Monthly Archives: April 2013

How I became a troll

Over the weekend, I did something I rarely do. I read an article online, and when I’d finished it I scrolled down the screen and added a comment. It wasn’t a particularly controversial comment – to be honest, it wasn’t even that worthwhile a comment, but I gave it anyway. And then I made my […]

No Direction

This morning, I’m angry. I’m angry and a little concerned. Because the press seem to have rejected the half-baked proposals that would have let them carry on regulating themselves anyway. And that’s not good enough. There’s a half dozen little details that the press aren’t happy about. There’s a rejection of the so-called Government involvement […]

News Limerick of the Day

There’s fewer psychotics and thugs, And the police got away with their bugs, The end might be nigh, But at least this guy’s dry, And some horses were caught taking drugs (the coloured text links to the relevant stories) ******************************* If you liked this, take a look at some extracts from my soon-to-be-published novel Without […]

Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?

A brief post this morning, because the Archbishop of Canterbury has been commenting on banking. As you’d expect. Or, perhaps, wouldn’t. Some of his points were reasonable enough. Lending long and borrowing short is a risky strategy. Don’t lend to the wrong people. Fair enough, if not exactly earth-shattering. I liked his observation about bankers […]

George’s Marvellous Medicine

I wrote this sketch back in late February, when poor George had to endure his first downgrade. At the time I chose to mark the event with something else, but in the wake of Friday’s Fitch downgrade of UK sovereign debt, and no sign of a change of course, it seems somehow more appropriate now […]

Promise me a miracle

The headline says it all, really. “Lengthen School Hours, urges Gove”. Longer days, shorter holidays. You can almost hear the rejoicing, the length and breadth of the nation, except in Christine Blower’s house, I’d imagine. Better-educated children, who are under your feet less than they used to be. It’s the answer to all our prayers. […]

The shock of the new

Yesterday evening I went to a seminar (don’t ask). As I arrived, the sun was shining, the leaves rustling in the breeze. Three hours later, as I stepped outside the building, the roads glistened with rainwater and the scent of spring hung in the air. We paused, four of us who happened to be exiting […]

Apologise, pull out his eyes

I couldn’t let this story go. One of my favourite writers, a cock-up by a bank, how often are things like that going to come together? But when you’re a state central bank launching a commemorative coin, is it too much to ask that you check you’ve got the words right? When that coin celebrates […]

All’s right with the world

There’s a conversation I seem to have with my wife on an alarmingly regular basis. We’re not the most philosophical or political people, Sarah and I, so it’s rare enough for us to be talking about important events and ideas. But whenever something bad happens – something really bad, Philpott bad, Newtown bad – we […]

Thatcher, The Guardian and Misapplied Logic

A brief post that begins with a quick question: what’s the difference between Hitler, Chavez, Gaddafi and Thatcher? That’s right. The first three died while still in power, of a sort. Their deaths actually brought something other than their lives to an end; provided not just a sense of closure, but actual, literal closure (in […]