I Don’t Care How Offended You Are, We Need Academic Freedom

Forgive me, but this is one of my rare political rants. But it’s related to writing because words have power. They can collapse governments (intentionally or otherwise), destroy a career or leave one subject to ridicule. They impart knowledge and opinions and help people discuss and see differences. There are few places where words have … Continue reading I Don’t Care How Offended You Are, We Need Academic Freedom

The Power of Words: The Role of Media in British Elections

Well, well, well. Who predicted that one then? I must admit, it was the best that any of us with left-leaning politics or sympathies could have hoped for under the circumstances. Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May had a healthy lead in the polls when she called the election. The lead crumbled spectacularly over the next … Continue reading The Power of Words: The Role of Media in British Elections

The Power of Words: Best and Worst Political Slogans

Words are powerful. I’ve written on the subject of political oratory repeatedly. Two years ago, I discussed my discomfort with the media’s character assassination of Jeremy Corbyn being “unelectable”, for example, and in the run-up to the General Election in 2015, I listed some common politician stock phrases. Here, I want to discuss election campaign … Continue reading The Power of Words: Best and Worst Political Slogans

Book Review: Aquariums of Pyongyang by Kang Chol-Hwan

It’s around 18 months since I completed another book on North Korea – Nothing to Envy. I bought this around the same time. It’s one of the most famous accounts from anyone who lived inside the country and spent time at one of the many notorious gulags. Kang Chol-Hwan was just a boy when his … Continue reading Book Review: Aquariums of Pyongyang by Kang Chol-Hwan

How Political Should You Get on Your Professional Blog?

This is a question I have asked myself time and time again, especially in the run up to the EU Referendum that took place just yesterday. It’s hard not to let your personal feelings show to your audience, especially when you are – as I am – a professional writer. It’s how we express ourselves … Continue reading How Political Should You Get on Your Professional Blog?

The British Tradition of Political Satire

Having been the moderator of a small political forum a few years ago, I got the distinct impression from the non-British (mostly, North American) forum members that the concept of political satire was almost alien, or at least the concept of politically neutral political satire was alien. It always had to have an agenda.

The Power of Words: The Language of Politics

Around election time,┬áthe language of our politicians changes. We all know how much they use spin and photo opportunities to sway us to vote for them, but I’ve noticed that certain words get used more than at any other time during a Parliament.

Book Review: Arguably by Christopher Hitchens

Political observer, writer, polemicist, religious baiter, firebrand who never minced his words, famously writing the most overtly disparaging obituary of Jerry Falwell, died in 2011 of oesophageal cancer. Shortly before his death, this book was re- released as the most comprehensive collection of the writings of a single contemporary figure.