Boris Johnson

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pages: 382 words: 117,536

March of the Lemmings: Brexit in Print and Performance 2016–2019 by Stewart Lee

Airbnb, AltaVista, anti-communist, Boris Johnson, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, Donald Trump, Etonian, New Journalism, Ronald Reagan, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, white flight

6 The Treachery of Images, René Magritte, 1929. 7 Imagine being able to just say such hilariously banal things naturally, as Mr May does here, without spending hours, like I do, trying to think up hilariously banal things on purpose. When Boris Johnson’s inner monster goes on the rampage 21 May 2017 Last Wednesday,1 our chief Brexiteer, Boris Johnson, dressed up in a Sikh costume to visit a Bristol gurdwara. There he told the alcohol-abstaining supplicants to take bottles of Johnnie Walker to Indian relatives to speed up post-Brexit booze exports, leading one to comment that had he made that suggestion in India, the foreign secretary would have been killed immediately. Another successful Boris Johnson PR exercise. That said, I don’t think Boris Johnson was seeking to pique the Sikhs. Indeed, Boris Johnson’s own wife, Marina Wheeler QC, is half Sikh, though it is not clear which half, so it is difficult to deduce anything from this.2 It might be just her leg and some bits of one of her arms.

In respect of his pernicious Brexit lies, it is not necessarily wrong that Boris Johnson should be punished indiscriminately by the full force of whatever belief systems are most unforgiving, but he shouldn’t be slain for saying ‘whisky’ to a Sikh. No one should. Nonetheless, an expensively educated hominid like Boris Johnson, doing the sensitive job he does, should have a subliminal awareness of cultural taboos. The Sikhs’ offence is Eton College’s failure. Perhaps fewer soggy biscuit competitions after lights out, and more comparative religion, headmaster! And gurdwara-gate definitely calls into question Boris Johnson’s fitness for the role of foreign secretary, a position he is unlikely to occupy after 8 June anyway, especially in the event of a Corbyn win.3 But Boris Johnson’s biggest cultural cringe happened earlier in the week, in faraway Newport, South Wales.

I emailed various comics creatives to solicit their opinions on Boris Johnson™’s desire to actually be the actual Incredible Hulk™, the most succinct coming from exiled Hulk artist Gary Frank. ‘I can’t help feeling that Boris Johnson™ slightly missed the point of it all,’ wrote Frank, ‘in that Hulk’s alter ego, Bruce Banner, doesn’t actually want to get angry, become stupid and then smash everything to fuck. Do you think Boris Johnson™ misread the Hulk comics as a sort of Tony Robbins self-help guide to fulfilling your potential?’ But dig a little deeper into the Hulk’s genesis, and it seems Boris Johnson is right to identify with the creature, but not for the reasons he imagines. The early American comic-book superheroes were authored almost exclusively by liberal Jewish visionary autodidacts, who reluctantly Americanised their Jewish surnames, and leaned heavily on Hebrew mythology.


pages: 385 words: 121,550

Three Years in Hell: The Brexit Chronicles by Fintan O'Toole

airport security, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, deindustrialization, deliberate practice, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Downton Abbey, Etonian, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, full employment, income inequality, l'esprit de l'escalier, labour mobility, late capitalism, open borders, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, technoutopianism, zero-sum game

At the end of the ‘scepter’d isle’ speech Gaunt says something that may in fact be more pertinent to England’s current situation that his earlier hyperbole: ‘That England, that was wont to conquer others, / Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.’ 2 July 2016 Boris Johnson’s campaign to succeed David Cameron collapses in farce. Donald Trump is looming as the most likely next president of the United States. We are living with the politics of the fake orgasm. The leaders of the Brexit campaign are obliged to join in with the ecstasies of their followers. They must let out a few polite yelps of satisfaction. But a week on, it is increasingly clear that theirs is a phoney consummation. The earth may have moved – but not for them. As shown by Boris Johnson’s retreat from the prospect of having to actually govern the new kingdom he did so much to create, it was all a performance. It will not be long before those they embraced – the alienated, the dispossessed – realise that they have been had in more ways than one.

But the same fundamental truth applies: the problem of the goddamned border is ‘as insuperable as ever’. No one can, or will, ‘reach any conclusion’. 23 September 2017 Theresa May delivers a big Brexit speech in Florence, formally asking for a transition period after March 2019. Her foreign secretary Boris Johnson goes on manoeuvres with a big essay of his own, staking out a hardline position. Brexit is written in binary code. It is all zeros and ones – out of the European Union or in. In his long Telegraph essay last weekend, the British foreign secretary and totem of the Leave campaign Boris Johnson reiterated the iron imperatives of last year’s referendum: ‘The choice was binary. The result was decisive. There is simply no way – or no good way – of being 52 per cent out and 48 per cent in.’ This has an impeccable logic, in the way mad things often do.

Leaving aside the mendacity of the infamous £350 million a week that is supposed to be available, has the DUP noticed that this mythic sum has been promised yet again to the National Health Service, not to farmers? In the 4,326-word essay in which Boris Johnson revived these claims, he said nothing about giving a penny of the dividend to farmers. The DUP needs to consult a self-help manual, He’s Just Not That Into You, which is advertised as ideal for those ‘who want to get past the crappy get-out lines fellas use’. The crappy get-out lines about the wonders of technology and the cheque in the post from London didn’t disguise the truth that the Brexiteers are just not that into dealing with the complications of Ireland. Whether it likes it or not, the DUP has to join the rest of Ireland in trying to do so. 12 November 2017 The British ministers for defence and international affairs resign in separate scandals and the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, is proving to be openly incompetent. A leaked EU position paper is scathing on the failure of the British side to come up with credible proposals on the Irish border.


pages: 721 words: 238,678

Fall Out: A Year of Political Mayhem by Tim Shipman

banking crisis, Beeching cuts, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, centre right, Clapham omnibus, Corn Laws, corporate governance, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, drone strike, Etonian, eurozone crisis, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, iterative process, John Bercow, Kickstarter, kremlinology, land value tax, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, open borders, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, Snapchat, working poor

Having seen off the two most awkward female backbenchers, Morgan and Soubry, she now had to deal with the two men who, in their very different ways, had become the biggest headaches in her government: Boris Johnson and Ivan Rogers. 5 How Do You Solve a Problem Like Boris? Open with a joke, they say. Theresa May’s gag certainly got a big laugh when she began her party conference speech. It was the perfect way to break the ice with the party faithful. In retrospect it might have been better not to choose as her joke the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson. Clearly revelling in her big moment, May strode to the mark and said, ‘When we came to Birmingham this week, some big questions were hanging in the air. Do we have a plan for Brexit? We do. Are we ready for the effort it will take to see it through? We are.’ May paused, taking her audience by the hand towards the punchline: ‘Can Boris Johnson stay on message for a full four days?’ The audience laughed.

Determined to close down the story, Baker messaged all 170 MPs and peers on an old mailing list he had used to stage EU rebellions against David Cameron and said, ‘This is an attack on Boris Johnson. Boris Johnson’s view hasn’t changed, he’s in favour of migration under democratic control. Nothing has changed.’ He sent the same message to the European Research Group WhatsApp group and then tweeted his support for Johnson, urging others to do the same. ‘The result was that within fifteen minutes we’d destroyed that operation against Boris,’ a leading Eurosceptic said. ‘What they were hoping for was Eurosceptics turning on Boris Johnson and tearing him limb from limb.’ Baker had turned his Eurosceptic shock troops from a guerrilla unit fighting his own government into a praetorian guard for hard Brexit. Even so, Johnson’s cabinet colleagues continued to undermine him.

Unless … Tim Shipman Westminster, Preggio, Camerata, San Nicolo,Church Knowle, Studland and Blackheath July–October 2017 Timeline 2016 23 Jun – Britain votes to leave the European Union by a margin of 52 per cent to 48 per cent 29 Jun – Other 27 member states agree a ‘no negotiations without notification’ stance on Brexit talks and Article 50 13 Jul – Theresa May becomes prime minister and pledges to create ‘a country that works for everyone’ 7 Sep – May insists she will not give a ‘running commentary’ on Brexit negotiations 24 Sep – Jeremy Corbyn re-elected as Labour Party leader 30 Sep – Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s CEO, says he could scrap potential new investment in its Sunderland plant 2 Oct – In Brexit speech to party conference, May says she will trigger Article 50 before the end of March and create a Great Repeal Bill to replace the 1972 European Communities Act 5 Oct – In main speech to party conference, May criticises ‘citizens of nowhere’ 6 Oct – Keir Starmer appointed shadow Brexit secretary 27 Oct – Nissan says it will build its Qashqai and X-Trail models at its Sunderland plant, protecting 7,000 jobs 2 Nov – At Spectator awards dinner May compares Boris Johnson to a dog that was put down 3 Nov – High Court rules that only Parliament not the government has the power to trigger Article 50 4 Nov – Daily Mail calls the judges ‘enemies of the people’ 8 Nov – Donald Trump elected the 45th president of the United States 14 Nov – FT reveals the EU wants a €60 billion exit bill from Britain 15 Nov – Boris Johnson tells a Czech paper the UK will ‘probably’ leave the customs union and is reprimanded by May 19 Nov – Johnson accused of turning up to a cabinet Brexit meeting with the wrong papers 20 Nov – Sixty pro-Brexit Tory MPs demand Britain leaves the single market 21 Nov – Trump calls for Nigel Farage to be made British ambassador to Washington 7 Dec – MPs back government amendment to opposition day debate saying the government must set out its Brexit plans but also that Article 50 should be triggered by the end of March 8 Dec – Johnson calls Saudi Arabia a ‘puppeteer’ in the Middle East, sparking a rebuke from Downing Street and fears he will resign 11 Dec – Fiona Hill’s ‘Trousergate’ texts to Nicky Morgan, banning her from Downing Street, are published 15 Dec – BBC reveals that Sir Ivan Rogers has privately warned ministers a post-Brexit trade deal might take ten years 2017 4 Jan – Ivan Rogers resigns 10 Jan – Corbyn announces a wage cap in his ‘Trump relaunch’ 17 Jan – In speech at Lancaster House May announces Britain will seek a hard Brexit leaving the single market, the customs union and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.


pages: 200 words: 64,329

Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain by Fintan O'Toole

Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, colonial rule, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, Desert Island Discs, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, full employment, Khartoum Gordon, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment

, The Times, 14 June 1996, p. 20. 6 Edward St Aubyn, Some Hope, Picador, London, 2012, p. 4. 7 George Orwell, ‘The English People’, in Essays, Everyman’s Library, Knopf, New York, 2002, p. 610. 8 Thompson’s essay is transcribed at https://againstreactionblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/28/going-into-europe-an-essay-by-e-p-thompson-1975/ 9 ‘Eurobeer Menace’, Daily Mirror, 25 June 1973. 10 ‘Your Shopping Basket and the Market’, Daily Mirror, 30 May 1975. 11 Richard Weight, Patriots: National Identity in Britain 1940–2000, Macmillan, London, 2002, p. 514. 12 ‘That Tory “have cake and eat it” Brexit strategy explained in all its humiliating glory’, by Dan Bloom, Daily Mirror, 29 November 2016. 13 ‘We’ll Have Our Cake and Eat It’, by Tom Newton-Dunn, Sun, 1 October 2016. 14 ‘Boris Johnson’s top 50 quotes’, by Alice Audley, Daily Telegraph, 18 June 2014. 15 Stanley Johnson, Stanley, I Resume: Further Recollections of an Exuberant Life, Biteback, London, 2014. 16 Richard Weight, Patriots: National Identity in Britain 1940–2000, Macmillan, London, 2002, p. 505. 17 ‘Boris in row over Jamie remarks’, BBC News, 3 October 2006. 18 Robin Young, ‘MEPs rally to defend flavoured crisps’, The Times, 29 April 1991, p. 2. 19 ‘The nasty taste of Brussels directives’, Daily Mail, 30 April 1991. 20 ‘I’m no longer Nasty, but please stop lying about Nice by Boris Johnson’, Daily Telegraph, 17 October 2002. 21 Boris Johnson, Friends, Voters, Countrymen, pp. 218–19. 22 Ibid., p. 37. 23 ‘Great-uncle Ernest Thesiger’s army camp’, letter by John Thesiger, Guardian, 27 April 2014. 24 Edward St Aubyn, Bad News, Picador, London, 2012, p. 41. 25 Weight, Patriots, p. 724. 26 ‘Hunger for beef is a part of British pride’, by Ross Benson, Daily Express, 30 March 1996, p. 11. 27 Christopher Hope, Daily Telegraph, 5 June 2018. 28 Jacob Rees-Mogg, ‘My nanny made me the man I am’, Daily Telegraph, 14 March 2014. 29 Alan Bennett, Keep On Keeping On, Farrar Strauss and Giroux, New York, 2016, p. 193. 30 Boris Johnson, Friends, Voters, Countrymen, p. 20. 31 Nigel Farage, tweet, 9 November 2017. 32 https://www.petebrown.net/2014/06/16/why-farages-foaming-pint-is-testamen/ 33 Farming for the next generation: Secretary of State Michael Gove sets out his vision on the future of our farming industry at the Oxford Farming Conference 2018, published by DEFRA, 5 January 2018. 34 ‘If your child is fat then you are a bad parent’, by Julia Hartley-Brewer, Daily Telegraph, 10 November 2015. 35 Tower Hamlets Police @MPSTowerHam, tweet, 3.10 p.m., 20 February 2018. 36 @GMPWhitefield, tweet, 10.49 p.m., 20 February 2018. 5.

., p. 37. 23 ‘Great-uncle Ernest Thesiger’s army camp’, letter by John Thesiger, Guardian, 27 April 2014. 24 Edward St Aubyn, Bad News, Picador, London, 2012, p. 41. 25 Weight, Patriots, p. 724. 26 ‘Hunger for beef is a part of British pride’, by Ross Benson, Daily Express, 30 March 1996, p. 11. 27 Christopher Hope, Daily Telegraph, 5 June 2018. 28 Jacob Rees-Mogg, ‘My nanny made me the man I am’, Daily Telegraph, 14 March 2014. 29 Alan Bennett, Keep On Keeping On, Farrar Strauss and Giroux, New York, 2016, p. 193. 30 Boris Johnson, Friends, Voters, Countrymen, p. 20. 31 Nigel Farage, tweet, 9 November 2017. 32 https://www.petebrown.net/2014/06/16/why-farages-foaming-pint-is-testamen/ 33 Farming for the next generation: Secretary of State Michael Gove sets out his vision on the future of our farming industry at the Oxford Farming Conference 2018, published by DEFRA, 5 January 2018. 34 ‘If your child is fat then you are a bad parent’, by Julia Hartley-Brewer, Daily Telegraph, 10 November 2015. 35 Tower Hamlets Police @MPSTowerHam, tweet, 3.10 p.m., 20 February 2018. 36 @GMPWhitefield, tweet, 10.49 p.m., 20 February 2018. 5. Sadopopulism 1 Independent, 27 March 2017. 2 Andrew Gimson, Boris: The Adventures of Boris Johnson, Simon & Schuster, London, pp. 111–12. 3 ‘Grundy Banned, Today team accused’, Guardian, 3 December 1976. 4 Great Interviews of the 20th Century, Guardian booklet no. 8, 2007, p. 10.

, Fintan O’Toole finds himself discovering how trivial journalistic lies became far from trivial national obsessions; how the pose of indifference to truth and historical fact has come to define the style of an entire political elite; how a country that once had colonies is redefining itself as an oppressed nation requiring liberation; the strange gastronomic and political significance of prawn-flavoured crisps, and their role in the rise of Boris Johnson; the dreams of revolutionary deregulation and privatisation that drive Arron Banks, Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg; and the silent rise of English nationalism, the force that dare not speak its name. He also discusses the fatal attraction of heroic failure, once a self-deprecating cult in a hugely successful empire that could well afford the occasional disaster: the Charge of the Light Brigade, or Franklin lost in the Arctic.


pages: 502 words: 128,126

Rule Britannia: Brexit and the End of Empire by Danny Dorling, Sally Tomlinson

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, anti-globalists, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, colonial rule, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Etonian, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, housing crisis, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, knowledge economy, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, megacity, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, We are the 99%, wealth creators

The worrying truth about Momentum was that it was appearing to be mainstream in its views as compared with the Conservative Party. 52 Luyendijk, J. (2017) ‘How I learnt to loathe England’, Prospect magazine, 6 October, https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/how-i-learnt-to-loathe-england 53 British Library Board, Source: ‘745.a.6, opposite 56’ 54 Hope, C. (2017) ‘Boris Johnson’s 10-point plan for a successful Brexit’, Daily Telegraph, 15 September, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/15/boris-johnsons-10-point-plan-successful-brexit/ 55 Hayward, E. (2018) ‘Here’s the truth about Brexit, the “punishment” some people claim the EU wants to inflict on us, the full horrific consequences of no deal, and the dangers lurking behind any deal we reach’, Twitter, 14 October, https://twitter.com/uk_domain_names/status/1051411763680473090 56 Helm, T. and Savage, M. (2018) ‘“Stop Boris”: MPs rally round May ahead of crucial Brexit vote’, The Observer, 10 June, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jun/09/stop-boris-theresa-may-mps-backing-crucial-votes-brexit 57 BBC (2018) ‘Boris Johnson challenged over Brexit business “expletive”’, BBC News, 26 June, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44618154 58 BBC (2018) ‘Johnny Mercer questions whether Tory party still shares his values’, BBC News, 19 October, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-45905581 59 Google ‘Foreign Office Interior’ images.

, New Statesman, 26 January, https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2018/01/has-uk-economy-really-shrugged-impact-brexit-vote 37 Wallace, T. and McCann, K. (2018) ‘Is Mark Carney right about Brexit?’, Daily Telegraph, 22 May, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/05/22/mark-carney-right-brexit/ 38 BBC (2018) ‘Boris Johnson says he “probably needs” a private plane’, BBC News, 23 May, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44221524 39 Cockburn. P. (2018) ‘Brexiteers like Boris Johnson must realise that past British successes were based on creating alliances, not breaking them up’, The Independent, 21 July, https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/boris-johnson-brexit-churchill-ww1-napoleon-british-history-a8456916.html 40 YouGov (2018) ‘Voting Intention: Conservatives 42 per cent, Labour 39 per cent (11–12 June)’, https://yougov.co.uk/news/2018/06/15/voting-intention-conservatives-42-labour-39-11-12-/ 41 Fransham, M. and Dorling, D. (2017) ‘House prices can keep rising only if the Government backs mass buy-to-let’, Daily Telegraph, 8 April, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/investing/buy-to-let/oxford-academics-house-prices-can-keep-rising-government-backs/ 42 Britain Elects: ‘Having greater control over immigration is more important than having access to free trade with the EU: Agree: 38% (-5), Disagree: 48% (+4), Record high for the % who disagree’, https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/1016357278612623360?

A quote appearing in: Evans, G. (2018) ‘The unwelcome revival of “race science”’, The Guardian, 2 March, https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/02/the-unwelcome-revival-of-race-science 39 Tomlinson, S. (1990) Multicultural Education in White Schools, pp. 85–6, London: Batsford. 40 See the graphs and tables in: Dorling, D. and Tomlinson, S. (2016) ‘The Creation of Inequality: Myths of Potential and Ability’, op. cit. 41 Dorling, D. (2013) ‘Rising cornflakes – or Boris Johnson’s faux pas’, New Internationalist blog, 2 December, https://newint.org/blog/2013/12/02/boris-johnson-elite 42 Eyres, H. and Myerson, G. (2018) Johnson’s Brexit Dictionary: Or an A to Z of what Brexit really means, London: Pushkin Press, p. 116. 43 As one commentator writing under one particular blog by a person who attempts to measure potential put it: ‘Just so glad you’ve simplified the system so everyone knows the true value of the results… slightly tongue in cheek.’


The Politics of Pain by Fintan O'Toole

banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, colonial rule, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, Desert Island Discs, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, full employment, Khartoum Gordon, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment

, The Times, 14 June 1996, p. 20. 6Edward St Aubyn, Some Hope, Picador, London, 2012, p. 4. 7George Orwell, ‘The English People’, in Essays, Everyman’s Library, Knopf, New York, 2002, p. 610. 8Thompson’s essay is transcribed at https://againstreactionblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/28/going-into-europe-an-essay-by-ep-thompson-1975/ 9‘Eurobeer Menace’, Daily Mirror, 25 June 1973. 10‘Your Shopping Basket and the Market’, Daily Mirror, 30 May 1975. 11Richard Weight, Patriots: National Identity in Britain 1940–2000, Macmillan, London, 2002, p. 514. 12‘That Tory “have cake and eat it” Brexit strategy explained in all its humiliating glory’, by Dan Bloom, Daily Mirror, 29 November 2016. 13‘We’ll Have Our Cake and Eat It’, by Tom Newton-Dunn, Sun, 1 October 2016. 14‘Boris Johnson’s top 50 quotes’, by Alice Audley, Daily Telegraph, 18 June 2014. 15Stanley Johnson, Stanley, I Resume: Further Recollections of an Exuberant Life, Biteback, London, 2014. 16Richard Weight, Patriots: National Identity in Britain 1940–2000, Macmillan, London, 2002, p. 505. 17‘Boris in row over Jamie remarks’, BBC News, 3 October 2006. 18Robin Young, ‘MEPs rally to defend flavoured crisps’, The Times, 29 April 1991, p. 2. 19‘The nasty taste of Brussels directives’, Daily Mail, 30 April 1991. 20‘I’m no longer Nasty, but please stop lying about Nice by Boris Johnson’, Daily Telegraph, 17 October 2002. 21Boris Johnson, Friends, Voters, Countrymen, pp. 218–19. 22Ibid., p. 37. 23‘Great-uncle Ernest Thesiger’s army camp’, letter by John Thesiger, Guardian, 27 April 2014. 24Edward St Aubyn, Bad News, Picador, London, 2012, p. 41. 25Weight, Patriots, p. 724. 26‘Hunger for beef is a part of British pride’, by Ross Benson, Daily Express, 30 March 1996, p. 11. 27Christopher Hope, Daily Telegraph, 5 June 2018. 28Jacob Rees-Mogg, ‘My nanny made me the man I am’, Daily Telegraph, 14 March 2014. 29Alan Bennett, Keep On Keeping On, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2016, p. 193. 30Boris Johnson, Friends, Voters, Countrymen, p. 20. 31Nigel Farage, tweet, 9 November 2017. 32https://www.petebrown.net/2014/06/16/why-faragesfoaming-pint-is-testamen/ 33Farming for the next generation: Secretary of State Michael Gove sets out his vision on the future of our farming industry at the Oxford Farming Conference 2018, published by DEFRA, 5 January 2018. 34‘If your child is fat then you are a bad parent’, by Julia Hartley-Brewer, Daily Telegraph, 10 November 2015. 35Tower Hamlets Police @MPSTowerHam, tweet, 3.10 p.m., 20 February 2018. 36@GMPWhitefield, tweet, 10.49 p.m., 20 February 2018. 5.Sadopopulism 1Independent, 27 March 2017. 2Andrew Gimson, Boris: The Adventures of Boris Johnson, Simon & Schuster, London, pp. 111–12. 3‘Grundy Banned, Today team accused’, Guardian, 3 December 1976. 4Great Interviews of the 20th Century, Guardian booklet no. 8, 2007, p. 10.

In England, 88 per cent of voters cast their ballots in 2017 for either the Conservatives or Labour, and this long-established duopoly won all but nine of the 533 English parliamentary seats. More strangely, those who led what was in effect a peaceful revolution in 2016, could not actually take power. The insurgent United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), which, under its former leader Nigel Farage created the demand for the referendum, actually lost virtually all of its vote in 2017. The leading Brexiteers in the ruling Conservative Party – most notably Boris Johnson – were unable to assume control of government, leaving it instead to the lackluster Theresa May, who had played no significant role in the referendum. There is something both very odd and highly distinctive about this – a revolution at once triumphant and timid, boldly self-assertive in principle but in practice tentative and hesitant to the point, ultimately, of complete paralysis. This peculiar continuity amidst the upheavals is in one sense easily explained: antipathy to ‘Europe’ displaced the anti-Establishment anger that England shared with the US and other countries away from the indigenous Establishment and onto ‘Brussels’.

In 1989, for example, the Bruges Group of anti-European Tories heard Professor Kenneth Minogue of the London School of Economics tell them that ‘the European institutions were attempting to create a European Union, in the tradition of the mediaeval popes, Charlemagne, Napoleon, the Kaiser and Adolf Hitler’.11 The sleight of hand was not subtle: Hitler tried to unite Europe, so does the EU, therefore the EU is a Hitlerian project. But the lack of subtlety did not stop the trope from being used in the Brexit campaign: ‘Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this [unifying Europe], and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods,’ Boris Johnson told the Daily Telegraph on 15 May 2016, a month before the referendum. That Napoleon and ‘various people’ were not the point of the argument became clear in Johnson’s reiteration of the real point: that the EU was ‘pursuing a similar goal to Hitler in trying to create a powerful superstate’. While Harris was writing Fatherland in 1990, the British secretary of state for trade and industry, Nicholas Ridley, a close friend and ally of the prime minister Margaret Thatcher, told the Spectator that the European Monetary System being introduced by the EU was ‘all a German racket designed to take over the whole of Europe… I’m not against giving up sovereignty in principle, but not to this lot.


pages: 308 words: 99,298

Brexit, No Exit: Why in the End Britain Won't Leave Europe by Denis MacShane

3D printing, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, centre right, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Etonian, European colonialism, first-past-the-post, fixed income, Gini coefficient, greed is good, illegal immigration, James Dyson, labour mobility, liberal capitalism, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mont Pelerin Society, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, reshoring, road to serfdom, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Thales and the olive presses, trade liberalization, transaction costs, women in the workforce

Once a decade it is necessary to pronounce the death of Europe and its miraculous rebirth! 6 THERESA MAY: HOW MUCH BREXIT DOES SHE REALLY WANT? Every EU leader from Angela Merkel downwards has said flatly that the UK cannot have its gateau and eat it. Will Boris Johnson, who wrote of a ‘Gestapo-controlled Nazi EU’, really sway Angela Merkel and her ministers? Will Boris Johnson’s crude anti-German insults charm the strongly pro-EU German politicians from the Social Democrat Party, who chose as their champion for the 2017 federal elections the passionately pro-EU politician Martin Schulz? Will demands from Boris Johnson and the other Germanophobe Tories persuade the pro-EU Free Democratic Party or even those in the anti-Muslim, racist Alternative für Deutschland party (AfD) that they should tear up their values and common rule book to appease UKIP and anti-Europeans in the British government?

Again a lie, as the UK gets back from the EU its mammoth agricultural subsidy budget, £700 million annually for university research, regional subsidies of hundreds of millions of pounds for South Yorkshire, Wales or Cornwall, as well as Erasmus scholarships and funding for environmental and cultural projects. Boris Johnson blustered when tackled on this point, but the damage was done, as scores of millions of TV news viewers saw Johnson and other Leave Tories standing in front of the bus with the untrue slogan beamed into their homes. A Leave leaflet pushed through letter-boxes said that ‘Britain’s new frontier was with Syria and Iraq’ and another one showed a map which stated that Turkey was ‘set to join the EU’. In a slightly different tint next to Turkey were its neighbours, Syria and Iraq, as if those countries were about to join the EU with the right to freedom of movement. At the beginning of the campaign Boris Johnson said that the EU was following in the path of Hitler in seeking to create a super-state.

There could have been no objection if Boris Johnson, David Davis, Nigel Farage or Andrea Leadsom had argued that Britain would be better off outside the EU or that EU rules and directives were bad for Britain. But they didn’t. They cranked up fear against foreigners who had come openly and legally to work in UK businesses, to pay taxes, to rent homes, and whose only problem for the Leave campaign was that they were European. They told lie, after lie, after lie. By comparison Donald Trump seemed permanently attached to a lie detector as he screamed his own abuse at Mexicans or Muslims or at Hillary Clinton, as everyone at once challenged and took apart Trump’s false assertions. In Britain, perhaps it is the beguiling tones of an Eton and Oxford classicist, Boris Johnson, or the reassuring Scottish voice of the former GP, Liam Fox, who can get away with fabulations that if uttered in a general election by either of the two main contenders for Downing Street would be pounced on by journalists.


pages: 419 words: 119,476

Posh Boys: How English Public Schools Ruin Britain by Robert Verkaik

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alistair Cooke, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Brixton riot, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Etonian, G4S, gender pay gap, God and Mammon, income inequality, Khartoum Gordon, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Livingstone, I presume, loadsamoney, mega-rich, Neil Kinnock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, school vouchers, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, trade route, traveling salesman, unpaid internship

Duffell argues that public schoolboys making their way in the real world are already damaged. He describes David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Andrew Mitchell, Oliver Letwin all as boarding school survivors.1 ‘Paradoxically, they then struggle to properly mature, since the child who was not allowed to grow up organically gets stranded, as it were, inside them. In consequence, an abandoned child complex within such adults ends up running the show. This is why many British politicians appear so boyish. They are also reluctant to open their ranks to women, who are strangers to them and unconsciously held responsible for their abandonment by their mothers.’ Outside the confines of an all-male environment the public schoolboy can end up regarding women as trophies or exploiting them to achieve their greater goals. In 1988 Boris Johnson wrote a guide for aspiring Oxford University politicians in which he explained the best way to utilise female students.

The widening gap between private schools and ‘bog-standard’ state schools means that a child today has less chance of breaking through the class and career barrier than their grandparents born in the 1950s.8 The subtle networks of the privately schooled help to create a system of self-perpetuating advantage and social immobility. When David Cameron announced he was resigning from parliament because he considered himself a ‘distraction’, the veil was lifted. The former member for Witney returned to his London club and the grouse moor. His friend and chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, capitalised on his position by taking six jobs, including the editorship of a national newspaper. They left Boris Johnson behind in charge of the country’s foreign affairs at a critical moment in the nation’s history. An Eton education teaches bombast, bluster and buffoonery. All harmless in the debating chambers of parliament and on TV game shows, but in the real world, where real lives are at stake, such playfulness can be catastrophic. We want accountable leaders who understand the problems facing a deeply divided country, not egotists and charlatans who can’t see beyond their own self-interest.

The army, into which many of them went, was an institution on the fringes of English society and was not the nation in arms, as in France, or the embodiment of state as in Prussia.’13 Shrosbree argues that ‘men from the public schools formed a political elite whose membership was not dependent on knowledge, or ability, or democratic approval, but was buttressed and kept in place by a restrictive educational system, in which any equality of opportunity was stifled by the classical requirements of the public school system… The classics fulfilled the same sociological function in Victorian England as calligraphy in ancient China – a device to regulate and limit entry into a governing élite.’14 This, of course, explains why politicians like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg have such a fondness for Roman and Greek historians. Public schools had become specialists at turning out princes and prime ministers but not much else. According to David Turner, ‘Repeat custom from the families of Britain’s tiny political class, and those desirous of breaking into it, was not enough to prevent a marked slide in the already small number of boys entering the old public schools.’15 Their enterprise had become so niche that some of the best-known had come close to extinction.


pages: 215 words: 64,460

Shadows of Empire: The Anglosphere in British Politics by Michael Kenny, Nick Pearce

battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, colonial rule, corporate governance, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global reserve currency, imperial preference, informal economy, invention of the telegraph, Khartoum Gordon, labour mobility, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Monroe Doctrine, Nixon shock, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, trade route, Washington Consensus

Also see Peter Clarke, The Last 1000 Days of the British Empire: Roosevelt, Churchill and the Birth of the Pax Americana (London: Bloomsbury, 2009). 18  Martin Gilbert, Churchill and America (London: Free Press, 2005). 19  Toye, Churchill's Empire, p. 240. 20  Peter Clarke, Mr Churchill's Profession: Statesman, Writer, Orator (London: Bloomsbury, 2013). 21  See, for instance, Alfred J. Taylor, Empire Building: Unity of the English Speaking Races of the World (Hobart, Australia: The Mercury, 1913). 22  Clarke, Mr Churchill's Profession. 23  Boris Johnson, The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2015). 24  Gilbert, Churchill and America, pp. 52, 102. 25  Ibid., p. 143. 26  Felix Klos, ‘Boris Johnson's abuse of Churchill’, History Today, 1 June 2017; www.historytoday.com/felix-klos/boris-johnsons-abuse-churchill. See also Klos, Churchill on Europe: The Untold Story of Churchill's European Project (London: I. B. Tauris, 2017). 27  Stephen Kinnock, ‘Brexit and Churchill's “three majestic circles” ’, Demos Quarterly, 9 May 2016; https://quarterly.demos.co.uk/article/issue-9/brexit-churchill-majestic-circles/. 28  Churchill, Winston Churchill's 9 October 1948 Speech to the 69th Annual Conservative Party Conference published in the Report of the Proceedings (London: National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations, 1948). 29  See, for instance, Hugo Young, This Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999). 30  Ramsden, Man of the Century, p. 313. 31  Antoine Capet, ‘Review of Felix Klos's Churchill on Europe: The Untold Story of Churchill's European Project’, Cercles, www.cercles.com/review/r80/Klos.html.

., p. 95. 15  Perry Anderson, ‘American foreign policy and its thinkers’, New Left Review, no. 83 (2013) p. 122 [special issue]. 16  The UKIP Manifesto 2015, www.ukip.org/manifesto2015. 17  William Hague, ‘Britain and Australia: making the most of global opportunity’, John Howard Lecture, 17 January 2013, www.menziesrc.org/images/Latest_News/PDF/Britain_and_Australia__making_the_most_of_global_opportunity1.pdf. 18  Boris Johnson, ‘The Aussies are just like us, so let's stop kicking them out’, The Telegraph, 25 August 2013, www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10265619/The-Aussies-are-just-like-us-so-lets-stop-kicking-them-out.html. 19  Boris Johnson, Speech at Bloomberg in response to the receipt of Dr Gerard Lyons's publication of ‘The Europe report: a win–win situation’, 6 August 2014, www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/gla_migrate_files_destination/bj-europe-speech.pdf. 20  Tony Abbott, Address to Queen's College, Oxford University, 14 December 2012, www.australiantimes.co.uk/tony-abbott-address-to-queens-college-oxford-university/. 21  See, for example, Owen Paterson, ‘The Anglosphere, trade and international security’, speech to the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, the Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC, 25 March 2015, www.uk2020.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-Anglosphere-Trade-and-International-Security-UK-2020-25.03.2015-FINAL.pdf. 22  Shashi Parulekar and Joel Kotkin, ‘The state of the Anglosphere’, City Journal (winter 2012), www.city-journal.org/html/state-anglosphere-13447.html. 23  Daniel Hannan, Why America Must Not Follow Europe (New York: Encounter Books, 2011). 7 Brexit: The Anglosphere Triumphant?

This renewal of interest in his thinking reflects his iconic status among Conservatives in the years after his death and also says much about the desire for legitimation on a decision of crucial national importance. The appearance in mainstream Conservative circles, from 2010, of a reinvigorated version of the Anglosphere idea was a particular spur to this recent interest. This dynamic was taken to somewhat absurd lengths by Boris Johnson MP, whose hagiographic account of Churchill was widely viewed as an artless attempt to align himself with the wartime hero's ‘brand’.23 Whether today's sceptics can credibly claim Churchill as progenitor and inspiration is the source of much disagreement among contemporary historians. Some of his best-known pronouncements on this issue were offered in the unique circumstances of the 1940s, yet references to a United States of Europe pepper his speeches and writings from a very early stage in his life and were typically framed as compatible with some kind of alliance of the English-speaking peoples.


pages: 158 words: 45,927

Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now?: The Facts About Britain's Bitter Divorce From Europe 2016 by Ian Dunt

Boris Johnson, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, energy security, low skilled workers, non-tariff barriers, open borders, Silicon Valley, UNCLOS, UNCLOS

Some believed at the time that Britain had no active trade negotiators at all outside of Brussels. (www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/07/03/ government-faces-worldwide-hunt-for-trade-negotiators-experts-wa/) Almost as soon as this structure was set up, divisions emerged. Boris Johnson and Liam Fox clashed after the trade secretary tried to poach some of his colleague’s remit, forcing the prime minister to break away from her holiday to scold them both. (http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/08/theresa-may-wont-surprised-liam-fox-boris-johnson-already-battling/) What is the single market? After all, what was the point of ensuring qualifications for services like dentistry or hairdressing were recognised all over the Continent if people couldn’t travel to sell them? While freedom of goods, people and capital are very well established, the reality of the single market in services is that progress is slow.

Such discretion means that nurturing goodwill should be vital to Britain. And that’s why it was so jaw-droppingly unhelpful when Nigel Farage headed to the European Parliament after the Brexit vote with a mean-spirited victory speech in which he mocked MEPs: ‘You’re not laughing now, are you?’ The UKIP leader is at least a known quantity and outside of government. But the three Brexit ministers – Liam Fox, David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson – all have a history of tub-thumping eurosceptic rhetoric. As soon as he was appointed, Fox was forecasting that the European Union would ‘sacrifice at least one generation of young Europeans on the altar of the single currency’, then ‘rip out the social fabric from so much of Europe’ before ‘imploding’. It made for colourful newspaper copy, but did nothing to ease negotiations with European leaders already alarmed by the belligerence coming from the British Isles.

Civil servants – predominantly youngish well-educated Londoners – were overwhelmingly Remain voters. At least initially, few fancied dedicating a core part of their career to delivering something they didn’t support. The third side of the triangle was the Foreign Office, which has long been considered the home of the most capable British civil servants. But its role in Brexit was mercurial. What would it really be doing? The fact that Boris Johnson was put in charge surprised many. Was he being put out to pasture in foreign fields, or did the prime minister envisage him sweet talking important world figures ahead of detailed negotiating work? It was unclear. Cross-departmental coordination would be handled by the Cabinet Office. May made herself chair of three Cabinet Office committees covering every aspect of Brexit (The Economy and Industrial Strategy, International Trade, and Exiting the European Union), the last of which she packed with die-hard Brexiters alongside a few moderates.


pages: 124 words: 38,034

Journey to Crossrail by Stephen Halliday

active transport: walking or cycling, Ada Lovelace, Boris Johnson, British Empire, congestion charging, wikimedia commons

The Crossrail Act, passed by Parliament in 2008, gave authority to Cross London Rail Links (CLRL) to build the system and to borrow the money to do it. The first shaft for the construction of the tunnels was sunk at Canary Wharf on 15 May 2009 in the presence of Transport Secretary Lord Adonis and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and the tunnelling was finished at Farringdon on 23 May 2015 when the TBM Victoria broke into the eastern ticket hall of Farringdon’s new station. The end of tunnelling was officially acknowledged on 4 June 2015 in the presence of Prime Minister David Cameron, with Boris Johnson once again in attendance as Mayor. On 23 February 2016 the Queen attended a ceremony at the newly completed Bond Street station and unveiled a plaque revealing that, from the time it enters service in autumn 2019, the line will be known as the Elizabeth Line, with a London Transport roundel and bar to match.

The line will be operated by MTR Corporation (Crossrail) Ltd on behalf of Transport for London, which is also responsible, under the Mayor of London, for the London Underground, the London bus services, taxis, river transport, the Docklands Light Railway and the suburban rail routes into the capital known as London Overground. It also administers the congestion charge and the so-called Boris Bikes (actually the brainchild of Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson’s predecessor as Mayor), which are now sponsored by Santander. Services will begin from the central area in December 2018 and the entire system, from Reading and Heathrow to Shenfield and the rebuilt Abbey Wood station, is expected to be in operation by December 2019. The so-called Boris bikes, which were actually conceived by Boris Johnson’s predecessor as Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, as a low-tech, pollution-free answer to London’s congested streets. Now sponsored by Santander. (Chris Mckenna via Wikimedia Commons CC 4.0) THE TUNNELLING AND UNDERGROUND CONSTRUCTION ACADEMY A most welcome legacy of the Crossrail project is to be found in Ilford, east London, in the form of the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy which was completed in 2012 and trains employees in the skills and knowledge needed for the complex engineering work required to build, maintain and operate such a system.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea also campaigned for a station on the former site of the Kensal Gasworks near Ladbroke Grove, possibly called Portobello station, believing that it would regenerate an ill-favoured area in the north of that wealthy borough which later suffered the tragic Grenfell Tower fire. Boris Johnson was a strong advocate, arguing that it would generate 5,000 new homes and 2,000 jobs, but in 2013 Transport for London reached the view that it was not financially feasible and Sadiq Khan, Boris Johnson’s successor, did not share his enthusiasm. The Crossrail Route as finally determined after much debate. Brunel’s Paddington station, now joined by Crossrail’s. (Elahuguet via Wikimedia Commons CC SA 1.0) Portobello Road is home to a famous street market but not, despite its best efforts, to a Crossrail station.


pages: 134 words: 41,085

The Wake-Up Call: Why the Pandemic Has Exposed the Weakness of the West, and How to Fix It by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

Admiral Zheng, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, Corn Laws, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, global pandemic, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jones Act, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, McMansion, night-watchman state, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parkinson's law, pensions crisis, QR code, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, trade route, universal basic income, Washington Consensus

The help we are able to get is from the East.”5 When the Floyd protests erupted, with four in five Americans thinking their country was “spiraling out of control,” the Chinese sarcastically compared protesters in Minneapolis and other cities to the pro-democracy ones in Hong Kong.6 On the last day of June, with American officials confessing that the virus was “going in the wrong direction,” Boris Johnson having to re-lockdown the city of Leicester, and Emmanuel Macron preparing to sack his entire government in Paris, China felt confident enough to impose a harsh new security law on Hong Kong. By then, a virus that in January had looked as if it might be “China’s Chernobyl” looked more like the West’s Waterloo. When Hobbes wrote Leviathan, China was the center of administrative excellence. It was the world’s most powerful country with the world’s biggest city (Beijing had more than a million inhabitants), the world’s mightiest navy, and the world’s most sophisticated civil service, run by scholar-mandarins chosen from across a vast empire by rigorous examinations.

