A GREAT event took place in Pushkin Square, Moscow on 31 January 1990: a branch of McDonald’s was opened. There was similar excitement in Kiev on 24 May 1997, when the McDonald’s franchise was extended to Ukraine.
THE DESTRUCTION of historical records by government bodies is a recurring motif of the unfree society. So the Bank of England’s hesitancy to publish transcripts from its meetings should be a serious cause for concern.
AS ONLY the second female lord mayor in 800 years, International Women’s Day on Saturday provided an important opportunity to reflect on how attitudes towards gender and diversity have changed over the 106 years since it was first held.
IT WAS the tweet heard round the web. The selfie Ellen DeGeneres took during the Oscars became an internet sensation. First, it garnered the most retweets ever: as I write, Twitter reports 3.3m users have recommended it in this way.
THE RECENT suggestion by the chief medical officer Sally Davies that “we may need to introduce a sugar tax” is a tribute to the extraordinary media profile of Action on Sugar, the latest pressure group to blame a single ingredient for people being
AN UNLIKELY source holds the key to how the West should respond to Russia’s takeover of the Crimea. While researching for my book Ethical Realism (which I co-wrote with the rightly celebrated Anatol Lieven), I came across a startling fact.
FOLLOWING the devastating financial crisis of 2008, it’s easy to understand why there was a severe drop in business investment. From peak to trough, this vital part of economic life plummeted some 30 per cent.
REGULATORS can punish wrongdoing, but they find it much harder to legislate for what constitutes good behaviour. If they try to do so, they are likely to end up with massive rule books – and fail to meet their objectives.
WE SHOULD expect to hear much more about the future of the BBC in the next few months. Its Royal Charter is due for renewal in 2016, and there have already been murmurings about the sustainability of the licence fee model.
IN RESPONSE to Russian forces entering the Crimea, the interim Ukrainian government called for UK and US intervention, invoking the undertakings we (and the French, and latterly Nato) gave to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
AS ITS currency collapses, protests flare up in Crimea, and Russia flexes its muscles on the doorstep, those in the West claiming triumph in Ukraine should remember the story of King Pyrrhus of Epirus.
IF WE could build and heat homes with the hot air generated by the UK’s housing crisis debate, we would solve both issues in one go. Eighteen months ago, the issue was the availability of mortgage finance.
RADICAL reform of income tax is not only desirable, but completely possible. To achieve it, however, proponents of change need to provide a strong evidence base for a much flatter tax system, with a much lower top rate in the UK in particular.
CAST your mind back to 1978. The mighty Boney M had two number one hits, I was sheepishly starting big school in Cambridge, and Britain had a household savings rate of 12 per cent – more than double the current level.