Category Archive: letters

May
09
2013

The ever receding yet

Historian Niall Ferguson has been reported as apologising for “remarks in which he implied that John Maynard Keynes did not care about future generations – because he was childless and gay” – leaving open the cause of Keynes’ indifference to the long run. This provoked a letter from me to today’s Guardian. For non-Guardian readers …

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Jun
14
2008

Maths and the City

Published in The GuardianThursday June 12, 2008 Ian Stewart asserts that his university’s mathematics students “earn more money, on average, than those studying any other degree subject” and that “their ability to handle technical ideas is highly prized, and rewarded” (Letters, June 7). His assumption, shared by most other contributors to the current debate about …

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Apr
25
2008

Moral Hazard

“Moral hazard” is a term used in the insurance industry to refer to the way in which behaviour alters when people acquire insurance. People with house contents insurance are less careful about locking up. Such behaviour in the eyes of insurers is “immoral”. The term stigmatizes human nature. We all adjust our behaviour in response …

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Apr
16
2008

The Achilles heel of eco-towns

Dear Sir Simon Jenkins (4 April 2008) exposes the Achilles heel of all the proposed eco-towns: transport. But he is a trifle hard on the motives of the original proponents of the garden cities and new towns. Relieving the squalid, densely packed, inner city slums by providing houses in new settlements, with gardens, in which …

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Sep
06
2007

John Stuart Mill and the cream-buns theory of liberty

Britain’s Liberal Democrat History Group provoked a mid-summer controversy with its search for the greatest British Liberal of all time. Its short list, to be voted on at the party’s annual conference in September, consisted of William Ewart Gladstone, David Lloyd George, John Stuart Mill and John Maynard Keynes. The front runner for most of …

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Feb
14
2007

Road pricing not the answer

Letter to the Guardian published 14 February, 2007 Published version at http://www.guardian.co.uk/letters/story/0,,2012301,00.html Sir When Labour came to power 10 years ago John Prescott proclaimed “I will have failed if in five years time there are not many more people using public transport and far fewer journeys by car. It’s a tall order but I urge …

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Aug
06
2006

Death on the roads – Article lacks logic

Letter to the editor of the British Medical Journal, 26 June, 2006, commenting on Unsafe driving behaviour and four wheel drive vehicles: observational study, by Lesley Walker, Jonathan Williams and Konrad Jamrozik. EDITOR — Walker et al show convincingly that drivers and other occupants of heavy four wheel drive vehicles are safer in crashes than …

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