population

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.

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.

Extreme Labour Mobility

22/03/2015

Rethinking the Migration Debate: Were we to debate the ethics of racial prejudice, the relative merits of other societies or the wonders of humanity’s rich cultural diversity, I would not hesitate for a moment both to stand against all forms of xenophobia and to celebrate true cultural diversity. However, as soon as someone suggests the massive recent rise in migratory flows may cause social destabilisation and alienation, some left-branded rhetoricians play the race card.

Ten Trendy Actions which are very bad for the Environment

17/11/2014
  1. Economic growth: Once people have clean water, a healthy diet, adequate housing with plumbing and electricity, meaningful employment, access to modern healthcare and a few other essential personal possessions, all additional consumption does very little to improve life expectancy or happiness. Yet our GDP growth drains many finite resources that could be better used by others suffering real poverty or be saved for future generations. Overconsumption, generating vast oceans of rubbish, is currently the biggest threat to our eco-system.

Does Scottish Independence really matter?

11/09/2014

As a half-Scot and half-Englishman, I never really identified as either. I grew up to believe in Britain as my father owed his career in the army and later British Aerospace to the archipelago's imperial legacy. Whenever my English mother would inadvertently confuse England with Britain, my brother would correct her. I’d support Scotland in football and in the Commonwealth Games, but Great Britain at the Olympics.

Dictatorship by Consent

10/05/2014

Apparently, if we believe many opinion leaders, we fought most recent wars to spread freedom and democracy. Allegedly people across the world admire us because of our deep-rooted civic political culture. Never mind any inconvenient conflicts between personal freedom and true democracy, but what do the international ruling elites and their faithful cheerleaders actually mean by this Hellenic word for people power ?

A culture of automotive entitlement: the anti-cycling brigade

21/11/2013

Cycling been very much in the headlines in the UK. In the last fortnight 6 cyclists have been killed on the streets of London and today a young female motorist was fined for boasting on Twitter about how she accidentally knocked over a cyclist and did not bother to stop. To many the rivalry between motorists and cyclists is simply a matter of road safety and traffic management, but these modes of transport hardly compete. A human-powered bicycle could never travel as fast as an automobile, or carry as much weight.

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