Will Bott Profile picture
Blogger, linguist and Maths tutor. Writes about Brexit, political philosophy and ideology, but probably more interested in cookery than any of the above.
13 Sep
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.
Read 4 tweets
2 Nov 19
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.
Read 5 tweets
5 Aug 19
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/
Read 11 tweets
22 May 19
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/
Read 6 tweets
15 Apr 19
Biedermann und die Brandstifter (or ‘Everyman and the arsonists’) is a classic of post war German language literature. A man hears on the radio that there are arsonists in his town. 1/
He does not think it will happen to his house. A bunch of people come to his house one day, asking if they can stay for a while. They bring kegs of what appear to be explosives into his attic. 2/
He is not worried, as they seem polite and friendly enough. Surely these could not be the arsonists he has heard about on the radio. 3/
Read 5 tweets
6 Apr 19
Another way of thinking about this is that democracy is not always about majoritarianism, but consent and representation of relavent stakeholders. 1/
In the Scottish independence referendum, for example, it would not have been a valid electorate if English voters were given equal weight to Scottish voters. 2/
The relevant stakeholders varies from issue to issue. Sometimes it may be national, sometimes local, sometimes specific to the individual. 3/
Read 9 tweets