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What Eurovision says about Europe

I am drinking beer in a Brussels bar talking about European politics. Over the course of the evening the conversation turns to the Eurovision Song Contest – and what it reveals about national sentiments. I love Eurovision. Along with millions of people across Europe, I’ll be glued to the screen…

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Gaming and Gamers

Computer gaming has never been so popular. Last year, almost half the UK population played computer games, with a combined spend of $4.2 billion. And despite popular stereotypes about computer gamers being young men, there is a roughly equal split between genders with people across the age range engaging in…

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The collapse of Carillion: a conspiracy of optimism?

Monday 15 January 2018 saw the final collapse of Carillion, the behemoth construction firm. Ultimately, the company was forced into liquidation as it was unable to service debts which had spiralled to over £1 billion while its market capitalisation was in freefall. The post-mortem into the company’s demise is at…

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Improbable ≠ impossible

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. So wrote Arthur Conan Doyle in his Sherlock Holmes novels. Holmes’ approach to crime-busting was simple: develop a set of potential answers and then evaluate them with each and every piece of evidence he could find.…

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Rethinking Risk

In February 2015, a truck careered down Lansdown Hill in Bath due to faulty brakes. Tragically, four pedestrians lost their lives in the carnage that ensued. In the subsequent court case, the mechanic cited as responsible for “wholly inadequate safety checks” received a five-year jail term.  However, the company owner…

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Budget Month

November is budget month for the UK government.  And before the Chancellor carries his famous red budget briefcase from 11 Downing Street to the House of Commons on November 22nd there is plenty of lobbying and positioning to be done by Ministers.  As is now customary for the season, government…

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