He has made clear, in his repeated conversations with dictators, that human rights are not a priority. At home, populists have generally ducked the challenge of reviving the Western state. There are certainly reformers in their midst. The White House contains a small group of deregulators who have cut the number of pages in the Federal Register from its record under Obama. Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, sees the break with Europe as merely the first stage of bureaucracy-slaying that will eventually create a “meritocratic technopolis.” But these would-be reformers look outnumbered. For every Brexiteer who wants to build a Singapore-on-Thames, there are many more who want their newly independent state to protect them against globalization—and Johnson seems intent on building a bigger state for them.

For much of the twentieth century, parties provided a ladder of promotion for able people who wanted to get into politics. The parties of the left in particular groomed a succession of working-class leaders, such as Ernest Bevin, who became Britain’s greatest postwar foreign secretary despite leaving school at eleven to work as a draper’s boy. Now long-established parties such as France’s Socialists and Greece’s Pasok are more or less disappearing. Boris Johnson leads a party of 150,000 Tories; his hero Winston Churchill could call on three million. More people vote in celebrity talent shows than in many elections. This helps explain populism, but it also explains why, in normal times, politics is the preserve of a narrow class who regard politics more as a profession than a calling: politicians who have had their eye on a seat since university, if not before, and a host of other careerists (pollsters, spin doctors, election agents, speech writers, psephologists, and the rest).


pages: 279 words: 90,888

The Lost Decade: 2010–2020, and What Lies Ahead for Britain by Polly Toynbee, David Walker

banking crisis, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, call centre, car-free, centre right, collective bargaining, congestion charging, corporate governance, crony capitalism, David Attenborough, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy transition, Etonian, first-past-the-post, G4S, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global village, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Dyson, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, moral panic, mortgage debt, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, payday loans, pension reform, quantitative easing, Right to Buy, Saturday Night Live, selection bias, smart meter, Uber for X, urban renewal, working-age population

Not Feeling Very Well, Doctor 6. Flatlining 7. States of Mind 8. Insecure? 9. Places 10. What Next? About the Author Copyright Introduction The Tory triumph in the 2019 general election, the fourth election within ten years, bookends their assumption of power in 2010, but for many it means that the pain and dismay of the lost decade from 2010 to 2020 will extend long into the 2020s. During the campaign, Boris Johnson grandly pronounced the end of austerity but said nothing about repairing the damage done; he was highly selective about which cuts might be partially restored and who would receive his largesse. The UK economy is in trouble, financial sustainability under threat. It may be only a matter of time before his government resorts, again, to slash and burn. That’s one reason we need the social accounting offered here.

The list of winners also featured vice-chancellors, who often pulled the strings of the university councils meant to hold them to account in order to put through substantial increases in their own pay, which were ultimately paid from the public purse. Osborne himself was one of those who did very nicely, thank you, after being given a succession of handsomely rewarded jobs. As editor of the London Evening Standard, he first pursued a personal vendetta against his former boss, Theresa May, before returning the paper to Tory partisanship and savaging the Labour London mayor at every opportunity. His new boss was a pal of Boris Johnson’s who had sold part of the equity to the Saudis; the Standard slathered the new prime minister in treacle. The High Street Falls Low Median pay stood pat. An average worker’s total weekly pay fell in real terms from £525 in 2008 to £497 in 2019. As incomes idled and the use of contactless payments surged, people dealt with less physical cash. In 2006, 62 per cent of payments in the UK were made with notes and coins; ten years later, it was only 40 per cent, with over 300 cashpoints closing each month by 2019, stranding towns such as Battle in East Sussex.

However much of a minority their electors were, the Tories exuded the bogus confidence that they owned, represented, were the backbone of England, if not Britain – a sociological absurdity that could never have been sustained if the media had been differently configured and the biases of the press matched voting preferences rather than owners’ prejudices. It’s important to see the continuities between Cameron and Boris Johnson, their easy assumption about this natural order and its fixed electoral props across England, north as well as south, where sufficient numbers would always back them, come what may (except May), in Witham, Tarporley, Aylesbury, Maidstone, Howden, Horncastle and scores of other places outside the cities. Their support was guaranteed, despite the rush rightwards – indeed, middle England willed it, asking why it took so long for the Tories to become the sadistic, authoritarian, nationalist party they were by 2019.


pages: 93 words: 30,572

How to Stop Brexit (And Make Britain Great Again) by Nick Clegg

Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, offshore financial centre, sceptred isle, Snapchat

Some images, however, cannot be erased. When I close my eyes and drag my mind back to those grim spring months of 2016, a red bus rolls into view and its infamous slogan blinks back at me once more: ‘We send the EU £350m every week. Let’s fund the NHS instead.’ I’m sure you remember it all too well. Not surprisingly, the promise of such riches for our National Health Service caught the public imagination. Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and the other leading Leave campaigners regularly appeared in front of banners that repeated the claim. Even after the UK Statistics Authority pointed out that the figure ‘was misleading and undermines trust in official statistics’,21 the pledge remained plastered to the bus’s side. The Leave campaign knew that they had a potent promise on their hands, but just how crucial was the £350m claim to the final referendum result?

In part, the general-election result of June 2017 was a clear message from the electorate that it had grown tired of the long years of austerity. Despite numerous unanswered questions about Labour’s uncosted shopping list of promises, it is clear that many voters preferred Corbyn’s more optimistic pitch to the Conservative programme of further cost-cutting. Sensing the shift in mood, leading Brexiteers like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove were quick to shed crocodile tears about the continuing restraints on public-sector wages. But the truth is that it is their determination to pull us out of the EU, and the consequences on inflation and prices, that have led to the new pressure on take-home pay. Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, has admitted that nobody voted to leave the EU to make themselves poorer. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening.

A vote on 23rd June 2016, the Brexiteers insisted, was a chance to fight back against meddlesome Brussels bureaucrats and their pesky rules, regulations and red tape. Do you want your bananas to be bendy? Do you want to be free of EU rules determining the noise level of your Hoover? Do you want to rid Britain of intrusive EU regulations setting the maximum power for hairdryers? Then vote Leave. These were all examples given by Boris Johnson, when he attacked the EU because it wanted to ‘dictate to the British people’ how we live our lives. He famously urged voters to make 23rd June Britain’s ‘independence day’. The leading Brexiteers painted a bright future in which we could draw on our triumphant past – back to a glorious era when the Royal Yacht ruled the waves, Britain was a global, swashbuckling power and bluebirds sang merrily over the white cliffs of Dover.


We Need New Stories: Challenging the Toxic Myths Behind Our Age of Discontent by Nesrine Malik

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, cognitive dissonance, continuation of politics by other means, currency peg, Donald Trump, feminist movement, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, invisible hand, mass immigration, moral panic, Nate Silver, obamacare, old-boy network, payday loans, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas L Friedman, transatlantic slave trade

v=XGNEZr11LFE [accessed on 25 July 2019] 103 ‘Right-wing media blogs as well as mainstream publications’: Claire Fox, ‘The dangers of illiberal liberalism’ (Economist, 17 August 2018), https://www.economist.com/open-future/2018/08/17/the-dangers-of-illiberal-liberalism [accessed on 25 July 2019] 104 ‘… led to a spike in racist incidents’: Tell MAMA, ‘“Letterbox” insults against Muslim women spike in wake of Boris Johnson comments’ (Tell MAMA, 23 August 2018), https://tellmamauk.org/press/letterbox-insults-against-muslim-women-spike-in-wake-of-boris-johnson-comments/ [accessed on 25 July 2019] 104 ‘Deplorable to see’: Isabel Oakeshott (Twitter, 3:29 p.m., 10 August 10 2018), https://twitter.com/IsabelOakeshott/status/1027924888848396288?s=20 [accessed on 25 July 2019] 105 ‘the privileging of freedom of speech over freedom to life’: Liz Fekete, Director, Institute of Race Relations (Brief Letters, Guardian, 25 March 2018), https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/25/freedom-of-speech-or-freedom-to-life [accessed on 25 July 2019] 106 ‘has never accepted an absolutist interpretation of freedom of speech’: Christopher Wolfe, ‘The Limits of Free Speech (Book Review)’ (Review of Politics, Notre Dame, Ind.

zd=1&zi=6ioipdib [accessed on 25 July 2019] 171 ‘Americans’ sketchy understanding’: Nancy Isenberg, White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (Atlantic Books, 2017), 13 172 ‘in order to save the 40 million’: Pankaj Mishra, ‘How colonial violence came home: the ugly truth of the first world war’ (Guardian, 10 November 2017), https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/10/how-colonial-violence-came-home-the-ugly-truth-of-the-first-world-war [accessed on 25 July 2019] 174 ‘They were not there on holiday’: Simon Akam, ‘Left Behind’ (The New Republic, 21 May 2011), https://newrepublic.com/article/88797/british-empire-queen-elizabeth-india-ireland-africa-imperial [accessed on 25 July 2019] 176 ‘But the research also found’: Sally Weale, ‘Michael Gove’s claims about history teaching are false, says research’ (Guardian, 13 September 2016), https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/13/michael-goves-claims-about-history-teaching-are-false-says-research [accessed on 25 July 2019] 177 ‘an inherent bias in the curriculum that runs the other way’: The Secret Teacher, ‘Secret Teacher: the emphasis on British history is depriving students of balance’ (Guardian, 26 May 2018), https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2018/may/26/secret-teacher-history-bias-school-fear-student-future [accessed on 25 July 2019] 179 ‘Anyone who suggests that the United Kingdom cannot be trusted’: Department for Exiting the European Union and The Rt Hon David Davis MP, ‘David Davis’ speech on the future security partnership’ (GOV.UK, 6 June 2018), https://www.gov.uk/government/news/david-davis-speech-on-the-future-security-partnership [accessed on 25 July 2019] 179 ‘The first Eurosceptic’: Jonathan Isaby, ‘Jacob Rees-Mogg identifies the three historical heroes from his constituency who will be his political inspiration’ (Conservative Home, 8 June 2010), https://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2010/06/jacob-reesmogg-identifies-the-three-historical-heroes-from-his-constituency-who-will-be-his-politica.html [accessed on 25 July 2019] 179 ‘we survived our break from Europe’: Giles Fraser, ‘The English Reformation was the first Brexit – we survived our break from Europe then, and we’ll do so again’ (Telegraph, 18 August 2018), https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/14/english-reformation-first-brexit-survived-break-europe-do/ 179 ‘showed the world what a free people could achieve’: Michael Gove, ‘EU referendum: Michael Gove explains why Britain should leave the EU’ (Telegraph, 20 February 2016), https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12166345/European-referendum-Michael-Gove-explains-why-Britain-should-leave-the-EU.html [accessed on 25 July 2019] 180 ‘it will be like Dunkirk again’: Andrew MacAskill, Anjuli Davies, ‘“Insecurity is fantastic,” says billionaire funder of Brexit campaign’ (Reuters, 11 May 2016), https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-donations-hargreaves/insecurity-is-fantastic-says-billionaire-funder-of-brexit-campaign-idUKKCN0Y22ID [accessed on 25 July 2019] 180 ‘Thirty-five years ago this week’: Owen Bennett, ‘“We Will Go To War With Spain Over Gibraltar”’ Warns Ex-Tory Leader Lord Howard (Huffington Post, 2 April 2017), https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/gibraltar-war-falklands-lord-howard_uk_58e0ed0ee4b0c777f788130f [accessed on 25 July 2019] 180 ‘unbelievable that within a week’: George Parker, Jim Brunsden, Ian Mount, ‘Gibraltar tensions bubble over into British war talk’ (Financial Times, 2 April 2017), https://www.ft.com/content/391f0114-17a1-11e7-a53d-df09f373be87 [accessed on 25 July 2019] 180 ‘a colossal military disaster’: ‘Great Speeches of the 19th Century: Winston Churchill, “We shall fight on the beaches” (Guardian, 20 April 2007), https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2007/apr/20/greatspeeches1 [accessed on 25 July 2019] 180 ‘miracle of deliverance’: ibid. 182 ‘you must take the decision which is fraught with risk’: Harry Yorke, ‘Boris Johnson likens Brexit dilemma to Churchill’s defiance of Hitler’ (Telegraph, 6 December 2018), https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/12/06/boris-johnson-likens-brexit-dilemma-churchills-defiance-hitler/ [accessed on 25 July 2019] 183 ‘make me an offer’: Lucy Pasha-Robinson, ‘Angela Merkel “ridicules Theresa May’s Brexit demands during secret press briefing”’ (Independent, 29 January 2018), https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/angela-merkel-theresa-may-brexit-demands-press-briefing-davos-eu-talks-a8183436.html [accessed on 25 July 2019] 183 ‘France and England will never be powers comparable to the United States’: ‘An affair to remember’ (Economist, 27 July 2006), https://www.economist.com/node/7218678 [accessed on 25 July 2019] 184 ‘betrayed our relationship’: Boris Johnson, ‘The Aussies are just like us, so let’s stop kicking them out’ (Telegraph, 25 August 2013), https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10265619/The-Aussies-are-just-like-us-so-lets-stop-kicking-them-out.html [accessed on 25 July 2019] 185 ‘While the empire’: David Olusoga, ‘Empire 2.0 is dangerous nostalgia for something that never existed’ (Guardian, 19 March 2017), https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/19/empire-20-is-dangerous-nostalgia-for-something-that-never-existed [accessed on 25 July 2019] 185 ‘The twentieth century saw the UK eclipsed’: Simon Akam, ‘Left Behind’ (The New Republic, 21 May 2011), https://newrepublic.com/article/88797/british-empire-queen-elizabeth-india-ireland-africa-imperial [accessed on 25 July 2019] 187 ‘an exercise in British wish-fulfilment’: Nikita Lalwani, ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: an exercise in British wish-fulfilment’ (Guardian, 27 February 2012), https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/feb/27/best-exotic-marigold-hotel-compliance [accessed on 25 July 2019] 188 ‘a wave of colonial nostalgia’: Stuart Jeffries, ‘The best exotic nostalgia boom: why colonial style is back’ (Guardian, 19 March 2015), https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/mar/19/the-best-exotic-nostalgia-boom-why-colonial-style-is-back [accessed on 25 July 2019] 189 ‘reduce the country to the status of “colony”’: Guy Faulconbridge, ‘Boris Johnson says Brexit deal will make Britain an EU colony’ (Reuters, 13 November 2018), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-johnson/boris-johnson-says-brexit-deal-will-make-britain-an-eu-colony-idUSKCN1NI16D [accessed on 25 July 2019] 189 ‘not a vassal state but a slave state’: Nick Clegg, ‘On Brexit, Jacob Rees-Mogg is right: Britain risks vassal status’ (Financial Times, 27 January 2018), https://www.ft.com/content/be44ff5a-028e-11e8-9e12-af73e8db3c71 [accessed on 25 July 2019] 191 ‘the rags to riches dream of a millionaire’s blank check’: Thomas A.

zd=1&zi=6ioipdib [accessed on 25 July 2019] 171 ‘Americans’ sketchy understanding’: Nancy Isenberg, White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (Atlantic Books, 2017), 13 172 ‘in order to save the 40 million’: Pankaj Mishra, ‘How colonial violence came home: the ugly truth of the first world war’ (Guardian, 10 November 2017), https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/10/how-colonial-violence-came-home-the-ugly-truth-of-the-first-world-war [accessed on 25 July 2019] 174 ‘They were not there on holiday’: Simon Akam, ‘Left Behind’ (The New Republic, 21 May 2011), https://newrepublic.com/article/88797/british-empire-queen-elizabeth-india-ireland-africa-imperial [accessed on 25 July 2019] 176 ‘But the research also found’: Sally Weale, ‘Michael Gove’s claims about history teaching are false, says research’ (Guardian, 13 September 2016), https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/13/michael-goves-claims-about-history-teaching-are-false-says-research [accessed on 25 July 2019] 177 ‘an inherent bias in the curriculum that runs the other way’: The Secret Teacher, ‘Secret Teacher: the emphasis on British history is depriving students of balance’ (Guardian, 26 May 2018), https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2018/may/26/secret-teacher-history-bias-school-fear-student-future [accessed on 25 July 2019] 179 ‘Anyone who suggests that the United Kingdom cannot be trusted’: Department for Exiting the European Union and The Rt Hon David Davis MP, ‘David Davis’ speech on the future security partnership’ (GOV.UK, 6 June 2018), https://www.gov.uk/government/news/david-davis-speech-on-the-future-security-partnership [accessed on 25 July 2019] 179 ‘The first Eurosceptic’: Jonathan Isaby, ‘Jacob Rees-Mogg identifies the three historical heroes from his constituency who will be his political inspiration’ (Conservative Home, 8 June 2010), https://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2010/06/jacob-reesmogg-identifies-the-three-historical-heroes-from-his-constituency-who-will-be-his-politica.html [accessed on 25 July 2019] 179 ‘we survived our break from Europe’: Giles Fraser, ‘The English Reformation was the first Brexit – we survived our break from Europe then, and we’ll do so again’ (Telegraph, 18 August 2018), https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/14/english-reformation-first-brexit-survived-break-europe-do/ 179 ‘showed the world what a free people could achieve’: Michael Gove, ‘EU referendum: Michael Gove explains why Britain should leave the EU’ (Telegraph, 20 February 2016), https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12166345/European-referendum-Michael-Gove-explains-why-Britain-should-leave-the-EU.html [accessed on 25 July 2019] 180 ‘it will be like Dunkirk again’: Andrew MacAskill, Anjuli Davies, ‘“Insecurity is fantastic,” says billionaire funder of Brexit campaign’ (Reuters, 11 May 2016), https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-donations-hargreaves/insecurity-is-fantastic-says-billionaire-funder-of-brexit-campaign-idUKKCN0Y22ID [accessed on 25 July 2019] 180 ‘Thirty-five years ago this week’: Owen Bennett, ‘“We Will Go To War With Spain Over Gibraltar”’ Warns Ex-Tory Leader Lord Howard (Huffington Post, 2 April 2017), https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/gibraltar-war-falklands-lord-howard_uk_58e0ed0ee4b0c777f788130f [accessed on 25 July 2019] 180 ‘unbelievable that within a week’: George Parker, Jim Brunsden, Ian Mount, ‘Gibraltar tensions bubble over into British war talk’ (Financial Times, 2 April 2017), https://www.ft.com/content/391f0114-17a1-11e7-a53d-df09f373be87 [accessed on 25 July 2019] 180 ‘a colossal military disaster’: ‘Great Speeches of the 19th Century: Winston Churchill, “We shall fight on the beaches” (Guardian, 20 April 2007), https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2007/apr/20/greatspeeches1 [accessed on 25 July 2019] 180 ‘miracle of deliverance’: ibid. 182 ‘you must take the decision which is fraught with risk’: Harry Yorke, ‘Boris Johnson likens Brexit dilemma to Churchill’s defiance of Hitler’ (Telegraph, 6 December 2018), https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/12/06/boris-johnson-likens-brexit-dilemma-churchills-defiance-hitler/ [accessed on 25 July 2019] 183 ‘make me an offer’: Lucy Pasha-Robinson, ‘Angela Merkel “ridicules Theresa May’s Brexit demands during secret press briefing”’ (Independent, 29 January 2018), https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/angela-merkel-theresa-may-brexit-demands-press-briefing-davos-eu-talks-a8183436.html [accessed on 25 July 2019] 183 ‘France and England will never be powers comparable to the United States’: ‘An affair to remember’ (Economist, 27 July 2006), https://www.economist.com/node/7218678 [accessed on 25 July 2019] 184 ‘betrayed our relationship’: Boris Johnson, ‘The Aussies are just like us, so let’s stop kicking them out’ (Telegraph, 25 August 2013), https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10265619/The-Aussies-are-just-like-us-so-lets-stop-kicking-them-out.html [accessed on 25 July 2019] 185 ‘While the empire’: David Olusoga, ‘Empire 2.0 is dangerous nostalgia for something that never existed’ (Guardian, 19 March 2017), https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/19/empire-20-is-dangerous-nostalgia-for-something-that-never-existed [accessed on 25 July 2019] 185 ‘The twentieth century saw the UK eclipsed’: Simon Akam, ‘Left Behind’ (The New Republic, 21 May 2011), https://newrepublic.com/article/88797/british-empire-queen-elizabeth-india-ireland-africa-imperial [accessed on 25 July 2019] 187 ‘an exercise in British wish-fulfilment’: Nikita Lalwani, ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: an exercise in British wish-fulfilment’ (Guardian, 27 February 2012), https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/feb/27/best-exotic-marigold-hotel-compliance [accessed on 25 July 2019] 188 ‘a wave of colonial nostalgia’: Stuart Jeffries, ‘The best exotic nostalgia boom: why colonial style is back’ (Guardian, 19 March 2015), https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/mar/19/the-best-exotic-nostalgia-boom-why-colonial-style-is-back [accessed on 25 July 2019] 189 ‘reduce the country to the status of “colony”’: Guy Faulconbridge, ‘Boris Johnson says Brexit deal will make Britain an EU colony’ (Reuters, 13 November 2018), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-johnson/boris-johnson-says-brexit-deal-will-make-britain-an-eu-colony-idUSKCN1NI16D [accessed on 25 July 2019] 189 ‘not a vassal state but a slave state’: Nick Clegg, ‘On Brexit, Jacob Rees-Mogg is right: Britain risks vassal status’ (Financial Times, 27 January 2018), https://www.ft.com/content/be44ff5a-028e-11e8-9e12-af73e8db3c71 [accessed on 25 July 2019] 191 ‘the rags to riches dream of a millionaire’s blank check’: Thomas A.


pages: 501 words: 145,943

If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities by Benjamin R. Barber

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, clean water, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, digital Maoism, disintermediation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global pandemic, global village, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, London Interbank Offered Rate, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, megacity, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, Tony Hsieh, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, unpaid internship, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, zero-sum game

And with the mayors who govern the city. Mayors are not cities, however, and if our title is to be something more than a provocation, who and what mayors are has a good deal to do with the role of the city as a foundation for global governance. Can mayors really rule the world? Who on earth are they? Profile 3. The Efficient Jester BORIS JOHNSON OF LONDON A serious journalist and a slightly less serious mayor (defeating incumbent socialist Ken Livingstone for the first time in 2008 and then again in 2011), BORIS JOHNSON makes a joke of everything. When athletes arriving for the 2012 Summer Olympics were lost on wayward buses in London—still a city of almost eight million—for too many hours, he quipped, “They saw more of our fantastic city than they would otherwise have done.”1 And he told Carl Swanson, a New York Magazine reporter, that in order to build the new airport London would need to become Europe’s gateway, he himself would have to “assume supreme power in England.”

More attention was given to its seeming exoneration of slavery, at least from an economic perspective, but its intention was more to underscore the powerful inequalities of urban capitalism. 23. For more on the “Southern Mystique,” see Howard Zinn, The Southern Mystique, Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2002. 24. C. V. Wedgwood, ed., The Trial of Charles I, London: Folio Press: J. M. Dent, 1974, pp. 88–91. Profile 3. Boris Johnson of London 1. John F. Burns, “Athletes Arrive in London, and Run into a Dead End,” New York Times, July 14, 2012. 2. “105 Minutes with Boris Johnson,” interview with Carl Swanson, New York Magazine, June 17, 2012. 3. Ibid. Chapter 4. Mayors Rule! Epigraph: Lyndon Johnson quote from “Troubled Cities—and Their Mayors,” Newsweek, March 13, 1967. 1. Paul Maslin, “Cities: The Last Remaining Redoubt of Public Confidence,” Remarks by Paul Maslin, 2011, U.S. Conference of Mayors in Los Angeles at http://www.usmayors.org/laleadership.

WHY CITIES SHOULD GOVERN GLOBALLY CHAPTER 1. IF MAYORS RULED THE WORLD Why They Should and How They Already Do, Profile 1. Mayor of the World MICHAEL BLOOMBERG OF NEW YORK CHAPTER 2. THE LAND OF LOST CONTENT Virtue and Vice in the Life of the City Profile 2. The Incorruptible as Artist LEOLUCA ORLANDO OF PALERMO CHAPTER 3. THE CITY AND DEMOCRACY From Independent Polis to Interdependent Cosmopolis Profile 3. The Efficient Jester BORIS JOHNSON OF LONDON CHAPTER 4. MAYORS RULE! Is This What Democracy Looks Like? Profile 4. Governing in Partnership WOLFGANG SCHUSTER OF STUTTGART CHAPTER 5. INTERDEPENDENT CITIES Local Nodes and Global Synapses Profile 5. The Founder as President and the President as Mayor LEE KUAN YEW AND TONY TAN OF THE CITY-STATE OF SINGAPORE CHAPTER 6. CITIES WITHOUT SOVEREIGNTY The Uses of Powerlessness Profile 6.


pages: 231 words: 69,673

How Cycling Can Save the World by Peter Walker

active transport: walking or cycling, bike sharing scheme, Boris Johnson, car-free, correlation does not imply causation, Enrique Peñalosa, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, New Urbanism, post-work, publication bias, the built environment, traffic fines, transit-oriented development, urban planning

“They are still in a very strong position. They think that what you see out here is given by God. It’s not. We are realizing that if you have people walk and bicycle more, you have a more lively, more livable, more attractive, more safe, more sustainable, and more healthy city. And what are you waiting for?”3 We Do Not Want to Lose Any More So what was London waiting for? In part, it was waiting for the then-mayor, Boris Johnson, to stop building bike lanes marked only by paint, and embark on a network of better-designed cycle routes. This he did, and fairly soon: work began on the city’s first major separated lanes in early 2014. The complex and fascinating political battle behind this process is told in chapter 6, but one element in particular illustrates the changing attitude of big business to mass cycling. The two lanes were fairly modest by most standards, one running a few miles north to south across the city center, and another longer lane bisecting it east to west.

But their interest in cycling as an economic force, or even just something they should be seen to support, is nonetheless fascinating. There are still those in big business who argue that a vibrant and competitive city is based around roads choked with cars, taxis, and vans. But they are increasingly starting to look like dinosaurs, clinging to a bygone era. Rewriting the Code of the Streets Boris Johnson was not the only mayor of a major global city to recently push through new cycling infrastructure amid noisy opposition, despite holding avowedly free-market opinions. Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, predated Johnson in becoming serious about cycling, and was something of an inspiration to his London counterpart. While in many ways an unusual (not to mention late-joining) Republican, with his sidelines in philanthropy and environmental issues, New York’s mayor from 2002–13 is arguably even more a devotee of unfettered, unregulated economics than Johnson—he is a multibillionaire entrepreneur who nonetheless vetoed a “living wage” bill to give some local workers a statutory pay increase.8 It’s also fair to say Bloomberg is probably not a sentimentalist about cycling, the type to wax about the pleasure of feeling the wind in your hair.

Shoup has devoted much of his career to a single subject, penning two dozen papers on it as well as an eight-hundred-page book, described by its publisher as a “no-holds-barred treatise.” The subject? Yes, parking. Parking, especially free, on-street parking, is one of those areas that many people seem somehow to take both entirely for granted and very, very personally. People in New York seem to “treat every parking space like it was their firstborn child,” says Janette Sadik-Khan, recalling the battles she endured over it. Her near-equivalent, Andrew Gilligan, Boris Johnson’s mayoral commissioner for cycling in London from 2013 to 2015, once confessed he never even tried to properly tackle the subject. “Parking is the third rail of politics,” he said, referring to the live power line that runs between the tracks of many subway systems. “If you touch it, you die.”14 If any thought is given to the economics of easy on-street parking, the assumption is often that its impact is generally neutral.


pages: 283 words: 87,166

Reaching for Utopia: Making Sense of an Age of Upheaval by Jason Cowley

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, coherent worldview, Corn Laws, corporate governance, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, Etonian, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, illegal immigration, liberal world order, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Right to Buy, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, University of East Anglia

But because it happened for me on my thirtieth birthday, and the cabinet in my early forties, maybe you have a sense that your time may have been at an earlier stage. I definitely felt that in 2010.’ Eddie Morgan has worked for the BBC and ITV as an editor and producer. He was close to Cooper and Purnell in the late 1980s when he read philosophy, politics and economics at Balliol College, Oxford (where they overlapped with Boris Johnson) and he worked alongside the Golden Generation in the early 2000s when he was Labour assistant general secretary. ‘How foolish that now all looks,’ he said, reflecting on the Blair-Brown conflict – the so-called TBGBs. ‘Talk about the narcissism of small differences! They really were a golden generation, weren’t they? Yet even back then I was struck by how uncollegiate it was. Everyone had their baronial fiefdoms.

Several friends of mine, who were contemporaries of David Cameron at Oxford, liked to dress in what we called the ‘retro-Brideshead’ style and Cameron back then was a recognisably neo-Brideshead archetype, right down to his floppy fringe, cricket sweaters and membership of the Bullingdon Club (a membership he shared with the fictional Flyte). Cameron was one of those students at Oxford people knew of and spoke about, even if they didn’t actually know him. Journalists such as Toby Young and James Delingpole, who knew Cameron a little back then, write enviously even today of the effect of his youthful hauteur and insouciance. Unlike Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, Cameron stayed clear of student politics and of the Oxford Union. He liked to dress up in white tie and tails, played tennis and always said thank you at the end of a tutorial. He had such good manners and such charm, and together these have carried him a very long way, to the top of British politics as prime minister of the first coalition government since the Second World War.

James Wood, now a literary critic and Harvard professor, remembers Cameron as being ‘confident, entitled, gracious, secure . . . exactly the kind of “natural Etonian” I was not’. He remarks on Cameron’s ‘charm and decency [at Eton] – almost a kind of sweetness, actually’, though he says Cameron showed little interest in politics. (Rory Stewart, the writer-traveller, Conservative MP and another Etonian, once told me that he thought Cameron and Boris Johnson were the ‘wrong kind of Etonians’, which leads one to assume that there must be a right kind, of whom Stewart is presumably one.) Eton: a word of just four letters but with a multiplicity of associations. Eton: a word synonymous with upper class and aristocratic ease and entitlement. Eton: a word that inspires as much anger as it does respect. Etonian: a word that can be used as a statement of fact, as a signifier of status and privileges from birth and as a pejorative adjective, depending on who is using it and in which context.


pages: 356 words: 112,271

Brexit and Ireland: The Dangers, the Opportunities, and the Inside Story of the Irish Response by Tony Connelly

air freight, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, call centre, centre right, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, knowledge economy, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, non-tariff barriers, open borders, personalized medicine, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, éminence grise

The clear inference was that he did not have a high regard for the thinking of Liam Fox and Boris Johnson, and the former Home Office officials with whom Theresa May surrounded herself. He personally believed there was no small degree of self-delusion at work in Downing Street, as well as a misunderstanding of how European leaders thought about fundamental issues such as the EU’s single market and customs union. It was a view shared by the Irish government. Dublin could draw only one conclusion from Sir Ivan’s resignation: Downing Street was drifting further towards a hard Brexit. Theresa May’s government was still sending mixed signals. In an interview with a Czech newspaper on 15 November, Boris Johnson said the idea of the free movement of people as a fundamental EU right was ‘just bollocks’.

They checked in to the Novotel in the Kirchberg district of the Grand Duchy, a windswept plateau studded with towering EU buildings, hotels, office blocks and a vast shopping centre. Numerous EU delegations had gathered in the Novotel bar to watch the results trickling in on Sky News. There were grounds for optimism, not just from Lidington’s phone call. A YouGov poll released as polls closed at 10 p.m. predicted a Remain victory by 52 per cent to 48 per cent. Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader, told Sky News by phone that he thought the Remain side was going to ‘edge it’. Boris Johnson, MP, the former Mayor of London and a prominent Leave campaigner, appeared to have conceded. But that was before the thunderbolts from the north-east of England. At 1 a.m. Luxembourg time, the Newcastle result flashed up on Sky News. Newcastle had been expected to vote heavily in favour of Remain; but Remain prevailed only by a whisker. The real shock came from Sunderland, which had been expected to go Remain by an eight-point margin.

‘We also knew we needed to be flexible. The Irish couldn’t be storming out with their response.’ That also meant waiting for the official response from Downing Street. Some senior officials in Room 308 had wondered if David Cameron would tough it out. There had been an assumption that the Tory leadership question would not be resolved until the autumn, a belief supported by statements from Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, the most prominent Brexiteers. At around 8.15 a.m. Cameron emerged with his wife, Samantha, from Number 10. Room 308 suddenly went quiet. The emergency Cabinet meeting was just over, and Charlie Flanagan, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, was slumped on one of the sofas, looking up at the screen. Feargal Purcell, the Government Press Secretary, stood nearby. ‘We watched Cameron make the speech,’ recalls one official.


pages: 365 words: 102,306

Legacy: Gangsters, Corruption and the London Olympics by Michael Gillard

Boris Johnson, business intelligence, centre right, forensic accounting, offshore financial centre, upwardly mobile, working-age population, young professional

Shortly afterwards, Law was invited to the House of Commons to meet Lyn Brown. The MP was keen to know what dirt he had but Law was reticent about showing his hand. ‘[Lyn] asked for everything I’d got on the Parks police scandal,’ said the rebel councillor, but he refused to hand over the file. Instead, the dossier was shown to his new party and Law tried, without success, to get former London Tory mayoral candidate Steve Norris, and Boris Johnson, the future one, interested in what was going on in Labour Newham. It was quickly apparent that ‘there wasn’t a cigarette paper between the parties’ and no interest in raising the spectre of corruption after London had won the Olympics bid. In effect, Law had run up against a new united front across party lines to put on the best show possible. The New Labour government and its favourite mayor, Sir Robin Wales, were already playing nice with the loathed socialist mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.

It frightened him that Mac had kept all the horror and pressure from his family. In November 2008, George raised the matter with the Labour government as a supporter of Tessa Jowell, his local MP, who was now the Olympics minister. His letter was also addressed to Sir Ian Blair, the police commissioner, and copied to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, home secretary Jacqui Smith and the newly-elected Tory mayor of London, Boris Johnson. ‘The story I listened to would make any taxpayer very angry to know that police officers doing their jobs are put at such risk and then treated so poorly … The investigation must have cost millions … Please can you help to bring some pressure to bear to complete this investigation … David is very unwell and has become worse.’ Rose eventually saw the letter and advised the commissioner that there should be a ‘more conciliatory’ response.

Despite the global financial crisis, which started to bite in 2008, the London Olympic development was the biggest demolition programme in Europe with more than two hundred buildings knocked down and others erected. Some, such as the media centre, were big enough to house five jumbo jets standing wing tip to wing tip. On the campaign trail to becoming the first Conservative mayor of London, Boris Johnson had talked up the Games as a never-again, not-to-be-missed business opportunity for UK plc. The Long Fella, whose own politics remain a mystery, was, as ever, ahead of the curve. In April 2008, he had formed a joint venture between his waste management plant and a leading demolition group of companies whose owner donated heavily to the Tories. Brendon Kerr left school in Belfast at fifteen to be a carpenter’s apprentice.


The Making of a World City: London 1991 to 2021 by Greg Clark

Basel III, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, carbon footprint, congestion charging, corporate governance, cross-subsidies, deindustrialization, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial intermediation, global value chain, haute cuisine, housing crisis, industrial cluster, intangible asset, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, Pearl River Delta, place-making, rent control, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, smart cities, sovereign wealth fund, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, working poor

Accessed 2013 Mar 3. Hong Kong Government (2012b). The 2012-13 Budget: Government Expenditure. Available at www.budget.gov.hk/2012/eng/budget31.html. Accessed 2013 Mar 4. Hong Kong Government (2013). The 2013-14 Budget. Available at www.budget .gov.hk/2013/eng/highlights.html. Accessed 2014 Feb 16. Howlett S (2013). Boris Johnson’s stamp duty plan offers solution to affordable housing supply. The Guardian. Feb 15. Available at www.guardian.co.uk/housingnetwork/2013/feb/15/boris-johnson-stamp-duty. Accessed 2013 Feb 21. Hudson N (2014). Housing tenure in England and Wales. Savills. Jan 30. Available at www.savills.co.uk/research_articles/141564/172300-0. Accessed 2014 Feb 16. Hutton W (1991). Foreword. In: Budd L, Whimster S (eds.). 1992. Global Finance and Urban Living: A Study of Metropolitan Change.

The conventions, events, ceremonies and celebrations associated with bidding for and hosting the Olympic Games over the past decade, have represented invaluable opportunities for the Mayor of London to demonstrate statesmanlike leadership qualities. Indeed, the Mayoral figurehead has quickly become an indispensable feature of London life. Both Mayors (Livingstone and Johnson) up until now have keenly sought the unique media platform the position offers to communicate their vision for London. Ken Livingstone made much of his authenticity as a committed Londoner, while Boris Johnson’s charisma has drawn media attention to his activities to manage a more competitive London (Travers, 2013a). Shortly before his passing, Professor Sir Peter Hall reflected on the role of the Mayor: “The London Mayor has proved to be brilliantly effective in three ways; promoting London internationally, co-ordinating activities within London, and making the case for London to central government.

Some commentators have described the Plan as “fundamentally an investment prospectus designed to secure under-writing of 58 The evolution of London, 1991 to 2015 Figure 5.3: Three generations of the London Plan, in 2004, 2008 and 2011 infrastructure investment by the Chancellor” (Gordon and Travers, 2010: 52). Strategic plans for London continue to hinge on the capacity to persuade central government to guarantee essential items of investment. As such, London must rely more on central government “avoiding catastrophically bad decisions” than on the city’s own capacity to effect change (The Economist, 2013b). Under Mayor Boris Johnson, the London Plan has been successively modified. London’s global city credentials have been spatialised into commitments to excellent liveability, local autonomy and housing development (Figure 5.3). Questions still persist as to whether the Plan makes sufficient allowance for the city’s varied housing needs, and what practical measures can rebalance growth away from the poles of the CBD, West End and The City, and Canary Wharf (the Central Activities Zone).


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Content Provider: Selected Short Prose Pieces, 2011–2016 by Stewart Lee

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Boris Johnson, call centre, centre right, David Attenborough, Etonian, James Dyson, Livingstone, I presume, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, Socratic dialogue, trickle-down economics, wage slave, young professional

The scenario above is sheer satirical fantasy, of course, and it is lazy of the Left to make political capital out of the fact that the chancellor made welfare savings while eating a burger, even if it was a more expensive burger than any the average welfare claimant could ever afford. But it is hardly a state secret that Byron burgers are extremely popular with the right-wing politicos who dwell in the leafy paradise of west London. Byron is run by Tom Byng, a member of the same Old Etonian cabal as David Cameron himself and Boris Johnson. And the mass of juicy meat that top Tories ate in Byng’s previous restaurant, Zucca, saw it described as the de facto works canteen of the Cameron set. Even Nicholas Clegg extols Byron’s succulent flattened beef pads. The coalition has bonded over Byron burgers, and all its key players are proud to stand before their fellows and declare, “Ich bin ein Byronburger.” But at what cost? The political class live in a west London playground no longer sullied by the unsightly poor, who have been ousted by housing-benefit cuts and rent hikes.

I am filing this column, in English, on the morning of Thursday 2 January, but by the time you read it, on Sunday the 5th, it may already be appearing only in Romanian, in an attempt to court some of the 29 million potential new Observer readers the soft right predict will arrive this week. From a business point of view, should I be pro-Romanian or anti-Romanian? While I won’t be down at Luton airport handing out Costa coffees any time soon, I do nonetheless wonder which market should I work. At the end of November Boris Johnson, Britain’s first self-satirising politician, became an early advocate of the anti-Romanian business model, observing sadly: “We can do nothing to stop the entire population of Transylvania – charming though most of them may be – from trying to pitch camp at Marble Arch.” Johnson’s trademark tuck-shop wit makes him a formidable political orator. Johnson is like an iron fist encased in an iron glove, but on the knuckles of the iron glove are tiny childlike drawings of ejaculating penises at which even the son of a Marxist intellectual cannot help but smirk.

Hopkins maintains she’s English because if you cut her to the core, her blood’s “red, white and blue”, which presumably means Katie washed her England flag along with a non-colour-fast Conservative Party HQ sauna wash mitt. Corden appears in the paper in knitted tie, his face painted with a cross of St George, looking like the Man at C&A version of the Christian soldier who goes crazy and dynamites the Cajun’s shack in Southern Comfort. The image illustrates his column. There is no need to read his column. A Sgt Pepper-style Sun collage of 117 definitive English people included James Corden, Simon Cowell, Boris Johnson, Michael McIntyre, David Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Nigel Farage, but no Mark E. Smith, William Blake, Mary Wollstonecraft, Ted Chippington or Pauline Black from The Selecter, which my superior version would have boasted. At which point during the preparation of the artwork was Gary Barlow crossed out? When did they realise they’d forgotten to include Rik Mayall, who narrowly escaped this unasked-for honour?


