We’re living in the shadow of the Coalition

12 May

If a week is a long time in politics, what can happen in a decade? Ten years ago today, David Cameron and Nick Clegg gave the Coalition government its foundational moment, basking in the sunshine of the Downing Street garden, and their own cleverness. Spool forward to the present day and the contrast in politics […]

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Could coronavirus stop tax avoidance?

4 May

According to Jean-Baptiste Colbert, minister of finance to King Louis XIV, the art of taxation consists of plucking the goose so as to obtain the greatest quantity of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing. In France, Poland and Denmark, they’re trying a different approach during the coronavirus crisis: geese that don’t provide enough […]

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Could coronavirus stop tax avoidance?

4 May

According to Jean-Baptiste Colbert, minister of finance to King Louis XIV, the art of taxation consists of plucking the goose so as to obtain the greatest quantity of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing. In France, Poland and Denmark, they’re trying a different approach during the coronavirus crisis: geese that don’t provide enough […]

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Why have the English sacrificed liberty for lockdown?

23 Apr

Happy St George’s Day. England is passing its saint’s day in lockdown, by and large contentedly. This is curious, for all sorts of reasons. It is said by many observers and participants in the Government’s lockdown policy that the most remarkable thing about a remarkable policy is how successful it has been. Arguably too successful. […]

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Why did Boris Johnson survive?

15 Apr

The story of Boris Johnson’s coronavirus ordeal will surely become a moment of national memory, one of those legends that echoes down the years and comes to stand for much more than itself. Mr Johnson will not be unhappy with that. He’s very interested in the “great man” theory of history — that way of […]

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Will the pandemic kill off libertarianism?

25 Mar

Why won’t people stay at home? Why did the Government have to order the pubs to close to stop people huddling together in the sweaty bundles of humanity that Covid-19 loves so much? When and if the coronavirus crisis is contained, there will be many reckonings and re-evaluations, not least about the relationship between the […]

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How coronavirus exposes our fragility

18 Mar

If, as Neil Gaiman said, any civilisation is two meals and 24 hours away from barbarism, ask yourself this: what am I having for dinner tonight? That might be an easy one for you to answer. But what about dinner four days from now, or six? The fact that many people would find that second question […]

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