The Stupid Party

I spent most of yesterday watching the results of the Australian federal election. Some may wonder why such a remote contest would be of interest: my reply is straightforward. The Australians use the Alternative Vote system in electing MPs: their election could be very instructive for countries like Britain which may adopt this method. Furthermore, […]

Cuts and Casualties

Yesterday, I became aware of a horrific case in Peterborough. The local primary care trust, in its infinite wisdom, had left a man (named Terence Burch) who is paralysed from the neck down due to a spinal infection, without the care to which the trust had said he was entitled. His wife Angela, exasperated by […]

Better and Worse

My grandfather liked to tell the following anecdote: one day, a man is walking down a street, when he spots his friend approaching him. Upon closer inspection, the man notices that his buddy has a rubber band around his head. Upon greeting him, the man asks, “Why do you have a rubber band around your […]

The Dreams of Sheep

I suppose the most remarkable thing about the Emergency Budget is how calmly most people are taking it. If one lays out its main propositions in language less flowery than the Chancellor used, it is certainly inflammatory. The average citizen will be hit up for more tax, get less public services, pay more for their […]

Daniel Cohn-Bendit: Greece’s Financial Woes

An impassioned plea for reason from one of Europe’s leading Greens:

The Green Moment

In retrospect, the formation of the Coalition Government was probably inevitable. The mathematics largely dictated this outcome; however the situation was exacerbated by Labour’s ineptitude. It should have been obvious that a “progressive alliance” was not going to happen once it became clear who was negotiating on Labour’s behalf. First and foremost, there was Lord […]

The Dynamics of a Deal

It would be a mistake to assume that any political party is a monolith or anything close to one: people don’t abandon their individual points of view the moment they sign the dotted line of the membership form. I once asked a Tory Member of Parliament, during a period when John Major was struggling with […]

A Time of Troubles

For me, this election only had two highlights. The first occurred when the voters of Belfast East made the most beautifully practical and rational choice they’ve made in recent memory: they elected Naomi Long of the non-sectarian, liberal Alliance Party to be their Member of Parliament. I’ve rarely seen an electorate rebuke corruption and depravity […]

Thoughts on Polling Day

In many respects, this is a day like any other. The alarm clock’s intervention was still unwelcome at 5 AM. The descent from the bedroom to the kitchen was still bleary eyed and stumbling. The coffee tasted as it usually does: bitter but enlivening. The early morning broadcasts from the World Service were more interested […]

In Praise of Weak Government

I’ve experienced this election mostly through the medium of social networking; Twitter, Facebook and a variety of online news sources have provided an endless stream of fact, opinion, counter-fact and counter-opinion. At this point, three days out, it seems to have blended into a glutinous and incoherent mass of Arial Bold and Times New Roman. […]

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.