The United Kingdom of Coney Island

27th October 2014 0

If I had to choose a new national symbol for Britain, which happily I don’t, I think I should choose the orange and white-striped traffic cone. The other day I drove 120 miles to a town in the east of the country and there were road-works every ten miles on average. The journey took an hour longer than predicted in … [Read on]

Hell is other people?

20th October 2014 0

Loneliness is a terrible state, of course, but speaking personally I have suffered far more from human company than from the lack of it. Hell, as Sartre famously remarked, is other people; but such is the capacity of the human soul for contradiction that so too, in many cases, is the absence of other people. A recent article in the … [Read on]

Editorial Autumn 2014

15th October 2014 0

The earth is no more than a huge piece of cooling rock. Clinging to its surface like gossamer is the biosphere, a living breathing membrane in which billions of creatures, including ourselves, live. Compared with the size of the earth, it is no thicker than a coat of varnish on a door, but infinitely more fragile. Earth’s greatest enemy is … [Read on]

Borrow and Grow Rich

14th October 2014 0

A quarter of my council tax goes to pay the pensions of the former council tax workers, and thank goodness for it. Without such payments those pensioners would have no money to spend; and if they (and many others like them) had no money to spend, demand in the economy would decline catastrophically. It follows, then, that the solution to … [Read on]

The Social Media, animals at the keyboard.

12th October 2014 0

Last week I met a pleasant lady who, though she had appeared a few times on television, could hardly be counted a public figure. Nevertheless, she had received many abusive messages on Facebook and Twitter as a result of her appearances, and one man had written to her thousands of times and threatened to kill her, telling her that he … [Read on]

Brown Bear eats his porridge

7th October 2014 0

Gordon Brown was never as detestable as Prime Minister as Anthony Blair because incompetence is less appalling than evil. Mr Brown may have been a flawed, even a very flawed, human being, but he was at least recognisably human. And he had one quality that moved me and in my opinion lent him great dignity: he never made political capital … [Read on]

Was Kafka troubled by his prostate?

7th October 2014 0

To adapt slightly the opening sentence of Kafka’s The Trial, someone must have been talking about me. I know this from all the advertisements and offers I receive unsolicited through the internet. Today came yet another offer of supposedly cheap burial insurance and then an e-mail suggesting that I should ‘Say hello to living confidently.’ At first sight, these two … [Read on]

David Cameron – political Wonga man

6th October 2014 0

Mr Cameron is Focus Group Man made flesh. This is not altogether surprising since his only known employment, other than politician, was in public relations. He appears not to know what to think until he has consulted a variety of gauges of public opinion, and then he announces his own opinion as if from deep conviction. First came his commitment … [Read on]