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Fish in a barrel

Our esteemed former prime minister Tony Blair appeared on The Andrew Marr Show yesterday. His purpose seemed to be to claim that ‘the West’ had to act on the threat posed by the growing Isis phenomenon in Iraq. We had brought it all upon ourselves by failing to get rid of Assad in Syria. In [...]

June 16, 2014 // 0 Comments

D Day remembrance

It was a deeply moving experience to follow the proceedings yesterday, especially the humility of the 20 or so veterans. During the boring bits, when the Heads of  State individually took their seats for example, and the commentators had to pad, I found myself reflecting on my own memories. I was [...]

June 7, 2014 // 0 Comments

An historic day

Today a number of commemorative ceremonies will take place in Normandy, the biggest of them attended by tens of world leaders and dignitaries, in honour of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. I have three personal second-hand memories of that fateful invasion to share. Firstly, in the early [...]

June 6, 2014 // 0 Comments

Oh Jackie!

As a young man, I’m not quite sure why, I confess that found Jackie Kennedy (later Onassis) strangely attractive in a sexual sense. I suspect my devotion may have been borne of a sense of human compassion and sympathy for her in respect of JFK’s philandering nature and assassination, perhaps [...]

May 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Goodbye to all this

And now for something from the ‘We’re All Going To Hell In A Handcart’ department … A piece by George Monbiot that appears today on the website of THE [...]

May 28, 2014 // 0 Comments

The unvarnished truth

The depressing news that the US and Canadian coastguards’ search for the four experienced British sailors on board the 40 foot yacht Cheeki Rafiki, which got into difficulties returning to Britain from the Caribbean, was called off on Sunday evening continues to feature in the media. I have a [...]

May 20, 2014 // 0 Comments

A piece worth reading

It was inevitable that 2014 would see the beginning of a four-year media blitz in honour of the centenary of the First World War. So far, based only upon those I have come across, there have been many novel and insightful items – including contributions from ordinary members of the [...]

May 5, 2014 // 0 Comments

What’s the bloody point of it all?

After reading Keith Lowe’s review of a new book War: What Is It Good For? by Ian Morris, I cannot help reflecting – against the raft of 21st Century conflicts and crises such as that now unfolding in the Ukraine – that maybe the concept of Western-style democracy is little more than [...]

April 26, 2014 // 0 Comments

Is our project any good (and P.S. what is it anyway?)

For nearly four years now, with others, I have been working upon a small WW1 research project based around an event that took place behind British lines on the Western Front in the spring of 1915. At the outset, the original fantasy was that the fruits of these labours – assuming, of course, that [...]

April 22, 2014 // 0 Comments

Court drama thrills

Yesterday, having nothing to achieve beyond booking my car in for an MOT and egged on by my brother who telephoned to recommend it, I spent most of my morning watching the Sky News coverage of the Oscar Pistorius trial, live from South Africa. Well, I say ‘live’, but (according to the screen [...]

April 12, 2014 // 0 Comments

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