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 […]

Deliver or be Damned

The message from Ireland’s election is clear for all democratic governments: listen or be left behind, deliver or be damned.

On the Campaign Trail

The dark clouds obscured the twilight. Rain was falling steadily, large drops bounced off the hood of my olive green jacket. I accidentally cut my finger: it didn’t hurt, but it was one of those irritating lacerations that wouldn’t stop bleeding. I covered it with my thumb as I grasped my stack of leaflets tightly. […]

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 […]

Standing

Democracy, contrary to what some may think, is not just about mentions in the press, appearances on television or cleverly contrived advertising campaigns. Often, its processes take place in humble locations among relatively small groups of people: just so, otherwise supposedly representative government would become solely a product of the media, who would spoon feed us […]

Yvette & Tom

The nominations for the Labour leadership and deputy leadership elections are now closed. As much as one may wish for more contenders to enter the race, rules are rules: one can’t write in “Keir Starmer” or “Dan Jarvis” on the ballot. Despite the many reservations which I’ve articulated previously, I’ve had time to think about for […]

The Beige Flag of Neutrality

If the summer of 2015 has a motif, it is apparently leadership, or the lack thereof. Labour’s leadership campaign tediously malingers. It’s already clear that the candidates don’t yet inspire any great enthusiasm from the British public. Andy Burnham presents himself as being a world apart from the elite, but his career has been solely in politics: there’s […]

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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