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…

Disagree by all means but please don’t be disagreeable

“In Washington, you can disagree.  But you must not be disagreeable.” Anna Chennault   How appropriate are these astute words in the current hostile political climate both domestically and globally.  And equally, how appropriate in life generally is this sentiment, not least in the anonymity of the social media swirl – surely this would be the…

Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon – New exhibition at Tate Britain

Contrasting the Flesh of Freud against the Torment of Bacon “All Too Human – Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life” Having always been a fan of Lucien Freud’s portraits, it was not surprising to be delighted by the current collection on display at Tate Britain.  I counted 16 paintings in all by Freud…

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…

Thomas Jefferson’s Ten Rules

  On this day, 22 March, more than 200 years ago, (1790) Thomas Jefferson became America’s first Secretary of State under President George Washington.  As one of the founding fathers and the author of the Declaration of Independence, he provided political and moral leadership at a critical time in America’s history. Today, amid the revolving…

An Antidote to Brexit – No Man is an Island

  Photo of bust of John Donne in the grounds of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London 4 December 2017   Sometimes it feels as though there will be no end to the Brexit disaster story, and perhaps there is a fundamental truth in that instinct but some days, I have to switch off entirely from the…

The Boarding School Girls

Reunited after 40 Years This was one of those rare enthralling phone calls jolting me out of my reverie and leaving me slightly befuddled for the rest of the evening yet it was a call that will be etched on my mind for a long time.  Hearing that instantly recognisable voice on the end of…

Gratitude – We are going to die and that makes us the lucky ones

This stark view of life and death is striking in its beauty and imagery as well poetic in language and should remind us how grateful we must be that we have existed at all.  I’ve never been a fan of Richard Dawkins, an uncompromising atheist and tireless advocate of science yet he still has a…

Why Trump’s Reticence on Russia?

In The Economist this week, Trump is warned that he may be outfoxed by Putin similar to the way in which the two previous American Presidents were outwitted by this fearless Russian politician. America is already on the back foot because Trump is wasting his energy either berating the media or fighting his own intelligence…

Voting Brexit with a heavy heart

Thomas Jefferson once said “eternal vigilance is the prize of liberty” where citizens and not just the powerful are required to seek the truth to be free.   29 June 2016 To the outside world, it must look as though Britain is imploding: exiting the European Union, David Cameron now a lame duck prime minister…