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Census 2021

Back in 2011, we were all encouraged to take a photo of ourselves with our census forms for posterity. Hello posterity. So I decided to repeat that today, when I filled in the UK census this afternoon.

The Unemployed at Eton 1908

(This article was originally published in the OEA Review 2020.) A speech from an anti-poverty campaigner at Eton and the sum of £7 10s caused a flurry of combative correspondence in the Eton College Chronicle, and the national press, in 1908. It also generated this dramatic image I rediscovered during a lockdown clear out, bought …

Why did Labour lose?

FYI I’m a Labour activist and member. Here are a few reflections on the general election: Why did Labour lose? And we did lose. There was an increase in the Conservative vote. No point blaming the SNP either. 1) Ed wasn’t convincing enough to enough people. I grew to like him more than I did …

Eton couldn’t run a state school

I’m embarassed to say the Prime Minister and I share Eton College as an alma mater. But unlike David Cameron, I had the greater privilege of learning more than a thing or two in the state sector. If Cameron had been to a comprehensive like me, he’d know that Eton just doesn’t have what it …

What Anders Breivik bought on eBay

Take a look for yourself. This is what Anders Behring Breivik bought on eBay, apparently. The Telegraph is reporting that Norwegian terrorist and confessed murderer Anders Breivik bought some of his equipment and supplies on eBay. They say he used the now suspended eBay ID andrewbrei. At least one seller will now be regretting that …

The language of civil partnerships matters

It’s astonishing that New York has only just legalised gay marriage. There are some very touching pictures in the Guardian. The word is right though: marriage. And changing the law in this country does, to a very large extent lie with simply changing a few words. I’m pleased that we have civil partnerships in Britain …

What did the Prime Minister know? And when did he know it?

The resignation of Rebekah Brooks was inevitable. That Sir Paul Stephenson has resigned too, on the same day as Brooks’ arrest, is remarkable. Surely David Cameron is next in line. I’ve been saying it on Twitter and down the boozer for at least a week. Tonight, even Iain Dale thinks it’s a possibility, having previously …

Some Regency buzzers

I could write a very long post about standing for election and getting beaten and what a Green council might mean for Brighton. But who really wants to know my ramblings about that? So instead here are the buzzers. Every candidate knocks on doors and Regency ward is tougher than most. So many shared front …

BHCC Budget: Why Labour abstained

A few people have asked me why Labour abstained last night on the budget vote for Brighton and Hove City Council. Here’s my best stab at setting a context and explaining the decision. I must say though, that over the last few years, as I’ve learnt more about local government, there are lots of things …