Author Archives: bernardporter2013

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.

Beans on Toast

A week or so ago a Tory MP asserted in Parliament that there would be no need for food banks if only the poor would learn to cook and shop for themselves. Their problem, he asserted, was that in this … Continue reading

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Sweden and NATO

So Sweden is joining NATO at last, after decades of studied refusal, and centuries of principled and proud neutrality; which makes the decision of her governing Social Democratic Party, to be confirmed by Parliament today (I think), a truly ‘historic’ … Continue reading

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Parallels

I don’t know whether the following kind of parallel is at all significant or useful – probably not at all. But I’m often struck by the historical similarities between Britain, where I come from, and Scandinavia, my new home-region. (Part-time, … Continue reading

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Publishing Longueurs

‘The Book’ won’t be out until July, which means it will be pretty out of date by then. It was completed and delivered to the Publishers last August; with a plea to them to get it out soon. When they … Continue reading

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Boris and the Bard

A few days ago Johnson threatened to unleash ‘the terrors of the earth’ against some of the miscreants in his own party. Boris is reputedly engaged in writing a book about Shakespeare (how’s that going, I wonder?), so he will … Continue reading

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The British Constitution

I consider I’m pretty well-versed in British constitutional history. It was the only compulsory course we had to follow at my university (this was sixty years ago). It was a bit of a bore, and of course very exclusive, in … Continue reading

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Operation Red Meat

Does Priti really expect her Rwandan wheeze to succeed? Or does she even want it to? Her Home Office officials are apparently against it, which is why she’s having to use a ‘ministerial directive’ to push it through without their … Continue reading

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Rwanda

One of the great things about having colonies – or ex-colonies, if they’re still dependent on you – is that you can shovel your rubbish into them. Examples of ‘rubbish’ are nuclear waste (the Pacific, I think), criminals (Cayenne, Virginia, … Continue reading

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The Fog of War

The reason I’ve not commented much here on the war in Ukraine, despite its being the most important issue of the day (as opposed to ‘of our time’, which of course is climate change), is because I know too little … Continue reading

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De Haut en Bas

When Boris Johnson became prime minister in 2019, we all knew – didn’t we? – that he was a bad character; or, as TV interviewer Eddie Mair put to him directly in 2013: ‘a nasty piece of work’. (See https://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2013/mar/24/boris-johnson-accused-nasty-video.) … Continue reading

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