politics

In defence of permanent institutions

February 14, 2020 1 Comment
In defence of permanent institutions

It’s a truism to say that the destruction of trust is at the heart of societal decline.  We’ve known for a long time that politicians come bottom, or close of bottom, in league tables of professions in whom the public has confidence.  It’s no surprise to find that, since the financial meltdown of 2008, bankers […]

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On Winchester College

November 29, 2019 0 Comments
On Winchester College

At the weekend we crossed the border to stay with friends in Winchester for a couple of days.  Winchester has a good claim to be called the heart of England.  It was the capital of Alfred the Great, and remained a capital city of some sort until London usurped its title at the end of […]

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Cymru fydd: ysbryd newydd ar droed?

August 10, 2019 0 Comments
Cymru fydd: ysbryd newydd ar droed?

Yn ôl arolwg barn a gyhoeddwyd ddydd Llun diwethaf mae mwyafrif o bobl yr Alban bellach yn cefnogi ail refferendwm ar annibyniaeth i’w gwlad.  Prin fod y newyddion hyn yn syndod.  Ers sbel mae’r nifer sydd o blaid torri’n rhydd o San Steffan yn cynyddu’n raddol, a’r gred gyffredinol oedd bod ‘etholiad’ Boris Johnson yn […]

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What happens when a politician lies?

August 2, 2019 0 Comments
What happens when a politician lies?

A few years ago, the answer to that question would have been obvious.  If the lie came to light, and was serious enough, he or she would have been in grave trouble – and might even have had to resign.  Today the answer would be – precisely nothing.  This is so common that almost nobody […]

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Yn erbyn Sioe Awyr Abertawe

July 5, 2019 0 Comments
Yn erbyn Sioe Awyr Abertawe

Dros y Sul yma daw sŵn byddarol i’r awyr uwchben Bae Abertawe.  Yn ôl trefnwyr y Sioe Awyr, Cyngor Abertawe, ‘bydd perfformiadau erobatig trawiadol ac awyrennau hen a chyfoes unwaith eto’n gwefreiddio cannoedd ar filoedd o ymwelwyr’.  Y disgwyl yw y bydd dros 250,000 o bobl yn bresennol.  Honnir y bydd y Sioe yn dod […]

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A farrago from Mr Farage

June 22, 2019 0 Comments
A farrago from Mr Farage

Another interesting printed document has come, uninvited, through our letterbox.  It’s an A3 sheet, printed in colour and folded once.  Its publisher is an organisation calling itself the EFDD Group in the European Parliament.  EFDD, we’re told, stands for ‘Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy’.  In the bottom right-hand corner of page 4 is a […]

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How to be an MP

April 28, 2019 0 Comments
How to be an MP

The news of Paul Flynn’s death in February 2019 met with widespread dismay.  Surveys tells us regularly that MPs rank lower in public estimation than almost any other group in society, with the exception of bankers, but here was an exception: a man of integrity who was true to his principles and his constituents, and […]

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The Londonification of Cardiff

April 21, 2019 6 Comments
The Londonification of Cardiff

It’s a commonplace that the UK has the least well-balanced economy in Western Europe.  While London and its region, dominated by financial and allied services, continue to grow and thrive, the rest of the country is bogged in post-industrial depression, suffering still from the effects of George Osborne’s planned ‘austerity’ (still very much with us, […]

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The Sicilian Expedition: a second Brexit footnote

February 3, 2019 0 Comments
The Sicilian Expedition: a second Brexit footnote

After the 2016 Brexit referendum I suggested that the historian Thucydides, in the fifth century BC, can help us to understand how democracies have the capacity to change their decisions on major policies – and both the capacity and the duty to do so when those decisions are clearly, in retrospect, unwise or disastrous.  A […]

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Writing for affect

January 26, 2019 0 Comments
Writing for affect

By accident I happened on four late-night radio voices discussing ‘consent’.  Their focus was Samuel Richardson’s 1740 novel-in-letters, Pamela; or, Virtue rewarded, and Martin Crimp’s current stage production at the National Theatre, When we have sufficiently tortured each other, which is based on chunks of Richardson’s lengthy book.  Both are tough reads, in the #MeToo […]

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