Tag Archives: the economist

The Swiss Wheeze: the Better Off Out argument that’s full of holes

Swiss CheeseIf only we were Switzerland, eh? That’s the dream of the Better Off Out brigade, who long for its freedom as part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). And it’s a tempting offer: all the benefits of free trade with EU member states, and (if you believe Nigel Farage, Dan Hannan et al) none of the risks.

Except it’s not quite that easy, as The Economist highlighted when it investigated Britain’s options.

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 19 Comments

Lib Dems as ‘The Party of IN’ – Clegg’s pro-European strategy starts to pay off

nick clegg v nigel farageKudos to Nick Clegg and his team, including his director of strategy Ryan Coetzee. The gambit of issuing a personal challenge to Nigel Farage to debate Nick on Europe has been accepted not only by the Ukip leader, but also now by the media. As Caron Lindsay reported here this morning – #NickvNigel – We have a date and #NickvNigel: We have 2 dates – any more for the Tour? – the two leaders will face-off both on TV and on radio within the next …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 53 Comments

A personal guide to the 13 most essential political podcasts

podcastsCommuting is a major part of my daily life, so I find podcasts are an essential way to make use of time I’d otherwise spend staring vacantly out the window or idly refreshing and re-refreshing Twitter. Here, in order of where they appear in my iTunes directory, are the podcasts I listen to most frequently…

The Economist’s podcasts – a good mix of audio recordings of selected articles from the print edition together with brief discussions involving the Economist’s expert correspondents. Slightly irritatingly the sound can vary between recordings, so you …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 8 Comments

Would PR spell the end of the Liberal Democrats?

It is one of the biggest yet most under-appreciated ironies of British politics that the policy that unites the Liberal Democrat party membership in its most fervent rapture — the introduction of proportional voting to Westminster elections — is also, probably, the thing most likely, if implemented, to lead to the end of the party is we know it.

That is not to say that PR would necessarily lead to the break up of the party, but it is undeniable that majoritarian electoral systems force together the relatively broad coalitions that are the pre-requisite to winning elections.

The way in which individuals …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 39 Comments

Liberalism’s comeback, feat. Mill, Smith, Gladstone and Clegg (on drums)

For those Voice readers who, as a result of an unfortunate oversight, do not subscribe to The Economist, here’s a heads-up that you may wish to pick up this week’s edition, which features this cover:

For those not inclined to pick up a souvenir copy, you can read the excellent Jeremy Cliffe’s report here, and the accompanying leader here.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 29 Comments

The Economist’s political map of the UK: the north/south divide revealed

Here’s the traditional political map of the UK, each constituency colour-coded to the winning party:

UK-Political-Map1 (1)

It’s a map which flatters to deceive. The Tories appear to be the dominant force across pretty much the whole of England. The Lib Dems’ strength through the celtic fringe appears to put us pretty much on a par with Labour.

The Economist has this week done something very simple: create a political map which equalises the size of constituencies and colour codes according to the turn-out for the winning party…

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 35 Comments

The boom years were the dream. This is reality

Pieces of writing can do lots of things: challenge, comfort, exasperate, inform, entertain. Occasionally, though, one reads a piece that, in prose far more clear, lucid and fluent than one’s jumbled thoughts, nonetheless perfectly describes those thoughts.

I’ve long been a fan of The Economist’s David Rennie, and have praised him here on the Voice before. Last summer he took over the paper’s Lexington column (in tragic circumstances), but before that he was for two years British political editor and author of the weekly Bagehot column.

In May last year he wrote one of those columns I describe …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 65 Comments
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  • User AvatarFiona 25th Feb - 10:43am
    I agree that much of the Brexit vote was about a resentment, even anger about swathes of the population being left behind. The high turn-out...
  • User AvatarJohn Hall 25th Feb - 10:25am
    The logical solution to the omission of Parliament to stipulate the requirement of a clear majority of ALL the people before embarking on Brexit is...
  • User AvatarJohn Hall 25th Feb - 10:19am
    (Late coming in). John Barret: - Makes a very good point when he says Remoaners would have been satisfied with the tiniest majority in favour...
  • User Avatarmatt 25th Feb - 10:16am
    Sorry should have added "For reasons other than psychological distress" never used to be part of the Guidelines issued to assessors. This changes to the...
  • User Avatarmatt 25th Feb - 10:07am
    @Fiona The question on the PIP relating to this are 13a) "Do you need help from another person to plan a route to somewhere you...
  • User Avatarfrankie 25th Feb - 9:01am
    We all have our niche interests, which can become all consuming passions. Sometimes we have to take a step back and realise they mean little...