Recent Posts

The Martin Schulz bounce
German Politics

The Martin Schulz bounce

What is going on in German politics, just 7 months ahead of the 24th September Bundestag election? How can a party, the SPD – that was consistently 10 points behind the CDU in the polls – suddenly be running neck and neck with Angela Merkel’s party? This graph from Wikipedia […]

The two versions of the £350 million for the NHS slogan
Brexit

The two versions of the £350 million for the NHS slogan

The lines in Iain Dale’s blog post about the EU referendum yesterday started to gnaw at me. Here are the lines in full: They don’t even really take on the argument that the £350 million a week “promise” wasn’t in any way a promise. The words on the bus actually […]

Do I “accept” that Britain is leaving the EU?
Brexit

Do I “accept” that Britain is leaving the EU?

Iain Dale has penned a pretty flimsy piece trying to justify May’s current Brexit course in light of what happened before the referendum here. I am not going to revisit why that argument is weak as I have already dealt with post-referendum reinterpretations here. Instead he rolled out the old line […]

A rail postcard from Brussels
Transport

A rail postcard from Brussels

(this is part of my Rail Postcards to the Transport Commissioner series – you can find all the other postcards here) Dear Violeta, I’d hoped to not have to write another one of these postcards to you so soon after my last one. But things go wrong all too regularly […]

The price of cheap disk space
Technology

The price of cheap disk space

A couple of weeks ago my MacBook Pro would not boot. On the first day of a week-long business trip. Damn. A laptop borrowed from a friend saw me through until I got home and I could take the time to re-install everything, and restore all my files from backups. […]

Some further thoughts on Andrew Marr and the Brexit debate
Brexit

Some further thoughts on Andrew Marr and the Brexit debate

When I set out to dissect Andrew Marr’s “An optimist’s guide to Brexit” (his piece here, my fisking here) I had no idea quite what a reaction it would provoke. Whenever I write something about Brexit it ends up leading to some Twitter debate, but nothing like what has happened the past […]

Varieties of Brexit
Brexit

Varieties of Brexit

Various varieties of Brexit crop up in the British media, but it has all started to get a bit unmanageable. So here, as a sort of summary, are twenty varieties of Brexit! Soft Brexit One of the two original varieties of Brexit, Soft Brexit means the UK would leave the EU […]

A rail postcard from Aachen
Transport

A rail postcard from Aachen

Dear Violeta, Today I am writing to you from Aachen, and I am not here for the Christmas Market. I am here because I am stuck due to the immense incompetence of European railways and the lack of basic collaboration between them in the interests of passengers. This story is going […]