Monday, February 29, 2016

The Murder of Olof Palme: Why we must never forget the Swedish socialist.

My latest piece for RT.Com OpEdge

Thirty years ago today, Swedish PM Olof Palme, one of the true giants of post-war European democratic socialism, was shot dead in Stockholm. The assassination shocked the world. Today, theories still abound as to who was behind his killing.
Palme’s death was a major blow to progressive, left-wing politics, coming as it did during a decade when the left was retreating in the face of neoliberal onslaught. You could argue that the European left has never really recovered from the loss of Palme – and that post-war western European socialism itself was murdered on that cold February night in Stockholm.

You can read the whole article here.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Welcome return of The Good Old Days...

My Daily Express piece on the return of a much-loved television favourite....

Dramatist John Osborne wrote in the 1950s: “The music hall is dying and with it a significant part of England. Some of the heart of England has gone, something that once belonged to everyone…” But now music hall is back.
The Good Old Days, British television’s longest-running variety show, broadcast from 1953 to 1983, is being re-shown on Fridays on BBC Four. 
What a pleasure it has been to watch once again great speciality acts of the past: trick cyclists, comedy drunks, ventriloquists, knife throwers. The Good Old Days aimed to recreate the golden age of music hall. 
The programme came from the ornate Leeds City Varieties Theatre, a Grade II-listed music hall built in 1865. The audience all wore Edwardian-era clothes....

You can read the whole article here.   Above, you can watch a really excellent edition of The Good Old Days, from 1976.
If you enjoy that, here is a petition to the BBC asking them to reshow all existing episodes. It's got 600 signatures at the moment- let's try and get it up to 1,000!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Russian military is rubbish! No hang on, it's actually pretty good

My new column for OpEdge

Repeat after me: “The Russian military is much weaker than many think, with lots of outdated, dilapidated commie era equipment.” And: “The Russian military is a major threat to us so we need to spend more on our military and renew Trident.”
If these sentences sound contradictory, that’s because they are. My RT OpEdge colleague Bryan Macdonald has coined the phrase ‘Russophrenia’ to describe the condition “where the sufferer believes Russia is both about to collapse, and take over the world.”....

You can read the whole article here:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The US military-industrial complex, a 'non-partisan' think tank and Sputnik

My two latest pieces for OpEdge.

We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex,”' US President Dwight D. Eisenhower said 55 years ago, warning of the “conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry.”
Well, Ike was right to warn us. And his farewell address was the first thing I thought of when I read the new report 'Propaganda in Orbit' by the 'non-partisan' US-based policy research institute, the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA)...

You can read the whole of the piece here- while here, you can read my new piece on 'Bombing Plagiarism' in Syria.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Is the storey over for Bungalows?

My latest piece from the Daily Express

THE figures from the National House Building Council (NHBC) speak for themselves.
While more homes were finished last year than at any time in the past seven years just one in every 50 was a bungalow. That is down from about one in six in the 1980s.
To account for the decline in the building of bungalows, house builders say that elderly people are opting for retirement flats while families want to buy houses. But is falling demand really the reason? Bungalows have been very popular in Britain for many years...

You can read the whole piece here.