‘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?
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
It’s been a while. The last post on this blog, A tale of loss and forgetting, appeared in late summer 2020. Much has happened since then, none of which needs explaining. But the neglect of the blog as a consequence has always been a regret. Here’s another thing about that most ‘recent’ post: it was … Continue reading refreshing and redrawing the space
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
So here we are with just a few days left until the General Election. From the word go, I focussed on a handful of core issues — climate emergency, the NHS, austerity and education and was almost sure I'd vote Labour. But another priority issue in this election has been a real stumbling block — Brexit. … Continue reading brexit and my vote for labour
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)
Can it really be a year? The last blogpost was on the Green Party leadership contest. Since then so much has happened — just not on this blog. So why the silence? In a nutshell: work. Mountains of it. Which I’m grateful for, don’t get me wrong, but it’s been such an exhausting time… and … Continue reading an update — what’s next?
Here's something I heard on Radio 4 the other week: 'Hatred that starts with Jews doesn't end with Jews.'¹ There's been a lot of focus on antisemitism lately. Antisemitism was a contributory factor in Labour's failure to gain control of a target council (Barnet) in recent local elections. It's also been something of a talking … Continue reading talking about antisemitism
This post takes a detour from German politics to reflect on some of my favourite historical fiction set in Germany, written by the late Philip Kerr. The two themes aren’t so different. Politics needs to be understood in the historical context, and well-written and well-researched fiction can play a valuable role in bringing that historical … Continue reading man out of time
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?