Is this democracy?

9 May

Where we get to tick a box every five years while billionaires spray venom and foretell doom should too many of us tick The Wrong Box? (How many editorials and headlines did you get to write this past few weeks, … Read More »

Tax matters

5 Feb

So. Labour, emboldened by Falciani on HSBC and enraged by Signor Pessina on how Britons should vote, has tax avoidance in its sights. Predictably the Mail responded with headlines like that of three days ago: Red Ed the Tax Avoider. … Read More »

Political correctness

7 Jan

There’s no getting round it: life throws up tough conundrums. Why am I blessed with nipples? Is Jimi’ s All Along the Watch Tower, or Bruce’ s Chimes of Freedom, the best ever Dylan cover? When I drop a hundred slices of toast on … Read More »

Yes, evidence matters

23 Oct

A friend questions my broad-brush style. He has both a history degree and a point. A cornerstone of critical thinking is that the more counter-intuitive a claim, the more evidence it needs. My recent posts run counter to dominant narratives … Read More »

Kobani part two

16 Oct

Recap from part 1: Ankara is unwilling to move against ISIS because (a) that would aid Kurdish Peshmerga linked to a PKK it sees as terrorist; (b) in a bid for regional supremacy Erdogan turned on the man he used … Read More »

What now for Kobani?

9 Oct

Isis looks set to overrun Kurdish resistance at Kobani. Not because these fanatics are invincible but because, as ever in the Middle East, a grim realpolitik prevails in the stakeholder capitals. Let’s set aside – we don’t have all day! … Read More »

Peaky Blinders

30 Sep

For those who remember the seventies period piece, When the Boat Comes In, BBC 2’s Peaky Blinders – series two starting on Thursday – will have a familiar ring. Both are set in the turbulent aftermath of WW1. Both give … Read More »

Fall of the Soviet Union? Who cares?

23 Sep

Even for New Labour, Ed Balls was dismal yesterday. “Please like us, City. Please don’t duff us up too much, Mr Murdoch. We’ll act responsibly, we promise! We’ll start by cutting child benefits.” In one of many conversations following my referendum … Read More »