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eu

eurozone crisis

This morning, I saw David Cameron on his way to negotiate the treaty on the bail-out of the Eurozone. He looked surprisingly calm, given the worries of the last fortnight:  Britain has announced its worst economic figures since the Second World War; Egypt’s economy is collapsing; Syria is approaching civil war; Iran has taken another step […]

rory_youngcumbria

the first world war

When I came back to London this week I found, in my cupboard, four jackets, each with a poppy in their lapel. On the day of the Penrith Remembrance service, the international football association banned the English football team from wearing poppies, on the grounds that they were ‘a nationalist symbol’. They are not. They […]

eu

referendum on the eu

Last Monday was the first revolt I have seen in Parliament. It broke almost without warning. Things had seemed calm until then: three and a half years to the election, the conference tranquil, the Prime Minister popular, Gaddafi dead, the Foreign Secretary on his way to the  Commonwealth meeting in Australia. Then the back-bench business […]

rory_boles_jan2 (1)

the challenges of logic and emotion

How difficult it is to defend the things which we value and take for granted in Britain and the constitution. When I stop colleagues in the long carpeted corridors that seem to define the House of Commons and ask for their support – for the Union with Scotland, or the House of Lords, or upland […]

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the boundary commission

The Boundary Commission has placed its chisel into the High Street ridge, where the Roman Road falls to Troutbeck, and struck it with a hammer, shattering the county like a piece of Skiddaw slate.  One long crack now runs towards the coast, another North to Carlisle, another South to Arnside – making a rent in our […]

RS

less is more: libya

Tripoli has fallen since the last issue of the Herald. And an ‘intervention’, which was never quite an intervention, is ending. It was never popular outside Libya: many felt it was a distraction and a waste of money. Few predicted that Tripoli would fall so easily. And the aftermath seemed doomed to chaos. But instead, […]

Martini

my favourite painting

  Country Life have, this week, published a brief description of my favourite Painting – The Annunciation with St. Margaret and St. Asano by Simone Martini. Martini portrays the resistance of the Virgin, the angel Gabriel moves towards her like a hawk, his damask plaid alive like a third wing behind him. I remember a sheet of […]

rory_fellsiders

big versus small: charities

The small is displaced by the large, day after day: the smaller hill farm by the larger; the market store by the supermarket; the community by the district hospital. The same story has been repeated over the last fifteen years with thousands of schools and post-offices, dairy farms and pubs. And it is about to […]

HousesofParliament

constitutional reform

Good policies start from what is here, now; from what people are demanding; and from what we can do. Bad policies start from what ought to be present, what people ought to want, and what we ought to achieve. Thus a good decision, on how many sheep to keep on a fell, draws on an […]

rory_carwath3

wind turbines

We were nervous about the rally against wind turbines last Saturday. We worried that no-one would turn up, or that a crowd of hostile ‘antis’ would be bussed in to shout us down. But by eleven thirty, fifty yards north of the Scottish border, there were over two hundred people, well-wrapped against the cold. Two […]