Author: Matthew Smith

What is leadership?

The other day a friend shared this meme on Facebook: it reads “I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy to be told instead that she has leadership skills”. It reminded me of...

A small fountain in the middle of an ornamental lake, with trees behind, some showing autumn colours.

Photography update

Since I’ve not had much time to write this week, here are some pictures I took on recent trips to gardens in southern England (all National Trust properties): Cliveden, Buckinghamshire: a vast estate with...

What was a ‘Bantustan’?

Last week it was revealed that the Australian politician Alexander Downer, who had been foreign secretary and high commissioner to the UK, had made a speech to an audience in Europe which advocated that...

On Labour’s private school dissolution policy

This evening, the Labour party’s national conference passed a motion to make the party committed to the dissolution of Britain’s private schools. The three-clause motion commits the party to include in its next general...

Stonehenge by-pass is vital

As a truck driver I have regularly had to use the A303 which goes past Stonehenge, the prehistoric stone-circle monument in Wiltshire. In today’s Observer there is a piece by Tom Holland which claims...

Time to put a stop to the 20mph zone fad

Over the past few years, a number of boroughs in London have imposed 20mph speed limits across most or all of the roads under their control (which in London is all except motorways and...

Yes, we need our hands-free phones.

Last week it was reported that the UK Parliament’s transport select committee (a committee of MPs drawn proportionally from each party with seats in the Commons) had recommended that consideration be given to the...

Equality feels like oppression

There is a saying in social justice circles that when you are used to privilege, equality feels like oppression. Earlier this week I saw a thread on Twitter which demonstrates this experience very nicely....

How the myth of ‘Eurabia’ went mainstream

The myth of Eurabia: how a far-right conspiracy theory went mainstream by Andrew Brown A “long read” in today’s Guardian, about the far-right myth of “Eurabia”, that Europe’s leaders have caved in to Muslims...