The Irish question – and democracy

The latest twist in the Brexit saga throws a harsh light on the crumbling inadequacies of our old political culture. It seems that Theresa May is between the proverbial rock and a hard place. She has no parliamentary majority, so is dependent on the support of the DUP, and, crucially, the unity of her own... Continue Reading →

Own goal after own goal

I want to talk about how the over-literal use of a metaphor in politics can blind people to reality, deliberately or otherwise. This is in the context of the UK's election last week, but also the realities of the Brexit negotiation, where it suddenly seems possible that Labour might be about to destroy everything it's... Continue Reading →

The end of civility?

I’m going to say something about fascism, by way of definition, and then something more interesting (I hope) about the place we find ourselves in. The left tends to use the term fascist as an all-purpose insult, and that’s understandable given the history of the 20th century. Its vagueness is also understandable because fascism is... Continue Reading →

Crisis what crisis?

We are in the throes of a major crisis of political legitimacy. It’s been sparked by the Brexit vote, though its roots go much further back. The only hope of a good outcome is if we face that crisis for what it is (and right now, our politicians seem to have their heads elsewhere). The... Continue Reading →

Corbyn’s failure

I'm going to stick my neck out here and I'm very sorry to say this, but Jeremy Corbyn has lost my support. He did so with this statement responding to the vote of no confidence from MPs in his leadership. “Labour has the responsibility to give a lead where the Government will not. We need... Continue Reading →

Unsound bites

The launch marketing of The American foundered on a clash between two cinematic cultures, which is ironic given the subject of the film. The abuse of marketing in US and UK politics threatens social and cultural integrity itself. When Anton Corbijn’s The American was released it was sold as an action vehicle for George Clooney,... Continue Reading →

Dinosaurs and dimwits

In last Sunday’s Observer David Mitchell lambasted the looming referendum on EU membership as a failure of political leadership. He says (more or less) that issues like this are not a matter of personal preference, but demand technical knowledge and expertise. If we’re honest, while everyone might have an opinion, it’s not just a matter of... Continue Reading →

Loose ends and the hope of things to come

Stories may be lifelike, but not like life. After all they require a selectiveness about what to tell and what to withhold. That decision is fundamental to narrative success. When you’re writing a piece of fiction, or for that matter a poem, the notion of form is metaphorical. You can choose to work within a... Continue Reading →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