Inevitably budgets produce criticism, and just as inevitably the cry "what would you do?" or "what's the alternative?" Our good friend and stalwart Tax Research policy analyst and change-agent Richard Murphy pre-figured that question with a significant talk and article a couple of days ago: one that deserves further attention.
Chancellor George Osborne has promised "bold" policies that will "secure Britain's future" for his 2015 Budget, which will be unveiled when he addresses the House of Commons from 12.30pm today (Wednesday 8 July).
We are pleased to note that in addition to reporting the letter from leading Catholics critiquing Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, over the appalling impact of benefit cuts on the sick, poor and disabled, the Daily Mirror has been persuaded to open an online poll on the subject - which has now gone viral.
Yesterday, I wept in a cinema – something I had not done since, at the age of 10, I was utterly undone by the death of Bambi's mother. The cause of tears on this occasion was a scene from Amir Amirani's film 'We are Many', a documentary about the global protest against the Iraq War.
We have a tendency in these islands – particularly in England – to prefer our history packaged as 'heritage'. Pageantry and grandiose words may easily replace rigorous and realistic analysis with a warm fuzzy feeling. It can also make us look both foolish and false.
The 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in June 2015 is being widely celebrated. King John’s signing of this document symbolised the end of an age when rulers had absolute power. Yet worship of the state, in England and beyond, is still common.