15 September 2009 13:26

So, spite, then: is there anybody in Britain with a more exalted opinion of themselves than George Monbiot?  His entire column in today’s Guardian deals exclusively with the one subject… Continue reading


Name a famous Victorian…

14 September 2009 12:59

I’ve become obsessed with a woman. I think she is going to crop up in this blog quite often because I can’t get her out of my mind. She is… Continue reading


Welcome to my new blog

14 September 2009 12:54

I’ve always rather liked the idea of blogging, as it seems – from the available evidence – to be motivated by two qualities I have a lot of time for:… Continue reading


The Debate Begins

14 September 2009 11:02

A very nice piece from Ian Burrell in today’s Independent about my new appointment at the Jewish Chronicle. Regular readers here will perhaps be surprised that I am worried about being seen… Continue reading


Should John Denham Shut Up About the Extreme Right?

12 September 2009 21:49

It’s the perennial problem: platform or no platform, anti-Nazi campaign versus no oxygen of publicity. You’d have thought we’d have sorted this one out by now. I agree with David… Continue reading


Chris de Burgh is an Angry, Misunderstood, Man. Apparently.

11 September 2009 15:36

From the Department of Criticism: the Irish Times handed my old Dublin University Players contemporary Peter Crawley the unenviable task of reviewing Chris de Burgh in concert. It’s fair to… Continue reading


Heckling Obama

11 September 2009 14:19

I’ve a piece up at the Daily Beast arguing that Congressman Joe Wilson shouldn’t have apologised for heckling Barack Obama during the latter’s campaigning health care speech the other night:… Continue reading


Bonfire of the Quangos – Full Version

10 September 2009 18:38

I had the pleasure of chairing the Editorial Intelligence/Policy Exchange/Policy Review/Cass Busines School (Phewee!) debate on the future of the quangocracy last night. I was expecting little common ground between Douglas… Continue reading


Obama & The Competitive Principle

10 September 2009 14:45

I’m not qualified to offer an opinion* on Obama’s health care speech last night. So I won’t, beyond observing that his refusal to countenance the possibility that the kind of… Continue reading


Hey, Jaycee Dugard! Here’s the sports news you missed while you were being raped!

10 September 2009 0:20

This is perhaps the single worst column I’ve read. Ever. Anywhere. I have absolutely no idea what Mark Whicker thought he was attempting when he wrote this. But that the… Continue reading


A Question for Supporters of the Death Penalty

9 September 2009 19:19

Have you read David Grann’s article about the trial and execution of Cameron Todd Willingham? I’d urge you to do so. Willingham was convicted of setting the fire that brunt… Continue reading


Megrahi & La Raison d’Etat

9 September 2009 15:30

One last – barring any more developments! – post on the Megrahi Affair. Much of the commentary has presumed that there must be some grubby, even sinister, deal made. No-one… Continue reading


Nanny’s Intemperate Insistence Upon Temperance

9 September 2009 14:36

Angela Harbutt of Liberal Vision and Samizdata’s Jonathan Pearce say much of what needs to be said about the British Medical Association’s depressingly predictable demand that all alcohol advertising and… Continue reading


John Prescott: Not Very Big in Armenia

8 September 2009 22:15

Perhaps the second-funniest line I read today comes courtesy of good Mr Dale: One great thing about Armenia is that they cannot abide John Prescott. Iain’s just back from a… Continue reading

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Cheney’s Lingerie Legacy

8 September 2009 21:54

I confess I chuckled heartily when I saw the eyebrow-raising words "Cheney’s Lingerie Legacy" at Andrew Sullivan’s site.  Two more words popped up, unprompted but irresistably and immediately. No prizes… Continue reading


Labour Leadership Speculation is Back with a Vengeance

8 September 2009 18:27

Rachel Sylvester’s column today provides more than the usual share of insight and high-level gossip — what more do you want from a political columnist? The following paragraph is devastating… Continue reading


Who Has Alex Salmond Beaten?

8 September 2009 17:41

I can’t find the passage, but if memory serves there’s a moment in War and Peace when the assembled company is discussing Napoleon Bonaparte and marvelling at and quaking before… Continue reading


Complacency & Terrorism

8 September 2009 13:24

David Aaronovitch’s column in the Times today is a curious beast indeed. Some sub-editor has given it the headline Complacency has crept up on us (yet again) which seems curious… Continue reading


David Cameron Should Support an Independence Referendum

8 September 2009 0:12

And not, my English nationalist chums, so that he can bid good riddance to those troublesome, and endlessly grumbling, Scots. Rather lost amidst the Megrahi Fallout was the news that… Continue reading


Department of Unintended Consequences

7 September 2009 20:40

My thanks to the ever-vigilant Mr Eugenides for alerting me to this wee gem: Pubs [in Edinburgh]  are launching marathon cheap drink offers in a bid to beat new licensing… Continue reading


Lockerbie: Have Government Ministers Contradicted One Another?

7 September 2009 15:28

James says that the government is at odds with itself over the Megrahi Case. He cites these statements to support his argument that while either of these claims may be… Continue reading


The Keats of Cricket

7 September 2009 13:59

1st May 1930: Australian opening batsmen Bill Woodfull (1897 – 1965, left) and Archie Jackson (1909 – 1933) going out to bat against Worcester at Worcester. Photo: E. F. Corcoran/Topical… Continue reading


The Madness of Michael Moore

6 September 2009 23:25

Not, I suppose, terribly surprising that Michael Moore’s latest "documentary*" should receive an enthusiastic review from the Guardian, but even by Moore’s lofty standards this new venture sounds exceptionally stupid:… Continue reading


Lockerbie Fallout: A (Fake) American Backlash

6 September 2009 0:37

So, via Iain Dale, the News of the World has a story claiming that: Britain was facing the likelihood of an increased terror threat last night — after America’s CIA… Continue reading


Disappointment Deferred

5 September 2009 17:59

Scott Brown #6 of Scotland celebrates after scoring the opening goal, with team mates Kenny Miller and Darren Fletcher during the  2010 World Cup Qualifier match beteween Scotland and Macedonia… Continue reading