I wasn’t in a position to listen to all of yesterday’s debate in the House of Commons on the question of bombing Syria but I did hear the first hour or so. And the impression I came away with the most was the arrogance of Prime Minister David Cameron and the condescension of the Conservative… Read More


Musician and astrophysicist Brian May recently launched a new campaign from his charity the Save Me Trust. It’s called Common Decency with a mission to reform Britain’s democracy. We want nothing less than a complete reform of the Parliamentary system. It’s about not just removing the unfairness and injustice that the present Government represents, but removing the corrupt system… Read More


On Saturday, October 12, I joined with 12 others on a walk, Animal Pasts in Hyde Park, led by historian Hilda Kean in London. This is the second walk I’ve taken led by Hilda. Here is my account of the first ‘Animal Pasts in London’s Landscape Today‘. Among Hilda’s books is Animal Rights. Political and Social Change in… Read More


On Saturday, September 29, I was lucky to be part of a walking group led by historian Hilda Kean which explored ‘Animal Pasts in London’s Landscape Today.’ As Hilda writes on her Web site, Alongside our human ancestors animals have created the physical and cultural landscape of London as it exists today. In this walk of… Read More


Rumours of Margaret Thatcher’s departure from this mortal coil continue. I wrote about my anxiety on how to react to the news of the inevitable here. Here’s another take from Owen Jones, which I appreciate. I doubt any Prime Minister has ever polarised this country as much as Thatcher. The right idolise her like no… Read More


The joy expressed worldwide on the news of Osama bin Laden’s death is simultaneously understandable and disturbing. Understandable because, like everyone else in the USA on September 11, 2001, it was impossible to pretend otherwise that the morning’s terrorist attacks changed everything. That day I was in Baltimore, MD, which is one hour north of… Read More


Further to Jonathan Porritt’s critique of the UK’s environmental movement’s response to the government’s forest fireside sale which is now been chopped (forgive the puns), he commented (before the government’s u-turn announcement yesterday) further about their response to the coalition’s initiative. I like his strategic approach. So my simple suggestion for the Big 10 is… Read More


Leading environmental campaign Jonathon Porritt critically assesses a dozen of Britain’s environmental/green/wildlife non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and their reaction to the British Government’s proposed sale of historic forests. A combination of growing public concern (evidenced by the 450,000 people who have now signed the 38 degrees petition), more and more local action groups, and a sudden… Read More


Further to my post about the proposed badger cull in England by the ConDem government and in Wales by the Welsh Assembly, George Monbiot writes in today’s Guardian, and concludes So why commission £49m of research then shred it? Because the National Farmers’ Union wants to see blood, and it is neither prepared to wait… Read More


The Hastings Vegan Dining Club met for a scary vegan lunch on Halloween. We were served a bowl of delicious beetroot, apple and carrot creamy soup with a round bread roll in the middle with a tomato in the middle of it. We all enjoyed the soup notwithstanding it looking like an eye floating in… Read More


Yesterday two important homes in the history of British literature were open to the public for the last time this year before they are closed up and put to bed for the winter to reopen next spring. They are Charleston, the home and country meeting place for the writers, painters and intellectuals known as the… Read More


Just as I was getting sick more than two weeks ago, the rough and ready crowd who belong to the Hastings Vegan Dining Club got together for one of our, er, Vegan Dining Club get-togethers. Sadly, the notes I made about the delicious meal have subsequently disappeared. I blame my cold. (Wait! See below) Suffice… Read More


You know Britain is seriously at risk from a slash-and-burn and shock-and-awe ConDem coalition government when even the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds runs a campaign to protest against spending cuts. As good as the RSPB is it can hardly be characterised as an organisation which you would expect to see at the… Read More


Life in the Old Town is nothing if not interesting. For example, I chronicled over the last few months the growth of a group of five baby Herring gull chicks who I watched from the back of my house. We know one didn’t survive and as the other four have gone I presume they all… Read More


I am haunted by a dream that I live in a country which is run by a government that was never elected; which is implementing a legislative program that was never put to the people at a general election; which consists of a second chamber that is unelected; which is commented upon by a media… Read More