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Friday, August 19, 2022
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The oft-forgotten basics of negotiation

Negotiations over Scottish independence are framed by the observation that neither the rest of the UK nor the EU has anything significant to gain from such negotiation – or any wish to conduct such negotiation at all.

Sometimes, a spot of collusion can be a very good thing

Modern life involves complex and multidimensional products. It is perhaps inevitable that price structures appear similarly complex and multidimensional.

A real energy revolution needs us to look beyond sound bites

To be able to use power the UK needs to build power stations, but it is easier to posture, prevaricate and procrastinate than to take decisions.

New York’s wonder shows planners’ limits

If unplanned social interactions are the key to a vibrant city, they are also the key to a vibrant organisation.

A story can be more useful than maths

Probabilistic reasoning has become the dominant method of structured thinking about problems involving risk and uncertainty – to such an extent that people who do not think this way are derided as incompetent and irrational.

Labour’s new tax policy is an old mistake

You can lower the marginal rate of tax on an individual without changing their average rate – and vice versa. Every politician who wants to help the low paid by reducing their income tax rate should write that sentence out 50 times.

For a stimulus, boring is best

The objective of monetisation has not been to put money in the hands of consumers and businesses but to put money in the vaults of banks.

Given a choice voters opt for safety

Confronted with the specifics, rather than the principle, of constitutional change, many voters revert to the status quo.

London’s rise from sewer to spectacle

The salient fact is that London could never have become a great business and financial capital if its residents felt an urge to vomit every time they went outdoors.

The allies who moulded the welfare state

Social policy would, in the long run, owe far more to Eleanor Roosevelt’s claim that “everyone has the right to a standard of living” than to Beveridge’s assertion that “management of one’s income is an essential element of a citizen’s freedom”.