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Elvis has a plan to make MPs King again

Posted on 29 May 2009 | 12:05pm

Elvis Presley is alive and well and living in the form of impersonator Mark Wright, who has come up with an interesting idea to help MPs through the expenses storm. I know Mark because as well as being Elvis, he is also a committed Labour supporter, who has done fundraisers for the party. Like Elvis, […]

At least there’s a campaign on in Italy

Posted on 28 May 2009 | 9:05am

Greetings from a Rome strangely subdued despite pockets of happy Spaniards and deeply disappointed Manchester United supporters. Enough of football. The better team on the night won, United did not play as they can. Darren Fletcher was badly missed. Basta. I have two political observations to make before heading home. First, may I join in […]

A blow to gay rights and a boost for Cameron’s short-termism

Posted on 27 May 2009 | 11:05am

One of my favourite quotes about politics came from New York Governor Mario Cuomo – ‘we campaign in poetry but we govern in prose.’ Barack Obama fought one of the most wonderfully poetic campaigns and now has to be in full-on prose mode as he struggles with war, economic meltdown and environmental danger. Not to […]

It’s my blog and I’ll be a big kid if I want to

Posted on 26 May 2009 | 11:05pm

I read somewhere the other day that I was a ‘prolific blogger.’ Am I? I don’t think so. One a day most days, like shaving, very occasionally two, but I try to ensure it takes up no more than twenty minutes to half an hour.  If I was a proper blogger, I’d have been straight […]

Highs feel better after so many lows

Posted on 26 May 2009 | 10:05am

As I was saying … there is nothing quite like football; for anticipatory anxiety, stress during the game itself (not to mention FIVE minutes of injuty time) then joy overflowing in the moment of victory and the hours which follow it. Nor is there anything like it for prompting a warm response from others and […]

Only one present counts

Posted on 25 May 2009 | 11:05am

Short and sweet today … to thank all those who, particularly via Facebook, have wished me a Happy Birthday and, more importantly, good luck to Burnley. It is, quite simply, the biggest game since 1987 when we had to beat Orient to stay in the Football League. If we win, we will be the smallest […]

Contrast Cheney and Bush

Posted on 24 May 2009 | 12:05pm

‘Washington trembles at the return of Darth Vadar’, as one headline has it, might be overstating things, but Dick Cheney’s ‘don’t go quietly’ approach to former Vice Presidency-dom is certainly attracting interest. It is also drawing a parallel with George Bush who appears to be taking a different tack, making a speech to schoolkids about […]

Sex (or at least the female form) obsessed Britain

Posted on 23 May 2009 | 8:05pm

Having heard about the apparent suicide of former Korean President Roh, I thought Reuters might be the place to find out more. Sure, the story was there, very sad it was too, and reported in some detail. But what amazed me was the list of ‘most popular stories’ on Reuters UK. 1. Australian topless bathing ban urged. […]

Sport at both ends of the financial spectrum

Posted on 23 May 2009 | 9:05am

A few weeks ago I did a blog and a vlog from a Keighley Cougars Rugby League match, where I was doing an article for the Times magazine. The piece appears this morning, with some terrific photos, and I hope the club think I did justice to the wonderful access I had, and to the […]

Stronger together – whether Scotland or expenses

Posted on 22 May 2009 | 10:05am

I was speaking at a dinner in Edinburgh last night, stayed over, and breakfast was accompanied by a complimentary copy of The Scotsman. Front page lead a story about a ‘respected businessman’ being appointed to police the activities of Royal Bank of Scotland, whose branding continues to hit you, with a somewhat queasier effect that it used […]