Did you hear about the vicar who banned “Onward Christian Soldiers”?

Did you hear about the vicar who banned “Onward Christian Soldiers”? The chances are that you have: the story that the Revd Steve Bailey, team rector-designate of St Peter’s Church in Oadby, Leicestershire, has banned the Victorian hymn from this year’s Remembrance Sunday service has been reported widely, including in the Leicester Mercury, Daily Mail, […]

If Theresa May really wants to tackle abuse in Westminster, Michael Gove will be sacked today

I don’t like calling for people to be sacked. It isn’t nice when people lose their jobs; and in any normal walk of life due process and fair practice should be followed. But cabinet ministers are not in normal jobs. Their “job” is that of a Member of Parliament – and it is for the […]

Rape and sexual violence support: Time to stick my oar in

When Jill Saward died in January, I lost my wife; my sons lost their mother; her siblings lost a sister; her nephews and nieces lost an aunt. That loss is real. And it is palpable. But another group of people lost something too: some members of this group met her; many didn’t. And the group […]

Now we’re fact-checking opinions

The Gurdian journalist Owen Jones shared a message he received from a member of the public in an election news report. And his image has been shared multiple times on social media. This incident is yet another being used to decry ‘fake news’. I don’t know the source of the original clip; I don’t know […]

Goodbye Jilly

I don’t know what to say. I really don’t. And those of you reading this who know me will know that this is very unusual. There are some things that I want to get across; but I can’t find the words. Any editor who has commissioned me will know that is also unusual. Why settle […]

So when is 12th Night?

Last night’s post about Christmas continuing until 5 January has led to a few questions about when, exactly is 12th Night. The answer is simple – but with a small twist that provides sufficient doubt as to cause confusion. Traditionally, people would leave their Christmas decorations up until 12th Night. Those of a superstitious bent […]

Happy Christmas (No – I’m not late)

When out and about shopping this week, I’ve noticed that supermarkets have stopped playing Christmas music – I would say carols, but it’s mainly the pop-style Christmas music that they have been blaring out of their PA systems for the past two months. Why shouldn’t they? After all, Christmas is over, right? Well, no. Christmas […]

Brexit, law and politics, and nonsense

Much has been said about yesterday’s High Court judgement about the mechanism that the government must use to trigger Article 50. Much of it is nonsense, both legally and politically. The saddest part of the judgment, for me, is paragraph 105. In it, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, says that counsel for […]

A solution to the constitutional crisis in our parliamentary Opposition

The Labour party will elect a new leader next week and – according to all the predictions from political hacks – it is likely to be the same leader that they currently have. Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party last year; but a few months ago the party’s MPs delivered a devastating […]

“At this school, your daughter won’t be sexually harassed”

The Michaela Community School is a free school in north London. It is an elite school; but one whose marketing material speaks more of demerits and detention that merits and praise. It recently hit the headlines after it sent a letter home to a parent explaining that their child was being kept in isolation at lunchtime – with […]

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