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Publish and be Damned

Good news from the government on freedom of speech – the first time, we believe, that those words have been written in that order since the lapse of press licensing regulations in 1694.

As Rhys Griffiths of FFW points out in this note, the Defamation Bill currently eeling its tortuous way through Parliament, as usual like a blind python navigating some domestic plumbing, is set fair to remove a major disincentive for website operators to allow controversial content posted by users. Read more

Politicians versus the Deficit

As our national debt hurtles upwards, a company called Starbucks – a purveyor of coffee and snacks popular in the United States and elsewhere – disputes the fairness of the tax system. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the American political establishment lurches from fiscal cliff to debt ceiling. These stories reveal some interesting general features of the deficit debates now raging in almost all developed countries.

The recent fiscal cliff ‘negotiations’ – using the word in what appears to be its modern sense, i.e., a euphemism for political manœuvering, a unique kind of kabuki show whose audience consists exclusively of the other performers and whose objective is to convince the other performers that they have been out-performed, like certain avian mating rituals – was marked by the conspicuous absence of any sense that revenue and expenditure are related concepts. Read more

How do you solve a problem like Europa?

Britain’s relationship with the European Union is much in the news at the moment, as what for want of a better word we might call our political leadership is dragged reluctantly towards a meaningful engagement with the issue by an increasingly Eurosceptic electorate.

It is richly ironic, however, that public opinion has been brought to fear and loathe the ghastly institution by precisely the thing which is least wrong with it, viz.- the socio-economic disruption wrought by having to deal with an economic crisis within the straightjacket of the Euro. Read more

Nearly there!

The site is under construction. In the meantime, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @johnwilkesclub.

The Iron Bridge in Shropshire under construction in the 1780s: it was worth the wait.

The Iron Bridge in Shropshire under construction in the 1780s: it was worth the wait.