Discrimination on Religious Grounds

It is easy to make laws, but harder to discover whether those laws, once made, are good laws or bad laws. Defining a good law is not straightforward. Perhaps the best definition is a law that does the least harm; this involves comparison with what the law used to be, and considering whether that old law did more harm than good. Continue reading

Patchwork Crimes

Since the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act became law on 20 October 2015 we have seen a new class of behaviour previously quite lawful but which have now become criminal acts but only in certain parts of the country. Continue reading

We are all hard working families

Spring is supposed to be a time of new birth and a time of hope. Hope is not very much in evidence as the United Kingdom kicks off the game for a new general election. Most of the parties try to appeal to populism without being specific about their policies. They all try to appeal to hard working families. We are all, it seems, hard working families even those who are slothful and do not by choice choose to work.  Continue reading

A Shameful Precedent which threatens our Liberty

Secret trials should not feature in any system of justice, no matter what the excuse. For the first time in more than a century a person has been tried in an English Court; the trial was held virtually in secret. Continue reading

Rules are Rules

Angela Merkel says “rules are rules” when she talks about the Greek debt. She takes the view that people and nations must follow the rules, and among the rules that they must follow is that rules about adhering to agreements reached must be sacrosanct. It is a view of a lady with limited imagination. She who must be obeyed cannot imagine that there is great immorality in slavishly following rules and in doing so dire consequences can result. Continue reading

Water in the Desert

The Atacama desert is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The northern part of Chile is naturally dry. Many places have not have rainfall for many decades. It’s coastal region cooled by the Humboldt current coming from Antarctic. This also cools the desert. The people who live in this region get water from the Andes which flows through rivers such as the Copiapo. For many years humans have settled this region living in or on the edge of a cool dry desert. It was a predictable existence, in terms of climate and weather. Continue reading

The Death Penalty

There are many ways of killing people and humanity seems to have a taste for death closely followed by a taste for mourning; this is what we learn from great wars. However, in peacetime, some nations kill their citizens as a result of a judicial process. I have always thought the death penalty as barbaric, uncivilised and flawed. It certainly is flawed in that mistakes happen and when a person is executed it is too late to make restitution if it is found that the person should not have been executed. Continue reading

Life Becomes Just a Little Bit Simpler

For the first time in my lifetime there was no inflation in the month of February. Of course the prices of some things rose but the prices of other things fell and as far as people can measure by the Retail Prices Index the rises cancelled out the falls and that means some other “firsts” such as Continue reading

Dirty Old City

London is a very dirty city. The quality of the air that Londoners breathe is just as dirty as it was when the great smogs on the 1950s killed so many people, but the London air does not now reveal itself in visible smogs. Instead the nitrous oxides and particulates that fill the air are relatively invisible.  Continue reading

A Trick a Deception and a Fiction – Tax Avoidance

The politicians have called it “the Google Tax” ; they now intend to tax multinationals that operate in the United Kingdom who at present manage to avoid paying UK taxes by using interesting means. This Google tax is long overdue. I am not a lover of multinationals; they seem to scare governments and cower them. However, the most interesting thing about this issue is not that the multinationals avoid tax – every sane person and business would seek to keep its tax bill to the minimum – but the means by which they avoid paying tax,  Continue reading