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Last Build Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:11:47 +0000


The forty-eight percent

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 21:19:33 +0000

The forty-eight percent in the UK have sufficient common cause that they could galvanize behind one political party in the forthcoming election. If that were to happen, the first-past-the-post system would not be kind to the two major parties. Brits who opposed Brexit, who are reticent about it, or want a ‘soft’ brexit are now being asked […]

We can’t wait any longer: get homebuilding going in Ireland

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 20:28:53 +0000

Things are pretty bad. Two public servants are moving to Abu Dhabi, so they can afford to buy a home in Dublin. We spend tens of thousands of euros to educate and train people, then they have to go to a tax haven to be able to afford to even live in our country. We have to […]

Where soft power comes from.

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 07:55:48 +0000

The question came up in a discussion with RP Eddy on Facebook, why does Donald Trump, a master of brand and marketing if there ever was one, is so against building the international brand of the US, through ‘soft power’ of diplomacy and international relations. The answer, I think, is that Donald Trump believes that America’s ‘soft […]

By the end of the year: providing some relief in the Dublin property market

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 17:44:32 +0000

The Dublin rental property situation is desperate, with population growing but little being built. Here is a simple first step to provide immediate relief, through a change in the tax code. It could be in place before the end of July if there is the political will. Despite the crisis, there are reckoned to be 20,000 […]

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 15:32:23 +0000

Seeking volunteers or denying boarding at the gate is one thing. Trying to get people to leave the aircraft after nightfall at the end of the weekend is another entirely. I guess what I am saying is, like with most things in life, there is a right and a wrong way to screw with your […]

Emotion Trumps (sometimes)

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 17:32:17 +0000

RP Eddy pointed me at this article about emotional intelligence not always being a good thing. It made me think about Donald Trump. The interesting thing about America’s forty-fifth president is that he has proven to have an awareness of and insight into the emotional life of American voters that others (certainly not the Clinton campaign) […]

Housing 160,000 more people in Dublin

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 09:24:09 +0000

There is a somewhat lily-livered leader in the Irish Times today about housing. I say that because it is big on telling us what we must avoid, but it doesn’t face up to what we do in order to avoid it. There are some ‘right-on’ ideas about the government having to play more of a […]

2016: the year the dream came through.

Sat, 31 Dec 2016 22:25:08 +0000

Osama bin Laden’s dream came through in 2016. This was the year that 9/11 and 7/7 turned out to have been a complete and resounding success for Al Quaeda. America is now in the hands of an unsteady reactionary. Britain is abandoning the union which sealed peace in Europe. The whole middle east is rife […]

What’s an algorithm, what’s the problem?

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 11:46:48 +0000

I was at re:publica the other day and someone confidentially asked me: what exactly is an algorithm. Why is Frau Merkel herself upset and concerned? So here’s the understandable explanation. In the old days, decisions of all sorts were made wholly by humans. If you applied for a loan, for instance, the bank would look […]

Why the government is right to subsidise first-time buyers

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 22:03:31 +0000

The government is not giving a grant to first-time homeowners in order to make them more affordable. Every economic and political correspondent should print this out on an A2 sheet and stick it above their bed. The purpose of the grant (or any subsidy) is to increase the supply. In the economic jargon, this is […]