Category Archives: Uncategorized

Greece! You’re the one that we don’t want, the one that we don’t want, oh, oh, ooh!

From the new musical: Greece! Angie Merkel and Nicky Sarkozy are on stage, singing and dancing around Georgie Papandreou. Angie Merkel (pirouettes): You got bills. They’re multiplyin’. And you’re loooosin’ control! Nicky Sarkozy: You better shape up; you better understand. Nothin’ left, nothin’ left for you to doooo! Chorus: You’re the one that we don’t [...]

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To The Memory Of A Superpower

It is hard now to remember how strong the United States appeared in the last decade of the 20th century. As the victor of the Cold War its power was overwhelming and its values triumphant across the world. Its intellectuals went so far as to proclaim the End of History. The challenge from Al Qaeda [...]

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Fire Changes The Game

Restrained policing is not an option where rioters have arson in mind.

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News Of The World

News has arrived by carrier pigeon from Pongolia of a monster called the Moloch who has been devouring people on the streets of the capital. This has been happening for some years, but since the Moloch’s tastes seemed to be only for entertainers, who infest the city in excessive numbers, the common people have been [...]

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Press Complaints Ombudsman?

Names matter. The Press Complaints Commission is functionally an ombudsman, mediating usefully between offended individuals and the press, and (unlike media lawyers) providing a free service to the public. It is conceptually distinct from a regulator, and lacks the powers to be one. If only it had been called the Press Complaints Ombudsman in the [...]

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Every Other Century (2)

We know of no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality. Lord Macaulay, 1830. Rebekah excelled herself by virtually admitting she’s been illegally paying policemen for information. I called her to thank her for dropping the tabloid baton at the last minute. She apologised: “That’s why I [...]

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Every Other Century

Puritanism in the 17th Temperance in the 19th Health & Safety in the 21st

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Churchill’s view

People in the UK have compared the “execution” of Osama Bin Laden unfavourably to the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals after the second World War. What would Churchill have thought? Churchill’s view, at least initially, was that the principal Nazis should be shot on capture – after all, there could be no real question [...]

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