December 5, 2017

When I was a boy I never went to a restaurant with my parents. On very special occasions we might go to a hotel grill room. Restaurants were for other people, of a different caste. Restaurants signified not just wealth or commercial status; a more adventurous palate indicated a subtle form of worldly sophistication. More





November 28, 2017

In June 1858, during the second Opium War, Britain and France, in cahoots with the other major European powers and the United States, forced China to sign the Treaty of Tianjin. Britain waged the Opium War so its merchants could flood China with cheap heroin, cultivated by other British merchants in India. More

November 20, 2017

Unlike hosting the Rugby World Cup, the global economy is no longer an “all-or-nothing” game of nations pitted against each other where for one side to win the other must lose. It’s more nuanced. More

October 29, 2017

This week, the Catalan parliament declared independence. Immediately, the Spanish government annulled this move and announced direct rule from Madrid. By tomorrow, the Spanish authorities will have taken over all the organisations of the Catalonia state, including the police force. More

October 23, 2017

The current tracker mortgage scandal has its roots deep in the Celtic Tiger boom when the banks went hell-for-leather to lend to anyone in order to make more and more profits. More

October 15, 2017

It has been particularly interesting listening to Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe, talk about his plans for tax rates. He wants to reduce income tax on the ‘squeezed middle’. This is undoubtedly a laudable move. Excessive taxation cripples people, as too do excessive retail prices. More

October 8, 2017

Do you remember the break up of Yugoslavia? At first people said it could never happen. Yugoslavia had been a federation since the First World War, it had Europe’s biggest standing army, it had been the ballast between East and West and yet, it disintegrated in bloodshed. More