18 Aug 2013
August 18, 2013

Shaker Aamer

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Shaker Aamer’s story is well-known.  I’ve spoken about it in parliament, as have many others, in parliament and elsewhere, at much greater length and volume. There are some things about the Shaker Aamer story, as it’s publicly presented at least, that I’m sceptical about.  He will certainly have been aware that he was taking an.. read more →

With the English (as in, in England) A-Level results out yesterday, media outlets are giving room to discussions about the financial return offered by a university degree. Whilst it seems – intuitively at least – likely to be correct that graduates earn more, since the introduction of, and subsequent increase in, tuition fees, ministers have.. read more →

12 Aug 2013
August 12, 2013

Chris Bryant, foreigners, Tesco.


When a politician delivers a speech, s/he often pre-releases the text with ‘check against delivery’ etched along the top and bottom of each page. They do that to ensure that journalists allow for any differences between what’s been put out in advance and what’s actually said when the speech is ‘delivered’. Sometimes, if the politician.. read more →

Nigel F: Hey, G Dog, how is everything totally hanging, baby? G Dog: I beg your pardon, boss? Nigel F: I’m greeting you in the manner of the kids.  Anyway, you’ve been saying “Bongo Bongo land” again. I’m getting it in the neck from the pinkoes of the media. G Dog: I call it the.. read more →

The Spanish Government is making life difficult for Gibraltar this week. They’re causing big queues at the border and their foreign  minister is threatening to charge everyone a 50 Euro crossing tariff. Gibraltar’s super-articulate, multi-lingual, chief minister Fabian Picardo is accusing the Spanish of behaving like Franco.  Is that fair? Well, yes actually. Here’s Spain’s post-Franco parliament.. read more →

05 Aug 2013
August 5, 2013

Africans: the low-hanging fruit


Who’s the worst dictator in the world?  Well, according to Forbes magazine and a fair proportion of ‘commentators’, it’s this African bloke who leads a small African state which has just conducted largely peaceful elections and whose administration was preceded by a whites-only government. Where are all the war criminals in this world? That’s easy… read more →

I’ve spent a lot of time on African issues over the last dozen years or so. I’ve observed elections, met a lot of folk living the most God-awful lives, and know quite a few leaders from the past, present and probably of the future too – some doing a so-so job, some making near-miracles happen… read more →

The BBC is allowing earthier words before the ‘watershed’.  The Daily Telegraph’s and Daily Mail’s treatment is hilarious. For 2 days (here’s Christina Odone today), the Telegraph’s been referring to S_ _ _ _ _ _ _.   In the paper version, it’s almost impossible to count the underscores. They’ve censored the word so much.. read more →