Friday, February 28, 2014

First things first

Those few hours seem to have turned into a couple of days. Also, although I really ought to tackle Ukraine as a blogging issue, the situation seems so fluid that I can never quite decide where to call my own halt. Of course, to nobody's surprise, attention is now on Crimea, a bone of contention between Russia and Ukraine ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Could Putin have had this in mind all along: the detachment of Crimea from its sixty-year old home, Ukraine (then still the Ukraine)? It is, otherwise, hard to explain why he decided to intervene and destabilize (well, help to destabilize) that country for the second time in ten years, with no particular advantage for Russia.

But first, something about British politics. Among the various envelopes that awaited me at home was the latest paper from the IEA, The Sock Doctrine by Christopher Snowdon. This is the third in the "Sock" series of papers about the so-called charities, voluntary organizations and members of the "third sector" that actually receive money from the government in one form and another in order to lobby the same government to introduce legislation that would increase or fail to decrease the role of the government.

This paper deals specifically with organizations whose aim is actual political campaigning that ought not to be financed out of the tax money in any circumstance. Well worth reading if only for the arguments that the defenders of the system put up and for the (incomplete) list of organizations that wage various unpopular campaigns out of our money.

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