Who is the greatest? (Mark Two)

As the first version of "Who is the greatest?" seemed quite popular, I thought I might offer a slight variation on the theme.   The question in this version is: who do you think has had the greatest influence on the greatest number of people?...

America - part six

Chapter Six Nathan lay under an apple tree, which was heavy with ripe, red fruits. He felt completely at ease with the world: he had never known such happiness and contentment. In Nantucket he had always felt somewhat alien, as though he did...

America - part five

Chapter Five The yellow sun is high in the sky. There is barely a cloud to be seen in the blue sky. The gentlest of warm breezes caresses the green, young corn plants, which sway back and forth, sighing with obvious pleasure. Neeki and...

Financial Fat-cats Fight-back

Whilst the scandal surrounding MPs expenses continues to decimate all in its path and a procession of ministers quietly walk or angrily storm out of office, the government is in complete disarray. We are presented with the spectre of a...

America - part four

Chapter Four The sun is barely above the horizon. It is so pale as to be almost white in the cloudless, blue sky. The ground is covered with a layer of snow, as deep as a man’s knee, deeper, much deeper, in the drifts. The air is still and...

The New Paradigm - the final part

Here is the final instalment of this satire on contemporary life: The night sky was dark and the snow that had threatened all day was now beginning to gently fall. The moon was all but imperceptible. As Tom Limehouse walked towards the hospice,...

The New Paradigm - part nine

Here is the penultimate instalment of this satire on contemporary life: The sky was grey, threatening, yet not delivering, snow and the air was raw and cold. The new year cheer and bonhomie, which only weeks earlier had seemed to embrace the...

America - part three

Chapter Three Neeki sits on the ground. The heat from the fire is oppressive. Perspiration drips from her naked body. It is almost two days since, as a sign of her assumption of adult status, she entered the Vision House. Since that...

The New Paradigm - part eight

Here is instalment eight of this satire on contemporary life: The inquiry opened with all the lineaments of a judicial process. It was held in a Victorian town hall, which long before had fallen into disuse, having been superseded by a purpose...

The New Paradigm - part seven

Here is instalment seven of this satire on contemporary life: Let us now join Sir Alain, Mr Barker and Mr Laud as they prepare to bamboozle the inquiry, the media and the wider public. The strategy meeting is taking place in Mr Barker’s spacious...

Who is the greatest?

Who is the best person in the whole of history? And why? Just to clarify: there is no right or wrong answer; it is simply a matter of opinion: the why is much more important than the who. So, it is entirely up to you who you select. They...

The New Paradigm - part six

Here is instalment six in this satire on contemporary life: How it began, no one ever knew. Who were the ringleaders, no one ever found out. Why did it happen, opinions varied, wildly. The timing was, however, sensational. It happened...

America - part two

Chapter Two When Nathaniel awakes, the night sky is inky black. The storm has abated and all is still and silent. He lights the lamp. The room is immediately illuminated by the burning of the finest whale oil. Perhaps, it was rendered from...

America - part one

Here is the first instalment of a story set in North America at the beginning of the nineteenth century: The sky is a mass of whirling grey clouds. Some are so light as to be almost white, whilst others so dark as to be almost black. They...

On arrogance and ignorance

Judge hands down a sentence so lenient as to defy any notion of justice. A driver found guilty of killing a cyclist was sentenced to twenty-four weeks, suspended. The judge justified the sentence on the ground that the cyclist had not been wearing a...

The New Paradgm - part five

Here is the fifth instalment of this satire on contemporary life: The sky was filled with dark clouds, threatening rain. The crescent moon was barely perceptible. With the wind tugging at his jacket, Tom Limehouse strode swiftly across...

Rushing to annihilation

New Labour is rushing blindly towards its own annihilation. The leader of the party, Gordon Brown, was facing mounting pressure to resign, as it became obvious to ever-increasing numbers of people that he was simply incapable of addressing the...

Expansion of human rights

Yesterday, two court cases, thousands of miles apart, dealing with very different cases, resulted in far-reaching settlements. In New York Shell agreed to pay millions of pounds to the relatives of environmental activists who had been killed by the...

An English coup d'etat

Whilst everyone's attention was focused on Gordon Brown and the procession of resigning ministers, Lord Mandelson, with expert stealth, executed a perfect coup d'etat. It now seems reasonably clear that certain elements of the Blairite faction...

The New Paradigm - part four

Here is the fourth instalment of this satire on contemporary life. The Alain Bilker Institute of Learning dominates the skyline. It sits starkly in the landscape; all glass, steel and concrete; a symbol of modernity. One would be easily forgiven...

On the most perverse of all human endeavours

What is the most perverse of all human endeavours? I would like to offer the suggestion that cycling is easily the favourite candidate for this much coveted accolade. For those of you who find the assertion less than entirely credible, I can only...

A modest proposal

This may well be a historic moment. Suddenly, everyone is talking about the need to reform politics. The leaders of New Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats compete with each other, desperately trying to catch up with the public mood....

The New Paradigm - part three

Here is the third instalment in this satire on contemporary life.   Geoffrey Laud, the Director of Communications, terminates the connection and swiftly makes his way towards Mr Barker’s office. In his late thirties, with blue eyes,...

The New Paradigm - part two

Here is the second instalment of this satire on contemporary life. 2 It is now with an overwhelmingly bewildering sense of incredulity that one remembers how very different everything was less than a mere eighteen months earlier. The...