Fret Not America, It’s (mostly) All Good

America will turn out just fine

Uncle Sam's got reasons to be optimistic

US historian Dr. Tim Stanley has written a really compelling piece on why despite the social/economic problems in America are real, things will turn out okay for the republic. Money quote:

…I have total confidence in America. So long as its revolutionary spirit lasts, it will always renew itself…like before, I have no doubt that it will imagine and innovate its way out of crisis. In a land of dreamers, mediocrity is never an option.

Here here!

Common Sense From Professor Lindzen


Here’s some wise words from Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT. If you don’t know who he is, in summary he’s basically the world’s foremost atmospheric physicist.

In the global warming debate, there’s an awful lot of shrillness on both sides. It’s so good to hear from one very intelligent (and quietly-spoken) chap, with tremendous comprehension of this issue, give a reasoned and understated opinion on what’s happening right now. Here’s his opening lines from a talk given recently in the UK:

Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.

There you are. A smart summary we can understand from someone who is neither a “global warming denier” nor an alarmist who thinks we’re all going to die by next Tuesday. You know, I really do enjoy the ranting of James Delingpole and George Monbiot, (who are on opposing sides of the issue), but man, I wish there were more out there by Prof Dick Lindzen.

And it seems I’m not the only one who’s impressed. Check out Simon Carr’s well-written piece on this talk in the Independent here.


Andy Jones TV, Season 4 Episode 3

Have you seen the daft cartoons that the European Commission are trying to foster upon our children?



Turning Down ‘Question Time’


I’m late to the party on this one, but just stumbled across this interesting article from Janet Daley about why women turn down Question Time.

I always thought it’d be fun to do QT, but she’s certainly made me think twice…


UK Downgrade?


So it’s happened. Britain might be getting a downgrade. Might. It’s on notice. That means our AAA rating might fall in the next 18 months. But as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, we can easily avoid this by making real cuts.


The Highs (and lows) of Writing

I’m a writer. It’s what I do. Even when I’m a radio broadcaster, I’m a writer (that show prep and pre-production material is mostly written by me beforehand). When I’m a filmmaker, I’m a writer (those film scripts don’t write themselves). And when I write my books, well, I’m a writer.

Book number four is nearly finished, and I won’t lie, it’s been really tough. Easily the the most challenging book to date, but also possibly the most rewarding. However, while there’s lots of reasons for this, I think there’s only one big reason that has put Book Four so far behind schedule:

I told everyone about it.

I only mention this so that any budding writers out there can possibly avoid my mistake. Unlike books 1-3, I decided to tell the world and his mother about this one: friends, family, random strangers, everyone. So what happened? Every day, at least three people would stop and ask me “Hey, how’s the book coming along?”, “It’s been ages since you’ve started the new book, why haven’t you finished it yet?”

Before, I’ve said nothing. People would ask “Are you writing a book at the moment?”, and I’d just say something like “I don’t know, I’ve got ideas, I’m always thinking about things, we’ll see” (or something of that nature), and that would be that. No further questioning, and I’d be allowed to carry on in relative secret. By the way, when people ask you what your new book is about, just say “I’m not sure yet, it’s still taking shape” or something like that. Telling people what your book is about in such a tentative state is going to unravel it in a soul-destroying way.

Telling people what you’re doing puts needless pressure on you. And it will slow you down faster than a nasty dose of writers block. Or at least, that’s how it seemed to me. Maybe telling everyone works for you, but it slows me doooown.

So lesson learnt. Heed the gypsy’s warning, etc.

But in happier news, the first draft of the new book is 90% there. So I’ve overcome. I just hope you end up finding it worthwhile. More news as and when it comes.

But what is it about, I hear you ask?

I’m not sure yet. It’s still taking shape….. 😉

How’s the British Economy Doing?

Another worrying reality-check from Douglas Carswell.

Chris Huhne

 Well, it’s finally happened, Huhne is being charged, and he’s stepped down from the cabinet. The next few weeks will be very interesting.

James Chapman has a really good summary of it all in the Daily Mail.