BBC2’s Documentary yesterday evening on how The Holocaust began was a chilling watch. Historian James Bulgin, who created the Holocaust Galleries at the Imperial War Museum, investigated a story left unexplored for over 80 years. During the Second World War, before the creation of the death camps and gas chambers, millions of men, women andContinue reading “Collaborators”


I will finish the year with a trend in modern life, often politically exploited, that does not seem to be going away: the conspiracy theory. Use of conspiracy theories is a key factor in why the world is the way it is. There are gullible people out there and some politicians know this. But firstly,Continue reading “Conspiracy”

The 1%

Everyone starts from their preconceptions or prejudices (e.g. immigrants, China, shareholder capitalism, socialism, globalisation, the global elites) and concludes this is why everyone is angry, why some people are left behind, why people have stagnant incomes, why their community or suburb isn’t very prosperous and crime ridden. I’d argue the economics is important and aContinue reading “The 1%”


The death of HM Queen Elizabeth II is a sad and significant moment in the history of the United Kingdom. I’d like to express my condolences here to those who mourn her passing and say thank you to her 70 years of service. In the context of this blog, I’m particularly interested in some ofContinue reading “Monarchy”


Is Britain a better or worse place compared to when the Queen came to the throne in 1952..? Better – 38% Worse – 30% Neither – 17% So were the results of a YouGov poll published on 30 May 2022 ahead of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. But how could nearly 40% of people surveyedContinue reading “Nostalgia”


I’ve written before about some of the myths that perpetuate in modern British history that continue to resonate today, sometimes with current political salience. This piece on the spirit of The Blitz was an example. There is also cultural nostalgia that provide people with comfort blankets. The past and its claimed trappings often make usContinue reading “Mythology”


Should we actually be surprised that Russia under President Putin invaded Ukraine? It seems to have come as a surprise to some, but I think, arguably, it shouldn’t have been. What might history tell us? Putin, I think, views the world purely through what is in the Russian interest and that interest is as muchContinue reading “Geopolitik”

The will of the people

The handwringing from some quarters, mostly right wing politicians and media outlets, following the acquittal of the ‘Colston 4’ on charges of criminal damage in Bristol, England this week has prompted a lot of debate. Back in June 2020, during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol, a monument of 17th century slave trader EdwardContinue reading “The will of the people”

Bread and circuses

The latest candidate for bad historical takes is the fall of the Roman Empire. The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, speaking at the G20 summit in Rome ahead of the COP Climate conference in Glasgow, said: “If you increase the temperatures of the planet by four degrees or more as they are predicted to doContinue reading “Bread and circuses”


Recent debate in the UK about ‘Universal Credit’ (the primary system of delivering State funds to the poorest) got me thinking about the role of welfare in current political discourse and its effects on the debate. Universal Credit was temporarily uplifted by the British Government to the sum of £20 a week during the Covid-19Continue reading “Welfare”