Opinionomics | 1 June 2012

Must-read comment and analysis. Featuring goldbugs, austerians, and the 0.003%.

1. How to kickstart the UK economy – at zero cost to 99 per cent of us (Guardian)

"By imposing a capital gains tax charge at 28 per cent on the seriously rich 0.003 per cent we could create 1.5m jobs over the next two years," writes Michael Meacher

2. Debunking goldbugs (FT Alphaville)

If you think you might be a goldbug, Izabella Kaminska can give you the help you need.

3. This Collapse In US Interest Rates Is History In The Making—Here's What It Really Means (Business Insider | Money Game)

Joe Weisenthal addresses the negative interest rates issue from a US perspective

4. The End of the Euro: A Survivor's Guide (Huffington Post)

Simon Johnson and Peter Boone write on how the end of the euro could be made to work

5. Krugman savages the austerians with embarrassing ease (Left Foot Forward)

If you haven't seen it yet, Shamik Das has the transcript of Paul Krugman's slaughter of austerians.

A 100Kg gold coin from the Canadian Royal Mint. Why? Because. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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An alternative Trainspotting script for John Humphrys’ Radio 4 “Choose Life” tribute

Born chippy.

Your mole often has Radio 4’s Today programme babbling away comfortingly in the background while emerging blinking from the burrow. So imagine its horror this morning, when the BBC decided to sully this listening experience with John Humphrys doing the “Choose Life” monologue from Trainspotting.

“I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got Radio 4?” he concluded, as a nation cringed.

Introduced as someone who has “taken issue with modernity”, Humphrys launched into the film character Renton’s iconic rant against the banality of modern life.

But Humphrys’ role as in-studio curmudgeon is neither endearing nor amusing to this mole. Often tasked with stories about modern technology and digital culture by supposedly mischievous editors, Humphrys sounds increasingly cranky and ill-informed. It doesn’t exactly make for enlightening interviews. So your mole has tampered with the script. Here’s what he should have said:

“Choose life. Choose a job and then never retire, ever. Choose a career defined by growling and scoffing. Choose crashing the pips three mornings out of five. Choose a fucking long contract. Choose interrupting your co-hosts, politicians, religious leaders and children. Choose sitting across the desk from Justin Webb at 7.20 wondering what you’re doing with your life. Choose confusion about why Thought for the Day is still a thing. Choose hogging political interviews. Choose anxiety about whether Jim Naughtie’s departure means there’s dwindling demand for grouchy old men on flagship political radio shows. Choose a staunch commitment to misunderstanding stories about video games and emoji. Choose doing those stories anyway. Choose turning on the radio and wondering why the fuck you aren’t on on a Sunday morning as well. Choose sitting on that black leather chair hosting mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows (Mastermind). Choose going over time at the end of it all, pishing your last few seconds on needlessly combative questions, nothing more than an obstacle to that day’s editors being credited. Choose your future. Choose life . . .”

I'm a mole, innit.