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In praise of Christopher Hawtree

One of the great surprises of the City Council elections in Brighton and Hove in May (Yes, yes, the ones where I got absolutely thrashed by the Cllrs Kitcat), was the victory in Central Hove ward of our very own local eccentric Christopher Hawtree. Needless to say, when I call someone eccentric, I mean it …

Argus Apostrophe Ouch

I can’t help thinking that this frankly awful error is the result of Newsquest cutting staff, especially those wonderful sub-editors who are fastidious as a class. Hear me now. You can’t run a newspaper on a shoestring and maintain your reputation and readership. The cracks are showing at the dear old Argus. The Argus hacks …

Reading List: January 2011

(I’m sticking to my 2010 resolution to read a book a week. Here’s what I read in January 2011. And excuse the tardiness, I’m clearing out scribbles that I haven’t blogged yet.) Instinct, Ben Kay. Insects. Bloody big insects and bloody thousands of them. I grabbed this in December because I’d met the author at …

Reading List 2010: Entertainments

Back in at the start of 2010, I resolved to read a book each week for pleasure over the course of the year. My total at the end of the year was 48, which isn’t too bad. The general election campaign gave little time for reading and I blame that for my falling short. That …

Blogging 2011

I’ve been blogging in various forms, and on different sites and platforms, for pushing a decade now. I’ve blogged as myself, helped others blog and also ghost written bloggery (usually in a corporate context) too. This site has been my personal blogging home for more than a few years but I am deeply conscious that …

Farewell Claire Rayner

Claire Rayner died yesterday. She was a remarkable woman: a fantastic campaigner for the NHS, a brilliant voice of common sense and also a woman of good humour and love. I’m of such an age, that she has always seemed to be in my life. The tributes call her an agony aunt and that seems …

On eBay’s 15th birthday: 15 reminiscences.

eBay celebrated its 15th birthday a few weeks back. Here are 15 memories of my time at eBay. Happy 15th Birthday! The first pay cheque I ever got from eBay was from the head of eBay Europe’s joint account with his wife. eBay itself didn’t even have it’s own bank account. In the first month …

Douglas Hurd backs Ed Miliband*

I can’t generally do name dropping. Not least because I don’t have names worthy of jettisoning in public. And I obviously shy away from playing the posh school card (for so many reasons). But this tickled so much, that I have to share. I donned black tie and headed back to the alma mater last …

Election Notes 2010: On losing

It’s more than a month since the General Election and I have one last post to make in my Election Notes series. I’ve been sitting on it because I was unsure exactly what I wanted to say. I made some notes at the time. This is a verbatim extract from the Sunday after the General …

Election Notes 12/04/10: GALLIFREY: LAB HOLD

Doctors Who are voting Labour and I’m pleased that the Labour Party is courting Whovians. It’s a shame that more eight year olds can’t vote. The new Labour party political broadcast has a voiceover from one Timelord, David Tennant, and it invokes the memory of another, via his son (Sean Pertwee’s dad was Who 3, …

On being Irish enough

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I like celebrating St Patrick’s Day. Who can object to a merry pint of Guinness or three, a convivial slurp of the Bushmill’s or clinking Sláinte with a slug of Jamesons? Pass the potato bread, the soda farls and the wheaten loaf! I’ll have a crisp from Mr Tayto too, if I can …