Showing posts from 2024

The West must no longer tolerate Israel's human rights breaches

  My latest post at Substack examines the state of play in Gaza after six months of war. Fair to say, it is truly horrible. But more importantly, there is now overwhelming evidence that Israel has deliberately and systematically violated international humanitarian law. These violations could amount to genocide. On 28th March, the International Court of Justice decided that the situation in Gaza had significantly worsened since its original order in January imposing six "provisional measures" that Israel must take to prevent the situation worsening. The Court imposed, in additional to the original six, a further two measures, specifically requiring Israel to admit sufficient humanitarian aid to ward off famine and prevent its army interfering with the distribution of that aid.  These measures are binding not only on Israel, but on all signatories to the Geneva Convention on Genocide. All Western countries are signatories. So what should they do to force Israel to comply? Read

Is Gaza starving?

“Over one million people in Gaza are starving,” proclaims a dramatic headline in the Wall Street Journal. Citing a new report from the International Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), a partnership of 15 international agencies and non-government organisations, the Journal goes on to say:  More than a million people in the Gaza Strip, around half of the enclave’s population, are experiencing famine-like conditions, according to new estimates by food-insecurity experts who found evidence of widespread starvation and a sharp increase in child mortality in the war-ravaged enclave.  I expected this figure to be disputed. Both sides in this conflict inflate (or deflate) statistics when it suits them, and each side accuses the other of manipulating the numbers. So Israel’s supporters would probably insist that the number was much smaller and Palestinian supporters would claim it was twice as large. But I didn’t expect an argument about what “starvation” meant... To read on, click here

We need to talk about the state pension

My post-Budget article for the Radix thinktank considers the future of the State Pension in the light of the Chancellor's changes to National Insurance.  The headline news in the Budget was a 2p cut in the main rate of National Insurance contributions for employed and self-employed people. This was the second such cut, the first being in the Autumn statement. And the Chancellor expressed an intention to go much further. He trailed the idea of abolishing personal National Insurance completely.  These changes will have far-reaching implications for the state pension...  To read the rest of the post, click here .  Related reading: The Fund that isn't a fund

The tragedy of Gaza

Dear friends, I said I wouldn't post any more on this site. But Elon Musk doesn't like me posting Substack links on Twitter. And Substack itself is a mess. The home page looks amateurish, and new posts don't even appear on it until they've amassed enough views to push down previous posts. It's an absurd way of organising a site.  So I have decided in future to post links to my Substack posts here. Hopefully this will mean you can find them more easily, both on Google and Twitter. Some of my Substack posts have paywalls, but you will have the option to subscribe or opt for a free trial.  Here's the introduction to my latest Substack post, The Tragedy of Gaza . Click the link to read all of it. It is free to read. The Palestinian economy is enduring a fiscal crisis and the economic outlook is dire.” - IMF, 26th April 2022. I’m sure everyone realises by now that Gaza’s economy has fallen off a cliff. There is almost no productive activity, so GDP has collapsed an