Monthly Archives: January 2017

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The UK will become a tax haven

By | 2017-01-19T10:01:49+00:00 January 19th, 2017|Brexit|

That was the threat that May gave yesterday in her speech if the UK was forced to walk away from the negotiating table at the Brexit negotiations. Previously I postulated that UK citizens living abroad and EU citizens living in the UK would be used as May's key bargaining chip and, although that may yet come to pass, it seems she has decided that the EU will be more likely to react to a tax haven being set up on the edge of Europe. However, while the right-wing press might be applauding this manoeuvre, it is an empty threat. Why? Because it's going to happen anyway. In fact it's already happening. How many headlines have their been about the sweetheart tax deals and big multinationals not paying their fair share? The legality of it is neither here nor there for the UK government - as long as the super rich remain happy (because they fund the political parties.) Le Monde once described The City of London as Europe's biggest money laundering operation. Outside of the EU's banking regulation The [...]

Show me a motion

By | 2017-01-16T12:57:55+00:00 January 16th, 2017|Life in France|

A little while ago I came across this one-liner on Facebook which I duly shared with my students: Grammar: the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit. I thought this was a neat way to demonstrate to those learning the language of, albeit far removed from, Shakespeare how a simple apostrophe can dramatically change the meaning of something. It also helps demonstrate the flexibility of the noun "shit;" which in literal terms we know signifies excrement but here implies two polar states of enlightenment - first devout knowledge and then half-wittedness. While some might frown on me for teaching the youth of France English swear words it is worth considering how many everyday, anglophonic conversations might contain one of the following uses of the excremental word: To shit on someone from a great height To be full of shit To be in the shit To take someone’s shit To shit or get off the toilet To say "No shit" or "Are you shitting me?" To talk bullshit To talk shit When the shit hits the fan etc. [...]