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 haveContinue 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 nextContinue 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 campaignContinue 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 hisContinue reading “Book Review: Aquariums of Pyongyang by Kang Chol-Hwan”

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┬ápolitically neutral political satire was alien. It always had to have an agenda – toContinue reading “The British Tradition of Political Satire”

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.