Opinion / Libertarian Ideas

Corbyn Labour: Hierarchy of Norms

One of the great issues in Jurisprudence is the Hierarchy of Norms. Where exactly does law find its moral legitimacy? Can a legal system’s legitimacy be traced back to one ‘Groundnorm’ as Hans Kelsen argued? Legal science, as Kelsen would like it to be, has to describe a legal norm […]

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EU Relaunches – or Dies

A musty piece by Enrico Letta, previously an Italian Prime Minister, urges the EU to relaunch – or die. Why so drastic? Let’s find out. If the European Union does not undertake a concrete and effective relaunch within the next few months, it will begin an irreversible decline. There is little […]

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Brexit (1): The Negotiation

Blimey. Now what? Some quick thoughts (in the order I think them) on the ensuing negotiation with EU partners as London markets bounce back from the early shock. First and foremost, this is a magnificent momentous day in the global history of democracy. It represents a strong majority of one […]

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Brexit v UKinEU (21): The Consent of the Governed

Here is my piece today for the Telegraph as the referendum campaign staggers over the line. Some good stuff: Back in the mid-2000s, Tony Blair addressed the annual gathering of British ambassadors. In the Q&A our then Ambassador in Paris warned the Prime Minister that London’s EU policies were going […]

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Brexit v UKinEU (19): Tone and Message

As this tumultuous (or horrible, nasty, revolting, angry, hateful, absorbing, glorious – pick your adjective) UK exercise in referendum democracy nears the end, what about the way the two broad camps have presented themselves? Leave The Leave tendency has struggled to explain exactly what it wants instead of EU membership, and […]

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Jo Cox and Binary Politics

Here are two strong pieces on the appalling killing of Jo Cox MP and what (they say) it tells us about other things, including ourselves. They are by some chance related. The first by Alex Massie at the Spectator: So, no, Nigel Farage isn’t responsible for Jo Cox’s murder. And […]

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Brexit v UKinEU (15): Migration

You don’t have to go far in the seething Brexit debate to find that ‘migration’ is a Big Deal, not least as the Labour/Guardian side of the argument smells its own panic. Thus this: Ed Balls’s latest intervention in the EU debate is striking. In today’s Daily Mirror, the former […]

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Brexit v UKinEU (13): Sandy Bicycle

A substantial part of the Brexit case is the simple idea that the European Union has ‘gone too far’. Too big, too clumsy, too intrusive, too undemocratic – in short, too much. Oddly enough in the UK debate both Leave and Remain warmly agree on this. No serious British Remain […]

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Brexit v UKinEU (12): Sovereignty (2)

Continuing from my previous post. It follows that the EU is a stupendously good idea, right? Peace, love, understanding – all neatly codified via mutual treaty networks for the benefit of EU member states’ citizens. In fact it’s such a fine idea that other regions of the world are planning […]

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Brexit v UKinEU (11): EEA Option

Readers’ whose brains glaze over when trying to work out the acronymic difference between the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) may find this piece over at the Adam Smith Institute helpful (h/t Roland Smith). It looks at the Big Picture (emphasis […]

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