Author Archives: Kirsten de Keyser

Opinion: Straphanging now takes a quarter of your wages – what do the continentals do?

Virgin trainHappy New Year Britain! Stand by for more cuts! cuts! cuts! Except in rail fares. There it’s a case of “let the train drain you dry”. As part of the festive fireworks, rail fares exploded by 4.3% so, if you are privileged enough to have a job at all, you can kiss good-bye to up to a quarter of your pay packet just to get you to work.

A season ticket will cost as much as 23% of gross salary or, put another way, you’ll effectively have to work till …

Posted in Op-eds | 36 Comments

Opinion: Avoid the Tax Avoiders!

On 15th October last, Liberal Democrat Voice published my splutteringly crimson outburst about multinational corporation tax avoiders Opinion: Calling All Bloggers – Don’t make me a tax avoidance accomplice.

Back then, I pleaded that an ongoing media debate would hopefully, at last, provide the oxygen needed to bring about some serious action in respect of corporate tax collecting: “…the media at least seems to be smelling blood. I hope they see this through to some sort of conclusion.”

And didn’t they do well?

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 43 Comments

The Fourth Estate needs a makeover – what would Borgen do?

Who said: “In the old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism”.

No, not Hugh Grant. Oscar …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Votes for Prisoners? Cameron says no! What would Borgen do?

David Cameron reputedly vowed that prisoners “will be allowed to vote over my dead body”. Don’t give us any ideas Dave… We know that the current blanket ban has been judged unlawful by The European Court of Human Rights, and we presumably don’t want to break the law. I mean, that could land us all in the collective slammer, without the right to vote. Not a clever idea, given that the current UK voter turnout is already among the lowest in Western Europe.

So what would Borgen do? Well, nothing actually, as Danish prisoners have enjoyed the unfettered right to vote since the 1930s. And that’s despite the fact that our Danish cousins

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 14 Comments

Opinion: Hug a Hoodie or Mug a Hoodie? What would Borgen do?

It’s really rather a good feeling being a Danish Brit nowadays. Repeated requests for jumper-knitting instructions are admittedly a drawback, but one I can live with. More interesting are daily questions about policy matters as practised Borgen style. (For those who’ve been living under a stone for the past several months, “Borgen” is short for Christiansborg, the Danish Parliament building as well as the title of the appointment-to-view Danish version of the West Wing).

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 20 Comments

Opinion: Calling All Bloggers – Don’t make me a tax avoidance accomplice

According to Vince Cable “No one keeps their cash in tax havens for the quality of investment advice; these are sunny places for shady people.” True to form, Vince hit the nail squarely on its head with a whammy of a quote, and how we all clapped enthusiastically. But who actually piles the cash into these rogues’ coffers in the first place? It could be you.

Many of our enthusiastic clappers routinely rock up outside Boots, on a sunny Saturday, aggressively jabbing angry posters-on-sticks skywards, in tandem with chants of

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 17 Comments

Is education the key to social mobility?

We’ve all read the statistics: in the United Kingdom, 7% of the population who were educated in independent schools make up 95% of our politicians, judges, journalists and business bosses. And let’s not forget our actors and sports stars. You’re twenty times more likely to play cricket for England if your parents mortgaged themselves to send you to a private school.

But do we all want to be Yuppies? Not everyone wants to be a politician, judge or journalist, many are thankfully still in possession of their full set of faculties. Moreover, our average western society requires roughly 20%

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 20 Comments

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  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 28th Nov - 3:53pm
    Sarah Noble 28th Nov '15 - 3:22pm Sorry, you cannot know that, because of confidentiality. The use of extreme words, such as 'nobody', 'everybody', 'all',...
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 28th Nov - 3:53pm
    @nvelope2003 "Unless Jeremy Corbyn resigns there is no way he can be removed because the overwhelming majority of Labour Party members want him to stay."...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 28th Nov - 3:42pm
    Conor McGovern 28th Nov '15 - 1:11pm Of course not, he is his own man.
  • User AvatarSarah Noble 28th Nov - 3:22pm
    malc, Myra Hindley was imprisoned in Holloway for thirty years, and nobody demanded she be put in a male prison because she was a danger...
  • User Avatarnvelope2003 28th Nov - 3:18pm
    Andrew McCaig: other polls show a different picture. Support for air strikes does not necessarily indicate support for active involvement in the war. The outrage...
  • User AvatarBarry Stocker 28th Nov - 3:10pm
    The use of Smith rather than Mao for McDonnell to make his point would indeed have been more intelligent politics. I would certainly like to...