Olympics: Cameron and Johnson show their class

If nations won Olympic medals for the stupidity of their leaders, Team GB would be a prime contender.  It’s difficult to conclude anything different following the comments of David Cameron – a Prime Minister whose attempts to hitch a ride on the bandwagon of British sporting success have been increasingly risible – and London’s part-time […]

Olympic cycling: an opportunity missed

The heroics of British cyclists in the Olympic velodrome have been widely celebrated – and quite rightly so. Whatever one thinks of organised competitive sport – and I’m the first to admit I’m far from being a fan – what those competitors do (regardless of their nationality) is pretty astonishing. But one feels that in […]

In praise of Molesworth

It was sad to read today that Ronald Searle, the cartoonist who created St Trinians and collaborated on the Molesworth books has died.  Molesworth, the Gorilla of 3b, and his motley collection of fellow-pupils at St Custard’s, presided over by the venal Grimes, was a huge part of my childhood; I too attended a minor […]

Gove’s Hard Times

The announcement that the Coalition is to axe the £13m funding for Bookstart, a charity providing free books to children who would not otherwise get them, is Dickensian in the most literal sense: The opening paragraph of Dickens’ Hard Times showing that Gove’s view of literacy has a long lineage. But it’s worse than that. […]

Gordon Brown's educational recipe: more school sport

Following on from Britain’s record-breaking Olympic performance, Gordon Brown has issued a call to bring back competitive sports in schools. Some will be surprised to learn that it has ever been away; but then one feels that this is just one more example of New Labour’s easy acceptance of the tabloid view of the world. […]