Tag Archives: legislation

Implementing the wishes of the minority

Before we start, I should make it clear: I feel that Brexit is a supremely bad idea, and if I had any say at all we would not be doing it.  It will mean huge economic and political upheaval and pain in the short term, for no gain in the long term.  The referendum was won on lies, misinformation, and encouraging ignorance.

But vote out the UK did, and the question ever since has been what form the break will take.  Economists have, in the main, been hoping for a ‘soft Brexit’, where access to the Single Market would be retained and the UK would suffer less of a financial shock.  However, recent reports from the government have indicated that a ‘hard Brexit’ is more likely – leaving the Single Market with the aim of controlling immigration and regulations. Continue reading

Is free too cheap?

At the beginning of February, Google lost a court case in France where a competitor – Bottin Cartographies – has accused them of anti-competitive pricing.  The story has been reported by Forbes and CNET with some confusion over what exactly has been discussed.

The basis of the case appears to be that Bottin Cartographies has alleged that Google is giving away its maps service for free, which is a move designed to ensure that nobody else can compete and are driven out of the market.  Once Google has no competition, it will be able to raise its price and abuse its market power.  Continue reading

Piracy and the lack of a stick

The issue of piracy on the Internet has particularly high visibility, with Wikipedia, Reddit and WordPress blacking out their sites in response to the US government’s plans for legislation to ban links to pirated material.  The key issue is that the government’s plans aren’t attacking the pirates directly, but are instead attacking anyone who runs a site which may carry or link to copyright material.  A similar issue exists in the UK, with the last government’s pressing through of the Digital Economy Act 2010; under a strict interpretation of the act, ISPs could be forced to block access to Google if it were shown to link to pirated material.  Continue reading

Are we paying for their pensions?

The media like to state that the private sector are the ones who pay for the public sector’s pensions.  This isn’t entirely true.

The issue is that, unlike the private sector, public sector pensions are funded from general taxation. The public sector pension pot doesn’t really exist – it just all goes into and comes out of the overall budget.  Continue reading