The death of the banana republic

US-based banana producer and importer Chiquita, the world's largest banana company, is almost certain to be bought by a Brazilian consortium, after the collapse of its attempted tax-dodge reverse takeover of Irish-based banana importer Fyffes. In some ways, this is an entirely normal business story. It features the collapse of the easy, painless [1] tax … Continue reading The death of the banana republic

How To Calibrate A Booze Up So You’re Halfway Likely To Die

So Dan Nolan was wondering how much beer it would take to kill you. It turns out the answer (LD50) is 42.5 cans in an hour, or 61 cans in a 24-hour day for a normal drinker, or 96.5 cans in a 24-hour day for a heavy drinker who hasn't yet developed serious liver damage. … Continue reading How To Calibrate A Booze Up So You’re Halfway Likely To Die

Why minimum alcohol pricing is a terrible idea

Governments in both England and Scotland are planning minimum-pricing regimes for alcohol. These are a terrible idea, not only if you're a liberal, but even on their own terms. There are three main issues associated with minimum pricing, all of which are conflated by minimum price proponents (this article is a good example of their … Continue reading Why minimum alcohol pricing is a terrible idea

Facebook discussions with an old socialist

My dad's friend Martin is an old-school Labour man. I'm his friend on Facebook. It's nice being in touch with such people. Whilst they're not always right, sometimes they are. [Martin R]: The poor are dangerous. Some people: "this is patronising". Me: The poor *are* dangerous. This is clear from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Western … Continue reading Facebook discussions with an old socialist

Alcohol-related stupidity

Alcohol is famous for its ability to cause stupidity. As with most other drugs, this property doesn't solely apply to chronic abusers - it also applies to policymakers and opinion writers, even the sober ones. Drugs and alcohol are second only to immigration as a leading cause of utterly stupid articles. Now, I've written plenty … Continue reading Alcohol-related stupidity

Secularists Go Silly On Halal

I've always found halal slaughter less unpleasant than regular industrial animal slaughter. As anyone who's ever cut themselves with a properly sharp blade knows, cutting yourself with a sharp blade doesn't hurt at all until about a minute after the event, by which point the animal is already distinctly dead. You might prefer your animals … Continue reading Secularists Go Silly On Halal

Finding a new Foster home

So there's an interesting piece on Bloomberg quoting the Sunday Times saying that Fosters Group, the Aussie wine and beer company, might sell its beer operations (branded Carlton & United Breweries, confusingly enough) to SABMiller. This makes sense. Since I was working as a drinks industry reporter getting on for ten years ago, I've been … Continue reading Finding a new Foster home