Wilfred’s Challenge: in search of well-being in Ecuador

Might we see thousands of Britons flocking to Latin America in search of the good life?


Survival of the fattest-headed

There is something symbolic, in a grotesque way, of the struggling Japanese reactor built on a serious geological faultline.

It is quite extraordinary that such idiocy could be allowed in an advanced country like Japan.  Yet there it is, a proud exemplar of all those other idiocies that our culture nods through – from collateralised-debt obligations to arms sales to Gaddafi.


Tesco is outflanking my high street

There's nothing especially remarkable about where I live. Sandwiched between two south London "villages" and bordered by noisy, busy throroughfares, it could be considered a bit of a no-man's land. And yet it boasts a wonderful parade of local shops of the kind that is all too rare in the capital today.


Is this the end of the nuclear renaissance?

While the world watches on, aghast at the horrors unfolding in Japan, two explosions at Japanese nuclear reactors triggered by the earthquake is making an already desperate situation worse. But the events have also re-ignited discussions about the future role of nuclear in the global energy mix. More

Why prices really rise

Every quarter, another letter from Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.  Every quarter, another round of hand-wringing over the inflation level.  There is no doubt about it: prices are going up – and not just food and petrol either.

We may be a society that is ruled by old-fashioned economists, but Britain – and England in particular – is a place where the public discourse is remarkably uninformed by basic economics.


Measuring well-being in the UK

I enjoyed speaking at the recent APPG on Measuring National Well-being and taking part in the lively discussion on this important topic. At the meeting I emphasised the multidimensional nature of well-being and how it encompasses the economy as well as social and environmental issues.


Letting mega-banks off the hook again?

Ever since the first taxpayer-funded bank bailout, when “too-big-to-fail” sadly entered the general public’s lexicon, the question on everyone’s lips is: “How can we ensure this never happens again?” In response to this, politicians around the globe have enthusiastically jumped on the “resolution mechanism” bandwagon.


Note to Cameron: this is what you really need to do for enterprise

So David Cameron is going to be ‘relentless’ about the idea of enterprise.  “Entrepreneurs are our only hope,” he told the Conservative conference.

He is right, but here is a little advice for him.  The idea of tax cuts and red tape removal is not unimportant, but it is wholly inadequate to the task.  It just isn’t going to be enough to create an entrepreneurial society without a major shift in government business policy.

If Cameron really wants to do the job properly, this is what he has to do:


From rehabilitation revolution to reality

Today, Sadiq Khan MP unveils a new, more liberal Labour line on crime policy. In an article in the Guardian (bearing a curiously agrammatical headline), the Shadow Justice Secretary implicitly accepts Justice Secretary Ken Clarke’s call for a ‘rehabilitation  revolution’ and aims to put ‘clear blue water’ between the parties on funding cuts not prison cells.


Do we really want to green the economy?

A new report was launched this month by the Aldersgate Group, entitled Greening the Economy. A strategy for growth, jobs and success. Although written for political lobbying – and therefore quite short and simplistic in its analysis – the result is a rather brilliant piece of work on the need to invest in a low-carbon future.


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