Snart ska vi alla talar svenska

Sweden has a lot going for it, and by that I mean much more than a bunch of otherwise resting English actors crawling over Ystad city centre, reinterpreting Henning Mankell‘s Wallander crime novels for a British television audience. Sweden is a thoroughly decent place to live. The country has a mature and lively democracy, with […]

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Euro hubris grips little Britain

Calls for great, inspirational political leaders are as old as the hills, and as a rhetorical device they are mostly vacuous. But Timothy Garton Ash has a point of sorts when it comes to the lack of nerve displayed by leading EU politicians. For good or ill, we live today in a post-nation-state world in […]

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To Craig, a daughter

Welcome, Cynthia, and your many offspring! We’ve been expecting you. We can expect indignation of both the righteous and pig-ignorant kinds following the success of Craig Venter and his team of geneticists in creating the world’s first self-replicating artificial genome, hosted in the cellular sack of a natural bacterium. Artificial life? Yep. Playing God? Rubbish; […]

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Radio Resistor!

The Torygraph reports that the British government will this weekend introduce a radio amnesty, whereby offenders who have yet to purchase a digital radio may trade in their trusty analogue wireless, and in return receive a discount of up to 20% on a new-fangled, expensive and energy inefficient gadget, which no doubt comes complete with […]

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Of gyppy stomachs and group singing

Irritable bowel syndrome is a widespread condition which blights the lives of many, mostly in relatively affluent communities. Technically speaking, irritable bowel syndrome is defined as a diagnosis of exclusion, or medical condition the presence of which cannot be established with complete confidence through examination. It is instead diagnosed by the elimination of other possible […]

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Who’s forgetting Iran?

Terry Glavin complains that the recent judicial lynchings of Iranian Kurds, together with a general strike in Iran’s eastern towns, have gone all but unnoticed in the west. And he’s quite right. After the heady days of post-election demonstrations in Tehran and other cities, media and public attention outside Iran has drifted to more domestic […]

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Hankies at four o’clock

Yesterday I went on one of my more challenging fixed-wheel cycle rides around the hills of the North Downs. In the middle of the ride I made a scheduled stop in the Surrey-Kent border village of Tatsfield, where I knew that a bunch of Morris and clog dance sides would be appearing mid-afternoon, as part […]

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Death spiral

An Old English economist in New England exile tells it like it is… David Blanchflower’s thesis may be a little hyperbolic, but it is a reasonable rhetorical point he’s making here. This Channel 4 interview is a welcome counterbalance to the arselickery of the British media when it comes to our shiny new Con-Lib government, so […]

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Gloria in ecstasis

Read on, but only if you have a strong stomach. Standard disclaimers apply… “The youngest prime minister in nearly 200 years… The events of Tuesday are enough to take your breath away, without the events of the previous five days since the election which nobody won… On the day the last youngest prime minister for […]

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Return of the Little Englanders

…and lightweighted ones, at that. So it’s no more Waiting for the Etonians. With David Cameron entering 10 Downing Street this evening, and boy George moving in next door, it would seem that on the left of Britain’s political spectrum the revolutionary defeatists have got what they seek in the aftermath of last week’s first-past-the-post […]

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