Category Archives: Uncategorized

Marx as a Middle-Order Batsman

I’m a bit of a fan of ‘alternative’ history. There’s nothing wrong with that. All historians need to speculate about ‘what might have happened if’ history had turned out differently, in order to understand why what actually happened did. For me … Continue reading

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Mob Rule

There’s one powerful argument in favour of the forcible toppling of the 17th century merchant Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol yesterday: which is that he was a vile slave-trader who did not merit being memorialised in this way. I must … Continue reading

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The Crucifixion of Jeremy

I’m sorry, but I still hold a candle for Jeremy Corbyn. Here’s an excellent recent piece, penned by two journalists who certainly can’t be dismissed as ‘Corbynistas’, on the scurrilous campaign that was waged against him. https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/killing-jeremy-corbyn Of course he … Continue reading

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Brexit and Coronavirus

Of course we’re not at the end of it yet; but already it has to be accepted that Britain’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most incompetent and disastrous of any nation’s, resulting in many thousands of … Continue reading

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Top of the World, Ma!

I watched this press conference live on TV this morning. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-barnier-eu-uk-trade-talks-boris-johnson-latest-a9550691.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR23QXq17irrpYxc6gWIhusqE7_m6VzeOn8TJ055wwDs_AkkmSNZxB4rBSo#Echobox=1591356993. Barnier is listing all Johnson’s broken pledges to the EU over the last few months. Comparing him to our politicians – Boris and his pathetic Brexit trusties – made … Continue reading

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Short Cuts to My Thoughts

I get a number of these: emails from school students hoping – in effect – that I’ll write their essays for them. I imagine she’s contacted other historians too. Doesn’t it occur to them that we might have expressed our … Continue reading

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Walking Slow Behind You

When I first published books I used to eagerly check all the papers for reviews of them, usually taking hours to leaf through all the likely ones in my university library. (This was before Google Search, of course.) Now I … Continue reading

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Help Wanted

I’m greatly missing the Swedish summer, and my beloved sambo. Can anyone advise me how to get from Hull to Stockholm during lockdown? Strictly speaking, as a vulnerable oldie I shouldn’t leave my house; and even then of course there’s … Continue reading

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Dominic and Niccolo

Renaissance Florence isn’t ‘my period’ – to trot out the familiar historian’s defence – but I do wonder whether the Medicis don’t provide the closest precedent for present-day British politics; not in their bloodiness, of course, but in the amorality … Continue reading

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Classic Dom

Boris can’t get rid of Dominic. He’s his brain. Boris on his own is glib, lazy and fundamentally stupid. Dominic by contrast is – not exactly intelligent, I would say, but cunning. He read History at University: a more cerebral … Continue reading

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