Be my Twitter friend if you want to know what I’m listening to on the radio. I know I’m always going on about BBC Radio 4 here: ‘jewel in the crown’, ‘best speech radio in the world’, ‘liberal education in a box’ and all that. Forgive me but here I go again. The network is… Continue reading Radio twittering
Yesterday the suburban street outside our house was closed all day. It’s a busy road so the contrast with an ordinary day was pronounced – the silence lovely. We all rushed out into the street to enjoy the calm. Olly brought his scooter and raced down the hill (achieving some kind of scary, wobbly land… Continue reading Playing in the road
Iran is not monolothic. The country is (weakly) democratic, has a (partially) independent press and a (moderately) autonomous judiciary. Dissent and criticism exist. Iran is not entirely Shia. Nor even entirely Muslim. Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians, Buddhists and tens of millions of secularists live there. Iran is the largest exporter of pistachios in the world. Iran… Continue reading What I have learnt about Iran lately
You mean your club doesn’t have a dirty great, broadsheet- sized, full-colour intellectual quarterly? Really? Mine does. Clever Giuseppe Mascoli, who’s been sprucing up Blacks in Dean Street a bit lately, has a hand in The Drawbridge, a really quite amazing pinkish newspaper full of the kind of tousled sociopaths you used to see only… Continue reading Better than reading the menu
I like road pricing but it’s a big, important policy and – inevitably – it’s a proper curate’s egg. To start with we need to understand what’s good and what’s bad about it. The good parts: It’s subtle. Much subtler, for instance, than the sledgehammer of general taxation. It’s direct. Tweak the price for this… Continue reading Think before you sign that petition
Did you notice the unsavoury emergence of so-called ‘motoring advocates’ into the pop media after last week’s letter bombs? Their disreputable message: “what did you expect? You pushed us around for long enough. Sooner or later one of us was going to crack…” makes me feel slightly sick. I’m a motorist. I drive my kids… Continue reading Message to whingeing motorists: shut up!
You’re looking at the kind of spontaneous local adaptation that new technology often undergoes after it’s arrived in its intended home. It’s the coin tray of one of those self-service supermarket check-outs. The machine spits your change into the tray and – a few weeks after the thing was first installed – everybody now knows… Continue reading Adaptation in action
Nothing like 97,000 pictures of the sky from every corner of the earth to remind you that our planet is just a big lump of hot rock wrapped in the slimmest envelope of air.