Category Archives: Politics



This is an England
And you are free
Of tyranny – rejoice!
As a hand stretched out
To grasp the tongue
Of the great cracked-iron voice.
Be silent
In your hour of freedom
Be silent, and be glad
Now just lie back
And think of an England
None of us ever had.

You can protest,
They say,
You can’t
But help be there
That day
And turn your back
On an England that
Looked the other way.

It had you not
In mind, in heart
In its grip, perhaps,
Though through it you can fall
Through gaps
In fingers opened wide
As certain structures will collapse
In holes that once were small.

So have your silence,
Hold your tongue
This moment will not
Last for long.
That’s all you have –
(False) memories
Of an England at its best.
Grip that in mind
As in her name
We sell off all the rest.

Words of Iron


“Come on, boys”
He says and smiles
“Put on your dancing shoes
We’ll give her a send off
You’ll never forget.”
The silence claps about him
Like irons on his wrist
The feet shuffle in
Awkward steps
That are not dance
They wince.
Knives glint in the open
Words of steel
Words of iron
Unused yet read, poised
To cut the unwary
Who dare to open their honest
Today is not a day for dancing
Today is a day for veils
And blinds, still drawn at noon
And blinkers.

A beautiful history

The library I grew up with

When I read Horrible Histories author Terry Deary’s thoughts on libraries on Wednesday, I don’t think I’ve been angrier with an author since I tried to read The Lord of the Rings the first time and there was all that shit about Hobbits. Since then I’ve had several conversations online about it, and this is an informal gathering, really, of thoughts I’ve had and thoughts others have expressed to me when I’ve brought the subject up. So, what I’m saying is ‘sorry if I’m just using your ideas, but I wanted to put everything together’.

Continue reading A beautiful history

London Above


I’m experiencing an odd emotional state, at present. I’m, well, I’m proud. To be British. Not simply because we did so amazingly well in the Olympics; it’s because we’re doing so well at embracing our success. We’re happy, as a nation, to be a nation. It’s not something we’re used to, but we’ve gone at it, taken the opportunity to be great, claimed our country as ours. Everyone here belongs to the country, and the country belongs to all of us. Those few athletes who are our representatives, they’ve shown us something of themselves -determination, brilliance – and something of ourselves.

Continue reading London Above

But I HATE Sebastian Coe!

Let the games... begin!

The Olympics haven’t even started yet and I’m already sick of hearing what a triumph they are. I’m also being told, constantly, that I should stop moaning. Not directly, that would be rude, but indirectly. The time for cynicism is over, say the pundits. The enthusiasm for the Torch Relay has silenced the naysayers! Boris bloody Johnson, a man whose mouth should permanently be stuffed with footwear, told us that it was time for critics to ‘put a sock in it’.

Continue reading But I HATE Sebastian Coe!