What the Media Missed


…David Corbyn took on and felled Goliath May.

On 14 June, George Monbiot wrote an article in The Guardian: ‘The biggest losers? Not the Tories but the media who missed the story’.

Yes, if you live, like the media, in a hall of mirrors, you will only reflect not detect. Speaking with like minded people will yield no new insights.

The 2017 election was truly amazing. Labour had been in internal chaos merely months ago. The party was so weak that even the there-will-be-no-election Theresa May decided to call one to “strengthen her hand” in the upcoming Brexit talks. Few people had seen a greater Conservative lead in the polls. They stood on 44% on 17 April 2017; Labour on 24%. The outcome a forgone conclusion predicted the media.

But in the intervening seven weeks, the party which had been in chaos reared up like a Kraken from the deep and shocked everyone. The legendary creature that resembled a giant squid destroyed ships. Well, it destroyed her ladyship all right. Continue reading “What the Media Missed”

Election Parallels Previous Conservative Error

2017 general electionMacDonald (the eventual Labour Prime Minister) with his heady Utopian internationalism was the perfect voice for the Labour party. For MacDonald read Corbyn,

Is this 2017 or 1923? The parallels are eerily similar. Theresa May should have been a student of history and not geography, or perhaps she should have got a first at Oxford. Another second on her CV doesn’t look good.

But why 1923? Continue reading “Election Parallels Previous Conservative Error”

“We Are All in This Together”

Were al in this together

No one knows at twenty, thirty or forty what their final days will be like.

In 2009, George Osborne delivered those words to the Conservative Party Conference as he announced a pay freeze for public-sector workers (which is still in force seven years later) as well as savage cuts to the welfare state. And we laugh at that now, but the tragedy is it still affects millions today.

Now we have “Strong and stable government”. The Tories, those masters of spin who could persuade turkeys to vote for Christmas, are deceiving us again – you can fool some of the people all of the time is their mantra. They have made a dramatic wealth grab from the weakest and sickest who need social care. Their only crime is to be ill or worse suffer some chronic condition such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or dementia… the list could go on but I am no doctor.

Continue reading ““We Are All in This Together””

Reformation or Re-formation?


In Scotland, Sally Cogley won a first seat for the Rubbish Party

Five hundred years ago, everything was seen through the lens of religion; the church was all powerful and everywhere. But all power corrupts, and something to ignite the powder keg of dissent over the demands of the church in a rapidly changing Europe was bound to come from somewhere and through some single action.

A Catholic monk nailed his ninety-five demands, or theses, to the door of the Schlosskirche in Wittenberg. Martin Luther’s action on the 31 October 1517 is now credited with the tumultuous changes, not all good, which constituted the Reformation and the significant curtailment of the power of the Catholic Church.

Today, the developed world finds itself beset by challenges, not over the adherence to the Latin language in church, but of the demands for continuous economic growth.

Continue reading “Reformation or Re-formation?”

On Keeping a Diary

1702-keeping-a-diarySamuel Pepys was a Londoner with a keen eye and scratchy pen. For ten or more years, he confided in his mute friend. It was mundane stuff, no one can live a life perpetually at a hundred miles an hour. Nevertheless, his life was more interesting than most.

Each new day, someone posts a fresh page of his diary onto the internet. So three hundred odd years ago, Samuel noted: Continue reading “On Keeping a Diary”

A Circular Walk on New Years Day

stne-circle-hutFoundation stones lie in a circle unmoved and half buried in the grass*

Beyond the Whitesands Bay car park lies an apparently barren headland. In sturdy walking boots, we tracked away from the car up the narrow, but well-worn, path to St David’s Head.

I had learned that for thousands of years, man had trodden this way to a place described in 1793 as ‘most suited to retirement, contemplation and Druidical mysteries.’ Perhaps the oak groves, long gone now, helped. Today, the headland is bare for except for low stubby heather, grass and yellow-flecked gorse. All around the blue-grey sea pounds the rocks below.

There are stones large and small everywhere. It takes a sharp eye to spot Arthur’s quoit. A large capstone angled onto a stubby rough pillar, stands unannounced and anonymous. Any bodies departed long ago. Continue reading “A Circular Walk on New Years Day”

A Night with the Nutcracker


I never thought much of ballet as a young man. A perception of toffs, privilege and ‘odd’ people hindered my interest. It took an assignment to Moscow in my late forties to stimulate my interest; a wonderful theatre – warm and elegant with Swan Lake’s music and beauty – in a cold and ugly grey city. What a surprise it was and what an occasion. I became an overnight convert.

Last night, two weeks before Christmas, in the provincial Torch Theatre overlooking Milford Haven’s harbour, the ballet transported me to an Arcadian world of grace and beauty. We sat in winter coats, no Bolshoi vestiary in the Torch, in worn padded seats in a large featureless hall to gaze at the cinema screen showing images of the sumptuous Royal Opera House. The camera panned to show dark yellow walls, table top lamps lighting up boxes surrounded by gilt plaster scrollwork and everywhere London’s finest and richest patrons dressed ready for an evening of delight. Continue reading “A Night with the Nutcracker”