities would want to answer this very simple question. As the purported biological disease model of depression has now become almost an act of faith, debate now seems to revolve mainly around the relative merits of different forms of treatment. Whether it’s medication or intensive psychotherapy, any talk of treatment implies a medical condition comparable with cancer, Alzheimers or broken limbs.

Question Time on Rise of UKIP

09/04/2015

How would members of the panel deal with the rise in UKIP support among working class whites?

Dame Penelope Guardian Reader

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