Latest posts

2018

Tricks and treats

Halloween is a strange feast in our calendar. Nobody knows what is celebrated and why. But that, I would argue, makes it the perfect candidate for New Zealand’s next public holiday. We need more nonsensical feasts to guide us through the year. [...]

The liberal provocation

The current political landscape leaves classical liberals not just alone but genuinely isolated. Their positions, which they once assumed were shared widely, are now exclusively theirs. [...]

No case for waka jumping

When the waka jumping bill went through Parliament last month, National had objected to it based on high principles. By not invoking this monstrosity of a law even as it would benefit them, National showed it believes in those principles. [...]

New Zealand First’s values

It does not happen too often that politicians do what I want them to do. It is even stranger when this almost makes me change my mind. New Zealand First’s Respecting New Zealand Values Bill has achieved this remarkable feat. [...]

Brexit: an experiment in game theory

Britain will inevitably exit the European Union, but hopes of a "smooth Brexit" are likely to be thwarted by the EU's realisation that it's in its interests to make it as messy as possible. [...]

Dissecting the 21st century’s Great Untruths

It had to take an evolutionary psychologist and a lawyer to dissect (some of) the craziness of modern society and polity. Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff’s new book The Coddling of the American Mind is required reading for anyone wishing to understand 21st century politics, not just in the US but globally. [...]

The EU’s reverse Annie Hall problem

“I’d never join a club that would accept me as a member,” says Woody Allen’s character in Annie Hall. With the European Union, it is the other way around: The EU would reject new members as anti-democratic as itself. [...]