Blog Archives

Keep the engines of capitalism working? Or find a beneficial alternative?


Following the summary of yesterday’s article by the Times’ Jenni Russell, a second analysis is made by John Wight in the Huffington Post article. He writes:

“The liberal order has collapsed and no one should mourn its demise, for on its tombstone is engraved the disaster of Afghanistan, the murder of Iraq and Libya, and the unleashing of an upsurge in global terrorism and religious fanaticism on the back of the destabilisation wrought across the Middle East in the wake of 9/11. Married to a refugee crisis of biblical dimension and the closest we have ever been to direct military confrontation with Russia since the Cold War, these are the fruits of this liberal order abroad.

“Meanwhile at home its moral and intellectual conceit has produced obscene levels of inequality, alienation, and poverty, exacerbated by the worst economic recession since the 1930s and the implementation of that mass experiment in human despair, otherwise known as austerity, in response.

adams-common-good“Tony Blair, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton epitomise this failed liberal order – leaders who perfected the art of speaking left while acting right, presenting themselves as champions of the masses, of ordinary working people, while worshipping at the altar of the free market, cosying up to the banks, corporations, and vested interests”.

  • Are Brexit and Donald Trump ‘unleashing the dogs of racism and bigotry’ as John Wight fears?
  • Is hope in Jeremy Corbyn lost? Wight thinks he failed to understand the danger posed by Brexit and mounted a dispassionate and lacklustre nature of the campaign.
  • Was the manner in which Bernie Sanders folded his tent after Hillary Clinton won the Democratic Party nomination in decidedly dubious circumstances was tantamount to a betrayal of the passion, commitment and hope that millions across America had placed in him?

He emphasises that politics is not a mere parlour game and says that both Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders are fully deserving of criticism for taking positions and an approach which has suggested that for them it is, continuing:

mlk-live-together-smaller“Demoralisation and defeatism is never an option”.

Agreed, but there are better prescriptions than those he outlines in his final paragraphs.

Jenni Russell sees ‘the anguished question’ as being how to remedy the acute problems of inequality, while keeping the engines of capitalism working.

Should we instead try the engines of co-operation, peacebuilding, mutuality and increasing self-provision?





Should government ensure that insurance corporates offer home-insurance policies in high risk flood areas?

Or should a free market put profits before people?


The National Flood Forum, a charity dedicated to supporting and representing flood risk communities, warns that as reported today in The Timeshundreds of thousands of householders in areas are at high risk of flooding face losing their home-insurance policies next year unless the Government finds extra cash to rescue the industry. Talks between insurance chiefs and ministers, which have lasted for months, are on “the brink of collapse”.

As hundreds of homes in the Midlands and the South West were deluged by floods, the National Flood Forum has hit out at Government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) for failing to secure an agreement on the future of flood risk insurance.

It warns that the Statement of Principles covering flood insurance runs out in June next year and states that many insurance companies are making plans that assume there will be no agreement, continuing:

“The consequence will be a free-for-all where insurance companies are free and refuse insurance to anyone who is at high risk.

“Chairman of the National Flood Forum, Charles Tucker, said “This is kicking people when they are down. Every one of those 816 households is likely to have a nasty shock when they come to renew their insurance. Many that have flooded before could now find it difficult to get insurance, at any price.

“It’s bad enough just to be flooded. Being hit with a 4-figure insurance premium adds insult to injury. And being refused insurance could spell financial ruin for thousands. Every household and community hit by flooding is relying on them to ensure that flood risk insurance is available to all, is affordable, and is based on social justice.”

The Flood Forum asserts that it is Government’s responsibility to ensure that a clear framework is in place with the insurance industry for flood risk insurance. Failing agreement, a completely free market will leave many thousands of high risk properties unable to obtain insurance in future years. It’s now time for action.