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October 20, 2013


Dan Hardie

'For one thing, I’m not entirely confident that the money will turn up...'

Meanwhile, of course, Boris Johnson has been snorting his way around China, also to drum up Chinese capital. A few days ago, the FT's man on the spot filed a rather sharp piece on Johnson's visit to the company that he is relying on to carry out a multi-billion pound redevelopment of the Royal Albert Docks- noting that the company in question didn't seem to have much of a track record as developers, and bdidn't seem to have any knowledge of the UK at all.

The article ended by describing the developers' corporate HQ as pretty much a Potemkin village: the executive lift and reception were expensively furnished, but everywhere else was peeling paint, dripping ceilings and discarded building materials. One to keep an eye on.

john malpas

"education is a commodity" -maybe - but in WW2 it was a mass necessity - training people to fly planes and use machine guns was free to the participants in general.
Why now has education become a large economic burdon to both the bright and the hopeful. Already beset with political correctness and affirmative action.

Chris Williams

Malpas is the gift that keeps on giving, isn't he?

Ta for spotting the Collini article, Jamie. The other big long-term bastard structural change in UK HE is that current immigration law now makes it very hard to hire talent from outside the EU: leave those walls up for a couple of decades, and the sector's going to find it easier to think autarchically. In a bad way.

Igor Belanov

"But more generally, I kind of prefer having opinions about China from a country which doesn't depend on China to keep the lights on. I also think you should have a choice about whether you want to pay the Chinese state every time you do that."

Obviously investment and an open economy is one thing, but I almost got the impression that Osborne and Johnson were over in China begging to become a colony.

Chris Williams

It's hard to prove whether, on balance, joining the British Empire was an economic gain or loss to the people of Madeupistan. But consistently, those Madeupistani rulers who signed the treaty with the British Empire tended to do pretty well for themselves. Perhaps O and J have noticed that.

Igor Belanov

I think generally the leaders of Madeupistan made at least some kind of show of independence before caving in?

Chris Williams

I think that the UK has accumulated a reasonable store of 'shows of independence' over the decades, such that the Honourable Members for Riyadh, Dubai and the Cayman Isles, etc, don't need to contribute personally to them.

Igor Belanov

I suppose the same could have been said of India before the 18th Century.

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