Middle East Mess, Ominous Birthday, Hitler Brexit, Damned If You Do, Paving the Way, Kiss My Ass, No More Pin

Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo, from Mary Magdalene 1535-40, The National Gallery

What I’m listening to. 

Jacquet de la Guerre: Harpsichord Suite No.5 in D minor

Change is best from within.

Economist - The breakdown of Arab states: The war within

Europe and America made mistakes, but the misery of the Arab world is caused mainly by its own failures

What a mess 100 years on.

The Atlantic - How Did the ‘Secret’ Sykes-Picot Agreement Become Public?

Soon after coming to power, the Bolsheviks printed the text in Pravda—not the last time the Russians would play spoiler to Western efforts to control events in Syria and Iraq.

Rolling out Hitler by Johnson makes an important point, but not the one Boris wanted.

The Times - Hitler isn’t the only lesson from Europe

Britain has had greatest influence when it has been involved, not detached.

Seems nothing can help London as a financial centre.

Telegraph - Europe’s capital markets union is lost without Britain's constraining, liberal influence.

Dublin and Frankfurt ...

Many of the best and brightest since Reagan have demonized the state, enter Donald J. Trump.

Financial Times - Failing elites are to blame for unleashing Donald Trump

A healthy republic requires a degree of mutual sympathy rather than equality.

Welcome to the future.

Project Syndicate - The Queen’s Chinese Guests from Hell

“Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl, but she doesn’t have a lot to say,” Paul McCartney sang nearly a half-century ago. Now, in her 90th year, Queen Elizabeth II suddenly seems determined to put the lie to that idea.

 

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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©

Twin Virtues

Ultimately, the most successful societies find the balance between the twin virtues of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity.

The new politics must marry the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.

When too few get too much everybody loses.

Feminism is about women living their lives on their own terms, marshalling the resources of the society to make that possible, and men embracing this as vital to a successful society and their own liberation.

Can it be that striving for equality of opportunity however imperfect the process not only benefits the individual but also creates benefits for the society that are unintended but wonderful?

Economics must be a 'moral enterprise' as much as politics claims to be. Economic outcomes need to be framed in terms of right and wrong not just efficiency if only because these often align in surprising ways that are good for society and the economy.

My vision of Canada is that any Canadian child from a family of limited circumstance can expect to have a chance at lifetime of unlimited opportunities.

Free trade is a wonderful thing. Time and time again economists have proven that free trade creates enormous wealth for each country 'on the whole'. Historians have shown that free trade is usually associated with rising political, social and cultural liberty. The perennial problem is that free trade always creates tremendous disruption for thousands even millions of individuals often concentrated in one geography, and where the state is idle, not investing in best in class instruments of social justice, free trade can be a permanent ticket out of the middle class, down, not up.

Tax policy should be founded on the principle of generating steady tax revenues sufficient to maximise environmentally sustainable economic growth in order to fund fair government.

Public policy should be designed to decrease inequality before the law and increase equality of opportunity.

Capitalism is not the problem; the problem is what we do with capitalism.

Content is always more difficult to argue than conspiracy.

Let the state regulate and the market operate (most things).

Welfare strategies are best designed as a hand up, not as a hand out.

Political debate should not be fact free fighting.

Explanation lasts longer than eloquence.

Always favour empowerment over dependency.

The most enduring public figures are embraced for the causes they fought for and not the concept of themselves they hoped others would remember them by.

Find your voice and don't be the echo of somebody else.

It is possible to operate on two different levels: the practical, cautious and conservative; and the realm of ideas, open, free, and radical.