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May 04, 2017

Comments

Oakchair

On one of your points you are mistaken.
In the 70's and 80's governments across the world began banning lead in gasoline, paint, toys as a crackdown on pollution. That is what caused the world wide fall in crime likewise the rise in crime that came before was due to rampant lead pollution.
Lead effectively causes brain damage resulting in poor impulse and emotion control along with a host of ailments.
Kevin Drum talks about it all the time and you can read more by googling his name and some variance of crime, violence, and lead.

Britonomist

"Wall Street and a network of hedge funds, billionaires and media owners"

... all of whom were against Brexit.

Boursin

Rupert Murdoch was against Brexit?!

rogerh

Could governments at some time in the past have achieved things? Possibly but consider how the Bridgewater Canal got built. Supported by Manchester traders and the land owning Duke of Bridgewater it still needed an act of parliament which the good Duke got through in under 12 months. Governments don't achieve things, in 1759 I doubt most of Parliament knew or cared where Manchester was, but government can keep out the way.

Roll forward 200 years and there is little or no use for the lumpen proletariat. Therein lies the problem, big corporates want, hire and benefit from the cream of the education crop. Governments are left to fund the social care of the rest. Developed economies are too expensive for anything else.

The Bell Curve always had a dividing line between the employable and unemployable, that line has shifted considerably to the right hand side. Add an inefficient education system, a distorted social and housing mix and big corporations who can do their work anywhere on the planet and governments like the UK have a problem. More to the point middle class taxpayers have a problem.

In bald terms, if you want 40,000 brightish employees you have to breed 100,000 and find work and housing and social support for the other 60,000. Big corporates don't want that problem. One smart way around the problem is to let some poor country do the breeding and we import the brightest and best - immigration. That is not flavour of the month.

Looking to the future, I reckon sorting the inefficiencies created by sink estate and trailer park culture need to be cleared up. This impacts on housing policy, national culture and education and social mobility. That bunch of problems make Brexit look like a cake walk.

James

I think you underplay the role of parliament, although it's role isn't always direct.

I would consider that there are a number of initiatives that began or were certainly advanced by MPs and led rather than followed social trends.

Barbara Castle and her stance on drink driving is an example that comes to mind. Abolition of the death penalty is another. Sometimes MPs overrule the electorate on some issues - both a strength and a weakness of representative democracy.

reason

Chris,
have you never heard of lead or Kevin Drum?

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