Monthly Archives: May 2019

A failed pricing system

This photograph illustrates a failed pricing system for a scarce resource. Nepal currently charges $9,000 for a licence, which is clearly too little. Nepal is desperately poor and all the people (apart from the Sherpas) in this photograph are rich. … Continue reading

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A professor and a female student

A young female student came into her professor’s offices. She nervously glanced at him as she closed the door. Then, with a theatrical flourish, kneeled at his feet. “I’d do anything to pass this exam. I’d do…anything.”  “Anything?” “Anything.” “Anything?” … Continue reading

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Back in time for the family

This past bank holiday weekend, my wife and I went to her sister’s house in Billericay. This time Aunty June came from Wolverhampton, with her two sons Andrew and Michael and their families. June was born in 1926 making her … Continue reading

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Book Review: C Northcote Parkinson ~ Parkinson’s Law or the pursuit of progress (1957)

This book is one of the most influential books that has been written. Like Catch-22 it has entered the language and the psyche of even those who haven’t read it. Parkinson’s Law is brutally simple. “Work expands so as to … Continue reading

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MPs have too much time on their hands and get up to mischief

The other day, after lunch in the Palace of Westminster, I made my way to the atrium of Portcullis House, where hundreds of MPs have their offices, and settled down at a table which allowed a clear view of the … Continue reading

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Spring Morning

The sweet misted chilled air, just before day break The dawn chorus of birds, folds over the tree lined fields Like bunting dancing in the breeze of each tomorrow Urgent calls of the young, calling to be fed by… Nature’s … Continue reading

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A veterinarian goes to see a doctor

The doctor began his consultation by asking the veterinarian about the pain and its intensity. The veterinarian sarcastically replied: “When I treat animals I can’t ask questions. I have to use my skill and judgement.” The doctor said, “OK.” After … Continue reading

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The limits of personal responsibility: Auschwitz and Hiroshima

Although subordinates in the military are expected to obey orders, they remain beneath the law. Obeying orders is a personal responsibility, which entails deciding whether they’re lawful or not. Unlawful orders should be challenged or disobeyed. Many Nazis were executed … Continue reading

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George Burns* on know-it-all people

“Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.” A long forgotten American comedian

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Book Review: Attica Locke~ Bluebird, Bluebird (2017)

The shocking thing about this book is that it’s a twenty-first century novel published exactly fifty years after ‘In The Heat Of The Night’ was released. The film and Attica Locke’s novel are set in the Deep South. In east … Continue reading

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