The Very Model of a Modern Labour Candidate

My black suit was clean and pressed. My white shirt with a herringbone pattern embedded into its weave had been ironed. A silk maroon tie was neatly tucked underneath my stiff collar, tied into a Windsor knot. The head of fresh red rose was pinned to my lapel. I had shaved around my beard that […]

A Triumph of Youth

I often find myself in London the day after a major British election. I was here when it was confirmed that Boris Johnson had been re-elected as Mayor; it was as if some hidden force was compelling me to press my nose up against that spectacle. At just about the time that the result was […]

Switched On

Signs of the imminent election can be seen throughout Bradford: a drive down Upper Rushton Road provides ample evidence of support for Labour’s Councillor Mohammed Shafiq. A few diamond shaped orange Liberal Democrat signs are present along Harrogate Road. Yesterday, I drove through Toller ward and was almost overwhelmed by the number of red banners […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: […]

At the Opera

At the end, there will be a beginning. New Year’s Eve heralds the premiere of a new production of Donizetti’s largely forgotten work, “Maria Stuarda” at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The lead role of Mary, Queen of Scots will be performed by the well known mezzo-soprano, Joyce DiDonato. I can imagine what it will be […]

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.