Monthly Archives: May 2018

Home Office

‘Home Office’ sounds rather comfortable – ‘homely’, ‘friendly’, ‘family’.  Abroad the equivalent is usually called a ‘Ministry of the Interior’, or some such. That gives off quite different vibes, more suited to police states. Which is what the UK, in … Continue reading

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Arkady Babchenko

I still don’t get it. Arkady Babchenko, journalist and critic of Putin, is shot three times in the back in Kiev. There’s a photo of him in all the papers swimming in his own blood. Everyone in the West leaps … Continue reading

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Buying Yourself Out

Since the Brexit vote tens of thousands of British nationals have applied for foreign citizenships in order to cushion them against the fallout, and to maintain their sense of European identity. I’m one of them. Luckily Sweden isn’t a country … Continue reading

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When England was Feminist

I always knew the Scandinavians must be to blame! I’ve just come across an interesting article on an American historical blogsite on gender relations in England in Anglo-Saxon times: https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/168948. All lovely and equal, women independent, both sexes doing the cooking … Continue reading

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Pausen (Sw)

Sorry for the interval (Engl). I’ve been working on two projects recently: a paper on British emigration to the European continent for a conference in Amiens; and a short talk on Eva Reckitt, daughter of the Hull manufacturer (‘Reckitts Blue‘, … Continue reading

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Ken Resigns

I don’t think I’ll ever forgive the Israel Lobby – as I suppose we have to call them, although the phrase sounds more ‘conspiratorial’ than I intend – for pressuring Ken Livingstone out of the Labour Party, on a specious … Continue reading

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The Wedding

OK, so I was wrong. I shouldn’t have boycotted the Royal Wedding. Apparently it was pretty politically correct: a mixed-race American bride, with a career of her own, and mildly feminist opinions; not ‘given away’ by her father (Prince Charles … Continue reading

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The Turn of the Tide?

Encouraging news at last. (1) Students – intelligent young people most affected by the Brexit catastrophe – are planning a great new anti-Brexit campaign in the summer: https://leftfootforward.org/2018/03/students-union-throws-weight-behind-brexit-second-ref/. 75% of under-25s (those who voted) voted ‘Remain’ in the referendum. (2) … Continue reading

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Beyond Our Ken

There’s another demand this morning, by the new President of the Board of Deputies for British Jews, for Ken Livingstone to be expelled from the Labour Party for making a valid historical point: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/may/14/labour-ken-livingstone-jackie-walker-antisemitism-row. Shouldn’t this alarm all of us professional … Continue reading

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Their Lordships

It’s difficult for a democrat to defend the House of Lords, of course, except by casting doubt on the institution of democracy itself. But this headline from the Daily Mail makes one want to, together with the Mail’s inclusion of the … Continue reading

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