A Sensible Surrender

The so-called “War on Drugs”, at least as an exercise in law enforcement, may be drawing to a close. On December 11th, Uruguay legalised the trade and possession of marijuana for recreational use. On January 1st, the state of Colorado permitted its sale for the same purpose. On January 2nd, the conservatively inclined Fox Business […]

Happy New Year

New Year’s is, by and large, tinged with regret. If the year has been particularly difficult, there’s marginal relief to be had at its conclusion; if the year has been splendid, then there’s sadness at leaving it behind and some trepidation as to what the future may bring. Either way, it represents the outer frontier […]

Review: “The Spirit of 45” directed by Ken Loach

Ed Miliband has just announced revisions in the Labour Party’s relationship with the trade unions. Previously, affiliated unions automatically donated part of their members’ dues into the party’s coffers. The forthcoming changes mean that this will have to be a conscious choice by each individual member. This represents a dramatic shift: there was a time, […]

A Weekend with Labour

Bradford’s summer has rolled up its shirt sleeves, offering its inhabitants a rare but welcome mixture of bright sunshine, blue skies and genuine warmth in the air. As I look out my window, there are no rainclouds on the horizon, rather, a pleasant haze has settled on the city. Earlier, I drove to Bradford Interchange […]

Why I Joined Labour

So, I quit the Liberal Democrats and joined Labour. I’ve been disgruntled for some time. Every time I saw a Liberal Democrat minister or MP appear on television meekly defending the policies of the Coalition government, I cringed. A tinge of nausea followed whenever I recalled I was donating money to this farce. I tried […]

City ’til I Die

I looked at the form. It was printed on green paper; the black sans-serif letters ensured the questions were clear: did I want to be a councillor, was there anything in my past that could embarass the party, and why did I want to do this? As I scanned the paper, I exhaled. I’ve lived […]

On “Muslim Appearance”

As it turned out, those who murdered drummer Lee Rigby were about as nondescript as you could get. The horrifying video of Michael Abedolajo holding blood soaked blades indicated he was wearing nothing more extraordinary than blue jeans, a hoodie and running shoes. A photograph of his counterpart showed he was similarly difficult to spot […]

A Reticent Wagnerian

I work in an open plan office; there are positives and negatives. On the plus side, at least I’m not confined to a cubicle and I can converse with many of my colleagues without leaving my chair. Less happily, when it’s a particularly busy day and the phones are going off every few minutes and […]

Review: “Skyfall” starring Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem

I thought that James Bond had turned a page. Both of Daniel Craig’s initial outings in the role were markedly different from the blend of high-tech silliness and misogyny which characterised the previous episodes: his was a James Bond that could genuinely fall in love, get hurt (indeed nearly die), and was kept in check […]

An Ex-Catholic’s Guide to the Papal Succession

I was once a Catholic; I went to a Catholic school. I recall receiving my first Holy Communion on a bright Spring morning; all the children taking part were obliged to have a banner made by their families proclaiming their love and support. My Swedish grandmother, though she was Lutheran, made my banner. It read: […]

Me And My Blog

Picture of meI'm a Doctor of Creative Writing, a fiancée, a son, a brother, an uncle, a published novelist, a technologist, a student, and still an amateur in much else.