The nicest way in which to get vaccine forecasts wrong

If you cast your mind back to the ancient times of (checks notes) two weeks ago, you might remember that I wrote a piece up here saying that we should be optimistic about the Australian vaccine roll-out, because at the levels of roll-out growth seen in May, we should be on track to cover the … Continue reading The nicest way in which to get vaccine forecasts wrong

Australia vaccinated by Christmas? It’s more likely than you think

Australia has had a less awful time with covid-19 than most of the world. The 80% of Australians who don't live in Melbourne have been living mostly-normally for almost a year. Even Melburnians have done far better than the rest of the rich world as far as illness and deaths go. They've also done better … Continue reading Australia vaccinated by Christmas? It’s more likely than you think

NSW covid19 contact tracing really is the gold standard

It's been quite weird to sit in Australia, especially New South Wales, and watch the covid19 pandemic spread around the world. The main experience of covid here has been one of a miserable but fairly short lockdown, followed by ongoing minor inconvenience. This, obviously, put us in an extremely lucky position by world standards. We … Continue reading NSW covid19 contact tracing really is the gold standard

Oooh, it’s a mess all right…

...but it's Lion Air. It's always fun to be writing for a new place, and I'm delighted to have my first piece up at Foreign Policy. It's on how Asian budget aviation, although important for transforming the economic prospects of remote locations, is very much a double-edged sword. Particularly when it turns out that American … Continue reading Oooh, it’s a mess all right…

Sydney Trains and Southern Railway: a striking resemblance

The trains in Sydney are a bit stuffed at the moment. I've written a piece in CityMetric that gives some of the details on why. Although I touch on the comparisons with the UK a bit in the piece, I thought I'd go on a bit more about them here because the original had to … Continue reading Sydney Trains and Southern Railway: a striking resemblance

A bad way to find out that bureaucrats aren’t fans of cunning plans

To paraphrase Douglas Adams, the UK Home Office is bad.┬áReally bad. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly bad it is. And yet, the story that's gained media attention today is one where the Home Office doesn't seem to be the main party at fault, and where it isn't doing anything particularly unreasonable. Shane … Continue reading A bad way to find out that bureaucrats aren’t fans of cunning plans

A gigantic flaming symbol of decades of dismal failure

Thoughts with the family and friends of those killed or injured in Kensington today by a readily preventable design failure and a fundamentally corrupt construction industry - aided and abetted by decades of generic national decline and classism, followed by seven Pharoah-style years of active class war, combined with a local authority that's always hated … Continue reading A gigantic flaming symbol of decades of dismal failure

The famous Ipsos MORI went to Rome to see the Pope…

Election opinion polling in the UK doesn't have a great record, with famously drastic poll upsets in 1992 (the 'shy Tories' year, although perhaps not actually) and 2015 (Milifandom, and the overprediction of the youth vote). The Brexit referendum result polling also has a bad rep, which is a bit undeserved, although the dire and … Continue reading The famous Ipsos MORI went to Rome to see the Pope…

I confess, my destiny’s manifestos

As we all put on our party hats for the UK election, I've written a couple of pieces at CityMetric on the parties' manifestos and why their transport plans are stupid: Why Labour's rail nationalisation plan is interesting but basically stupid Why the Tory plan to drop Crossrail 2 is interesting but basically stupid I … Continue reading I confess, my destiny’s manifestos

Australia’s new restricted migration visa rules: serf’s up!

Despite being largely immune from the economic woes that afflict flyover America and northern England, Australia is by no means immune from the present worldwide levels of hysteria about migrants taking our jerbs. We also have a struggling centre-right Prime Minister, who is beseiged by the far-right headbangers who dominate his party (and, to a … Continue reading Australia’s new restricted migration visa rules: serf’s up!