The New Class War: Saving Democracy From the Metropolitan Elite by Michael Lind

affirmative action, anti-communist, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, future of work, global supply chain, guest worker program, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, immigration reform, invisible hand, knowledge economy, liberal world order, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, moral panic, Nate Silver, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, union organizing, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks, Wolfgang Streeck, working poor

The technocratic neoliberal revolution from above, carried out in one Western nation after another by members of the ever more aggressive and powerful managerial elite, has provoked a populist backlash from below by the defensive and disempowered native working class, many of whom are nonwhite (a substantial minority of black and ethnic British voters supported Brexit, and in the US an estimated 29 percent of Latinos voted in 2016 for Trump).4 Large numbers of alienated working-class voters, realizing that the political systems of their nations are rigged and that mainstream parties will continue to ignore their interests and values, have found sometimes unlikely champions in demagogic populists like Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Marine Le Pen, and Matteo Salvini. For all their differences, these populist demagogues have launched similar counterattacks on dominant neoliberal establishments in all three realms of social power. In the realm of the economy, populists favor national restrictions on trade and immigration to shield workers from competing with imports and immigrants. In the realm of politics, populists denounce neoliberal parties and factions as corrupt and elitist.

It is more plausible to assume that they did so out of concerns about national and popular sovereignty than to believe that before 2019 one in seven Labour voters was a cryptofascist white supremacist.13 The actual antecedents of contemporary populist politicians like Trump are to be found not in interwar Central European totalitarian states but in state and local politics, particularly urban politics. In Europe, pro-Brexit Boris Johnson was the mayor of London before becoming prime minister, and Italy’s Matteo Salvini was on the city council of Milan from 1993 to 2012. In the United States, the shift from post-1945 democratic pluralism to technocratic neoliberalism was fostered from the 1960s onward by an alliance of the white overclass with African Americans and other racial minority groups. The result was a backlash by white working-class voters, not only against nonwhites who were seen as competitors for jobs and housing, but also against the alien cultural liberalism of white “gentry liberals.”

In addition to making the usual comparison of Trump to Hitler, Browning displayed his supercilious erudition by comparing Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to Hitler’s predecessor and enabler German president Paul von Hindenburg.18 But even Browning’s clever comparison of McConnell to von Hindenburg draws from the stock of trite Nazi equivalence arguments. Surely other enterprising academics could draw parallels between contemporary politicians they despise and fascists less well-known than Hitler and Mussolini. Why not ransack interwar European history to declare that Boris Johnson is the new Miklós Horthy (Hungary) or that Matteo Salvini is the new Antonio de Oliveira Salazar (Portugal)? Granted, asserting that Donald Trump is the new Engelbert Dollfuss (Austria) does not make him seem very frightening. The most frequently cited evidence that Trump is a crypto-Nazi would-be dictator relied on his statements following violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017.


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The Myth of Meritocracy: Why Working-Class Kids Still Get Working-Class Jobs (Provocations Series) by James Bloodworth

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, cognitive dissonance, Downton Abbey, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, income inequality, light touch regulation, precariat, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, zero-sum game

Twenty-first-century social democracy will defend to the death your right to be unequal to the next man – as long as merit, rather than wealth, has placed you on your allotted rung of the ladder. Young’s oracular warning of half a century ago has been recast as a blueprint. 2 ‘Down with Meritocracy’, Michael Young, The Guardian, 29 June 2001. 3 Equality, R. H. Tawney, Unwin Books, 3rd edition (1975). 4 The Rise and Rise of Meritocracy, edited by Geoff Dench, Wiley-Blackwell, 1st edition (2006). 5 ‘David Cameron brushes Boris Johnson aside over IQ comments’, Tomas Jivanda, The Independent, 2 December 2013. 6 Nick Clegg, speech to the Sutton Trust, 22 May 2012. 7 ‘Ed Miliband attacks social inequality’, Martha Linden and James Tapsfield, The Independent, 21 May 2012. 8 ‘Wanted by Labour, working-class MPs’, Michael Savage, The Times, 16 July 2012. 9 Hansard, HC Deb, 13 July 1807, vol. 30, cc. 1007–48. 10 Hansard, HC Deb, 17 July 1873, vol. 217, cc. 502–90. 11 Liberalism Divided: A Study in British Political Thought 1914–1939, Michael Freeden, Oxford University Press, 1st edition (1986).

When inequality is discussed, there comes a point in the conversation when the debate invariably turns to the supposedly innate personal qualities of the rich. The elite are where they are, so it is argued, because they possess both the ability and the drive to succeed. If a disproportionate number of the rich are the products of an elite upbringing, well, that is because talent is distributed throughout society unevenly and is often hereditary. The former Mayor of London Boris Johnson articulated something along these lines when in 2013 he told the Centre for Policy Studies that inequality was the product of human beings who are ‘far from equal in raw ability’96 (though he also said that more should be done to help talented people from working-class backgrounds ‘rise to the top’). So are the elite simply cut from a different cloth to the rest of us? Intelligence is certainly to some extent inherited.

As in the past, the underclass still sinks like a stone; however, the entrepreneur has been freed from his bondage of having to bequeath to the poor man any of his miserly charity. The rich man is still in his castle and the poor man remains, as ever, loitering forlornly at his gate. But now the meritocracy has made them high and lowly, and ordered their estate. 95 ‘Some 95% of 2009–2012 Income Gains Went to Wealthiest 1%’, Brenda Cronin, Wall Street Journal, 10 September 2013. 96 ‘Boris Johnson: some people are too stupid to get on in life’, Peter Dominiczak and James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph, 27 November 2013. 97 Intelligence: All That Matters, Stuart Richie, Hodder & Stoughton, 1st edition (2015). 98 Ibid. 99 Ibid. 100 ‘After the Bell Curve’, David L. Kirp, New York Times Magazine, 23 July 2006. 101 Ibid. Part VIII AN UNGENEROUS INTERPRETATION of left-wing history might argue that an ungrateful British working class, seduced by Thatcherism and New Labour, failed to live up to socialist expectations and so the left moved on like a bored lover to those deemed more deserving of its support.


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Inequality and the 1% by Danny Dorling

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, buy and hold, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Attenborough, David Graeber, delayed gratification, Dominic Cummings, double helix, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, family office, financial deregulation, full employment, Gini coefficient, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, land value tax, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, lump of labour, mega-rich, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, TaskRabbit, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, very high income, We are the 99%, wealth creators, working poor

A comparison of attitudes in fifteen nations which did not include the UK found that ‘people in societies with more income inequality tend to view themselves as superior to others, and people in societies with less income inequality tend to see themselves as more similar to their peers’.56 The study implied that high self-esteem and self-enhancement might be an accurate, justified attitude, but that it is often viewed by others as signalling an arrogant and unwarranted sense of superiority. Overvaluing yourself implies undervaluing others. Note: The data points for Australia and Italy are very close and overlap on the graph. Source: Loughan, Kuppens et al., 2011 Figure 2.4 Individual average self-enhancement verses economic inequality in fifteen nations In a major speech in November 2013, London mayor Boris Johnson told his audience: ‘Whatever you may think of the value of IQ tests, it is surely relevant to a conversation about equality that as many as 16 per cent of our species have an IQ below 85, while about 2 per cent have an IQ above 130.’57 A numerate audience would have known that exactly 50 per cent of the population have an IQ above or below 100, and the ratios at all other IQ values can be found in a table.

In 2007, at the age of 71, having finally managed to conquer her alcoholism, she was living on a pension of £87 a week, had an overdraft, and was searching for work.8 Even more extreme stories are now routinely told in the US, where it sometimes seems as if people will do anything for the chance of a fortune and routinely have their lives ruined through the ill effects of gaining riches.9 For millennia, we have known that greed harms and having too much can be damaging; but we seem able to forget faster than we can remember. In November 2013 Boris Johnson, Conservative mayor of London, made a speech in which he explained why he believed that greed was good: Like it or not, the free market economy is the only show in town … No one can ignore the harshness of that competition, or the inequalities that it inevitably accentuates [but] the top 1 per cent contributes almost 30 per cent of income tax; and indeed the top 0.1 per cent – just 29,000 people – contributes fully 14 per cent of all taxation.10 The implication is that those who grab the most for themselves also somehow give the most back, even if unwillingly, through taxation.

Income tax is only 26 per cent of total government revenue – national insurance contributions raise 18 per cent, and VAT raises 17 per cent.11 The rich pay such a large proportion of income tax because their incomes are now so extraordinarily large, because they have worked so hard to raise their take and swallow up so much of what is available. Owing to VAT and other regressive levies, the 20 per cent least well-off of all households pay 36.6 per cent of their income in tax, while the wealthiest 20 per cent pay 35.5 per cent.12 Boris Johnson’s figure of 30 per cent of all income tax revenue equates to under 8 per cent of all government revenues, so there is no way that the top 0.1 per cent can be contributing 14 per cent of all taxation. Boris was wrong. When it comes to numerical rather than verbal dexterity, he is not a ‘top cornflake’. Boris went on to say that he wanted more social mobility: ‘to get back to my cornflake packet, I worry that there are too many cornflakes who aren’t being given a good enough chance to rustle and hustle their way to the top’.


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COVID-19: Everything You Need to Know About the Corona Virus and the Race for the Vaccine by Michael Mosley

Boris Johnson, call centre, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, Donald Trump, microbiome, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley

Within days, stock markets around the world fell. Day 60 On February 28th Sub-Saharan Africa had its first confirmed case when an Italian citizen, who had returned to Nigeria from Milan, tested positive for the virus. Day 64 By March 3rd hundreds of Italians had died from Covid-19 and Italian hospitals were beginning to buckle under the pressure of so many sick and elderly patients. In the UK the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, had clearly not yet fully bought into the idea of social distancing. He said, at a press conference, “I was at a hospital the other night where I think there were a few coronavirus patients and I shook hands with everybody.” Day 72 On March 11th the WHO acknowledged that the virus was spreading uncontrollably and that the world was in the grip of a serious pandemic. Despite this, the organizers of the Cheltenham festival decided it was a good idea to allow 250,000 people from all over the UK and Ireland to cram together at the races for four days, many of them packed cheek by jowl in the crowded terraces and bars.

Although the governor said in a press conferences while announcing the changes, “This is not a permanent state, this is a moment in time,” he did not specify when the state would reopen. By April 20th the instructions to people to stay at home, which began in California in March, had been taken up by almost all US states. Which meant that at least 316 million people were self-isolating at home. Day 84 A week later, on March 23rd, Boris Johnson put the UK into lockdown. All nonessential businesses were to close and people were told that they would only be allowed to leave their homes for limited reasons, such as shopping for food, going out for exercise once a day, and traveling for work “if absolutely necessary.” By then most other European countries had gone into lockdown. March 12th Norway and Ireland March 13th Denmark and Poland March 14th Spain March 17th France March 18th Belgium March 20th Germany March 23rd Greece and the UK In the US, California and New York State had already declared a state of lockdown.

Day 87 On March 26th experts from Imperial College published an updated study that suggested that, with social distancing and measures to protect the vulnerable, global deaths from the virus could be cut from 40 million to less than 10 million.18 Day 94 On April 2nd the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 passed the million mark. At least 50,000 people had died. Within two weeks both those numbers would double. Day 100 After coming down with Covid-19, Boris Johnson was moved to intensive care. There was real concern as to whether he would survive. Although reasonably fit, he is in his 50s, male, and overweight, all of which are risk factors. America was now the epicenter of the pandemic and more than 2000 people were dying every day. Millions were forced to apply for unemployment benefits. Economists working for the bank JPMorgan predicted the American economy would shrink by 40 percent over the next few months and more than 20 million people would lose their jobs.


pages: 241 words: 75,417

The Last President of Europe: Emmanuel Macron's Race to Revive France and Save the World by William Drozdiak

Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, centre right, cloud computing, Donald Trump, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, UNCLOS, working poor

Austria’s Freedom Party entered government as part of a center-right coalition and took control, for a while, of the Interior Ministry. Poland’s Law and Justice Party solidified its grip on power by cracking down on dissent. Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbán won reelection on an anti-immigrant platform. Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party emerged as the strongest opposition force in the Bundestag. And Boris Johnson, a leading Euroskeptic and EU antagonist, succeeded Theresa May as Britain’s prime minister. Far-right parties secured a foothold in twenty-three out of twenty-eight legislatures across Europe. But perhaps no other manifestation of growing nationalism in Europe matched the remarkable ascendancy of Salvini, who became almost overnight the dominant figure in Italian politics and the most galvanizing personality among pan-European populists.

“We have a European renaissance to manage,” he said. “I believe in it very deeply, and I don’t want Brexit to come and block us on this.”19 When Prime Minister Theresa May failed on three occasions to persuade the House of Commons to approve the detailed agreement that her government had painstakingly worked out with the EU, she was forced to resign by intransigent opponents within her own Tory Party. Boris Johnson, her former foreign secretary and a prominent advocate for the Leave campaign, won the succession battle and immediately moved into 10 Downing Street. On his first day in office, Johnson vowed to take Britain out of Europe by the end of October 2019, “no ifs or buts.”20 But Johnson was soon forced to abandon the Halloween deadline and seek another extension from the European Union to hold rare December elections.

It was just the kind of ineffectual response that disillusioned voters and drove them into the arms of populist nationalists. While Britain dithered, Macron warned that Europe was becoming distracted and missing opportunities to expand its economic growth and influence in the world. Meanwhile, China, Russia, and the United States were using divide-and-rule tactics to exploit Europe’s stasis for their own purposes. Macron became infuriated by the cavalier way in which Boris Johnson and his merry band of “Little Englanders” misled the British people about the impact of Brexit and held the rest of Europe hostage to their whims. “The trap is in the lie and irresponsibility that can destroy the European Union. Who told the British people the truth about their post-Brexit future? Who spoke to them about losing access to the European market? Who mentioned the risks to peace in Ireland of restoring the former border?”


pages: 354 words: 99,690

Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse: And Other Lessons From Modern Life by David Mitchell

bank run, Boris Johnson, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, Etonian, eurozone crisis, haute cuisine, Julian Assange, lateral thinking, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, sensible shoes, Skype, The Wisdom of Crowds, WikiLeaks

But they’re willing to come out against it for a short-term popularity boost for a beleaguered government – for an egg-cup sized bailer on the Titanic, for one round of applause. It’s never a good idea for politicians to get involved in comedy. From Margaret Thatcher’s Yes Minister sketch to Tony Blair’s “Am I Bovvered?” appearance, their attempts to associate themselves with humour have generally been awful. And the reason for this is that they don’t really care what’s funny. Being funny involves taking risks, and no politician (except possibly Boris Johnson) can understand why anyone would take the slightest risk of public disapproval in order to get a laugh. They’re about power – they don’t understand the instinct to amuse, and that’s why Vince Cable’s pretty unfunny remark about Gordon Brown being transformed “from Stalin to Mr Bean” has led to his being acclaimed a great parliamentary wit. Well, it might make them fall about in the Commons but it would barely raise a smirk at Wimbledon, where even a pigeon perching on the net gets guffaws.

According to guidelines, officers are permitted to use Tasers when they “would be facing violence or threats of violence of such severity that they would need to use force to protect the public, themselves and/or the subject”, and this moment is surely eerie enough to qualify. The whole event would barely be worthy of note if it weren’t for the fact that they shot him in the back. But then the gentleman is quite old and has suffered two strokes in the last few years – so the comparatively slow rate at which he was fleeing was probably taken as provocation. Incidentally, if you do get Tasered by the police, it’s advisable to watch your language. As Boris Johnson has pointed out, it’s now an offence to swear at a police officer. So should you incur a public-spirited 50,000-volt warning shot – perhaps for brandishing your pension book in an aggressive manner or because a young PC has mistaken your tartan shopping trolley for a piece of field artillery – don’t accidentally shout “Oh fuck!” or you might get sent to prison. Keep it to a “Dash it all, that smarts, constable!”

This was extremely funny news and I am convinced it will have brought immeasurably more pleasure to many more people than all of the grotty ready meals that were recalled could ever have done had they solely contained ground-up cartilage and ligament of the advertised species rather than the macerated fragments of other, more glamorous, quadrupeds. You may disagree with my definition of funny news. What’s funny about incompetence, malpractice and dishonesty in the preparation of our food, you might ask. You might think this is simply a grim example of something going seriously wrong. Funny news, you might say, is when Boris Johnson gets his balls caught in a harness or Kanye West sues the online currency “Coinye West” for exploiting his image. In my experience, news like that is too obviously amusing to be lastingly funny. You can’t make a joke about it because the story is already a joke. You can laugh once, because it’s daft, then it’s over. But the horsemeat scandal kept on giving. It was proper news that deserved coverage – but no one had died and several large and unappealing corporations were left with egg on their faces.


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How to Be Right: In a World Gone Wrong by James O'Brien

Boris Johnson, clockwatching, collective bargaining, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, game design, housing crisis, mass immigration, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, QAnon, ride hailing / ride sharing, sexual politics, young professional

The reason why conversations like this are simultaneously so frustrating and revealing is that people like him have lost the desire to question what they are being told. Their bespoke, unchallenged diet of ‘news’, augmented we now know by Facebook algorithms and deliberately fake stories, is so unvaried that the possibility that it might be largely bogus is never entertained. It’s also worth pointing out here how easy it is to confine criticism of face veils to the garment rather than the human being wearing one. When the former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, elected to compare these human beings to ‘bank robbers’ and ‘letterboxes’ in August 2018fn2, he was feeding the anger and confusion of people like Martin. It’s hard to imagine what good he thought might come of it. One of the most memorable calls I have ever taken came during the brief heyday of the so-called English Defence League. This ragtag bunch of football hooligans realised quicker than most that with newspapers in decline and trust in traditional media vulnerable to attack from all sides, some people would enjoy being told, repeatedly and furiously, about the enemy within; the fifth column who could not be easily identified.

Andy: Errrrrm … the shape of your bananas? He laughs nervously; I can’t. It’s not always easy to remember that anger should be directed at the dupers as opposed to the duped, but on this occasion it was simple enough. James: It’s not funny is it? The pound’s the lowest it’s been since 1985 and I just asked you to name any law, just one, and you say bananas. We both know that the bananas line was a lie made up by Boris Johnson. Remind me which side he was on?’ Andy: Well, he was out for himself. See? Andy is not stupid. He’s a bright, entrepreneurial professional with his own young company and an eye on the future. He hasn’t mentioned immigration (yet) and doesn’t subscribe to some bogus nineteenth-century notion of English exceptionalism. He has – and this is crucial to understand – simply existed for years in a media-defined environment where the depiction of the overarching and negative influence of ‘EU laws’ went so unchallenged it became, for him and millions like him, a simple truth.

Like Beefeaters and Routemaster buses, it’s easy to sentimentalise the London black cab. On rare childhood visits to the capital from Kidderminster, my little sister and I considered a ride on one of their pull-down seats to be as much of a ritual as popping into Harrods’ toy department. So when drivers first started telling me how unhappy they were with Uber in 2014 I was keen not to let dewy-eyed sympathies cloud my judgment. The then Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, termed them Luddites, in an attempt to portray them as dinosaur-like opponents of progress. Horse and carriage drivers, went the argument, had objected similarly to the introduction of the petrol engine but common sense soon prevailed. But the more I talked to cab drivers, the more I realised that Uber, and other euphemistically termed ‘disruptive technology companies’ like Deliveroo, were actually at the vanguard of a rather serious assault on established commercial norms.


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Big Capital: Who Is London For? by Anna Minton

Airbnb, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, high net worth, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Kickstarter, land value tax, market design, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, payday loans, quantitative easing, rent control, Right to Buy, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban renewal, working poor

Knight Frank’s survey of super-rich clients also asked what could change London’s position, and respondents were clear that tax and regulation were top of the list, with changes to taxation in first place, followed by changes to financial regulation. Terrorism was another factor which ranked as marginally more of a problem in New York than in London.16 THE MONACO GROUP In Kensington and Chelsea, home to around 4,900 Ultra High Net Worth Individals,17 I had arranged to meet Daniel Moylan. Moylan was formerly deputy leader of the council and a past adviser to Boris Johnson and remains a councillor of twenty-seven years’ standing. Walking down Kensington High Street on my way to meet him, I passed what used to be Ken Market, once a bohemian magnet for punks with their pink mohicans, who lolled about outside the indoor market when I was a child. The market catered to every subculture of music and fashion and was where Freddie Mercury had a stall before Queen became famous.

Under this system, housebuilders are legally bound to work with local authorities to build a percentage of affordable housing in all new developments. Over the last generation some housing has been built in this way, but nowhere near the numbers needed, and the increasingly Orwellian definition of ‘affordable’ means that much of the small amount provided is far from affordable for most. This is particularly acute in London. In 2013 Mayor Boris Johnson’s ‘London Plan’ redefined ‘affordable rent’ to mean up to 80 per cent of market rate, while the Housing and Planning Act 2016 deemed that affordable housing includes Starter Homes for up to £450,000. These are not remotely affordable even to many people on relatively high incomes. Now even this has come under threat with the introduction of the ‘viability assessment’. By making the costs of a scheme artificially high and undervaluing the final development, it can seem as though developers can hardly afford to build any ‘affordable housing’.

There are signs this is happening, with developers quick to complete schemes they have already begun but radically slowing the number of ‘starts’. Fewer homes will in turn add more pressure on a housing market already unable to cope and will drive further increases in rents. Opting to pursue the incremental change route is close to aspects of the policies pursued by London’s Labour mayors, Ken Livingstone and since 2016 Sadiq Khan. As for Boris Johnson, while Gordon Brown was in power, he too followed this route before altering course dramatically when the Conservative-led coalition was elected and his old rival Livingstone was out of the picture. When Boris was fighting against Ken to win his second term, he got headlines for condemning the ‘Kosovo-style social cleansing’ which saw people on housing benefit being pushed out of London.2 But as chapter 4 described, under his watch this trend – which he stopped referring to in his second term – became far more entrenched, and not long after he was elected he was making lavish declarations of approval for the oligarchs’ cranes which he described as ‘marvellous’.3 The main thrust of Livingstone’s approach, which Sadiq Khan is indicating he would like to emulate, was to raise the numbers of affordable housing that developers have to provide.


pages: 292 words: 85,381

The Story of Crossrail by Christian Wolmar

Ada Lovelace, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, data acquisition, Kickstarter, megacity

But bring in the ‘wider economic benefits’ such as job creation, the taxes paid during construction and economic growth stimulated by the line, which total between £39bn and £65bn, and the benefit–cost ratio zooms up to between 4 and 5. A no-brainer to fund, surely. Livingstone and Brown had agreed on the core funding, but Livingstone departed the scene when he lost the 2008 London mayoral election to Boris Johnson, who became the first Conservative to hold the post. Although famously lazy and averse to detail, Johnson was enthusiastic about Crossrail. As one insider put it, ‘he did not play games about Crossrail, he backed it and helped keep up the pressure’.6 But even with the money in the bag (sort of), not everyone was convinced. Lord Adonis, who took over as transport secretary in June 2009, recalls that keeping Crossrail on track was a constant struggle during his time in the Department for Transport, where he had been a junior minister since October 2008.

The site was needed for the expanding Tottenham Court Road station, one of the most cramped in central London and constrained by the proximity of the huge, thirty-three-storey Centre Point, which itself was in the throes of being changed from office to residential use. The first construction work took place at Canary Wharf station on 15 May 2009, at a ceremony attended by a pair of mismatched politicians, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and London mayor Boris Johnson. Transport minister Lord Adonis, London’s Transport commissioner Peter Hendy, Crossrail chairman Douglas Oakervee and Canary Wharf Ltd chief executive George Iacobescu were also there to watch the first of the nearly 20 metre-long (65.5 ft) steel piles, which underpin the massive station, being driven in. It was a canny move by the owners of Canary Wharf, who were responsible for building the station on the Isle of Dogs.

George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, was basing his whole reputation on the ability to bring down the deficit and that could have spelled the death knell for Crossrail. Work was hardly underway and no major contracts had yet been let. When the bill went through Parliament, the design work was only around 30 per cent complete, and while there had been considerable honing of the project’s finances in the intervening eighteen months, the cost estimates were still necessarily vague. Boris Johnson, the London mayor, who was now looking to the mayoral election in 2012, piled on the pressure to save the project. He held a series of meetings with Prime Minister David Cameron and George Osborne, arguing that, if the project were scrapped, it would scupper his chances of being re-elected. ‘Savings’ of £1.6bn were therefore found to satisfy the Treasury, half of which came from ‘reducing risks by simplifying integration works, re-sequencing work and reducing scope, saving £800 million’.2 This amount included the £400m, mentioned in Chapter 7, that Transport for London had set aside because of potential risks for the Underground’s interface with Crossrail; it also included savings from a decision not to create a direct connection from Crossrail to the District and Circle Line platforms of the London Underground at Paddington station, which would have involved a particularly fiddly and expensive passageway.


pages: 323 words: 95,492

The Rise of the Outsiders: How Mainstream Politics Lost Its Way by Steve Richards

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, call centre, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, David Brooks, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, full employment, housing crisis, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, obamacare, Occupy movement, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley

Trump’s fleetingly modest demeanour was an echo of the reaction of the UK’s two leading Conservative Brexiteers. In the immediate aftermath of the referendum that they thought they would lose, the Conservative politicians Boris Johnson and Michael Gove seemed pale with fearful apprehension. Suddenly they had to make sense of the words uttered with vague defiance during the campaign. They were not euphoric. They had had an easy time of it on the outside; now there were deep and complex consequences as they became the insiders they always were. The leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, was euphoric, but he did not stay on to face the consequences. He took the easy route by announcing his resignation. Of the leading campaigners in the ‘Out’ campaign, only Boris Johnson plays a role, as Foreign Secretary, in what form Brexit will take. Even his role is limited. The rest do not have to face the consequences of their campaigning swagger.

Quite a lot of the outsiders are still in some way on the inside from the beginning. Marine Le Pen comes from a highly political family and is a successful lawyer. She has not yet had the misfortune to be elected, but she is still part of the political elite. UKIP’s Nigel Farage was a wealthy stockbroker from Surrey and a member of the European Parliament. The leading figure for the ‘Out’ campaign Boris Johnson was educated at Eton and Oxford, was a former editor of the weekly Spectator magazine and a former Mayor of London. The leader of the Dutch far-right party, Geert Wilders, has been a member of the Dutch parliament for years. Trump has been a famous multimillionaire entrepreneur and celebrity for decades. He is part of a rarefied privileged elite that has enjoyed fame and wealth on a scale that is unimaginable for most of ‘the people’.

In effect, its message in many different policy areas was: ‘Look at what a British government could do, if freed from the shackles of the European Union.’ Even those Conservative Cabinet ministers who joined the Brexit campaign and were theoretically advocates of a small-state liberal conservatism began to face the logic of their other arguments and put the case for bigger government. Nigel Farage and the two most prominent Cabinet ministers campaigning for ‘Out’, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, argued that the state must intervene to curtail the free movement of labour. That was their most overt campaign for government intervention. Forget about their support for the purity and efficacy of markets. Forget about their wariness of government as a highly active regulator of markets. They wanted the state to decide how the labour market should work. In one TV appearance Gove, not known previously for his enthusiasm for state intervention in industry, argued that the government would be freer to save the threatened Tata steelworks from closure, if outside the EU.


pages: 388 words: 125,472

The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, G4S, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, housing crisis, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, James Dyson, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Neil Kinnock, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing, union organizing, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent

Other key bankrollers include property millionaires such as David Rowland, hedge-fund boss Stanley Fink, May Makhzoumi (wife of the businessman Fouad Makhzoumi) and venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft, a major investor in the legal loan-shark firm Wonga. Australian strategist Lynton Crosby has played a key role in British Conservative politics, a role he has juggled with his lobbying for private interests. After helping to mastermind the successful London mayoral campaign of Tory Boris Johnson in 2012, Crosby was taken by the re-elected mayor on a five-day business jaunt to the United Arab Emirates, allowing the Australian spin-doctor to promote his own lobbying firm, even though many far larger businesses were not invited by the mayor. Crosby’s business dealings came under fresh scrutiny when, in November 2012, he got a new job with the Conservative Party leadership. His Crosby Textor firm advised the H5 Private Healthcare Alliance, a group of profit-seeking healthcare companies, on how to exploit alleged ‘failings’ in the NHS.

The Establishment’s response did not have to be a coordinated offensive, but it certainly displayed a shared mentality. The language used was deliberately inflammatory, attempting to paint the Labour leader as a dangerous extremist. Miliband’s speech ‘raised the hairs on the back of my neck’, declared John Cridland, the director of the CBI, the big-business federation. According to the Conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Miliband’s commitment to a crackdown on land-banking amounted to ‘Mugabe-style expropriations’, while Graeme Leach, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, saw it as ‘a Stalinist attack on property rights’. Miliband, frothed David Cameron, wanted to live in ‘a Marxist universe’; according to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, resolutely on script, Miliband had voiced ‘essentially the argument Karl Marx made in Das Kapital’.

The Daily Telegraph’s Benedict Brogan knows of several examples of journalists who socialize with politicians, go on holiday with them, and are even godparents to their children and vice versa (though he refuses to break anyone’s confidence by revealing details). But what helps cement a coherent elite above all else is a revolving door between the media and politics. Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson straddles both worlds. He is the former editor of The Spectator and is currently a weekly columnist for the Daily Telegraph, once describing his £250,000 salary at the newspaper as ‘chickenfeed’. It is a worthy investment by the Barclay Brothers should he ever become Prime Minister. One of The Times’ star columnists, Matthew Parris, is a former Conservative MP with experience of working directly for Margaret Thatcher; another, Phillip Collins, is Tony Blair’s former speechwriter.


pages: 333 words: 99,545

Why We Get the Wrong Politicians by Isabel Hardman

affirmative action, Boris Johnson, crowdsourcing, deskilling, Donald Trump, gender pay gap, housing crisis, John Bercow, old-boy network

Only a handful of reporters attend Commons sessions outside Prime Minister’s Questions, key statements on European summits and the like, so it’s often easy to become the ‘one to watch’ when no one actually watches to see if you’re much cop. Meanwhile, hacks will want to have lunch with you to build a good relationship before you enter a ministry. If you’re good company over lunch, they will warm to you and write you up as ‘effective’, even if this only means ‘effective at gossiping and eating pudding’. Other MPs, such as Boris Johnson, use their considerable wit to build a popular profile by going on shows such as Have I Got News for You. This only works if you are firstly actually funny and secondly able to laugh at yourself, as politicians are often invited onto these shows to be roundly mocked. But Johnson and Labour’s Jess Phillips are MPs who have made themselves far better known than their colleagues simply by being able to work outside the Bubble.

He used as his ministerial model Michael Gove, who took on the vested interests in the education establishment to call for higher standards and more competition between schools. Gove has entered every government department with three strategic objectives for his time there, and has focused on delivering those above everything else. As a result, he has gained a reputation for being a radical reformer, even among those who despise his reforms. Other cabinet ministers have less of a serious focus on their brief. While Boris Johnson undoubtedly enjoys the international exposure that being Foreign Secretary gives him, he has struggled to grasp that this exposure means that every comment he makes could have serious implications. He failed to get on top of the detail of a case involving a British national, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who had been imprisoned in Iran, and ended up inflaming tensions still further by telling a select committee in 2017 that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been in the country to teach journalism, something the regime instantly seized upon.

Who can blame an MP who, in an attempt to preserve their sanity and stay focused on their job, decides it is best to stop reading tweets just in case a few of them contain vile abuse? But many others can’t quite rid themselves of their social media addiction. One former member of Ed Miliband’s team when he was Labour leader says that they kept trying to delete the Twitter app from his phone, only for him to reinstall it late at night to read what people were saying about him. Even Boris Johnson, who gives the impression in public of being comfortable in his own skin, went through a phase of reading the comments below the line on online pieces about him. I often observe a spike in MPs replying to trolls late at night, which suggests that politicians are logging on to Twitter as they lie in bed. They’re inviting the most unpleasant people in the country into their bedroom when most sensible folk wouldn’t even stop to listen to them on the street, but I wonder how many of them do this because the Twitter abuse in some way confirms how they already feel about themselves.


pages: 458 words: 136,405

Protest and Power: The Battle for the Labour Party by David Kogan

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, Brixton riot, centre right, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, falling living standards, financial independence, full employment, imperial preference, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, open borders, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, Yom Kippur War

We should be much more liberal. He could have done it in different ways, he may have got credit for being himself about it much more vociferously, but he couldn’t. By 2013, the need to get a clear focus and a full policy slate also meant new people were joining the team. Simon Fletcher, having run two successful campaigns for Ken Livingstone in London and then two losing mayoral elections against Boris Johnson in 2008 and 2012, was brought into the Miliband office by Anna Yearley. It was a joke in the office that Ed Miliband was the most left-wing person in it until Simon Fletcher joined, but Fletcher was to play an important role with the unions over the next two years. Patrick Loughran and Spencer Livermore of the Blair and Brown leadership teams were also approached. Loughran said no, it wasn’t his project.

If he won the referendum, he could move on with his second term against a weak Labour leader and with a renewed agenda. Cabinet unity and collective responsibility went out of the window. The known leavers, Iain Duncan Smith (who resigned from the cabinet before the referendum), Chris Grayling, Theresa Villiers and John Whittingdale were not particularly prominent among the public. Michael Gove joined them in February, despite his close relationship with David Cameron. Three weeks later, Boris Johnson announced his last-minute conversion to the cause. Having taken the decision, Gove and Johnson had no choice but to lead the Leave campaign with vigour. Cameron and Osborne countered this with Project Fear, which depended on a combination of economic arguments and the fear of the unknown. Pushing the economic consequences of leaving the UK in Scotland in 2014 had helped achieve a ‘No’ result in the Scottish Independence referendum.

The person who prevented us from doing that was Tom Watson. I was used. I was a tool of it. I thought they were more organised. Amidst all this turmoil, the political world continued to revolve. On 30 June 2016, two days after Labour’s vote of no confidence, the Conservative party nominations for leader closed and Michael Gove completed his cycle of turning on his friends by announcing he would stand against Boris Johnson who immediately pulled out. Gove had been his campaign manager up to that point. The Conservative soap opera continued into the following week with two ballots culminating in Theresa May beating Andrea Leadsom on 7 July. Four days later, May was leader of the Conservative party and on 13 July, the new prime minister. Meanwhile, two reports were published that had a big impact on Labour and Jeremy Corbyn.


Lonely Planet London by Lonely Planet

Boris Johnson, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, congestion charging, discovery of the americas, East Village, Etonian, financial independence, haute couture, haute cuisine, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, low cost airline, Mahatma Gandhi, market design, place-making, post-work, Skype, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, urban renewal, Winter of Discontent

Standout design highlights include the stunning Aquatics Centre, the Olympic Stadium and the state-of-the-art Velodrome. The entire park will be rebranded the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park upon its reopening after the Games in 2013, in a bid to make the park a top destination for visitors and residents beyond the 2012 Games. Barclay’s Cycle Hire Scheme London’s enthusiastic, tousle-haired mayor Boris Johnson spearheaded this immensely popular bike-hire scheme, with the affectionately named ‘Boris bikes’ dotting the capital since 2010. All you need to hire a bike is your debit or credit card, a reasonably fit pair of legs and lungs, plus a basic sense of direction. There are over 400 well-marked docking stations (Click here) around London and short trips are free! Westfield Stratford City Europe’s largest urban shopping centre opened next to the Olympic Park in autumn 2011, with an astonishing 300 stores, 70 restaurants, a 17-screen cinema, three hotels, bowling alley and the UK’s largest casino.

Best by Budget £ Honest Burgers (Click here) E Pellici (Click here) Mangal Ocakbasi (Click here) Nevada Street Deli (Click here) Busaba Eathai (Click here) Taquería (Click here) ££ Moro (Click here) Ottolenghi (Click here) Magdalen (Click here) Al Boccon di’Vino (Click here) Kazan (Click here) £££ Les Trois Garçons (Click here) Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s (Click here) Chez Bruce (Click here) Zuma (Click here) Le Boudin Blanc (Click here) Best by Cuisine Modern European Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room (Click here) Vincent Rooms (Click here) Launceston Place (Click here) Andrew Edmunds (Click here) Wild Honey (Click here) Indian Tayyabs (Click here) Café Spice Namasté (Click here) Mooli’s (Click here) Rasoi Vineet Bhatia (Click here) Cinnamon Club (Click here) Chinese Yauatcha (Click here) Bar Shu (Click here) Hunan (Click here) Baozi Inn (Click here) Pearl Liang (Click here) Vegetarian Gate (Click here) Mildreds (Click here) Manna (Click here) Gallery Cafe (Click here) Diwana Bhel Poori House (Click here) Italian Bocca di Lupo (Click here) Fifteen (Click here) Locanda Locatelli (Click here) Polpetto (Click here) British St John (Click here) Penny Black (Click here) Laughing Gravy (Click here) Inn the Park (Click here) Best Gastropubs Gun (Click here) Anchor & Hope (Click here) Garrison Public House (Click here) Duke of Cambridge (Click here) Lots Road Pub & Dining Room (Click here) Best for Views Skylon (Click here) Formans (Click here) Oxo Tower Restaurant & Brasserie (Click here) River Café (Click here) Min Jiang (Click here) Best Afternoon Teas Dean Street Townhouse (Click here) Orangery (Click here) Volupté (Click here) Bea’s of Bloomsbury (Click here) Wolseley (Click here) Best Food Markets Borough Market (Click here) Broadway Market (Click here) Portobello Road Market (Click here) Marylebone Farmers Market (Click here) Best Gourmet Shops Jones Dairy (Click here) Fortnum & Mason (Click here) Algerian Coffee Stores (Click here) Vintage House (Click here) Best Celebrity Chef Restaurants Viajante (Click here) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (Click here) Nobu (Click here) HIX (Click here) Drinking & Nightlife West London pub TERRY HARRIS / ALAMY © There’s little Londoners like to do more than party. From Hogarth’s 18th-century Gin Lane prints to Mayor Boris Johnson’s decision to ban all alcohol on public transport in 2008, the capital’s history has been shot through with the population’s desire to imbibe as much alcohol as possible and revel like there is no tomorrow. The Pub The pub (public house) is at the heart of London’s existence and is one of the capital’s great social levellers. Virtually every Londoner has a ‘local’ and looking for your own is one of the highlights of any visit to the capital.

One of the most memorable commissions so far was Anthony Gormley’s One & Other (2009), which featured no inanimate object but simply a space for individuals to occupy – each person spent an hour on the plinth, addressing the crowds on any chosen subject, performing or simply sitting quietly. The project ran 24 hours a day, every day for 100 days, and the rules specified that the participants spent their hour on the plinth alone, could do what they wanted as long as it wasn’t illegal and were allowed to take with them anything they could carry. Following Yinka Shonibare’s MBE Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle (2011), a wink to the square’s dominant figure, Mayor Boris Johnson announced in early 2011 that artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset would present Powerless Structures, Fig. 101, a boy astride a rocking horse, in 2012 and that Katharina Fritsch would exhibit Hahn/Cock, a huge, bright blue sculpture of a cockerel, in 2013. Each artwork will be exhibited for 18 months. Covent Garden Piazza Square Offline map Google map ( Covent Garden) London’s first planned square is now the exclusive preserve of tourists who flock here to shop in the quaint old arcades, be entertained by buskers, pay through the nose for refreshments at outdoor cafes and bars, and watch street performers pretend to be statues.


pages: 178 words: 52,374

The Border: The Legacy of a Century of Anglo-Irish Politics by Diarmaid Ferriter

Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, open borders, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile

One senior EU delegate maintained that vague talk of waivers for goods and services travelling over the border, or the UK collecting customs duties for the EU, or various untried technological solutions was ‘a lot of magical thinking about how an invisible border would work in the future’.24 May had asserted after the referendum that there would be ‘no return to the borders of the past’. But there was, it seemed, a return to the politics and ignorance of the past over the course of the next two years as a succession of clownish Tories revealed the depth of their ignorance and contempt when it came to Ireland, none more so than Boris Johnson, foreign secretary from July 2016 to July 2018, who embarrassingly suggested the invisible boundary between the London boroughs of Camden and Westminster as a possible model for a post-Brexit border. Johnson continued to dismiss the idea that the Irish border was a complicated issue and communicated his resentment at a private dinner in June 2018: ‘it’s so small and there are so few firms that actually use that border regularly it’s just beyond belief that we’re allowing the tail to wag the dog in this way.

For ten days they had argued over the last few miles of frontier; one of them then decided it was time to be decisive: ‘“we only have this bit here to partition and the pubs close in an hour. Why not let’s all put one hand on the red pencil and draw a line that falls naturally and peacefully into place?”’ And so the fate of Puckoon was sealed; now to be divided by the border, with a customs shed on hallowed church ground.29 In the aftermath of the Brexit vote the British government seemed to be taking the Irish border question as seriously as Milligan’s boundary commissioners. Boris Johnson even toasted the British government’s Chequers Agreement in July 2018 – a proposed ‘common rulebook’ with the EU post-Brexit for all goods, including agricultural produce, with Parliament having the option to ‘diverge’ from some rules and with ‘different arrangements for services’ – and then resigned over it.30 After the EU rejected the Chequers proposals in September 2018 Theresa May complained defiantly that she would not contemplate a deal that would ‘divide our country’ by treating Northern Ireland differently and threaten the ‘integrity’ of the UK.

