Monthly Archives: July 2013

You say you want a revolution

I got an email from a campaigning petition group the other day. You know the kind of thing. Ever since Avaaz made it big there are hundreds of them around. You’ve got your generalist petition sites (any petition you want), you’ve got your specialist petition sites (against child exploitation, say, or advocating universal education), you’ve […]

What’s “important”, and why that matters

Wait a third of a year for a post about words and meanings, and two come along at once. A fortnight ago I was penning this piece about definitions and the law. And shortly afterwards I was given an object lesson in how easily this same subjectivity of language can be manipulated for political ends. […]

Nick Clegg and satire – a disclaimer

What is a blogger? I write about all kinds of things on here. The main focus tends to be finance and domestic (UK) politics, but there have been plenty of other subjects, too: TV, sport, protests, even science. When I write a (prose) paragraph or nine about something in the world of politics or finance, […]

Yes, I remember Kenneth Clarke

(With apologies to Edward Thomas, and in gratitude for Adlestrop ). Yes, I remember Kenneth Clarke — The name, because when there were none Of note and few who shone he shone Remarkably. He was alone. The party hissed. Someone cleared his throat And muttered “left” and “Europe”, Tore down his platform. What remained Was […]

Through the Looking Glass

The dominoes are starting to fall. In country after country, objections are being swept aside. In country after country, marriage between partners of the same sex is being legitimised by law. There are a number of grounds on which those who oppose these changes base their opposition. There’s religion. There’s “nature”, whatever that is, and […]

To catch a thief, or to save a life.

When the whole hacking story first broke, all those years ago, before it was all about Milly Dowler and the McCanns, and Hugh Grant and Alan Partridge, it was about politicians. And for that reason, I must admit, I was somewhat dismissive about it. A bunch of MPs had a grievance about the press, and […]

Cleggicated polisher of bullshit

They seek him here They seek him there His furrowed brow His perfect hair Eagerly pursuing every single desperate vote, He’s a Cleggicated polisher of bullshit. He seemed so fresh, He’s let us down. There’s no mystique, He’s just a clown. “I agree with Nick” they said But now they point and laugh, He’s a […]