Archive for April, 2018


A review of “Our Digital Future” by William Webb (2017)

April 20th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This attempt, by a British professor who has worked for Ofcom and now runs his own consultancy, to predict the future in 10, 20 and 30 years time has three characteristics to commend it: it is short (just 120 pages), it is accessible (no specialist knowledge required), and it is eminently balanced (no over-optimism). The […]

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The story of German scientists Fritz Haber and Clara Immerwahr and why the use of poison gas should remain a taboo

April 19th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

At about 5pm on 22 April 1915, French and Algerian troops on the Ypres front in Belgium noticed a lull in the German artillery fire that had been targeting their lines. Bracing themselves for an expected infantry advance, they were puzzled instead to observe a greenish-yellow cloud drifting towards them, then lapping over the tops of the […]

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British political institutions (2): the legislature (and how Berwick might be at war with Russia)

April 18th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I like to attend short courses at the City Literary Institute in central London and I’m now doing a six-week course on “British Political Institutions”.  The second session of the course was delivered by the City Lit’s Director Mark Malcolmson and covered the legislature, that is the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)


Is the state of the world really as bad as we think?

April 16th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I’m currently reading a fascinating book titled “Enlightenment Now” written by the American professor of psychology Steven Pinker. The theme of the work is that, if you follow the trend lines rather than the headlines, you will see that we are making spectacular progress on every measure of human well-being. But most people don’t know […]

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A review of the new film “Isle Of Dogs”

April 15th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

If you live in London (as I do), then the Isle of Dogs is a former area of dockland bounded by a major meander in the River Thames. In this case of this move, however, it is a fictional island opposite the Japanese metropolis of Megasaki City headed by a cruel mayor who expels all […]

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A review of the new movie “Ready Player One”

April 13th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The much anticipated and hugely hyped latest directorial offering from cinematic wunderkind Steven Spielberg is visually stunning, set substantially in a fantastical virtual world of 2045 called the OASIS. An early visit to the OASIS involves a race and the experience is genuinely thrilling. The movie is also visually rich with an unbelievable number of […]

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The government’s recognised markets aren’t working — now it’s time to fix them

April 12th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This is the headline of a blog posting by Citizens Advice about the Government’s Consumer Green Paper published this week. Citizens Advice highlights four issues especially: Consulting on creating an independent consumer advocate for telecoms. Telecoms is increasingly critical to our lives and our economy and yet — unlike all other essential markets — there’s no statutory independent advocate. […]

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British political institutions (1): the constitution

April 11th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I like to attend short courses at the City Literary Institute in central London and I’ve just started a six-week course on “British Political Institutions”. I already know quite a lot about this subject and have written a website essay on the topic, but there is always more to learn. The first session of the […]

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It’s National Siblings Day

April 10th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Well, at least in most parts of the United States, its is – see here. I’m blessed with a great sister Silvia in Leicester and a great brother Ralph in Manchester and a great half brother Chris near Winchester, so today I’m going to declare publicly how much they mean to me. Siblings are very […]

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Another visit to Prague to see my Czech mates

April 5th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

One of my best friends, before his premature death, was a Czech doctor from Prague called Pavel who died in a London hospital 24 years ago. You can read my obituary for him here. I have kept in touch with his wife and three children and seen them regularly in Prague and sometimes in London. […]

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