Those agreements were driven by the logic that Northern Ireland required special consideration and its constitutional arrangements needed to be worked out through partnership between North and South and London and Dublin. Arlene Foster later warned ominously of ‘blood red’ lines in relation to a special deal for Northern Ireland, persisting with the bombast that there could not be ‘a differential between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK’ and suggesting the Belfast Agreement could also be altered.32 David Davis and Boris Johnson may have been vocal about the idea that the border issue was being exaggerated, but credible sources suggested otherwise. In 2018, the first officially agreed account since partition in 1920 – between the Republic’s Department of Transport and the Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure – revealed that Ireland had 208 border crossings and government technicians endured what was described as a ‘nightmare’ trying to map definitively all the roads, paths and dirt tracks that traverse the 500km of frontier, and there was still confusion about where the border juts in and out of routes, ‘or where roads are privately owned on one side and publicly maintained on the other’.


pages: 193 words: 47,808

The Flat White Economy by Douglas McWilliams

"Robert Solow", access to a mobile phone, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, correlation coefficient, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, George Gilder, hiring and firing, income inequality, informal economy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, loadsamoney, low skilled workers, mass immigration, Metcalfe’s law, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, smart cities, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, working-age population, zero-sum game

It started less than three-and-a-half years ago with 200 digital companies in that area of East London – now there are 1300”.2 London Mayor Boris Johnson has been even more directly involved. He has announced as his aim the desire to make London the technology capital of the world. Speaking at the launch of London Technology Week in June 2014, he pointed out Tech City’s successes but bemoaned the lack of blockbuster take-offs: “Although we’ve got the biggest tech sector in Europe we haven’t yet produced knock-out multi-billion pound companies. They have in Silicon Valley. We need to explore why that is. Is it a certain British diffidence about making billions? Is it that we haven’t got kick-ass business people here? Or that the banks aren’t as proactive as they should be?” Boris Johnson has a point – the Flat White Economy has produced a lot of startups but they have not yet grown to the scale of global leaders yet.

To stop the cost of accommodation rising so fast that it makes London labour too expensive for the Flat White Economy, it will be necessary for housebuilding to take place on a substantial scale in London over the coming years. Fortunately there are signs that this might take place. The pace of housebuilding in London is currently rising at a substantial pace as Figure 9.1 shows – London’s housing orders are running at about six times the historic average. If this continues, London will have had its highest ever pace of housebuilding – with the possible exception of postwar reconstruction. London Mayor Boris Johnson clearly understands the need to encourage housebuilding7 and has been very proactive in trying to ensure that planning permissions for housebuilding developers have been granted. He has been criticised for this (including by me), but in the context of the Flat White Economy one could make the case that if he is erring, at least he is erring on the side of permitting increased economic growth.


pages: 463 words: 115,103

Head, Hand, Heart: Why Intelligence Is Over-Rewarded, Manual Workers Matter, and Caregivers Deserve More Respect by David Goodhart

active measures, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, computer age, corporate social responsibility, COVID-19, Covid-19, David Attenborough, David Brooks, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, desegregation, deskilling, different worldview, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postindustrial economy, precariat, reshoring, Richard Florida, Scientific racism, Skype, social intelligence, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, young professional

That raises big questions about the gender division of labor and how to revalue domesticity without undoing the freedoms that women have achieved in recent decades. Our enforced confinement in the home caused much family tension, couple separation, and even violence. But it was also a reminder to many people of the primary value of family and the hard work of nurture and education that takes place within its walls. If Britain’s health service is, as the Conservative Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, declared, “powered by love” then how much more so the private realm of the family. This is how I see the crisis as strengthening the Hand and Heart and readjusting the status balance somewhat with Head. To put it in political language, I see the crisis, particularly in Europe, as reinforcing an unusual coalition—a conservative preference for the local, the national, the family, along with a liberal preference for higher social spending and modest collectivism, combined too with a renewed concern for the environment.

An exasperation with the existing political elites was a significant factor behind Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and the national elections in France in 2017 and Italy in 2018. In almost all of these cases politicians were rewarded for their lack of political experience and, at least in some of those cases, for their “blokeish” lack of deference toward so-called politically correct speech: Consider the reluctance of Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, and Matteo Salvini to be constrained by the normal rules of official discourse. But, of course, that list also underlines the fact that the idea of politicians being like ordinary people will always be a fantasy. “The uncomfortable truth is that all political systems are aristocracies… Democracies are only different in that the aristocracies are installed and removeable by popular vote,” as the former British judge Jonathan Sumption put it in a 2019 lecture.2 Leading politicians will always be different from the great mass of voters.

But human nature is such that different experiences will lead them to understand that evidence, and weigh those options, differently. Perhaps this is most true of education policy where we are all too much influenced by our own, dimly remembered, schooldays. Many less educated voters do say they want people more like themselves in politics, although they seem to make an exception for people at the very top like Donald Trump or Boris Johnson who are allowed to be sui generis. According to British political scientist Oliver Heath: “All else being equal, people with a given social characteristic prefer candidates or leaders who share that characteristic: women are more likely than men to vote for female candidates, and black people are more likely than white people to vote for black candidates.” Similarly, researchers Nicholas Allen and Katja Sarmiento-Mirwaldt find that “there is good evidence, from Britain and elsewhere, that citizens generally want representatives who are ‘like them,’ either in appearance or thought, who are local, and who have experienced what they have experienced.”35 They are also more likely to want politicians to directly reflect the views of those they represent: a 2019 YouGov poll found that 80 percent of British MPs think they are elected to exercise their own personal judgment, while 63 percent of voters think that MPs should act according to their constitutents’ wishes, and just 7 percent think MPs should exercise their own judgment.36 The overall implication is that there are far too many graduates in the UK Parliament for the taste of a substantial section of the electorate.


Lonely Planet London City Guide by Tom Masters, Steve Fallon, Vesna Maric

Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, Clapham omnibus, congestion charging, dark matter, discovery of the americas, double helix, East Village, financial independence, first-past-the-post, ghettoisation, haute cuisine, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Mahatma Gandhi, market design, Nelson Mandela, place-making, South of Market, San Francisco, Stephen Hawking, transatlantic slave trade, urban planning, urban renewal, Winter of Discontent, young professional

Madame Tussauds is very keen on public surveys telling it who the punters would like to see most, resulting in such highlights as a photo op with the Kate Moss figure (a poor likeness), an eco Prince Charles statue, the Blush Room where A-listers stand listlessly and where the J-Lo figure blushes if you whisper in her ear. Bollywood fans are treated with a smiling Shahrukh Khan and ‘Big Bruvva’ lovers can get into the Diary Room and take the video home. The latest addition to the collection is of London Mayor Boris Johnson, smiling cheekily at the visitors, and the website features a YouTube video of the live Boris Johnson next to his waxen doppelganger, telling a bunch of journalists that Madame Tussauds is ‘one of those London attractions that will pull this city out of the recession’. All for a good cause, then. Permanent photo opportunities include the political leaders in World Stage and the array of celebrities in Premiere Room. The famous Chamber of Horrors details the gory exploits of Jack the Ripper and is usually a huge hit with children.

Just two weeks later the attempted detonation of several more home-made bombs on London’s public transport system sent the city into a state of severe unease, which culminated in the tragic and shocking shooting by the Metropolitan Police of an innocent Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, mistaken for Hussain Osman, one of the failed bombers from the previous day. Summer 2005 definitely marked London’s lowest ebb for some time. Return to beginning of chapter THE ERA OF BORIS Ken Livingstone’s campaign to get a third term as London mayor in 2008 was fatally undermined when the Conservative Party fielded maverick MP and popular TV personality Boris Johnson as its candidate. Even more of a populist than Livingstone, Johnson, portrayed by the media as a gaffe-prone toff, actually proved himself to be a deft political operator. Employing his ‘zone 5 strategy’ (campaigning in suburban London and largely ignoring the inner city where Livingstone’s traditional support lay), amassing a £1.5 million campaign fund and exploiting fears about Livingstone’s rumoured cronyism, Johnson shocked everyone by sailing past the incumbent to become the first Conservative mayor of London.

While disagreeing with Livingstone on many things, Johnson has actually continued to support several of his predecessor’s policies, including the congestion charge and the expansion of bicycle lanes, albeit with a cut budget for the latter. Johnson, a keen cyclist himself, has pledged to replace Livingstone’s beloved ‘bendy buses’, though this is proving a more problematic campaign promise to keep for financial reasons. * * * THE BORIS PHENOMENON When Boris Johnson, the Conservative MP then best known for a high-profile extramarital affair and regular appearances on the popular news quiz Have I Got News For You, was elected mayor of London in 2008 the country at large was stunned. Johnson became the most senior Tory office holder in the country, and it was at once suggested that he and his old Eton pal David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, would soon find themselves rivals.


pages: 236 words: 62,158

Marx at the Arcade: Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle by Jamie Woodcock

4chan, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, anti-work, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, Build a better mousetrap, butterfly effect, call centre, collective bargaining, Columbine, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, David Graeber, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, game design, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, Hacker Ethic, Howard Zinn, John Conway, Kickstarter, Landlord’s Game, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Oculus Rift, pink-collar, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, union organizing, unpaid internship, V2 rocket

Siwek, “Video Games in the 21st Century,” Entertainment Software Association, 2017. 9Ukie, “The Games Industry in Numbers,” Ukie, http://ukie.org.uk/research. 10Ukie, “The Games Industry in Numbers.” 11Ukie, “The Games Industry in Numbers.” 12Boris Johnson, “The Writing Is on the Wall – Computer Games Rot the Brain,” Telegraph, December 28, 2006, www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3635699/The-writing-is-on-the-wall-computer-games-rot-the-brain.html. 13Tom Phillips, “Disgraced Senator Who Campaigned against Violent Video Games Jailed,” Eurogamer, February 25, 2016, www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-02-25-disgraced-senator-who-campaigned-against-violent-video-games-jailed. 14Quoted in Julian Benson, “10 Years Ago, Boris Johnson Held Games Responsible for ‘Ignorance, Underachievement and Poverty,’” Kotaku, January 19, 2016, www.kotaku.co.uk/2016/01/19/10-years-ago-boris-johnson-said-that-games-were-responsible-for-ignorance-underachievement-and-poverty. 15Olsberg-SPI and Nordicity, “Economic Contribution of the UK’s Film, High-End TV, Video Game, and Animation Programming Sectors,” February 2015, www.bfi.org.uk/education-research/film-industry-statistics-reports/reports/uk-film-economy/economic-contribution-uks-film-sectors. 16The Video Games Tax Relief program “allows video games studios to claim a cash repayment or tax relief from the Government after they have spent money on developing a video game.”

Contrast this figure with the video market, £2.3 billion (of which the videogames market is 1.65 times larger); and music, £1.3 billion (videogames: 2.9 times larger).11 Videogames therefore make up the majority (51.3 percent) of entertainment spending in the UK. This potential—and it is worth stressing that often these statistics are exaggerated—has captured the imagination of many actors, from investors to governments. For example, the British politician Boris Johnson used to write scathingly critical takes on videogames. A prominent member of the right-wing Conservative Party in the UK, he is famous for his carefully curated image as a bumbling aristocrat. In an article for the right-wing British newspaper the Telegraph, Johnson once wrote the following about children who play videogames: They become like blinking lizards, motionless, absorbed, only the twitching of their hands showing they are still conscious.


Corbyn by Richard Seymour

anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, first-past-the-post, full employment, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, knowledge economy, land value tax, liberal world order, mass immigration, means of production, moral panic, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pension reform, Philip Mirowski, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, Snapchat, stakhanovite, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, Wolfgang Streeck, working-age population, éminence grise

Yet it wasn’t clear exactly what these reforms were, or how they were to be achieved. If their campaign wasn’t to be a leftier version of the largely defensive, apolitical Remain campaign, it needed to outline a strategy for an offensive. Another Europe was possible – but how? John McDonnell was intellectually the sharpest defender of this case. He used a rally to condemn both the paranoid bombast of Boris Johnson, comparing the EU to the Third Reich, and Cameron’s ‘Project Fear’ approach to Remain. The debate, he said, was a perpetuation of the ‘gang warfare of the Eton playing fields’, dragging the country ‘into the intellectual gutter’. He stressed that many of the issues facing the future were transnational and required transnational solutions: climate change, financial malfeasance and tax avoidance, refugees.

The critique of the EU as an undemocratic bloc committed to neoliberal practices was well founded, but there was, in truth, little strategic calculation about what Brexit would mean in practice, or how it was to be harnessed by the Left. The bigger problem, however, was that the Left was barely a factor. The media weren’t interested in what it was saying. Corbyn arguably only got the coverage he did, which was limited, because he was Labour leader. The top six figures reported in the news were David Cameron, Boris Johnson, George Osborne, Nigel Farage, Michael Gove and Ian Duncan Smith. Of these, four were Brexit campaigners. Taking the entire media into account, and factoring for viewership and readership, the Brexit campaign received 80 per cent of the coverage. Corbyn’s campaign focused on trying to outflank the media by building grassroots support, while Labour In for Britain muddled along in obscurity – in a BBC article on the campaign, it was mentioned as an afterthought.

This was an extraordinary criticism: his refusal to apply double standards proved that he must be an enemy of the people. By insinuation, if you haven’t shown a consistent bias toward the British state, the Union, and the Loyalist paramilitaries defending it, you’re as good as one of them. That, naturally, segued neatly into the Conservative campaign claiming that Corbyn had, in the words of Security Minister Ben Wallace, ‘spent a lifetime siding with Britain’s enemies’. Or, as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson put it, that Corbyn had ‘taken the side of just about every adversary this country has had in my lifetime’. The Tories went further in their attack ads, editing pieces of Corbyn’s speeches to make it appear as if he refused to condemn IRA violence at all.48 The chorus was in synch, the choreography perfectly timed. From the Tory tabloids to Tory ministers to broadcasters who took their lead from both, there was a consensus that this was a crucial issue.


pages: 228 words: 68,880

Revolting!: How the Establishment Are Undermining Democracy and What They're Afraid Of by Mick Hume

anti-communist, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, colonial rule, David Brooks, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Slavoj Žižek, the scientific method, We are the 99%, World Values Survey

The last time any major UK political party pledged to leave the EU at a general election was back in 1983, when it formed part of the Labour Party’s left-wing manifesto – described as ‘the longest suicide note in history’ – which resulted in a devastating defeat. In the June 2016 referendum campaign, the leaders of every mainstream party – including Labour’s Corbyn, supposedly a long-standing left-wing Eurosceptic – backed the conformist Remain campaign. Even leading Tory Leave campaigner Boris Johnson had no history of being anti-EU, and had gone so far as to write an (unpublished) pro-Remain column months before the referendum. The popular Brexit vote looked far more like a spirited revolt against discredited and two-faced politicians than any tame acquiescence to their instructions. In response, those politicians reacted as if they had been shot at. After the referendum Cameron quit as prime minister with a speed normally reserved for political leaders who are assassinated in office.

The ERS report concluded with the Orwellian-sounding proposal for an ‘official body … empowered to intervene when overtly misleading information is disseminated’ in future political campaigns, presumably to protect gullible voters from their own ignorance by force-feeding them official facts. Perhaps it should be called the Ministry of Truth?37 What’s the truth about those ‘Brexit lies’? There were of course exaggerated claims and flights of fancy on both sides of the EU referendum: from the official Leave campaign’s fantasy of a quick extra £350 million a week for the NHS, to the Remain campaign’s horror stories of imminent economic depression; from Boris Johnson’s comparison of the EU with Hitler, to David Cameron’s warning that a vote for Brexit would delight ISIS and could start the Third World War. Much of this is the overblown-but-normal cut-and-thrust of heated political debate in an electoral firefight. Voters do not need to be protected from such stuff by the wise men and women of the European Commission, the ERS or any other fact-checkers or ‘official body’ set up to decide The Truth on our behalf.

It is certainly preferable to leaving our liberties to the tender mercies of the state authorities backed by illiberal liberals who appear to believe that most voters are a racist lynch-mob, and that jurors are the rapist’s friends. 2 ‘People are too ignorant to know what’s right – leave it to the experts’ What proved to be the most controversial statement during the EU referendum campaign in the UK? Not Boris Johnson’s typically overblown comparison of the EU’s expansionist aims with Hitler’s Germany. Nor prime minister David Cameron’s desperate claim that leaving the European Union could mean signing up for the Third World War. No, the statement that appeared to cause most outrage in political and media circles was Leave campaigner and then-Tory cabinet minister Michael Gove’s suggestion to a television interviewer that ‘I think the people of this country have had enough of experts’.


pages: 300 words: 106,520

The Nanny State Made Me: A Story of Britain and How to Save It by Stuart Maconie

banking crisis, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Boris Johnson, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, David Attenborough, Desert Island Discs, don't be evil, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Etonian, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, G4S, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, housing crisis, job automation, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, North Sea oil, Own Your Own Home, plutocrats, Plutocrats, rent control, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Silicon Valley, The Chicago School, universal basic income, Winter of Discontent

Mention of Nye’s name can still find grown men becoming thick of voice and damp of eye, prompting the kind of glazed remembrance that Bobby Charlton or Barry John or Fred Trueman does. He is one of the few heroes Ken Loach and Alastair Campbell probably have in common. I confess that I can be a sucker for a spot of Nyemania myself. I’m not wild about fannish cults surrounding politicians. I’d rather have the hard-working, principled, slightly dull Clem Attlee over sordid ‘characters’ like Boris Johnson any day. But if we’re going to have cults, let’s reserve them for people like Nye. When I have winced behind splayed fingers as Jeremy Corbyn has scuttled in disdain and fear from journalists’ perfectly reasonable questions, flanked by minders who bleat about him being ‘hassled’, I wonder what Nye would have done. I think I know the answer. He would have wrestled the mike from them, jumped on the nearest table, dealt with any questions and still be talking now.

But another seminal landmark of the NHS is still very much standing, booming in fact, even in the face of adversity and austerity. Worth seeing, I thought. Well worth the tram to Trafford Bar and the 256 bus to Collyhurst, a working-class suburb of Manchester with a claim to be the historic heart of the National Health Service. We shouldn’t let the memory of an inflated self-publicist like Boris Johnson dangling marooned on a zip wire high in the air, waving a little flag like Captain Mainwaring’s halfwit brother, suggest that all instances of political theatre are foolish and wrong. Nye Bevan could surely have made even that daft stunt work, just as he made the opening day of the NHS a stirring national spectacle with himself, of course, at the heart. Bevan was there, alongside Matron Anne Dolan, to symbolically ‘receive the keys’ from Lancashire County Council and take charge for the nation of the Davyhulme Park as an NHS hospital.

While I feel sorry for individual councils, ‘austerity’ was a political choice and involved a politically motivated prioritisation. Many economists, most of those in universities and academia as opposed to the more partial and vested City economists, have pointed out that the cuts could easily have been postponed until the countries wider economic fortunes had changed and the threat of recession receded. But more to the point, when Christopher Grayling can squander billions on botched privatisations and Boris Johnson waste the same on harebrained garden bridge schemes, we have to ask what kind of society we want before we decide where to cut. For me, libraries, like schools and hospitals should be the last things we should cut not the first, alongside parks and leisure centres, swimming baths and sports pitches, the great panoply of healthy – and sometimes not so healthy – organised fun that was another reason some of us grew up grateful for the nanny state.


pages: 352 words: 80,030

The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World by Peter Frankopan

active measures, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, cashless society, clean water, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, global supply chain, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, land reform, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Nelson Mandela, purchasing power parity, ransomware, Rubik’s Cube, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, trade route, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Most people in Britain were ‘suffering because of our membership of the EU’, Michael Gove, then secretary of state for justice, stated baldly in a televised interview shortly before the referendum, offering no evidence to support his claim.19 The European Union, he had said previously, had ‘proved a failure on so many fronts’ – and was not only holding Britain back, but doing so to all its members. By leaving, he claimed, ‘we can show the rest of Europe the way to flourish’.20 In the build-up to the referendum, the European Union was presented as being part of the problem, not part of the solution for Britain’s future. The EU, said Boris Johnson, was ‘a job-destroyer engine’, that did deep damage to the British economy.21 The customs union between all the members of the EU was a ‘complete sell-out of Britain’s national interests’, said another prominent proponent of Brexit; ‘luckily’, however, noted yet another senior politician, Britain has ‘old friendships’ with other countries that could be rekindled and with whom better trade agreements could be reached – countries, as it so happened, that had almost all once been British colonies.22 To advance into the future meant looking to the past

, Financial Times, 23 March 2018. 16http://www.europarl.europa.eu/resources/library/media/20180411RES01553/20180411RES01553.pdf 17Reuters, ‘EU is not at war with Poland, says EU’s Juncker’, 17 January 2018. 18Agence France-Presse, ‘Italy threatens EU funding in migrant row’, 25 August 2018. 19Anushka Asthana and Rowena Mason, ‘Michael Gove attacks David Cameron over EU “scaremongering” ’, Guardian, 4 June 2016. 20BBC News, ‘UK “better off” out of EU – Michael Gove’, 20 February 2016. 21The Herald, ‘Boris Johnson: EU tariffs would be “insane” if UK backs Brexit’, 21 June 2016. 22BBC News, ‘Liam Fox warning of customs union “sellout”, 27 February 2018; Chloe Farand, ‘UK government post-Brexit plans to create Africa free-trade zone are being internally branded “Empire 2.0” ’, Independent, 6 March 2017. 23UK Prime Minister’s Office, press release, ‘PM; UK should become the global leader in free trade’, 4 September 2016. 24Association of Southeast Asian Nations, http://asean.org/?

, The Diplomat, 12 July 2017. 116Laura He, ‘HNA sells property and logistics assets to Chinese tycoon Sun Hongbin for US$305 million’, 12 March 2018; Don Weiland, ‘Default reignites questions over China groups’ state backing’, 7 June 2018; Elvira Pollina, ‘Elliott launches action to take control of AC Milan – source’, Reuters, 9 July 2018. 117Zhou Xiaochuan, ‘守住不发生系统性金融风险的底线’, http://www.pbc.gov.cn/goutongjiaoliu/113456/113469/3410388/index.html 118Stefania Palma, ‘Malaysia suspends $22bn China-backed projects’, Financial Times, 5 July 2018; Kuunghee Park, ‘Malaysia finally scraps $ 3billion China-backed pipeline plans’, Bloomberg, 10 September 2018. 119Jeremy Page and Saeed Shah, ‘China’s Global Building Spree Runs Into Trouble in Pakistan’, 22 July 2018. 120Jamil Anderlini, Henny Sender and Farhan Bokhari, ‘Pakistan rethinks its role in Xi’s Belt and Road plan’, Financial Times, 9 September 2018. 121Stephen Dziedzic, ‘Tonga urges Pacific nations to press China to forgive debts as Beijing defends its approach’, ABC, 16 August 2018. 122Jon Emont and Myo Myo, ‘Chinese-funded port gives Myanmar a sinking feeling’, Wall Street Journal, 15 August 2018. 123James Kynge, ‘China’s Belt and Road difficulties are proliferating across the world’, Financial Times, 9 July 2018. 124Sarah Zheng, ‘China embarks on belt and road publicity blitz after Malaysia says no to debt-heavy infrastructure projects’, South China Morning Post, 26 August 2018. 125Xinhua, ‘Xi pledges to bring benefits to people through Belt and Road Initiative’, 27 August 2018. 126Xinhua, ‘Full text of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at opening ceremony of 2018 FOCAC Beijing summit’, 4 September 2018. 127Yonas Abiye, ‘Chinese government to restructure Ethiopia’s debt’, The Reporter, 8 September 2018. 128Christian Shepherd, Ben Blanchard, ‘China’s Xi offers another $60bn to Africa, but says no to “vanity” projects’, Reuters, 3 September 2018. 129Bank of England, ‘From the Middle Kingdom to the United Kingdom: spillovers from China’, Quarterly Bulletin Q2 (2018), op. cit. 130David Lawder and Elias Glenn, ‘Trump says US tariffs could be applied to Chinese goods worth $500 billion’, Reuters, 5 July 2018. 131Bank of England, ‘From the Middle Kingdom to the United Kingdom.’ op. cit. 132BBC News, ‘Boris Johnson’s resignation letter and May’s reply in full’, 9 July 2018. 133Tasnim News Agency, ‘Iran, Kazakhstan plan trade in own currencies’, 12 August 2018. 134Heiko Maas, ‘Wir lassen nicht zu, dass die USA über unsere Köpfe hinweg handeln’, Handelsblatt, 21 August 2018. 135Christina Larsen, ‘China’s massive investment in artificial intelligence has an insidious downside’, Science, 8 February 2018. 136Xinhua, ‘Beijing to build technology park for developing artificial intelligence’, 3 January 2018; The Economist, ‘China talks of building a “digital silk road”’, 31 May 2018. 137CB Insights, Top AI Trends To Watch in 2018 (2018). 138Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, ‘Xi Jinping Urges Breaking New Ground in Major Country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics’, 23 June 2018. 139Stephen Chen, ‘Artificial Intelligene, immune to fear or favour, is helping to make China’s foreign policy’, South China Morning Post, 30 July 2018. 140Jamie Fullerton, ‘China’s new CH-5 Rainbow drone leaves US Reaper “in the dust”’, The Times 18 July 2017. 141Jeremy Page and Paul Sonne, ‘Unable to Buy US Military Drones, Allies Place Orders With China’, Wall Street Journal, 17 July 2017. 142Bill Gertz, ‘China in race to overtake the US in AI warfare’, Asia Times, 30 May 2018. 143George Allison, ‘The speech delivered by the Chief of the Defence Staff at the Air Power Conference’, UK Defence Journal, 13 July 2018. 144Stephen Chen, ‘New Chinese military drone for overseas buyers “to rival” US’s MQ-9 Reaper’, South China Morning Post, 17 July 2017. 145Boris Egorov, ‘Rise of the Machines: A look at Russia’s latest combat robots’, 8 June 2017. 146Robert Mendick, Ben Farmer and Roland Oliphant, ‘UK military intelligence issues warning over Russian supertank threat’, Daily Telegraph, 6 November 2016. 147Anastasia Sviridova, ‘Специалисты обсудили успехи и недостатки в сегменте отечественной робототехники’, Krasnaya Zvezda, 4 June 2018. 148Dave Majumdar, ‘The Air Force’s Worst Nightmare: Russia and China Could Kill Stealth Fighters’, The National Interest, 28 June 2018. 149Zachary Keck, ‘China’s DF-26 “Carrier-Killer” Missile Could Stop the Navy in Its Track (without Firing a Shot)’, The National Interest, 20 April 2018. 150Aanchal Bansal, ‘India’s first manned space mission to send three persons’, Economic Times, 29 August 2018. 151Stephen Clark, ‘China sets new national record for most launches in a year’, Spaceflight Now, 27 August 2018; Ernesto Londoño, ‘China on the march in Latin America with new space station in Argentina’, Financial Review, 2 August 2018. 152White House, ‘Remarks by President Trump at a Meeting with the National Space Council and Signing of Space Policy Directive-3’, 18 June 2018. 153Shawn Donnan, ‘US strikes deal with ZTE to lift ban’, 7 June 2018. 154Charles Clover, ‘China-Russia rocket talks sparks US disquiet over growing links’, Financial Times, 17 January 2018. 155Patti Domm, ‘US could target 10 Chinese industries, including new energy vehicles, biopharma’, CNBC, 22 March 2018. 156John Grady, ‘Pentagon Research Chief Nominee: China, Russia Racing to Develop Next Generation Weapon Technology’, United States Naval Institute, 11 May 2018. 157Shane Harris, ‘The CIA is returning its central focus to nation-state rivals, director says’, Washington Post, 24 September 2018. 158China–Russia Relations, p.5. 159Bandurski, ‘Yan Xuetong on the Bipolar state of our world, op.cit.’ 160Edward Luce, ‘Henry Kissinger: “We are in a very, very grave period” ’, 20 July 2018. 161Xinhua, ‘Reform, opening up break new ground for China: article’, 13 August 2018. 162Clare Foges, ‘Our timid leaders can learn from strongmen’, The Times, 23 July 2018. 163State Council Information Office, ‘Full text: Xi Jinping’s keynote speech at the World Economic Forum’, 6 April 2017. 164Reuters, ‘Trump says tariffs could be applied to Chinese goods’, 5 July 2018. 165Frankopan, Silk Roads, xv. 166Minnie Chan, ‘China’s army infiltrated by “peace disease” after years without a war, says its official newspaper’, South China Morning Post, 3 July 2018. 167US Department of Defense, Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2018, op. cit. 168Jessica Donati.


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Half In, Half Out: Prime Ministers on Europe by Andrew Adonis

banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, centre right, colonial rule, congestion charging, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, Dominic Cummings, eurozone crisis, imperial preference, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, oil shock

But I forgot, our abysmal and steadily impoverishing rate of productivity must be a result of our membership of the EU, mustn’t it? Take back control and all will be well. Get rid of the EU and watch British productivity soar. De facto and de jure sovereignty – reality and delusion. Remember Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I: Glendower: ‘I can call spirits from the vasty deep.’ Hotspur: ‘Why so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them? Well, the spirits are summoned. Boris Johnson and the tabloid editors are on the case. And, forget not, if they don’t arrive on time by March 2019 we will be to blame. Which brings me to my final point. An important chorus in the drama of John’s negotiations with Brussels and with the Conservative Party was the media, more specifically the British media, parts of which have been the catalysts in moulding opinion on Europe over the years, and whose role will be even more significant and divisive I fear over the coming months and years.

Noting that Samantha Cameron was with her husband, May turned to the only other person in the room at the time, her then media adviser at the Home Office, Joey Jones, and declared: ‘He’s going to go.’ She did not know until then that there would be a leadership contest in the immediate aftermath of a Brexit referendum. Even then she worked on the assumption, as many did in her party and beyond, that Boris Johnson would probably be the next Prime Minister. Only when Johnson withdrew from the contest did May realise she stood a very good chance. Suddenly she was Prime Minister when the only other candidate left standing, Andrea Leadsom, pulled out. With dizzying speed, the UK had a new leader who had never been given cause to think deeply about Brexit. Her direct ministerial experience in terms of the European Union was acquired in the Home Office.

She had voted Remain and felt she had to prove she would implement Brexit. This needless defensiveness was combined with an overconfident ideological zeal slightly at odds with her personality. Her ministerial team was equally ill prepared. Her Brexit Secretary, David Davis, had never been a Cabinet minister. He had been a highly effective Europe minister in the 1990s but the EU had changed beyond recognition since then. Boris Johnson had also never been a Cabinet minister before moving to one of the top jobs in government at the Foreign Office. Liam Fox had been forced to resign as Defence Secretary under David Cameron and now became the key figure seeking future trade deals. To some extent, all of them mistakenly regarded the early stages of the negotiation as a game of poker. The EU took a more direct approach. It published its objectives soon after May triggered Article 50 in March 2017 and told its key negotiators to meet them.


pages: 373 words: 112,822

The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, collaborative consumption, East Village, fixed income, Google X / Alphabet X, housing crisis, inflight wifi, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Necker cube, obamacare, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

Rhiannon Williams and Matt Warman, “London at a Standstill but Uber Claims Taxi Strike Victory,” Telegraph, June 11, 2014, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/10892224/London-at-a-standstill-but-Uber-claims-taxi-strike-victory.html. 2. James Titcomb, “What Is Uber and Why Does TFL Want to Crack Down on It?,” Telegraph, September 30, 2015, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/uber/11902093/What-is-Uber-and-why-does-TfL-want-to-crack-down-on-it.html. 3. Oscar Williams-Grut, “Taxi Drivers Caused Chaos at London’s City Hall after Boris Johnson Called Them ‘Luddites,’” Business Insider, September 16, 2015, http://www.businessinsider.com/london-mayor-boris-johnsons-question-time-disrupted-by-uber-protest-2015-9. 4. James Titcomb, “Uber Wins Victory in London as TFL Drops Proposals to Crack Down on App,” Telegraph, January 20, 2016, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/uber/12109810/Uber-wins-victory-in-London-as-TfL-drops-proposals-to-crack-down-on-app.html. 5. Sam Schechner, “Uber Meets Its Match in France,” Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2015, http://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-meets-its-match-in-france-1442592333. 6.

It proposed rules that, among other restrictions, would prohibit Uber from showing available cars in its app and require drivers to wait a minimum of five minutes before picking up passengers who had solicited a ride.2 These were irrational measures, mostly meant to curtail Uber’s appeal. Emotions were running high. “That Travis, he’s so smarmy, I could just punch him,” Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Driver Association, a black-cab trade group, told me on my visit. At the eye of the storm was London’s mop-topped Conservative mayor, Boris Johnson, who would later rise to international attention as a main backer of Brexit, Great Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. Johnson was in a tough spot. He had solicited the support of black-cab drivers during his mayoral run in 2008, even printing his campaign slogan on taxi receipts. At first Johnson noted that Uber was systematically breaking minicab regulations by allowing its drivers to cruise the streets and wait for passengers.

The drivers rose in a chorus of angry jeers, creating pandemonium in city hall and getting them ejected from the building.3 But just like in U.S. cities, Uber held the dominant hand in London because residents loved the service. The company mobilized not only an army of practiced lobbyists but two hundred thousand customers who put their signatures on a petition calling for the TfL to drop its proposed restrictions. In January 2016, it did. Johnson conceded that the regulations “did not find widespread support” and said that lawmakers could not “disinvent the internet.”4 Boris Johnson’s counterparts in continental Europe did not necessarily agree with him. In France, the institutional reflex against Uber was strong. In early 2014, with Uber growing in Paris—the city had become the startup’s sixth market more than two years before—the French legislature ruled that drivers had to wait fifteen minutes before picking up a passenger that hailed a car on the Uber app. A French administrative court overturned the ruling but it was indicative of the fight to come and of the influence wielded by the country’s two largest taxi companies, which had consolidated control of the taxi market.5 At that point Uber was using only professional drivers in France.


Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison by The Class Ceiling Why it Pays to be Privileged (2019, Policy Press)

affirmative action, Boris Johnson, discrete time, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, equal pay for equal work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, Hyperloop, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, nudge unit, old-boy network, performance metric, psychological pricing, school choice, Skype, starchitect, The Spirit Level, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile

Jensen, T. (2014) ‘Welfare commonsense, Poverty porn and doxosophy’, Sociological Research Online, 19(3), 3. Jerolmack, C. and Khan, S. (2014) ‘Talk is cheap: Ethnography and the attitudinal fallacy’, Sociological Methods & Research, 43(2), 178-209 (https://doi.org/10.1177/0049124114523396). Johnson, B. (2013) ‘Boris Johnson’s speech at the Margaret Thatcher lecture in full’, The Telegraph, 28 November (www. telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/london-mayor-election/ mayor-of-london/10480321/Boris-Johnsons-speech-at-theMargaret-Thatcher-lecture-in-full.html). 341 The Class Ceiling Jones, D. (1924) An English pronouncing dictionary: (Showing the pronunciation of over 50,000 words in international phonetic transcription) (Rev. edn, with Supplement), New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Jonsson, J.O., Grusky, D.B., Di Carlo, M., Pollak, R. and Brinton, M.C. (2009) ‘Microclass mobility: Social reproduction in four countries’, American Journal of Sociology, 114(4), 9771036 (https://doi.org/10.1086/592200).

Yes, there may be a class pay gap, but this is probably driven by entirely legitimate differences in intelligence, he appeared to suggest. Young is not necessarily alone in this view.2 The US political scientist Charles Murray has long made similar arguments about the association between IQ and race,3 and more recently authored Coming apart, which blames the travails of the white working class in the US on their purported lower cognitive abilities. Back in the UK, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has also drawn on these arguments, arguing that economic inequality is the ‘inevitable’ by-product of ‘human beings who are already very far from equal in raw ability, if not spiritual worth’.4 These views may seem a little extreme. Certainly, empirical research connecting social mobility, intelligence and genetics is highly disputed.5 But we start this chapter with such provocations to make a broader point.

Figure 3.1: The class pay gap is even larger after accounting for demographics £-£1,000 -£2,000 -£3,000 -£4,000 -£5,000 -£6,000 -£7,000 -£8,000 -£9,000 No controls Demographic controls Intermediate origins Working-class origins Note: Predicted class pay gaps between upwardly mobile and professional-managerial-origin people, with no controls, and in a regression model with controls for demographics – racial-ethnic group, country of birth, age, gender and disability status. Both class-origin pay gaps are statistically significant at p<0.05. Source: LFS 60 Untangling the class pay gap Is education really the ‘great equaliser’? Demographic differences, then, definitively do not explain the class pay gap. But what about differences in ‘merit’ or what Boris Johnson might call ‘raw ability’? For many, particularly on the right and centre of British politics, this is the go-to mechanism when confronted with this type of inequality. Those campaigning to end the gender pay gap, for example, have spent decades working to dispel myths that women perform less well, are less ambitious, or less well-qualified.12 Tellingly, most people in positions of power who we interviewed for this book also instinctively reached for meritocratic explanations when asked about the class pay gap.


pages: 302 words: 83,116

SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

agricultural Revolution, airport security, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, call centre, clean water, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths, disintermediation, endowment effect, experimental economics, food miles, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Nash: game theory, Joseph Schumpeter, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, market design, microcredit, Milgram experiment, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, presumed consent, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, selection bias, South China Sea, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, urban planning, William Langewiesche, women in the workforce, young professional

Most people pick the first urn, which suggests that they prefer a measurable risk to an immeasurable uncertainty. (This condition is known to economists as ambiguity aversion.) Could it be that nuclear energy, risks and all, is now seen as preferable to the uncertainties of global warming?” / 170 Al Gore’s “We” campaign: see www. climateprotect.org and Andrew C. Revkin, “Gore Group Plans Ad Blitz on Global Warming,” The New York Times, April 1, 2008. / 170 The heretic Boris Johnson: see Boris Johnson, “We’ve Lost Our Fear of Hellfire, but Put Climate Change in Its Place,” The Telegraph, February 2, 2006. / 170 “Rendered nearly lifeless”: see Peter Ward, The Medea Hypothesis: Is Life on Earth Ultimately Self-Destructive? (Princeton University Press, 2009); and Drake Bennett, “Dark Green: A Scientist Argues That the Natural World Isn’t Benevolent and Sustaining: It’s Bent on Self-Destruction,” The Boston Globe, January 11, 2009. / 170–171 Human activity and carbon emissions: see Kenneth Chang, “Satellite Will Track Carbon Dioxide,” The New York Times, February 22, 2009; read more about NASA’s view of carbon dioxide at http:/oco.jpl.nasa.gov/science/.

His documentary film An Inconvenient Truth hammered home for millions the dangers of overconsumption. He has since founded the Alliance for Climate Protection, which describes itself as “an unprecedented mass persuasion exercise.” Its centerpiece is a $300 million public-service campaign called “We,” which urges Americans to change their profligate ways. Any religion, meanwhile, has its heretics, and global warming is no exception. Boris Johnson, a classically educated journalist who managed to become mayor of London, has read Lovelock—he calls him a “sacerdotal figure”—and concluded the following: “Like all the best religions, fear of climate change satisfies our need for guilt, and self-disgust, and that eternal human sense that technological progress must be punished by the gods. And the fear of climate change is like a religion in this vital sense, that it is veiled in mystery, and you can never tell whether your acts of propitiation or atonement have been in any way successful.”


The New Enclosure: The Appropriation of Public Land in Neoliberal Britain by Brett Christophers

Boris Johnson, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Corn Laws, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, Diane Coyle, estate planning, ghettoisation, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, income inequality, invisible hand, land reform, land tenure, land value tax, late capitalism, market clearing, Martin Wolf, New Journalism, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, Right to Buy, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, urban sprawl, wealth creators

So while its main focus is on the twentieth century, it insists that a true grasp of the political economy of land in contemporary Britain requires us to peer back nearly a thousand years, to the Norman invasion, the formalization of a system of feudal tenure, and the production in 1086 of the first, famous survey of national (at least, English and Welsh) landownership: the Domesday Book. The Book’s echoes, after all, are still with us, and part of our subsequent story: when in 2014, for instance, business interests urged the then London mayor, Boris Johnson, to identify and sell the capital’s surplus public land, they advised him to first create ‘a 21st Century Domesday Book for London so we know where this land is’.1 And while this chapter looks mainly at the history of public land, it also considers those types of landownership to which public ownership represents – and always has represented – a political alternative, in the absence of which the story of public land per se clearly cannot be told.

In other words, the government’s rationale for privatization that I examine in this chapter is in fact, to one degree or another, a private-sector logic. Neither, of course, is private-sector influence limited to ideas and hands-on ‘assistance’. The private sector also cajoles. It recommends. It lobbies. And its lobbying is often underwritten or accompanied by monetary payment. In March 2014, the following headline appeared in London’s Evening Standard: ‘Sell Public Land to Solve Housing Crisis, Boris Johnson Is Told.’1 And in this case it was not Whitehall doing the telling. Johnson, then London mayor, was being instructed to privatize public land in the capital by London First, a business lobby group. He would hear the same message from the Berkeley Group, one of Britain’s leading property developers. In 2012, Johnson had commissioned the development analysts Molior to research barriers to housing delivery in London, which prompted Berkeley in 2015 to proffer its own diagnosis and advice regarding the same issue: ‘Despite the housing crisis and need for the public sector to raise funds, public sector land is not being released quickly enough for development’.

