Opinionomics: must-read analysis and comment

A merry Charles Murray, the mansion tax and David Blanchflower on the Budget.

1. Osborne should invest in jobs to beat depression – not cut the 50p tax rate (Independent)

David Blanchflower calls for the Chancellor to give firms renewed incentive to hire and invest in the UK, rather than spending billions cutting tax for the wealthiest in the nation.

2. How a mansion tax helps the rich (Stumbling and Mumbling)

Supporters of a mansion tax seem to have overlooked something - that such a tax would not be a tax upon the rich so much as upon the older rich, writes Tyler Cowen.

3. Out of sight, out of mind, still on the books (Economist)

The result of less visible public spending is that voters are less able to make informed judgments about their governments' expenditures, argues Free Exchange

4. Free-Trade Blinders (Project Syndicate)

Fetishizing globalization simply because it expands the economic pie is the surest way to delegitimize it in the long run, writes Dani Rodrik, who presents a remarkable example as to why we should assess whether we actually believe our own arguments.

5. Lunch with the FT: Charles Murray (Financial Times)

The social scientist talks to Ed Luce about black-truffle pasta, blue-collar America, and why the Republican party’s candidates for the White House fill him with despair.

Mansion, taxed: Wrest Park, in Sisloe, England. Credit: 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.

Photo: Getty
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Gerald Kaufman dies aged 86

Before becoming an MP, Kaufman's varied career included a stint as the NS' theatre critic.

Gerald Kaufman, the Labour MP for Manchester Gorton and former theatre critic at the New Statesman, has died.

Kaufman, who served as the MP for Manchester Gorton continuously from 1970, had a varied career before entering Parliament, working for the Fabian Society in addition to his flourishing career in journalism and as a satirist, writing for That Was The Week That Was and as a leader writer on the Mirror. In 1965, he exchanged the press for politics, working as a press officer and an aide to Harold Wilson before he was elected to parliament in 1970.

Upon Labour’s return to office in 1974, he served as a junior minister until the party’s defeat in 1979, and on the opposition frontbenches until 1992, reaching the position of shadow foreign secretary. In 1999, he was chair of the Man Booker Prize, which that year was won by JM Coetzee’s Disgrace.

His death opens up a by-election in Manchester Gorton, which Labour is expected to win. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.