Whatever

Sometime towards the end of the second series of the American version of House of Cards, Frank Underwood still hadn’t got his come-uppance and there were rumours that Netflix was planning a third series. We had invested a lot of time in this drama and had to decide whether to plough on through another 13 episodes (many more than that, as it turned out) or give up on the whole thing. We gave up.  Continue reading

Silver screens and white lies

It is a truth universally acknowledged that we baby-boomers have had a pretty good time of it. Prosperity. The chance of buying our own house. No wars to fight. Free university education. Cheap travel. Cures for cancer and Parkinson’s. Well, not quite yet, but I expect they’ll have been found just when we need them. And we’ll be dead before the planet has been destroyed. What a good time to have been alive.  Continue reading

Waaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!

After the most amazing, unprecedented, extraordinary (supply your own hyperbole here) day that Parliament has ever known in the whole history of the world, the upshot is that everything has … well, remained pretty much the same, really. Britain is still leaving the EU (probably). It will still avoid a ‘no deal’ exit (probably). It will therefore still need a withdrawal agreement with the EU, and in due course Parliament will agree one (probably). No change there, then.   Continue reading

Look back on anger

On Saturday 2 April 2016, two things happened. Well, of course, a million things happened, but these two were connected, and they affected me. One was that Ian McEwan’s comments on sexual identity at the Royal Institution were denounced in the Press by anyone with a megaphone to hand. The second, somewhat bathetic by comparison, was that my tweet on a related matter caused about 10% of my Twitter following to desert me (@JimPowellAuthor).   Continue reading

Falling in and out of Europe

It is nearly a year since I decided to divorce The Times after decades of fidelity and embark upon a reckless fling with The Guardian. It hasn’t turned out to be as ecstatic as I had expected. Yes, there is more serious news and comment, but it comes at a price. The price is a relentless pessimism and negativity that infects the entire newspaper. Britain and the world, as presented by The Guardian, constitute a living hell. To anyone contemplating a similar migration, may I suggest that a prescription for Prozac should accompany your subscription.   Continue reading

The Irish elephant in the room

An episode of the Morecambe & Wise Show from 1968, thought to be lost, was discovered recently in Sierra Leone and screened on Boxing Day. It included a lengthy sketch in which the IRA was treated as something close to a pantomime joke. It is safe to say that this sketch could not have been written or broadcast even two years later, which is a useful reminder of how quickly things can change. As they are changing now.   Continue reading

Where is Guy Fawkes when we need him?

In a hundred years’ time, I imagine that the British Psychological Society will still be using the behaviour of the House of Commons during the Brexit saga as an essential case study. It offers adult infantilism, a refusal to confront reality, an abdication of personal responsibility, an utter lack of self-awareness and a mania for scapegoating – all of them on an epic scale.   Continue reading