‘Public land should be urgently released to deliver new homes’ (preferably, needless to say, to the Berkeley Group itself).2 Similar injunctions have been made across the length and breadth of Britain over the past four decades, to public bodies both local and national: ‘Sell public land!’ Often those injunctions, like London First’s, have been issued in public, and we will encounter more of them, some more subtle than others. But one imagines many have also been made in private, behind closed doors. In 2014, Aditya Chakrabortty reported on a particularly striking and pertinent example of lobbying. Boris Johnson was again involved. London was for the first time hosting the UK’s own version of the annual property sector shindig MIPIM, held in Cannes. Chakrabortty described how each year ‘big money developers invite town hall executives for secret discussions aboard private yachts’ – in 2013, Australia’s Lend Lease had flown to Cannes the head of the very London council, Southwark, from which it acquired London’s Heygate council estate at what Chakrabortty called ‘a knockdown price’ (see Chapter 5) – and he raged that ‘in a shamefully undemocratic development system, this is one of the most untransparent forums of the lot’.


pages: 309 words: 96,434

Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty First Century City by Anna Minton

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Broken windows theory, call centre, crack epidemic, credit crunch, deindustrialization, East Village, energy security, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, ghettoisation, hiring and firing, housing crisis, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kickstarter, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, race to the bottom, rent control, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Spirit Level, trickle-down economics, University of East Anglia, urban decay, urban renewal, white flight, white picket fence, World Values Survey, young professional

But Shapps has made it clear that he believes ‘the current system strikes the right balance’, promising that ‘the Government has no plans to create any burdensome red tape and bureaucracy’.32 For a great many people in Newham and the neighbouring Olympic boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney the main impact of 2012 on their daily lives will be the further marketization of housing for the poor, which is being introduced as the Olympic preparations come to a close. The cuts in housing benefit, which come into force in April 2012, will affect the 40 per cent or so of private renters in Newham on benefit and have caused controversy, with Conservative London Mayor Boris Johnson likening them to ‘Kosovo-style social cleansing’ of poorer people from inner London.33 Research by Cambridge University confirms his fears that only a handful of outer London boroughs will be affordable to those on housing benefit, as benefit will now only cover the bottom 30 per cent of market rents in an area, rather than the average. The parts of London likely to remain affordable are clustered into distinct blocks in outer London, including 97 per cent of Barking and Dagenham and 76 per cent of Newham.34 ‘It’s going to drive all the poor people this way and to Barking and Dagenham,’ Pete says.35 This is the context for the Olympics legacy, which has at its heart promises to create thousands of affordable homes for local people.

Moylan, who is now deputy director of Transport for London, is also partly responsible for one of the more positive aspects of the Olympics – to make London 2012 the first ‘public transport’ games. But although the advent of shared space in some parts of the UK has coincided with London 2012, the Olympic developments themselves are characterized by exactly the opposite, with exceptionally high levels of security. Indeed, the UK’s track record in security and surveillance was considered a key strength of London’s bid. Once London won the bid, Mayor Boris Johnson described the security operation to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee. He said that ‘broadly speaking, there will be quite substantial security and protection around the main Olympic venues of the kind that you would expect, and you will be seeing more detail about that nearer the time, but it will be not unlike what they did in China.’37 ‘Island security’ is the popular term among 2012 security practitioners, who talk of ‘locking down’ the Olympic Park.

But under changes proposed by the Localism Bill councils will be able to discharge this duty by placing homeless people in the private rented sector where there is no security of tenure. 30. Rugg, Julie, Rhodes, David, The Private Rented Sector: Its contribution and Potential’, Centre for Housing Policy, University of York, 2008 31. ‘Shapps promises "no more red tape" for private landlords’, Communities and Local Government, http://www.communities.gov.uk/newsstories/newsroom/1611643, 10/6/10 32. ‘Boris Johnson won’t accept “Kosovo-style social cleansing”, BBC News, 28/10/10 33. Fenton, Alex, ‘Housing Benefit reform and the spatial segregation of low-income households in London’, Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, University of Cambridge, January 2011 34. There are more changes planned which Shelter warn will make the situation worse, in particular cuts to the Single Room Allowance which will mean that only people over 35, rather than 25 as at the time of writing, will be eligible.


pages: 317 words: 101,475

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones

Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, deindustrialization, Etonian, facts on the ground, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, pension reform, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, Right to Buy, rising living standards, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working-age population

She is a success story in her own right as editor of the Lady,a rather frumpy magazine that seems tobe largely read by posh women out in the shires. Indeed, the classifieds for nannies and domestic staff are among its big selling points. 'NANNY REQUIRED for delightful girls in West Byfleet,' reads one typical advert. And yet, despite being the sister of a senior Eton-educated Tory politician (although she argues that Boris Johnson's background is 'very different' from that of David Cameron), she expressed her disgust to me before the 2010 general election that 'the prospect is Old Etonians bankrolled by stockbrokers ... It's back to the days of Macmillan and Eden.' She has a point. All in all, twenty-three out of twenty-nine ministers in Cameron's first Cabinet were millionaires; 59 per cent went to private school, and just three attended a comprehensive.

She even called the mothers of working-class children 'slum mums'. As part of her argument that they were personally responsible for their situation, she argued: 'The working class of the past had enormous self-respect. Men, however poor, wore suits and ties. Women scrubbed front steps. Mothers wouldn't have been seen dead wearing pyjamas in their own kitchen, let alone in public As Rachel Johnson (editor of the Lady and sister of Boris Johnson) puts it: 'What we're having is a media which is run by the middle classes, for the middle classes, of the middle classes, aren't we?' She is spot on. The journalists who have stirred up chav-hate are from a narrow, privileged background. Even papers with overwhelmingly working-class readerships join in the sport. Kevin Maguire told me of a Sun away day in which all the journalists dressed up as chavs.

One unnamed Conservative minister compared the policy to the Highland Clearances-the late eighteenthand early nineteenth-century evictions of small farmers from the Scottish Highlands-claiming that it would lead to an exodus of Labour voters from London. Indeed, Shaun Bailey, a former Conservative candidate who was defeated in Hammersmith at the 2010 general election, had argued that the Tories would struggle to win inner-city seats 'because Labour has filled them with poor people'. Such was the outrage over the government's all-too-clear agenda that even London's mayor, the Conservative Boris Johnson, came out publicly to say that he would not accept 'Kosovo-style social cleansing' of the capital." Taken together, this is a toxic brew. Large numbers of people without secure work; low-paid work that fails to give people a comfortable existence; some of the highest levels of poverty in Western Europe; and millions left without affordable housing. In some of the poorest workingclass communities in Britain, each of these crises is felt still more acutely.


Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America by Christopher Wylie

4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, chief data officer, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, computer vision, conceptual framework, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Etonian, first-past-the-post, Google Earth, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Valery Gerasimov, web application, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Lower-income Britons and those who lived in rural areas or old industrial heartlands were much more likely to support Leave. National sovereignty has always been a core part of British identity, and the Leave campaign argued that EU membership was undermining that sovereignty. Remain supporters countered by pointing to economic, trade, and national security benefits in the status quo. Vote Leave was led in public by the campaign’s lead spokesperson, Boris Johnson, a pompous man who was once mayor of London and was always a Conservative favorite, with some of the highest approval ratings among Conservative voters, and Michael Gove, who could be characterized as Johnson’s opposite. Lacking Johnson’s pomposity, Gove was more measured and was a favorite among the free-market-type libertarians in the U.K. Their slogan, “Vote Leave, Take Back Control,” was laughed at by Remain camps, but it was not really about the EU itself.

There are harsher punishments for athletes who cheat in sport than for campaigns that cheat in elections. Though they won by only 3.78 percent, the Brexiteers claimed the entire “will of the people” for themselves––and even when Trump lost the popular vote by 2.1 percent, he too claimed victory. Despite proven cheating, Vote Leave did not have its Brexit medal taken away. No one was disqualified from running in future campaigns, and Vote Leave’s two leaders, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, were both allowed to run for prime minister. Crimes waged against our democracy were not considered by the political class to be “real crime.” Many framed these transgressions as being on par with a parking fine, despite the very real harm we face when our civic institutions can be so easily undermined by criminals and hostile foreign states seeking to wage electoral terrorism on our society.

In the United Kingdom, if a prime minister resigns mid-term, the convention is that Her Majesty the Queen appoints the new leader of the governing party as the new prime minister without a general election. This means that the internal party back-roomers, donors, and paid members of the party can bypass an election and choose among themselves who shall lead Britain. On July 23, the members of the Conservative Party decided that the new prime minister would be Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary and lead advocate for leaving the European Union without any negotiated exit deal (often referred to as a “hard Brexit”). When forming his new government, Johnson appointed Dom Cummings, his former colleague from Vote Leave, to become one of his new senior advisers in 10 Downing Street. It did not seem to matter that Cummings was the director of a campaign that cheated during the very referendum Johnson was now using as the “democratic” basis for leaving the European Union at almost any cost.


pages: 613 words: 151,140

No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Brixton riot, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, Farzad Bazoft, feminist movement, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, greed is good, illegal immigration, index card, John Bercow, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Live Aid, loadsamoney, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, old-boy network, popular capitalism, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sloane Ranger, South Sea Bubble, spread of share-ownership, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Winter of Discontent, young professional

There was Paul Weller, lead singer of The Jam, a scaffolder’s son from Woking in Surrey, whose ambitious father nurtured his obsession with rock music and was his manager for thirty years. Weller was aged tweenty-one in 1979, when he saw television pictures of Eton schoolboys jeering at ‘Right to Work’ marchers. He retaliated with the song ‘Eton Rifles’, which reached No. 3. David Cameron and Boris Johnson, aged twelve and fifteen, were at Eton that year, and long afterwards Cameron appeared on a BBC programme called ‘The Jam Generation’ to claim that ‘Eton Rifles’ was his favourite song of all time, provoking a grumpy response from Weller – ‘Which part of it didn’t he get? It wasn’t intended as a fucking jolly drinking song for the cadet corps.’12 Another product of the times was the eight-member reggae band from Birmingham who thought it appropriate to call themselves UB40, after the form Unemployment Benefit 40, with which too many of their fans were familiar.

Years later, two journalists researching the life of David Cameron came upon a photograph of the members of the Bullingdon Club, which Cameron had joined, for the academic year 1986–7. The photograph showed ten supremely confident young men posing in their navy-blue tailcoats, with white silk facings and gold buttons, and mustard waistcoats. Sitting on a step at the front was twenty-two-year-old Boris Johnson and standing languidly at the back, like the prince of all he surveyed, was David Cameron, aged nineteen or twenty.37 These ‘Buller’ lads needed funds way beyond the reach of most people of their age. Their tailcoats alone cost £1,000 at 1984 prices, and their alcohol-fuelled dinners at Oxford’s finest restaurants cost about £400 a time.38 Dinner of en ended with high jinks, in which these privileged kids displayed their indifference to law and order.

The broadcaster Brian Hayes, who hosted a television show in front of a studio audience in Manchester, had a photograph of Kelvin MacKenzie, a red telephone and an egg timer on the table before him, and taunted the Sun’s editor by daring him to ring before the timer ran out. Sales of the Sun in the Liverpool area crashed. The management admitted that circulation in central Merseyside fell from 140,000 to 100,000; in the whole Merseyside region, it is estimated to have gone down from 320,000 to 204,000.33 The boycott endured for years, eventually forcing a begrudging apology from the Sun and, later still, from Boris Johnson after the Spectator magazine, which he then edited, accused Liverpool of ‘wallowing in grief’, In the immediate aftermath, the Hillsborough tragedy did nothing to shift the government’s firmly held belief that the sole problem with football was the hooligans who followed it. Five months afterwards, in September 1989, the England team travelled to Stockholm for a World Cup qualifier, followed by a press corps who were expected to file stories of English hooligans on the rampage.


pages: 504 words: 143,303

Why We Can't Afford the Rich by Andrew Sayer

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, anti-globalists, asset-backed security, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, income inequality, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, job automation, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, land value tax, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, payday loans, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, predatory finance, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

As Colin Ley puts it, ‘global financial markets are supposed to register the collective judgement of the owners of capital about how profitable it is to operate in a given country where all factors, including the risk of adverse government policies, are taken into account’ (Ley, C. (2001) Market driven politics, London: Verso, p 21). 7 Johnson is the Mayor of London and, like Cameron, a former member of the exclusive Oxford Bullingdon Club (in other words, gang), whose members used to get drunk and run round Oxford and smash up restaurants – with impunity. See also Huffington Post UK (2013) ‘Is being a banker genetic? Boris Johnson looks to intelligence to explain equality gap’, 28 November, http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/11/28/iq-intelligence-boris-johnson-_n_4355372.html. 8 Bourdieu, P. (1993) Sociology in question, London: Sage, p 14. 9 Chakrabortty, A. (2013) ‘Looking for a party funding scandal: try David Cameron’s Conservatives’, Guardian, 8 July, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/08/party-funding-scandal-david-cameron-conservatives. 10 Froud, J. et al. (2012) ‘Groundhog Day: elite power, democratic disconnects and the failure of financial reform in the UK’, CRESC Working Paper No 108, University of Manchester, p 16, http://www.cresc.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Groundhog%20Day%20Elite%20power,%20democratic%20disconnects%20and%20the%20failure%20of%20financial%20reform%20in%20the%20UK%20CRESC%20WP108%20(Version%202).pdf. 11 The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (2011) ‘Tory Party funding from City doubles under Cameron’, 8 February, http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2011/02/08/city-financing-of-the-conservative-party-doublesunder-cameron/. 12 The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (2011) ‘Hedge funds, financiers and private equity make up 27% of Tory funding’, 30 September, http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2011/09/30/hedgefunds-financiers-and-private-equity-tycoons-make-up-27-of-tory-funding/. 13 Hutton, W. (2010) Them and us, London: Little, Brown, p 179. 14 Powerbase (2001) ‘New Labour: donors’, http://www.powerbase.info/index.php/New_Labour:_Donors. 15 Peston, R. (2008) ‘Pointing fingers at the plutocrats’, Telegraph, 26 January, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/2783334/Pointing-fingers-at-the-plutocrats.html. 16 Wintour, P. (2013) ‘Labour backer says £1.65m donation was given in shares to avoid tax’, Guardian, 6 June, http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jun/06/labour-party-backer-donation-tax.

Much of what people – including Tea Party members – ‘freely’ pay out as rent and as interest on debt to rentiers, together with the profit they produce for their employer, is unearned; the recipients of these payments are the ones that the slogan should be addressed to. ELEVEN The myth of the level playing field People with advantages are loath to believe that they just happen to be people with advantages. (C. Wright Mills, 1956)44 Privileged people born into rich families, like Tony Blair, David Cameron and Boris Johnson, love to gush about meritocracy, ‘aspiration’ and hard work so as to distract attention from their privilege. Margaret Thatcher loved to play up her humble grocer’s daughter origins, while keeping silent on the benefits of marrying a millionaire ex-public school boy who funded her training as a barrister and bought two houses for them, one of them in Chelsea. When people think about markets, they usually focus on individual transactions and contracts, ignoring the social context and the history of the situation, or who is doing the transactions; and they usually focus on markets for products, not job markets.

This group includes 57 individuals from the financial sector.10 Not surprisingly, given the return of the rich and the rise of finance from a supporting to a dominant role, political funding has both grown and changed in composition. Formerly the Tory party got most of its money from membership dues and local fundraising. Now it gets most from business. Financial sector donations have taken the lead, doubling under Cameron’s leadership, to make up 50.8% of party funding,11 with 27% coming from hedge funds and private equity.12 In 2008, 77% of Boris Johnson’s London mayoral campaign was funded by hedge funds and private equity firms. Are you surprised that Johnson is an opponent of regulation for the City?13 Things have changed for Labour, too. Where it once got 90% of its income from trade unions, under New Labour, this fell to 30% by 2001 as Tony Blair and allies managed to win over corporate donors by distancing themselves from Labour’s working-class origins and ingratiating themselves with the rich.14 Between 2001 and 2008, private equity bosses Sir Ronnie Cohen and Nigel Doughty contributed £1.8 million and £1 million respectively to Labour, the former Goldman Sachs partner John Aisbitt gave £750,000 and hedge fund executive William Bollinger gave £510,000.


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The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, carried interest, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, computer age, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, George Santayana, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, telepresence, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

Like London, Chicago’s erstwhile middle classes also find it increasingly hard to keep up with rising costs. As the most educated people move to global cities, those with fewer qualifications find themselves shut out. The newly risen global cities outside the West, such as Dubai, overcome this problem by importing labour from poorer countries and putting them on visas that can be annulled at short notice. Western cities, such as London and Chicago, have no such luxury. In 2011, Boris Johnson, then London’s mayor, saw the downside when the capital’s fringes went on the rampage for several days, smashing up shops and burning cars, looting what they could not have. Five years later Britain’s left-behinds vetoed London’s economic interests in the Brexit referendum. To the West’s economic losers, cities like London and Chicago are not so much magnets as death stars. One of the ironies of the West’s booming cities is how much lip service its more fortunate denizens pay to a progressive worldview.

A year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, I took a traineeship in Brussels at the European Commission – a stagiare, as it is called. Although I was a supporter of the European project, those six months inoculated me for life against working in a bureaucracy. It was a stifling experience. Journalism promised wind in my hair on an open road. A university friend urged me to look up his brother, a British journalist who had made his reputation lampooning the ways of Brussels. His name was Boris Johnson. His trade was slanted reporting. It was ‘better to be pissing in from the outside than pissing out from the inside’, Boris joked, paraphrasing Lyndon B. Johnson’s famous quip. Though I disagreed with Boris’s politics and his journalistic methods – he specialised in mischievous caricature – it was easy to see why he had gained such a following in the UK. A quarter of a century later, Boris played a starring role in Britain’s vote to exit from Europe.


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9 Lessons in Brexit by Ivan Rogers

Boris Johnson, continuous integration, imperial preference, non-tariff barriers

We even have the wonderfully preposterous sight of ex-Brexit Secretaries alleging that the very Canada + deal they want has already been offered by Presidents Tusk and Juncker and that all that needs doing is to write this as the destination into the Political Declaration. But, let me tell you, as someone dealing with both Presidents and their teams at the outset of this process: what the EU Institutions mean by Canada + is not remotely what ex-Brexit and Foreign Secretaries and the Institute of Economic Affairs scribes mean by it. The title page is the same; the contents pages are different. Not for nothing did an unkind Brussels source label Boris Johnson’s “plan A +” (another + of course), Chequers 3.0. That proposition, is, as he himself might have put it, “an inverted pyramid of piffle”. And aside from containing a wish list – an understandable wish list – of things that are not actually present in Canada’s EU deal, it does not solve the backstop. Nor does a Norway model, which is why one element of the + is precisely what the Norwegians do not have with the EU: a Customs Union.


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Cities Are Good for You: The Genius of the Metropolis by Leo Hollis

Airbnb, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, East Village, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, negative equity, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, place-making, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, trade route, traveling salesman, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

The glass dome, which rises above the original 1870s building, stands above the central debating chamber, allowing visitors to look down into the room and observe democracy in action. Foster + Partners repeated the trick in 2002 with the new City Hall in London, home for the recently created Greater London Authority and mayor (who have respectively called the building ‘the glass testicle’ [Ken Livingstone] and more primly ‘the glass gonad’ [Boris Johnson]). The ovoid building was completely created in glass, transparent from all directions. A more recent, and more radical, experiment in transparency can be found at City Hall in Tallinn, Estonia, designed by the groundbreaking Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), who plan to create a vast periscope within the central council chamber, so that the politicians inside can look up and see the life upon the streets, focusing their minds on what they are supposed to be doing, and who they are supposed to be representing.

If you can say, OK, this year I have made things a little less shit for people, then you have had a good year.’22 On the other side the average council worker had little idea of digital politics and an innate fear of letting anything get into the hands of the public. In a 2010 survey 69 per cent of those tasked with developing policy in central London borough councils neither used social media nor were familiar with the term Gov 2.0. This was despite a strong governmental drive as outlined in the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury Report Power in People’s Hands and London mayors, first Ken Livingstone and then Boris Johnson, promoting transparency within London itself. In addition, the large public services were not keen on releasing their data. For some, the fear of losing control of the information and the prospect of painful scrutiny were too much to bear. In the case of much of the transport data, there was also a concern that it was too valuable to give away for free, as it could be used to generate considerable revenues.

A similar injustice became apparent in April 2012 when Newham Council in the East End of London, the locale of the £9.3 billion Olympic Park, sent out letters to 500 families in local social housing informing them that they had to move out of London and relocate to the city of Stoke over 160 miles away. Months before, as part of the government’s austerity measures, a cap on all housing benefit had been imposed which made it almost impossible for London’s most needy to live in their home city. At the time, London mayor Boris Johnson caused controversy by calling the measure similar to Kosovan-style ‘ethnic cleansing’. When the news was announced, 350,000 were sitting on the housing waiting list for the whole city. Homes for London, the project set up by the charity Shelter, calculates that 1.8 million people will be pushed out of the city as a result of rising rents and the cap. Homes for London also calculated that 33,100 new homes need to be built every year, but the evidence on the ground is woeful.


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21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon-based life, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, deglobalization, Donald Trump, failed state, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, job automation, knowledge economy, liberation theology, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, obamacare, pattern recognition, post-work, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, transatlantic slave trade, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

In the 2016 Brexit referendum the Leave campaign was headed together by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. After David Cameron resigned, Gove initially supported Johnson for the premiership, but at the very last minute Gove declared Johnson unfit for the position and announced his own intention to run for the job. Gove’s action, which destroyed Johnson’s chances, was described as a Machiavellian political assassination.4 But Gove defended his conduct by appealing to his feelings, explaining that ‘In every step in my political life I have asked myself one question: “What is the right thing to do? What does your heart tell you?”’5 That’s why, according to Gove, he has fought so hard for Brexit, and that’s why he felt compelled to backstab his erstwhile ally Boris Johnson and bid for the alpha-dog position himself – because his heart told him to do it.

As for happiness, Israel was recently ranked eleventh out of thirty-eight in life satisfaction by the OECD: ‘Life Satisfaction’, OECD Better Life Index, http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/life-satisfaction/, accessed 15 October 2017. 32 ‘2017 Statistical Report on Ultra-Orthodox Society in Israel’, Israel Democracy Institute and Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies (2017), https://en.idi.org.il/articles/20439. 3. Liberty 1 Margaret Thatcher, ‘Interview for Woman’s Own (“no such thing as society”)’, Margaret Thatcher Foundation, 23 September 1987. 2 Keith Stanovich, Who Is Rational? Studies of Individual Differences in Reasoning (New York: Psychology Press, 1999). 3 Richard Dawkins, ‘Richard Dawkins: We Need a New Party – the European Party’, New Statesman, 29 March 2017. 4 Steven Swinford, ‘Boris Johnson’s allies accuse Michael Gove of “systematic and calculated plot” to destroy his leadership hopes’, Telegraph, 30 June 2016; Rowena Mason and Heather Stewart, ‘Gove’s thunderbolt and Boris’s breaking point: a shocking Tory morning’, Guardian, 30 June 2016. 5 James Tapsfield, ‘Gove presents himself as the integrity candidate for Downing Street job but sticks the knife into Boris AGAIN’, Daily Mail, 1 July 2016. 6 In 2017 a Stanford team has produced an algorithm that can purportedly detect whether you are gay or straight with an accuracy of 91 per cent, based solely on analysing a few of your facial pictures (https://osf.io/zn79k).


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Men Who Hate Women: From Incels to Pickup Artists, the Truth About Extreme Misogyny and How It Affects Us All by Laura Bates

4chan, Ada Lovelace, Boris Johnson, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, off grid, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Snapchat, young professional

The SAVE website states as a ‘key fact’ that ‘female initiation of partner violence is the leading reason for the woman becoming a victim of subsequent violence’.30 DeVos also reached out to the National Coalition for Men. The following year, DeVos proposed a major overhaul of college and university sexual misconduct procedures, including narrowing the definition of sexual harassment and increasing protections for students accused of misconduct. So the link between elected politicians and manosphere groups isn’t just a matter of conjecture. It is having a concrete impact. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also regularly made apparent allusions to manosphere, alt-right ideology, once claiming that female MPs were flocking to the Labour Party for its ‘planned erosion of male liberty – such as ending the right to drink in public places’ – and suggesting that female voters were turning to the party owing to the ‘fickleness of their sex’. In his column, he also described Muslim women as looking like ‘letterboxes’ and ‘bank robbers’.

In September 2018, journalist Matthew d’Ancona wrote an article warning that Johnson had been in contact with Bannon, and that Bannon had influenced Johnson’s message, making it veer towards populism. In particular, d’Ancona suggested a direct link between Bannon’s apparent strategic input and Johnson’s Islamophobic and misogynistic newspaper piece. Soon afterwards, d’Ancona later revealed, he was bombarded with angry calls from Johnson. ‘I stopped counting at 15 – though the calls continued,’ he wrote in an article for news outlet Tortoise.34 ‘Boris Johnson was furious with me for writing about his contact with Steve Bannon.’ Specifically, according to d’Ancona, Johnson was furious that the journalist had linked Bannon’s advice to his column. In other words, he seemed desperate to avoid the inference that Bannon’s input had led him to spout classic manosphere and alt-right rhetoric in the mainstream press. Writing in his column, Johnson bristled that claims of any association between him and Bannon were a conspiracy theory and a ‘lefty delusion’.35 ‘Of course I met Mr Bannon a couple of times when I was foreign secretary and he was Trump’s chief of staff,’ Johnson wrote, ‘but not since.’

, The Conversation, 14 November 2017 29 ‘Betsy DeVos Plans to Consult Men’s Rights Trolls About Campus Sexual Assault’, Slate, 11 July 2017 30 ‘The so-called “manosphere” is peopled with hundreds of websites, blogs and forums dedicated to savaging feminists in particular and women, very typically American women, in general’, Southern Poverty Law Center, 2012 31 ‘Steve Bannon: Five Things to Know’, ADL 32 ‘How Donald Trump’s New Campaign Chief Created an Online Haven for White Nationalists’, Mother Jones, August 2016 33 ‘White Nationalists Rejoice Trump’s Appointment of Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon’ Southern Poverty Law Center, 14 November 2016 34 ‘The horror, the horror’, Tortoise, 3 April 2019 35 ‘Only a proper Brexit can spare us from this toxic polarisation’, Daily Telegraph, 15 April 2019 36 ‘Steve Bannon: ‘We went back and forth’ on the themes of Johnson’s big speech’, The Guardian, 22 June 2019 37 ‘MPs’ fury at Boris Johnson’s “dangerous language”, BBC, 25 September 2019 38 ‘Man arrested outside office of Labour MP Jess Phillips’, The Guardian, 26 September 2019 39 ‘Trump defends response to Charlottesville violence, says he put it “perfectly” with “both sides” remark’, USA Today, 26 April 2019 40 ‘Dominic Cummings: Anger at MPs “not surprising”, PM’s adviser says’, BBC, 27 September 2019 41 ‘Labour MP calls for end to online anonymity after “600 rape threats” ’, The Guardian, 11 June 2018 42 ‘Ukip MEP candidate blamed feminists for rise in misogyny’, The Guardian, 22 April 2019 43 ‘Police investigate Ukip candidate over Jess Phillips rape comments’, The Guardian, 7 May 2019 44 ‘Under Siege For His Comments About Rape, UKIP’s Star Candidate Carl Benjamin Has Recruited Milo Yiannopoulos To Join His Campaign’, BuzzFeed, 8 May 2019 45 ‘Steve Bannon Targeted “Incels” Because They Are “Easy To Manipulate,” Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Says’, Newsweek, 29 October 2019 46 ‘Reddit’s TheRedPill, notorious for its misogyny, was founded by a New Hampshire state legislator’, Vox, 28 April 2017 47 ‘Red Pill Boss: All Feminists Want to Be Raped’, Daily Beast, 29 November 2017 48 ‘New Hampshire State Rep Who Created Reddit’s “Red Pill” Resigns’, Daily Beast, 22 May 2017 49 ‘Jordan Peterson & Fascist Mysticism’, New York Review of Books, 19 March 2019 50 ‘Op-Ed: Hate on Jordan Peterson all you want, but he’s tapping into frustration that feminists shouldn’t ignore’, Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2018 51 ‘Jordan Peterson: “I don’t think that men can control crazy women” ’, The Varsity, 8 October 2018 52 ‘Why Can’t People Hear What Jordan Peterson Is Saying?’


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The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam by Douglas Murray

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, cognitive dissonance, deindustrialization, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, glass ceiling, high net worth, illegal immigration, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, open borders, post-industrial society, white flight

This was done not just through charges of ‘racism’ and ‘bigotry’, but in a series of deflecting tactics that became a replacement for action. All of these were identifiable in the wake of Britain’s 2011 census, including the demand that the public should just ‘get over it’. In a column titled ‘Let’s not dwell on immigration but sow the seeds of integration’, the then Conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, responded to that census by saying, ‘We need to stop moaning about the dam-burst. It’s happened. There is nothing we can now do except make the process of absorption as eupeptic as possible.’2 Sunder Katwala from the left-wing think tank ‘British Future’ responded to the census in a similar tone, saying, ‘The question of do you want this to happen or don’t you want this to happen implies that you’ve got a choice and you could say “let’s not have any diversity”.’

On the night that the 2011 census results were announced the BBC’s flagship discussion show ‘Newsnight’ held a discussion of the news on which three-quarters of the participants expressed themselves perfectly delighted with the census and could see no cause for concern in the results. On that occasion the philosopher A. C. Grayling, himself a hugely successful immigrant from Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia), said of the findings of the census, ‘I think on the whole it’s a very positive thing, a thing to be celebrated.’ The critic and playwright Bonnie Greer, also a highly successful immigrant (from America), agreed that it was a positive thing and said, like Boris Johnson, ‘It cannot be stopped.’5 Over the whole discussion the allure of this ‘get with the beat’ attitude prevailed. Perhaps the temptation to ‘go with the flow’ is so strong in this argument because the price for stepping outside the consensus is so uniquely high. Get a studio discussion about the budget wrong and you might be accused of financial ignorance or poor interpretation of the public mood.

, BBC, 10 February 2012. 13 Andrew Neather, ‘Don’t listen to the whingers – London needs immigrants’, Evening Standard, 22 October 2009. 14 Tom Bower, Broken Vows: Tony Blair and the Tragedy of Power, Faber & Faber, 2016, pp. 171–8. 15 Hugh Muir, ‘Hideously diverse Britain: The immigration “conspiracy”’, The Guardian, 2 March 2011. 16 Bower, Broken Vows, pp. 175–6. 17 ONS figures. 18 Ibid., Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, November 2015. HOW WE GOT HOOKED ON IMMIGRATION 1 This conversation from March 1959 was recalled by his colleague and confidant Alain Peyrefitte in C’était de Gaulle (1994) and is the subject of some contention. 2 Boris Johnson, ‘Let’s not dwell on immigration but sow the seeds of integration’, The Telegraph, 17 December 2012. 3 Sunder Katwala quoted in ‘Census shows rise in foreign-born’, BBC News, 11 December 2012. 4 YouGov poll for The Sunday Times. Fieldwork 13–14th December 2012. Available at http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/w0hvkihpjg/YG-Archive-Pol-Sunday-Times-results-14-161212.pdf. 5 BBC Newsnight, 11 December 2012. 6 The Louise Casey review into Rotherham borough council, 4 February 2015. 7 Robert Winder, Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain, Little Brown, 2004, pp. x and 2. 8 Barbara Roche speaking at TEDxEastEnd, uploaded 3 October 2011, ‘The British story of migration’ [https://www.youtube.com/watch?


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Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard

Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, feminist movement, glass ceiling, knowledge economy, Saturday Night Live, wikimedia commons

If you want to find more recent examples of the kind of abuse of women that I have been discussing, there is plenty more, easy to find, online. Trolls are not particularly imaginative or nuanced, and one Twitter storm tends to look much like any other. But just occasionally there are new angles, or at least revealing comparisons to be made. I was very struck during, and just after, the UK general election in the summer of 2017 by two disastrous radio interviews given by the Labour MP Diane Abbott and the Tory Boris Johnson. Abbott completely fell to pieces over the cost of her party’s policy on police recruitment – at one point coming out with a figure that would have suggested that each new officer would have been paid about £8 a year. Johnson showed an equally embarrassing and stumbling ignorance on some of the new government’s headline commitments; he didn’t appear to have a clue on his party’s policies on racial discrimination in the criminal justice system or on access to higher Education.


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A Classless Society: Britain in the 1990s by Alwyn W. Turner

Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, centre right, deindustrialization, demand response, Desert Island Discs, endogenous growth, Etonian, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, global village, greed is good, inflation targeting, lateral thinking, means of production, millennium bug, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, period drama, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Stephen Hawking, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce

‘I think we could be presiding over the collapse of a £20 billion industry, with incalculable consequences for jobs.’ He added, somewhat plaintively: ‘I’m scared stiff. I simply don’t know what to do.’ The government’s response was drastic but politically necessary. At an estimated cost of over £4 billion, some three and a half million cattle were slaughtered and their corpses burnt. It was a true holocaust in the purest sense of the word, as the journalist Boris Johnson took pleasure in pointing out, and it raised enormous logistical problems. Around the country there built up huge piles of carcasses awaiting incineration, some of which, it was revealed, were being secretly dumped at landfill sites in an attempt to clear the backlog. Discussions opened with the power industry to see if it was worth converting generating stations to run on dead animals, though this was not pursued, perhaps because the idea of cattle replacing coal as a primary fuel would be the mother of all PR disasters for a government already perceived to have lost its way.

The Times even allowed room for William Rees-Mogg, its former editor, to float the outlandish suggestion that Alan Clark might be the man for the job: ‘he is rash, amusing, grand, Eurosceptic, outspoken, scandalous, clever, arrogant, the extraordinary rather than the ordinary.’ (Rees-Mogg’s inability to foresee the future had long been a standing joke at Private Eye, though the best gag came from Boris Johnson, who once wrote of him that he ‘has predicted twelve of the last two recessions’.) The rumours grew into open speculation during that final year before the general election, which was now widely expected to be held in May 1997. This was the last possible date that Major could call it, and the assumption was that he was holding on in the hope that the public might change minds that had been made up years ago.

Formal and restrained in his response, he had – on the recommendation of his young adviser, George Osborne – suggested that Heathrow Airport be renamed in Diana’s honour, a proposal so irrelevant that it was scarcely noticed. The Conservatives had convinced themselves that they were starting to make up some ground on Labour, but the death of Diana halted any such advance: ‘That single event stopped our recovery in its tracks,’ commented one shadow minister. Instead they looked entirely lost in this new Britain, where public displays of emotion (‘Latin American peasant hagiolatry’, in the words of Boris Johnson) were not only acceptable but almost compulsory. A former cabinet minister expressed the confusion that had descended on the Tories: ‘I walked through the crowds in St James’s and realised this was no longer a country I truly understand.’ Tony Blair, on the other hand, was universally judged to have played a blinder, and an opinion poll a month later showed him achieving record levels of approval.


pages: 691 words: 203,236

Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities by Eric Kaufmann

4chan, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, anti-globalists, augmented reality, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, immigration reform, imperial preference, income inequality, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Nate Silver, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, open borders, phenotype, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steven Pinker, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, twin studies, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, working-age population, World Values Survey, young professional

However, as an unpopular figure among centrist Labour voters who had himself voted against staying in Europe in 1975, Corbyn was of limited use to the cause. Each of the parties ran its own campaign, hoping to leverage party loyalty to convince its base to back Remain and turn out to the polls. The Leave side, though structured as a cross-party effort, was equally divided. Vote Leave, the official Leave campaign, was chaired by Gisela Stuart, a Labour MP, but fronted by the Tory mayor of London Boris Johnson and Conservative MPs such as Chris Grayling, Andrea Leadsom and Michael Gove. Vote Leave’s rhetoric focused on ‘respectable’ arguments around sovereignty and the freedom for Britain to make its own trade deals with growing economies. A second effort, Leave.eu, funded by UKIP donor Arron Banks and fronted by the party leader, Nigel Farage, was an insurgent campaign which concentrated on the immigration question.

Dave Prentis, of the Unison trade union, branded the UKIP poster ‘an attempt to incite racial hatred’ and reported it to the police. ‘To pretend that migration to the UK is only about people who are not white is to peddle the racism that has no place in a modern, caring society. That’s why Unison has complained about this blatant attempt to incite racial hatred and breach UK race laws.’ At Vote Leave, Boris Johnson distanced himself from the poster, declaring, ‘I am passionately pro-immigration and pro-immigrants.’ The Archbishop of Canterbury accused the poster of ‘pandering to people’s worries and prejudices, that is, giving legitimization to racism’. Farage remained unmoved: ‘This is a photograph – an accurate, undoctored photograph – taken on 15 October last year following Angela Merkel’s call in the summer … most of the people coming are young males and, yes, they may be coming from countries that are not in a very happy state, they may be coming from places that are poorer than us, but the EU has made a fundamental error that risks the security of everybody.’92 The racist charge is appropriate in my view because the poster encourages irrational fears of Muslim immigrants.

Historians tell us that French, Irish, Jewish and pre-war black immigrants largely melted into the white majority. Those of mixed race, who share common ancestors with White British people, are growing faster than all minority groups and 8 in 10 of them marry whites. In the long run, today’s minorities will be absorbed into the majority and foreign identities will fade, as they have for public figures with immigrant ancestors like Boris Johnson or Peter Mandelson. Britain shapes its migrants, migration doesn’t shape Britain. The share of Brexit voters wanting EU immigration cut to zero was 23 per cent among those who read the first or no passage, but opposition dropped to 15 per cent among those reading the second passage on assimilation. For 2015 UKIP voters, the proportion dropped dramatically: from 45 per cent favouring zero EU immigration for those reading the first or no passage to 15 per cent among the group which read the assimilation message.


pages: 244 words: 81,334

Picnic Comma Lightning: In Search of a New Reality by Laurence Scott

4chan, Airbnb, airport security, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, clean water, colonial rule, cryptocurrency, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, housing crisis, Internet of things, Joan Didion, job automation, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, Productivity paradox, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, Y2K

Sky News created a sensational paradox in broadcasting these ‘off-camera’ remarks ‘caught on camera’. Both this weird clip’s form and its content suggest these two-sided times. Discussing Andrea Leadsom’s prospects, Clarke said, ‘So long as10 she understands that she’s not to deliver on some of the extremely stupid things she’s been saying.’ More recently, during a trip to a Myanmar temple, Boris Johnson was captured on camera muttering lines from a Rudyard Kipling poem, ‘Mandalay’. Given the colonial context of the poem, the UK Ambassador whispered to Johnson that it was ‘not appropriate’, and reminded him that he was ‘on mic’ for the duration of his idle performance. ‘Good stuff,’ Johnson replies, hoisting his smartphone to take a picture. Here the official, political visit collided with Johnson’s private, romantic associations.

Mike Matthews, Fremantle Media, 2015; ‘I know it’s …’, Instagram post by Nigella Lawson (@nigellalawson) on 25th July 2015 6 ‘a public health crisis …’, from the draft of ‘Republican Platform 2016’; ‘public health hazard …’, see Drafting Attorney RuthAnne Frost, ‘S.C.R. 9 Concurrent Resolution on the Public Health Crisis’, State of Utah, 29th March 2016. 7 ‘some told me …’, Maggie Jones, ‘What Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn’, The New York Times, 7th February 2018. 8 ‘one of the …’, see Anjali Midha’s Twitter blog, ‘Study: Live-Tweeting lifts Tweet volume, builds a social audience for your show’, 18th September 2014. 9 ‘What an episode! …’, Tweet by Ross Kemp (@RossKemp) on 17th May 2016, www.twitter.com. 10 ‘So long as …’, see ‘Ken Clarke Ridicules Tory Candidates’, www.skynews.com; ‘not appropriate’, see ‘Boris Johnson recites Kipling poem in Myanmar temple’, Guardian News YouTube Channel, published 30th September 2017. 11 ‘New York is …’, Katie Couric interview for Crazy About Tiffany’s, dir. Matthew Miele, Quixotic Endeavors, 2016. 12 ‘an obscene amount …’, see ‘George Clooney on Why He’s Not Like the Koch Brothers’, NBC News YouTube Channel, published 18th April 2016. 13 ‘All right, I’ll …’, I was informed here by the work of Ian C.


pages: 432 words: 85,707

QI: The Third Book of General Ignorance (Qi: Book of General Ignorance) by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson

Albert Einstein, Boris Johnson, British Empire, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, dark matter, double helix, epigenetics, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, music of the spheres, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, Ronald Reagan, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route

So, if you block the light by standing in front of it and casting a shadow on the surface, that small force is now missing. If you cast a shadow onto a set of bathroom scales, the light’s downward force is no longer there and you have created a negative weight. Unfortunately, no scales are sensitive enough to register such a tiny negative weight. A shadow covering the whole of greater London would only have as much effect on the capital’s mass as removing three Boris Johnsons. Russian scientist Pyotr Lebedev (1866–1912) first proved light exerts a force on an object due to its momentum in 1898. He suspended a wafer-thin piece of platinum foil in a vacuum jar and saw it move (very slightly) when a lamp was shone on it. Though the pressure exerted by light is imperceptible on Earth, one day it may be useful in space. A light-powered spacecraft would start very slowly, but with nothing to slow it down in outer space, the pressure would build up until it reached a huge speed, propelled entirely by sunlight.

No written accounts of this story exist earlier than the eighteenth century. And Thomas isn’t an Anglo-Saxon name. Coventry has re-enacted the legend once a year on and off since 1678 with a ‘Godiva Parade’ or ‘Procession’. It was a bit coy to start with: in the first one Lady Godiva was played by a boy, and on another occasion, in Puritan times, the horse wore trousers. KATHY LETTE Do you think that would work today, if we suggested to Boris Johnson that if we rode naked through the town we could stop paying our taxes? STEPHEN Or maybe we could pay him not to ride naked through the streets of London. ALAN I prefer that idea. When did the first woman vote in Britain? It wasn’t in 1918. Some British women – those who owned property and were over 30 – won the right to vote in parliamentary elections in 1918. But they weren’t the first.


