Recent Posts

Light Bulb
EU Politics

Theory, practice and federalism

OK, so my time in JEF is over. It gives me free evenings, and the release from the responsibility is so, so welcome. But the Congress in Strasbourg leaves a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth. The main political resolutions I wrote – on the situation facing the […]

German Politics

German coalition: what’s going on now?

Well, people might not have liked the idea much, but Merkel sat down with the SPD and it looked like everything was going to plan to make a grand coalition. Merkel would be Bundeskanzler, and the SPD would hold the finance and foreign ministries. But in the last few days […]

Ryanair Plane
EU Politics

Off for my final swansong in JEF

Quick blog from Stansted Airport just before my 07h20 flight to Baden Baden, before heading on to Strasbourg for the JEF Congress. I have just a couple of days more in JEF, and it’s both with relief and sadness that I am on my way out. Fingers crossed that the […]

European Health Insurance Card
EU Politics

A little bit of Europe in my pocket

No, Britain has not joined the Euro (alas). But UK citizens have finally been given European Health Insurance cards – pictured. A number of countries, including the UK, had 2 year derogations to the Directive. All EU citizens should have the cards by the end of 2005. Any information about […]

The Business
UK Politics

The new two nations: the South East and the rest

Somehow intuitively anyone who has visited the UK will tell you the same thing: the country feels very divided between the rich South East (where I happen to live presently) and the rest (where I grew up). There have been numerous studies about this matter in the past, and there […]

EU Politics

Hutton’s rallying cry [Updated, 24.10.2005]

He’s the newspaper columnist I have the greatest respect for, so when Will Hutton writes an alarmingly critical column about the EU, you need to listen. You can read the column here. His argument is not so different from ones I have advanced on this blog – that Europe just […]

German Politics

Just bitterness from Schröder

He’s on the way out, and now he just looks bitter. Gerhard Schröder has today had a good rant at the EU in Die Zeit – see an article from EUObserver about it here. Now, I have written positively about how Schröder should have been willing to attempt a traffic […]

UK Politics

British obsessions: carpet

Where else in the world would you see as many carpets as in the UK? Now, I don’t mean smart hand woven rugs from Persia. I mean nasty grey or blue acrylic carpets that seem to be found everywhere in British public buildings, and horrible patterned fitted carpets in homes […]

EU Politics, Technology

How do you get to Augustusburg?

It had to happen at some point – delays to Ryanair flights. Considering how often I fly with them, it’s a miracle I am not delayed more often. Anyway, Saturday morning most of northern Europe was covered with fog and the incoming aircraft that would then take me to Altenburg […]

Fire Door Sign
UK Politics

British obsessions: fire doors

There are some things that strike you as just plain odd in the UK. Have no fear – this entry, and similar ones to come, is not going to turn into generalised rants. It’s just that some things in the UK are a bit particular. The first of these that […]

EU Politics

Consumer power, and a new job

The blog has been a bit quiet over the last couple of weeks – I have started a new job and it takes a bit of time to settle. It feels like a breath of fresh air with a new start though – I am now at the National School […]