Rush hour, six minutes from my window

A woman with a pink crash helmet baby on the back of her bicycle. A cycling man with a red rucksack. A fast helmeted man overtaking a cute girl, overtaking a pair of friends. Depressed looking woman in a long coat riding away. Sporty man talking on his mobile cycling to my right. Two friendly […]

Who is your birth Lord?

OK, your mission for today, should you choose to accept it, is to find out who your birth Lord is. This is a special mission. My birth Lord is Richard Rogers of Riverside (biography, Parliamentary record). He was born on the same day at the end of July as me. He’s a famous architect, responsible […]

Four unusual hobbies

A while ago, over a period of a few months, I happened to come across a whole set of activities which are quite different from the normal day to day of society. It’s difficult to describe what they have in common, so I’ll tell you about them first, and try to explain it after. Urban […]

Think of a website

The Internet is getting on now – it’s about ten years since significant numbers of people started getting access from home. I meet students who’ve had access to search engines through all their teenage years. My own childhood looks like a drought of information in retrospect. I remember sucking in monthly magazines and books, writing […]

Save what?

This is an impossibly hard subject to introduce. It’s easy enough to explain why you want to save whales or children, even if it is very hard to actually save them. But why would anybody want to save “Parliament”? A talking shop for corrupt politicians, no? Unfortunately, if you don’t save it, then you’re left […]

Surrounded by miracles

On Christmas day I broke my collarbone (clavicule). Inattention on some ice in the street in Switzerland, and I fell before realising I was falling. I don’t know how I landed, as my body instinctively leapt up and sat against a shop window away from the street for safety. Clever thing, the human body. A […]

Thrown out of Freedom of Expression seminar

(Actually, I wasn’t thrown out, but that made the best title, read on) So, I’m alone at a book industry trade fair in the colossal ExCel centre in London’s docklands, wearing a suit on top of a Campaign Against the Arms (CAAT) T-shirt, and carrying a bag of subversive anti-Reed Elsevier literature. (See previous post […]

Selling books and guns

It’s a bit of a strange campaign, but luckily nobody seems to notice. If you knew someone who ran a bookshop, and later you discovered that he also owned a gunshop down the road, what would you do? Stop using the bookshop? And what if you knew the gunshop was used lots by local criminals, […]

Checking up on your goals

Julian and I made an entertaining list of goals, and now I’m going to check back on how we did. We made them in mid-2003, just after discovering that Public Whip was an idea that might just take off. Amazingly, we’ve actually accomplished some of them, although many are left still to do. Visit the […]