Published: 21st Aug 2012

I’m in Lisbon. I mention this not to boast about my summer holiday, but because what I’ve just seen doesn’t happen in the UK. Well, not as starkly. You see we’re more politically correct than Portugal. We also (for now anyway) have a more sophisticated social support system. I’m sitting at a pavement cafe in the middle of the city. It’s busy, the weather’s hot and people are happily paying a premium price to sit on the street, rather than inside. As an aside, I like the idea of flexible pricing. To drink at the bar costs least, at a table a little more and outside at a table on the street, most of all. Lesson One: charge the most for the most popular experience. But I’m distracted by a beggar hobbling along the street. He has what might politely be described a withered leg. He shuffles along in a … (To read the full article, subscribe below)