Monthly Archives: November 2012

In Defence of Loan Sharking

Loan Sharking: A Brief Defence
By Sean Gabb

The British Government has announced it will cap the rates of interest on the loans people take out to tide them over till payday. It will amend the current Financial Services Bill to give the planned Financial Conduct Authority the power to limit charges.

Now, some of the interest rates charged do look astonishing. The loan companies that advertise on Channel Five all charge about 2,000 per cent. Others are said to charge as much as 4,000 per cent. The last time I borrowed money, I paid five per cent. I avoid going into debt on my credit cards, because of the 22 per cent charged on them. It may seem heartless to defend the right to charge very high interest rates – especially as these are charged to the very poor, who then have trouble getting out of debt. However, limiting the rate of interest they can be charged is not the way to help the poor. Let me explain. Continue reading

A celebration of the backward welfare state or a new crisis in it?

by David McDonagh

On Monday of this week, radio 4 had a special three-hour programme on the welfare state that was worth heeding. We were told that seventy years ago William Beveridge wrote a report that was to lay the foundations for the welfare state. He identified the Five Giants that society needed to slay: Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. Using archive from the time, Jane Garvey and Julian Worricker took us back to that extraordinary moment in wartime Britain that has proved so pivotal to the shape of the welfare state today. Continue reading

Cameron’s Minimum Alcohol Pricing Car Crash

by Dick Puddlecote

Cameron’s Minimum Alcohol Pricing Car Crash So the rumours were true, today was the day the government announced it was going all-in on minimum alcohol pricing.

It has been reported that this is despite stiff opposition from many areas in Westminster, including the cabinet itself. In fact, it would appear that this policy is being forced on us simply because David Cameron is obsessed with it. Continue reading


David Davis

I accidentally typed that (in the title) on someone’s facebook earlier today. Perhaps Ian B might appreciate the birth of a new word to describe, er….

Indeed, another internal spoonerism might be “NamscoGrabiaFartzis”.

Cannabis Users: Stop With The Smug, Already

by Dick Puddlecote

Cannabis Users: Stop With The Smug, Already When viewing articles about smoking – particularly at the Guardian, funnily enough – I’ve always found it quite baffling to see some of the most vitriolic anti-smoking commenters are avid fans of cannabis. Continue reading

‘Thackerism’™ and the ‘Long March’.

by Anna Raccoon

‘Thackerism’™ and the ‘Long March’.

Rudi Dutschke coined the phrase ‘Der lange Marsch durch die Institutionen’ – ‘The Long Walk through the Institutions’ to describe his desired outcome of governmental institutions being infiltrated by those who shared his belief in Marxism and would be in a position to influence future generations; eventually you would end up with a society where all ‘thought’ was uniformly Marxist. Continue reading

The “wrong” sort of indoctrination (for the left)

by Robert Henderson

An unnamed (because they did not want the children identified) Rotherham couple experienced in fostering have had three of their charges peremptorily removed by Rotherham social services Continue reading