Archive for September, 2006

Few commentators seem to have noticed just how far the Labour Party went last week in its advocacy of environmental austerity (see also 25 September dispatch). For example, David Miliband, the environment minister, used his platform speech to promote what he called “one planet living”: “I propose we adopt a new goal as a country: […]

Some 1 billion people do not have access to safe water and 2.6 billion lack access to basic sanitation, according to a report by Unicef. This lack of access to clean water and sanitation contributes to the deaths of 1.5 million children under the age of five from diarrhoea every year. Young women and girls […]

Today spiked published my article on the American Express RED card (see the link on the left). Under the initiative – one of Bono’s – at least 1% of the user’s spending goes to fighting AIDS in Africa. I argue that the appeal of the card is based on middle class conceit and the projects […]

Debating debt

In: Uncategorized

27 Sep 2006

Today I debated consumer debt on the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2. The peg for the debate was a report from Datamonitor, a business research group, which estimated that the average British resident has £3,175 of unsecured borrowing. That is about twice the average in continental Europe. I argued that debt was not […]

Those who did not listen carefully to Gordon Brown’s “> speech at the Labour Party conference today might have got the impression he was against Western intervention in the third world. But a close reading shows the Labour chancellor is railing against affluence: “I make this promise: tackling climate change must not be the excuse […]

Philanthropy seems to be in fashion. Bill and Melinda Gates have donated huge amounts to ending global poverty. Warren Buffett has followed their lead. Bono and Bobby Shriver seem to be trying to popularise the movement further with their Product Red campaign. The latest high profile event in London is Tuesday’s Fortune Forum dinner at […]

Monitoring the alleged sins of modern life Evidently pets can be unethical too. So today’s Guardian includes a helpful article on how to reduce your pet’s environmental pawprint. One key task in relation to dogs is to make sure faeces is bagged and binned – preferably with a biodegradable poop bag. Cat litter should be […]

Will Wilkinson, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute in Washington DC and author of the Happiness & Public Policy blog (see link on the left), has an article in the October issue of Prospect (the start of the article is available“> here ). In it he argues that GDP per head does have a […]

I hesitate to write too much on climate change because it could easily become a full-time preoccupation. But given it is increasingly used as the ultimate argument against affluence it is difficult to avoid devoting time to it. George Monbiot’s new book on climate change, serialised in three parts in the Guardian, provides a model […]

Spiked has today published my review of An Inconvenient Truth. In it I argue that Al Gore’s dogmatic documentary embodies the worst possible response to climate change. It can be found by clicking on the appropriate link in the reviews section on the bar on the left hand side of this site. However, as a […]