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EU Politics

Angela Merkel’s charm offensive

I find myself a bit shocked to be saying this, but I was actually quite impressed by the way that new German Chancellor Angela Merkel approached her first visit to London. The approach was cooperative and practical, and above all else, non-macho. Her approach is summed up quite well by […]

EU 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 […]

EU 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 […]


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 […]


Why are there no riots in Italy?

Apparently it’s because Italy is so corrupt that any ethnic minorities can manage to make money on the black economy – have a read of this from Samizdata. The discussion about dictatorships and China is also very much worth a read. You could also add the fact that in Italy […]


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 […]

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 […]


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 […]


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 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 […]