School places and Thatcher and maps, oh my


Not updated this thing in a while, so here are some bits and bobs I’ve written for Londonist of late.


Jonn @ Londonist: Reinventing London’s boroughs


For those who missed it on Friday, the latest instalment in the long-running “Jonn has too much time on his hands” series. London’s boroughs are precisely the wrong size – so I invented some new ones.

Check it out – there’s a map and everything.

Jonn @ Londonist: On London’s educational divide


An infrequent but unusually graphical contribution to Londonist. It’s got a map and everything:

Mapping London’s educational divide

Last week, the University and College Union found an exciting new way of illustrating the north-south divide. The union’s researchers used government figures to rank mainland Britain’s parliamentary constituencies by the percentage of their working-age population without a qualification to their name. The resulting coverage focused largely on the notion that there are ‘two Britains’: one smart, educated and go-getting; the other, well, not.

But if there are two Britains, there are two Londons, too. So we decided to use the same figures to locate the city’s educational blackholes.

You can read the whole piece here.

The 50-foot update, part 1: the cultural stuff


Look, I’ve been busy, alright? Since we last spoke, a mere 11 months ago, I have edited nine issues of the increasingly fabulous EducationInvestor magazine, raised six kittens, looked after sick loved ones, attempted to tutor a Zimbabwean teenager in English and Maths, walked in a circle all the way round London, composed half a novel that will almost certainly never see the light of day, and organised an awards do. So there.

As of last night, I’ve also finally got around to re-doing this website to make it a bit more user friendly. In future I’m going to post every new article individually, to make life a bit simpler. But to catch up, here’s the first of two giant posts to wrap up all the freelance stuff I’ve done over the last few months. This one covers the London and cultural stuff; the other will cover the education and politics stuff.

The London stuff:

  • A Ruislip by any other name: What Boris Johnson’s cycle scheme can tell us about the strangely changeable names of the city’s different neighbourhoods (Londonist, August 12th 2010)
  • Solving London’s drinking problem: some modest proposals to make us less bladdered (Londonist, October 27th 2010)
  • Brand new map, brand new mistakes: On how the rail companies care more about corporate identity than about actually helping us get places (Londonist, March 15th 2011)

Culture stuff:

  • A review of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps: if anyone can tell me what this film is meant to be about, I’d be glad to know (Shinyshelf, October 26th 2010)
  • A review of Burke and Hare: A film that deserves its own truth and reconciliation commission (Shinyshelf, November 8th 2010)
  • Doctor Who regenerates: Russell T Davies versus Steven Moffat (Shinyshelf, June 24th 2010)
  • Elisabeth Sladen obituary: on the death of Sarah Jane Smith (Shinyshelf, April 20th 2011)

I also contributed to Shinyshelf’s three christmas posts on the highlights of 2010 (Shinyshelf, December 24th-27th 2010). Just so you know.