It’s another exciting British constitutional history post. Hurrah!

Just because people seem confused on all this (for some reason). Before 1535, England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland were legally separate countries. Following the English conquest of Ireland in the 12th century and of Wales in the 13th, England, Ireland and Wales had a single ruler, who was styled King of England and Lord of … Continue reading It’s another exciting British constitutional history post. Hurrah!

Riot strategy, or ‘why calls for tougher cops are missing the point’

I'm not going to do a hand-wringing riots piece. We've seen a million of them, whether from a cartoonish 'make them less poor' point of view, an authoritarian 'hell in a handbasket, we're doomed' point of view, or a bigoted 'rivers of blood' point of view. It's dull. However, following on from Jamie's post about … Continue reading Riot strategy, or ‘why calls for tougher cops are missing the point’

Tesco Academy

I went to a state primary school; admittedly, one in a fairly posh part of the world (Christchurch School in Ware, Hertfordshire, for the morbidly curious). It was the 1980s; education was OKish; there were about 30 people in my class, and the ones who properly dribbled on themselves were removed for maths and English … Continue reading Tesco Academy

A defence of royalty

My lack of interest in the forthcoming Royal nuptials is about as total as it gets. However, people will keep writing about it, and I don't always look away from their articles in time... So Johann Hari has written a fairly boilerplate piece about the monarchy, and why the UK shouldn't have one. He sensibly … Continue reading A defence of royalty

Facebook discussions with an old socialist

My dad's friend Martin is an old-school Labour man. I'm his friend on Facebook. It's nice being in touch with such people. Whilst they're not always right, sometimes they are. [Martin R]: The poor are dangerous. Some people: "this is patronising". Me: The poor *are* dangerous. This is clear from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Western … Continue reading Facebook discussions with an old socialist

Alcohol-related stupidity

Alcohol is famous for its ability to cause stupidity. As with most other drugs, this property doesn't solely apply to chronic abusers - it also applies to policymakers and opinion writers, even the sober ones. Drugs and alcohol are second only to immigration as a leading cause of utterly stupid articles. Now, I've written plenty … Continue reading Alcohol-related stupidity

There’s still no (update: a case, but a weird one) against Julian Assange

I woke up this morning ready to issue an apology, on reading the headline that a UK court had remanded Julian Assange in custody on rape charges. I assumed that the Swedish prosecutors had actually produced some evidence (to be clear, victim testimony would absolutely count as evidence) that he'd either had sex with someone … Continue reading There’s still no (update: a case, but a weird one) against Julian Assange