Monthly Archives: April 2016

Global Utopia

Globalisation as a Utopian ideal has been around for more than 150 years. The very word implies Utopia, or perfection, just as monotheism, or the idea of there being just one true God, does. (See below, March 24.) And it … Continue reading

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Anti-Semitism and Labour

I’m surprised by the allegations emerging just now of anti-Semitism in the British Labour Party. As long-standing member of the party, I must say I can’t quite believe them, or that they are significant. I touched on historical left-wing anti-Semitism … Continue reading

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Institutional corruption (Hillsborough)

Hillsborough (1989) was not unique. The scandals connected with that tragedy that have been revealed over the past few days, especially with regards to policing and the press, were in fact pretty typical of the later 1970s and 1980s. The … Continue reading

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BHS and Victorian villainy

If Sir Philip Green had been a character in a Victorian novel, he’d have come to a sticky end. Immensely rich, a Conservative Party donor, responsible for the bankruptcy yesterday of BHS, from which he is reckoned to have siphoned … Continue reading

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Come on You ‘ll!

Hull City look as if they’re going to be in the playoffs for promotion to the Premier League. This is what I wrote (for the LRB Blog) the last time they were promoted. Predictably – and as mentioned below – … Continue reading

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Police Spies

The new British TV police drama Undercover – which I’m recording, and will catch up with when I get back to the UK – was criticized in the Guardian today by a genuine victim: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/apr/25/woman-who-lived-with-police-spy-criticises-bbc-drama-undercover. I wrote a piece on this … Continue reading

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God for Jeremy, Britain and St George

Here Jeremy Corbyn marks our ‘patriotic day’ entirely appropriately, in my view as a historian. (Ignore the BTL comments.) https://www.facebook.com/JeremyCorbyn4PM/photos/a.1455997631360978.1073741829. 1455715994722475/1554555978171809/?type=3&theater. Something that’s often forgotten about British (or English) ‘patriotism’ is that it was originally a radical concept. ‘Patriots’ in the … Continue reading

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The Bard

Today he’s been knocked off his plinth by an entertainer called ‘Prince’ – an odd name – and our lovely nonagenarian Queen. But I don’t imagine that will last long. Most of the time just now it’s Shakespeare. He’ll be … Continue reading

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Brexit, Swexit?

Sweden’s relationship with the EU is almost as problematical as Britain’s. She only joined in 1995 – 25 years after us – and on the basis of a pretty narrow popular vote. At the same time, her neighbour Norway voted … Continue reading

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Jeremy and Europe

Jeremy Corbyn is criticized because his support for continued British membership of the EU isn’t ‘enthusiastic’, ‘principled’ and ‘positive’ enough. But why should he pretend to be enthusiastic if he isn’t? For any socialist the European issue must be a … Continue reading

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