Twisted logic


BY THE River Swincombe, on Dartmoor, are the ruins of John Bishop’s house. The tumbled-down building has been empty since, well, to look at it hundreds of years. Actually, it was occupied until 1911, and renovated in 1969 as a film set. So what? Well, to put it another way: there are many fine and…

Barclays and the price of dishonesty


British and American financial regulators have fined Barclays £290 million for attempting to manipulate Libor, the benchmark interest rate that is used globally to set the price of everything from credit card fees to corporate loans. What’s the point of that? Customers and shareholders will have to pay the fine, not the wrongdoers. And if…

Theme park Britain


Happily, I am forced to withdraw my earlier comments about the Olympic opening ceremony. Seems Danny Boyle took on board some of the criticisms (!) Best of all was the torch itself, and of course the Queen in her starring role.    

The War on Logic


We talk and we talk and we talk, and we are ignored. The “War on Drugs” is a failure: practically every expert agrees about that. Even the police say it. On Saturday night some quite eminent people said it at the Hay Festival. I was in the audience to listen to Prof David Nutt, Colombian…

I’m speechless


“Upgrading rural broadband is a waste of taxpayers’ money because only rich people live in the countryside and all they will use it for is internet shopping.” So says labour MP Graham Jones, according to the Telegraph. What shocking arrogance and prejudice, even if it were true. The countryside has worse poverty than the city,…

The Information Age


The arrival at our newspaper of a new editor with fresh ideas has set me thinking about the nature of information gathering and dissemination. The evolution of the information ecosystem seems to have travelled an inverse pathway to the evolution of human society. First we were hunter-gatherers and then, ten thousand years ago or so,…

Dangerous dog owners to be jailed


More dog owners will be jailed for letting their pets run out of control and injure people after judges were handed tough new guidelines. via More dangerous dog owners to be jailed under new guidelines – Telegraph. About time. Dog-lovers always argue that “it’s the owner’s fault, not the dog’s”, so I assume they will…