Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation

Recommending: Growing your own vegetables

Reading while delayed; hunting, Iraq & Israel

After my second plane in twenty four hours gets cancelled; and I am in for another 4 hour delay waiting in a Milan airport… there’s not much to do except read scraps of newspaper.

I am not sure this is verified but I read that parliament spent about 700 hours debating the fox hunting ban but only about 7 hours debating whether to go to war in Iraq. Article on how hunts are faring now here.
I guess one could argue that both matters are in a mess now.

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I also read a rather moving plea from David Grossman (see here) for peace between Israel and Palestine. His son died in the recent conflict. I think if interested, you’ll have to read his whole speech yourself; but I leave his last paragraph in conclusion.

From where I stand at this moment, I request, call out to all those listening – to young people who came back from the war who know that they are the ones who will have to pay the price of the next war; to Jewish and Arab citizens, to the people of the right and the people of the left – stop for a moment. Look over the edge of the abyss and consider how close we are to losing what we have created here. Ask yourselves if the time has not arrived for us to come to our senses, to break out of our paralysis, to demand for ourselves, finally, the lives we deserve to live …

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And finally, on a lighter note, but of importance to property obsessed Brits, John Kay gives some good advice about ignoring useless house price forecasts. See here.

“…Well located houses are what the economist Fred Hirsch called a positional good. House prices are consequently a product of sociology as well as economics. That combination explains why it is Britain, Ireland and Spain, not France, Italy and Germany, that have seen the fastest rises in European house prices and why Hawaii, California and New York, not Idaho, Mississippi and Nebraska, have been the hot spots in the US.

The aspirant rich do not displace the very rich from the best houses but they make the very rich pay more for them. This is the self-defeating character of the search for the symbols of status and affluence. So it goes on down the scale. The level of house prices depends not just on levels of income but on social mores and the distribution of wealth.

Successfully predicting house prices involves good economic models, an appreciation of the sociological dynamics of aspiration and a trader’s flair for the waves of market psychology. Not many people combine these skills. My files tell me I wrote about house prices in 2001 and 2004 and concluded that the only information anyone offering confident predictions about house prices gave was that you should not pay attention to them. It is still true…

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  • About me

    I'm a playwright and investment analyst. I have a broad range of interests: food, gardening, innovation & intellectual property, sustainability, architecture & design, writing and the arts. I sit on the board of Talawa Theatre Company and advise a CIS investment trust on socially responsible investments.

  • Recent Work

    Recent plays include, for theatre: Nakamitsu, Yellow Gentlemen, Lost in Peru, Lemon Love. For radio: Places in Between (R4), Patent Breaking Life Saving (WS).

  • Nakamitsu

  • Yellow Gentlemen