Some replies to a tweet about Margaret Hodge

On Tuesday evening, I tweeted about a HuffPo story on Dame Margaret Hodge and Jeremy Corbyn. The site reported that the Labour MP had confronted the party leader and called him ‘a fucking antisemite and a racist’. (Dame Margaret quibbles only with the word ‘fucking’.) Pretty soon, I had to mute my notifications. Below isContinue reading “Some replies to a tweet about Margaret Hodge”

The paranoid style in British politics

Is the Daily Telegraph front page anti-Semitic? Not intentionally, I don’t think. It is, however, an astonishingly ill-judged rocket-fuelling of a story that belongs, at best, six or seven pages in. In its rush to damn the hated Remainers, the paper has oversold a middling story, splashed in primary colours a tale better told in pastels,Continue reading “The paranoid style in British politics”

The Ten… women who were pioneers in British politics

Britain is marking the centenary of votes for women. The 1918 Representation of the People Act extended the franchise to men over 21 and women over 30. This has prompted a renewed interest in the Suffragettes who fought, and in some cases died, to secure electoral rights for women. The first thing to note isContinue reading “The Ten… women who were pioneers in British politics”

Neither bank of the Jordan

‘Two banks has the Jordan,’ runs Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s verse of Revisionist Zionism. ‘This is ours and that is as well.’ The Betar leader’s vision of Eretz Yisrael Hashlemah exists today only in songs sung by old men who remember, barely, when the lyrics carried possibility rather than lament. Even on the nationalist Right, the EastContinue reading “Neither bank of the Jordan”

Colin Kaepernick takes a knee in America’s culture war

American football is rugby played badly but they seem insistent on it. Place kicks and end-runs are as bound up in American identity as mom, apple pie and the flag. As such, NFL games are occasions for overt displays of patriotism that are probably benign but nonetheless unsettling to British audiences. The most ostentatious ofContinue reading “Colin Kaepernick takes a knee in America’s culture war”

Notes on the Scottish Daily Mail poll

The Scottish Daily Mail has an interesting poll on Holyrood voting intentions.  It’s actually got findings on much more and I’d recommend you pick up a copy of the paper or check out the digital subscription deals here.   Before we go any further, it’s just one poll, remember the margin of error, and the nextContinue reading “Notes on the Scottish Daily Mail poll”

Roald Dahl — National treasure, Nazi sympathiser

It’s Roald Dahl Day, Britain’s annual celebration of one of its most venerated children’s authors.  No family bookshelf is complete without a volume or two from the Welsh-born conjuror of juvenile joy and nightmares. Dahl understood the youthful imagination — its fierce moralism and rage against hypocrisy; the half-wonder, half-terror at these towering masses ofContinue reading “Roald Dahl — National treasure, Nazi sympathiser”