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Month: July 2018

Lies, Half-Truths and Opinions: The Good Friday Agreement and the Irish Border

Lies, Half-Truths and Opinions: The Good Friday Agreement and the Irish Border

Fact: The Good Friday Agreement does not prohibit a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Stating that it does is an incorrect factual statement, and therefore either an error or a lie. If you doubt this, the full text of the agreement is here:https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/136652/agreement.pdf Fact: The UK Prime Minister and Irish Taoiseach have agreed that there should be no hard border following Brexit. It is true this is a relevant point when disscussing the subject. It…

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The Twelve Quizzes of Christmas: Preorders

The Twelve Quizzes of Christmas: Preorders

I’m collecting expressions of interest for pre-orders my forthcoming book, The Twelve Quizzes of Christmas. If I get sufficient interest, I’ll be able to arrange a bulk order which would bring the price down for everyone. If you think you’re likely to get one or more copies (Christmas presents!!!), please leave a comment here – or message me through the contact form below – to indicate this, as well as how many you might get if more than one. The…

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A Social Policy Trilemma

A Social Policy Trilemma

There is a trilemma in economics that states that a nation can only have two of the following three things: – Free movement of capital – A fixed monetary exchange rate – An independent monetary policy. All three of these are things that a country would sometimes quite like to have; however, the trilemma states that if a country has two of them, the third must in consequence be given up – it is not possible to maintain all three…

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Stellaris: The T’Jell Wars

Stellaris: The T’Jell Wars

The continued story of my narrative from Stellaris, Paradox’s Grand Strategy space game. As you can read about here, I am playing a nation of egalitarian spiritualist humans, who spend their time living in utopian abundance and building temples to worship the stars. As at the end of the last post, I had explored a significant portion of the galaxy and won (with the help of raider mercenaries and a friendly nation of Honourbound Warrior ‘Goat Klingons’) a bloodless victory…

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Announcing the Twelve Quizzes of Christmas!

Announcing the Twelve Quizzes of Christmas!

Every year for a dozen years I’ve produced a Christmas Quiz, with an increasing number of people doing it each year. My back catalogue and list of winners can be found here. This autumn I’ll be releasing The Twelve Quizzes of Christmas, a compilation of all twelve quizzes, available in paperback and ebook form from all good Amazon websites near you. An ideal coffee table or bathroom book – and the ideal Christmas present for anyone in your life who…

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Conservative Home: To ensure that Chequers is the end of the concessions, prepare swiftly and publicly for No Deal

Conservative Home: To ensure that Chequers is the end of the concessions, prepare swiftly and publicly for No Deal

In my latest Conservative Home article I argue that we should support the Chequers deal – but only if we simultaneously ramp up preparations for no deal, to ensure no more concessions. I also consider the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, to show just how swiftly a country can be separated if the political will to do so is there. Read the full article here: Iain Mansfield: To ensure that Chequers is the end of the concessions, prepare swiftly and…

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Three Ways to Improve Referenda

Three Ways to Improve Referenda

Whilst it’s right that Vote Leave are being fined, it’s absurd to suggest that this renders the result invalid. That being said, this – and other events before, during and after the referendum – do highlight a number of areas where our rules around referenda could helpfully be strengthened. First though, let’s get the Vote Leave situation out of the way As I said above, there is no reason to doubt the outcome of the investigation. Vote Leave seem unambiguously…

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Wonkhe: Engaging Effectively

Wonkhe: Engaging Effectively

My latest Wonkhe article – how to engage civil servants effectively. I set out five dos and don’ts for government engagement. You can read the full article below: How to engage civil servants effectively

Three Months of Blogging

Three Months of Blogging

I’ve now been blogging for exactly three months. During that time I’ve: – Published 47 posts – Had 117 comments – Had 5,296 views – averaging just under 2000 a month. – Gathered 19 regular followers. Just under 80% of my views are from the UK, with the next most popular countries being the US (323), unspecified EU (226), Germany (90), Spain (77) and Australia (51). Viewing patterns vary: my most popular day had close to 200 views and I…

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How to make the good guys look bad…

How to make the good guys look bad…

  I’ve recently finished reading the Family D’Alembert series by E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith and Stephen Goldin, which could be summed up as a not-particularly-high-quality but nevertheless mildly enjoyable science-fiction adventure series, in which the galaxy’s elite team of super-agents are a brother-sister duo from the ‘Circus of the Galaxy’, whose acrobatic training allows them to overcome their foes. The books, as I say, are fairly entertaining light reading. The plot of each book essentially sees the main characters on a…

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