United Kingdom

Vaccine Nationalism

1 February 2021 My wife and I had our first shots of a Covid-19 vaccine this weekend (Astra-Zeneca, since you ask), and none of our children are old enough to be particularly vulnerable. I therefore no longer have a dog in this fight, and can write with godlike impartiality about who else should get the …

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Herd Immunity, Reinfection and the Great Barrington Declaration

14 October 2020 After eight full months of the global pandemic, the pressure to keep the economies open and let the chips (or rather, the elderly) fall where they may is growing strong. The ‘Great Barrington Declaration’ of 4 October was signed by three medical professors from Oxford, Harvard and Stanford universities and by tens …

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Fragmentation: The Tribalisation of Politics

‘Homo economicus’ is dead. Long live ‘homo tribuarius’! That’s not really something to celebrate, but it’s certainly true that in most democratic countries economic self-interest is no longer the most important factor in voters’ choices. Tribalism of various sorts is taking its place, and that is not an improvement. Take three quite different countries that …

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Brexit and Drugs

A drug bust can ruin your whole day, so it’s best to have a get-out-of-jail-free card ready. In the United States being white will usually make the police take a charitable view, but in the United Kingdom the best strategy is to say that you are planning to go into politics. (Although being white helps …

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