Not Working by Blanchflower, David G.

active measures, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clapham omnibus, collective bargaining, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, George Akerlof, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, job satisfaction, John Bercow, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shock, open borders, Own Your Own Home, p-value, Panamax, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, quantitative easing, rent control, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, urban planning, working poor, working-age population, yield curve

If I do it here and Brexit goes in the wrong direction, then what is going to happen to the company? If I’m forced to go out because we don’t have the right deal, then we have to close plants here in the UK and it will be very, very sad.” 17 Votes have consequences. CNN Money has a “Brexit Jobs Tracker” that identifies companies moving jobs or investment from the UK because of Brexit.18 As of November 12, 2018, there were twenty-five on the list. After being praised by Boris Johnson for moving to London five years earlier, Japanese pharmaceutical firm Shionogi announced in March 2019 that it was moving its headquarters to Amsterdam. According to the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, in January 2019 more than 250 companies were in discussions about Brexitdriven relocations.19 The Literature on Walking About and Not Sniffing the Wine Orley Ashenfelter from Princeton University is another believer.

It is full of clothes stores and big department stores like Selfridges and Debenhams and John Lewis, and in the January sales it should have been a frenzy of activity. My cabbie pointed out something unusual about the shoppers that year: they had no bags and were only window shopping. People didn’t have any money to spend. I spoke to other London taxi drivers during the first half of 2008. London cabbies, I find, are always a good source of information on what is happening in London. At first, they were big supporters of the new mayor of London, Boris Johnson, but then they quickly turned against him. A number told me that they were having to work more hours to make their money every week. Some of them told me that they were fortunate because they could increase their hours but many of their friends and family weren’t as lucky. Hours of work were falling, and people were being laid off. The cabbie’s hunch likely was correct, but there were other possibilities to explain the decreased presence of shopping bags.

Refugees who might turn into terrorists at the drop of a hat represented a growing threat, even though the chances of an American being killed by a terrorist over the last decade were lower than being hit by a falling piano. It also turned out that the probability of being killed by a refugee terrorist was less than that of being killed by a shark, an asteroid, an earthquake, or a tornado; choking on food; or being stung by hornets, wasps, or bees.24 Brexit meant bringing back prosperity to declining coal, steel, and seaside towns. Boris Johnson, who became UK foreign secretary and recently resigned over Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit plan, complained about EU laws that determined the power of vacuum cleaners and what shape bananas had to be; he said such policies were “crazy.” 25 Sovereignty meant that you could have any shape banana you want. Brexit was about holding your head up and not being beholden to others. Many yearn for the days of empire and long-lost glories.


pages: 579 words: 160,351

Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now by Alan Rusbridger

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, centre right, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Doomsday Book, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Filter Bubble, forensic accounting, Frank Gehry, future of journalism, G4S, high net worth, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pre–internet, ransomware, recommendation engine, Ruby on Rails, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Socratic dialogue, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks

He ended: ‘There is copious evidence to support all these statements and it’s really about time those of us on the winning side of the argument stopped pussyfooting around and apologising for being 100 per cent right. That should include everyone in the Trump administration. This is a revolution; we’ve got truth and justice on our side; we owe the enemy nothing – and we really shouldn’t count our job done till we’ve crushed them, seen them driven before us and heard the lamentations of their women.’31 How can we put this kindly? Delingpole writes entertainingly enough in a sub-Boris Johnson sort of way but when it comes to climate change he’s about as authoritative as a carpet slipper. And yet he was regularly given space by mainstream newspapers and magazines to spout dangerous nonsense – let’s call it fake news – about something people who do know what they’re talking about consider to be a devastating threat to our species. At the same time Delingpole and his fellow travellers criticise the BBC’s coverage as ‘warmist propaganda’.

But the same Brexit-boosting newspapers were – according to the European Commission itself 21 – the leaders in perpetrating myths about how the EU would destroy British sovereignty: bananas will have to be straight; cows will have to wear nappies; milk jugs will be banned; Bombay mix will be renamed; women will have to hand back old sex toys, and so on. One of the reporters who delighted in this style of reporting was Boris Johnson, the Telegraph’s man in Brussels in the early 1990s. One of his former colleagues, Jean Quatremer, wrote of his technique: ‘Johnson managed to invent an entire newspaper genre: the Euromyth, a story that had a tiny element of truth at the outset but which was magnified so far beyond reality that by the time it reached the reader it was false.’22 Johnson became one of the leading architects of Brexit and, later, British foreign secretary.

But the Dewey idea of the informed citizen relied on enough people wanting to be informed – or to feel it was worth the trouble of informing themselves because it might have some effect. I asked Ian Dunt, the (pro-Remain) editor of Politics.co.uk why more news organisations had not gone for a more balanced, factual, approach. ‘Oh we tried that,’ he said, ‘and literally almost no one read it. They don’t read about fishing quotas or aviation tariffs, however vital they are. But if you write about Boris Johnson, everyone will read it.’ 29. Gillmor, D. We the Media; see Bibliography 30. Archived at https://politicalscrapbook.net/2017/07/ 31. Sun, 31 October 2017 32. Twitter, 31 October 2017, 3.15 p.m.; @BarristerSecret 33. Daily Mail, 15 December 2017; Larisa Brown 34. Twitter, 14 December 2017, 11.55 p.m.; @AdamWagner1 35. PressThink, 28 December 2016 36. The new publisher of the New York Times, A.G.


pages: 79 words: 24,875

Are Trams Socialist?: Why Britain Has No Transport Policy by Christian Wolmar

active transport: walking or cycling, Beeching cuts, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, BRICs, congestion charging, Diane Coyle, financial independence, full employment, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, low cost airline, Network effects, railway mania, trade route, urban sprawl, wikimedia commons, Zipcar

A series of announcements ensued, usually made by David Cameron wearing a cycling helmet, but while there has been support for the occasional project, the government crucially has no budget line solely dedicated to expenditure on cycling While a few towns with a tradition of cycling, such as Cambridge, York and Chelmsford, have experienced continued growth, the one city to benefit from considerable cycling investment has been London, where a massive increase in cycle use, stimulated from the grass roots largely by young people commuting to the central zone, has almost forced local politicians to respond. On some city centre streets, cyclists became the dominant users in rush hour. A few boroughs responded by installing cycle routes but many of these were inadequate or took users on a circuitous route. There was, however, a breakthrough in 2012, when the mayor, Boris Johnson, promised to spend £913 million over the next nine years on cycling. Although on examination some of this money was wishful thinking and there was considerable initial underspending on the allocation, it did represent a statement of intent and a genuine step change on previous policies. After his first election victory in 2008, Johnson had embarked on an ill-thought-out programme of cycling superhighways that proved to be expensive and poorly designed, which was highlighted by a series of deaths on the main route in east London.


pages: 326 words: 93,522

Underground, Overground by Andrew Martin

bank run, Boris Johnson, congestion charging, garden city movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, traveling salesman, V2 rocket

From 1910, to drum up custom, the Metropolitan would operate a luxury Pullman service from Verney Junction to Aldgate. In other words, they attached to the train two special coaches (called Mayflower and Galatea), which exceeded in plushness the Metropolitan’s ordinary first-class compartments. They were essentially restaurants on wheels. There was also a bar in the carriage. When he became mayor of London, Boris Johnson banned drinking on the Underground, but what would he make of City gents being served whisky and water in crystal glasses in the tunnel approaching Baker Street? ‘The scheme of decoration of the cars is that of the latter part of the Eighteenth Century, with remarkably artistic effect’, observed the Railway Magazine in 1910. The window blinds were of green silk. Above each seat was ‘an ormolu luggage rack with finely chased ornamentation and panels of brass treillage’.

Unlike Frank Pick, he does not combine an aesthetic appreciation of transport with his desire to use it for the social good. For Livingstone, transport is all about the social good – and the aggrandisation of Ken Livingstone, of course. (So he would phase out the beautiful Routemaster bus in favour of the sinister but supposedly more user-friendly ‘Bendy Bus’ in 2005, which may in turn have been a factor in his defeat by Boris Johnson in the mayoral election of 2008. Johnson is a transport romantic, albeit with a romanticism not confined to public transport – the last time I looked, he was the motoring correspondent of GQ magazine – and he has commissioned a new Routemaster for the twenty-first century. But he is not steeped in transport, as Livingstone is.) London politics is very largely concerned with public transport, so any aspirant in that arena had better become interested in it, and Livingstone has been engaged right from the start of his career.


pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams

3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, late capitalism, liberation theology, Live Aid, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-work, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

Just as the automation of logistics took away some of the leverage points occupied by dockworkers, so too does the automation of factories, transportation, and eventually service work portend a significant decline in the potential for workplace struggles. The emergence of self-driving vehicles, for instance, will rapidly diminish the points of leverage contained within transportation systems. The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers in the UK will have to face this problem directly in the near future, with self-driving trains already in operation and further expansion planned. The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has explicitly stated that automation should be used to destroy one of the few remaining militant British unions.78 Crucially, however, leverage points remain, and new ones will emerge in the wake of restructuring and automation. For instance, as one author pointed out – in 1957! – ‘a strike by a very small number of workers is liable to hold up an entire automated factory’.79 A decline in the number of workers overseeing a process also means a concentration of potential power within a smaller group of individuals.

Erik Olin Wright, ‘Working-Class Power, Capitalist-Class Interests, and Class Compromise’, American Journal of Sociology 105: 4 (2000), p. 962. 73.Jonathan Cutler and Stanley Aronowitz, ‘Quitting Time’, in Stanley Aronowitz and Jonathan Cutler, eds, Post-Work: The Wages of Cybernation (New York: Routledge, 1998), pp. 9–11. 74.Cynthia Cockburn, Brothers: Male Dominance and Technological Change (London: Pluto, 1991). 75.McAlevey, Raising Expectations, p. 28. 76.Cutler and Aronowitz, ‘Quitting Time’, p. 17. 77.Ibid., pp. 12–13; Noam Chomsky, Occupy (London: Penguin, 2012), p. 34. 78.Murray Wardrop, ‘Boris Johnson Pledges to Introduce Driverless Tube Trains Within Two Years’, Daily Telegraph, 28 February 2012. 79.Paul Einzig, The Economic Consequences of Automation (New York: W. W. Norton, 1957), p. 235. 80.David Autor, Polanyi’s Paradox and the Shape of Employment Growth, Working Paper, National Bureau of Economic Research, September 2014, at nber.org, p. 26. 81.Anh Nguyen, Jason Yosinski and Jeff Clune, ‘Deep Neural Networks Are Easily Fooled: High Confidence Predictions for Unrecognizable Images’, arXiv, 2015, at arxiv.org. 82.A classic resource here is Piven and Cloward, Poor People’s Movements.


pages: 307 words: 88,745

War for Eternity: Inside Bannon's Far-Right Circle of Global Power Brokers by Benjamin R. Teitelbaum

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, Boris Johnson, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Etonian, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, Joseph Schumpeter, liberal capitalism, liberal world order, mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Saturday Night Live, school choice, side project, Skype, South China Sea, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks

His connections with wealthy Muslims were real. They included the former emir of Qatar and, of equal note, a wealthy, well-known rabble-rouser—a half-Iranian Iranian nationalist from the UK named Darius Guppy. Guppy, like Michael Bagley, had been caught in elaborate illegal schemes to raise money for unclear purposes, and had once conspired with his friend and fellow Old Etonian British prime minister Boris Johnson to have a journalist physically beaten. Those were the connections that had so worried the anti-fascist activist who had helped me investigate this Londoner, for the information outlined the possibility that Jason had been contacted by someone with channels to power. His and Bagley’s circle of contacts also included the CEO of a media company who moved between Mexico and London and who published a website tracking oil prices and trading—that’s probably where the Venezuela documents (for yet another money raising scheme) came from.

Chapter 21: The Reckoning “Bagley has never gotten past the discussion phase”: This information is based on publicly available court documents from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Virginia, Alexandria division. Case number 1:19mj315. physically beaten: Simon Murphy, “‘A Couple of Black Eyes’: Johnson and the Plot to Attack a Reporter,” Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/14/black-eyes-boris-johnson-plot-attack-reporter-darius-guppy. Index Affordable Care Act, 118 Ali-Shah, Omar and Idries, 134–35 alt-right movement AltRight Corporation and, 208–12, 213–23, 241–46, 266 (see also Jorjani, Jason Reza) Breitbart and, 241, 304n funding for, 217–20, 241–46 Unite the Right (Charlottesville) rally, 235–47 white nationalism of, 215–23 Andrade de Souza, Roxane, 134, 139, 177, 251–57 Antifa, 239 anti-Semitism.


Driverless Cars: On a Road to Nowhere by Christian Wolmar

Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, bitcoin, Boris Johnson, BRICs, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, deskilling, Diane Coyle, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Tesla Model S, Travis Kalanick, wikimedia commons, Zipcar

Already, as we have seen, Nissan’s CEO is talking about what a pain cyclists are. The examples I have cited about people standing in front of vehicles would clearly need punitive legislation to prevent obstruction of vehicles. The Holborn problem might require huge stretches of fencing on city streets to prevent jaywalking, which is hugely damaging to the urban realm as it encourages speeding and makes walking far more difficult. That is why Boris Johnson took down miles of fencing across London when he was mayor. In other words, autonomous cars might be the 106 Who will drive the Queen? catalyst for all kinds of restrictions, rather than a force for freedom. They could be the excuse to pen in pedestrians, restrict cyclists, prioritize autonomous vehicles over conventional ones, and turn cities into driverless rat-runs. Moreover, if driverless pods became the norm and made public transport uneconomic, or even killed it off entirely, what would happen to people who did not have, or did not want, access to them?


pages: 443 words: 98,113

The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay by Guy Standing

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, first-past-the-post, future of work, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, information retrieval, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mini-job, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, openstreetmap, patent troll, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, remote working, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, structural adjustment programs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar

At the centre of the amphitheatre, a fountain is planned, which will take the form of Malaysia’s national flower.19 London is being turned into part of the global rentier economy, losing its distinctive character and shrinking the spaces that ordinary Londoners can use freely. Privatisation of the urban commons now has an informal acronym, POPS (privately owned public spaces), to signify the growing number of squares, gardens and parks that look public but are not. In 2009, Boris Johnson, then London’s mayor, bemoaned the ‘corporatisation’ of streets and public spaces that made Londoners feel like trespassers in their own city. Even his headquarters, City Hall, and its thirteen-acre site are owned by More London, an estate management company bought in 2013 by a Kuwaiti property corporation, St Martins, which owns swathes of prime London property. Newly created Granary Square near London’s King’s Cross Station, one of Europe’s biggest open-air spaces, is a private estate.

Michael Farmer, a hedge fund manager who has given over £6.5 million, was made co-treasurer of the party and given a peerage.21 Even more disquieting is the growing financial role of foreign plutocrats, often with questionable backgrounds. In one small but symbolic example, at the Conservatives 2014 summer fund-raising ball the wife of Putin’s ex-deputy finance minister, Vladimir Chernukhin, successfully bid £160,000 for a tennis match with David Cameron and then London Mayor Boris Johnson, and the auctioneer threw in the party co-chair as ball boy. The Conservative Party has also set up a Leader’s Group of donors who give at least £50,000 a year, enabling an international super-rich group of financiers and industrialists to have regular dinners with the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. Members have acknowledged that policies are discussed and developed at these gatherings.


pages: 335 words: 98,847

A Bit of a Stretch: The Diaries of a Prisoner by Chris Atkins

Boris Johnson, butterfly effect, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, forensic accounting, G4S, housing crisis, illegal immigration, index card, Mark Zuckerberg, Milgram experiment, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans

Peter Clarke, the head prison inspector, apportioned much of the blame to the national leadership of the prison system.9 Rory Stewart subsequently declared that he’d resign as prisons minister if the 10 most failing jails did not improve in the next year.10 He didn’t wait to face the music, and instead provided the comic relief during the 2019 Tory leadership election. In 2019, there was an 11% rise in assaults, self-inflicted deaths rose from 81 to 86, and there was a staggering increase in self-harm of 24% to an all-time high of 57,968 incidents. The MoJ revealed that one in seven prisons had a performance of ‘serious concern’ – the highest proportion since ratings began.11 Boris Johnson became prime minister in the summer of 2019 and law and order policy took a sharp turn to the right. Robert Buckland QC was appointed Justice Secretary,12 and Priti Patel (who had previously advocated the death penalty) became Home Secretary.13 The government immediately announced its intention to create 10,000 new prison places14 and proposals to increase sentence lengths.15 There were five different Justice Secretaries over my 30-month sentence.

utm_term=.1b9349c58cd6 20 http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/Portals/0/Documents/Bromley%20 Briefings/Summer%202018%20factfile.pdf 21 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0834tmt 22 https://www.barnardos.org.uk/what_we_do/our_projects/children_of_prisoners.htm 23 https://www.barnardos.org.uk/what_we_do/our_projects/children_of_prisoners.htm 24 https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/offenders/psipso/psi-2013/PSI-30-2013-incentives-and-earned-privileges.doc 25 http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/ForPrisonersFamilies/PrisonerInformationPages/IncentivesandEarnedPrivileges 26 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/multi-agency-publicprotection-arrangements-mappa--2 27 https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/offenders/psipso/pso/PSO_2205_offender_assessment_and_sentence_management.doc Chapter 7: Spinsters and Spiceheads 1 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/449290/glossary-of-programmes.pdf; https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/justice-data-lab-pilot-statistics 2 http://www.equinoxcare.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/JD-Prison-Offender-Resettlement-Workers-NEW.doc 3 https://www.sparkinside.org/our-work/heros-journey 4 http://www.safeground.org.uk/prisons/man-up/ 5 http://www.safeground.org.uk/impact-evidence/full-list-programmeevaluations/ 6 https://s3-eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/imb-prod-storage-1ocod6bqky0vo/uploads/2017/09/Wandsworth-2016-2017.pdf 7 https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2844087/time-added-on-to-prisonerssentences-for-attacking-each-other-more-than-doubles-in-five-years/ 8 https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/offenders/psipso/psi-2011/psi-64-2011-safer-custody.doc 9 http://edition.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/05/29/spector.sentencing/index.html Chapter 8: Murder and Mutiny 1 https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/rioting-inmates-at-winson-greenbirmingham-used-keys-from-warden-to-unlock-cells-589f30k0w 2 https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/winson-greenpriosn-riots-inmates-12332465 3 https://www.expressandstar.com/news/crime/2017/09/29/hmp-birminghamriots-six-convicted-of-mutiny-after-worst-prison-riot-since-strangeways/ 4 https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/may/12/painstaking-investigation-deutschebank-insidertrading 5 https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2463202/riot-breaks-out-at-prison-as-60-inmates-take-control/ 6 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-42217789 7 https://www.itv.com/news/story/2013-11-01/18rated-movies-prison-ban/ 8 https://yjlc.uk/age-2/ 9 https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/criminals-under-25-shouldnot-go-to-adult-prison-mps-commons-justice-select-committee-a7379811.html Chapter 9: Courtrooms and Cheeseburgers 1 https://www.imb.org.uk/independent-monitoring-boards/ 2 https://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2016/09/07/prison-reformlooks-dead-in-the-water-under-liz-truss 3 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1392885/Prisoner-allowed-fatherchild-jail-human-right-family-life.html 4 https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2057116/prisonofficer-found-guilty-ofmisconduct-after-collecting-lags-sperm-in-syringe-in-plan-to-conceivechocolate-baby/ 5 https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/crime/career-paedophile-roy-reynoldssentenced-to-16-months-in-jail-1-4844055 6 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-38586271 7 https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/750588/paedophile-sex-childrenconvicted-jail-spare-free-judge-sick-Daniel-Taylor 8 https://www.imb.org.uk/report/wandsworth-2017-18-annual-report/ 9 http://www.transformjustice.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/TJ_March2018report.pdf 10 http://www.ppo.gov.uk/app/uploads/2014/07/Risk_thematic_final_web.pdf 11 https://www.itv.com/news/2015-07-21/hunt-for-inmate-mistakenly-freedfrom-wandsworth-prison/ 12 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5178663/The-number-prisonerswrongly-released-jail-10.html 13 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3947584/Prisoners-cushy-life-Ministers-want-jail-softer.html 14 https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2987950/hmp-berwyn-wrexham-uk-cellscost/ 15 https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/exposed-prisoners-partying-drugsvodka-11305994 16 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2205824/Ill-stop-jails-like-holidaycamps-says-new-minister-justice.html 17 https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/nick-ferrari/nick-ferrari-sort-outholiday-camp-prisons/ 18 https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/jun/15/reading-for-freedomlife-changing-scheme-dreamt-up-by-prison-pen-pals-shannon-trust-actionfor-equity-award 19 https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/cjji/media/press-releases/2015/03/learningdisbailitiespt2news/ 20 https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/05/jail-reading-scheme-lettertom-shannontrust 21 https://www.shannontrust.org.uk/support-us/ Chapter 10: Despair and Dancing Queen 1 https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmpubacc/400/400.pdf 2 https://twitter.com/MoJGovUK/status/733345232117436416 3 https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/26/prison-suicides-inengland-and-wales-reaches-record-high 4 http://www.swlondoner.co.uk/revealed-wandsworth-prisons-tragic-suiciderates-highest-country/ 5 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4183510/HBOS-banker-jailed-11-years-1bn-fraud.html 6 https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2786265/hbos-rotters-used-posh-yacht-toscam-fortune-during-1bn-asset-stripping-trial/ 7 https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/feb/02/hbos-manager-andother-city-financiers-jailed-over-245m-loans-scam 8 https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/30/cash-cruises-sex-partieshbos-manager-lynden-scourfield 9 https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answersstatements/written-question/Lords/2017-12-21/HL4432/ 10 http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/justice-committee/prisonreform/oral/44534.html 11 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jail-go-up-like-dynamite-10601487 12 https://hansard.parliament.uk/pdf/Commons/2017-01-25 13 https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1972-04417-001 14 https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/08/im-blame-blunkettsindefinite-prison-sentences-and-thousands-still-locked 15 https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/14/liz-truss-get-grip-backlogprisoners-held-beyond-interdeminate-sentence-ipp 16 http://www.ppo.gov.uk/app/uploads/2014/07/Risk_thematic_final_web.pdf 17 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26561380 18 https://inews.co.uk/news/worboys-forensic-psychologist-horrified-lackevidence-behind-prisonsex-offender-courses/ 19 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48683296 20 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4635876/Scandal-100million-sexcrime-cure-hubs.html 21 https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/why-mindfulness-makes-criminals-worse-3sd6xf5fh 22 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38931580 23 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08hnpml 24 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5674345/Female-prison-officer-25-started-personal-relationship-prisoner.html 25 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3865078/Prison-guard-inmate-said-pretty-smuggled-phones-jail-send-sex-texts-murderer-infatuated-him.html 26 https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2900379/prison-crackdown-will-includetough-but-fair-agenda-to-prevent-lags-reoffending/ 27 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04tczmv 28 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-43115364 29 https://www.doingtime.co.uk/how-prisons-work/the-first-weeks-in-custody/personal-officer/ 30 https://www.ft.com/content/eb01cd18-4f63-11e7-bfb8-997009366969 31 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4246586/Police-hunt-murderer-twoarmed-men-help-escape.html 32 https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/prisoners-being-left-insqualid-courtroom-cells-by-private-escort-companies-and-told-they-haveonly-a6723336.html 33 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-48747398 34 https://www.crisis.org.uk/ending-homelessness/law-and-rights/prison-leavers/ 35 https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http:/www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/cabinetoffice/social_exclusion_task_force/assets/publications_1997_to_2006/reducing_summary.pdf 36 http://bouncebackproject.com 37 http://www.cellspitch.com 38 https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2900379/prison-crackdown-will-includetough-but-fair-agenda-to-prevent-lags-reoffending/ Chapter 11: Paedophiles and Prizes 1 https://www.mdx.ac.uk/our-research/researchgroups/prisons-researchgroup/learning-together 2 https://www.judiciary.uk/announcements/coa-news-release-crim-appealsheard-more-quickly-11122012/ 3 https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/29/hmp-wandsworth-ianbickers-governor-leaves-prisoners 4 https://www.gov.uk/life-in-prison/healthcare-in-prison 5 https://www.imb.org.uk/report/wandsworth-imb-2016-17-annual-report/ 6 https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/22/prison-healthcare-so-badit-would-be-shut-down-on-outside-say-doctors 7 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/05/healthcare-jailskilling-female-prisoners-black-women-annabella-landsberg 8 https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/mentalhealth/cqc-prosecutes-mentalhealth-trust-over-prisoner-suicide/7029362.article 9 http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/offenders/psipso/psi-2011/psi-49-2011-prisoner-comms-services.doc Epilogue 1 https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jun/04/hmp-wandsworth-losesreform-prison-status-ian-bickers 2 https://www.ft.com/content/eb01cd18-4f63-11e7-bfb8-997009366969 3 https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prisonreform-open-letter-fromthe-justice-secretary 4 https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/prison-violenceself-injury-uk-highest-level-record-inmates-figures-hmp-liverpoolnottingham-a8177286.html 5 https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/secretary-of-state-for-justice 6 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/justice-secretary-david-gauke-sets-outlong-term-for-justice 7 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/06/26/scrap-jail-terms-less-12-months-serious-offences-says-prisons/ 8 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fairer-prisoner-incentives-toencourage-rehabilitation 9 https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/19/liverpool-prison-worst-conditions-inspectors-report 10 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45214414 11 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49110327 12 https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2019/07/cabinet-audit-whatdoes-appointment-robert-buckland-justice-secretary-mean 13 https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2019/07/cabinet-audit-whatdoes-appointment-priti-patel-home-secretary-mean-policy 14 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49309112 15 https://www.channel4.com/news/boris-johnson-pledges-to-increase-prisonsentences-for-violent-and-sexual-crimes 16 https://tpa.typepad.com/home/files/the_failure_of_the_prison_service_in_the_uk.pdf 17 https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/01/grayling-reaches-33msettlement-over-brexit-ferry-fiasco-court-case-eurotunnel 18 https://uk.linkedin.com/in/ianbickers-a4515625 19 https://twitter.com/ian_bickers/status/1033990834881011712?


pages: 493 words: 98,982

The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? by Michael J. Sandel

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, coronavirus, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, global supply chain, helicopter parent, High speed trading, immigration reform, income inequality, Khan Academy, laissez-faire capitalism, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Washington Consensus

Henry Wallace, who was probably the nation’s greatest agriculture secretary, studied at Iowa State. 55 The rising credentialism of recent decades has also failed to improve governance in the United Kingdom. Today, only 7 percent of the British population attends private schools, and fewer than 1 percent attend Oxford or Cambridge universities. But the governing elites are drawn disproportionately from these places. Nearly two-thirds of Boris Johnson’s 2019 cabinet attended private schools, and almost half are Oxbridge graduates. Since World War II, most Conservative cabinet ministers, and about a third of ministers in Labour governments, have come from private school backgrounds. 56 But one of the most successful British governments since the war was its least credentialed and most broadly representative in class terms. In 1945, Clement Attlee’s Labour Party defeated Winston Churchill’s Conservatives.

See Binyamin Appelbaum, The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2019), pp. 3–18. 55. Frank, Listen, Liberal , p. 39. 56. Figures on portion of general population who attend private schools (7 percent) and Oxford or Cambridge (1 percent) are from Elitist Britain 2019: The Educational Backgrounds of Britain’s Leading People (The Sutton Trust and Social Mobility Commission, 2019), p. 4, suttontrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Elitist-Britain-2019.pdf ; figures on Boris Johnson cabinet and percentage of cabinet who attended private school over time are from Rebecca Montacute and Ruby Nightingale, Sutton Trust Cabinet Analysis 2019, suttontrust.com/research-paper/sutton-trust-cabinet-analysis-2019 . 57 . Sutton Trust Cabinet Analysis 2019; Adam Gopnik, “Never Mind Churchill, Clement Attlee Is a Model for These Times,” The New Yorker , January 2, 2018, newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/never-mind-churchill-clement-attlee-is-a-model-for-these-times . 58.


pages: 471 words: 109,267

The Verdict: Did Labour Change Britain? by Polly Toynbee, David Walker

banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, call centre, central bank independence, congestion charging, Corn Laws, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Etonian, failed state, first-past-the-post, Frank Gehry, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, high net worth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, market bubble, mass immigration, millennium bug, moral panic, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, Right to Buy, shareholder value, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, working-age population, Y2K

The minimum wage was introduced in 1998, a hundred years after Winston Churchill, another well-known revolutionary, had brought in wages councils that set minima for particular industries. Starting at £3.60 an hour for adults, it immediately pushed up the pay of 1.2 million low-paid workers, most of them women. The Tories, having fought its introduction, then said they were in favour, making the national minimum a permanent gain for Labour. By 2010 the rate had risen, but only to £5.91. The minimum could not support a family. First Ken Livingstone and then Boris Johnson as mayors of London agreed a benchmark ‘living wage’ for their employees and contractors – £7.60 in London, £7 elsewhere in 2010. Ministers hammering on about ‘getting the poor off benefits and into work’ forgot that many who worked were still living below the poverty line. When pollsters asked about poverty the public thought Shameless and scroungers, not hospital cleaners, security guards, street cleaners, old people’s care assistants, dinner ladies, check-out staff or nursery assistants.

Rejected by the party machine, Ken Livingstone stood as an independent and won the first London elections in May 2000. His vote, just 15 per cent of the London electorate’s first-choice preferences, with barely a third of eligible Londoners bothering to vote at all, showed the public’s lack of enthusiasm. And this for a new office with huge potential. Livingstone won again, standing for Labour, only to lose to the clownish Boris Johnson in 2008. Conventional wisdom said lowish turnout and lack of public interest – especially in the assembly created alongside the mayor – resulted from the Greater London Authority’s lack of powers. Alternatively, too many people were uninterested in local self-government. That seemed to explain the tepid response to Labour’s attempt to push mayors in towns and cities outside London. Dorothy Thornhill, a local teacher and Liberal Democrat councillor, became full-time mayor of Watford.


pages: 353 words: 106,704

Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution by Beth Gardiner

barriers to entry, Boris Johnson, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, connected car, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Hyperloop, index card, Indoor air pollution, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, white picket fence

“There are all these MPs, half asleep, and one of them says, ‘Well, Clean Air in London says this. What do you think, Professor Kelly?’ And of course, they were all expecting him to say, ‘This is just Birkett being hysterical.’” Instead, Kelly agreed the estimates seemed reasonable.4 “Once you’d had somebody as respected as Frank saying, ‘Those numbers are about right,’” Birkett tells me, “that blew the lid off.” Boris Johnson had by then succeeded Livingstone as mayor, and he published a new study, with an updated number for London: 4,267.5 Birkett’s calculations hadn’t been far off. Meanwhile, Heather Walton, the voice on the other end of the phone when he’d glimpsed the government spreadsheet, had moved to King’s College, where she’d joined Frank Kelly’s group and was running a study that would revisit the London number yet again, this time adding the toll from the capital’s worryingly high nitrogen dioxide pollution to estimates that had until then considered only particles.

The regulators who failed to catch them? The truth is, there’s plenty of blame to go around. And beyond the original mistake, what bothers me is the absence, for so long, of any action to reverse it. Instead of trying to solve the problem, David Cameron’s government, then Theresa May’s, put their energy into fighting off lawsuits demanding a serious pollution strategy, and seeking extensions to EU air quality mandates. As mayor, Boris Johnson delayed and diluted his predecessor’s more aggressive cleanup plans, and even sprayed dust suppressants near pollution monitors to artificially lower readings. One of the politicians engaging most seriously with the problem, trying to rectify the errors that have poisoned his city’s air, is Sadiq Khan. Abroad, he’s known mainly as London’s first Muslim mayor. Indeed, his personal story is compelling, and he talks often about his upbringing as the son of a Pakistan-born bus driver.


pages: 370 words: 111,129

Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India by Shashi Tharoor

affirmative action, barriers to entry, Boris Johnson, British Empire, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, corporate raider, deindustrialization, European colonialism, global village, informal economy, joint-stock company, land tenure, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, night-watchman state, Parkinson's law, trade route

‘Gandhi-ism and all it stands for,’ declared Churchill, ‘will, sooner or later, have to be grappled with and finally crushed.’ In such matters Churchill was the most reactionary of Englishmen, with views so extreme they cannot be excused as being reflective of their times: in fact Churchill’s statements appalled most of his contemporaries. Even the positive gloss placed on him today seems inexcusable: ‘He put himself at the head of a movement of irreconcilable imperialist romantics,’ wrote Boris Johnson in his recent admiring biography of Churchill. ‘Die-hard defenders of the Raj and of the God-given right of every pink-jowled Englishman to sit on his veranda and…glory in the possession of India’. Mahatma Gandhi, increasingly exasperated by the British, argued that Nehru’s pro-Allied position had won India no concessions. His public message to the government was to ‘leave India to God or anarchy’.

Hodson, The Great Divide, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997; Yasmin Khan, The Great Partition, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008; Louis Fischer, The Life of Mahatma Gandhi, New York: Harper Collins, 1997; Nicholas Mansergh, The Transfer of Power 1942–47, London: HM Stationery Office, 1983; and Lord Archibald Wavell, Viceroy’s Journal (ed.), Penderel Moon, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973. For a short account, see also my own Nehru: The Invention of India, New York: Arcade Books, 2003. ‘It is alarming and nauseating to see Mr Gandhi’: Ramachandra Guha, ‘Statues in a Square’, The Telegraph, 21 March 2015. ‘He put himself at the head of a movement’: Boris Johnson, The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History, New York: Riverhead Books, 2014, p. 178. ‘bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi’: Alex Von Tunzelmann, Indian Summer: The Secret History Of The End Of An Empire, New York: Henry Holt & Company, 2007. ‘he represents a minority’: Hajari, Midnight’s Furies, p. 41. its membership swelled from 112,000 in 1941 to over 2 million: Ibid, p. 42.


pages: 1,066 words: 273,703

Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World by Adam Tooze

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, break the buck, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, dark matter, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, friendly fire, full employment, global reserve currency, global supply chain, global value chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, large denomination, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, open economy, paradox of thrift, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, predatory finance, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trade liberalization, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, white flight, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, yield curve, éminence grise

Treanor, “JPMorgan Backs Campaign to Keep Britain in the EU,” Guardian, January 21, 2016. 42. S. Farrell, “JP Morgan Boss: Up to 4,000 Jobs Could Be Cut After Brexit,” Guardian, June 3, 2016. 43. T. McTague, “Boris Johnson Slaps Down ‘Part-Kenyan’ Barack Obama over Brexit Push,” Politico, April 22, 2016. 44. T. McTague, “9 Takeaways from Barack Obama’s Brexit Intervention,” Politico, April 22, 2016; and B. Gurciullo, “Obama to the British People: Just Say No to Brexit,” Politico, April 22, 2016. 45. S. Watkins, “Oppositions,” New Left Review 98 (2016). 46. T. McTague, A. Spence and E.-I. Dovere, “How David Cameron Blew It,” Politico, June 25, 2016. 47. S. Chan, “Boris Johnson’s Essay on Obama and Churchill Touches Nerve Online,” New York Times, April 22, 2016. 48. McTague, Spence and Dovere, “How David Cameron Blew It.” 49.

Indeed, nothing might change. All Treaty articles could just continue to apply to the UK.”26 It would be up to London to assert itself. It was a far cry from Cameron’s promise of January 2013 that Britain could initiate a fundamental rethink of the EU’s purpose. It was much less than the British prime minister needed to hold the Tory party together. Immediately, two Tory heavyweights—mayor of London Boris Johnson and education minister Michael Gove—broke away to launch the “mainstream” Tory wing of the Brexit campaign in the referendum that was now set for June 23, 2016. II When confronting Syriza the year before, German finance minister Schäuble had declared that as far as he was concerned, elections could not be allowed to interfere with the fundamentals of economic policy. Greece’s economy accounted for 1 percent of the EU’s GDP.

As a tactic it had the intended effect. The Brexit campaign did indeed bring immigration to the fore. What the Remainers underestimated was the risk they were running. They did not appreciate that along with the desire to put two fingers up to the establishment, immigration and xenophobia were, in fact, winning cards. The racial politics did not stop even at the person of the president of the United States. What right, Boris Johnson demanded to know, did Obama have to suggest to Britain concessions of sovereignty that the United States would never accept? Why should Britain trust a president who had removed the bust of Churchill from the Oval Office? “Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire—of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender.


pages: 161 words: 38,039

The Serious Guide to Joke Writing: How to Say Something Funny About Anything by Sally Holloway

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, congestion charging, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Kickstarter, lateral thinking

Bush had his watch stolen, a number of topical shows took the angle of what his watch might be like, or whether he could tell the time, again avoiding the actual subject of the watch being stolen. Other stereotypes used by satirical shows are that the lovely David Beckham is a bit thick, while Jordan, Posh, Paris Hilton, etc, are seen as shallow bimbos. Ex-President Clinton is usually portrayed as randy, Boris Johnson as a buffoon, Prince Philip is a racist and all British MPs are now seen as on the fiddle. Topical gag writers use stereotypes as short-hand in jokes and so can you. Exercise 7: Writing Punchlines from Set-Ups Look at the following set-up lines from satirical news shows over the years and see if you can find the joke. For people doing this home alone, give yourself about half an hour, maybe in two 15-minute bursts.


pages: 369 words: 120,636

Commuter City: How the Railways Shaped London by David Wragg

Beeching cuts, Boris Johnson, British Empire, financial independence, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Louis Blériot, North Sea oil, railway mania, Right to Buy, South Sea Bubble, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Winter of Discontent, yield management

Originally it had been intended to locate London’s third airport at Foulness, not too far from Shoeburyness on the former London, Tilbury & Southend Railway, but the dangers of unexploded shells from the army firing range at Shoeburyness and the fact that the area was a focal point for migrating birds, which don’t mix well with aircraft, and the cost of a high speed connection to London, all went against Foulness and eventually Stansted was chosen. The revised plans are for a Heathrow replacement, with the current mayor of London, Boris Johnson, seeing the site of Heathrow redeveloped as a business park. It would be some business park, and would have to be to justify the continuation of Heathrow’s existing railway links and the collapse of property values once the airport goes. The new airport would be further south towards the Kent side of the Thames Estuary, and could possibly use the high speed service to St Pancras of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, otherwise known in railway circles as High Speed 1, or HS1.

The most obvious change will be that at last the Metropolitan Line will have its ‘A’ stock replaced by a new fleet of what has been dubbed ‘S’ stock, with variations of this following later for the other sub-surface lines. However, the new ‘S’ stock will have fewer seats, with the current 2+3 configuration being replaced by 2+2 and also longitudinal seating in the interests of extra standing room. In defence of the new stock, the current Mayor for London, Boris Johnson, has suggested that the three-abreast seats on the ‘A’ stock are so cramped that they are seldom used efficiently. Others have suggested that those boarding trains at the outermost stations are likely to get a seat, but this ignores their homeward journey! There has for long been a proposal for a line between Chelsea and Hackney, which some believe could be completed by 2025, but with Crossrail and the mounting deficit in the public finances, this is a project that may remain a dream for many more years.


pages: 359 words: 113,847

Siege: Trump Under Fire by Michael Wolff

Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, forensic accounting, gig economy, high net worth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, impulse control, Jeffrey Epstein, Julian Assange, oil shale / tar sands, Potemkin village, Saturday Night Live, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, WikiLeaks

The Brexit deal that the prime minister was now proposing “was a much different deal than the people voted on. It was not the deal that was in the referendum.” (There was, in fact, no deal in the referendum, other than unspecified departure from the EU.) The deal, as now proposed, would “definitely affect trade with the United States—unfortunately in a negative way.” He then heaped praise on one of May’s main Tory Party antagonists, Boris Johnson, who had just resigned from her cabinet as foreign minister over the May government’s more cautious Brexit plan. Commenting on the speculation that Johnson would shortly commence a leadership fight against May, Trump said: “I think he would make a great prime minister. I think he’s got what it takes.” On British defense spending: it ought to be doubled. Immigration to Europe was “a shame—it changed the fabric of Europe.”

