An Irish Brigadoon

2 April 2009 17:05

Jaysus lads, Henry Farrell is correct to observe that this New York Times piece seems to have been inspired by Myles na Gopaleen’s great Catechism of Cliche. It’s all there:… Continue reading


The Last and Best Word on Obama’s Presents

2 April 2009 15:56

Comes, via a Facebook note, from Crooked Timber’s Kieran Healy: Another breach of etiquette. A moment’s thought would tell you that the Queen can only own a wePod.


Deterring or Living With Iran?

2 April 2009 14:51

Ross Douthat suggests that rather than look to US-Soviet relations, it might be more useful to recall how the world was terrified by the prospect of a nuclear China in… Continue reading


The Colour of Newsprint

2 April 2009 13:57

Jack Shafer  – entertaining as ever – mounts a spirited defence of yellow journalism: "Being rambunctious to the extreme, yellow journalism is misunderstood. At its best, yellow journalism was terrific,… Continue reading


World’s Worst Bankers Elimination Match

1 April 2009 18:00

So, Scotland host Iceland tonight in the latest "crucial" World Cup qualifier. The loser will have almost no chance of making it to South Africa so tonight’s tussle is effectively… Continue reading


Nick Cohen, George Orwell and Me

31 March 2009 23:09

I can’t stay silent on the issue of Nick Cohen’s intervention at the Orwell Prize shotlisting event earlier this week. But I can’t really say too much either as Nick,… Continue reading


Time Changes Everything

31 March 2009 22:45

It wasn’t so long ago that senior Labour politicians were suggesting that Gordon Brown should use the coup of the G20/Obama visit to bounce straight into an election. It seems… Continue reading

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s Recipe for Disaster

31 March 2009 20:22

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg has a very interesting interview with Benjamin Netanyahu which includes this passage: Netanyahu offered Iran’s behavior during its eight-year war with Iraq as proof of Tehran’s… Continue reading


Department of Fast Food

31 March 2009 18:28

Andrew Stuttaford, exiled in New York, thinks the creation – and about time too – of the kebab-flavoured* Pot Noodle demonstrates that there’s hope yet for the Old Country. He… Continue reading


Jacqui Smith Must Stay!

31 March 2009 17:31

Over at the Motherblog, Peter writes that Gordon Brown is being damaged by, inter alia, the continuing brouhaha over Jacqui Smith and her expense claims.  A revealing PoliticsHome poll, released… Continue reading


Bombing Iran is Good for the Iranian Soul. Apparently.

31 March 2009 13:04

Elliot Abrams, veteran warmonger and neoconservative, reminds us that while there are always those who find themselves fighting the last war there are also those who forget that the last… Continue reading


A Vision of the Future

31 March 2009 8:24

A lot of us have been wondering what Westminster might be like under the Tories. What, for instance, would the parliamentary press lobby look like under a Cameron government? A return to… Continue reading


If I am corrupt, it’s because I take care of my district…

31 March 2009 1:28

Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images There are those who say that John Murtha’s mastery of the federal budget process has made the slab-faced Pennsylvania Democrat the posterboy for the need to… Continue reading


Department of Crime

31 March 2009 0:46

How to commit what would seem to be close to a "perfect" crime? Step a) Make Sure you’re in Germany. Step b) Make sure you have an identical twin. From… Continue reading


New American Leadership, Same American Leadership Style: Do As You Are Told.

30 March 2009 17:35

Times change, of course. It wasn’t so long ago that the American left wondered why Democrats in Congress couldn’t "stand up" to the Bush administration in the way that, say,… Continue reading


Forgetting the Armenians, 2009 Edition

30 March 2009 16:42

At the New Republic Mike Crowley picks up where this post left off and lays-out the familiar arguments on US recognition of the Armenian genocide. It’s tough for the Armenians:… Continue reading


All the News that’s Fun to Print

30 March 2009 15:22

At the Washington Independent Dave Weigel – Delaware’s finest* – has an entertaining piece on some of the differences between the British and American attitudes to journalism. The occasion for… Continue reading


Better Speechwriters Please

30 March 2009 12:51

I’d been thinking that there’s no need to pile on further and that at some point the proper criticism the Prime Minister is receiving – wherever in the world he… Continue reading


The Wisdom of Clay Shirky

29 March 2009 10:07

I’ve long been an acolyte of US new media guru Clay Shirky. His book Here Comes Everybody is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of the media and the… Continue reading


Suzanne Moore on New Deal of the Mind

29 March 2009 9:50

I know I said I wouldn’t do this, but I have to plug one more article on the New Deal of the Mind. Suzanne Moore make a great contribution to… Continue reading


A Bad Idea Meets Wikileaks

27 March 2009 22:49

I’ve become something of a fan of Bad Idea magazine, which promotes the work of young journalists. It’s a sight more lively than most of the dreary material pumped out by the mainstream… Continue reading


Gordon Brown is Not My Leader, Whatever Labour MPs Think

26 March 2009 13:00

Tom Harris didn’t much care for Dan Hannan’s speech setting about Gordon Brown. Fair enough, as a Labour MP you wouldn’t expect him to find it a hoot. But then… Continue reading


Why Germany Won’t Play Ball

26 March 2009 12:35

It’s not just Gordon Brown who wants the rest of europe to splash some cash to get us out of the mess we’re in. There are plenty of commentators on… Continue reading

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The Guardian and Libel

26 March 2009 7:39

There is a very important piece in today’s Guardian about the UK libel laws by my old friend Jo Glanville, editor of Index on Censoship. I urge you to read… Continue reading


Tony McNulty, Benefit Cheat

26 March 2009 0:30

Exhibit A: From the Daily Mail, November 8th 2008. Man caught in £30,000 benefit fraud: After the case, employment and welfare reform minister Tony McNulty said: "Lying to the DWP… Continue reading