Filed: Politics

Vicarious History

The Vicar of Dibley

There are certain historic events that stay with us forever, even if we only witness them vicariously via the tv and radio.

Forty-nine years ago today, JFK was assassinated. I was quite young, but remember my cousin being very upset as she rushed in to switch on the tv. (Her family had emigrated to the US, but she lived with us while she finished her education.) Read more ›››


In this week of contrasting political momentousness in both America and China, serendipity lead me to a wonderful word that is new to me – snollygoster.

The Free Online Dictionary defines a snollygoster as ‘one, especially a politician, who is guided by personal advantage rather than by consistent, respectable principles’. Read more ›››

The Greasy Pole

Harold Wilson

I don’t know what it is about elections that gets my juices flowing, but I just can’t resist ’em. As an armchair spectator, of course, which is why I was up until the early hours yesterday watching events unfold in the US.

It all started on 15th October 1964 when I was spending the night at my grandmother’s house and she let me stay up late to watch the general election coverage. Read more ›››

Democratic Deficit


I’m in danger of becoming a Chadkirk photo bore with our regular strolls as Mrs P recuperates, but you’ll be pleased that I’m just using my shots to decorate this post while I talk about an entirely different sort of constitutional issue – the US presidential election.

I’ve been following the campaign as best as I can from this distance, watching and waiting for Romney to alienate another chunk of the electorate and wondering when Obama would regain the fire in his rhetoric when it struck me that this is but a pantomime of democracy. Read more ›››

Hip Op

Blog writing and reading has taken a back-seat this week for various reasons, the most important of which is that Mrs P went into hospital yesterday for a long postponed hip replacement operation.

It is a problem that has caused her pain and discomfort for many years, but which has become much more so in the last twelve months and more. The decision to replace it could not be put off any longer. Read more ›››

The Prize of Peace

Noble Peace Prize

I’ve never been a believer in our outmoded honours system and twice a year the Parrot household has to put up with me declaring that I’d turn down a knighthood if it was offered to me.

Of course it helps that the chances of this happening are about as likely as Nick Clegg keeping a promise, but it’s the principle that counts. Read more ›››

The Thick of It

Andrew Mitchell

The one upside of the darker nights and weather to hide indoors from is that there is at least some better programmes on the telly.

I’m looking forward to the second series of Homeland that airs here next month, and Hunted which looks to be the natural successor to Spooks on the BBC. Read more ›››

Medal Muddle


When Bradley Wiggins sat on the gold medallist’s ‘throne’ after winning the Olympic cycling time trial, I thought that he was being ironic and not in any way suggesting that he should be in the running a knighthood.

But it seems I might have been wrong, at least if the media is to be believed. Apparently our 100 plus medallists are going to be terribly upset if there isn’t a gong for each forthcoming in the New Year’s honours list. Read more ›››