The best defence of the British government’s response to covid is that bad luck played a large role in who was badly hit first, and everywhere will end up in a roughly similar position once the dust has settled. This seemed plausible enough a few weeks back. 1/
Some places spared a bad first wave seemed be getting hit by a worse second, things now seemed stable-ish in the U.K.
Now covid cases seem to be spiralling out of control *again* in the U.K., and many countries which managed to get the first wave under control seem to be getting their second under control too.
The 'billionaires shouldn't exist' hullabaloo is very revealing. It's assumed to be some kind of radical leftist position. Actually, it's a pretty plausible position for liberals too. You're very unlikely to accumulate that kind of wealth in a competitive market.
It's likely to be the result of either: 1) a monopoly market 2) intellectual property (certainly uncompetitive, likely imperfect; we need incentives, but very difficult to say the returns are the 'correct' amount) 3) inherited wealth 4) asset former nationalised industries
You don't have to be a Marxist to think these aren't legitimate or desirable ways of accumulating wealth. In fact, it goes hand in hand with thinking that markets can be good to think that market failures are harmful and may need addressing.
Pro-Brexit commentators have consistently responded to the devaluation of the pound since the referendum by insisting that it's a good thing, as it makes exports more competitive. It's a silly argument on its own terms, as shown here mainlymacro.blogspot.com/2016/08/brexit… . 1/
So silly, you might conclude it's disingenuous. This is obviously very difficult to know, but every so often recent events give us something approaching a natural experiment. There was, after all, another significant devaluation of the pound in 2008/9. 2/
How did Brexiteers respond to that, a development which happened under Gordon Brown? Well, Daniel Hannan made a speech to the European Parliament. He was hardly positive about the potential it had to boost exports. 3/
An important moment, or what felt like one, happened today during the Farage/Cable Telegraph debate. Farage said the goal of the Brexit party was to gain power at Westminister. 1/
One of his objectives was a vague series of reforms to ‘the political system’. He mentioned the House of Lords, but also getting rid of the electoral commission. In other words, he announced, on live air, that he wants to abolish institutions 2/
That hold him to account if he acts illegally. This is a key moment. It comes from someone who supported a candidate whose campaign slogan, ‘lock her up’, was about imprisoning a political opponent, and who openly supports Orbán 3/