Monthly Archives: March 2016

Islam and the British Empire

A couple of years ago I was asked to comment, in a Swedish TV interview, on a series of three documentaries, called Clash of Worlds, originally shown on BBC2, but still accessible on YouTube. (Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4E9cXw-TXBI&list=PLi7XUXYkpEgnWhhazbReib9BHEfYuGh2_) I was … Continue reading

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Trump: a historical parallel

A decisive moment in the career of Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s, is supposed to have been a rally at Olympia on 7 June 1934, where violent scuffles broke out as hecklers … Continue reading

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Elgar for Lefties

A very fine talk yesterday at the Elgar Society Yorkshire Branch (of which I’m Hon Treasurer): Rachel Cowgill on what she called ‘Elgar’s War Requiem’ – which is what it is. Unfortunately it’s formally entitled The Spirit of England, which … Continue reading

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Harold Wilson

Happy 100th birthday to Harold Wilson, a great reforming Labour Prime Minister, shamefully traduced by both the Right and the Left since his retirement and death, but intelligent, progressive, politically savvy, a real man of the people, consensual, and with … Continue reading

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Trump: the long view

I’m no authority on American politics, though I follow them closely – staying up all night to watch presidential election results, for example (all week in November 2000, over the ‘hanging chads’) – and have lived and worked in the … Continue reading

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British imperialism forgotten?

Young Owen Jones, who seems to be everywhere these days, and whose books and journalism I greatly admire, recently published on the Guardian website – and possibly in the print version too, though I couldn’t find it there – an … Continue reading

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The Four Yorkshiremen updated

I first saw the ‘Four Yorkshiremen’ sketch at a Cambridge Footlights ‘Smoker’ in the 1960s. That might have been its first outing. I have an idea that it was originally created by my old Thespian mate Bill Oddy (now better … Continue reading

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Beloved Terrorist

Recommended reading. It’s in Swedish; I’m hoping it will appear in English translation soon. It’s by and about Anna, a Swede, who was married to a jihadist for sixteen years. http://www.adlibris.com/se/bok/alskade-terrorist-16-ar-med-militanta-islamister-9789113059136 I know Anna. (How we met is mentioned in … Continue reading

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Burying History

‘On Friday, as part of a speech urging the UK to leave the European Union, Dr Liam Fox MP said that the UK was “one of the few countries in the European Union that does not need to bury its … Continue reading

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The Swedish Alternative to Austerity

Back in Sweden again. What strikes me this time is the great contrast between the political and economic mood here, and back in my other home in the UK. Britain is gripped by ‘austerity’, and full of gloom and doom … Continue reading

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