On journalists taking sides

John Harris’ article in the Guardian today has sparked a discussion within the NUJ’s Ethics Council, of which I am a member. The subject is the line between journalism as impartial reportage and opinion. What follows below is a reworking of my reaction to Harris. Harris raises some interesting points about the line between analysis […]

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Graphene in Cambridge post-Brexit

Given the omnishambles of current English politics, a cynic might argue that Brexit is now little more than a hypothetical scenario, and an utterly absurd one at that. Still, for the sake of an interesting narrative, let us be generous to the Brexiteers and assume that England’s departure from the EU proceeds as unplanned. My […]

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Victory on 8 June will be pyrrhic for whoever wins the election

This evening, less than a week before a snap general election, Royston, a once notable but now economically stagnant town in the east of England, will stage an election hustings at which all candidates for the parliamentary seat of North East Hertfordshire should be present. Royston politics are such that a brick decorated in a […]

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Should the EU’s next research programme be ERC writ large?

A new report from research and innovation advisory group RISE recommends that the the European Commission move away from funding large-scale R&D projects, and instead focus more on supporting individual researchers. Such a change in research infrastructure would shift the model of Europe’s next framework programme FP9 – successor to the current Horizon 2020 – […]

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On climate change, nudge theory and the nanny-state

I have been approached by a hydra-headed PR agency working for an unnamed client which may or may not be a pseudo-libertarian climate-sceptic lobby group known as the Institute for Public Affairs. I say this, as an IPA statement on plain-packaging laws is linked to from the missive. In the message received today, it is […]

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British journalists react to the crisis in Gaza

I see that my trade union, the National Union of Journalists, is supporting the TUC call to attend the demonstration planned for this Saturday outside the Israeli embassy in London. Some years ago, following an Israeli military action off the Gaza coast, a demonstration was held at the Israeli embassy in London. There I witnessed […]

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London air pollution – sophistry in service of a good cause

Zoe Williams, or at least her subeditor, describes London as “the most toxic town on the planet”. The article itself is sophistry in service of a good cause. Whilst writing now in a personal capacity, I should declare that I am part of the No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign: a community group opposed to plans […]

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Community speaks on use of Greenwich and Woolwich Foot Tunnels

The following is a press release distributed today on behalf of the Friends of Greenwich and Woolwich Foot Tunnels… More than 3,000 people pass through the Greenwich and Woolwich tunnels each day, with roughly 50% of tunnel users being cyclists, and the other half pedestrian only. As tunnel traffic grows, competition and conflict between cyclists, […]

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