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Ian Campbell

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Microsoft Excel 2010 (PC DVD)
Microsoft Excel 2010 (PC DVD)

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 Sep 2014
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It works fine - can't say much more than thaxt


The Zone of Interest
The Zone of Interest
Price: £6.64

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Although Martin Amis closely follows historical accounts (as shown by ..., 10 Sep 2014
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Although Martin Amis closely follows historical accounts (as shown by his references) he manages to bring the management of a concentration camp to life in a way that prompts compulsive reading and helps to explain the mindset of those charged with it.


The 'Too Difficult' Box: The Big Issues Polititians Can't Crack
The 'Too Difficult' Box: The Big Issues Polititians Can't Crack
Price: £11.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't or Won't?, 17 July 2014
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This book has a certain valedictory air, edited by Charles Clarke. It's very good bed-time reading for policy wonks as you can knock off one or two chapters a night. Most of the 27 essays, based on invited lectures at the UEA, are written, with some exceptions, by ex-Labour grandees or left-leaning members of the great and good. In that sense, these are the problems that they themselves rather than others found too difficult to solve. This is the homework they set themselves but most readers would regard them as a fair spread of 'too difficult' issues. No 12 by Anatole Kaletsky presents an interesting view of banking regulation (no bank is too small to be allowed to fail) and suggests that Gordon Brown really did 'save the world' in the 2008 crisis. Two essays on pension reform, by Patricia Hollis and John Hutton respectively, however, manage to avoid completely any reference to Mr Brown's raid on the private sector pension funds which practically destroyed private sector final salary pensions and did not do the stock market a lot of good either. There is an essay on Scottish independence by Jack McConnell, which is not really 'too difficult'. The Scots have quite clearly said that what they want at this stage is 'devo-max'. Westminster refused the SNP's request to have that on the referendum ballot. Rather, devolution is a solution with unintended consequences. Designed to 'dish the nationalists' it gave them a platform and now they govern Scotland. There is no essay on the really difficult issue, namely the 'English Question' or the 'West Lothian Question', which Tony Blair declared 'too difficult' when Scottish & Welsh devolution was introduced and which British governments have been avoiding since the time of Gladstone (see Linda Colley's book on Acts of Disunion and David Marquand's article in the June issue of Prospect magazine). This is one that the Labour worthies do not even wish to tackle, let alone crack, preferring to adopt Lord Irvine's advice that the answer to the WLQ is not to ask it. It will eventually solve itself.


The Demise of the Free State: Why British democracy and the EU don't mix
The Demise of the Free State: Why British democracy and the EU don't mix
Price: £1.86

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The EU is a growing threat to British democracy - but not the only one, 30 April 2014
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As you would expect from David Green, this book offers a well-argued case for the essential differences, with much emphasis on law, between 'Britain' and the EU. He really means between 'English' democracy and the EU, however, as Scotland and England have always had different legal systems, something which is not explained. Scottish law derives from Roman law, although Scotland was never part of the Roman empire, while English law derives from Anglo-Saxon customary law. Also, like many British Eurosceptics, Green passes quickly over the obvious fact that the UK is precisely the kind of state at the EU aspires to become, that is a Union state in which the individual nations are submerged. Since the devolution Acts from 1998, Scotland and Wales have surfaced, nationally, while England still lurks beneath, like a whale that no-one knows how to deal with. The 'free state' is a valuable concept but it requires an engaged citizenry to support it. Britain's current political system instead encourages only apathy. We have what Jack Straw called a 'representative dictatorship' and Graham Allen (Labour MP) calls 'executive sovereignty'. Allen calls for a 'revolt of the shires', that each county (or 'region' as he might prefer) should start taking back control from Westminster, making alliances as necessary with other local centres. Unfortunately, the English are no more impressed with local than they are with central government - because both prefer to starve the people of free democratic choices. In other words, we in England need to put our own house in order before pinning the blame for our troubles on the EU, and that means that Englands a national focus, its own Parliament or at the very least a 'parliament with Parliament' at Westminster.
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How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters
How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters
Price: £4.19

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Politics is not a spectator sport!, 8 Jan 2014
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If you are interested in liberty and its safeguards you will enjoy this book even if you don't agree with everything the authors says or with his view of English history. It is very timely with referendums coming up on Scottish independence and renegotiation of the UK's membership of the EU.
Daniel explains, in a lucid, felicitous style, why he thinks we must treasure and protect our English liberties against the ever-encroaching state. He skips through about 1500 years of history from the perspective of the expanding 'anglosphere' with England at its core, showing how our parliamentary institutions and independent judiciary, personal liberty, sanctity of contract and rule of law developed from the folkmoots of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors. It's 'use them or lose them' and at the moment we look like losing them to apathy. Relying on the ever-ready state is replacing self-reliance. Daniel shows how unusual such liberties are in a world where law is mainly made by the state rather than derived from the people.


The Reformed Union: Britain as a Federation
The Reformed Union: Britain as a Federation
Price: £6.18

5.0 out of 5 stars Lucid guide to the future of devolution in the UK, 5 Dec 2013
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David Melding explains clearly why the present state of devolution makes for an unstable Union. To rebalance the Union, England, as one of the four British nations, has to join the party. This requires either an English Parliament or a robust arrangement at Westminster putting domestic legislation for England under the control of MPs who represent English constituencies. Melding prefers the latter as it would allow England to find its political voice while developing constitutional reforms. The future is federal, something which Melding examines in detail, giving a clear exposition of what it might involve for the whole people of the UK and debunking one or two myths on the way while making due allowance for British constitutional traditions. What might seem to be a rather obscure topic is covered in a concise, readable way that makes it an excellent guide. a valuable introduction to the debates that will take place over the next few years.


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