What we learned this week

  • A team of students in the US are designing a biological lightbulb that uses genetically engineered bio-luminescent bacteria.
  • The campaign against the arms companies has gone local with a new CAAT map that shows where companies are and which countries they’ve supplied. There’s a Finmeccanica office in Luton, I discovered. Among their many clients are Bahrain and Kazakhstan.


  1. Re. The Spectator
    I wondered if the article may contain a hidden agenda. It contains much encouragement for more of the middle class to emigrate. This would bring us closer to a two tier society of very rich and poor, making it easier for the wealthy to take advantage. Is this not possible?

    1. I didn’t detect any encouragement to emigrate – there’s only one mention of emigration and it seems to suggest it’s a sad phenomenon rather a positive one.

      I don’t think such a two-tier society is possible or desirable anyway. You’d need to encourage the majority of the country to leave.

      1. Jeremy, I did say ‘hidden’, but I’m puzzled how you can miss that the whole article is full of the bad, (and yes, ‘sad’), state of affairs, in Britain, for those trying to lead a decent life. How can it not encourage ALL people (except the elite, whose position he says remains the same), to want to find better elsewhere, whether it is mere statement of facts, or an intentionally ‘hidden’ encouragement?

        It leads on to the conclusion that it is ‘Little wonder’ emigration levels are running at 400 a day. And that there is an exodus of a disproportionate number from the skilled middle class, looking for good schools, decent houses and safe streets. How can any of the article not be filling many people with despair and an urge to find better, like he says, so many are doing? And, as you say, when you read this in The Spectator, you know there is a problem. We already know why people emigrate, he is actually saying that many are choosing to emigrate and that it’s no surprise. Where is the anti-emigration?

        Of course two tier is not desirable, but he tells us that the numbers emigrating is ignored, the middle class are squeezed, shrinking and sinking, and we may be heading for the hourglass economies once characterised by the emerging countries. He can’t imagine us on the streets saying we’re not taking any more. Well, who can? What use would that be? After reading that article, how many would not want to find a ‘better’ place to live, if they can, rather than to sit and wait, and wait for some to complain and see the results! Those who can’t or don’t, get weaker every time one more family emigrates.That is useful for those who merely want to be much, much stronger than the rest. (Helping towards something alike to the rich white man and his slaves)

        Your reply puzzles me much. That one sentence you speak of, draws us a conclusion to all the rest. – You wouldn’t expect The Spectator to blatantly confess to encouraging those more capable of complaining to go away. I may be very wrong, that’s why I put it to you as a suggestion, but your reply is strange. He certainly has encouraged emigration, whether intentional or not.

        1. Yes, it does take the popular ‘Britain’s going to the dogs’ line, and some might interpret that as a signal to emigrate. But I certainly didn’t detect a pro-emigration tone to it.

          I don’t suspect a hidden agenda along the lines you suggest because I don’t think anyone is served by such a society. I don’t know anyone who thinks we should encourage the middle classes to move away so that the poor can be dominated more easily.

          Maybe I’m being naive, and there is a plan afoot, but it’s the first I’ve heard of it and it won’t succeed. Like I say, you’d need to get millions of people to emigrate before it took effect.

          The politics of both authors is fairly well established, as far as I know, so you could look into them if you wanted to know for sure. One of them is well known for their views on immigration.

          1. Thanks for trying to explain. I can readily respond to each of your four points but, I’ll restrain my urge to do so as I’m sure you’ll be no more attracted to the possibility!

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