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The Control Culture

The Control Culture

        A selection of articles that illustrate the pre-occupation of governments with monitoring and controlling their citizens. This post re-instated 03/2017 after being, somewhat mysteriously, deleted from the blog – yet again. Apparently there are some who do not believe in the freedom of the press. 2018 […]

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03/03/2017 at 13:12Control Culture Life&Liberty

The First World War trenches – mud, blood and ….. music

The First World War trenches – mud, blood and ….. music

Brussels, 07/11/2018. My abiding image of the First World War is of the trenches. The fortifications that marked the front line between 1914 and 1918 spanned much of Europe, yet in Britain the strongest folk memories come from those in France and Belgium, the appalling carnage of the Somme and […]

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06/11/2018 at 23:54Life&Liberty

Why I ride …

Why I ride …

      Oxford, 15/10/2018. I was musing on the consequences, mental as well as physical, of having an ‘off’ in the last few days. My incident happened last Saturday at dusk, when in a moment of lost concentration on a road I didn’t know, I failed to see a […]

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15/10/2018 at 20:42Auto Life&Liberty

Real pension returns across the EU are dangerously low – they will not meet future pension needs

Real pension returns across the EU are dangerously low – they will not meet future pension needs

Brussels, 09/10/2018. Europe’s pension savings gap remains dangerously large, exceeding €2 trillion a year, which is about equivalent to 13% of Europe’s GDP (Mind the Gap 2016, Aviva). This is by far the biggest financial issue facing EU citizens, their children and grandchildren, believes Better Finance in Brussels. With government […]

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09/10/2018 at 17:00EU EU_Business Life&Liberty

PACS or Political Action Groups are thugs – we ignore them at our peril

PACS or Political Action Groups are thugs – we ignore them at our peril

Brussels, 19/09/2018. It was at the Byline Festival in August 2018 that I first became acquainted with the term PACs, or Political Action Groups, when American journalist Caroline Orr discussed the baleful influence of so-called SuperPACs on the American democratic process. I had not heard the term before, though had […]

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19/09/2018 at 13:27EU Life&Liberty

Explore the world by motorcycle – but don’t forget the comfy seat

Explore the world by motorcycle – but don’t forget the comfy seat

Oxford, Sept 2018. Overland Event at the end of August 2018, in Hill End camp near Oxford, was inspiring and mundane in equal proportions. Inspiring because it brought together the largest gathering of long-distance motorcycle travellers I have seen, and mundane because in other respects it was a normal, if […]

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09/09/2018 at 11:42Auto Share the vibe

Climate change – could my warming cellar warn of a future struggle for survival?

Climate change – could my warming cellar warn of a future struggle for survival?

The cellar in my old house has reached a wall temperature of 20 degrees. For the first time in 28 years, it is actually warm. My local climate has changed – does such climate drying warn of future human disaster, or is this too far-fetched? 13/08/2018. The climate change ‘is […]

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13/08/2018 at 12:06Climate EU Life&Liberty

EU/US Privacy Shield agreement failing – US must correct by September, say MEPs

EU/US Privacy Shield agreement failing – US must correct by September, say MEPs

Brussels, 12/06/2018. The Civil Liberties committee of the European Parliament (LIBE) has called on the EU Commission to suspend the EU/US Privacy Shield agreement on data exchange of personal data, since this (relatively new) agreement still fails to provide sufficient data protection for EU citizens. Privacy Shield should be suspended […]

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12/06/2018 at 11:07EU EU_Business Life&Liberty

Goodbye Headington

Goodbye Headington

          Goodbye to the quiet, pleasant suburb that once was Headington (Oxford). I had to laugh at the Oxford Mail’s puff piece of the time (4th January 2016) for the new Barton Park (Oxford) development and its “waterfront” villas. The only waterfront will be the expanded […]

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06/06/2018 at 11:12Climate Life&Liberty UK

Straightforward politics in the Brussels Bubble? Truth the first casualty

Straightforward politics in the Brussels Bubble? Truth the first casualty

Brussels, 03/05/2018. I went to a press conference yesterday. In the Brussels Press Club, it promised to be interesting. Apparently the nuclear-limitation agreement between Iran and the rest of the world is due to expire in nine days time. Tick-Tock, the conference was called. Should the agreement be extended? ‘Salvaged’ […]

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03/05/2018 at 16:28EU Life&Liberty

New EU whistleblower legislation launching next week – but some distance to safe harbour

New EU whistleblower legislation launching next week – but some distance to safe harbour

Brussels, 18/04/2018. The European Commission is expected to propose a new EU-wide whistleblower-protection law within the week. The proposed regulation is an attempt to protect citizens from the often devastating personal consequences they face for simply reporting fraud or corruption, while at the same time erecting safeguards against “malicious or […]

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18/04/2018 at 00:03EU EU_Business