America First is the Foreign Policy Equivalent of Junk Food

  Here in the U.K., we often say that when the American economy gets a cold, Britain gets flu.  Even though that phrase was originally coined decades ago, the premise is still relevant in 2018.    However,  it’s a little too simplistic for a complex world undergoing huge change not least the challenges to advanced…

Choosing One’s Path with Robert Frost

While walking Oscar in the woods, each time I reach this point I can hear the words of the American poet Robert Frost contemplating which path to take in life.  Of course this poem, below, has a universal appeal and the imagery is powerful as well as accessible.  I particularly love the line “way leads…

David Frum on Trump’s Corruption of America

  Trumpocracy – The Corruption of the American Republic by David Frum Earlier this month, I had the good fortune to be in Washington DC visiting family while David Frum was publicising his new book, Trumpocracy – The Corruption of the American Republic.   Frum was speaking at Politics & Prose which is not simply a bookshop…

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

A brilliant production at the Harold Pinter theatre in London starring Andrew Scott.  Beg, borrow or steal a ticket! “Andrew Scott’s Hamlet is at pains to remind us that at the theatre we spy on ourselves”,  was the verdict by the Guardian’s Kate Kellaway. *********** Hamlet is arguably Shakespeare’s greatest play and one that’s been…

Today is Bloomsday – A Celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses

Dublin today on 16th June celebrates one of its finest sons, James Joyce, the author of Ulysses (first published in Paris in 1922) and for those of you who have read this great tome, you may recall that’s the day on which the story is set.  Leopold Bloom is the protagonist hence the title “Bloomsday”….

Adam Smith – Still very relevant today

The ideal economy is one that is both profitable and civilised Today marks the birthday of Adam Smith (16 June 1723) who was one of the greatest thinkers in the history of economics.   He promoted the idea of a free-market economy suggesting it as the route to the healthiest and most stable society.  In…

Terrorism

“The goal of terrorists is to instil a level of fear in the public disproportionate to the actual threat.”   Chris Murphy, American Senator, Connecticut   The British philosopher, A.C. Grayling recently said that the aim of terrorism is to frighten civilian populations into forcing their governments to concede.  “It takes only a few determined…

Today is W B Yeats’s Birthday

  These are some of my favourite lines from the poetry of WB Yeats who was born in Sandymount in Dublin on 13th June 1865 and is buried at the foot of Ben Bulben mountains in Sligo, Ireland.  Whether you are Irish or not, raise a glass of Bailey’s Irish Mist tonight in gratitude of…