Bully For You

Personally, I don’t believe Gordon Brown is a bully. Genuine bullying is systematic and contains a certain logic: sore points are identified, salt is poured into wounds, and the resulting humiliation provides the assailant with a warm glow. If the recent accounts from Andrew Rawnsley are true, this is not how Gordon Brown has behaved: […]

Austerity? Yes, Please!

Shortly before Christmas, I had dinner at a Thai restaurant located near Canary Wharf. The cocktails at this establishment are more well regarded than the food, and the service is more infamous than famous, facts which the proprietor may have been trying to ameliorate by leaving a brightly packaged Christmas cracker on each placemat. I […]

Tasting the Rainbow

Travellers to Britain are advised that they may run into a type of person colloquially known as an “eccentric”. These individuals can be identified by their penchant for wearing purple and green striped blazers during Wimbledon fortnight, a bowler hat in the middle of July, or more commonly, by their insistence on sitting in train […]

Life and Death

For those who haven’t been keeping up with the news or those who live outside the United Kingdom, the biggest news story which is exercising the British public lately has nothing to do with economics or the Winter Olympics; rather, it is a matter of life and death. A quick recap: the documentary maker Ray […]

An Olympics in the Shade

I don’t recall the last time a Winter Olympics began with the death of one of the competitors. Yesterday, an athlete from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, Nodar Kumaritashvili, crashed and died during a practice run on the luge track: officials believe that he failed to steer his sled with sufficient care on what […]

The Impossibility of Angels

Yesterday, I attended an activists’ training course which was held at my union’s headquarters in London. I arrived slightly early, but as I sat down, I noticed that the overhead projector was switched on and that a Powerpoint presentation was ready to go. I raised an eyebrow: the presentation’s template was one that I had […]

Home Sweet Home

The British have a talent for self-deprecation. For someone with American origins this is nothing but refreshing: indeed, when I visit my family in the States, I am constantly reminded how patriotism can be elevated from a mere sentiment to a religion. The Stars and Stripes is everywhere: it appears as a gigantic banner fluttering […]

A Prayer for Contingency

Last October, my parents paid a visit to London. They spent the first few days of their holiday sampling the delights of the capital: they visited restaurants they enjoy, went to the theatre and did a bit of shopping. Then my father began to feel pain in his lower back; it became serious enough that […]

A Bit of Fry and Laurie

I’ve recently acquired the DVDs for the programme, “A Bit of Fry and Laurie”, which is absolutely hilarious. However, their humour can also be razor sharp, as this remake of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, featuring Hugh Laurie as Rupert Murdoch, shows:

The Politics of Waste

Commentators often try to obscure simple truths by utilising the dry vocabulary of economics. Behind all the superfluous talk of deficits and GDP figures, there is one underlying fact: we’re not as rich as we used to be, or rather, not as wealthy as we thought we were. Governments and citizens alike got caught up […]

Me And My Blog

Picture of meI'm a Doctor of both Creative Writing and Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering, a novelist, a technologist, and still an amateur in much else.