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Published: Jul 23 , 2020
Author: David Bannister

Every night since March our national broadcaster has solemnly announced the statistics of COVID 19 deaths which have occurred in the UK. Periodically also, because the governments are devolved, the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments have pointed out that their fatality rates from the disease in their respective countries have been less awful than those in England where many have rationalised the difference as being affected by the size of cities, the make-up of the population or the density of housing. The figures showed...

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Published: Jul 17 , 2020
Author: Stephen White

Yesterday the UK government lost control of the intelligence and security committee and resigned itself to see the publication of a long-time-hidden report on Russian interference in British politics next week. Today Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced that Russian hackers in state-sponsored organisations called Cozy Bear and Sekondary Infektion have been trying to steal British intellectual property relating to the manufacture of a vaccine for Covid-19, and influence the result of the 2019 General Election.

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Published: Apr 17 , 2020
Author: Richard Savage

Well, there we have it. The first secretary this week has pronounced that lockdown continues for another 3 weeks. The media were predicting such a statement, no doubt to soften us up for the confirmation. The awful statistics continue to build and whilst there is talk of light at the end of the tunnel, no one is totally convinced it’s not another train heading our way! Businesses are struggling, families battle on indoors and our front-line care workers are at full stretch. And the pubs are still closed. A dark time indeed. And yet, hidden amongst the misery there are some wonderful stories that lighten the mood.

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Published: Mar 26 , 2020
Author: David Bannister

As I sit here in the third week of self-isolation – the first two having been forced on me because I holidayed for three weeks in Thailand – I have reflected on how important social interaction is to us all. I can’t cuddle my new grandson or play games with my other grandchildren and I am maintaining social distance from neighbours although, to be honest where one of them is concerned that represents no change from the norm!

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Published: Oct 10 , 2019
Author: Alan Smith

It is quite easy to see the problem of negotiators being involved in the deal, but not the act of putting the deal into practice. The sales team who are committed to delivering on their target may not be that concerned about what happens at the implementation stage, or worse leave it to others to pick up the pieces when they over-promise or throw everything in to get the signature on the paper.

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Published: Aug 29 , 2019
Author: Alan Smith

Seems that humans are not the only creatures that lie to get what we want. Higher (sic) non-carbon life forms (cyborgs as described by James Lovelock in his new book, Novacene) are gaining the ability to trick and ‘cheat’ and have demonstrated their proficiency in so doing by beating the world champions in Go and Chess. Both of which require a certain degree of subterfuge, and an enormous amount of guile.

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Published: Apr 04 , 2019
Author: Alan Smith

Regular readers (both of you) will remember that a few weeks ago I wrote a BLOG about my new dog Grouse, and how good training produces great results. The little blighter has taught me another lesson this weekend, about how just going through the motions is going to bite you back (pun intended) in the long run. I am doing my best to tire him out and we regularly go out for long walks through the local countryside. I am hitting...

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Published: Jan 24 , 2019
Author: Stephen White

I’m sitting in a Starbucks at an airport, and on the wall opposite me is a sign proudly announcing “99% of our coffee is ethically sourced”. I should be proud of them. Haven’t they done well to help protect the environment and make sure that coffee growers get fair trade prices? But instead, my immediate thought is “what happened to the other 1%? Is that unethically sourced? Why? Couldn’t they have tried just a bit harder and eliminated unethical sourcing altogether?”

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Published: Sep 27 , 2018
Author: Alan Smith

If I asked you how do you think the World is going on a report card. Most of you would do a lot worse than a chimp. At least that’s the evidence presented by Factfullness a book published by Hans Rosling a Swedish physician this year. When asked a very simple question, “In the...

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Published: Nov 09 , 2017
Author: Sam Macbeth

The climate of fear for British MP’s seemed to rise to new levels last week – with one BBC reporter stating that the emerging stories of sexual harassment would be bigger than the expenses scandal of a few years ago. Labour MP Clive Lewis is now being investigated after a formal complaint was made against him. Mr. Lewis said, "I don't as a rule at packed Labour party conferences grope people's bottoms when...

Published: Nov 12 , 2015
Author: David Bannister

I wrote in this blog about three weeks ago about the commitment given by the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, to write to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, setting out the demands which the UK would make in its negotiations with the EU prior to a referendum of the British people some time before the end of 2017 which will decide if the UK remains a member of the EU. My blog concerned a draft letter published in the Daily Telegraph, one of our more serious newspapers, written by Eurosceptic MEP, Daniel Hannan. On 10 November, Mr Cameron wrote the letter to Donald Tusk anticipated by Hannan and published its contents. In brief summary they are:

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If Only We Knew...

Every night since March our national broadcaster has solemnly announced the statistics of COVID 19 deaths which have occurred in the UK. Periodically also, because the governments are devolved, the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments have pointed out that their fatality rates from the disease in their respective countries have been less awful than those in England where many have rationalised the difference as being affected by the size of cities, the make-up of the population or the density of housing. The figures showed...

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