Some small thoughts before I go

We are off on our first family holiday in five years. I am more excited than the kids. We will be gone a month and during that time almost entirely off the grid. Before we go I wanted to say thank you – to all of you who come to the  blog to read and […]

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The Disloyal

There have been three important men in my life. The dreams of all of them have been betrayed. My grandfather was and in many ways still is everything I admire. He began working down the pit when he was 14 years old. He retired at 65 and a few fleeting years later was dead of […]

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Trade deals, Investment Treaties and the Death of Democracy – How companies sue whole nations and win.

This is a talk I gave dealing with Trade Deals such as the TPP and TPIP and the threat posed by them and the Investment Treaties and Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism they contain. The talk was held in Friends House in Manchester, England and was organized by the Green Party and Equality Northwest.  The […]

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British Interests in Ukraine

What are we doing in Ukraine, who is doing it, why are they doing it and for whose benefit? Simple questions but to answer them, even to begin to answer them, we have to take a step back from the official drivel of championing democracy, respecting the will of the people  and protecting the integrity […]

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Ukraine – some thoughts on who is playing for what.

A few quick thoughts to offer on who might be playing for what in Ukraine. First, most popular uprisings or protests get nowhere unless they get considerable outside help. For example Qatar supplied much of the help in the Arab Spring. In the Ukraine, it has been quite clear for a while now that the […]

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Trade deals and Investment Treaties – How companies can sue whole nations and win.

This is the title of a fringe session I will be doing at the Green Party Conference at St George’s Hall, Liverpool, at 17.00 on Sat. the 1st March. The blurb for the session reads: Inside trade deals like the TTIP between the US and  EU are Bilateral Investment Treaties. There are now over 3000 […]

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From PetroDollar to PetroYuan – The Coming Proxy Wars

Why would the central bank of Nigeria decide to sell dollars and buy Yuan? At first glance it might not seem the most interesting or pressing question for you to consider. But I think it is one of those little loose threads that if pulled upon carefully begins to unravel the hints and traces of […]

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On Death and Derivatives – UPDATED

On Sunday a former Senior Deutsche Bank manager, William Broeksmit,  was found hanged at his house. He was the retired Head of Risk Optimization for the bank and a close personal friend of Deutsche’s Co-Chief Executive, Anshu Jain. Mr Broeksmit became head of Risk Optimization in 2008. He retired in February 2013. Early this morning, […]

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We the People…

The fact that the phrase sounds antique should warn us of the scale of our folly. We have lost, given away, pawned the power we once claimed. We have ceased to be who we once were. Or at least who we claimed and hoped to be – The People. Now who are we? The Consumer? […]

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The Undeserving

In this season of good will to all and general cheer let us talk of “The Undeserving.” They are an emotive topic. They divide people. Do they exist or are they a political scapegoat? I personally do not feel anyone is born undeserving. But some people achieve it. Some seem to take a cruel and […]

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