About 30-40 mins after reading Andrew’s thought provoking piece on the Better Questions series in Seomra Sproi, I was watching Tuesday’sDaily Show. In it they make an amuzing point that the recent credit card reform act in the US does little more than make credit card companies and the state than enforces it little more ethical than the mob. As the former mob loan shark says “We might have broken your legs, maybe pushed back your nuckles. You might have fallen down the stairs, accidentally. But if you didn’t pay, we never took your house. We never took your house.” Anyway, it made me think of how so much of the left in recent years will talk about everything apart from ‘the economy’. Andrew’s post drew me back to a post by Chris Dillow over at Stumbling and Mumbling where he says “I blame the 80’s”. In Chris’s post he gives an anecdote about the Andrw Glyn, the late Oxford economist. Dr. Glyn, who despite dieing 2-3 months before I discovered his writings, is something of an inspiration to me. Or perhaps it would be better to say an aspiration.

Anyway here’s the anecdote

 I remembered an exchange at Oxford in the 80s between Andrew Glyn and a whiney London woman. Andrew had just given a talk outlining a Marxist view of Thatcherism. Whiney woman: “Yah, Andrew. I agree with your analysis, but don’t you think we have to build a radical feminist critique?” Andrew: “No.”


In America over the weekend it came out that

The prices of US goods and services, excluding food and fuel, fell last month for the first time since 1982…The closely watched “core” consumer price index fell 0.1 per cent in January, labour department figures showed on Friday, as prices for new cars and housing dropped from the previous month. 

While this is hardly shocking. It does bang home the point that we are not experiencing inflationary pressures and that spending has not picked up sufficiently for government spending to be cut back.


Andrew Flood posted Ronit Lentin’s talk on “Biopower, Race and State in contemporary Ireland” recently. Since then a few people have either said to me face to face or online that they don’t get the concept. I’m not sure that I get it either, but maybe its like Irony – impossible to explain but you know it when you see it. And I’m pretty sure this is it:

Workers judged to be lonely and to have a chaotic home life could be barred from working with vulnerable people, even though there is no evidence that they pose a risk, according to guidelines from the Government’s new vetting agency… If a teaching assistant was believed to be “unable to sustain emotionally intimate relationships” and also had a “chaotic, unstable lifestyle” they could be barred from ever working with children. If a nurse was judged to suffer from “severe emotional loneliness” and believed to have “poor coping skills” their career could also be ended.