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Sweden and the UK – tired leaders and new upstarts?

An entry at Eric Sundstr√∂m’s blog started me thinking about the comparisons between the leaders of the UK’s two main parties now David Cameron has taken over as leader of the Tories, and the situation in Sweden where Fredrik Reinfeldt is up against Goran Persson. Other than giving the opportunity […]

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The EU budget, nuclear power, and the hypocrisy of costs

Less and less and less… That seems to be the tale of the negotiations over the EU budget. According to numerous reports (see this from the BBC), Tony Blair is dashing around Europe to shore up support for a 1.03% of GNI limit to the EU budget, down from the […]

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More good Sweden stories – health [Updated, 28.11.2005]

Not too long after their article about biogas (see this post), BBC News Online today has another article about Sweden – this time about healthcare and how the Swedish model might be one we could aspire to in the UK – you can read the article here. As ever, the […]

EU Politics

Inspiration from Sweden

I think there is some common theme emerging on this blog… The more I get concerned about issues in the UK, the more I look elsewhere, and especially to Sweden, for optimism! The good news from yesterday is that Maryam Yazdanfar (pictured) was selected at position number 10 on the […]

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Getting turned off by UK politics

May 1997 and the euphoria of Tony Blair’s election victory feels a very long time ago. Blair suffered his first parliamentary defeat a few weeks ago over 90 day detention of terror suspects, and it seems that the tensions inherent in that debate are likely to burst forth still further […]

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The Brits cannot cope with snow

It has been quite a cold week, and in Cornwall and Wales there was even some snow – see the picture to the right – a road on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. But as ever, the British have proven to be totally incapable of coping with it. The snowfall was […]

EU Politics

Angela Merkel’s charm offensive

I find myself a bit shocked to be saying this, but I was actually quite impressed by the way that new German Chancellor Angela Merkel approached her first visit to London. The approach was cooperative and practical, and above all else, non-macho. Her approach is summed up quite well by […]

EU Politics

LME: was I too negative?

OK, so I did not manage to get to the launch of LME. But today I signed up to become a member via their new website. It might not really win too many design awards, but the site is functional enough, and there is a kind of members area as […]

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Labour + pro-European = hopeless

OK, so you would assume that it should not be too complex. I am a member of the Labour Party, and the party is supposed to be pro-European. Within the party there is a group called the Labour Movement for Europe. This evening – 22nd November – they are holding […]

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More than just the designer of the iPod

I have complained here about the poor quality of Britain’s houses and a lack of taste in carpets. But there are decent British designers – take Jonathan Ive, the inventor of the iPod for example. Now the government is starting to get interested and hope that better investment in design […]

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Why are there no riots in Italy?

Apparently it’s because Italy is so corrupt that any ethnic minorities can manage to make money on the black economy – have a read of this from Samizdata. The discussion about dictatorships and China is also very much worth a read. You could also add the fact that in Italy […]