What we learned this week

  • 60% of containers on ships from the US to China are empty. That’s the reality of a trade deficit, but it hadn’t occurred to me before.
  • Simon Jenkins makes a compelling case for dismantling Britain’s armed forces and saving ourselves £45 billion.
  • Transforming Cultures tells the story of Enric Duran, a ‘modern day Robin Hood‘. He obtained loans from 39 different banks through a front company, gave away half a million euros to charity and then fled the country.


  1. Congratulations on your blog, I read it every day, and on your stance as what I would call consequent Christian thought. I was doing what you are doing now in a Methodist church in Germany 30 years ago. I was part of an open and broadminded active congregation and I felt I could make a difference. When I left that particular town and moved on I found that elsewhere my political engagement fell on deaf ears and it led me to leaving the church behind a long time ago. I found myself confronted with weak-spined, self-centred people trying to take the moral high ground.

    My beliefs in the meantime have changed too, but it’s good to hear a critical and analytical voice out of the Christian camp. Keep it up.

    1. Thanks, I’ve found similar things, that some churches I’ve been in have been supportive and engaged, and others see the kinds of issues I’m talking about as irrelevant distractions. I’ve found the internet useful. In reading other blogs I’ve met a number of like-minded individuals within churches, some of whom are now good friends.

  2. I’m surprised that the number of empty containers going US – China is as low as 60%, but I suppose quite a few containers just get left in the US, and China has to make more.

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