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Author: Richard Nabavi

Are there any honest Scottish Nationalists?

Are there any honest Scottish Nationalists?

In 2014, when the last once-in-a-generation Scottish independence referendum was held, the Scottish government under the then First Minister Alex Salmond published what it claimed was a comprehensive plan for how Scotland’s future as an independent nation would play out.  It was, in truth, a rather curious document, a mixture of high constitutional aspiration, a technical document glossing-over most of the difficulties, and a party manifesto, including a fair smattering of comically trivial measures which independence would unlock (“use Scotland’s…

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BREXIT. Undoing (some of) the damage. Part 2: From Principles to Policies

BREXIT. Undoing (some of) the damage. Part 2: From Principles to Policies

pic YouTube In Part 1 of this article, I proposed six principles which a future UK government should apply to the problem of improving future trade and political relations with the EU.  Those were: 1 No Fantasy; 2 Urgently restore friendly relations; 3 Understand the EU’s position; 4 Prioritise mitigating the most damaging of the new barriers; 5 Go for the easy wins in domestic political terms; 6 Move on from the obsolete framing of ‘Remainers’ and ‘Leavers’; 7 Be…

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BREXIT: Undoing (some of) the damage. Part 1: The Principles

BREXIT: Undoing (some of) the damage. Part 1: The Principles

Just a few weeks in, and the practical effects of re-erecting the trade barriers which the UK spent 40 years helping to dismount are becoming more obvious by the day. Remarkably, it seems to have come as a complete surprise to the government that the EU rules which it had itself been enforcing up until Dec 31st in respect of imports from ‘third countries’ now apply to us.  Every day, new stories emerge of businesses cruelly throttled by the extra red…

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The loneliness of the long-distance leader

The loneliness of the long-distance leader

Where is Team Starmer? Sir Keir Starmer has a lot going for him.  He is credible as a PM-in-waiting, which is more than can be said for his two predecessors.  He seems competent, thoughtful, consistent, honourable, and honest, which are not conspicuous strengths of our current PM.  Admittedly he is rather dull, and a poor public speaker, but overall voters think quite favourably of him; his net ratings were modestly positive in six out of the seven December polls. One…

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Unpicking the presidential election forecasts

Unpicking the presidential election forecasts

A number of groups publish statistical models, usually updated daily, which attempt to assign probabilities to the possible outcomes of the US presidential election. The best-known is Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com. Others include models from The Economist, Decision Desk HQ, and the New Statesman. These models all work in a similar way. They start by trying to get a best estimate of the current opinion poll averages, both at national and state level, correcting as best they can for the perceived…

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