why did I become a vegetarian?

‘I’ve decided to become a vegetarian. Starting tomorrow.’ This was the announcement I made to my mother one day when I returned from school. I was in the fifth form (as it used to be called), sixteen years old.  Although it took my mum by surprise, the decision to become vegetarian had been a while … Continue reading why did I become a vegetarian?

finding the future in the past

Around mid-December last year, I finished reading John le Carré’s Silverview. This was le Carré’s final book, published posthumously, so I’d been drawing out the book as long as possible, rationing the number of pages each night. But of course, too soon, the final page had been turned. So I spent a while reading and … Continue reading finding the future in the past

a tale of loss and forgetting: ‘the memory police’ by yoko ogawa

This blog is something of a detour. It shares my thoughts on a book I first read late 2019 but continue to mull over today. The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder) is a dystopian and allegory-laden story of loss — of expression, freedom and, ultimately, life. It’s also a powerful reminder … Continue reading a tale of loss and forgetting: ‘the memory police’ by yoko ogawa

why I’ve changed my mind about tactical voting (for now)

Let’s get one thing straight. I’m not a fan of tactical voting or electoral pacts. ‘Vote for what you believe in’ is my motto. And stepping aside to endorse another party’s candidate limits voter choice and involves significant risk. What’s more, it makes some big assumptions about how your own voters will respond. An earlier … Continue reading why I’ve changed my mind about tactical voting (for now)

the afd: more exposure, less threat?

Germany has embarked on its third ‘grand’ coalition government, with Angela Merkel sworn in as Chancellor for the fourth time. With the two main parties joined in government, the far-right AfD becomes the largest opposition party. The opposition also includes other parties, of course, both on the centre-right (FDP) and left (Greens, Die Linke, whose … Continue reading the afd: more exposure, less threat?