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Roger Warren Evans
   
 
  The Bush war-mongering electoral strategy succeeded - the accuracy of my forecasting will now be tested with a vengeance - I say that he will now play Iraq long,  and allow the American consumers to regain their confidence - consumer spending will recover in November, and the Christmas spirit will take over - now is the time for Bush to play the role of responsible peace-maker - I believe that, having banished the ghosts of the Hanging Chads, Bush will turn to domestic issues, heal the many diplomatic wounds that have been inflicted on allies, defer any Iraq invasion decision and concentrate on the "war on terrorists" generally, reckoning that the change will give Americans a good Christmas, and kick-start a consumer-led recovery from "recession" - I say this a matter, not of optimism, but political realism...

 

 
 



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0091
Week 45
Saturday 9 November
2002

Editorial

Having studied your visiting-patterns (from the Hit-Counter record, which is fascinating) it's clear that the Monday-to-Wednesday period is the most popular, tailing off towards the weekend.

I will therefore publish one major new edition every Monday, with occasional additions ( no deletions) in the course of the week, as there have been this week - whenever you visit, you will read the same basic Edition, but the later, the more - let me know what you think..

Roger WE

And make sure you have not missed the previous edition of this Weblog Check it out  
And the one before that?  
Other recent topics highlighted below


French UN Victory

The amended two-stage UN Resolution, passed unanimously in New York yesterday, is being hailed as a victory for American diplomacy.

But that is wrong.  The spin is misleading.  It is the French who have triumphed, by ensuring that the US/UK will be forced to return to the Security Council for an "assessment", before going to war. True, the US has removed the "executive" element from that assessment, and no further positive Resolution would be required, to authorise military action. But it is thanks to the French that, if there is a breakdown in the Weapons Inspection process, there will be further Jaw-Jaw at the UN - Bush did not want that, but he has been forced to give way. 


Central Bankers
No longer in the script

This was to have been very big week for central bankers.  Last Monday 4 November, in the US, UK and EU, the central banks were all poised, Batman-like, to reduce interest-rates and save their economies from recession - the US did, the other two did not. No parts of the Earth moved, or showed any sign of moving.  And the real lesson was this - State interest-rate fixing by Central Banks does not now make a blind bit of difference to the performance of national economies.  Attempting to fine-tune the "official price of money" is a futile exercise...

Let me know what you think 
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Unmarried Adoption
Liberal pitfalls

Like all liberals, I am delighted that the Government stuck to its guns and extended the adoption laws to unmarried couples, both heterosexual and gay.  The Government's second-round victory in the Lords ensured that the second Chamber did not again frustrate the will of the Commons. The Tories have proved only that nastiness comes in widely differing forms. 

What do you think?       back to top

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Ashford Aftermath

My Ashford drugs-legalisation speech will be circulated with the Proceedings of the Conference, to those who attended.  But if you are so minded (and very keen...) you can take a peek right here...

Let me know you think    back to top


Who is Martin
Mellergaard?

Having wisely taken the coach up to London last week, I faced a horrendous journey to Bath last Friday - leaving my City office at 1800h and arriving in Bath at 00.49h the following morning...  I am sure you will now appreciate the force of my Letter to Transport Minister Alistair Darling  

But the highpoint of my rail-disrupted Paddington evening was an intriguing chat with an extraordinarily able young man by the name of Martin Mellergaard, of Anglo-Danish parentage, during which we analysed the state of the US/UK economies.  He demonstrated a real grasp of modern consumer economics - and then vanished into the night. 

  • Was he perhaps a Professor of Economics, travelling incognito?  If Martin reads this, I hope he will respond - and if he does so, I will report to y'all.

Tell us what you think    back to top

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Keeping busy

Writing in this week's newstatesman, John Gray explores the preoccupations of a bored, affluent society - read his article "Ulrika is a sign that we've got it all".  His theme is closely related to my interests in Perpetual Innovation.  Bored citizens in the affluent society, he argues, become obsessed with matters of celebrity, fame, public preeminence of all kinds. My view is that, given the opportunity, we would all devote more of our time and energies into governing ourselves.

What do you think?     back to top


Wrongful Closure

I am hopping mad at Post Office Counters Limited.  In their inefficiency, they still lose much local trade by refusing to accept credit/debit cards.  They have not made this elementary commercial advance and yet - aided and abetted by Government subsidy - they are now destroying the facilities of 3,000 urban neighbourhoods.

Corporations are justly criticised by the Left for the arbitrary closure of factories, destroying jobs and communities. Yet the Labour Government is doing precisely the same thing, to 3,000 neighbourhoods across the country. This has been handled very badly.

Drop me a line        back to top

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Gender Selection
Don't prohibit, regulate

Our political judgment is increasingly challenged by "moral" issues, and they are not to be ducked.  Should gender selection be made generally available, as an option available to parents?  Should gender selection be available on the NHS?  These are testing issues, for politicians...

  • I feel differently about the Government's proposed Healthy Food Vouchers, which are a left-over of WW2 thinking, when young Mums were given special rations, to keep them and their children healthy - the time for Vouchers has past, and Governments should no longer be so prescriptive.

What do you think?     back to top


Socialists - keep in touch with my latest (unfinished) attempt to track the course of contemporary socialism - a long way to go, but c'est le premier pas qui compte - you can track my thoughts at the Newton Agenda.

