I posted here in December and suggested that the ‘digital media’ strategy of the Johnston Press (JP), owners of a big chunk of the UK’s local newspaper market, might simply be a superficial cover for swingeing staff cuts which could be disastrous for journalistic quality and, in the end, the business too. I’d been struck.. read more →

Tonight’s Evening Standard flags the risk, apparently, of people returning from jihad in Syria to follow through in the UK. It’s the biggest ever risk, an expert says. I’m not belittling the risk of terrorism – its effects go wider than death and injury, of course. I guess that’s why it’s called ‘terrorism’. And yet, the.. read more →

A few days before Christmas 2009 I went onto the BBC Africa website and came across a headline and discussion flagging a programme to be broadcast a couple of hours later that afternoon. The discussion was entitled; ‘Should homosexuals be executed?’  I spend a lot of time on African issues and my blood was boiling… read more →

17 Feb 2014
February 17, 2014

UK/EU citizenship-stripping party game


My post (here, scroll down to 16th Feb) about how the UK government and EU wouldn’t, couldn’t, strip citizenship from anyone in the event of a pro-independence vote in Scotland brought dissenting responses on Twitter from a few folk who certainly know a thing or two about government. Their primary arguments were so weak, though, that.. read more →

I only have a moment to write this post, but I really do have respond to Barroso’s comments about how an independent Scotland couldn’t join the EU and, perhaps more significantly, the utter nonsense that pro-union folk have been following on with. A simple and significant point to remember is that no-one can be stripped.. read more →

The Independent has been running a ‘Save the Elephants’ campaign for a couple of months. To mark today’s London conference on the same theme, the paper’s run a piece thanking donors to the paper’s ‘Elephant Appeal’. The donor who gets by far the biggest name check – the last three paragraphs, indeed – is a man.. read more →

02 Feb 2014
February 2, 2014

Michael Gove and the cheeky inspector


Scotsman Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education for England and, you know, a politician, is being ‘accused’ by the Liberal Democrats of being ‘political’ in the way he does his job. Politicians close to politician David Laws, Gove’s Lib Dem departmental no.2, have been saying stuff. Laws “is furious” about this whole business of.. read more →

There’s a lot of rain about. We know this because it’s had, er, saturation coverage on the telly.  Many of us saw the Environment Secretary, Owen Patterson, being  boo’ed the other day in Somerset, where the Levels there have had it pretty bad. It can’t be easy for folk there, what with flooded farmland affecting.. read more →

The ‘Lobbying Bill’ came through the House of Commons yesterday (here are the explanatory notes – you can navigate from there to the actual bill if you fancy it). The government says the aim of the bill is to make lobbying more transparent. Naturally, some opponents think the government’s true intentions are not what it.. read more →

A couple of race issues in the news caught my eye over the last week or so, and I thought I’d throw my oar in here, as a white bloke. That always goes down really well, doesn’t it? Gender-based abortion has been generating chat because the Independent has reported research that the practice seems to.. read more →

07 Jan 2014
January 7, 2014

Alan Cumming’s Mum Part 2

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I posted here a couple of days ago about how actor Alan Cumming has been told he can’t vote in the Scottish referendum as his Edinburgh flat isn’t his main residence. Some folk helpfully pointed out that the rules simply require residence in Scotland, but that doesn’t explain why Cumming can’t vote – there’s no reference.. read more →

05 Jan 2014
January 5, 2014

Alan’s not Cumming : (


Alan Cumming, one of Scotland’s great artistic exports (to say nothing of his making the greatest perfume ad of all time) has bought a flat in Edinburgh, to use when he’s visiting his mum. He’s a big ‘Yes to Independence’ man, and so there’s been quite a lot made of whether or not he’ll be.. read more →

Here’s today’s ‘big’ story on the Northern Ireland ‘talks’ over parades and flags.  Here’s a report from yesterday. A deal over something or other is “extraordinarily close’, some American bloke in a suit says. Here’s a story from a few days ago, when the same bloke was apparently flying home. But now he’s back again. The bloke.. read more →

This Financial Times piece is fairly typical of this week’s extensive media coverage of an interesting Policy Exchange report on social class and public appointments. Here’s the Daily Mail’s take, saying, like the FT and everyone else, that the authors have “shown” that there are now only 25 “working-class” MPs compared to lots more in.. read more →