Letter to America 

Letter to America 

It feels like there are three versions of America which we see here in London across our shared social media. The first is the continuing sheer brutality of your police force. In a mature society, it simply is not possible to comprehend what was going through a white policeman’s mind...

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The one thing you need to get rid of right now to become happier, more successful and more attractive

The one thing you need to get rid of right now to become happier, more successful and more attractive

Gorgeous celebrities swear by getting rid of this one thing. It’s the one thing holding you back from your true potential and the Kardashians, only mentioned here so we can stick in a sexy picture, may have never had this one thing in the first place. But wait, it doesn’t...

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Noblesse Oblige – or Does It?

Noblesse Oblige – or Does It?

The Tenacity of English Tribal Markings Over a century ago, when George Bernard Shaw was appearing on an Edwardian equivalent of a TV chat show to promote his new play, Pygmalion, he said, probably in an Irish growl, that ‘it is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without...

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It’s Time to Talk about Stupid

It’s Time to Talk about Stupid

Last week a friend showed me a phone message from his daughter. He asked me, “What does ‘idk’ mean?” “I don’t know,” I said. He looked at me with despair, “Oh my God, no one does.” True story. And I assure you it absolutely wasn’t me who was the actualidiot...

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Salmon

Salmon

I consider myself as a fly fisherman, trying to catch trout in Hampshire chalk streams. I have been asked to go salmon fishing three times in Scotland; the first on Loch Long that fed into the Kyle of Lochalsh, just east of the evocatively-named Sound of Sleat. Our host had...

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There have been three pandemics in the last seven months

There have been three pandemics in the last seven months

Take a moment. How would you rate the management of the current Covid-19 crisis by our political masters?  Here is a short roll call: We still have the second highest death toll in the world. We treated people in Care Homes appallingly. We chose the wrong testing system. We were...

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Banishing Tribalism

Banishing Tribalism

There are still people living in western democracies who are puzzled by the large numbers of white people who came out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. As Sherlock Holmes might have said to his baffled colleague, ‘It’s evolutionary, my dear Watson.’ I haven’t yet seen Mr Trump...

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Letter to America

Letter to America

Even the most optimistic of us are concerned not just for our own country following this dreadful pandemic but especially for America, the once leader of the free world. That was not a misprint. Here in London, we worry about your President and his inability to understand that by isolating...

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Rich & happy to pay tax

Rich & happy to pay tax

I’ve nothing against rich people in principle. I know several – some extremely rich. I like some of them; I dislike others. I admire some for the generosity and imagination with which they have made use of their wealth; I despise others for their mean-mindedness and obsession with possession, and...

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Good Grief

Good Grief

So, cautiously, you emerge from a London lockdown, or maybe a Durham one, blinking at the sun, and the first question is: who’s in line for all the cash you’ve saved not going out for two months? A hairdresser for sure, a bartender would be good, maybe a physiotherapist after...

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