Giuliani, Andrew Giuliani, Judy Giuliani, Rudy globalists Globe Glor, Jeff Godfather films Goldman Sachs Gorsuch, Neil government shutdown Graff, Garrett Graff, Rhona Graham, Billy Graham, Franklin Grant, Hugh Greenberg Traurig firm Grisham, Stephanie Guatemala Guilfoyle, Kimberly Gulf states Guzmán, Joaquín “El Chapo” Haberman, Maggie Hahn, Julie Haley, Nikki Halper, Stefan Hamad bin Jassim (HBJ), Sheikh of Qatar Hamm, Harold Hannity, Sean Bannon and deep state and Fox News and government shutdown and Helsinki summit and immigration and Kavanaugh and midterms and Singapore summit and Trump and Harder, Charles Harris, Kamala Harvey, Derek Haspel, Gina Hearst, Patty Hegseth, Pete Helsinki, Putin summit in Hemel, Daniel Hernest, Karen Hicks, Hope Higher Loyalty, A (Comey) Hilton, Paris Hiltzik Strategies Hogan, Hulk Honduras Hoover, J. Edgar Howard, Dylan Hungary Hutchison, Kay Bailey immigration. See also border security; Wall Europe and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) impeachment Ingraham, Laura intelligence community Internal Revenue Service (IRS) In Touch Iowa primaries Iran ISIS Israel Italy Jackson, Andrew Jackson, Ronny James, Letitia Jews Jobs, Steve Johnson, Boris Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Woody Judge, Mark Judicial Watch Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA, 2016) Justice Department (DOJ) Barr as attorney general and Criminal Fraud Division indictment of sitting president and Kavanaugh and McGahn and pardon power and Whitaker as acting attorney general and Karem, Jordan Kasowitz, Marc Katyal, Neal Kavanaugh, Brett Kelly, John Coats firing and Don Jr. and Helsinki summit and Jared and McCain and Melania and midterms and NATO summit and Porter and resignation of Singapore summit and Team America and Trump-Hannity phone calls and Trump’s relationship with Kelly, Megyn Kennedy, Anthony Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, John F.


pages: 395 words: 116,675

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, AltaVista, altcoin, anthropic principle, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Corn Laws, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, endogenous growth, epigenetics, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, George Santayana, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hydraulic fracturing, imperial preference, income per capita, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, land reform, Lao Tzu, long peace, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Necker cube, obamacare, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, price mechanism, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, smart contracts, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, twin studies, uber lyft, women in the workforce

Meanwhile, if intelligence was not significantly genetic, there would be no point in widening access to universities and trying to seek out those from modest backgrounds who have much to offer. If nurture were everything, those children who had experienced poor schools could be written off as having poor minds. Nobody thinks that. The whole idea of social mobility is to find talent in the disadvantaged, to find people who have the nature but have missed the nurture. In 2014 an article in a British newspaper criticised Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, for believing in genetic influences on intelligence, yet its headline said that ‘gifted children are failed by the system’ – which assumes the existence of (genetically) gifted children. One of the surprising things to emerge from behaviour genetics is that heritability of intelligence increases with age. The correlation between the IQs of identical twins, compared with that of adopted siblings, grows markedly as they get older.

Largely in vain had the philosopher Herbert Spencer* fought back against top–down history, arguing that Carlyle was wrong. Leo Tolstoy too devoted a part of War and Peace to an argument against the Great Man theory. But then the twentieth century seemed to prove Carlyle right, as great men and women – for good and ill – changed history repeatedly: Lenin, Hitler, Mao, Churchill, Mandela, Thatcher. As Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has argued in his book The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History, it is almost impossible to conceive of any other British politician close to power in May 1940 who would have chosen not to negotiate with Hitler in search of peace, however humiliating. Nobody else in the War Cabinet had the courage, the insanity, the sheer effrontery to defy the inevitable and fight on.


pages: 380 words: 116,919

Britain's Europe: A Thousand Years of Conflict and Cooperation by Brendan Simms

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Corn Laws, credit crunch, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, imperial preference, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, oil shock, open economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, South Sea Bubble, trade route, éminence grise

Thus Keith Robbins, ‘The Welsh Wizard Who Won the War: David Lloyd George as War Leader’, in Brendan Simms and Karina Urbach (eds.), Die Rückkehr der “Grossen Männer”. Staatsmänner im Krieg. Ein deutsche-britischer Vergleich (Berlin and New York, 2010), pp. 96–107, especially p. 105. 9. See Tim Coates, Lord Kitchener and Winston Churchill: The Dardanelles Commission Part I, 1914–15 (London, 2000), and Defeat at Gallipolli: The Dardanelles Commission Part II, 1915–1916 (London, 2000). 10. Quoted in Boris Johnson, The Churchill Factor. How One Man Made History (London, 2014), p. 309. 11. See Brock Millman, Managing Domestic Dissent in First World War Britain (London, 2001). See also Jo Vellacott, Pacifists, Patriots and the Vote. The Erosion of Democratic Suffragism in Britain during the First World War (Basingstoke, 2007). 12. Rosemary Elliot, ‘An Early Experiment in National Identity Cards: The Battle over Registration in the First World War’, Twentieth Century British History, 17 (2006), 145–76. 13.

The manifesto of the PDU, which elaborates some of the themes of this chapter, is so far only available in German, though editions in other languages, including English, are planned: Brendan Simms and Benjamin Zeeb, Europa am Abgrund. Plädoyer für die Vereinigten Staaten von Europa (Munich, 2016). 29. Mr Winston Churchill speaking in Zurich, 19 September 1946 (The Churchill Society. London: http://www.churchill-society-london.org.uk/astonish.html). There is a lively and very fair-minded discussion of Churchill’s engagement in Europe in Boris Johnson, The Churchill Factor. How One Man Make History (London, 2014), pp. 295–310. 30. Quoted in A. Lemaire, ‘Keep Britain within the EU’ in A. Hug, Renegotiation, Reform and Referendum: Does Britain Have an EU Future? (The Foreign Policy Centre, 2014), p. 59. 31. See Bruno Waterfield and Francis Waterfield, ‘Poland Will Support EU Benefit Curbs in Return for NATO Base’, The Times, 5.1.2016, p. 14.


A United Ireland: Why Unification Is Inevitable and How It Will Come About by Kevin Meagher

Boris Johnson, British Empire, Celtic Tiger, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, deindustrialization, knowledge economy, kremlinology, land reform, Nelson Mandela, period drama, Right to Buy, trade route, transaction costs

Perhaps one single measure, more than anything else, summarises this. The use of baton rounds and water cannons to quell civil disturbances has become a regular feature of the policing and security response in Northern Ireland. Yet they remain unused in Britain. In fact, the thought of their use in any British city, or against, say, student demonstrators, would be utterly unthinkable. When he was Mayor of London, Boris Johnson rashly purchased two second-hand water cannons following the London riots of 2011, but was publicly slapped down by then Home Secretary Theresa May, who flatly refused him licences to deploy them. But, in most of the media coverage of the various disputes in Northern Ireland, their regular usage merits little more than a passing remark. In fact, they are invariably – and incorrectly – described as ‘non-lethal’.


pages: 481 words: 120,693

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, call centre, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, double helix, energy security, estate planning, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, global village, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, invention of the steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberation theology, light touch regulation, linear programming, London Whale, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, open economy, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Solar eclipse in 1919, sovereign wealth fund, starchitect, stem cell, Steve Jobs, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

The Spectator is the house newsletter of Britain’s conservative establishment, the product of a literary and political hothouse whose writers are known for throwing the best parties in London and causing the occasional political scandal with their high-profile extramarital high jinks. Don’t be deceived by its modest circulation of less than sixty-five thousand; three editors of the Spectator have gone on to serve in the cabinets of Tory prime ministers, and one, Boris Johnson, is currently the mayor of London. The phrase “young fogey” was coined on the pages of the Spectator in 1984, and the magazine remains proud to speak in a posh accent—you’ll learn more in the Speccie, as its devotees call it, about fox hunting than you will about pop stars. That’s why the Spectator’s pronouncements on elite English culture should be taken seriously. And in a cover story published in June 2011, the magazine announced a sea change.

Rather it has the intense, earnest atmosphere of a gathering of college summa cum laudes. This is not a group that plays hooky: the conference room is full from nine a.m. to six p.m. on conference days, and during coffee breaks the lawns are crowded with executives checking their BlackBerrys and iPads. The 2010 lineup of Zeitgeist speakers included such notables as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, London mayor Boris Johnson, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz (not to mention, of course, Google’s own CEO, Eric Schmidt). But the most potent currency at this and comparable gatherings is neither fame nor money. Rather, it’s what author Michael Lewis has dubbed “the new new thing”—the insight or algorithm or technology with the potential to change the world. Hence the presence of three Nobel laureates, including Daniel Kahneman, a pioneer in behavioral economics.


pages: 497 words: 123,778

The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It by Yascha Mounk

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, basic income, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, David Brooks, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, land value tax, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, open borders, Parag Khanna, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, price stability, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Karen Tumulty, “How Donald Trump Came Up with ‘Make America Great Again,’” Washington Post, January 18, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-donald-trump-came-up-with-make-america-great-again/2017/01/17/fb6acf5e-dbf7-11e6-ad42-f3375f271c9c_story.html?utm_term=.064c24103851. 2. Officially, the slogan was “Taking Back Control,” though most politicians invoking the slogan did not use the gerundive form. See “Boris Johnson: UK ‘Should Take Back Control,’” BBC News, http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-35739955/boris-johnson-uk-should-take-back-control; and Joseph Todd, “Why Take Back Control Is the Perfect Left-Wing Slogan,” New Statesman, March 13, 2017, http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2017/03/why-take-back-control-perfect-left-wing-slogan. 3. This is one of the reasons that minorities are, in most countries, much less tempted by populist politicians on both the far right and the far left.


pages: 756 words: 120,818

The Levelling: What’s Next After Globalization by Michael O’sullivan

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, cloud computing, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gini coefficient, global value chain, housing crisis, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, liberal world order, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, performance metric, private military company, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, supply-chain management, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, tulip mania, Valery Gerasimov, Washington Consensus

As an academic he had believed that policy stemmed from theory and research and that this could be translated directly into government action. As he begins to understand how power works, Reich is desperate to be “in the loop” but is ultimately not as successful at this as more seasoned Washington insiders.15 A further contrast in political types might help illustrate this point further. In July 2018, Boris Johnson resigned as British foreign secretary. Britain no longer has an empire, but the office of foreign secretary is still respected. During his tenure, however, Johnson made a number of gaffes and was generally seen to have damaged rather than advanced Britain’s interests. Similarly, in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, he was also seen as a natural leader of the Tory Party, but the way he has conducted himself since then has led many party colleagues to the view that, even by the standards of politicians, he is too self-serving, and he has lost support within his party.

As political resignations go, this one was seen to be selfless and principled and stands in contrast to the tactical maneuvering of some politicians today. Carrington, along with many contemporary central bankers (Paul Volcker, Ben Bernanke, Janet Yellen, and Mario Draghi, for instance), is a good example of sincere public service, and his behavior stands in contrast to that of successors like Boris Johnson. The problem, then, is to attract more outsiders into public life and also to have them discover how politics works. The distinction I wish to draw is to have policy makers who are more responsible for and focused on policy making than on their own personal advancement. Advancing oneself is, of course, prevalent across all organizations and institutions, but the difference with politics is that people’s lives are affected by bad policy making.


World Cities and Nation States by Greg Clark, Tim Moonen

active transport: walking or cycling, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, business climate, cleantech, congestion charging, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, financial independence, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global supply chain, global value chain, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, open economy, Pearl River Delta, rent control, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, smart cities, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stem cell, supply-chain management, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, zero-sum game

Well over three‐quarters of the money spent both by the Mayor and by the boroughs comes via central government grants and programmes, rather than locally generated and managed funds. Each year the Mayor negotiates with the Government over the size of the GLA’s grant, and must constantly lobby to achieve strategic goals or to pay for new items of infrastructure. The first two London Mayors, Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson, were very effective at using their profile to advocate for modest concessions for London. The Greater London Authority Act that set up the new mayoral system left many opportunities for central government to intervene in city government activity (for example, to impose a minimum budget for police or for transport). Central government also gave only modest funding to the London Development Agency (now closed down) and the surrounding Regional Development Agencies.

These include, in particular, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Treasury, but also the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department of Transport, the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The role of the Mayor is still very much linked to the ability to use influence, network and publicity to raise awareness of London’s needs to these departments. As Mayor Boris Johnson explained in 2013, “that is part of the pitch I have to make to government. If you want London, the motor of the economy, to keep roaring, then you must make sure that you invest in infrastructure, housing and transport” (Johnson, cited in Pickford, 2013). In summarising the first 16 years of the new governance system in London, the national Communities and Local Government Committee (2016: 42) simply states that, “Devolution to London…has been a success.”


pages: 505 words: 133,661

Who Owns England?: How We Lost Our Green and Pleasant Land, and How to Take It Back by Guy Shrubsole

back-to-the-land, Beeching cuts, Boris Johnson, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, congestion charging, deindustrialization, digital map, do-ocracy, Downton Abbey, financial deregulation, fixed income, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, housing crisis, James Dyson, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, land value tax, linked data, loadsamoney, mega-rich, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, openstreetmap, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, web of trust, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

One thing that has united new money in its pursuit of buying up land and property has been, of course, the profits that can be squeezed from doing so. This has led most plutocrats to acquire expensive London apartments and mansions, where a rise in property values can be pretty much guaranteed – often leaving those properties vacant while they jet-set between their many homes. It’s also led a few of the very richest to buy up swathes of farmland to take advantage of generous farm subsidies and inheritance tax breaks on agricultural land. Boris Johnson, when Mayor of London, defended foreign investment in the capital, while weakly protesting that the city’s houses shouldn’t be treated as ‘just blocks of bullion in the sky’. But to many of the world’s super-rich, they are precisely that. This then has a ripple effect on property prices, worsening the housing crisis. Many of the newly wealthy clearly want more than simply a financial return: some crave security.

The government should hit long-term vacant properties with a 300 per cent hike in council tax. Theresa May’s government has already accepted the principle of doing so, and increased the surcharge from 50 per cent to 100 per cent. But at current levels, it’s unlikely to do much to discourage the wealthy, offshore owners who leave them empty. If a 300 per cent council tax premium on empty homes still proves too low, why not do as Boris Johnson suggested when he was Mayor of London, and raise the rate to 1,000 per cent? Beyond these two measures, the English Land Commission should be tasked with reporting on the best form of land value tax to levy in England. Land value tax is often proposed by land activists as a solution to the housing crisis – indeed, to some devotees of the thinker Henry George, land value tax is a silver bullet solution to all our woes.


pages: 177 words: 50,167

The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics by John B. Judis

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, capital controls, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, mass immigration, means of production, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, Winter of Discontent

He and his Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, joined by Britain’s top business leaders and major newspapers, warned repeatedly that a decision to leave the EU could have dire economic consequences. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn waged a halfhearted campaign for staying within the EU that probably failed to sway potential supporters among the “left-behinds” while further alienating what had once been Labour constituencies. UKIP led the campaign against the referendum along with two prominent Tories, former London Mayor Boris Johnson and former Cabinet member and MP Michael Gove. Farage conducted the referendum campaign in classic populist fashion, pitting the people against the establishment. On May 20, he told reporters, “It is the establishment, it is the wealthy, it is the multi-nationals, it is the big banks, it is those whose lives have really done rather well in the last few years who are supporting remaining and against it is the people.”


pages: 170 words: 49,193

The People vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (And How We Save It) by Jamie Bartlett

Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer vision, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, off grid, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, ultimatum game, universal basic income, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

See also Responding to Populist Rhetoric: A Guide (Counterpoint, 2015). 11 Joel Busher, The Making of Anti-Muslim Protest: Grassroots Activism in the English Defence League (Routledge, 2015). 12 Dratman, ‘We need political parties’. 13 Kate Forrester, ‘New Poll Reveals Generations Prepared To Sell Each Other Out Over Brexit, www.huffingtonpost.com,12 April 2017. 14 Jonathan Freedland, ‘Post-truth politicians such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are no joke’, Guardian, 13 May 2016. Miriam Valverde, ‘Pants on Fire! Trump says Clinton would let 650 million people into the U.S., in one week’, 31 October 2016, www.politifact.com. Polling data was taken from www.realclearpolitics.com poll tracker. 15 B. Nyhan and J. Reifler (2010), ‘When corrections fail: The persistence of political misperceptions’, Political Behavior, 32 (2), 303–330. 16 Dolores Albarracin et al. (2017), ‘Debunking: A Meta-Analysis of the Psychological Efficacy of Messages Countering Misinformation, Psychological Science, 28 (11), 1531–1546. 17 Paul Lewis, ‘“Fiction is outperforming reality”: how YouTube’s algorithm distorts truth’, Guardian, 2 February 2018. 18 Nicholas Confessore, ‘For Whites Sensing Decline, Donald Trump Unleashes Words of Resistance’, New York Times, 13 July 2016. 19 Southern Poverty Law Centre, ‘Richard Bertrand Spencer’, https://www.splcenter.org.


Pocket London Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

Boris Johnson, British Empire, congestion charging, G4S, Isaac Newton, Mahatma Gandhi, Skype

Best for Views Skylon (Click here) Stunning Thames vistas, fine international menu. Oxo Tower Restaurant & Brasserie (Click here) To-die-for views matched by excellent fusion menu. Min Jiang (Click here) Peking duck and panoramas of Kensington Gardens. Skylon (Click here) SKYLON © Best Drinking & Nightlife There’s little Londoners like to do more than party. From Hogarth’s 18th-century Gin Lane prints to Mayor Boris Johnson’s decision to ban all alcohol on public transport in 2008, the capital’s obsession with drink and its effects shows absolutely no sign of waning. Some parts of London only come alive in the evening and surge through the early hours. Pubs At the heart of London social life, the pub (public house) is one of the capital’s great social levellers. You can order almost anything you like, but beer is the staple.


pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, drone strike, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, moral panic, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, Ross Ulbricht, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

In the UK, a similar government-run system: James Bridle (18 Dec 2013), “How Britain exported next-generation surveillance,” Medium, https://medium.com/matter-archive/how-britain-exported-next-generation-surveillance-d15b5801b79e. Jennifer Lynch and Peter Bibring (6 May 2013), “Automated license plate readers threaten our privacy,” Electronic Frontier Foundation, https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/05/alpr. It enforces London’s: The police also get access to the data. Hélène Mulholland (2 Apr 2012), “Boris Johnson plans to give police access to congestion charge cameras,” Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/apr/02/boris-johnson-police-congestion-charge. automatic face recognition: Dan Froomkin (17 Mar 2014), “Reports of the death of a national license-plate tracking database have been greatly exaggerated,” Intercept, https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/03/17/1756license-plate-tracking-database. the FBI has a database: US Federal Bureau of Investigation (15 Sep 2014), “FBI announces full operational capability of the next generation identification system,” http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-announces-full-operational-capability-of-the-next-generation-identification-system.


pages: 482 words: 149,351

The Finance Curse: How Global Finance Is Making Us All Poorer by Nicholas Shaxson

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, airline deregulation, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Blythe Masters, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, Etonian, failed state, falling living standards, family office, financial deregulation, financial innovation, forensic accounting, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, land value tax, late capitalism, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, wealth creators, white picket fence, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Private equity is perhaps the clearest illustration of financialisation at work, but many of the techniques it pioneered have spread to other business sectors, egged on by law and accounting firms and the banks which set up so many of these schemes. The question now is: how do these techniques and financial flows play out across a whole country, and what other risks might they be storing up? 10 The March of the Takers In 2012 Boris Johnson, then mayor of London, stood under an umbrella by a busy road, his blond hair whiffling in the wind. ‘A pound spent in Croydon is far more of value to the country from a strict utilitarian calculus than a pound spent in Strathclyde,’ he gushed.1 ‘Indeed you will generate jobs and growth in Strathclyde far more effectively if you invest in Hackney or Croydon or in other parts of London.’ This was an urban geography variant of the competitiveness agenda: give London what it wants, and watch the wealth pour forth and spread bountifully across the land.

This is common in mineral-rich countries and a central feature of the resource curse, which I introduced at the start of this book. Likewise, many people argue that Britain is too dependent on London and its outsized financial sector, which has grown so large and powerful and extractive that other sectors of the economy struggle to survive, like seedlings starved of light and water under the canopy of a giant, deep-rooted and invasive tree. So does London subsidise the rest of the country? Is Boris Johnson right when he says that spending and wealth in Croydon, London and south-east England grow and spread out to places like Strathclyde? Or is London the centre of a financialising machine that sucks power and money away from the peripheries: a march of the takers, sabotaging the march of the makers? Can the City of London and the rest of Britain prosper alongside each other, or for the regions to prosper must the City of London be humbled?


How to Be a Liberal by Ian Dunt

4chan, Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, bounce rate, British Empire, Brixton riot, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, experimental subject, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, invisible hand, John Bercow, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal world order, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Mohammed Bouazizi, Northern Rock, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, working poor, zero-sum game

Instead of preserving traditional structures, he seemed motivated by a desire to destroy and remould them. His world view corresponded neatly with the identity war. Anti-immigration, anti-European voters were, in his mind, a true expression of the people. Pro-immigration, pro-European figures were simply members of an elite conspiracy determined to thwart the people’s will. Cummings attracted two key figures from the mainstream, respectable right to front Vote Leave. The first was Boris Johnson, a jovial and self-interested Conservative who had once been mayor of London. Johnson had no ideology to speak of and indeed appeared to have no convictions whatsoever other than the centrality of his own advancement. Certainly he was not ideologically committed to Brexit or nationalism. If the wind had blown another way – as it had when he was mayor of London – he would have pursued an inclusive pro-European message for Remain.

In a series of three humiliating votes, the Commons rejected the deal. In May 2019, her voice cracking with emotion, May stood outside Downing Street and confirmed she was stepping down. May’s defeat precipitated another flight from reality. In the ensuing Conservative leadership contest, members penalised candidates who recognised the difficulties of Brexit and rewarded those who denied them. Boris Johnson walked into Downing Street. His approach to the issue was summarised by a mantra, which would be repeated over and over again in the months to come: Get Brexit Done. Johnson was no more a nationalist than May, but it was expedient to accept Cummings’ agenda – politically, culturally and methodologically. So instead of just emulating Vote Leave’s approach, as May had done, Johnson went a step further.


pages: 266 words: 67,272

Fun Inc. by Tom Chatfield

Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Boris Johnson, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, credit crunch, game design, invention of writing, longitudinal study, moral panic, publication bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, upwardly mobile

In this passage, the character of Socrates is explaining why the written word is dangerously inferior to the practice of spoken debate with another person – because it encourages mere knowledge without understanding. The second critique was published in 1930, and comes from the cantankerous pen of the French author Georges Duhamel, who argued in his book, Scenes from the Life of the Future, against the evils of the new medium of film. And the third comes from a British politician, the Conservative Member of Parliament and current Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who used his column in the Daily Telegraph in December 2006 to highlight the menace of video games. He went on to explain that they were ‘a cause of ignorance and underachievement’ because they distracted modern youth from productive activities like reading, turning them instead into ‘blinking lizards’. It’s useful to begin with opinions rather than with hard statistics because the two often have very little to do with each other.


pages: 257 words: 68,383

Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water by Peter H. Gleick

Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, cuban missile crisis, John Snow's cholera map, Nelson Mandela, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley

In a few airports, schools, parks, and other public spaces, new and highly visible state-of-the-art fountains are being installed. In January 2008 the Minneapolis City Council approved $500,000 for the construction of ten new public drinking fountains, each designed by a different Minnesota artist.20 Community groups in New York are calling for the city to improve the condition of park fountains. In the summer of 2008 the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, called for new water fountains to be put in parks and public spaces across the city, in part as an alternative to plastic bottled water. Said the mayor, “If this place is generally getting hotter and people are going off buying bottled water, I think we should have a new era of public fountains.”21 A recent study in German grade schools found that water fountains, combined with lesson plans about the benefits of drinking water, led to a drop in the number of overweight children, prompting calls for new school fountains.22 The city council of Toronto voted in December 2008 to ban the sale and provision of bottled water in city facilities and to invest in fixing old water fountains and installing new ones.


Drink?: The New Science of Alcohol and Your Health by David Nutt

Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, impulse control, Kickstarter, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, microbiome, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

That’s the reason people mix stimulants and alcohol as in Buckie; stimulants to keep you awake, sedatives to take away the anxiety. In fact, ‘uppers and downers’ is the most popular combination in the history of drug-taking. Another example of this is cocaine and alcohol. Back in the 1890s, when cocaine was legal, a wine called Mariani from Italy contained both. And it was endorsed by the Pope, no less. And you may have heard the rumours about David Cameron, Boris Johnson and other Bullingdon Club members allegedly taking cocaine and drinking alcohol at parties.5 The reason why people might do this is in order to be able to drink more and for longer. Interestingly, when in the 1990s the Icelandic government passed a law to allow 24-hour drinking, there was subsequently an increase in amphetamine use.6 One of the issues with cocaine and alcohol is that they work together in the body to produce a new chemical, called coca-ethylene (CE).


pages: 221 words: 68,880

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy (Bicycle) by Elly Blue

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, Boris Johnson, business cycle, car-free, hydraulic fracturing, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, job automation, Loma Prieta earthquake, medical residency, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, ride hailing / ride sharing, science of happiness, the built environment, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

Trucks with tractor trailers pose a grave danger on shared roads—not just to people bicycling, but to people driving, walking, and waiting for the bus. In some cities, this basic incompatibility of heavy freight with urban life is recognized. In Japan, for instance, depots for large trucks are on the outskirts of cities, and loads are delivered to their final destination in smaller box trucks. In London, trucks are involved in nearly half of cycling fatalities. The mayor, Boris Johnson, after he was nearly killed by a truck in an incident that was caught on tape and made worldwide news, proposed in 2010 to ban all large trucks from central London. Heavy trucks would unload outside the city, as in Japan, and goods would be delivered in more appropriate sized vehicles. He only partly succeeded—large trucks are now banned on city streets at night. But the issue has come up again three years later after a top climate scientist was killed by a left-turning heavy truck, and the law may go through this time.


Day One Trader: A Liffe Story by John Sussex

algorithmic trading, Boris Johnson, credit crunch, fixed income, John Meriwether, Long Term Capital Management, Neil Kinnock, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, statistical arbitrage

Board meetings had gone from two-hour sessions to five or sixhour marathons. Things would get pretty heated during these lengthy debates. The non-executive chairman Jack Wigglesworth was too nice to have been in charge. He needed to be tougher. Daniel Hodson, the chief executive officer, would respond to this by trying to take control of meetings. Hodson had a similar manner to the London Mayor Boris Johnson, though his thin greying hair gave him a very different appearance. When he tried to take charge of meetings it would anger some of the other directors as it appeared to them that he was pushing his own agenda. He had long recognised that electronic trading was going to take over. But he did not have an easy time trying to convince the board of this. The mortal threat facing open outcry had not escaped the thoughts of dealers in the pits who depended on the system for their livelihoods.


pages: 267 words: 78,857

Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff by Dinah Sanders

A. Roger Ekirch, Atul Gawande, big-box store, Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, credit crunch, endowment effect, Firefox, game design, Inbox Zero, income per capita, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Merlin Mann, post-work, side project, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand

More than just a personal issue that everyone needs to examine in their own lives, it’s also a cultural issue on a massive scale. Mooallem also noted that the United States now has 2.3 billion square feet of self-storage space—more than seven square feet for every man, woman, and child in the country—despite the size of the average American home almost doubling in the past 50 years. Non-Americans: Don’t look smug. As Boris Johnson pointed out in 2009, Europe has started to follow the same path: “If the self-storage industry keeps growing at this rate, the day is not far off when we will all be Tutankhamuns, trying to cheat death with a secret funerary display of all the things that are most personally suggestive, most symbolic of our lives, and the things we couldn’t bear to chuck.” Ten percent of households in the U.S. have a self-storage unit, according to the Self Storage Association, a nonprofit trade group, and as cited by Mooallem.


pages: 232 words: 76,830

Dreams of Leaving and Remaining by James Meek

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, bank run, Boris Johnson, centre right, Corn Laws, corporate governance, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Etonian, full employment, global supply chain, illegal immigration, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, working-age population

They were built as showcases for the plunder of the Grand Tours. This house was built as a home, as a private house.’ That said, there are recitals, and anyone can arrange a tour, if they can get together a party of fourteen, at £30 a head. When aristocrats own so much land, when all the peers I’ve mentioned, out of the thousands of possibilities, attended the same secondary school, the one attended by David Cameron and Boris Johnson, it might seem strange to say that the powers of the lords of Norfolk have waned. But in some senses they have. They no longer wield local power over hundreds of tenants and agricultural workers and their families on their estates; commuters, retirees and second-homers live in the villages now. Nor do they have the wider power their status once gave them in the armed forces of the Empire and in Parliament, reaching out from the manor to the world.* Lord Townshend inherited his title just after the automatic right of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords was abolished.


pages: 238 words: 76,544

Night Trains: The Rise and Fall of the Sleeper by Andrew Martin

Boris Johnson, Etonian, joint-stock company, Neil Kinnock

When I suggested to the native Turk who runs my local news agent that it was an ‘interesting’ time to be going, he said, ‘Not really … but you should be OK if you stay in your hotel room.’ The room rate at that hotel, the Pera Palace, built by Nagelmackers and famed for its Orient Express connections, had proved disturbingly cheap (and well down on what it had been a few months before). The cost of a British Airways return flight was also unexpectedly low, which was just as well because on the day before I bought my euros, Boris Johnson had announced (possibly having flipped a coin) that he favoured Brexit, so sterling had slumped. I took out my tickets and my European Railway Map. I had a second class ticket on this TGV to Munich. I then had a ticket for the Hungarian-operated EuroNight train from Munich to Budapest. I would be spending most of the day in Budapest before taking the Romanian EuroNight train to Bucharest, for which I also had a ticket.


pages: 259 words: 85,514

The Knife's Edge by Stephen Westaby

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Boris Johnson, call centre, Kickstarter, presumed consent, stem cell, Stephen Hawking

The economy depends upon financial risk-takers. Innovation, speculation, even the exploration of the planet and outer space – all depend on putting something you cherish on the line in the hope of greater rewards. Thus risk-taking is the world’s principal driver for progress, but it requires a particular character type, one defined by courage and daring, not reticence and prudence – Winston Churchill rather than Clement Attlee, Boris Johnson not Jeremy Corbyn. In 1925, when Henry Souttar first stuck a finger into the heart and tried to relieve mitral stenosis, it posed a risk to his reputation and livelihood. When Dwight Harken removed a piece of shrapnel from a soldier’s heart in the Cotswolds, it was a risk that went against all he’d learned from the medical textbooks of the day. By exposing blood to the foreign surfaces of the heart–lung machine, John Gibbon took a huge risk, as did Walton Lillehei with his reckless but brilliant cross-circulation operations, the only medical interventions in history outside the maternity ward that posed the risk of 200 per cent mortality.


pages: 307 words: 82,680

A Pelican Introduction: Basic Income by Guy Standing

bank run, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gunnar Myrdal, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, intangible asset, job automation, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, labour market flexibility, land value tax, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, open economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, rent control, rent-seeking, Sam Altman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, universal basic income, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Recognizing the reality that the gift is not shared as God intended, a basic income would entail the fortunate sharing with the majority.17 In a 2015 Encyclical Letter, Pope Francis wrote: ‘The earth is essentially a shared inheritance, whose fruits are meant to benefit everyone.’18 He went on to uphold the principle of inter-generational equity, arguing that ‘Each community can take from the bounty of the earth whatever it needs for subsistence, but it also has the duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for the coming generations.’ The Christian argument for basic income stands in sharp contrast to the class-based perspective voiced most stridently by Boris Johnson, then Mayor of London, in 2013. He used the analogy of a shaken packet of cornflakes in which the best rise to the top, arguing that those with above-average genetic endowments were entitled to greater economic rewards. A Christian riposte would surely be that as such endowments are the gift of God and are unequally bestowed, those most blessed should be most taxed, and those least blessed should be entitled to compensation.


pages: 252 words: 85,441

A Book for Her by Bridget Christie

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Boris Johnson, British Empire, carbon footprint, clean water, Costa Concordia, David Attenborough, feminist movement, financial independence, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Isaac Newton, obamacare, Rubik’s Cube, sexual politics

In this book I will be exploring all different types of fun and girly things, like misogyny, female oppression, why women treat each other like shit sometimes, the hypersexualisation of our culture, female genital mutilation, the current state of feminism, feminist infighting, gratitude within feminism, role models, anti-rape pants, gendered language, the objectification of women’s bodies, ladies’ pens and why clever women – who should know better – fancy Boris Johnson. Oh God, I can hear you thinking, not another funny feminist book! (And that’s just the feminists.) We’ve already had one funny book about feminism in the entire history of feminism – Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman – we don’t need another one, surely? At least not for another fifty or a hundred years, anyway. There’s only room for one! Although one was a journalist and author and the other a stand-up, we DON’T BLOODY NEED IT!


pages: 309 words: 85,584

Nine Crises: Fifty Years of Covering the British Economy From Devaluation to Brexit by William Keegan

banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, congestion charging, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Etonian, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial thriller, floating exchange rates, full employment, gig economy, inflation targeting, Just-in-time delivery, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shock, Parkinson's law, Paul Samuelson, pre–internet, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, South Sea Bubble, The Chicago School, transaction costs, tulip mania, Winter of Discontent, Yom Kippur War

Among the people I spoke to were former Treasury Permanent Secretaries, former Cabinet Secretaries and assorted Foreign Office officials. Of all British institutions, the Foreign Office, or FCO, had been the most passionately pro-European. But as I was departing along the august corridors of the FCO’s palatial building – still very much a reminder of the days of the British Empire – a passing attendant broke the news that the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, had just made Alexander ‘Boris’ Johnson, one of the leading advocates of departure from the European Union, Foreign Secretary. Foreign Secretary! A leading Brexiter. What an insult to a hallowed institution! I was leaving the building with two students, one of whom was doing a course at King’s College, London, where I had been made a visiting professor. As we crossed Whitehall, one of them pointed down the street to a group of people drinking outside the Red Lion pub.


pages: 309 words: 79,414

Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists by Julia Ebner

23andMe, 4chan, Airbnb, anti-communist, anti-globalists, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, feminist movement, game design, glass ceiling, Google Earth, job satisfaction, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, off grid, pattern recognition, pre–internet, QAnon, RAND corporation, ransomware, rising living standards, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Transnistria, WikiLeaks, zero day

To the Swiss-German historian Daniele Ganser the term ‘conspiracy theorist’ is a ‘political battle cry’ invented by the CIA – an unlikely scenario considering that Austrian-born philosopher Karl Popper used the term in 1940, seven years before the CIA was created.29 On 8chan, users can post questions to Q, as if approaching an oracle:30 What is the big secret in Antarctica? Will stock markets fail? Is Boris Johnson trust-worthy? And May good or bad??? Is time travel possible? Is Mueller working for us? Is Michelle Obama a man? One time, Q and I’ll shut up. Is ZOG/MARX both going down? Some anons also get annoyed by hived-off conspiracy theories:31 Just to shut the Flat Earthers up, Q. Is the earth flat? No. Q. Is JFK Jr alive? No. Q. The success of QAnon is baffling. QAnon mutated from conspiracy theory on the fringes of 4chan and 8chan into a mass movement that has conquered mainstream social media channels as well as pro-Trump rallies.


pages: 285 words: 83,682

The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity by Kwame Anthony Appiah

affirmative action, assortative mating, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, European colonialism, Ferguson, Missouri, four colour theorem, full employment, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, luminiferous ether, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, means of production, precariat, Scramble for Africa, selection bias, transatlantic slave trade, zero-sum game

In the decades after Singapore came into being, many theorists of globalization predicted that the process would reverse itself: the nation-state, we were told, would be demoted to middle management, a mere node in a vast transnational flux of capital and labor, of banking treaties and trade pacts, of the supranational security arrangements required for transnational adversaries, from drug cartels to terrorists. The national age was to be edged aside by the “network age.” What’s everywhere in evidence today, instead, are the forces of resistance to this sort of globalization. Boris Johnson, first London’s mayor, then Britain’s foreign secretary, tapped into them when he said in 2016 that Brexit was “about the right of the people of this country to settle their own destiny.” But which people was he talking about? Not the Scottish people, who voted overwhelmingly against taking Britain out of Europe; two years earlier, in fact, more than 40 percent of them favored taking themselves out of Britain.


pages: 284 words: 84,169

Talk on the Wild Side by Lane Greene

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, experimental subject, facts on the ground, framing effect, Google Chrome, illegal immigration, invisible hand, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, natural language processing, obamacare, Ronald Reagan, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Turing test, Wall-E

And no one on the Leave side had any serious interest in putting any big extra sums – much less £350m a week – into the health service. But when supporters of staying in the EU pointed this out, they were dismissed as “elites” with no standing to talk about what the real British people – sick of elites – wanted. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the language on the side of the bus, which obeys all of Orwell’s rules. The problem was voters’ grasp of the facts. The polite faces of the Leave campaign were Boris Johnson, who had just been the Conservative mayor of London, and Michael Gove, the former justice and education secretary. But its real powerhouse was Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party. Mainstream politicians dismissed Farage as a buffoon – it is hard to find a politician more often photographed with a pint of beer and a cigarette in his hands. But that was part of his appeal.


pages: 273 words: 83,802

Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats by Maya Goodfellow

Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, collective bargaining, colonial rule, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, European colonialism, falling living standards, G4S, housing crisis, illegal immigration, low skilled workers, mass immigration, megacity, moral panic, open borders, race to the bottom, Right to Buy, Scientific racism, Winter of Discontent, working poor

Politicians from the official Vote Leave campaign denounced the poster; Michael Gove said he ‘shuddered’ when he saw it and Chris Grayling called it ‘wrong’.33 They showed no such squeamishness when it came to their own campaign literature, warning in one leaflet that alongside four other countries, Turkey was set to join the EU. They produced a bright-red billboard that declared, ‘Turkey (population 76 million) is joining the EU.’ Next to these words was an image of a trail of footsteps passing through a door that was made to resemble a British passport. They argued that people from Turkey would ‘create a number of threats to UK security’, and Boris Johnson and Michael Gove wrote a joint letter to David Cameron, warning that ‘the public will draw the reasonable conclusion that the only way to avoid having common borders with Turkey is to vote leave and take back control on 23 June.’ These pieces of propaganda were not the same as the ‘breaking point’ poster, but their messages were still deeply racialised.34 The country that is the former seat of the Ottoman Empire was not directly described as a predominantly Muslim one, but this fact loomed large in the background of discussion.


pages: 303 words: 83,564

Exodus: How Migration Is Changing Our World by Paul Collier

Ayatollah Khomeini, Boris Johnson, charter city, Edward Glaeser, experimental economics, first-past-the-post, full employment, game design, George Akerlof, global village, guest worker program, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, mass immigration, moral hazard, open borders, risk/return, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, University of East Anglia, white flight, zero-sum game

Settlers have no intention of assimilating: they expect to retain their values and culture in their society of arrival. Two Meanings of Multiculturalism Like everything about migration, the cultural narrative appropriate for migrants is highly politicized. At one end of the spectrum is assimilation: migrants intermarry with the indigenous population and adopt the ways of that population. I am the product of assimilative migration. So is Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, whose grandfather was a Turkish immigrant. At the other end of the spectrum is permanent cultural isolation of migrants in a hermetic community where schooling and language are separate and marriage outside the group is punished by expulsion. While such people can be citizens in the legal sense, they are only meaningfully part of society if it is seen as radically multicultural.


pages: 322 words: 84,580

The Economics of Belonging: A Radical Plan to Win Back the Left Behind and Achieve Prosperity for All by Martin Sandbu

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, collective bargaining, debt deflation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, intangible asset, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, liquidity trap, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mini-job, mortgage debt, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, pattern recognition, pink-collar, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, social intelligence, TaskRabbit, total factor productivity, universal basic income, very high income, winner-take-all economy, working poor

(If this book has not paid much attention to that challenge, it is because the end of belonging is a big enough problem on its own, and the policies I recommend would have been needed even in the absence of the climate threat. If addressing the latter can help mobilise support for the former, so much the better.) Emmanuel Macron’s rhetoric of “a Europe that protects” has been more modestly deployed in a similar way, combining liberalising labour market reform in France with pushing for a tightening of “posted workers” rules at the European level (see chapter 12). And while it remains to be seen whether Boris Johnson’s government elected in December 2019 will keep its promises, the rhetoric of “levelling up” the country seems at least to have created political room on the right for a big shift towards regional investment and other interventionist measures to reconfigure the UK economy. I mention these examples simply as illustrations of how the political support for an economics of belonging could be built.


pages: 307 words: 87,373

The Last Job: The Bad Grandpas and the Hatton Garden Heist by Dan Bilefsky

Boris Johnson, Etonian, global supply chain, license plate recognition, urban sprawl, young professional

The bustling and noisy pub, thronging with tourists and young professionals from the neighborhood, was decorated with lamps made with globes, which appealed to its well-traveled clientele. Old-school criminals though they were, the men seemed to like the good life: Angel was the surrounding bourgeois neighborhood in the north London borough of Islington, which has hosted, among others, former prime minister Tony Blair, Salman Rushdie, and the former London mayor-turned-foreign-secretary Boris Johnson. It was the kind of place where you could find French gourmet cheese shops, Bauhaus furniture stores, and the flagship restaurant of the star chef Yotam Ottolenghi. But while the men sought out discretion toward the back of the pub, they could be easily seen as they sipped their beers and bantered. Their idea of discretion seemed to be studiously avoiding the Castle’s Tuesday Quiz Night, or special evenings such as “National Talk Like a Pirate Day,” when the Castle regular with the best pirate outfit got his or her second beer free.


pages: 286 words: 87,168

Less Is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World by Jason Hickel

air freight, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate personhood, COVID-19, David Graeber, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gender pay gap, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, land reform, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, passive income, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, quantitative easing, rent control, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Simon Kuznets, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, universal basic income

This plays out in the realm of consumption too. Inequality stimulates a sense of inadequacy. It makes people feel that they need to work longer hours to earn more income to buy unnecessary stuff, just so they can have a bit of dignity.41 In this sense, inequality creates an artificial scarcity of well-being. In fact, this effect is quite often wielded as an intentional strategy by economists and politicians. The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson once stated that ‘inequality is essential for the spirit of envy’ that keeps capitalism chugging along. Planned obsolescence is another strategy of artificial scarcity. Retailers seek to create new needs by making products artificially short-lived, to keep the juggernaut of consumption from grinding to a halt. The same goes for advertising, which stimulates an artificial sense of lack; a sense that something is literally missing.


pages: 372 words: 92,477

The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, cashless society, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, Corn Laws, corporate governance, credit crunch, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Etonian, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberal capitalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Nelson Mandela, night-watchman state, Norman Macrae, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, old age dependency ratio, open economy, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, pension reform, pensions crisis, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, profit maximization, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, too big to fail, total factor productivity, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, zero-sum game

The great centralizing passion of the midtwentieth century has played itself out. Around the world local governments are reasserting themselves, upending national politics, and scrambling old ideological divisions in the process. Local governments have some of the most vivid figures, such as Rahm Emanuel in Chicago and Ron Huldai in Tel Aviv. They also have some of the great ideological cross-dressers: In London Boris Johnson, a conservative, embraced what he called “an entirely communist scheme” of bike sharing while his predecessor, “Red” Ken Livingstone, introduced the entirely free-market scheme of road pricing. Local politicians are increasingly leaping over national politicians in the public mind. People not only trust them far more but are often more interested in what they have to say as well. On one visit to China Bill Clinton found himself in a radio studio with the mayor of Shanghai.


pages: 304 words: 90,084

Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change by Dieter Helm

3D printing, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demand response, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, fixed income, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haber-Bosch Process, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, market design, means of production, North Sea oil, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, remote working, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Thomas Malthus

The shock of a sudden net zero transition would, according to this view, tip us all into a severe recession. Keynesians believe that borrowing for spending is generally a ‘good thing’, and that we should not overly worry about passing on the debt to the next generation because the extra spending will create growth and hence pay for itself. It is the logic behind Donald Trump’s tax cuts and spending increases, and Boris Johnson’s new-fangled ‘boosterism’. Perhaps it could better be called ‘cakeism’: the Johnsonian approach to having the spending and greater prosperity and decarbonising. A critical distinction comes into play here. Aggregate demand is made up of both consumption and investment. Investment in the ‘right things’ holds up demand and keeps people employed. When it comes to climate change and indeed all the other environmental challenges, the scope for investment is very great.


pages: 736 words: 233,366

Roller-Coaster: Europe, 1950-2017 by Ian Kershaw

airport security, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, centre right, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, illegal immigration, income inequality, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, labour market flexibility, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liberation theology, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, The Chicago School, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, young professional

The widely read tabloid, the Sun, rendered its verdict on the deal: ‘It stinks’. Three-quarters of members of the House of Commons favoured remaining in the European Union. Cameron threw all his weight behind the ‘Remain’ campaign. But important members of his cabinet were given free rein to support ‘Leave’. Prominent among them were the Justice Secretary Michael Gove and the former Mayor of London Boris Johnson – a toff with the common touch, whose instantly recognizable mop of unruly blond hair and well-honed combination of buffoonery and verbal dexterity made this product of one of England’s most exclusive public schools (Eton) one of the most popular politicians in the land (if a highly divisive figure). Johnson was to play no small part in tipping the balance of the keenly fought contest towards a victory for ‘Leave’.

