Author: Jon

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, […]

Brexit

Brexit: the UK Government is not even trying

As today’s predictable fuss about the border in Ireland post Brexit rumbles on, it has brought a deeper and more troubling issue into view. The British Government is now not actually trying to do Brexit, at least in a practical sense. Note that I do not mean here that the […]

EU Politics

Transnational Lists: a small step towards a more democratic EU

Tomorrow – Wednesday 7th February – the plenary of the European Parliament votes on a proposal from the Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) committee about the rules for the 2019 European Parliament elections, now just 16 months away in May 2019. What makes this matter controversial this time is the issue […]