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Defending our Veterans

Defending our Veterans

In many areas, my support for conservative policies is based on pragmatism. While all political decisions have a moral dimension, quite often that position is based upon utilitarian rather than deontological considerations. In economics, for example, my support for the free market is based upon pragmatic considerations rather than its innate moral value – and I have no qualms about the state stepping in where it doesn’t, for example to break up monopolies. Similarly, teaching phonics is good because it…

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Christmas Quiz coming soon

Christmas Quiz coming soon

With under a month until Advent, Christmas Quiz XIV is almost complete, with only 13 questions to write. This year the theme will be ‘sequences’. They could be sequences of all kind: mathematical, literary, geographical, dates and so on. It’s the same theme that was used for Christmas Quiz VI – though none of the questions are the same. As always, the Quiz will be out on the first day of Advent (this year Sunday 1st December) with answers due…

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Ten positive reasons to vote Conservative

Ten positive reasons to vote Conservative

With the general election just over a month away, here are ten positive reasons to vote for the Conservative Party. 1. We’ll get Brexit done. We’ll leave with the good deal Boris has negotiated, which takes back control of our laws, our money and our borders while permitting a close trading relationship – and we’ll do it quickly so we can get back to focusing on important domestic matters. 2. We’ll hire 20,000 new police officers. And we’ll make sure…

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Blogging update

Blogging update

As you may have noticed, blogging has been sparse recently. That was mainly because I was working as a Special Adviser which, in addition to very long hours, also meant that as part of the government, though not under a duty to be impartial, I did have to be a little careful what I said. With the election occurring, I’ve now taken up a new role outside government which should be ‘normal professional’ rather than ‘routinely working 12 hour days’…

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Review: Exhalation by Ted Chiang

Review: Exhalation by Ted Chiang

Minimal spoilers only – no major twists, but does reveal headline content and comments on characterisation, quality of endings and so forth. I’ll admit to being a bit disappointed by this collection, largely because of how brilliant I’d found Stories of Your Life and Others. That being said, it’s still a good collection, with all of the stories enjoyable and some very good – they just didn’t blow me away the way they did in the first collection. Like the…

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Influencing Higher Education Policy

Influencing Higher Education Policy

A new book, Influencing Higher Education Policy: A Professional Guide to Making an Impact goes on sale today. Edited by the superb duo Debbie Mcvittie (Editor of Wonkhe) and Ant Bagshaw (formerly of Wonkhe), the book shares insights from professionals working in the field of higher education policy to provide useful, practical, and implementable information. It considers: what it means to work in policy and public affairs in higher education; the increased complexity and fluidity of higher education politics; regulatory…

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Guest Blog: The different flavours of conservatives

Guest Blog: The different flavours of conservatives

A guest blog by Josh Monteiro, Pastor of Emmanuel Church, Northstowe, and written in a personal capacity. The views expressed are the author‘s alone. In biblical studies over the last 50 years, there has been a growing recognition that there was not a single simple thing called “Judaism” in the 1st century AD but a variety of different Judaisms, with some commonalties, but some important differences as well. Historical study requires an understanding of the different movements within Judaism just…

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Era of Kingdoms

Era of Kingdoms

A review of the board game Era of Kingdoms. This game was the first I’d purchased on Kickstarter; I did so in part to see how easy it was to use before setting up my own (for my quiz book). Naturally I chose something I thought I’d enjoy, but I’ve been surprised at just how good it is. The game involves building up a kingdom through playing land and people cards on to a play mat, gradually moving to more…

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Three detective stories

Three detective stories

I seem to have been reading and watching a number of detective stories recently. Here are three recommendations; all very different, all very good. 1. The Mystery of the Yellow Room – Gaston Leroux One of the first ‘locked room’ murder mysteries from the author of The Phantom of the Opera, this was a straightforward classic detective story, very good and very clever. 2. Storm Front (Dresden Files, Book 1) – Jim Butcher Recommended to me by someone who knew…

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So, I won a thing…

So, I won a thing…

So, I may have impulsively entered a competition to write an article on who could best make the case for economic liberalism through the medium of Love Island, and then happened to have won it (prize: publication on the relevant think-tank’s website). All those evenings of being a Love Island widower finally paid off! The full article is linked below. Note: this is not an entirely serious article… https://1828uk.com/2019/07/25/love-island-making-the-case-for-economic-liberalism/

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