She had been Home Secretary for six years and, as such, responsible for immigration – an issue that remained of central importance to her. She had passively rather than wholeheartedly supported ‘Remain’. Once in office, she swiftly showed the zeal of a convert. Her task, she outlined, was to implement ‘the will of the people’. ‘Brexit means Brexit’ was her vacuous mantra. Three arch-Brexiteers were placed in charge of preparing the ground for the negotiations to leave. Boris Johnson, to widespread surprise, was elevated to the post of Foreign Secretary (once a high office of state associated with exemplary skills of diplomacy that few accredited to the new incumbent). Liam Fox, a long-standing militant opponent of the European Union and strong, neo-liberal advocate of free trade, was given the remit of winning new trade deals around the globe to compensate for the potential effects of a fall in trade with the European Union – Britain’s biggest trading partner by far.


pages: 469 words: 97,582

QI: The Second Book of General Ignorance by Lloyd, John, Mitchinson, John

Ada Lovelace, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, double helix, Etonian, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Isaac Newton, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, out of africa, the built environment, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549

These went though each room in a standard house, laying down what the minimum floor space per inhabitant should be, the number of flushing toilets required, the acceptable standard of heating to be installed and a sensible amount of space for each essential piece of furniture. By 1967 the specifications had been adopted by all new towns, all local authority housing departments and most private developers. The Parker Morris standards were abolished in 1980. Under Mrs Thatcher’s iron rule, local authorities were urged to give priority to market forces instead. There are still no national minimum space standards for the UK, though in 2008 Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, pledged to reintroduce them for the capital in an updated, 10 per cent more generous form. Today almost three-quarters of UK residents say there’s not enough space in their kitchen for three small recycling bins,while half complain they don’t have enough space to use their furniture comfortably. More than a third claim their kitchens are too small even for a toaster or microwave and almost half say they don’t have enough space to entertain visitors.


pages: 411 words: 95,852

Britain Etc by Mark Easton

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Boris Johnson, British Empire, credit crunch, financial independence, garden city movement, global village, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, intangible asset, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, mass immigration, moral panic, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, social software

I remember filming on an estate in Yorkshire where the central shopping area was dominated by a breezeblock structure prickling with razor wire and CCTV cameras, the entrance reached via a security turnstile. It turned out this was the community library. The more we emphasise the boundary between public and private space, the more vulnerable we feel. Shared urban environments are a social safety valve, a place for people of all backgrounds to mingle on equal ground. London Mayor Boris Johnson once described public space as ‘the glue that holds a city together’. It is the territory where trust and confidence are forged. When people call for the return of the bobby on the beat, it is both they mean. They want the reassurance they think a greater police presence will bring, but what they really crave is their streets back. To some extent they have been given the first: the focus on neighbourhood policing, the re-introduction of foot patrols and the creation of community support officers.


pages: 367 words: 99,765

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings

Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, clean water, David Brooks, digital map, don't be evil, dumpster diving, Eratosthenes, game design, Google Earth, helicopter parent, hive mind, index card, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Journalism, openstreetmap, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Stewart Brand, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, traveling salesman, urban planning

The last time the city revised the map, it decided it could do without the pale blue line representing the Thames River—do you really need to know where the river is when you’re riding a train?—and erased it. It was thoroughly unprepared for the resulting outcry, as Londoners reacted as if the actual river itself had been dammed. A BBC News editor compared the move to “removing the smile from the Mona Lisa.” London Mayor Boris Johnson, in New York on business when the change was made, was furious. “Can’t believe that the Thames disappeared off the tube map whilst I was out of the country! It will be reinstated,” he tweeted to his constituents. Maps change, of course—the globe in my office doesn’t have Yugoslavia on it, let alone Pangaea—but we rely on them to pretend at all times that they don’t. † The Swedish crown jewels, however, are the only ones that include an orb with actual continents enameled on it, perhaps a signal of Sweden’s secret desire for world domination


pages: 441 words: 96,534

Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan

autonomous vehicles, bike sharing scheme, Boris Johnson, business cycle, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, digital map, edge city, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Enrique Peñalosa, Hyperloop, Induced demand, Jane Jacobs, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, New Urbanism, place-making, self-driving car, sharing economy, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

“If current trends continue, while the rest of the nation says no, Seattle says yes—we can be a livable city and an affordable city. Seattle can move forward.” More and more cities are moving forward with plans to expand pedestrian, transit, and biking zones. Dublin, Ireland, in 2015 announced a €150 million ($164 million) plan to improve downtown streets for people who walk, ride bikes, or take transit. London mayor Boris Johnson has embarked on a bike superhighway building spree through the heart of the city, with expenditures on bike lanes tripling to £913 million ($1.4 billion) over ten years. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has led the way with a plan to sharply reduce private vehicles in central Paris by 2020, launching its own €150 million plan to double the city’s network of bike lanes and triple ridership to 15 percent of trips.


The Despot's Accomplice: How the West Is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy by Brian Klaas

Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, citizen journalism, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, global pandemic, moral hazard, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, Skype, Steve Jobs, trade route, Transnistria, unemployed young men, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

Such foreign policy weakness made clear to China that there was a ripe opportunity to make diplomatic inroads against the United States in its own backyard. â•… To understand how that shift might be playing out, and how Thais saw themselves in the Southeast Asian geopolitical tug-of-war between € 201 THE DESPOT’S ACCOMPLICE the United States and China, I met with Abhisit Vejjajiva in Bangkok just before Christmas 2014. Abhisit became prime minister in 2008 after being placed in power by the “Pad Thai” coup. He is, in some ways, a hybrid of east and west himself. Abhisit spent his formative years at the elite Eton College boarding school just outside of London. Then, he progressed onto St John’s College, Oxford, where he rubbed elbows with the future British elite, including current foreign secretary Boris Johnson. He is, therefore, someone who is sympathetic to Western governments. He understands the West’s point of view far better than most Thais. But upon taking power in 2008, no British education could have prepared Abhisit for the complexities, disarray, and violence of Thai politics. â•… In the spring of 2010, his government found itself facing more than 100,000 protesters clogging the streets of Bangkok.


pages: 361 words: 97,787

The Curse of Cash by Kenneth S Rogoff

Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cashless society, central bank independence, cryptocurrency, debt deflation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial intermediation, financial repression, forward guidance, frictionless, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, moveable type in China, New Economic Geography, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, payday loans, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, RFID, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, unconventional monetary instruments, underbanked, unorthodox policies, Y2K, yield curve

There is a somewhat different set of concerns in the United Kingdom, where euros move particularly easily in and out of the country, despite the restriction that all travelers carrying more than 10,000 euros are supposed to fill out a form reporting their cash holdings. European citizens have easy access in and out of the UK, and will surely continue to do so in any future regime. By some estimates, there are as many as 300,000–400,000 French citizens living in London, leading London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, in 2013 to observe that he was mayor of the sixth-largest French city.7 For the United Kingdom, it certainly will be much easier to phase out paper currency (soon to be plastic currency) in coordination with Europe. However, controls of the type SOCA and the Treasury have already implemented could easily be extended to other large-denomination foreign notes. EMERGING MARKETS Most emerging markets would likely be large net beneficiaries if advanced countries phased out their own paper currencies, especially the large-denomination notes so prevalent in corruption and crime.


pages: 382 words: 100,127

The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics by David Goodhart

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, assortative mating, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, central bank independence, centre right, coherent worldview, corporate governance, credit crunch, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, market friction, mass immigration, mittelstand, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, obamacare, old-boy network, open borders, Peter Singer: altruism, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postnationalism / post nation state, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, shareholder value, Skype, Sloane Ranger, stem cell, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, World Values Survey

As Peter Whittle of the New Culture Forum has pointed out, ‘claiming Londoner status now is rather like claiming citizenship of the World.’ And the London ideology simply ignores what does not fit its worldview. It was striking how little coverage the news of London becoming a ‘majority-minority’ city received when it was first announced by the ONS at the end of 2012. The Evening Standard did not even put the news on its front page, tucking it away on page 10. And the BBC London television news had it as its seventh item. Boris Johnson’s usually ubiquitous blond bob was nowhere to be seen. Official London tirelessly celebrates diversity yet its shyness about this landmark moment seemed to be an implicit recognition of how unsettling it was to many people. According to Janan Ganesh demographic and social trends are remaking Britain in the freewheeling image of its capital city. He argued in a Financial Times column that Britain is becoming more urban, more diverse, more atomised, and altogether more like London.


pages: 350 words: 107,834

Halting State by Charles Stross

augmented reality, Boris Johnson, call centre, forensic accounting, game design, Google Earth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, impulse control, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, lifelogging, Necker cube, Potemkin village, RFID, Schrödinger's Cat, Vernor Vinge, zero day

Then he turns the charm on you with a nod and a great white smile that reveals about two hundred thousand dollars’ worth of American dental prostheses that he probably wears because it’s the only way to stop the bairns from screaming and running away before he can eat them. Clearly by calling the Polis, Wayne has pissed in Hackman’s pint, but he’s too much of a professional to let your arrival perturb him. “We’re grateful that you could come, but really it’s not necessary—” “And Barry Michaels, our Chief Technology Officer.” Michaels is plump and rumpled in an old-Fettes-schoolboy Boris-Johnson sort of way, with a port nose and a boyish cow-lick of black hair: You peg immediately that he’s probably as bent as a three-bob note, but unlike Hackman, he’s not some kind of toxic-waste-eating Martian invader from the planet Wall Street. He nods nervously, looking like he’s eaten something disagreeable. “This is Beccy Webster, our Market Stabilization Executive.” The twentysomething hen’s a high-flyer, then?


pages: 352 words: 104,411

Rush Hour: How 500 Million Commuters Survive the Daily Journey to Work by Iain Gately

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, corporate raider, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Dean Kamen, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, extreme commuting, global pandemic, Google bus, Henri Poincaré, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, lateral thinking, low skilled workers, Marchetti’s constant, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, telepresence, Tesla Model S, urban planning, éminence grise

When TfL measured traffic flow over central London’s eight principal bridges during rush hour, it found that ‘bicycles made up 27.7 per cent of the almost 35,000 vehicles crossing northbound between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. compared with 28.2 per cent for private cars’. In 2006, in contrast, ‘with similar overall levels of traffic, bikes were just 19 per cent of the total’. Their number has since been supplemented by the so-called ‘Boris bikes’, which are publicly owned bicycles available for short-term private hire and named after Livingstone’s Conservative successor as mayor, Boris Johnson. In 2013, the Boris bike scheme owned 8,000 cycles that could be picked up or dropped off at 570 docking stations, and registered up to a million rides a month. Cycle commuting has also been encouraged at the national level. The ‘cycle2work’ scheme, introduced in 1999, enables cyclists to reclaim tax on money spent on a new machine and any related safety equipment. Dedicated routes and tax breaks have encouraged a number of longer-distance commuters to include cycling as part of a multi-legged journey into work.


pages: 379 words: 109,223

Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business by Ken Auletta

Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, connected car, corporate raider, crossover SUV, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, forensic accounting, Google Glasses, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, NetJets, Network effects, pattern recognition, pets.com, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, éminence grise

David Sable, then in his sixth year as the CEO of Young & Rubicam, said, “Martin is an overrated meddler. Most people think he gets down in the weeds. I don’t think that’s true. Martin has rarely told me what to do.” To understand Sorrell as a manager one has to begin with his self-identity as a founder, not a manager. He flicks aside the shareholder critics, not to mention former London mayor Boris Johnson, who railed against his steep pay—£43 million in 2014 and £70.4 million in 2015, making him the highest compensated executive in England. In an op-ed page piece he wrote for the Financial Times in June 2012, Sorrell declared, “I have been behaving as an owner, rather than as a ‘highly paid manager.’ If that is so, mea culpa. I thought that was the object of the exercise, to behave like an owner and entrepreneur and not a bureaucrat.”


pages: 335 words: 111,405

B Is for Bauhaus, Y Is for YouTube: Designing the Modern World From a to Z by Deyan Sudjic

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, dematerialisation, deskilling, edge city, Elon Musk, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, illegal immigration, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Kitchen Debate, light touch regulation, market design, megastructure, moral panic, New Urbanism, place-making, QWERTY keyboard, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, urban renewal, urban sprawl, young professional

Chipperfield took longer to get a project to match the visibility of Armstrong’s first solo work, which, for a brief moment, looked as if it would be the next Institut du Monde Arabe, Jean Nouvel’s breakthrough building on the banks of the Seine. The introduction to Miyake, through the shop, was enough to get Chipperfield to Japan, where he was one of the earliest Western architects to build in the Tokyo of the Bubble Economy. London in 1985, as depicted by Blueprint, was an unimaginably different place from the London presided over by Boris Johnson. As unlike the present incarnation of the magazine to the one written on typewriters and prepared for press by pasting down photographs and columns of type on layout boards with Cow Gum glue. In fact, the very first issues used an ancient technology, Letraset, the dry-transfer lettering system, for headlines. Chipperfield had an office in the same semi-derelict building as Blueprint. Unlike architectural practices starting out today, who can’t afford Hoxton and end up banished to the outer limits of the city, we were able to rent space in the West End, just off Marylebone High Street, in Cramer Street.


pages: 390 words: 109,870

Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World by Jamie Bartlett

Andrew Keen, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, brain emulation, centre right, clean water, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, gig economy, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, life extension, Occupy movement, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rosa Parks, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism

As Casaleggio explained, ‘it will be possible for one to vote for Milan’s municipal candidate if he is resident in Milan, or to intervene on a regional law in Lombardia if he is resident in Lombardia’. Thus, this system inherits the regional peculiarity of Meetup. For the moment, there are sections on: ‘vote’ (when a vote is ongoing), ‘laws’ (EU, Parliament, Regions), and ‘Shield’ and ‘Fundraising’ are active. It’s too early to know if and how this might change the dynamics of the movement. 42. Jonathan Freedland, ‘Post-truth politicians such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are no laughing matter’, Guardian, 13 May 2016. 43. Art Swift, ‘Americans’ trust in mass media sinks to new low’, Gallup, 14 September 2016, http://www.gallup.com/poll/195542/americans-trust-mass-media-sinks-new-low.aspx. 44. According to Corriere della Sera, Pittarello is seen as ‘the custodian of Casaleggio’s agenda’, and one of the very few people who has the blog’s password. He is often with Grillo at shows.


pages: 573 words: 115,489

Prosperity Without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow by Tim Jackson

"Robert Solow", bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, business cycle, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Graeber, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hans Rosling, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, Philip Mirowski, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, secular stagnation, short selling, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, universal basic income, Works Progress Administration, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Economic success relies on persuading people back out onto the high street to spend. But this demand no longer resonates so easily with ordinary people. Politicians and policy-makers and bankers and financiers and advertisers now find they have to work much harder to encourage the kind of spending that will ‘put the economy back on track’. Opening a huge new shopping centre at the height of the financial crisis in October 2008, London Mayor Boris Johnson waved a credit card in front of the TV cameras, as though over-extended credit had nothing to do with the mess we were already in. Londoners had made a ‘prudent decision to give Thursday morning a miss and come out shopping’, he said of the huge crowds who attended the opening.4 In the wake of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, George Bush famously appeared in front of the cameras with a similar exhortation: ‘Mrs Bush and I would like to encourage Americans everywhere to go out shopping.’


pages: 447 words: 126,219

The Subterranean Railway: How the London Underground Was Built and How It Changed the City Forever by Christian Wolmar

Boris Johnson, British Empire, full employment, invention of the telephone, lateral thinking, profit motive, railway mania, South Sea Bubble, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, women in the workforce

While Crossrail, too, will be administratively separate from the Underground, passengers will pass seamlessly from its platforms to those of the Tube using their Oyster cards. London is, therefore, at last, getting the type of integrated railway that Ashfield and Pick strived for and came close to achieving. There are still obstacles to overcome. Like those two illustrious pioneers, the current London Mayor, Boris Johnson, would like suburban rail services to be run by London government. In his 2012 re-election campaign manifesto, he proposed that Transport for London take over national rail franchises, to run them like the London Overground. It would be a sensible move towards a genuinely integrated system, but successive governments have been reluctant to extend the mayor’s powers in that direction. Nevertheless, thanks to these developments and the huge amount of building work taking place on railways in the capital, it is possible to end this story with a much more optimistic tone than in the original edition of this book.


pages: 391 words: 123,597

Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower's Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again by Brittany Kaiser

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, centre right, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cognitive dissonance, crony capitalism, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Etonian, haute couture, illegal immigration, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, off grid, open borders, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, rolodex, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, the High Line, the scientific method, WikiLeaks, young professional

Let’s look at the key players and where we can expect to see still more of the same, for the sake of group vigilance: Cambridge Analytica and The SCL Group have been dissolved, but what does that mean? Many of my former colleagues are still out there, consulting on elections and working in data analytics. This includes Alexander Nix, who, according to press reports, met with former prime minister Theresa May upon her exit and the newly minted prime minister Boris Johnson. Given the unfinished business of the ICO and parliamentary inquiries, I am concerned about where the Brexit and campaign support conversation has gone. And, besides Alexander, while many former Cambridge Analytica staff were bright, well-meaning professionals, some were definitely the opposite—and they are up to their old tricks and have not yet been brought to account for their actions. The Mercers, while having fallen out of favor with Trump, are still influential in the political scene and will likely be funding plenty of causes, some of which may be using divisive and inflammatory materials, given the history of the rhetoric.


pages: 447 words: 142,527

Lustrum by Robert Harris

Boris Johnson, land reform, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, plutocrats, Plutocrats

The allure of power and the perils that attend it have seldom been so brilliantly anatomised in a thriller' Nick Rennison, Sunday Times 'Harris has taken the DNA of Cicero's great speeches and animated them with utterly believable dialogue … Harris's greatest triumph is perhaps in the evocation of Roman politics, the constant bending of ancient principles before the realities of power, and in his depiction of what it was like to live in the city: the mud, the guttering lamps, the smell of the blood from the temples … I would take my hat off to Harris, if I hadn't already dashed it to the ground in jealous awe' Boris Johnson, Mail on Sunday * * * * * 'Gripping … A compelling narrative, full of plots, murder, lust, fear, greed and corruption … No writer is better at creating excitement over political theatre' Leo McKinstry, Daily Express 'Harris is the master. With Lustrum, [he] has surpassed himself. It is one of the most exciting thrillers I have ever read' Peter Jones, Evening Standard 'Vivid, so beguiling … it conjures a trick often missed by historical novels: flavoursome facts give a sense not just of a place and time but of developing lives.


pages: 420 words: 130,714

Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist by Richard Dawkins

agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Boris Johnson, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Google Earth, John Harrison: Longitude, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mahatma Gandhi, mental accounting, Necker cube, nuclear winter, out of africa, p-value, phenotype, place-making, placebo effect, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, twin studies

*2 The first line of a once famous comic verse by A. D. Godley, full of Latin rhyming jokes designed to appeal to Englishmen of Bertie’s class who would have learned Latin at school: http://latindiscussion.com/​forum/​latin/​a-d-godleys-motor-bus.10228/​. ‘Bendy buses’ was the nickname given to the articulated buses introduced into London in the early 2000s and later controversially withdrawn from service by Mayor Boris Johnson. *3 Cricket, of course. A googly is a spun ball where the bowler’s hand action misleads the batsman as to the direction of spin. Devious spin bowlers sometimes intersperse googlies in among other, more conventionally spun balls. *4 A rather specialized verb which, I suspect, is unknown in American English, scrumping means stealing apples, raiding an orchard. Jarvis and the Family Tree*1 I SAY, JARVIS, CLUSTER round.’


pages: 519 words: 136,708

Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers by Stephen Graham

1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, Chelsea Manning, Commodity Super-Cycle, creative destruction, deindustrialization, digital map, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, energy security, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Google Earth, Gunnar Myrdal, high net worth, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, low earth orbit, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, megastructure, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, Project Plowshare, rent control, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche

As in Vancouver, the vast majority of these towers, egged on by London’s government for consolidating the skyscraper skyline of a prominent ‘world city’, are being justified using vague platitudes about ‘density’ and ‘sustainability’ when in fact they are merely built as investment opportunities for global elites.71 Indeed, the 6 per cent of demand within the £2 million-plus category of so-called ‘new prime’ market for the elite is currently receiving 50 per cent of all housing investment in London. This is almost equal to the entire investment going to house the 50 per cent of the city’s population – fully 4 million people – who live on earnings of less than £50,000 per year.72 Such a situation is the direct result of an obsession among London’s governing elite with sycophantically luring in the global super-rich. Such elites, Boris Johnson, London’s mayor from May 2008 to May 2016, said in November 2013, echoing Mayor Bloomberg’s comments in New York, ‘deserve our humble and hearty thanks’. For if they didn’t ‘employ eau de cologne-dabbers’, he added, ordinary families ‘might otherwise find themselves without a breadwinner.’73 Real estate economics are also obviously pivotal. One market report in 2012 described the economics of marketising air, verticality and spectacular views in plain terms: ‘In terms of height, the general rule is, “the higher the apartment, the greater the price premium”.


pages: 428 words: 134,832

Straphanger by Taras Grescoe

active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, City Beautiful movement, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, deindustrialization, East Village, edge city, Enrique Peñalosa, extreme commuting, financial deregulation, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, indoor plumbing, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, laissez-faire capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, New Urbanism, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pension reform, Peter Calthorpe, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, young professional, Zipcar

Hopquin, Benoît. “Les naugragés de la ligne 13.” Le Monde, April 9, 2008. Jones, Colin. Paris: The Biography of a City. New York: Penguin, 2006. Jones, Joseph. The Politics of Transport in Twentieth-Century France. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s, 1985. Lamming, Clive. Métro Insolite. Paris: Parigramme, 2002. Mees, Paul. Transport for Suburbia: Beyond the Automobile Age. Oxford: Earthscan, 2009. Milmo, Dan. “Boris Johnson Told He Must Plug £460m Tube Funding Gap.” The Guardian, March 10, 2010. Ovenden, Mark. Paris Underground: The Maps, Stations, and Design of the Métro. London: Penguin Books, 2009. Pascual, Julia. “RER á conduite sous pression.” La Libération, December 4, 2010. Studeny, Christophe. L’Invention de la vitesse, France, VVIIIe-XXe siècle. Paris: Gallimard, 1995. Weber, Nicholas Fox. Le Corbusier: A Life.


pages: 459 words: 138,689

Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration―and Why It’s Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives by Danny Dorling, Kirsten McClure

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, clean water, creative destruction, credit crunch, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Henri Poincaré, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, jimmy wales, John Harrison: Longitude, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage debt, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, rent control, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, sexual politics, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, very high income, wealth creators, wikimedia commons, working poor

We should expect to see even greater participation of women in our politics in the very near future, as women hold more and more senior political offices. That may be something that does not slow down for some time to come. In December 2019 the most unequal countries of the affluent world were ruled by very right-wing men: Donald Trump in the United States, Vladimir Putin in Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey, Sebastián Piñera in Chile, and Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom. In contrast, women were increasingly winning power in countries where greater equality was also being won. This was most notable that month in Finland with the appointment of the new prime minister, Sanna Marin of the Social Democratic Party, who then governed in coalition with Li Anderson (Left Alliance), Katri Kulmuni (Centre Party), Maria Ohisalo (Green League), and Anna-Maja Henriksson (Swedish People’s Party of Finland).41 Pause to think of how much has changed in such a short space of time, and it is easy to become more optimistic.


pages: 518 words: 143,914

God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, David Brooks, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, global supply chain, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, industrial cluster, intangible asset, invisible hand, Iridium satellite, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, liberation theology, low skilled workers, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shock, Peace of Westphalia, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, stem cell, supply-chain management, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus

George Galloway, a left-wing blowhard, unseated a Labor Party candidate by playing on Muslim anxieties. The largest protest in British history—a two-million-strong march against the invasion of Iraq in February 2003—was co-organized by the Muslim Association of Britain. Prince Charles once suggested that when he becomes king he will change his title from “Defender of the Faith” to “Defender of the Faiths,” partly in recognition of Islam’s arrival on Britain’s shores. In 2008, Boris Johnson, London’s new mayor, helped organize a festival in Trafalgar Square to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Johnson is no fan of political correctness; he was simply being practical. Across Europe mayors have to worry about things like setting up temporary abattoirs to cope with the slaughter of sheep for the annual Eid al-Adha feast in December, or organizing the parking around mosques on Fridays.


pages: 476 words: 139,761

Kleptopia: How Dirty Money Is Conquering the World by Tom Burgis

active measures, Anton Chekhov, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, British Empire, collapse of Lehman Brothers, coronavirus, corporate governance, COVID-19, Covid-19, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, do-ocracy, Donald Trump, energy security, Etonian, failed state, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Julian Assange, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, trade route, WikiLeaks

Those who use their public office to steal must hold on to it not just for the chance of further riches but in order to maintain the immunity from prosecution that goes with it. When elections come around, losing is not an option. The Brits, they continue their long fade from imperial power to global network of financial secrecy connected to the City of London and servicing new, private empires. Their new populist rulers take money and inspiration from the Ur of Kleptopia, post-Soviet Moscow. Nigel Farage salutes Putin. Boris Johnson enjoys the amity – and his party the seven-figure munificence – of Alexander Temerko, whose self-professed connections to the Kremlin’s security agencies go back decades and on the wall of whose London office hang the British prime minister’s autographed ping-pong bats. During the 2019 general election campaign, Johnson refused to publish a parliamentary report on Russian interference in British politics.


pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain

3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, peer-to-peer rental, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar

In Britain, 38 Degrees mobilises nearly a million campaigners. We need to harness these new forms of political action to mobilise a coalition for change: a European Spring. With luck, some mainstream politicians will seize on the need for economic and political reform. Like the economy, politics is going through a huge upheaval that offers opportunities for political entrepreneurs of all persuasions. Among conservatives, witness how Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has crafted an optimistic, pro-investment, pro-immigration alternative to the narrow-minded negativity in Downing Street. See how a new centrist party, the Unión de Progreso y Democracia, is thriving from disenchantment with traditional parties in Spain. Admire the reform drive of Denmark’s centre-left coalition government. Observe how Matteo Renzi, who became prime minister in February 2014 aged thirty-nine, is trying to shake up post-Berlusconi Italy.


pages: 543 words: 147,357

Them And Us: Politics, Greed And Inequality - Why We Need A Fair Society by Will Hutton

Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Blythe Masters, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, cloud computing, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, debt deflation, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, discovery of the americas, discrete time, diversification, double helix, Edward Glaeser, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, low cost airline, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, money market fund, moral hazard, moral panic, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Neil Kinnock, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price discrimination, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, railway mania, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, unpaid internship, value at risk, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working poor, zero-sum game, éminence grise

One welcome aspect of the new coalition government is that it ensured that three of the five members of the inquiry into banking announced in June 2010 were distinguished non-bankers – and the two with banking backgrounds were notable independent thinkers. At the last moment, though, Prime Minister David Cameron conceded that its recommendations should be cast with an eye to the City’s competitiveness. The City had lost none of its grip. Financial lobbyists do not buy votes in the British legislature in quite the way they do in the US Congress, but they do fund individual politicians’ election campaigns. For example, 77 per cent of Boris Johnson’s mayoral campaign in 2008 was funded by hedge funds, private-equity firms and their managers. Big donors included John Lionel Beckwith (London and Edinburgh Trust, Pacific Investments), Lord Jonathan Marland (Clareville Capital), Edwina Herrmann (lobbyist and wife of Jeremy Herrmann, from Ferox Capital), Edmund Lazarus (Englefield Capital) and Stanley Fink (International Standard Asset Management).


pages: 475 words: 155,554

The Default Line: The Inside Story of People, Banks and Entire Nations on the Edge by Faisal Islam

Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, British Empire, capital controls, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, dark matter, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, energy security, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, ghettoisation, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, Irish property bubble, Just-in-time delivery, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, reshoring, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two tier labour market, unorthodox policies, uranium enrichment, urban planning, value at risk, WikiLeaks, working-age population, zero-sum game

Indecisive political summitry has left the dangerous doom loop between sovereign and banking debt intact and reinforced. It is going to take an Olympian effort to douse the Eurozone’s flames. Mario Draghi arrived at a conference nakedly designed by the British government to promote investment and trade on the back of the Olympic opening ceremony. Cookies dusted with icing sugar and formed in the shape of the Olympic rings tempt delegates. Mayor Boris Johnson entertains CEOs from across the world with jokes about how London has more Michelin-starred restaurants than Paris and less rain than Rome. The setting is Lancaster House, a mansion owned by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The place has seen some history – including the birth of new nation-states such as Malaysia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. And before that, in 1944, it was in Lancaster House that the European Advisory Committee of the UK, USA and the Soviet Union first recommended the postwar partition of Germany and its capital, Berlin.


pages: 470 words: 148,444

The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House by Ben Rhodes

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, demand response, different worldview, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, illegal immigration, intangible asset, Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, trickle-down economics, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

On the flight over, I emailed back and forth with Cameron’s staff about an op-ed that Obama was publishing in The Daily Telegraph making the case for Britain to stay in the European Union. It was unusual to coordinate so closely with a foreign government, but the Brits were different, and Brexit would be calamitous, a crucial piece of the post–World War II order drifting off into the sea. After we landed, I showed Obama a dueling op-ed that had been written by Boris Johnson, the bombastic mayor of London and a chief proponent of Brexit. To counterprogram our trip and appeal to nationalist sentiment in the UK, the whole lead-in was an indictment of Obama for swapping out a bust of Winston Churchill in the Oval Office. “Some said,” Johnson wrote, “it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British Empire—of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender.”


pages: 614 words: 176,458

Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Boris Johnson, call centre, carbon footprint, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Just-in-time delivery, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, megacity, Northern Rock, Panamax, peak oil, refrigerator car, scientific mainstream, sexual politics, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

The Co-op had already banned swill-fed pork from their shops in 1996, stating that it ’was not a natural feeding practice’;18 and in the UK there was a conspicuous silence from the champions of recycling, Friends of the Earth, who were no doubt afraid that raising the swill issue might alienate some of their vegetarian supporters. One of the rare voices raised against the swill ban was that of Boris Johnson, then MP for Henley. At a parliamentary debate in 2004 he reported: To take one example, Phyllis Court Hotel in Henley must now pay an extra £1,000 a year to a licensed collector, whose responsibility is to remove wet waste that previously went to a pigswill feeder. Given that there is room for only three years’ waste in our land fill sites, that is not the cleanest and greenest solution. It is estimated that the ban on swill feeding is generating an extra 1.7 million tonnes of waste per year, and that which does not fill up our landfill sites must be going down our drains, clogging up the sewers and attracting vermin.19 Agriculture Minister Ben Bradshaw replied that when the ban was imposed, only a small percentage of the national pig herd were fed on swill and only a small proportion of our food waste was going to pigs.


pages: 497 words: 161,742

The Enemy Within by Seumas Milne

active measures, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invisible hand, Kickstarter, market fundamentalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, union organizing, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, éminence grise

That didn’t stop governments across the western world, including David Cameron’s Tory-led coalition in Britain, from using the crisis to try to reconstruct and entrench it further through austerity and yet more far-reaching privatization. But the neoliberal spell had been broken and the pressure for economic and social alternatives had begun in earnest. Well before Thatcher’s death, true believers were already alarmed at the collapse of their heroine’s reputation. As the full costs of her financial free-for-all and industrial scorched earth policy became undeniable, the Tory London mayor Boris Johnson complained that the former prime minister’s name had become a ‘boo-word’, a ‘shorthand for selfishness and me-firstism’. Her one-time PR guru Maurice Saatchi fretted that ‘her principles of capitalism are under question’. If only young people realized, the irreconcilables insisted, what a basket case Britain had been in the 1970s – the High Tory commentator Simon Heffer declared the country had felt like the Soviet bloc, as men with ‘bad teeth and ill-fitting suits’ (by which he meant union leaders) called the shots in public life – they would understand why millions had to lose their jobs, industries and communities had to be destroyed, and billions handed over to the wealthy.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kangaroo Route, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, kremlinology, low cost airline, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Calthorpe, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, starchitect, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

The town’s final deliverance came in the May 2010 general elections, which deposed Gordon Brown’s Labour Party in favor of a coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. The new prime minister, David Cameron, scrapped the third runway within days, while ruling out expansion at London’s other airports, Gatwick and Stansted. His government vowed to curb “binge flying” with new taxes, promising to build a new high-speed rail network across Britain instead. Meanwhile, London mayor Boris Johnson, the disheveled Tory toff who ousted the Socialist Livingstone, has talked up plans for an $80 billion replacement on a man-made island in the Thames estuary—unlikely considering the new government’s intransigence. The nonpartisan Town and Country Planning Association pleaded with Tony Blair’s government to “retire” the airport altogether and plan a successor somewhere far beyond the suburbs.


Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism by Pippa Norris, Ronald Inglehart

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Cass Sunstein, centre right, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, declining real wages, desegregation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, job automation, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, liberal world order, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, open borders, open economy, post-industrial society, post-materialism, precariat, purchasing power parity, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, statistical model, stem cell, War on Poverty, white flight, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

David Cameron chose for strategic reasons, not personal convictions, to hold a referendum on EU membership – hoping to secure his authority over his recalcitrant backbenchers and to see off UKIP.67 Yet rather than proving a major threat to the electoral fortunes of the Conservative Party, like many related fringe parties, UKIP has remained a marginal force in British politics. It lost its raison d’etre once the Conservative Party pledged to Leave but also, like many fringe parties, it was unable to overcome the many logistical, financial, and organizational obstacles facing small parties contesting seats in Majoritarian electoral systems. The leaders of Leave – Boris Johnson and Michael Gove – were motivated recklessly by their own leader­ship aspirations to take over from Cameron more than any deep rooted Euroscepticism or even belief that they would actually win.68 The result of the consultative Brexit referendum was extremely close and, like similar contests in Ireland and Denmark, could have been rerun, or the rules could have required a qualified majority to win.


pages: 388 words: 211,074

Pauline Frommer's London: Spend Less, See More by Jason Cochran

Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, British Empire, congestion charging, David Attenborough, Etonian, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Kickstarter, low cost airline, Nelson Mandela, Skype, urban planning

The centerpiece is the preposterously carved and gilt Lord Mayor’s Coach, built in 1757—a carriage so extravagant it makes Cinderella’s ride look like a skateboard. The procession marks the only time the coach is permitted to venture outside of its air-conditioned garage inside the Museum of London. That’s a lot of hubbub for a city official whose role is essentially ceremonial; the Mayor of London (currently Boris Johnson) wields the true power. All that highfaluting strutting is followed by a good old-fashioned fireworks show over the Thames between the Blackfriars and Waterloo bridges. It’s held on the second Saturday in November, and it’s usually broadcast on TV. Lord Mayor’s Show (www.lordmayors London Film Festival (% 020/ show.org): What sounds like the world’s 7928-3535; www.lff.org.uk): An impor- dullest cable access program is actually a October or November State Opening of Parliament (www. parliament.uk): There’s not much to see in person—just a white-haired monarch zipping in and out of Parliament in a state coach with a cavalry contingent—but the rest is shown on television.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

MacDonald), At Home: A Short History of Private Life; The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America (Bill Bryson), A Curious Discovery: An Entrepreneur’s Story (John Hendricks) Rubin, Rick: Tao Te Ching (Lao Tzu, translation by Stephen Mitchell), Wherever You Go, There You Are (Jon Kabat-Zinn) Sacca, Chris: Not Fade Away: A Short Life Well Lived (Laurence Shames and Peter Barton), The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-It-All; The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert (Richard Betts), How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel (Mohsin Hamid), I Seem to Be a Verb (R. Buckminster Fuller) Schwarzenegger, Arnold: The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History (Boris Johnson), Free to Choose (Milton Friedman), California (Kevin Starr) Sethi, Ramit: Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion (Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson), The Social Animal (Elliot Aronson), Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got (Jay Abraham), Mindless Eating (Brian Wansink), The Robert Collier Letter Book (Robert Collier), Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time (Keith Ferrazzi), What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School (Mark H.


Great Britain by David Else, Fionn Davenport

active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Beeching cuts, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, Columbine, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Attenborough, Etonian, food miles, glass ceiling, global village, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, mega-rich, negative equity, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, period drama, place-making, Skype, Sloane Ranger, South of Market, San Francisco, Stephen Hawking, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Winter of Discontent

These range from the Evening Standard, London’s commuter favourite, and city dailies like the Manchester News or Swansea Evening Post – the latter famous as the paper where Dylan Thomas cut his journalistic teeth – to obscure but much-loved small-town newspapers such as the Oban Times where we have seen the immortal headline ‘Remarks Lead To Incidents’. Weekly news magazines include the right-wing Spectator, established in 1828 and until recently edited by Boris Johnson, now the mayor of London; the left-wing New Statesman; and that champion of free trade and globalisation, The Economist. And then there’s the fortnightly Private Eye, child of the sixties and scourge of the establishment, peddling a very British brand of satire. TV & Radio Alongside the wide range of newsprint stands an equally wide range of TV and radio. The BBC – funded by an annual licence fee (currently £139.50) payable by everyone who owns a TV set – is the country’s leading broadcaster and a national institution, with several channels of the world’s best programming dominating national radio and TV.

Recovery began – for the business community at least – under the iron fist of Margaret Thatcher, elected Britain’s first woman prime minister in 1979. Her monetarist policy and determination to crush socialism sent unemployment skyrocketing and her term was marked by civil unrest. In 2000 the modern metropolis got its first Mayor of London (as opposed to the Lord Mayor of the City of London), an elected role covering the City and all 32 urban boroughs. The position was taken in 2008 by Boris Johnson, a Conservative known for his unruly shock of blond hair, appearances on TV game shows and controversial editorials in Spectator magazine. One thing the bicycle-riding mayor will have to contend with is the city’s traffic snarls. A congestion charge on cars entering the central city had initial success when introduced by his predecessor, but rush-hour congestion has now increased to pre-charge levels.


The Rough Guide to England by Rough Guides

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, bike sharing scheme, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, car-free, Columbine, congestion charging, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, Downton Abbey, Edmond Halley, Etonian, food miles, haute cuisine, housing crisis, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Kickstarter, low cost airline, Neil Kinnock, offshore financial centre, period drama, plutocrats, Plutocrats, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl

Minicabs and apps Private minicabs are much cheaper than black cabs, but cannot be hailed from the street. They must be licensed and able to produce a TfL ID on demand. Apps like Hailo and Uber can come in handy, too, though at the time of going to print TfL had decided not to renew Uber's licence to operate in London; check for updates before you travel. BY bike Boris bikes The city’s cycle rental scheme – or Boris bikes, as they’re universally known, after former Mayor of London Boris Johnson – has over 700 docking stations across central London. With a credit or debit ca