Southern Railway, now arriving in 1973

I did a piece at Citymetric on why the disastrous shenanigans at Southern Railway are actually a resumption of a very old battle. They paid me a lot less than a Southern Railway guard gets for the same hours. I probably enjoyed it more, though. Image: an EMD E6A leading the US Southern Railway's The Tennessean … Continue reading Southern Railway, now arriving in 1973

Actually, it’s about ethics in plebiscite campaigning

I've refrained from long-form comment on the UK's EU referendum, partly because the debate is generally painful, but also because there are extremely clever people who've already made most of the points I've wanted to make. One thing that I think is worth addressing, though, is the current suggestion that people are switching back to Remain because … Continue reading Actually, it’s about ethics in plebiscite campaigning

Electability and absurd arrogance

I don't know what's going to happen in the next US general election. I also didn't know what was going to happen in the US electoral primaries, although I don't think there's any great shame in admitting the current situation isn't what I anticipated. It seems highly likely, at this point, that Donald Trump will … Continue reading Electability and absurd arrogance

My preference is that the clown show leaves town

Like most countries founded by people with a passionate and blind terror that they might at some point be subjected to democracy, Australia has a Senate with more-or-less absolute veto power over its House of Representatives. As in many federal countries, Australian Senators are allocated on a state-by-state basis, not on a citizen-by-citizen basis. The result is that … Continue reading My preference is that the clown show leaves town

He was watching the defectives

Extremely sad to hear about the sudden unexpected death of long-time friend, crony and partner in crime Tom Barry, of BorisWatch and @boriswatch fame. Tom provided exactly the kind of hard-nosed, subject-expert and ruthless research and writing into London's terrible mayor and supine general assembly that nobody in traditional local journalism has (bothered to do / had time for) … Continue reading He was watching the defectives

Today we’re all gay Americans

Congratulations, the US Supreme Court, for making a sensible decision based on Constitutional precedent that horrendous rightwing idiots will pretend is overreach until long after we're all dead. To celebrate, here is a nostalgic musing on religion in education. There was a strange Welsh Baptist chemistry teacher at my high school who ran a renegade version … Continue reading Today we’re all gay Americans

There was no late swing, and there were no shy Tories

One of the most interesting questions after the 2015 UK General Election is, how could all of the electoral polling possibly have gone so incredibly wrong? Labour and the Conservatives were predicted to be neck-and-neck and both short of forming a government on their own, with Labour losing about 50 seats in Scotland to the Scottish Nationalist … Continue reading There was no late swing, and there were no shy Tories