It would be interesting to see all of these topics into a single article, but this is to cover two recent articles. The first, for Beacon, looks at the two big gambles for David Cameron’s government over the next five years: Britain’s place in Europe or Scotland’s place in Britain.
My guess is that Mr Cameron is more likely to win than lose on both (in the case of Scotland, through avoiding another referendum) by the time he stands down, but neither are anywhere near a safe bet. Continue reading
I have just completed Kindle and CreateSpace production of a new book by journalist Stanley Slaughter on Colonel Thomas Rainborowe (often spelt Thomas Rainsborough).
He was a celebrated member of Parliament’s New Model Army, but then became a radical politician. In 1647, he called for one man one vote; a year later, he was dead. One man one vote would not come about in Britain until 1918 (and for women, it would take a further decade). Continue reading
Following the SNP’s remarkable general election night, I have taken a close look at its manifesto for The Register. Although the SNP has ended up in opposition in Westminster, it looks likely that some of its proposals may well come about through further devolution to Scotland, particularly the fiscal ones on taxation, grants and the like. Continue reading
To mark May 1, which is Dogs Get Banned From Beaches day including at Whitley Bay in North Tyneside (below), I have written for Beacon about the British seaside.
On Tyneside as elsewhere, visitors have shifted inland from the once-mass market seaside resort of Whitley Bay – with its Spanish City complex, once visited by 11,000 people a day – to ‘NewcastleGateshead’, the renovated city centre, as well as to arty Tynemouth. Continue reading
A version of this article appeared in Chipping Norton News, May 2015
On 21 March, Oxford University’s Bodleian Library opened its new £80m Weston Library on Broad Street. The building, a greatly-altered version of what was previously known as the New Bodleian Library, now includes galleries open to the public – including a four centuries old tapestry map featuring Chipping Norton. Continue reading