Guardian columnist George Monbiot writes about how the “built environment makes us.” I know from my experiences that the place where I am greatly affects the mood I become. I link the version of the article on his Web site because it includes the references. Here’s a quote to inspire you to read it all.… Read More


I am haunted by a dream that I live in a country which is run by a government that was never elected; which is implementing a legislative program that was never put to the people at a general election; which consists of a second chamber that is unelected; which is commented upon by a media… Read More


Last night I went to a celebration of the Gay Liberation Front at Charleston called “A Gay Outing.” GLF was founded in London in 1970 one year after the Stonewall Inn riots in Manhattan, New York City. Charleston was the Sussex home of Vanessa Bell whose sister was Virginia Woolf. Charleston was a family home… Read More


Last Friday evening at Canary Wharf I attended a large hustings meeting for the Labour leadership. All candidates were present and answered questions from the floor. There was very little disagreement between them. Just a few cases of personal sniping. I’m trending toward one of Miliband brothers. If I had to pick one it would… Read More


Guardian columnist Felicity Lawrence got to the heart of the matter in her recent column when she concluded, “In their Big Society [ConDem coalition] – which casts everything as personal responsibility – social injustice, like obesity, is indeed a moral failure, but only on the part of those who suffer it.” So, this morning’s news… Read More


UK Coalition Government Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, as reported in The Guardian on July 7. It’s perfectly possible to eat a bag of crisps, to eat a Mars bar, to drink a carbonated soft drink, but do it in moderation, understanding your overall diet and lifestyle. Then you can begin to take responsibility for it.”… Read More


Published in The Guardian on June 19 I have only recently been able to catch up with reading this persuassvive criticism by Naomi Klein which frames the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill in the context of a larger criticism of capitalism. In the arc of human history, the notion that nature is a machine for… Read More


Earlier this year Michael Foster, who was the Labour MP for Hastings and Rye before his defeat by Conservative candidate Amber Rudd at the general election in May, presented a petition of 4,000 names to Parliament in support of the Hunting Act 2004. Michael recently forwarded to me the official response from the now Tory… Read More


In a recent study of health care in seven countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States) the Netherlands ranks first, followed closely by the UK and Australia. The US ranks last overall, as it had in earlier studies.… Read More


Important columnist Johann Hari ask this vital question — In 1980, the average CEO in America and the UK took 42 times the average worker’s wage. By 2000, it was 531 times. Did CEOs become 12 times more effective? Or was this another trick of the boom-light? — in a discussion of a new book… Read More


Caroline Lucas’s election as the Green Party Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavilion is a significant accomplishment and a beacon of hope in an otherwise dismal election. Listening to her on BBC Radio 4’s “Any Questions” reinforces my view of her as an articulate and capable politician.  She’s more than proved herself to be an… Read More


20 Steps to a Conservative Dictatorship (It was The Sun Wot Did It!) Stitch up the opposition (LibDems) Make Parliament impossible to dissolve by requiring a 55% majority of MPs Institute fixed-term Parliaments Reduce the number of constituencies Redraw constituency boundaries to favour Tories Virtual control of the print media (Murdoch) Increasing influence in TV… Read More


Without explaining the eccentricities of our political system and how and when general elections are called, we are, as each day passes into the next, slowly but surely, sinking into the national bun fight that’s called here a General Election. Look for Prime Minister Gordon Brown to announce it on Tuesday, April 6 and for… Read More