Recent Posts

Brexit

The resignation speech David Davis should give (but will not!)

Ladies and gentlemen, Stories of my imminent departure from government have been filling newspaper column inches for the past few days. I am here today to confirm to you that this is indeed true. I am resigning from Theresa May’s government. And of course my reasons are connected to Britain’s […]

German Politics

Political online communication in Germany

One of my nagging worries about political communication online, and through social media, is the inequality of it. We are still stuck with the idea that social media gives everyone a voice and, to an extent, that is true. But when everyone has a voice, how do you separate the […]

German Politics

Becoming German

I’ve lived in Berlin since 26 October 2013. At that time I could not have known how the politics of the UK, the country in which I was born and whose passport I hold, would change. I moved to Germany for a combination of personal and professional reasons, and – […]

Transport

A rail postcard from Passow (Uckermark)

Dear Violeta, It has been a little while since I last wrote you a postcard from one of my cross-border rail trips. But this week I took a little journey from Berlin to Szczecin / Stettin in West Pomerania in Poland, represented in the European Parliament by Bogusław Liberadzki – […]

Transport

SNCF. Is this public service?

My trip today, 10 April 2018: Toulouse (population: 467000, 1.3 million in the urban area) to Béziers (population: 75000). Distance 176km by train, 180km by road. Departure time: sometime around 1500. Towns along the route: Castelnaudary (population: 11000), Carcassonne (48000), Narbonne (53000). Beyond Béziers are Montpellier, Nîmes and Marseille. Here […]

Technology

Everyday tech ethics

A couple of months ago I had a conversation with two academic friends of mine about why they refused to use any messenger other than WhatsApp. “We just want it to work!” they said. “Well, Volkswagen cars work” I hit back. “That’s different,” they said. But then what about fairly […]

Brexit

Gender, language and Brexit

A clever tweet caught my eye this morning: Ever wondered which gender #Brexit is? Obviously male, since 55% of men voted Leave, while 51% of women (and 80% of women aged 18-24) voted Remain. Happy #IWD2018🙂 https://t.co/8IX0doz1ex https://t.co/wqWfIQClid — Peter Ptassek (@GermanyonBrexit) March 8, 2018 It prompted me to think […]

Brexit

Theresa May, getting high on theoretical sovereignty

The superficial difference between a Hard Brexit and a Soft Brexit is political control – taking back control, to coin a phrase. A Soft Brexit leaves the UK having to abide by the rules of the Single Market or the Customs Union or both but, as a non-EU Member State, […]