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Patriots pay tax

Last year my friend and fellow Lutonian Andy Flanagan hatched the #PatriotsPayTax campaign with the team at Christians on the Left. This week they’ve launched a campaign video and a petition calling for a dedicated business unit within HMRC, Britain’s tax authority. The department is currently under-resourced, making it impossible to effectively chase up corporations […]

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Sweden joins the race for carbon neutrality

The race to be the world’s first zero carbon country kicked off a few years ago now. For a while the Maldives looked like a good bet, then there was a political coup. Costa Rica was in the lead before changes in government watered down targets, while New Zealand turned out to be all talk. […]

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Transport innovation of the week: carbon tax and rebate

From January 1st this year, the Canadian province of Alberta is operating a ‘carbon levy and rebate’ scheme. You can read the details of it on their website, but here’s how it works in a nutshell: A levy is added to the cost of any fuel that contributes to climate change, adding a few cents […]

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Six reasons why Trump could be won over on climate change

There’s been a lot of hand wringing in climate change circles over Donald Trump winning the US elections. Under president Obama, America had finally begun to come round to climate change, at least at the government level. It was very late and hesitant, but finally turning in the right direction. All bets are off with […]

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Moral licensing and extreme politics

Did anyone else listen to Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast series earlier this year, Revisionist History? I’ve been thinking about one of the episodes over the past week. It’s the first, The Lady Vanishes. If you haven’t heard it, you can listen to it on the website. In it, Gladwell looks at examples of female achievement and […]

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On keeping calm and carrying on

So much has been written in the last week about what is happening in the US and why. I’m not sure I need to add much to it today, though there is plenty to say in due course. For now, I wanted to write about our response. And I say ‘our’, for two reasons. One […]

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What is a Participation Income?

One of the policy ideas that I keep an eye on is the citizen’s income, or basic income – a universal safety net paid to all adults in lieu of a complex welfare system, rewarding unpaid work and giving everyone a stake in the economy. I’ve explained what it is and why it’s a good […]

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The Happiness Industry, by William Davies

You don’t have to explore too far into the topics of consumerism or postgrowth economics before you bump into happiness metrics. It’s a popular theme, pointing out that happiness levels have been more or less the same for decades, despite a doubling of income and rising consumption. That has led some people to call for […]

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prisoners of geography

Book review: Prisoners of Geography, by Tim Marshall

Geography has always shaped politics, determining where borders fall, where empires expand and where their ambitions stop. Perhaps it was more obvious in the past, and one might think that it is less important in an age of global connections, the internet and drone warfare. But here is journalist and author Tim Marshall to explain […]

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UK closes the Department for Energy and Climate Change

Eight years ago, Britain created the Department for Energy and Climate Change. It wasn’t the first country to have a climate change department. That was Australia in 2007. But it was the first to put climate change and energy together, acknowledging that they couldn’t be separated. I wrote about it at the time on the […]

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