Politics, Recommended books

‘The Ministry of Truth: a biography of George Orwell’s 1984’ by Dorian Lynskey [review]

When Donald Trump took his oath of office as US President in January 2017, his press secretary claimed the crowd present was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration. Later, when challenged on what plainly seemed to be a lie, she described her statement as ‘alternative facts’. Over the next 4 days, sales of… Continue reading ‘The Ministry of Truth: a biography of George Orwell’s 1984’ by Dorian Lynskey [review]

Politics

It’s up to each of us to resist the cynicism of ‘post-truth’ culture

Post-truth was chosen as the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016. It's a word which has sprung into prominence mainly due to Donald Trump's election win. I heard a good example the other day on the radio when a US political commentator was talking about Trump’s promise to build a wall on the US/Mexico border. His… Continue reading It’s up to each of us to resist the cynicism of ‘post-truth’ culture

Homelessness

Down and Out in Cardiff and London: a George Orwell for the Facebook generation

Today, George Orwell is remembered as one of the most significant authors of the 20th century, mainly due to the literary and political impact of his most famous books, Animal Farm and 1984. But when Orwell moved to London in the late 1920s to begin writing he decided to intentionally spend time amongst homeless people.… Continue reading Down and Out in Cardiff and London: a George Orwell for the Facebook generation

Social commentary

I don’t Vow To Thee My Country: the difference between patriotism and nationalism

This week a lot of people will sing the hymn ‘I Vow to Thee my Country’ at Remembrance services. The hymn, which combines the words of a poem by British Diplomat Sir Cecil Spring-Rice with a beautiful tune by Gustav Holst, is enormously popular.  And having been sung at both the wedding and funeral of… Continue reading I don’t Vow To Thee My Country: the difference between patriotism and nationalism

Social commentary, Sport

Neither sycophancy nor cynicism: Danny Boyle and the right kind of patriotism

I love sport and have always enjoyed the Olympics but I have never watched an Opening Ceremony until last night. I guess I have never understood what the point of it all is. But last night, I was blown away by the power and pride generated by Danny Boyle's crazy cocktail of comedy, history, dance… Continue reading Neither sycophancy nor cynicism: Danny Boyle and the right kind of patriotism