Recent Posts

UK Politics

LME: was I too negative?

OK, so I did not manage to get to the launch of LME. But today I signed up to become a member via their new website. It might not really win too many design awards, but the site is functional enough, and there is a kind of members area as […]

Dead Rose
EU Politics, UK Politics

Labour + pro-European = hopeless

OK, so you would assume that it should not be too complex. I am a member of the Labour Party, and the party is supposed to be pro-European. Within the party there is a group called the Labour Movement for Europe. This evening – 22nd November – they are holding […]

EU Politics

More than just the designer of the iPod

I have complained here about the poor quality of Britain’s houses and a lack of taste in carpets. But there are decent British designers – take Jonathan Ive, the inventor of the iPod for example. Now the government is starting to get interested and hope that better investment in design […]

Flag St George
UK Politics

Campaign for an English Parliament

There have been rumblings for a while about the inbalance in the UK political system where MPs from Wales and Scotland can decide legislation only applying to England. There was also the absurd example of Scottish MP John Reid, representing a Scottish constituency, but yet being Secretary of State for […]

Groucho Marx
EU Politics

Groucho Marx and the Commission concours

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. Groucho Marx Well, what has that quote got to do with the European Commission’s selection process, the famous concours? It’s the first time I have written about the concours here but I am indeed one of the […]

Romano Prodi
EU Politics

Is this a progressive politician?

OK, anything must be better than Silvio Berlusconi, but you have to get a bit scared when one of the first references to Romano Prodi in recent times on BBC News Online talks of his plans to reconstruct a Catholic pilgrim route – see this. It is clear that Prodi’s […]

Boarding Ryanair plane

Deception on the way to Stockholm

OK, travelling with budget airlines is never pleasant. But yesterday on the way to Stockholm it made me really angry. First of all the bus – the Green Line 757 service from London Victoria to Luton Airport. I get on the bus and ask for a return to Luton, and […]

Bus queue

Bus etiquette

It was almost exactly a year ago when I was shouted at on a bus in Brussels for not having left my seat in favour of a pensioner. I was in the wrong then and had not really been concentrating. Since then I have aimed to pay the utmost attention […]

Underground escalators

No to scanners at railway stations

What a ludicrous idea. The government has announced that it is going to start a pilot to install bag-scanners in some railway stations, starting with Heathrow Express departures from Paddington – see this from the BBC. Now, UK railway stations are already crowded enough with the cumbersome ticket barriers that […]

Light Bulb
EU Politics

Theory, practice and federalism

OK, so my time in JEF is over. It gives me free evenings, and the release from the responsibility is so, so welcome. But the Congress in Strasbourg leaves a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth. The main political resolutions I wrote – on the situation facing the […]

Broken traffic light
German Politics

German coalition: what’s going on now?

Well, people might not have liked the idea much, but Merkel sat down with the SPD and it looked like everything was going to plan to make a grand coalition. Merkel would be Bundeskanzler, and the SPD would hold the finance and foreign ministries. But in the last few days […]