The Truth about Brexit, As seen from New Zealand

It is very hard, at 12,000 miles distance, for Kiwis to get a good handle on the Brexit issue – particularly if their source of information is a newspaper like The Guardian, the self-appointed standard-bearer of the Remainers’ cause. You would be hard put to find a Guardian front page over recent months that did […]

Religious Fervour Can Be A Bad Guide

When Tony Blair first came to my attention, and I brought him on to the Front Bench as a promising young MP, he gave no sign of religious fervour.  Like many others, therefore, I was surprised when he later revealed the strength of his religious beliefs, and the part they seem to have played in […]

Who’s for Paella?

Amidst all the wailing and tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth on the part of those who bemoan the UK’s decision to set its own course with Brexit, how many of those who regret the apparent breach with “Europe” have paused to consider the real identity of the “Europe” they seem to hold so […]

Trump and Brexit Are Quite Different Phenomena

One particularly welcome aspect of the House of Commons vote to pass the Bill to trigger the Article 50 process is the rebuff it represents to the relentless campaign, in some quarters, and in the Guardian in particular, to equate and conflate support for Brexit with support for Donald Trump.  Trump’s justified unpopularity – in […]

Who’s to Blame?

The Bank of England’s chief economist, Andrew Haldane, has had the good grace to admit that the Bank’s forecast of the likely economic consequences of Brexit – that consumption, employment, share values and economic activity in general would fall – was, at least in the short term, mistaken.  The British economy, since the Brexit referendum, […]

Can We Be Pro-Brexit and Progressive?

Jeff Sparrow in the Guardian (2 January) allows a thoughtful article to be vitiated by an error familiar to all readers of that esteemed organ – a mindless lumping together of those who voted for Donald Trump on the one hand and for Brexit on the other, and branding them all as bigoted and racist.  […]

Democracy is the Missing Element

Simon Wren-Lewis, with whom I usually have little difficulty in agreeing, has published a blog in recent days in which he explains why, in his (and others’) views, it is impossible to play a full part in the global economy – in other words, to enjoy free trade – while maintaining the full powers of […]

What Lies Behind the Brexit Vote?

I am proud to be a sixth-generation New Zealander.  But I am also gratefully aware of my British heritage. All eight of the families of my great grandparents came to New Zealand, from England, Scotland and Wales, and had settled here by the mid-nineteenth century.  I had the pleasure of returning to the UK as […]

We Failed the Brexit Test

It might have been thought that the decision made by the British people in the recent referendum that they wished to leave the EU would have drawn a line under that issue, and that we would now be addressing the many new challenges and opportunities that are now before us.  But, such is the arrogance […]

Putting Labour Together Again

The challenge manufactured by the Parliamentary Labour Party to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership seems destined to prove an exercise in futility and impotence.  Nothing more clearly demonstrates, in both its motivation and impracticality, the gulf that has been allowed – and in some cases encouraged – to develop between Labour MPs and the party in the […]