Our Blog

This blog contains ‘on the hoof’ views about whatever is on our minds regarding the issues of the day.

June 7, 2019

 ‘If you have never had the experience of feeling that you are yoked to the steam engine of history, then allow me to inform you that the conviction is a very intoxicating one’. Christopher Hitchens was a long way from us on most ‘God-stuff’ but this quotation from his...

May 3, 2019

‘Nothing is true and everything is possible’. We heard these seven words this week on Nick Robinson’s Politically Speaking podcast. (Can you get BBC podcasts outside the UK? We heartily recommend this one to those who can get it!) The quotation is the title of a 2014 b...

March 29, 2019

‘Now I must learn to be alone’. These are the words spoken by King Henry II as the rift becomes final with Thomas à Becket, the man who had been his great friend, but is now Archbishop of Canterbury. At least that’s the version which appears in Jean Anouilh’s version o...

March 15, 2019

That was the warning given to Julius Caesar by a seer in the ancient story which Shakespeare adapted into one of his most political and perceptive dramas. A number of senators, led by Brutus and Cassius, had sought to keep the Caesar in check. Eventually, as the rumour...

February 22, 2019

‘I am so excited, in a way that I haven’t felt since I was first elected…I, we, are prepared to dream that this could be possible’. This is not usually the sort of language you expect to hear from a Westminster politician. But these are the words of Heidi Allen, conser...

February 8, 2019

‘Walls work, and walls save lives’. That’s a fragment of wisdom from President Trump’s very long State of the Union address on Tuesday night. He was referring of course to his plan to build a wall on the southern border of the USA with Mexico. According to him, the lar...

December 14, 2018

If you ever feel frightened, tell yourself a story and you won’t be afraid any more’. This was the advice of a father to his young son during the darkest days of World War II during the blitz on London. The father in the recent BBC dramatisation of the Wilson 'family'...

November 16, 2018

Last week we hit a bureaucratic brick wall - an NHS brick wall. Along with thousands of other families in the UK, we are struggling to ensure an adequate funding package for the care for a much-loved 90-year old relative. We arrived with our faces facing the brick wall...

October 26, 2018

The bullies are in charge. That’s at least the view of one leading BBC political journalist we heard this week. In the 20th century, democracy as a ruling political principle seemed to have won the day. In the 21st century, he suggested, it’s the authoritarians who rul...

September 28, 2018

In news bulletins this week we have been treated to high drama and much public emotion. Most remarkable have been the scenes from Capitol Hill in the hearing for the vacant Supreme Court judge position. Dr Christine Blasey Ford struggled to contain her emotion as she a...

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Books of Life

August 16, 2019

Fifty-five years ago this month, I used a red phone box in the city of Exeter to call my parents and find out my A level results. Although it happened...

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