Jonn @NewStatesman: Who speaks for Europe?


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.


October to February, much condensed


I’ve been variously

  1. getting engaged
  2. buying a flat
  3. doing up the flat
  4. weeping in a puddle of sewage inside my flat, five minutes after the completion of stage (3)
  5. editing a magazine, which turns out to be more exhausting and time-consuming than I was expecting, and which gave me the urge to apologise to every editor I’d ever had for my generally un-cooperate attitudes to life.

All of this has left my comparatively little time for writing things that aren’t hidden behind a nifty subscription barrier. Nonetheless, here are those things:

  • In December the New Statesman Online ran a piece I’d been working on for weeks, about a lunatic Tory plan to take NHS money from the poor and give to the rich (December 18th). Less than a fortnight later the party magically came up with a plan to take NHS money from the rich and give to the poor. I commented on this reversal, and my own lack of influence upon it, over at Liberal Conspiracy (January 18th)
  • Also @libcon – A Modest Proposal for Financial Regulation – more fun than it sounds, honest (December 13th); and, out on a limb somewhat, Why President Blair Is A Good Idea (November 6th)
  • A review of Russell T Davies’ masterwork The Writer’s Tale (Shinyshelf, January 14th)
  • Over at Londonist, Ken Livingstone might be Mayor of London (January 19th), Nick Griffin won’t be MP for Barking, probably (November 26th), and We Have Always Been At War With Eurasia (November 19th)
  • And finally, fear and loathing in Islington South, as the LibDem campaign turns to dirty tricks (Londonist, February 23rd)