Obligatory Manuelgate post

Andrew at Wongablog has the best take on this: it wasn't a 'prank call' in the "we'll call someone out of the blue and harass them" sense, there wasn't any deliberate intent to offend Andrew Sachs - and the man is a holocaust survivor who's most famous for a very funny and very offensive portrayal … Continue reading Obligatory Manuelgate post

Violence most horrid

It only seems like a few months since the biggest "idiots failing to understand numbers" issue was that of crime... oh, for those heady pre-recession days when people had nothing more to worry about than lamenting that crime was a major problem despite it generally not being one. The latest row, which has unfortunately given … Continue reading Violence most horrid

Furniture, nudity thereof

If anyone uses the phrase 'the cupboard is bare' when referring to the UK's current economic position, this is an excellent indicator that they are entirely clueless about it. For one, it's an embarrassingly trite and twee metaphor, unlikely to be used by anyone literate; for two, it paints an entirely false picture of the … Continue reading Furniture, nudity thereof

In which your host is proved right

Every prediction I made in this piece from 2005 on 24-hour drinking has proved to be correct: on-trade alcohol consumption has fallen, levels of alcohol-related crime haven't changed; pubs haven't made any extra money; but puritan idiots have continued to rail against the rule change anyway. The most offensively stupid puritan argument is that '24-hour … Continue reading In which your host is proved right

Evidence-based policymaking

Quoth our illustrious mayor (via): I am informed that, thankfully, there have been no fatal accidents arising from collisions between cyclists and articulated buses in London since the introduction of articulated vehicles. Serious incidents are defined by TfL as those where a cyclist may have required treatment, including in hospital. There was one serious incident … Continue reading Evidence-based policymaking

I endorse this product and/or service

While I've spent a few days been being assortedly sunburned, rained upon, terrified and crushed on our fine inland waterway system, dsquared has sort-of-broken his 'not commenting on the current crisis' rule. Read it. Yes, of course there's some TWST, WT? to it, but the conclusion that Western banks' loans exceed their deposits because the … Continue reading I endorse this product and/or service

It’s not about the Scots, it’s about the institutional memory

So, we've been talking about the UK side of the banking crisis on Crooked Timber, and the discussion has taken a mildly anti-Scottish turn. Now, that's just wrong - although three of the UK's largest retail banks pre-crisis were technically Scottish companies (Lloyds TSB, HBOS and RBS), only RBS was genuinely run out of Scotland … Continue reading It’s not about the Scots, it’s about the institutional memory