Blog

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Brexit

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Brexit

My latest post on Wonkhe considers five silver linings for the university sector on Brexit. ” Our sector’s values and culture are not determined by whether laws are made in Brussels, Westminster or Holyrood. Regardless of what deal we leave on, or whether we leave on no deal at all, I’m confident that Britain’s universities will continue to be global, outwardly looking and cosmopolitan places, extending a welcoming hand to people from across the world.”

‘No car is better than a bad car’

‘No car is better than a bad car’

(Alice and Bob are buying a car. Bob wishes they weren’t buying a car. The reason they need to is because Alice has got a new job, which is further away from home, and for which she needs a car. Bob didn’t want Alice to take the job, as it means she’ll be home later, and the two of them discussed it lengthily and angrily – but in the end they decided that Alice would take it. Alice wants the…

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Twilight Struggle

Twilight Struggle

Would anyone be interested in a ‘correspondence’  game of Twilight Struggle? Twilight Struggle is a great two-player game based on the Cold War. The two players represent the US and USSR and use cards to compete for influence in the other countries in the world. Cards can represent operations, like adding influence or organising coups, or historical events from hosting the Olympic Games to the Cuban Missile Crisis. In some ways, the game is slightly reminiscent of Go, in that…

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Wonkhe: The virtues of university giving

Wonkhe: The virtues of university giving

In my latest article for Wonkhe, I set out the moral case for why graduates should seriously consider donating to their university. As it’s a Wonkhe piece, the piece is written for an audience of those who work in the university sector, but the core messages and arguments apply to any graduate who feels they’ve benefited from their education. Read the full piece below: https://wonkhe.com/blogs/the-virtues-of-university-giving/

Panshanger February Leaflet

Panshanger February Leaflet

My February leaflet for Panshanger, which explores what a councillor actually does, provides an update on the campaign to save Gosling Sports Hall and sets our four reasons why I’m the best candidate for Panshanger. Read the leaflet here.

Two Misunderstood Works

Two Misunderstood Works

This post examines the way Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ and Kipling’s ‘The Ballad of East and West’ are often misinterpreted through a literal reading of their most famous lines – when in fact their message is almost the diametrical opposite. Born in the USA (Bruce Springsteen) A link here. One of Springsteen’s greatest hits, taken at face value from the chorus, the song is a simple, even jingoistic, celebration of America. But listening to the lyrics more closely tells…

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Where next for Brexit?

Where next for Brexit?

I was proud of our Parliament this week. Despite all the divisions, Parliament – primarily Conservative, DUP and some Labour MPs – came together to reject all the amendments that would delay or block Brexit and, as importantly, vote in favour of a clear way forward. By backing the Brady amendment, it is now clear to the EU that there is a deal, not so different from the one on the table, that the UK would accept. It’s worth saying…

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Raising Awareness of Gosling Sports Hall

Raising Awareness of Gosling Sports Hall

My latest leaflet delivery to Panshanger homes focuses on raising awareness about Gosling Sports Hall. You can read the leaflet here. Thanks to some good work by community groups, the council and our Conservative MP, Grant Shapps, GLL (the company that owns Gosling) has now agreed ‘to work with the community to keep the facility open, potentially by involving user groups in “either a joint or self-managed arrangement”’ This is a big step forward from where we were a month…

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Endless surrenders?

Endless surrenders?

There’s a situation I observe that has a strange symmetry. Very often I’ll read someone on the left lamenting a series of endless surrenders to the right, such that officially left wing parties now embrace policies that once were considered right wing. They point to privatisation, immigration laws and casualisation of labour and say that forty years ago Jeremy Corbyn’s policies would be considered fairly moderate. And at the same time, I’ll often read someone on the right lamenting a…

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Conservative Candidate for Panshanger

Conservative Candidate for Panshanger

As some of those reading this will know, I’m standing as the Conservative Candidate for Panshanger in the Borough Council elections this May. I’m delighted and honoured to have the opportunity to stand to represent the ward in which my family and I live and, if elected, to be able to work to do the best both for this community and for Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield more generally. I’ve already been putting out some literature, supported by a great…

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