Lord Ashcroft, the former deputy chairman of the Conservative party, once said that for Ukip voters "policies are secondary. It is much more to do with outlook". That may be a good thing for Ukip's leader, Nigel Farage, a natural rebel who has built a movement on protest votes. However, the party's national manifesto, last drawn up in 2010, gives a sense of what a Ukip Britain, outside the European Union, would look like. Tax and the economy • Merge income tax and national insurance into a flat 31% for all starting at £11,500. Scrap employers' NI with revenue recouped from corporation tax, VAT or reduced welfare. • Cut state spending to 1997 levels with loss of two million public sector jobs, replaced by one million new manufacturing jobs and at least another million created because of Ukip's lower tax environment. • Council tax cut paid for by axeing landfill tax and cull of town hall "non jobs". The defence equipment budget will be doubled to £8bn, … [Read more...] about What would a Ukip Britain look like?
Ghislain Coutard is one of the few recognizable faces of the so-called Yellow Vests movement, which has been protesting gas prices in France since mid-November. On October 24, Coutard responded to a call-to-action put out on Facebook by posting his own short video to the social media site. In his video, Coutard suggested that everyone planning to join the first protest on November 17 use the yellow safety vest as a symbol of solidarity. The video went viral, receiving over five million views, and Coutard's spontaneous idea took off, giving the Yellow Vests movement its name, and earning Coutard the nickname "Giletman" — or "Vestman" — among activists. Read more: Paris to close tourist sites on Saturday In the weeks since Coutard posted his video, the Yellow Vests have gained international attention and shaken France to its core with nation-wide protests, often involving violent clashes with the police. DW spoke to Coutard, who works as a mechanic and serves as the … [Read more...] about France: Macron scrapping fuel tax is ‘not enough,’ says man who inspired Yellow Vests
I make Bitcoin, and in a previous life, I covered the oil industry as a journalist. Increasingly, I’m realizing the two worlds are alike. Bitcoin is oil. And one day, Bitcoin will become big oil, and all who dabble in it will be reborn as enemies of the environmental movement, seen as plunderers of the planet and the bad guys in the fight against climate change – just like oil. Bitcoin’s environmental footprint will haunt it. Nobody has pointed this out, but it is painfully clear: if we can at all predict an industry’s growth by that of a different one, then oil is Bitcoin’s crystal ball. Most cryptocurrencies, of which Bitcoin is the first and most valuable, are created by running servers to crunch mathematical puzzles, or “mining”. I have a facility that does that in Canada’s oil capital of Calgary, and its business model is similar to that of the city’s dominant industry. Both profit by generating and selling a product whose … [Read more...] about Bitcoin as big oil: the next big environmental fight?
Barack Obama put his head above the parapet when he dared question uncompromising and judgmental woke attitudes recently. 'The world is messy,' he observed. 'There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws.' Cue a social media barrage of the maddening term now used as the verbal equivalent of self-satisfied eyeball-rolling at your elders: 'OK Boomer.' The insult refers, of course, to Baby Boomers like me born between 1946 and 1964. 'OK Boomer,' chorus Generation X (those born 1965 to 1980), Generation Y (1981 to 1996) and Generation Z (1997 to 2012) to demonstrate that, in their opinion, Baby Boomers are, in no particular order; old, entitled, uncompassionate, intransigent and woefully out of touch. The generation now disparaged for not being woke fought for and welcomed: the legalisation of homosexuality, the 1965 Race Relations Act, the Abortion Act of 1967, the Equal Pay Act of 1970 and the founding of Greenpeace (file image) Oh, and also, that Boomers don't … [Read more...] about ALEXANDRA SHULMAN’S NOTEBOOK: Stop bashing Baby Boomers like me. We gave the world so much, OK?
Bilbao Until recently, secondhand meant second-best for a country that remembered making do in tougher times, and only students and the city-dwelling vintage vanguard went to flea markets for fun. Now, old stuff is being viewed with a fresh eye. Bilbao is ahead of the curve – championing, repurposing and rendering cool the unique, pre-loved, quirky, crafted and durable. The gritty San Francisco barrio is a vintage showcase, from the upcycled decor of bars to hipster-run shops. “Providing second opportunities” is the mantra at La Zapa de 2 de Mayo, where restored machines are used to repair shoes and custom-make new ones from leather or recycled bottle material. Independent vintage shops abound, though the best bet for finding them open is to go on the first Saturday of the month, when the Rastro 2 de Mayo flea market is on and loads of vendors gather to sell everything from vinyl to luggage and jackets, knick-knacks and art in an ebullient atmosphere, along with stuff … [Read more...] about Six of Europe’s best cities for vintage and retro shopping