Robert Skidelsky
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Articles from The Times

Letter to the editor
Robert Skidelsky
Times | Friday, September 27, 2013

 
It’s very hard to get a sensible discussion on fiscal policy going right now. Perhaps Keynesian economics was always too paradoxical to impress the plain men and women who write Times leaders on the subject. In their world view, Labour’s modest spending pledges — notably on childcare — would, if implemented, “draw money from business”. They do not realise that government spending only draws money away from business if the economy’s resources are fully employed, which is patently not true today.
 
In face of heavy unemployment, extra government spending draws money towards business by creating additional purchasing power for people to buy goods and services. But I expect this is a paradox too far for our current opinion leaders.

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Puttnam and the Defamation Bill
Robert Skidelsky
The Times | Monday, February 18, 2013

 
As one who spoke and voted for Lord Puttnam's amendments to the Defamation Bill passed in the Lords on February 6, may I say that Matthew Parris's attack on the amendments misses the point. The Puttnam amendments remedy two major omissions from the Bill: its failure to deal with the question of costs and its failure to prevent the publication of things which may be true, but whose publication has no sufficient reason.

What is the point of new libel laws if less than 1 per cent of the population can afford them? Legal aid has never been available for libel, and it was essential to incorporate Lord Justice Leveson's arbitral system into the Bill to give those whose rights have been infringed free access to justice.
 
The arbitral system

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An impossible crash brought Keynes back to life
Robert Skidelsky
The Times | Thursday, October 23, 2008

 
When Alistair Darling said that “much of what Keynes wrote still makes sense”, anyone under 40 might well have asked: “And who on earth is Keynes”?
 
When I first started writing about him in the early 1970s, John Maynard Keynes was a name to conjure with - not in the league of Led Zeppelin, to be sure, but certainly familiar to the mythical educated layman. Economic policy was “Keynesian” - that is, governments aimed to keep unemployment below the “magic” figure of one million, as they had for the previous 30 years, by expanding public spending or cutting taxes.
 
Then Keynesian policy suddenly became obsolete and the theory that backed it was consigned to history's dustbin. He might have been a great economist, right for his times - the

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David Miliband must stop playing with fire
Robert Skidelsky
The Times | Thursday, August 28, 2008

 
Russia, according to President Medvedev, is ready for a “new Cold War”. If politicians, including our own, want a new Cold War, they will get one. But the fault will lie as much with us as Russia.
 
Every move in Russia's foreign policy is greeted by the West with alarm and suspicion. But its policy has been perfectly consistent for years. Russia's aim has been to rebuild itself as a great power, and use that power to regain a dominant position in the old Soviet space it surrendered in the 1990s. In Russia's perception, the United States wants to take over the space vacated by Russia as fruit of its victory in the Cold War, using Nato as a dagger, and Britain to supply moralistic veneer.
 
Russia has made it clear for years how deeply it

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Russia and Britain: it looks chilly… but it’s far from a cold war
Robert Skidelsky
The Times | Friday, July 11, 2008

 
Britain and Russia have uniquely bad relations with each other - far worse than between Russia and any other main EU country, and worse than Russia's relations with the United States. This frostiness was highlighted again yesterday when a new spying row broke out after the Russians accused a senior diplomat in Moscow of working for British Intelligence.
 
So it is hardly surprising that the one-hour meeting this week between Gordon Brown and President Medvedev at the G8 summit in Japan failed to resolve five years of bickering between Britain and Russia.
 
It is reported that Mr Brown raised three issues: the murder of the KGB defector Alexander Litvinenko in London two years ago and Russia's refusal to extradite the British Government's

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