A letter to my MP about the toddler-in-chief

July 6, 2018

In advance of the Donald Trump’s visit, I wrote the following.

Dear (my MP)

I am writing in an attempt to convey my deep concern and anger about the impending visit of Donald Trump to Britain.

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A moral dilemma

July 9, 2017

So you’re on a bus. There’s no driver as such; steering is done by a curious collective process which ostensibly involves all of the passengers, some passengers’ views on the direction carry more weight for reasons which are unclear, but generally accepted. The speed of the bus can’t be varied, which means that maneuvers are based entirely on careful steering, and may occasionally require planning. Currently, the bus is pointing in a direction that will soon result in it plummeting over a cliff. Something probably ought to be done.

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An open letter to President Trump

January 30, 2017

Dear President Trump,

You’re a busy man, so I’ll keep this short. It is apparent, from your choice of Myron Ebell to lead your transition team for the EPA and Scott Pruitt to lead it, that you walk the walk as well as talk the talk when it comes to climate change denial.

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Trump Thoughts

January 12, 2017

My record as a pundit is pretty poor as I didn’t think Trump would get this far (but then, I reckoned without the Russian / Wikileaks / FBI interventions). But, for what it’s worth, here’s my reading of the situation and a prediction for how things will pan out.

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Regrexit? Fixit!

June 26, 2016

As I’ve outlined in my previous post, I think there are good reasons for supposing that Brexit will, in fact, not happen, but this is far from certain. If, like me, you voted Remain and are quite appalled by the result, what practical measures can you take? If you voted Leave but wish you hadn’t (for whatever reason), how can you make amends? Note that if you voted Leave and still think it’s a good idea despite the wave of chaos you have unleashed, this piece is not for you.

Well, you could post things about how awful it all is on Facebook, to be read by a group of friends who think broadly the same as you do. You could make attempts at tweeting pithy comments that will demonstrate once and for all how silly the whole thing is. Both of these are approaches I have adopted in the immediate aftermath. Neither of them is ultimately very helpful.

However, if you want a more constructive approach, there is a third way – why not write to your MP?

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Further thoughts on Brexit

June 25, 2016

Two days after the results of the Brexit referendum, and a shell-shocked Britain tries to come to terms with what it’s done. While team Remain are understandably dumbfounded at the result, anecdotal evidence suggests some Leave voters are also surprised and dismayed at the extent of the devastation they’ve triggered (without, in many cases, much real understanding of what they were doing).

So, what next?

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Thoughts on Brexit

June 19, 2016

The Remain vs Leave campaign will enter the history books as a low point in UK politics – hyperbole from both sides with a bonus helping of unvarnished racism from the Leave side, culminating in the horrific slaughter of an MP by a man with suspected links to white supremacy. These are dark times.

The tone of the “debate” has been pretty low and plenty of words have been written elsewhere about it but, in my opinion, three of the most alarming statements from the Leave camp are:

  1. Nigel Farage, in response to a journalist observing that he’d started smoking again: “I think the doctors have got it wrong on smoking
  2. Michael Gove, on being asked to identify economists who supported Brexit: “People in this country have had enough of experts
  3. Gisela Stuart, backing up Michael Gove: “There is only one expert that matters, and that’s you, the voter”

All three signify a rejection of the value of knowledge, rational enquiry, and expertise. Farage obviously dislikes the well-supported conclusion that there’s a causal link between smoking and lung cancer, and therefore feels comfortable substituting his own “expertise” on the subject for that of the experts – no surprise, given that he’s a climate change denier as well. Gove and Stuart (a Labour MP, alarmingly) are upset that economists weighing in on the merits of Brexit are mostly unsupportive of their position.

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