Archive for June, 2015

How many in Britain still smoke and what is it costing us?

June 13th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

Fortunately fewer and fewer people are smoking in the developed world but, here in Britain, almost one in five (18.5%) is still a smoker. According to a new report entitled “Smoking Still Kills”, the annual cost is almost £13 billion – £2 billion to the NHS, £1 billion to social care, and the rest in wider costs […]

Posted in Social policy | Comments (0)

My 14th short story: “Letters From Above”

June 12th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

Of all the 31 short stories that I have written and published on my web site, “Letters From Above” is probably the most enigmatic and mysterious. I invite you to read it and see what you think. You’ll find it here.

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Does Britain need a written constitution and, if it does, will it get one?

June 11th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

We have managed without one for 800 years and we are in a tiny select group of nations – including Israel and New Zealand – that does not have one. A recent article in the “Washington Post” appears to suggest that the time has come for us to codify and up-date our unwritten constitution into […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (2)

How homosexuality was made illegal in Britain and the consequences of such an iniquitous law

June 10th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

On 6 August 1885, late at night in a House of Commons debate on the Criminal Law Amendment Act, the Member of Parliament Henry Labouchere suddenly produced an amendment to the Bill before the House. This amendment criminalised homosexual acts. The only discussion was over the penalty to be imposed. Labouchere had proposed a maximum […]

Posted in History | Comments (1)

Two films about masters of the information age

June 9th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

A handful of men (women do not seem to figure) have created mega companies that have come to utterly dominate the information age: Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter. In recent years, there have been films about two of these men: “The Social Network” [my review here] about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook and “Jobs” [my review here] about Steve […]

Posted in Cultural issues, Science & technology | Comments (0)

What do the radicals of this generation want when they win power? Not what earlier generations wanted.

June 8th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

“… what do the radicals of this generation want when they win power? The success of Syriza, of Podemos in Spain and even the flood of radicalised young people into the SNP in Scotland makes this no longer an idle question. The most obvious change is that, for the rising generation, identity has replaced ideology. […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (3)

The importance of the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest

June 7th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

I like to attend short courses at further education colleagues in order to continue learning, keep the mind active, and postpone dementia. This weekend, I was at the City Lit college in London to do a one-day course entitled “Making Sense Of The Battle Of Hastings And Its Aftermath”. Our lecturer was the redoubtable Michael […]

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My 13th short story: “The Away Day”

June 6th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

We really don’t know what’s going on in other people’s lives and so perhaps we should make allowances. That’s the theme of my short story “The Away Day” which you can read here.

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Two more fun days with my darling granddaughter Catrin

June 5th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

I haven’t blogged for a couple of days because my hands have been full looking after my granddaughter Catrin who is now almost four and a half. Almost a year ago, I blogged about a visit we made to Legoland and I commented then: “This was something of a trial run to see if I […]

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Who was the greatest pilot of all time? I nominate Chuck Yeager.

June 2nd, 2015 by Roger Darlington

Three of my lifelong interests are aviation, space and cinema. The three topics are brought together in the 1983 film “The Right Stuff”which I recently viewed yet again [see my review here]. This brilliant movie is the story of the first seven American astronauts who were the Mercury team fronting NASA’s efforts to compete with […]

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