Last week I made my debut on the comment pages of the Financial Times, writing about the growing disconnect between private school fees’ and British parents ability to pay them:
If you wanted a single sentence to sum up why Britain’s world-renowned private schools deserve just a little bit of the sneering they attract, you could do worse than this gem. “Fees rose by 3.9 per cent last year,” the Independent Schools Council’s last survey breezily announced, “the lowest rise for almost 20 years.” Only 3.9 per cent? Well done. Have a gold star.
The rest is behind a paywall, but those who are able can read the rest here.
Marvel at how I avoided making any pun about being in the pink.
As part of my continuing campaign to alienate everybody in the entire world, I wrote a thing explaining why, for all his talk of being the heir to Blair, Michael Gove’s real political inheritance comes from Gordon Brown.
And just in case that wouldn’t annoy enough people anyway, I persuaded the generally pro-Gove Telegraph website to run the thing.
You can read the article here. This, for your delectation, is my favourite of the comments left underneath it:
“After reading this hack-job I searched the author’s name. He works for the Guardian and similar Left-wing rags. Why is he spewing this kind of garbage in the Telegraph?”
Not updated this thing in a while, so here are some bits and bobs I’ve written for Londonist of late.
Loads of people, apparently, they’re just bloody terrible at it. On the frustrating uselessness of Britain’s pro-European pressure groups:
I’m pro-European. I very much want to make that clear.
I don’t just mean in this article: it’s something I increasingly want to make clear all the time. When I’m talking about politics; when I’m discussing my holidays; when someone tells me it’s my round – whatever the topic, I find myself compelled to tell people that, I know it’s flawed, I know it’s imperfect, but yes, I remain committed to the rather unlovely continental bureaucracy hanging around at the far end of the Eurostar.
The reason I’m beset by this urge to tell all and sundry that I’m pro-European is simple: no one else seems to share it.
You can read the rest here.
A couple of recent political bits from over at the Statesman.
Back in March, I wrote this, on why Michael Gove’s tendency to dismiss everyone who disagrees with him as a bunch of cackling Trots is coming back to bite him. Starts thusly:
You know who I hate? Children. Little bastards, with their snot and their questions and their boundless curiosity about the world. You know what I’d do, if it were up to me? I’d thwart them. Seriously, I’d thwart the bloody lot of them. I’d deprive them of vital general knowledge, not teach them to add up or spell, and we’ll see who’s laughing then, eh?
You can read the rest here.
More recently, I wrote this, on why the Tories’ refusal to countenance even the slightest criticism of Margaret Thatcher are going to shaft them come 2015.
The Clause 4 moment that everyone was waiting for, the thing that would show that the party had really changed, was a proper assessment of its last government’s record: one that admitted that parts of the country had been lain waste, and showed that the new leadership had learnt from its predecessor’s mistakes. But David Cameron never did that. Until someone does, it’s hard to see how the party could ever win a majority.
If that isn’t enough to convince you (and why wouldn’t it be?), you can see my reasoning here.
Am going to be upping the frequency of my contributions to Londonist, on the grounds that they’ve kindly let me into the semi-mythical inner sanctum of the editorial team.
Said contributions are likely to be frequent enough, in fact, that I’m not going to bother posting links to all of them. But a sample from recent weeks:
- On where the cycle hire scheme will end
- On why average house price figures are misleading
- ASBOs all round: what other anti-social behaviour should we be fining into oblivion?
And for those of you who can’t get enough Jonn*, you can keep an eye on this page for all future Londonist goodness.
*Please note treatments for such psychopathies are now available on the NHS.
An *exciting* development you may have missed: last week I made my Independent Voices debut, expounding part of my Grand Unified Theory of Why Nothing Works (or GUTWNW, for short).
The part of the GUTWNW in question is the Expert Problem. Most of the people who want to change things don’t know enough to do it; while most of the people who have that knowledge don’t want to change a thing.
You can read the thing here.