University Chancellors & Free Speech: Drinking in the last chance saloon

16th February 2020 6

Writing in the Times on 7th February, the Secretary of State of Education issued a ‘final warning’ to universities to get their act together over protecting freedom of expression on campus. Gavin Williamson’s intent was clear: ‘If the universities don’t take action to defend free speech on campus, the Government will’. Over the years, Universities UK (UUK), the body that … [Read on]

Gaily across the zebra crossing

12th February 2020 13

At last, gay people can cross the road! It took a long time, but a more tolerant and diverse society has embraced LGBT pedestrians, with the help of progressive local authorities. Rainbow crossings are being installed throughout our cities. At Herne Hill in south London, for example, the local community is delighted by this latest investment by Lambeth Council. Some … [Read on]

Technoplegia in the age of data harvesting

10th February 2020 6

I had to face the fact that the flat I rent out in London needed a refit. Estimates for the work ranged from crippling to only mildly extortionate. I felt I could just about manage it when my managing agent said, ‘Of course you’ll have to get the council tax back in your name and sort out parking permits for … [Read on]

South Georgia is a nice long way off

8th February 2020 22

                                                ‘Can we just escape?’ ‘If this is progress, please can I just get off.’ ‘Where will we go?’  older British people ask,  dreaming of a simpler age. ‘Portugal?’ they say hopefully. ‘Lots of immigration problems there and in Spain. The chaos on the Greek Islands will spread like blue dye swirling through a bowl of water.’ their all-knowing friend … [Read on]

Gibraltar leaves the EU sinking ship

1st February 2020 1

A small crowd gathered at one of the only terrestrial borders that British territory shares with the EU. The line was closed by General Franco in 1969 and re-opened as part of Spain’s bid to join the European Community in 1985. Last night, the British authorities didn’t even close it for the twenty-minutes required to give a ceremonial nod towards … [Read on]

Huawei. Boris takes his orders from Whitehall and bottles it

29th January 2020 17

We have been at ‘cyber war’ for years with China, the world’s foremost mass-surveillance state, world-leader in industrial espionage equipped with armies of hackers mounting cyber-attacks on Western corporate and governmental infrastructure systems – and now we plan to hand over them control of our digital communications systems, and further enhance their technological lead. So much for ‘taking back control’. … [Read on]

Why I’ll be cheering on Brexit Day.

29th January 2020 11

‘I voted Leave in 1975 and, having since then read or seen nothing to bring about a change of mind, did so again 2016’ VOTES in general elections and referenda can change history – making nations and perhaps breaking empires. They are not, though, sufficiently powerful to change the convictions of those on the losing side, and neither should they … [Read on]

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