Category Archives: Culture


My younger daughter Lucy Fenwick Elliott has done a great job directing Heathers: The Musical, which has now been well reviewed. It will not be long, hopefully, before she is directing films again.

A fair old enterprise, to judge by the size of the squad:

full squad

Unsurprisingly, I am very proud of her.  A very clever daughter.

Meanwhile, my older daughter – journalist and Senior Content Editor at The Telegraph  Annabel Fenwick Elliott – is in the Californian desert, writing up her forthcoming book. And stranded there, for the moment, by the collapse of Thomas Cook. Very proud of her too.



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Eton Mess

etonThe Labour Party is threatening (again) to attack public[1] and other feepaying schools. In particular, they propose to make it more difficult for pupils from such schools to get to university, and to remove buildings and playing fields from such schools.

There is a good point about inequality in education. It would be sensible for the best education to be given to the brightest children, not the children of the parents with the most money[2]. But how to go about this?

The Labour Party approach is to destroy the best schools. A much better approach would be to make the best schools more available to the most promising children, regardless of the means of their parents.

Attacks tend to be focused on Continue reading

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Silence and Tears

byroDipping into Byron is a mixed pleasure. There is a lot of pointless guff that is barely better than doggerel, and then there are some jewels. The other day I came upon this bitter-sweet poem (well, it is like a song lyric, really), which I had not read for many years, and had forgotten. I could set it to music. Except that the last time I did that – to We’ll No More Go A-Roving – Leonard Cohen promptly copied me with his own version.  Well, it is too late for him to do the same with this one:

When we two parted
   In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
   To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
   Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
   Sorrow to this. Continue reading

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Recent thoughts


Cigar4For various reasons, I have not posted so much recently. But I have a couple of moments now, and here are some recent thoughts:


We at the beginning g of September now, towards the end of the rainier winter on the Fleurieu Peninsula, but neither my rainwater tanks nor my dam (“Loch Phenelry”) are yet full.

If my croquet lawn is to flourish over the summer, I need some more rain.

Hong Kong

Ever since the British government handed back (unnecessarily, in my view) Hong Kong to the Chinese, Hong Kong was doomed. Without any pleasure in saying so at all, I fear the protesters have no real prospect of succeeding. Hong Kong used to be a colony of the British, but was free, in that the government did pretty much what the people wished for, even though there were no elections. Now and for the foreseeable future, it is a colony of the Chinese, and not free: now the government does what the Chinese want.

Forbidden Fruit

For many people, that which is forbidden is all the more delicious.

For me, as for many other people, the best fruit is knowledge. There is a delight in Continue reading

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Soaking rich

bathYou would need to be seriously, seriously rich to want to spend $49,157 for a bath.

It does not even come with taps. They are Continue reading

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Nose job

noseMy daughter Annabel Fenwick Elliott has been let loose at the London Telegraph to write about all sorts of other stuff apart from travel (her main subject).

An article of hers just published is about her nose job.  As usual, a really good read.

Curious, I decided to read the comments. Sometimes, readers’ comments can be viciously unpleasant. But this time, I rather agree with the general drift: she looked Continue reading

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Protected: The Other Side of D-Day – the Defence of a United Europe

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Just fine

I have remarked before that the evidence is that governments increase both the number and severity of accidents by posting artificially low speed limits, but they appease the floppsies and collect revenue from speeding fines. Here is how it goes as I drive from my house to my local town, Adelaide. I start on a dirt road. Speed limit: 100 kph.

start at 100

It stays on 100 kph for the next bit; lots of bends on tarmac road.  Then, as the road straightens out, the limit drops to 90 kph for many Continue reading

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Hey Jules

JA draggedJulian Assange has been dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy and arrested for jumping bail and in response to a USA extradition request.

He probably is a bit of a plonker, but it is hard not to feel a sense of unease about the way he has been treated.

Instead of punishing him for jumping bail, the court might well have said, “You should not have jumped bail, and the bail is forfeit. But you have imprisoned yourself for seven years, which is far longer than we would have sentenced you to for that offence, and so we dismiss that charge. There are no outstanding charges or arrest warrants from Sweden. You are at liberty to walk free until your challenge to the USA extradition request has been determined”.

It is not obvious that it is in United States’ interest to try to bring him to trial there. The essential gravamen of Continue reading

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Utterly sinful

loversSome poor chap loves his wife, to whom he has been married for 20 years, notwithstanding that her mental state has deteriorated terribly.

A totalitarian council has now taken him the court, seeking an order that he may no longer make love with her. Just in case the poor woman, who has lost her wits, has nevertheless joined the “Me Too” movement, and no longer consents to sexual intercourse with her loving husband.

Happily, the judge has supported the man’s right to love his wife according to the vows they made 20 years ago.

How can it possibly be right for public money to be spent Continue reading

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