The deepwater port at Piraeus

At Piraeus’s deepwater port ends Europe where Themistocles built his navy sheds and high walls against the Persians, walls to protect the precious Athenian way of life. Now Europe ends in concrete and quayside cranes made elsewhere, raised over the sea to process containers sat waiting in the sunshine. An international ship approaches slows and […]

Read More…

Notes on the Common Good & Community Organising

These notes describe what I learned during a day (23 March 2018) in London spent with the Labour peer Maurice Glasman and the American community organiser Arnie Graf. The day was convened by Maurice Glasman to discuss his Common Good philosophy and to hear Arnie describe how to build powerful community organisations. Maurice Glasman It […]

Read More…

Brexit, Blair and doing the right thing

Many who voted remain at the referendum worry that their country is being taken from them. It’s not just that they regret we are leaving the EU. They fear that as an independent country Britain might become a different place, with values they don’t recognise. This anxiety is real for many but it is groundless. […]

Read More…

It’s going to be ok

Although I took a sabbatical to work for Vote Leave during last year’s referendum campaign I was never an enthusiastic leaver; it took David Cameron’s unconvincing renegotiation to push me over the line, confirming my impression that the EU dream was now broken, and in order to protect our democracy it was time for the UK to take […]

Read More…

Stoned

When one is pushed off a high building, bound to a plastic chair is there any sense of relief – that one is freed from the barbarism, I mean? Does a crazy stillness prevail, am I feeling out for God’s hands, stretching hoping fantastically for lift? Whispering someone’s name. Does the smash hurt? I imagine it like […]

Read More…

Trump displays all the frailties of his sex: my predictions for 2016

(1) The billionaire is too weak to lead the United States of America Trump’s show-stealing offensiveness and derision of his opponents may still be enough to win him the Republican nomination (against weak opposition) but his lack of substance would be exposed in a run-off against Hillary Clinton. Hillary is the much tougher and more resilient character. […]

Read More…

Notes on Dubai

Sunday AM A taxi driver called Maithripala (not his real name) gives me a lift into town from Dubai’s International Airport. M is in his thirties, smart, apparently upbeat, anxious to be helpful. He is a fine driver but it is not hard to imagine him doing equally well in less monotonous work environments. M tells me that […]

Read More…