The Problem with Working Hard

25 March 2009 15:58

So El Gordo is in New York today, ostensibly to drum up support for his G20 gabfest. According to the Telegraph’s report: At a breakfast for business leaders, Mr Brown… Continue reading


The Naked Taoiseach

25 March 2009 14:16

Brian Cowen: Frightening when clothed; terrifying when naked. Photo: JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images Meanwhile in Ireland there’s much hilarity over the story of a Banksy-style prankster who hung portraits of the… Continue reading


Obama and the Blair Succession

25 March 2009 13:36

There was the pretence that all government spending is "investment" and there was some familiar-sounding talk of "bubble and bust" but most of all Barack Obama’s press conference was designed… Continue reading


Mexico is the new Colombia?

25 March 2009 8:42

That seems to be the message from the Obama administration anyway. Mind you, that was the message from the Bush administration too as the War on Drugs – so successful… Continue reading


An Irish Grand Slam and a Lions Party

24 March 2009 13:25

It wasn’t a great championship this year, though few in Ireland can be expected to give a damn about that. And while there are plenty of folk who might think… Continue reading


Photo of the Day

23 March 2009 23:36

Twilight, looking west up the Yarrow Valley, Selkirkshire.


45p is Not the Problem; 40p is the Problem

23 March 2009 17:47

I think James and Danny Finkelstein are correct. Political considerations trump the need to satisfy the Conservative party’s right-wing. And that means that, regrettably, George Osbourne is probably right not… Continue reading


Living with a nuclear Iran

23 March 2009 16:30

Dan Drezner asks his "realist colleagues" if they can think of any reason why Iran should or would give up its nuclear ambitions. Stephen Walt offers some reasons why, unlikely… Continue reading


English Cricket Welcomes the Enemy

23 March 2009 12:53

The news that England hope to host the IPL  is as unsurprising as it is depressing. After all, what better way to start an Ashes summer than with the distracting… Continue reading


Railway Dreams

23 March 2009 12:37

Place your bets, please, if you think this is actually likely to happen: The fastest, most frequent train service in the world could run between London and the North within… Continue reading


A Hungarian Lesson for Gordon Brown

23 March 2009 11:06

This seems an idea worth copying, doesn’t it? Hungary’s Prime Minister said today he is resigning because of his government’s low popularity amid a worsening financial crisis. Ferenc Gyurcsany, of… Continue reading


The Life and Times and Death of Jade Goody

22 March 2009 14:56

At some time in the future, historians will view the Jade Goody Affair with the same kind of bewilderment and revulsion that we reserve for the excesses of Victorian Britain.… Continue reading


Extreme Shepherding

22 March 2009 13:58

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Is the Left Waking From Its Slumber?

22 March 2009 8:42

A rather impassioned piece on unemployment from Polly Toynbee in yesterday’s Guardian made me realise that there are a number of people on the liberal-left in Britain thinking very hard… Continue reading


Valery Gergiev: Pawn of Putin?

20 March 2009 16:57

There was an interesting, if occasionally frustrating, profile of Valery Gergiev in last week’s New York Times magazine. Frustrating because the article was headlined "The Loyalist" (the cover line was… Continue reading


The Flower of Scotland Lies Cold in Flanders Clay

20 March 2009 13:46

Back in the days when the Edinbugh Evening News printed a "Saturday Pink" edition, it used to be said that there were two headlines on hand for whenever Scotland played… Continue reading


So Long Lynton Crosby

20 March 2009 11:37

Man responsible for Tories disastrous 2005 campaign now likely to have nothing to do with their 2010 effort. That’s the Lynton Crosby story, right? Surely this is excellent news for… Continue reading

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The Hermit Bugle: News from North Korea

20 March 2009 2:05

Good to see that the North Korean Central News Agency is offering a different view of life inside the gulag that balances the imperlalist propaganda to which we are otherwise… Continue reading


Damien Hirst & Art for Toddlers

20 March 2009 0:43

There’s an "Artist Rooms" exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art that features some of Damien Hirst’s work. Cue much excitement. Especially from his target audience: two year… Continue reading

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Whistleblowers United

20 March 2009 0:17

Good to see three of my favourite whistleblowers – Katharine Gun, Brian Jones and Derek Pasquill – giving evidence to the Public Accounts Committee today. But it seems from the… Continue reading


My Long-Delayed Re-Entry

19 March 2009 23:43

Many, many apologies for my absence from the blog. I have been deep in the inner crevices and interstices of government searching for an escape route from the recession. Have I… Continue reading



19 March 2009 19:13

Selkirkshire: looking north from Harehead hill in the late afternoon sunshine. There are, risky though it is to say this, tentative signs of spring arriving…


Jeeves and Foreign Policy

19 March 2009 15:16

Timothy Garton Ash tries to explain the Anglo-American relationship in terms of another great partnership: Jeeves and Wooster. Here, in miniature, is a classic example of that whole British approach… Continue reading


France’s Spring

19 March 2009 13:44

People protest during France’s second nationwide strike in two months, to demand a boost to wages and greater protection form the crisis, on March 19, 2009, in Marseille, southern France.… Continue reading


The Gordon Brown Style

19 March 2009 12:51

A couple of revealing entries from Chris Mullin’s diaries that reveal the Prime Minister to be some ungodly (and unhealthy) combination of Uriah Heep and Lyndon Baines Johnson: Wednesday July… Continue reading