As a result of David Cameron’s difficult week, I’ve been seeing some comments on Facebook, Twitter and the like about tax avoidance, and I feel the need to respond. Yes, I understand that tax evasion is not the same thing as tax avoidance. The former is trying to avoid paying tax using methods that have already been […]

Recently I have been trying to organise my thoughts about what, in an ideal world, the British state and society would look like. After all, it’s no good railing against things as they are without having a better alternative in mind. I thought I’d share my notes online. It would be great to hear other opinions, […]

This is the text of a paper I gave on the final day of the 2015 ARA Conference, 28 August, in Dublin. It generated some discussion both at the event and afterwards on twitter and I thought it might be helpful to upload it here. You’ll notice that it draws heavily on two of my previous […]

There’s a macabre and notionally scientific anecdote which you may perhaps have heard before: If you take a frog and put it in a pan of boiling water it will immediately leap straight out again. However, if you take a frog and place it in a pan of cold water which you then very gradually […]

I made what is, for me, a fairly momentous decision over Christmas. For the first time in my life I’ve joined a political party – the Greens. Furthermore, equally unusually for me, as I was clearly a trendsetter (ahem), I’ve decided to explain my reasons for doing so in public. Background First, a bit about […]

I had a friendly disagreement earlier this week with fellow archivist @byekitty over Bernie Ecclestone. I made the not very original point that he has, essentially, paid a bribe to have the charge of bribery dropped without a trial. Kat responded by, quite reasonably, arguing that it’s not a bribe because what he’s done is a formal, recognised […]

Recently I made a discovery that surprised me. I had always believed that if you wrote anything on a ballot paper other than an X in the box, then this would mean that the ballot would be rejected (or spoiled) and your vote would not be counted. I get the impression that this is what most people think. […]


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