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