For those of you who may have picked up Henry George’s Progress and Poverty, you may have enjoyed a tremendous mix of feelings. This is something I have enjoyed with the reading group I am part of. George’s prose is often beautiful and inspiring, sometimes even pretty amusing.

At other moments, George’s argument may require re-reading. Particularly in Books I and II, there is a significant amount of technical verbiage and abstract thinking needing navigating. …


Before most of us had heard of the Coronavirus, the UK economy was in a difficult situation. In the three months to February 2020, the economy grew by 0.1%. This was an improvement on the zero growth over the preceding three months. UK productivity continued to see a severe problem with productivity. Wages finally reached pre-2008 levels in February. At the turn of the year, Bloomberg put the odds of a US recession at 27.5%.

Added into this mix was Brexit. The UK government’s Panglossian position of seeking a comprehensive trade deal negotiated in a few short months already seemed…


While dealing with the personal upheaval caused by the Coronavirus epidemic, I decided to read one of the books which had long sat on my ‘to read’ list. Henry George’s Progress and Poverty, is one I stumbled across when reading about Chinese leader Sun Yat Sen. Beyond influencing one of the fathers of modern China, other admirers of George’s magnum opus include Albert Einstein, Leo Tolstoy, and George Bernard Shaw. Many credit reading it as a life-changing experience.

Henry George himself is an interesting character, something deftly covered in Edward O’Donnell’s ‘Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality’. Having…


While it was shocking to watch Thursday’s election, it was not a surprise. The elections of 2010 and 2015 taught me not to believe my favourite cherry-picked polls but to listen to my sensible doubts. Constituency polls and the vast majority of opinion polls showed the Conservatives with a big lead. At no point did any polling show a big enough swing from the Tories to the Lib Dems required to lose Johnson the South.

Now the results are in, it is worth approaching the three biggest challenges for Britain’s progressives with a similar realism; the future of Labour and…


The most ridiculous charade of the entire Brexit process has been the idea that ‘no deal’ is a realistic fall-back option for the UK. Supposed master negotiators, such as David Davis, have claimed that showing this to be a realistic option for the UK was important in getting a good deal for Britain. Theresa May seemed to agree with such a strategy, telling us that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’. When challenged on this, she floundered.

What has been silly about the whole thing is the lack of real benefits offered by this mindset versus the sheer…


It still hasn’t properly sunk in yet. When I joined Labour in 2009, I thought I’d be there for all my life. I campaigned in numerous elections for them, restarted my Uni Labour Club and even chaired the Scottish party’s student wing. Labour was, to me, the only option for someone who supported better living standards for all, opportunity for all, and a multilateral ethical world order.

This changed in 2016 when Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected. It was clear to me that the mathematics had changed; there were simply more post-2015 members than those from before that election. Corbyn’s failure…


At the end of last year I began researching and reading through the work of Han Fei (韓非), the Chinese legalist philosopher. The reason why he was so interesting to me was because of the similarities that are often put forward between Han Fei’s work and that of Machiavelli. Both wrote a book to get the attention of the rulers of their small state, both lived in states which were threatened by much larger ones surrounding them, both produced what were essentially handbooks for rulers, and both were pushing back against a more optimistic approach to human nature and governance…


In the eyes of Theresa May’s supporters, and probably of May herself, her determination in the face of adversity is her strongest quality. Like explorer Robert Falcon Scott, she battles through frostbite, disaster, and blizzards with her eyes on the prize, getting there no matter the pressure. Unlike Scott, her hardships are of her own making.

Behind every virtue is a shadowy vice. Those who are too generous and caring are at risk of being naïve and wasteful. In the case of May, those who are overly determined risk being stubborn and unresponsive to potential disasters. It is this reluctance…


I have generally avoided writing about Brexit because I’m not a specialist in the area, yet I feel it’s my duty as a citizen to take part in the debate. To me, the referendum in 2016 represented a divide between two major wings in modern politics, between liberal internationalism and the national conservatism. The use of a referendum dug in the winner’s world view as the ‘will of the people’, despite the 52–48 margin which it passed by. Because of the fundamental differences in the outlook of Britain’s two wings, May has found there is really no middle way out.


When the Better Together campaign was planning on how to fight the referendum on Scottish independence, they identified three groups of voters. The first group consisted of those committed to independence, the second those who firmly supported the Union. Polling early in the campaign showed that both sides would vote the same even if they knew it would leave them £500 a year worse off.

Beyond those two groups identified by Better Together was a third. This third were a group of people who would change their position on independence dependent on that £500. Independence was fine if it left…

Lewis G. Miller

I'm a researcher and tutor with a PhD in political science. This is where my personal thoughts go up.

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