27th July 2011 Pay As You Earn

A sim­ple form of direct tax­a­tion, intu­itive: you work a week, you pay a pro­por­tion of your week’s wages. You work a month, then you pay a pro­por­tion of that month. No cal­cu­la­tions at the end of the year, no need to keep a piggy bank to put it by. It goes before you know…

20th July 2011 Some Thoughts on Phone Hacking, NewsCorp, Cops and Politicians

1. It’s a PR World It used to be that the news­pa­per report would say “The police were tipped off about the where­abouts of the gold bul­lion”. And in Eve­lyn Waugh’s, Scoop, that sort-of jour­nal­ist William Boot, who hoped to go to Ish­maelia as a spy but ended up being sent as a jour­nal­ist, finds that…

11th July 2011 The Tour de France

For once, the big ques­tion of the Tour de France is not ‘who’s dop­ing?’, the ques­tion is ‘who’s crash­ing?’. The Tour hasn’t been this dan­ger­ous for years. Slip­pery roads, whether from rain or oil, are well-known haz­ards for the road cyclist. And rac­ing in a pelo­ton of 100+ rid­ers at 30+kph does raise the chance…

5th July 2011 Dancing

Being on the North­ern Soul scene, with its all-nighters, amphet­a­mines, and obses­sive pur­suit of obscure and rare records, didn’t suit those with a steady day job. And, as is so com­mon with research into sub­cul­tures, Andrew Wilson’s ‘North­ern Soul’ (2007) doesn’t offer much by way of insight into how a per­son makes a liv­ing at…