Staying in the EU

My job for the last 3 years has been EU researcher at a London think tank. My work was mainly on the problems of the EU and the different options for leaving the EU – in short, what might be called Eurosceptic. They can all be accessed here for free.

Over the course of my time there I have become convinced that it is best for Britain to remain within the EU, although it certainly has its problems. I have now left Civitas.

Here are some of my reasons for supporting Remain.

Here is how I think the government could promote Leave-Remain reconciliation, and try to fix the EU’s problems, after a Remain win:

You could also argue this (by a colleague), which is mildly true but barely relevant:

David Cameron’s renegotiation efforts have changed the EU for the better

I have a few more articles planned, but await people to pay me to write them.

I am happy to discuss my views further.

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Book Review: The Feminist Utopia Project, fifty-seven visions of a wildly better future

The Feminist Utopia Project, fifty-seven visions of a wildly better future

edited by Alexandra Brodsky, Rachel Kauder Nalebuff

This was a great book. But then, I expected it to be that from the LRB interview I had seen about it. I had to buy it from Amazon USA because, as a modest art-academic project with the Feminist Press, it has not been published in the UK (yet).

The collection is mostly short stories and essays but includes poems, listicles, art, the lot. I’m in the middle of writing fiction about a world with different gender dynamics so I especially wanted to look at these, even more after I saw the contributors included Melissa Gira Grant and a few other writers I already enjoy reading.

This won’t be a particularly thorough review: if you’re the kind of person who thinks they’d like to read a book called the feminist utopia project, yes, this is the kind of book you would like to read. But here are a few observations. Continue reading

PAPER NUKES: Navy Whistleblower Reveals Britain Abandoned Atomic Missiles In 1998 & Pretended Ever Since – The Middlesex Mendax

The United Kingdom has not possessed a real nuclear deterrent since the early days of the Blair Government, a shocking whistleblower has revealed. The first New Labour administration decided to give up the Trident missile system, which had been run by four Vanguard-class submarines, to save Britain billions of pounds.

Since then, documents seen by the Mendax prove that Britain has kept its lack of actual atomic weaponry a guarded secret. The old submarines were kept in shady docks and occasionally went out with skeleton crews to show they still existed. They never patrolled the world’s deep seas after 1998 though, and they never possessed the power to eradicate Moscow or Samoa.

Our source claims that the conspiracy was a way to save over £30 billion but maintain an effective nuclear deterrent. This was a tactical decision by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, who felt that they had to accept the Cold War was over and the missiles useless, but did not want to be seen as weak on defence. Because other countries, including Britain’s allies in Nato, believed that the Royal Navy could still wipe out millions of lives in seconds, no foreign power ever considered invading. Continue reading

Superheroes are next to useless

Not just superheroes, really. Jedi too. Super-spies like 007 or Agent Carter. Badass detectives like Sherlock Holmes (whether Downey Jr, Bumblecatch or Miller).

Seriously, if I had an Iron Man suit waiting in my spare room, it’d be even dustier than the broken vacuum cleaner. If Thor’s hammer Mjolnir found me worthy then I’d use it to impress moralists and for cheap interstellar travel, but not to hit people with. If I had a lightsabre and some nifty telekinesis abilities, I’d think they were badass toys to help cut wood for the fire. If I was bitten by a radioactive spider then I would probably enjoy touring the rooftops of Canary Wharf and the City, but doubt I’d fight much crime. Continue reading

Jurassic World: Why Claire actually doomed the park and everyone in it

(This blog contains spoilers and also assumes the reader is familiar with Jurassic World)

I got to thinking about the Indominus Rex and within the film’s internal logic and it took me to a worrying place. Claire’s decision to release the Tyrannosaurs Rex to help fight the I-Rex was catastrophic. This is unapologetically geeky: you have been warned. Continue reading

Why Jeremy Corbyn isn’t unelectable

Here is a thing that was pleasing to me. Especially Ho Chi Corbyn.

youmerelybrokemylife

Introduction

There is a very strong tendency in coverage of Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to become leader of the Labour party to argue that Corbyn would destroy Labour’s election chances because he is too left-wing. I don’t even need to link to examples of this, it is practically unquestioned in the bubble of English political commentary. It’s easy to see why it is so prevalent, but I think it’s a rather ballsy assumption.

I’m not saying Jeremy Corbyn is wonderfully electable. I’m not saying he is necessarily more electable than his opponents. I’m not saying he will lead the Labour party to triumph if he wins its leadership election. I’m not even necessarily saying he’s very good. I’m only saying it’s not true he will be an electoral disaster for the party compared to his opponents. Here are some reasons.

He would probably come across as more genuine and honest than…

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The case for a British-led Greek bailout

I do not seriously think Britain’s austerian Conservative government has a snowball’s chance in Hellas of leading a Greek bailout. Cameron and Osborne have been dragged into contributing a small amount to an EU-wide measure, having kicked up a mighty fuss and received assurances that Britain’s contribution is underwritten.

Still, I think it’d be a good idea for this government to seriously consider leading a bailout. I would have the prime minister convene a debt relief conference with (if possible) contributions from America and Canada, both of which are in late-stage talks over trade deals with the EU, and if possible South Korea, South Africa and Mexico, all of which have free trade deals already.

The IMF, Centre for European Reform and eminent economists like Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, and Jonathan Sachs all say current the current situation is unsustainable and the measures the Eurozone is imposing on Greece in return for additional loans will ruin the country even more. Debt relief (pushing back repayments) now seems to be on the table, courtesy of Angela Merkel, but that is far off and contingent on full implementation of Eurozone model austerity. Merkel has categorically ruled out a haircut (debt write off). It’s far from an Obama-style stimulus package or Sachs-model shock therapy which could actually make Greece grow again. It won’t have any impact on the currency either, because Greece will remain locked into the euro while it grows less and less competitive.

Continue reading

WIP

So I’m writing a book about cloning, normalisation of the sex industry, and financial crisis. Also about identity, relationships, mental health and happiness, effective business regulation, gender relations, the decline of aristocracy, and calligraphy.

Drop me a line about any of these, or if you would be interested in critiquing a draft in return for pints or actual cash money.