Toadies of Tyranny

It’s upsetting to see a defence of tyranny coming from a citizen of a free nation. Lord Haw Haw, otherwise known as William Joyce, did his level best to demoralise English-speaking Allied soliders with his radio broadcasts during World War II; he performed this service for a regime that slaughtered 6 million Jews in the […]

Taxi for Warsi

I wish Sir Clement Freud were still alive and serving as the Liberal MP for the Isle of Ely or North East Cambridgeshire (for purely stylistic reasons, I prefer the “Isle of Ely” as a constituency name). I’d like also that he was in a position to speak up about the latest expenses scandal which […]

Review: The Eurovision Song Contest, Baku, Azerbaijan, May 26, 2012

I don’t remember the first time I saw the Eurovision song contest; I presume it was not long after I moved to Britain. I do recall being appalled: bad, tuneless song followed bad, tuneless song. Worse, the performers were often off key, as if they hadn’t sufficiently rehearsed or were tone deaf. What on earth […]

Sleeping with Leviathan

The stretch of the A647 between Bradford and Leeds is a speed camera trap. At first, the signs are clear: the white circle with a thick black line struck through it tell the driver that the national speed limit applies and all’s well. On a late spring day, provided one leaves early enough, this portion […]

On Monarchy and Mobility

We’ve come so far, only to go backwards. In 1964, the British people elected Labour into power, and more specifically, elevated Harold Wilson to be Prime Minister; his origins were modest, he was born in Huddersfield. His father was a works chemist and his mother was a schoolteacher. He rose through hard work, guile and […]


It is a time of waiting. If the G8 and NATO summits over the weekend proved anything, it’s that politics have gone into a deep freeze. At the G8 meeting, the Americans and French wanted to emphasise growth over austerity, the Germans and British, rhetoric aside, feel the opposite: this debate is nothing new. The […]

Always Look on the Dark Side of Life

Prior to the advent of the Euro, I lived in the Netherlands and then Belgium. I clearly recall how the money looked: the Dutch Guilder was always emblazoned on beautiful banknotes, each denomination a magnificent manifestation of national probity and pride. My mind’s eye is particularly drawn to the 50 guilder note, notable for featuring […]

Signs of the Times

My weekday commute takes me through Armley, which lies to the west of Leeds city centre. For the past several weeks, a large billboard which generally advertises a pets and aquarium store has been obscured by a poster which stated the following: “Golf is a Passport for a Dirty Weekend Away with the Lads, Wake […]

Following Thomas

[AMAZONPRODUCT=B000P5FH4Y] Last Saturday, PBS ran a documentary about the Mormons. Lasting in excess of 270 minutes, it detailed the history of the faith and its long struggle to fit in with the rest of America. One of the historians appearing on the programme remarked on how peculiar this epic may seem on the surface: after […]

Review: “American Pie: Reunion” starring Eugene Levy and Jason Biggs

The first episode of Michael Palin’s “Ripping Yarns” began with a quote from G. K. Chesterton: “The follies of men’s youth are in retrospect glorious compared to the follies of old age.” I didn’t expect to think of this when I bought my tickets to see “American Pie: Reunion”. I thought I’d get a dose […]

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.