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Author: jcgrant1

Self-devouring growth

Self-devouring growth

This was the title of a talk by Prof Julie Livingstone from NYU at UCL the other week. I sometimes sign up for an event and am not sure exactly what I have signed up for. This was one of those events. The talk turned out to be about Botswana. Professor Livingstone, is an anthropologist.  She looked at three aspects of Botswanan society, economy and culture – rainwater, beef and roads. Water is a fairly limited and therefore precious commodity…

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Uber floatation

Uber floatation

Uber floated on the US stock market recently. It had a valuation of $70B.  Why? The company has not made a profit as yet. It may never make a profit. It holds it own drivers in debt bondage. And it has disrupted the regular taxi trade in cities all across the world.

Trump Visit

Trump Visit

It was quite useful that Trump came to Britian during the Brexit impasse. He made it enturely clear that the US will only do a trade deal with the US if its companies get acess to NHS contracts. He realised that he had said something that should remain unsaid and quickly backtracked. The other thing that a trade deal with the US will involve is chlorinated chicken. Dispatches had helpfully been under cover in a chicken factory in the US….

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A trip to Wapping

A trip to Wapping

I went to a guided with Ken Titmuss the other day – he  is on Twitter as @oldmapman. I am also very interested in the history of London.  London in the 18c is not the same as London now. A lot of places which are now part of London, were then completely separate villages. London in the 18th century was the City of London, plus places such as Wapping, Shadwell, Rotherhithe, Deptford and Bermondsey. Looking at London now, it is…

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Anti system parties

Anti system parties

I went along to hear Jonathan Hopkins talk about the rise of anti system parties. According to his definition, the Brexit Party is not an anti system party. They believe in capitalism, they believe in Queen, country etc. They are a pro system party.

Dmocratic strains

Dmocratic strains

I have been to a couple of events on democracy recently. I don’t think democracy is quite in crisis yet. But I think a show down is coming. I don’t see how Johnson is going to get a new deal. I don’t see that he could get the existing or any other deal through. Parliament is implacably opposed to a no deal Brexit. Something has to give and it is not currently clear what the something will be. Democracy as…

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Brexit wont happen

Brexit wont happen

Theresa May is now in a bunker in Downing Street as her own party tries to depose her. She has been a woefully bad leader of this country for the past 3 years. Her authority as PM is shot to pieces. Her latest manoeuvre was to suggest a Brexit withdrawal bill that would include a customs union and a possible second referendum. I have really stopped paying attention as it is obvious that her own party will not support it….

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Steel Crisis in Scunthorpe again

Steel Crisis in Scunthorpe again

This is the second time in 3 years that the company has been in crisis. Greybull bought the steel works from Tata Steel for £1. That in itself should not be allowed to happen. The company promised to invest but has not done so. The government lent it £120M to pay its carbon tax bill. The company wanted a further £30. The government has said, no, on the basis that the loan would be against state aid rules. I fail…

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Bank of England Citizens Panel

Bank of England Citizens Panel

The Bank has agents whose job it is to go round the country to find out how businesses feel at the economy. I assume that our event was called a Citizens’ Panel as none of the attendees run a business. The event was essentially a public information event. A senior official from the Bank and a Deputy Agent attended the meeting. The Bank’s job is to ensure that the value of money is kept stable. The aim is to ensure…

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