Up from Lockdown

I’m still in lockdown. This is because I’m living with someone who is in a vulnerable category, and another person who has a letter saying they are are “shielded”. The letter goes so far as to say that they cannot leave the house. So, if I venture out, I have to put on a pair […]

History Rhymes

After coming to power in 1933, the Nazis worked hard to sell eugenics to the masses. A particularly nasty example of these “re-education” efforts is a film entitled “Dasein ohne Leben” (“Existence without life”), which was released in 1939. It argued that the mentally ill should be killed. Furthermore it suggested that if the mentally […]

In Lockdown

In these days of lockdown, perhaps the most liberating moments occur on days when the sun is shining. I put the laundry on to wash, it finishes, the machine beeps loudly, and I take the wet clothes out to the washing line. I peg out the t-shirts and pyjama bottoms, I raise up the pole […]

A Time for Courage

One of the most alarming statements British politicians have made in recent days can be summarised as follows: if we don’t do Brexit and quickly, massive unrest will be the result.  To put it another way, this argument states that if we don’t give in to the demands of extremists, they will create havoc.  There […]

Brexit Blues

On the basis of indicative votes, we now know what Parliament wants, or rather, what it doesn’t want to do with Brexit, which is anything.  There is a distinct absence, a lack, a void.  It’s great for nihilists but no one else.  We are no nearer a resolution to Britain’s current crisis than we were […]

The Decline and Fall of the Tory Empire

The last emperor of the Western Roman Empire was arguably Romulus Augustulus, whose reign began in 475 and ended in 476.  He was deposed by the Germanic barbarian chieftain Odoacer; according to legend, the warlord “took pity on (Augustulus’s) youth” and let him live.  I’ve always wondered what the people around Romulus Augustulus thought; did […]

Explaining Brexit

Sometimes it takes an outsider’s point of view to see a situation more clearly.  Recently, the New Yorker magazine starkly showed how the United Kingdom is now viewed by the rest of the world.  On its cover was a rendering of Big Ben: its venerable dial was open, and a hysterical cuckoo had popped out.  […]

Refugees Welcome

The story could have had a different outcome. With an alternate set of policies and priorities, 3 year old Aylan Kurdi might have lived. He could have settled in Bedford or Peterborough, gone to school, torn holes in his navy blue jumper, gotten scrapes on his knees after falling off his bike, done well on […]

The Very Model of a Modern Labour Candidate

My black suit was clean and pressed. My white shirt with a herringbone pattern embedded into its weave had been ironed. A silk maroon tie was neatly tucked underneath my stiff collar, tied into a Windsor knot. The head of fresh red rose was pinned to my lapel. I had shaved around my beard that […]

Forever Bradford

In a few days time, and after three and a half eventful years, I will no longer be living in Bradford. As I type this, the sun is shining and the skies are blue on a lovely May afternoon that is beginning to fade into evening. Given such a scene, it’s difficult to contemplate leaving: […]

Me And My Blog

Picture of meI'm a Doctor of Creative Writing, a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle, a published novelist, a technologist, a student, and still an amateur in much else.

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