Self-Service is Disservice.

    The predominance of so-called ‘self-service’ machines in supermarkets should worry those concerned by the depredations of the market. The ‘self-service’ machines turn us into unpaid employees for a Tesco, or a Morrison’s, or a Sainsbury’s, and even a wholesome Waitrose. The fact of the matter is that it is a service to Tesco, […]

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Privatising student loans is more than just unfair

Last week it was revealed that a government-commissioned report into the future of student loans recommended that they be privatised, and that the cap on the rates of interest charged to graduates should be lifted. Given that this report was written by an investment bank it isn’t exactly surprising news (and admittedly it was only […]

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Tax: Law and morality – which way now?

Britain has placed tax avoidance at the centre of the global agenda as it prepares to host the G8 summit in June. But despite the headlines generated by high profile cases such as Google, Amazon and Starbucks, tax avoidance is not just an issue for the UK and the other wealthy nations of the G8. […]

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Just because it sounds nice doesn’t mean it actually makes sense

As is the way of these things, a particularly stupid and irritating Facebook meme seems to have resurrected itself recently. The meme in question is this letter to the Guardian from ex-Labour minister Michael Meacher (or Michael “was September 11 an inside job?” Meacher, to give him his full title), which originally appeared in print […]

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The perils of tax populism

This is a guest post by JT White The cause of raining in corporate tax swindlers was once the monopoly of UK Uncut in its Vodafone protestations. Now it has been coopted by the political class, firstly by that shirker Ed Miliband and then by George Osbourne that dangerous radical who went to St. Paul’s. […]

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Labour’s poll lead over Tories proves austerity is more unpopular than the EU

When David Cameron blindsided Ed Miliband with an in-out referendum on the EU last month, he hoped to deal a devastating blow to the opposition by painting the Conservatives as the party of democracy with its finger on the pulse of public opinion against an out of touch Labour afraid to give people a choice. […]

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George Osborne: History will remember you better if you turn left

At 11.39pm, April 14 1912, a man called Robert Hitchins made the mistake of turning right instead of left. The RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank, taking with it a captain who had blithely ignored all warnings of danger and plowed on full steam ahead with the arrogance of an Empire which was soon […]

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Why we need the EU

Continuing the European theme from Reuben’s well-reasoned article, I have thrown in my two euro cents on the EU on my new website salmanshaheen.com David Cameron is taking his sabre to the Netherlands tomorrow, rattling it like a toy rattles when it’s thrown from a pram. On the agenda: Britain’s future in Europe. There will […]

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UK will crack down on its tax havens

This is an article I originally wrote for International Tax Review magazine. It’s big news for anyone concerned about rich individuals and big corporations hiding their money in tax havens at the expense of public services for Britain’s poor. EXCLUSIVE: UK to impose son of FATCA on Crown Dependencies, despite government’s denials A leaked government […]

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Want higher pay? Join a union (or move to London): The public-private pay gap explained

Hey, you know that rightwing hobby horse about public sector pay in the UK being too high because wages are generally higher than in the private sector? (Incidentally, if your response here is “but I thought rightwingers were meant to be against levelling down?” then you may have forgotten how the right argued that cutting […]

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