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Recent topics

  • The real Third Way >>>
  • Liberals v Socialists >>>
  • Which Blair? >>>
  • My defence of PFI >>>
  • Clean up London! >>>
  • Public space, private rights >>>
  • Schools wrongly coerce >>>
  • Funding political parties >>>
  • Oppression by E-mail >>>
  • Irresponsible Guardian >>>
  • My war on terrorists >>>

And read my own Big Theory itself, at
Multiple Differential Uncertainty

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Special Footnote

I love the online newspapers, which are my access to the world - share them with me - click through to their Homepages from here -

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What's in a name?

Quite a lot, if it's Hrothgar Habakkuk.  He was the august Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, who died this week. I heard him lecturing at Cambridge, when I was studying History (1957) and he was the Chichele Professor of Economic History at Oxford. 

He was a Welshman, a South Walian born in Barry and educated at the local state school.  His father was Director of Education for Glamorgan, also a founder of the Cardiff Fabian Society, in 1939.  What's in name?  Let me give you the very Welsh explanation..

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Burrell still
deserves our pity

The Queen?
Not Guilty

Paul Burrell is the pitiable victim of English social class - his "Revelations", as published in the Mirror this week, confirm his naivety, almost innocence - he was rightly acquitted of the allegations against him.  But the catalogue of professional legal incompetence is difficult to credit..

Let me know you think    back to top


Mayoral Games

The Labour Cabinet should be thoroughly ashamed of having unleashed the pantomime of mayoral elections throughout the UK.  If there was ever a political disaster waiting to happen, this was it. Yet New Labour, obsessed by the "heroic" view of politics, persistently made the wrong judgments.

Let me know you think      back to top


What Lula wants, Lula gets...

The two most powerful themes of global democratic politics are proving to be managerial effectiveness and social justice - and it looks as if South America may lead the way in strengthening perceptions of social justice. 
The victory of the Left
in Brazil's presidential elections has focused attention, quite dramatically, on the question of social justice.

Let me know you think      back to top

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Blair wrong-footed

Blair's recent spat with Chirac was significant.  French diplomacy had been
running rings around Britain, for weeks. But the loser was not so much
Britain, as Blair personally...
 


If their Lordships
must stay..
.

You will know that I favour outright Lords abolition, heralding a harder-working single-chamber Parliament.  But as common sense is not likely to prevail, I am casting around for a compromise.

And Clive Soley MP, has come up with the idea of full indirect election.  PM patronage should be stripped out, and the inheritance of power should be stripped out.  The Members of the new Second Chamber should be selected by secondary election, thus subordinating their democratic authority unambiguously to that of the directly-elected Commons.  I am now pragmatically backing the Soley Compromise faute de mieux read his own words.

What do you think?       back to top

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Labour flunks the Housing Test

I am a housebuilder by trade.  I have served both Bovis Homes and Barratts as Managing Director of their "London Divisions".  And I say that John Prescott's "Urban Summit" last week was a grave embarrassment to anyone with understanding of the issues.  Please dally for a moment, to find out why...

Tell us what you think    back to top


Who should be Home Secretary?

Nick Cohen, writing fearlessly in this week's newstatesman, asks the question which has been flickering across my mental screen for several months.  Who makes the best radical Home Secretary, David Blunkett, or his Shadow Oliver Letwin?  I am deeply ashamed of David Blunkett, and of a Labour Government which can keep him in his post - he is loutish, insensitive, intemperate, authoritarian, and with no liberal instincts.

  • With a heavy heart, I would prefer Oliver Letwin, every time.


Pupils should
assess Teachers...

...but those assessments should play no part in determining a teacher's remuneration.  I remain opposed to performance-related pay for teachers and lecturers. But pupil/student assessments would enrich our educational system - both objectives are achievable.

What do you think?     back to top

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I browse too..

...just occasionally, through earlier months, to remind myself of how much has happened since the start of 2002  - and last February, I came across this perceptive sociological analysis of the collapse of American corporate governance, by the Manchester Professor Karel Williams writing in The Guardian.  Professor Williams' comments reinforce the case for root-and-branch international company law reforms, for which I argue at Tame the Corporations!

What do you think?     back to top


Estelle
The real issues

The departure of Estelle Morris continues to reverberate.  I believe that she was profoundly unhappy at having to "deliver" divisive, elitist, and inegalitarian reforms, and the abandonment of comprehensive education.  These were the same criticisms as those levelled powerfully by Frank Dobson, on Sunday.  And subsequent commentary has reinforced my view that the real casualty of the spat will be Tony Blair

What do you think?     back to top


My Knight's Tale...

As the Granada/Carlton merger proceeds, unitary national TV images will suppress the older ITV regional identities.  Forty years on, the Anglian Knight, will disappear.  It was under the Knight's aegis that I first broadcast, in 1962.  Also where I was first sacked, for a political indiscretion...                                         

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Follow my Russian Tour Diary, now unfolding in splendid technicolor

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Diary 2002

Now up to date!  I have re-structured my Diary to give you a day-to-day means of looking back, throughout the year just click through

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MEETING NOTICES

 Organisers!  Let me know if you have any notices of meetings which might be interesting to readers like you - I'll be happy to give publicity to radical gatherings of the Left...

Drop me a line    back to top


Check out previous Diary Page  

Drop me a line     back to top

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Do you Weblog?  This represents a new dimension of personal communication - I would like to link up with other Leftwing webloggers, tho' they seem to be thin on the ground - it's worth keeping a weather eye on the whole weblogging sector - the Guardian Weblog Diary is excellent -  Check it out!

 

 
 


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- is that a deal?  Roger WE