A new Parliament?

A new Parliament?

There is so much which is wrong with our democratic system it is hard to know where to start. Scotland has a Parliament whilst Wales has an Assembly with different powers. How is this fair? Northern Ireland has a Parliament but it does not sit. England has nothing. This is...

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The Plastic Toy Industry: The tale of how we wrote off the future of our children

The Plastic Toy Industry: The tale of how we wrote off the future of our children

There are days when each of us has a moment of epiphany when  reality hits us on the forehead, shakes and reverberates our ribcage and gives us goose bumps about what we have been blind to. I had one of these moments this summer; my six-year-old son asked me, wordlessly...

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The fear of losing our entitlements

The fear of losing our entitlements

I was lucky. They taught me, with an iron rod, what was called Scripture (later known as  Divinity) at school when I was nine. It does leave me at a disadvantage in terms of computers and contemporary gadgetry where, frankly, I flounder. We didn’t have those; but what we do...

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Cash for Chaos

Cash for Chaos

Psst. Wanna make some money? Sweet dough? Moolah? Now’s the time. Don’t tell no one else, yer know, keep it on the downlow ‘cos this is just for us, the elite like. I’ll give yer the name of a horse that’s guaranteed to lose. Bet against her and you’ll make...

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From The Riverbank: Poaching

From The Riverbank: Poaching

Poaching fish has two meanings. One involves placing a whole foiled salmon in a fish kettle with a slosh of dry white wine, a few sprigs of fresh herbs, a couple of bay leaves, slices of lemon and onion and a sprinkling of black peppercorns, then put in the oven...

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Hail to the Cheat

Hail to the Cheat

This has been an unhappy week. Alexander (Al to his family) Johnson, stage name ‘Boris’, is now our leader. The vainglorious popinjay has shuffled disingenuously onto centre stage in the role he has long craved, spouting from the “Bluffer’s Guide to the Classics” to impress his unsophisticated supporters, while preparing...

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Virtue Signalling

Virtue Signalling

In my twenties I lived on a boat. For 18 hours a day it floated on the river at Hammersmith, a stone’s throw from the bridge. The rest of the time, when the tide was out, it rested on the shore, on mud and some old car tyres I’d drilled...

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What a bloody mess

What a bloody mess

When our servicemen and women returned from six years of a dreadful series of wars in 1945 they voted for the hope and aspiration of Attlee’s Labour Party in the election held in July (over two weeks) to the huge shock and surprise of Winston Churchill, our war time hero....

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From the Riverbank Part 12: Mayflies

From the Riverbank Part 12: Mayflies

  The English countryside has settled comfortably into summer, with trees heavy in leaf, and the borders along the little lane leading down to the river brimming with wildflowers; cornflowers, irises, poppies and celandine with pink willow-herb and thistles towering over them all. Robert Byron, in his prose-poem All I...

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Kingfishing

Kingfishing

The original binomial name for the kingfisher, Gracula atthis, was devised by the great Swedish toxicologist Carl Linnaeus, but later re-named Alcedo atthis, which actually stems from the Greek ‘alcedo’, meaning halcyon, in turn derived from the Greek goddess Alcyone, daughter of Aelous, God of the winds. Atthis was a...

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