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Politics and Economies

The power of one individual to cause massive disruption by the abuse of a religious slur has been demonstrated by loss of an estimated GBP100,000 in just one month by BATA, Malaysia. It's just the latest in false or ludicrous accusations in the country by a small minority claiming to be protecting Islam and causing division, dissent and a major sense of humour failure.

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We've had the Arab Spring and we've had various anarchist and anti-globalisation, anti-capitalism and even anti-wealth protests around the world in the past ten years but there is a new, culturally valid, development. It would be wrong to call it a movement but there is a discernible trend: protests against corrupt governments. It started in Malaysia with the Bersih movement but it has gained traction when, in South Korea, the demonstrators were highly influential in removing President Park. The latest country to see such protests is Russia. The most fascinating aspect is that the protests are cross-party, combine left and right:...

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Long before his inauguration, US President-Elect Trump telegraphed a view of ethics and corruption that many consider contrarian. Is the Trump way of doing business to allow tacit approval of under-the-table deals or is it simplifying the legislative regime, putting corruption on the same footing as any other financial crime? There is justification for his abolition of the Rule requiring minerals companies to report large payments to foreign governments: it was under the wrong Act and it didn't go far enough. Perhaps inadvertently, Trump has just set the stage for the first true test of his character. Also, there is another shock...

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A Parliamentary Bill in the UK goes through several stages: first the knockabout (if MPs are awake) in the House of Commons. Then it goes to a Committee Stage and then to the House of Lords. Although those bodies cannot, in effect, cancel the Bill, they can send it back to the Commons for various purposes. With cross-party support, the Bill passed with 498 votes to 114. That was closer than many would have liked.

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While much of US President Trump's first days in office have been signing off on relatively easy to accomplish Orders delivering on some campaign promises, his big things remain protectionism and the Mexican Wall. He's found a way to deal with both in one way after Mexico told him that his plans to make them pay for a wall would hit, well, a wall.

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Those who think that the people who brought the action and the Judges who found in favour of the Complainants simply do not understand: if they want to blame someone, blame whoever stuffed up Bill that provided for a Referendum.

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Following on from Part 1 of our analysis of Theresa May's Brexit speech last week, here are the highlights from and comments on the next part of her plan. And how the plan does not reflect the wishes of the people as recorded in the Referendum.

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People who turn up at US embassies around the world and want to see the Ambassador are in for a long wait: many ambassadors appointed under Obama have had the call from Trump's people. They said "you've been fired."

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