Filed: Politics


Margaret Thatcher

Having regretted that I haven’t written enough of my ‘brief lives’ posts last week, along comes another one with the death of Margaret Thatcher.

Of course the are those who would say that her life wasn’t brief enough – ‘Finally I get to wear my black suit and tap shoes together’ tweeted Frankie Boyle. Read more ›››

Totalitarian Football

Paolo Dicanio

Paulo Di Canio’s appointment as fire sale manager of Sunderland Football Club has thrown the liberal-left media into a complete hissy-fit. How could the national game tolerate a self-confessed fascist in such a high-profile position?

Setting aside the rights and wrongs of Di Canio’s political opinions – and there are more wrongs than rights in my view – I struggle to see why that should affect how he does his job as a football coach. Read more ›››

Ri¢hie Ri¢h and Lord Snooty

Lord Snooty

There are somethings in life that you really couldn’t make up. Like that bloke with the big bonuses at Barclays being called Rich Ricci (pron. richie).

I immediately thought of the cartoon character from my youth who was also so rich they named him twice, although this particular golden boy inherited his wealth, while his latterday reverse namesake trousered his £18 million despite being a hopeless banker. Read more ›››

Unhealthy Reporting


Britain is failing to keep pace with improvements in public health in other Western countries despite NHS spending tripling over the past 20 years.

So says The Telegraph following the publication of a report in the Lancet on life expectancy in the UK and it really does annoy me. Not that we can expect to slip off this mortal coil a few years early, but the way that journos and those with a drum to bang link things that aren’t necessarily connected. Read more ›››

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink


Despite their flowery language, politicians are quite simple folk at heart and like most simple folk they think there is a simple solution to the most complex of problems. They’re right, of course. They’re just not very good at it.

One of the most depressing aspects of modern town centres is the growing number of empty shops. Read more ›››

Equestrian of Blame

Findus Horsemeat Laagne

The most surprising thing about the so-called ‘horse meat scandal’ is that the media hasn’t come up with a snappier title for it, something like Naggate or Dobbingate or something original like that.

I was listening to Radio Five the other day when they’d got together various political and industry experts for what they called the Horse Meat Summit because they they couldn’t think of anything snappier, until a listener pointed out that it should be called Equestion Time. Read more ›››

The Politics of Health

Some years ago, I had to organise a meeting of NHS communications people at which a couple of Department of Health bods were to speak. The idea was to create a better understanding within the service of the needs of central government.

It should have been a routine, straight forward affair but my antennae began to twitch when I noticed a couple of hospital chief executives among the thirty or so people in the audience. Read more ›››

Mayan Haze

Mayan Calendar

The predicted Mayan Armageddon was a bit of a bust, or at least the afterlife looks and behaves very much like the pre-apocalyptic world. It’s been raining for a start and the Christmas traffic was awful.

Meanwhile over in La-la Land, the NRA has come out and said that kids getting shot has nothing to do with being able to buy military ordnance at the grocery store. Read more ›››