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The Silver Bodgie

The BBC reported yesterday that Australians will remember Bob Hawke for breaking a beer-drinking record and being a good bloke, which was a pretty feeble eulogy. Australians will remember him for a bloody sight more than that.

Read More · 17 May 2019 · People

Marking Time

Marking season is always hard, and this blog always suffers during it, because posting here when I should be marking looks bad—not that avoiding posting here makes things any easier. This year it’s been unexpectedly extended by the death of my home computer’s hard drive, in painful stages over about five days. I’ve had some serious incidents with computers before, but nothing that posed such an existential threat to thirty years of accumulated computer files. Fortunately, I had a current back-up, which I’m now handling with extreme care, and have backed up in turn. The iMac should return with a new SSD and hard drive next week, and things can get back to normal.

Which all meant that I lost a week of marking time, and am now scrambling to catch up. But something happened yesterday which prompted a dashed-off comment elsewhere that I want to add here as well, so I’m going to pause for a moment to post it before getting back to the feedback forms. Other backlogged post plans still have to wait.

17 May 2019 · Journal

A Candle for Notre Dame

Candles in Notre Dame
Candles in Notre Dame de Paris, August 2004.

Read More · 16 April 2019 · Events

No-Brexit Day Redux

Remember when it was early December, and we were all in agony awaiting the first Meaningful Vote on May’s deal, which ended up not happening that month? That was only four months ago. If we have six more months of this, we’re not even halfway through the end of the beginning.

Read More · 12 April 2019 · Comment · Politics

Deal or No Deal? No Idea... Not Ideal

56 hours to go, and we still don’t know if we’re going.

Read More · 10 April 2019 · Comment · Politics

Doggoramas

Corvid creativity.

Panoramas of dogs.

Better wind turbines.

Better planting.

Amygdala hijacking.

Read More · 4 April 2019 · Comment · Weblog

In Extra Time

Once again the UK is potentially days away from crashing out of the EU with no deal, with no clear path to avoiding it. Theresa May is in talks with Jeremy Corbyn about reaching a cross-party agreement which could trade away our freedom of movement and any chance of a people’s vote for some vague statements about post-Brexit negotiating aims. On Monday in Parliament Labour whipped in favour of three indicative motions to find a way forward, but not for Joanna Cherry’s crucial emergency brake, on which many of its MPs abstained. If we crash out because of that, or leave on the barest of terms with Corbyn’s approval, many voters will be abstaining from voting for Labour.

Read More · 4 April 2019 · Comment · Politics

The Hunger Games: Jokingmay Part 1

A BuzzFeed report on EU officials’ responses to the past couple of days of UK political developments has just the best punchline.

Read More · 29 March 2019 · Comment · Politics

Desert Island Links

The fight over the legacy of Dungeons & Dragons.

How Australia’s compulsory voting saved it from Trumpism.

Former British diplomat Robert Cooper on Brexit.

Tim Berners-Lee on where the Web goes from here.

Read More · 23 March 2019 · Comment · Weblog

The Wavering Middle

I’ve long thought that Labour’s switch to selecting its leader via a direct membership vote was a wrong turn, and that the next Tory leadership battle will be disastrous for the same reason.

Read More · 23 March 2019 · Comment · Politics

10, 9, 8...

Counting down the days.

Read More · 21 March 2019 · 2 Comments · Politics

Europe: The Final Countdown
With apologies. Lifted off.

18 March 2019 · Comment · Politics

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