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Category: Politics

How times change

How times change

As someone who grew up in the ’90s, one of the things I find most surreal about current political debates is the left’s whole-hearted embrace of global capitalism. I was a teenager in the 90s and a student in the early 2000s. I remember reading about the ‘Battle of Seattle’ anti-WTO protests, the Make Poverty history campaign about debt forgiveness and learning in geography about the plight of Vietnamese coffee growers (caused by, so we were taught, the World Bank)….

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We have nothing to fear from No Deal

We have nothing to fear from No Deal

In my latest article for Conservative Home, I draw on my 2014 Brexit paper to show that we have nothing to fear from No Deal and set out high level policy proposals for how we would make it a success. Read the full article below: Iain Mansfield: We have nothing to fear from No Deal

‘No car is better than a bad car’

‘No car is better than a bad car’

(Alice and Bob are buying a car. Bob wishes they weren’t buying a car. The reason they need to is because Alice has got a new job, which is further away from home, and for which she needs a car. Bob didn’t want Alice to take the job, as it means she’ll be home later, and the two of them discussed it lengthily and angrily – but in the end they decided that Alice would take it. Alice wants the…

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Where next for Brexit?

Where next for Brexit?

I was proud of our Parliament this week. Despite all the divisions, Parliament – primarily Conservative, DUP and some Labour MPs – came together to reject all the amendments that would delay or block Brexit and, as importantly, vote in favour of a clear way forward. By backing the Brady amendment, it is now clear to the EU that there is a deal, not so different from the one on the table, that the UK would accept. It’s worth saying…

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Endless surrenders?

Endless surrenders?

There’s a situation I observe that has a strange symmetry. Very often I’ll read someone on the left lamenting a series of endless surrenders to the right, such that officially left wing parties now embrace policies that once were considered right wing. They point to privatisation, immigration laws and casualisation of labour and say that forty years ago Jeremy Corbyn’s policies would be considered fairly moderate. And at the same time, I’ll often read someone on the right lamenting a…

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Predictions for a No-Deal Brexit

Predictions for a No-Deal Brexit

Many people are talking of leaving the EU without a deal as being a disaster. Even setting aside the obviously histrionic claims that it will cause millions of deaths, normally serious commentators – and many Remain supporting friends who I’ve discussed this with – are regularly using terms such as ‘disaster’, ‘catastrophe’, ‘severe economic damage’ and ‘untold harm’. We have of course been here before. Before the vote, we were told that a vote to Leave would, even before we…

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Macron, Brexit and the bankruptcy of so-called ‘centrism’

Macron, Brexit and the bankruptcy of so-called ‘centrism’

I’ve tried not to give a blow by blow account of the Brexit negotiations. But with riots against Macron in their fourth week in France, our negotiations at an impasse and our government (perhaps) on the brink of collapse, it seems appropriate to draw some of these strands together. Macron Why talk of the riots though? Well, for the simply reason that Macron is the darling of the Establishment, that same coalition of multinational business, highly educated metropolitans, academia, big…

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Brexit Possibilities

Brexit Possibilities

It’s often difficulty trying to estimate probabilities, particularly when there are many different potential futures.  Availability bias means we tend to assign a greater weight to the options we’re thinking about, even if they’re actually quite a small sample of the possibility space. Brexit  at the moment lends itself to this, with a large number of options opening up in an increasingly unpredictable landscape. Complicating matters is that there are a lot of different paths to many of the options….

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Christmas Quiz XIII is now live!

Christmas Quiz XIII is now live!

Christmas Quiz III is now live! The theme this year is countries and regions: all answers are the names of countries or regions. All clues are based purely on the name of the country or region and any connection to the nature of the country or region is entirely coincidental. Names are the standard English name of the country or region. All reference sources are permitted. Answers will be available from Epiphany from this site with the usual honour and…

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Belated Budget thoughts and ‘the end of austerity’

Belated Budget thoughts and ‘the end of austerity’

Brexit might be the news of the day right now, but last month’s Budget remains an important turning point. I’ve had a few people ask me how there seemed to be more money around in the Budget and where it came from, while there’s been plenty of debate on what the end of austerity really means. Before we answer those questions; however, which I’ll do by means of a simple analogy, it’s vitally important to make sure we fully understand…

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