Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Rinkeby Riot

I visited Rinkeby today, a suburb of Stockholm 90% of whose inhabitants are of foreign origin, and where there was an incident the other night involving young men throwing stones at the police while they were in the process of arresting a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Historians of Havering

Getting older, we forget things. I had either forgotten, or never knew, that Ged Martin, another British imperial historian (mainly of Canada), came from the same neck of the woods as I. In retirement, he has now turned to researching … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Handmaid’s Tale

It’s a sign of the times, I imagine; but apparently classic dystopian novels are selling like hot cakes just now – 1984, Brave New World, and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which I’ve only just got round to reading. I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The USA’s Problem with Sweden

Americans have long had a problem with Sweden. Trump’s invention of an Islamicist terror attack there a couple of days ago is just the latest example. It wasn’t just a question of news distortion, though it seems clear that the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

The British Commonwealth

Some Brexiteers seem to want to resurrect the old British ‘Commonwealth of Nations’ as a free-trading area to replace the EU. Here, for some perspective, is an essay on it I contributed many years ago to an online (Oxford) Encyclopaedia of British … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Swedish Trumpery

For those of you who know that I live in Sweden much of the time, and who may have been alarmed by yesterday’s report – from the President of the United States, no less – that we’ve just had an … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A Simple Question

If one referendum is ‘democratic’, why should a second one be ‘undemocratic’? That’s what the Brexiteers are arguing; most recently the awful Iain Duncan Smith in response to Tony Blair’s call for a rethink of last year’s EU vote: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-38996179. I can … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Alice Wheeldon

Alice Wheeldon was a pacifist and suffragette in World War I Britain. She irked the government of the time by sheltering draft-dodgers and helping them to escape abroad. In order to neutralise her she was ‘fitted up’ by police spies on a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

National Self-Mockery

Watching Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience on U-Tube reminds me that we shouldn’t take the Victorians too seriously – because they didn’t take themselves all that seriously. Patience mocks everyone, including the mockers themselves; not only aesthetes, its best-known targets, but … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We Lucky, Lucky Oldies

Apparently retirees are now better off than working people in Britain: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/13/pensioners-now-20-a-week-better-off-than-working-households. I’m not surprised. Most of us have good occupational pensions, unlike the next generation. (I would have, if half of it were not going to my ex-wife.) We’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments