Category Archives: British politics

a meeting of mindlessness

I was talking the other day to a politician who is, for all I know, a perfectly nice, competent person, doing their best at a difficult and important job. I have to take this on faith, though, because their minders … Continue reading Continue reading

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Twelve great Britons

A spasm of irritation at some posturing lefty in the _Independent_ made me wonder what my list of twelve great Britons would be. Here is something like it. They are chosen because they all changed the world and all are … Continue reading Continue reading

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a thought parked here for later use

A thought about the dislocation of modern conservatism; in particular about the unfashionability of pessimistic or tragic views of the human condition. These have fallen out of fashion partly because they seem to have no predictive value. Doom has been … Continue reading Continue reading

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A prison statistic

I just noticed a horrible little story in the local paper. A 40 year old woman has just spent 134 days in Holloway Prison, an exceedingly nasty place, because she had been found incapably drunk in Braintree. She was at … Continue reading Continue reading

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Remembering Blair

Can it be that Iraq will be forgotten, and he will be remembered instead as the man who abolished the hereditary peerage and replaced it with hereditary Asbos? Continue reading

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Education x 150,000

From _Times._ I know I bang on about this, but it is quite impossible to understand the attraction of faith schools without realising [“how dreadful”:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2052192,00.html#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=Britain] the existing system is. bq. Although progress has been made, Sir Cyril Taylor, chairman of … Continue reading Continue reading

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Sheep and goats

Some time in the early 1980s I was sitting in a taxi with Peter Utley, then deputy editor of the _Daily Telegraph,_ talking about the next election and the prospect that Margaret Thatcher might lose it. “That’s all right” said … Continue reading Continue reading

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Edukashun bill

“Andrew Adonis”:http://education.guardian.co.uk/policy/story/0,,1602670,00.html may not be right about how to mend the state system, but at least he sees it’s broken. There was [“a brief fuss in the papers”:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/01/21/nedu21.xml] at the end of last week because one of the “Academies” had … Continue reading Continue reading

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Three cheers for George Carey

For once without any irony. He was one of the people who put their name to the motion that eviscerated the Government’s bill to outlaw religious hatred in the Lords yesterday. The case against it was “made wonderfully,”:http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199900/ldhansrd/pdvn/lds05/text/51025-04.htm#51025-04_head2 but what … Continue reading Continue reading

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Convention and welfare

I have been working on a long piece about the ideas of “Herbert Gintis”:http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~gintis/ for the _Guardian,_ and there are some bits left over after I rolled it al out and cut it to fit the tin. The broader message … Continue reading Continue reading

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