On Budget

My response to the 2024 budget statement Budgets, according to least two political podcasts over the last week act as a wonderful energy booster for the party in power, only to lose their power as people digest their contradictions, assumptions, and consequences . Last week’s budget statement by Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt seems […]

Taxing the Rich

A year or so ago there was a possibility I’d be interviewed for a story in the Daily Telegraph. I subscribed to the paper to check out the journalist involved, and have never got round to cancelling. The paper sometimes called The Torygraph, the paper of that party in effect, might be useful to read […]

Watching the Detectives

Tremendously interesting article in today’s NYT on the power of police unions. When Steve Fletcher, a Minneapolis city councilman and frequent Police Department critic, sought to divert money away from hiring officers and toward a newly created office of violence prevention, he said, the police stopped responding as quickly to 911 calls placed by his […]

Have you considered the double-speak around the term ‘social distancing’? No one is any more or less ‘socially distanced’ per se. If anything we seem to be more socially intimate. We still live in a society. Physical distancing is what it is, why don’t we call it that?

Covid-19 in the UK

One week into the UK’s so-called ‘lockdown’, and I thought it would be good to look at the UK response to the virus, and round up some political and social developments within this benighted territory over the past few weeks. Coming so soon after last year’s late general election, which confirmed the Johnson administration in […]

Remote Control?

Many of us, in the current conditions, will be home working if not for the first time, then more often than usual. Automattic, the company that owns wordpress.com, WooCommerce and Tumblr, has distinguished itself by hiring many remote workers – indeed, much of its workforce is globally distributed. Not one to let this wealth of […]

the accidental anarchists

Just a “grain glitch” in the matrix, nothing to see here. According to one journalist, they say of the Washington Post: ‘it’s a great paper; you never know which page will have the lead story’. True to form, the current lead headline might appear predictably anodyne: “Democrats balk as Republicans try to use must-pass spending […]

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Always been fascinated by Brzezinski, who has just died; a sort of liberal version of Kissenger. Reading his obit here in the Post, I discover that as well as a shared Polish heritage we share a birthday! Explains a lot… Anyway, it’s an informative piece but rather glosses over Brzezinski’s role in the Afghan conflict […]

Medicine without frontiers

The Crow word ‘bacheitche’ apparently means ‘good man’. President Obama used it to characterise Joe Medicine Crow, last warrior chief of the Plains Indians, hero of WW2, the ‘first person from his tribe to earn a’ masters degree, anthropologist & historian, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Mr Crow died yesterday aged 102, […]

A bad day for religious patriarchy

Last night’s The Ascent of Woman (BBC2) did a fine job of demonstrating how the recent trend for monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam being the main ones) merely inherit a somewhat older tradition of patriarchy. The systematic oppression of women for which they have become famous, a system of male domination, of our very discourse, […]