The Beige Flag of Neutrality

If the summer of 2015 has a motif, it is apparently leadership, or the lack thereof. Labour’s leadership campaign tediously malingers. It’s already clear that the candidates don’t yet inspire any great enthusiasm from the British public. Andy Burnham presents himself as being a world apart from the elite, but his career has been solely in politics: there’s […]

If

The call came in the middle of the night. For each member of the President’s entourage, the message was the same, delivered with military precision: “Get up, get dressed, the President is leaving in one hour.” Hotel rooms throughout Phnom Penh subsequently echoed with a chorus of crisp cotton sheets being whipped back, the sound […]

The Bittersweet Hereafter

Election Day always makes me think of my grandfather. Had he lived to see this one, he would have been 104 years old; however, I doubt advanced age would have deterred him from going to the polls. I can see him in my imagination: his sparse white hair and twinkling eyes, wearing a neatly pressed […]

Fired Up. Ready to Go.

By the time this essay is published, most people in the United States will be fast asleep. No doubt there will be exceptions: some journalists and campaign staffers will work through the night. Perhaps President Obama will sit in the darkness of his hotel suite with the radio and television switched off while he sips […]

The Desperate Hours

Climate change is no longer a theory. I grew up in a New York suburb which is prim, proper and thoroughly bourgeois: it’s a place that features tidy suburban houses, neatly trimmed lawns and American flags fluttering proudly. While the weather could be wild, I don’t recall it being extreme. I remember one particular rainstorm; […]

Redefining Rape

It was all so theatrical: the small balcony, the symbol of the Ecuadorian embassy affixed to the railing, the gold, blue and red of the Ecuadorian flag. Julian Assange, neatly dressed in a blue shirt and maroon tie, stepped out and spoke to his adoring fans. I suppose the tableau would have been more to […]

The Bottomless Man

We all give off false impressions. The man who seems crass may be trying to protect a sensitive side. A person who appears to be overly ambitious may actually be very fearful. The strong are often weak, the commanding are sometimes morbidly uncertain, the happy are frequently morose. Human society is based on an amalgam […]

The Summer of Uncertainty

At long last, the bunting is coming down. As I walked through the darkened Accounts department of my company this morning, I saw that the last vestiges of visible patriotic fervour were to be found in the scant remains of a chocolate bar whose wrapper was emblazoned with a Union Flag. The Queen has retreated […]

Following Thomas

Last Saturday, PBS ran a documentary about the Mormons. Lasting in excess of 270 minutes, it detailed the history of the faith and its long struggle to fit in with the rest of America. One of the historians appearing on the programme remarked on how peculiar this epic may seem on the surface: after all, […]

Profiles in Timidity and Courage

The Queen’s Speech was long on pomp, short on circumstance. I’ve listened to a fair few of them since I arrived in Britain over 20 years ago, but I don’t recall one quite like this. The Queen is a consummate professional, and she usually reads out these speeches without any trace of emotion. Her words […]

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.

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