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One hypothesis about the Anglo-Saxon world is that Britain 1.0 has been superseded by Britain 2.0, such that the latter gets updated first, and the former always lags behind, under threat of being discontinued. As a consequence, the US fashions in race relations have late echoes in the UK. Here are two little stories about... Read More
I recently commented on the UK report “Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities”, which dared to suggest that systemic racism was not the major cause of race differences in Britain. The wave of criticism continues. One line of attack is that the Commission did not give sufficient weight to studies which show that racial minorities... Read More
An official UK report “Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities” has got into trouble by coming to the wrong conclusions. It has stated that the UK is not a racist state, and although there are instances of racism, in most ways the UK is a model of non-racism. The report says that the main source... Read More
A Royal Family is a projective test: it is designed to be an emblem of a nation with which all citizens can identify. They need to see enough in that family to be able to imagine themselves being part of it. This family, by dint of some historical achievement, is chosen as the prime example... Read More
On Monday England was given an indication as to how it will eventually get out of lockdown. Gradually, and in very careful stages, seems to be the answer. We are in our third lockdown, and have staggered through two false dawns. What is different now is that vaccinations have been completed on 17.7 million citizens... Read More
A General Practitioner is the English term for what in other countries is called a Family Doctor. She rang us up last week to offer us vaccinations, asking three questions: are you fit and well; have you had a flu vaccination in the last week; have you had allergic reactions to anything? Then we were... Read More
In the continuing story of coronavirus, this week brings two stories about limitations. The first is that production of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines in Europe is faltering, and from Monday supplies will be reduced for the next few weeks. There have been production problems, of the sort which happen in all manufacturing. It should... Read More
This has been the year of counting the days. On Saturday morning people in England were preparing for a family Christmas. By 5 pm that afternoon they were phoning their regrets, in sadness and sometimes rage. All this may be good news. Opinions differ. The story so far is that the United Kingdom has not... Read More
With a few weeks to go till the end of 2020 it seems clear that, despite all the other things that have happened, the year will be remembered for the pandemic. Never have so many lives been interrupted for so long. Very roughly, 55 million people across the world die every year. Assume that the... Read More
After a brief summer, in which we dared to hope that we could eventually go to the pub without booking a table, and without choosing our food in advance, the darling buds of May have given way to the surly scowls of September, and we are down in the dumps again. This pandemic is testing... Read More
The US is unusual in providing racial breakdowns of crime data, including the race of the perpetrators of violent crimes. The US Bureau of Justice Statistics are an excellent source of real data. They do surveys of victimization in the community (National Crime Victimization Survey) which are un-affected by any presumed Police biases, and include... Read More
Last night the UK Prime Minister said that those who could not work from home, like those in construction and manufacturing should go to work today, maintaining social distancing, and avoiding public transport if possible. Primary schools may begin reopening in June, as may some shops, and some of the hospitality industry may reopen in... Read More
A few days ago, there was an updated report on critical care for coronavirus patients in hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. ICNARC report on COVID-19in critical care 17 April 2020. Sometimes a single table can be illustrative, and this one gives the characteristics of those who end up in critical care. Covid-19 patients... Read More
It is disturbing that our Prime Minister is in intensive care. The leader of a nation has symbolic as well as instrumental value. It is reasonable for the public to assume that any Prime Minister has good security, good health care, good advice and plenty of material comforts. 10 Downing Street is not that comfortable,... Read More
I have no idea what you will be thinking or doing on 12th December, but efforts are being made to determine how UK citizens will vote on that day. Why the fuss? A rational approach to elections is to read the party manifestos, judge the personal and societal impact of the proposals, calculate the probability... Read More
It cannot have been easy to be the first reporter on the tragic scene at Aberfan. A vast slagheap of colliery spoil above a small Welsh mining village gave way in 1966, roaring down the valley and flattening the school and killing 116 children, and also destroying houses, killing 28 adults in all. When John... Read More
I am in favour of schools in principle, with some reservations about what schooling can achieve. Schools cannot compensate for individual differences. From time to time, children have to be excluded from school because their behaviour makes it very difficult to teach other children. Under the current rules, a pattern of disruption has to be... Read More
Some immigrants don’t contribute much: locals blamed.
Commenting on the findings shown on the Government website, the Prime Minister said: “What this audit shows is there isn't anywhere to hide. That's not just for Government, it's for society as a whole. Britain has come a long way in promoting equality and opportunity but what the data we've published today shows is that... Read More
A fire in a tower block in London spread to burn out the whole 27 storey building, with large loss of life, possibly almost 100 dead. The probable cause of the fire was said to be a faulty refrigerator in a 4th floor flat, followed by an astoundingly quick spread of the flames, involving recently... Read More
James Thompson
About James Thompson

James Thompson has lectured in Psychology at the University of London all his working life. His first publication and conference presentation was a critique of Jensen’s 1969 paper, with Arthur Jensen in the audience. He also taught Arthur how to use an English public telephone. Many topics have taken up his attention since then, but mostly he comments on intelligence research.