Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hannan - not just a cock.

As John Hemming reminds us, Daniel Hannan has been a great seer for some time. In the Spectator, the poster-boy for the Tory right wrote
Consider Iceland, a volcanic lump at the uttermost edge of Europe, straddling the tectonic line that separates our continental plate from America’s. Iceland has few natural advantages: it is cold, treeless and, for much of the year, sunless. It has a population of 285,000 — roughly that of Croydon. Yet this sparse, chilly speck of tundra has just overtaken Norway to become the wealthiest place in Europe. Faced with a small home market, Icelandic entrepreneurs have expanded into neighbouring countries. In Britain alone they have bought, among other things, Hamleys, Somerfield, Oasis and Karen Millen. Icelanders now enjoy the highest life expectancy in the world. And — here’s the thing — they have achieved all this while remaining outside the EU.

The coda to this is that following the descent of the Icelandic economy into a pit that makes our own travails look like a quiet couple of weeks, in July, the Icelandic government applied to join the EU and is currently having the application fast-tracked.

Meanwhile, across the way at the Ministry of Truth, the redoubtable Unity explains that, whilst Hannan may trumpet the successes of the Singaporean health system, it has a major, non-financial cost to the residents that should trouble the libertarian right who want to import that state's way of business. Yet another fine piece of work from an excellent blogger.
The price of an efficient healthcare system in Singapore is a corporatist state that would have fair warmed the cockles of Mussolini’s heart and level of political and social quietism that would have had the pre-Glasnost Kremlin swooning with envy.

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