Monthly Archives: April 2011

I admit it! I’m a pet owner!

I believe it was Winston Churchill who said “Dogs look up to us.  Cats look down on us.  Pigs treat us as equals”. But now an editorial in the Journal of Animal Ethics (yes, there really is a Journal of … Continue reading

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The EU project: falling apart at the seams

Arriving at Brussels airport from Birmingham, as I regularly do, I frequently find that although we disembark from the aircraft on an air jetty, we are then shepherded downstairs (frequently in the rain) to a waiting bus, and are then … Continue reading

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Toughening the strike laws

There was a good piece on the Today Programme this morning — Dominic Raab MP (who seems to be good news) and Bob Crow, General Secretary of the RMT Union.  Crow, of course, is a general all-round trouble-maker and workers’ … Continue reading

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Monarchy: the Institution, not the Incumbent

Everyone’s writing about the Royal Wedding, so I guess I’d better toss in my tuppence-worth too. I find I’m fairly schizophrenic about Royalty.  On the one hand, I’m a passionate supporter of the Monarchy as an institution.  On the other, … Continue reading

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Greetings on Saint George’s Day!

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Fifty Years On

Well nearly fifty years.  I went up as an undergraduate to Churchill College Cambridge in 1962, to read mathematics.  It is, as Tolkien said, a terrible long count of years.  I was enormously pleased and proud in 1993 when my … Continue reading

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Galileo: An EU Vanity Project

The curiously named Mr. Berry Smutny, until recently CEO of a major German contractor to the EU’s Galileo satellite project has, according to Wikileaks, described Galileo as “a stupid idea that primarily serves French interests”.  He has a point.  And … Continue reading

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An appeal for Asia Bibi

Asia Bibi is a Pakistani Christian woman who has been convicted of blasphemy against the Prophet, under Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws.   Recently a Pakistani government minster Shahbaz Bhatti, a Muslim who had called for reform of the blasphemy laws, was … Continue reading

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Climate Scare is Over

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Cuts? What cuts? Isn’t spending going up?

There is a curious paradox on the economic front, which has been mentioned several times in the media (not least by Simon Heffer), but which is, it seems to me, little understood.  We know about the cuts.  Councils are making … Continue reading

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Petitions Committee, discussion on Spanish Property

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The euro: Kicking the can down the road

The Americans have some charming and resonant expressions.  Apparently “kicking the can down the road” means providing a temporary fix for a problem, in the knowledge (or perhaps in blissful ignorance) that the problem is merely postponed, not solved.  Walk … Continue reading

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A scandal that won’t go away

So often I come across problems in Europe which (as I like to say) “No one can explain; no one can justify; and no one can resolve”.  Things like the “Travelling Circus” between Brux & Straz, or the Common Fisheries … Continue reading

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Meeting the main man of Areva’s wind energy programme

The hot news in off-shore wind power a couple of years back was the decision of Shell to pull out of the Cirrus off-shore wind array proposed for the North West.  Checking my facts, I Googled “abandoned off-shore wind projects”, … Continue reading

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The Comprehensivisation of our Universities

I rarely get angry these days — it’s not advisable at my age.  But I am practically apoplectic over the Coalition’s ill-judged attacks on our universities. As a Cambridge man, I am happy when Oxford loses the Boat Race.  But … Continue reading

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