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Cracked Actor

On the day of Trump’s inauguration I posted a black flag here in mourning for American democracy, fearful for what would come: fears I elaborated in November 2016 and February 2017. In the four years since, I’ve posted occasional links and short pieces about the U.S., but have mostly written about the U.K.’s own slide into right-wing irrelevance. This, after all, is the polity I’m part of; analysing the details of Trump’s malfeasance seemed better left to Americans.

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8 November 2020

Trumpscrolling

I’d managed to go a couple of months without spending too much time dwelling on the current resident of the Oval Office—as opposed to the wider hellscape he’s created—to the point where I didn’t get around to posting a bunch of links I’d collected about U.S. politics last month. But now we’ve had a week where stories about Trump sabotaging the first debate with Biden, his tax records showing him paying $750 in income tax in 2017 and strongly suggesting money laundering, him testing positive for coronavirus, evidence that he knew about his diagnosis for days before announcing it, and now his risky and manic behaviour while on medication, have created a screaming video-wall of distraction when he’s the last person I want to think about.

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5 October 2020

The Clash

I BROKE THE LAW in a very specific and limited way

“Yes, this does break international law in a very specific and limited way.”

8 September 2020

Four (Hundred) Years

Happy Brexiversary. How a project to boost prosperity, democracy and national pride destroyed all three.

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23 June 2020

The Corona Carousel

Fighting COVID isn’t a mystery, the West was just dumb. The strength of shithole countries. Mongolia got it right.

Covid-19 symptoms and illness classification. Every symptom we know. How exactly do you catch Covid-19? Thousands who got it in March are still sick. “I’ve been ill for months, but I still don’t know if it is Covid-19.”

Black Death, COVID, and why we keep telling the myth of a Renaissance golden age and bad Middle Ages.

How a small Spanish town became one of Europe’s worst Covid-19 hotspots. The Bolivian orchestra stranded in a German castle.

Eleven days in March. The hard facts demolish the UK government’s “herd immunity” strategy.

Now that it’s impossible, living far apart seems like a mistake.

The performing arts risk making the same mistake newspapers did.

Another fucking day.

23 June 2020

Heating Up

It’s been hard to disentangle my thoughts about the week from the events of the country and the wider world, and even harder to get through the work I’m supposed to be doing instead of writing posts here. Trying to keep on top of a full-time job from home, with two school-age kids and a partner also working full-time and all the other constraints and tensions of lockdown, is like trying to juggle the contents of the computer cable drawer while walking calmly across the room. You’re lucky to get a few feet before stepping on a three-pronged plug.

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31 May 2020

Cummings and Goings

Travel North, Follow Instincts, Save Dom

“In travelling to find the right kind of childcare … he followed the instincts of every father and every parent and I do not mark him down for that.”

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24 May 2020

Damage Control

Thank you NHS postbox
Craighouse Gardens, Edinburgh, Saturday 16 May 2020

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17 May 2020

Collateral Damage

Nothing I’ve read in the past two months has changed my suspicion of early March that the UK government would use the pandemic as cover for refusing to request an extension to the Brexit transition period and ending it on 1 January 2021 without a deal. When everything’s shit, it’s too easy to smuggle in an extra steaming pile of shit.

Merkel ally warns that the UK will need to extend the Brexit transition. What Northern Ireland’s businesses need to have in place by the end of the year is daunting. EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan thinks that the UK will blame a hard Brexit on COVID-19. “The Conservatives are embracing the timing with the sweaty gratitude of a guy who knows that the unfortunate fire at a storage unit facility will take care of the corpse he’s been storing there.”

A strange idea derailed by these strange times. Lost in time and space.

Cast your mind back to where this all began.

17 May 2020 · 1 Comment

Four Weeks

It’s almost a month since I last posted any coronavirus links here, so I should do something with the dozens I’ve accumulated before events overtake them.

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25 April 2020