Your essential weekend reader — my personal pick of the week’s must-reads

It’s Saturday evening, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices culled from all those I’ve linked to this last week. You can follow me on Delicious here.

What will make banks care about their customers? – Diana Coyle says don’t increase banking regulation, instead open up the oligopolistic banking industry to true competition: ‘more competitive banking systems are more stable – the banks tend to be smaller so the “too big to fail” problem is less acute, and smaller banks are simpler so regulators (and their boards) can monitor them more easily’.

Leveson failed to learn from credit crisis – John Kay says regulations, existing and new, are besides the point: ‘the principal reason both press and financial services regulation were lax is that political leaders wanted them to be lax’.

The myth of the campaign swing – Stephan Shakespeare says forget about the final month’s election campaign, it’s the next 27 months that matter: ‘if we don’t recognize how tiny actual campaigning effects usually are, you might forget that elections are really won and lost long before the official campaign ever starts’.

The economic impact of uprating policy – Jonathan Portes dismisses the economic arguments put forward for the real-terms cut in benefits: ‘the idea that benefits need to be cut in real terms in order to ensure either that their value doesn’t outpace earnings, or the long-term sustainability of the welfare system, is wrong’.

The Old Fears of China’s New Leaders – Jonathan Mirsky gets ‘a shudder of déjà vu watching the mounting protests inside China this week’ and concludes with the chilling sentence: ‘The words “Southern” and “Weekend” have now vanished from the Chinese Internet.’

Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel and John Brennan: Similar visions – The Economist says the the President’s senior defence picks reflect his own that the world is ‘complicated, messy and all too frequently impervious to the use of American power even when wielded with the best of intentions’.

Avoiding the B word – Simon Wren-Lewis offers an imaginary interview defending the rationale for increased government borrowing: ‘Borrowing becomes a problem when it underestimates the risks involved, and when the borrower may not be able to afford the repayments.’

head/parapet – Stella Duffy pops hers above it on this week’s Suzanne Moore ‘Twitter / transphobia’ storm: ‘I do think the right adore the left in-fighting and they have always adored it and they always will. Because it is our in-fighting, our passion, our huge upset about the things of our hearts and our souls, that lets them get away with what they’re doing.’

The Whiffle Flib test – Hopi Sen issues a challenge to speech-writers who attempt to coin a new two-word political philosophy: ‘find every example of this phrase in your draft speech and replace it with the words “Whiffle Flib”.’

Why I am a Zionist – Tom Doran, ‘a self-confessed bleeding-heart pinko philo-Semitic goy’, on how he learned to love Israel while decrying the occupation: ‘A nuanced view of the Middle East shouldn’t be the rare virtue it apparently is.’

Liberal Hero of the Week #28: Nick Boles – I explain why the Conservative planning minister deserves some credit. And to ensure political balance Uruguay’s president José Mujica gets an honorable mention, too.

Tom Daley: nice body, shame about the format – David Bowden reviews ITV’s new Olympian-hosted reality-celeb-gameshow Splashed!: ‘diving is straight-up, 100 per cent, balls-out, why-don’t-we-see-that-Mapplethorpe-exhibition homoeroticism. Which is a thrillingly sexually transgressive concept for Saturday evening telly, I grant you, but I can’t help but feel rather on the limited side.’

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

Read more by or more about , , , , , , , , , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/32612 for Twitter and emails.

One Comment

  • It is quite depressing how many people think that of all the articles that came out after Suzanne Moore’s frankly terrifying lack of empathy and refusal to apologise, the one that most cis people seem to think is reasonable is the “wah trans people are scary” one. The trans community was perfectly reasonably upset at being treated as less than human, and to not understand that boggles me.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?




Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDuncan Brack 18th Apr - 11:46pm
    David White - you are right about Beveridge (except that 1945 couldn't be called a khaki election - unlike 1900, for which the term is...
  • User Avatarmalc 18th Apr - 10:51pm
    Mark Valladares Sorry I shouldn't have said military bases, but we do - or may be did until recently, not sure after defence cuts -...
  • User AvatarBill le Breton 18th Apr - 10:24pm
    But what be the biggest shift for a Governing Party over a period of 13 months? Try December 81 to Jan 83. If potential turn...
  • User AvatarEd Wilson 18th Apr - 10:12pm
    Let's try again. "...power 4 million homes..." means onshore wind produces a number of kilowatt hours which, when divided by the notional power consumption of...
  • User AvatarRoland 18th Apr - 9:56pm
    A scary thought has just occurred - the Pensions Minister either doesn't actually know or want us to know, just how much pension tax relief...
  • User AvatarRoland 18th Apr - 9:46pm
    Ed Davey's defense of on-shore wind is totally undermined by the hard data coming out of NETA... Whilst there might be sufficient capacity to provide...