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Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: A Most Confusing Year. Or was it?



I’m confused about many things which happened in 2015. Can anyone help me?

My end of year column for RT.com OpEdge. You can read the whole piece here. 
A very Happy New Year everyone- let's hope that 2016 won't be as confusing....

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Lovely jubbly: what the Christmas 1985 Radio Times tells us about Thatcher's Britain



My new piece from The Guardian on what we were watching in Britain thirty years ago- at Christmas 1985.

Christmas Day audiences were faced with a choice between Del Boy and Arthur Daley – but what else do the festive schedules tell us about the era we lived in.

It’s Christmas 1985. Mrs Thatcher has been in power for just over six-and-a-half years and – appropriately enough – those zeitgeisty wheeler-dealers, Derek “Del Boy” Trotter and Arthur Daley, are on the covers of the Radio Times and the TV Times.
The television listing magazines of 30 years ago (there were just two of them back then), make for a fascinating read, and tell us much about the state of Britain in the middle of the 1980s...

You can read the whole article here.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Neil Clark's Sporting Edge: First thoughts on the Euros draw and other topics....



In this week's Sporting Edge column for RT.com, my first thoughts on the draw for next year's Euros, some sporting awards for 2015, and how the Premier League got interesting & the Bundesliga became boring...
You can read the whole piece here, while here is a link to last week's column.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Yalta, Potsdam, Helsinki, Belgrade. How can we build a more secure world order?



My write-up, for RT, on the International Public and Scientific Conference on peace, security and co-operation, held in Belgrade, Serbia.

The ongoing war in Syria. The rise of Islamic State. Terror attacks in Sinai, Paris, Lebanon, Iraq and Tunisia. The shooting down of a Russian jet by NATO member Turkey.

This was the backdrop of events to last week’s major international conference on peace, security and co-operation in Belgrade, Serbia.

Speakers from over 20 countries - myself included- addressed the key question: how can we build a more secure world order, where countries - large and small- respect national sovereignty and international law and where dialogue and diplomacy replaces war and the threat of war?

You can read the whole article, here.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Graham Hill : An unlikely racing hero

40 years ago tonight, the hugely charismatic F1 driver and dual world champion Graham Hill was tragically killed in a light aircraft crash. Here's my piece on this great sporting personality from today's Sunday Express.  

GRAHAM HILL was the most unlikely of Formula One heroes. Born in north London in 1929 he started his working life as an apprentice in a factory making alarm clocks and didn’t even learn to drive until he was 24.

You can read the whole piece here.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Neil Clark's Sporting Edge: Euros football championship review - and more



My new Sports Column for RT.com

24 teams will be lining up in next summer‘s European football championships in France. When it was announced that the Euros were to be increased from 16 to 24 teams in 2012 I thought that it was poor move as it would make for a more boring tournament...
 But now, I’m not so sure.
The qualifying, which many predicted would be dull, has been full of surprises. Who could have foreseen that the Netherlands - the third placed team in last year’s World Cup would fail to even make the playoffs, or that Greece, the 2004 winners, and who made it through to the last 16 in the World Cup in 2014, would finish bottom of Group F?

You can read the whole article here.

Monday, November 16, 2015

A ‘warning shot’ -The crazy logic of UK’s Philip Hammond and what lies behind it

My latest RT OpEdge

Just imagine if the Russian Foreign Minister had said after the 7/7 London bombings in 2005 that the act of terrorism was a 'warning shot' for the UK and that he hoped it would make the UK's foreign policy more flexible.
There would I’m sure, be a massive outcry. The Russians were shamefully condoning terrorism, we'd have been told. How sick of them to call the bombs a 'warning shot' and hope that they changed UK policy! One can only imagine what the headline of the Sun would have been (“NO WAY, SERGEYI!”) would be my bet). Yet this is what British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in the aftermath of the Russian plane tragedy in the Sinai - and very few people- certainly in Western leading circles seemed outraged.
This glaring double standard is not the only thing which is noteworthy about Hammond’s comments. Let’s look at the logic behind what the Foreign Secretary is saying....

You can read the whole piece here.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Death by moonlight: 75 years on from the devastating Luftwaffe blitz of Coventry



This piece of mine appears in today's Daily Express.

IT WAS the bombing raid that led to the coining of a new verb “Koventrieren”, or in English, to Coventrate.
“The word embodied the idea of the physical and psychological destruction of an entire city,” explains historian Angus Calder.
The Luftwaffe’s attack on Coventry, which took place exactly 75 years ago today, marked a new departure in the Blitz. 

You can read the whole piece here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Meet the 'unpeople'- Whose views don't matter to the west's faux-democrats




My new piece for RT.com OpEdge


Who are the unpeople? Human beings whose views don't matter a jot to self-styled 'democrats' in the West, even though in some cases - in fact, in most cases, they constitute the majority.
What do these groups of people have in common? 

* The millions of Syrians - perhaps a majority - who support their government, or at least regard it as preferable to the alternatives.

* Iranians who voted for Ahmadinejad in the 2009 Presidential election.

* Belarusians who support President Lukashenko.

* Libyans who did not support the violent NATO-backed ‘revolution’ against Muammar Gaddafi.

* People who lived in communist countries in Eastern Europe and who thought there were positive aspects of life under communism.

* Ukrainian citizens who did not support 'EuroMaidan'.
* Venezuelans who voted for Chavez and Maduro.

* Russians who support United Russia or the Communist Party.

* Labour party members and registered supporters who voted for Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership election.

The answer is that all of the above are examples of 'unpeople’ - human beings whose views don't matter to Western Democrats.
A belief in democracy should mean respecting the idea that all peoples’ views are equal. However, that's not the way it works in today's so-called 'democracy.' Today, those who have the wrong views (i.e. views which don’t align with the interests of Western elites) are treated as if they don’t exist.


You can read the whole article here


Monday, November 09, 2015

The Festival of Remembrance: It's time to save it from the warmongers



My latest piece for RT.com OpEdge.

The Great Silence.” That’s how the London Times newspaper (back then Britain’s newspaper of record and not a crude neo-con propaganda sheet), described Britain’s first Armistice/Remembrance Day, which took place on November 11, 1919.
“Everywhere there was mourning, sorrow, and thanksgiving… For some minutes before the maroons ushered in the period of prayer, a strange self-consciousness had fallen upon the people,” The Times reported.
The feelings were easy to understand. During WW1, over 700,000 British soldiers and servicemen were killed in a conflict that claimed the lives of around 17 million people worldwide. No wonder the talk was of a “Lost Generation.”

You can read the whole piece here.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Oh, those evil Russians! Soviet-era 'plot' advances hawks' agenda




My latest RT.com OpEdge.

Not only are the Russians bombing nice, cuddly ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria - and by doing so strengthening the cause of ISIS - who had been all but defeated due to US air strikes over the past year - but they also planned to destroy London in the 1950s!
In an article subtitled ‘Shock Cold War Plot,’ Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper - of ‘Putin’s Missile’ fame - tells us that "Russia planned to nuke London suburbs and wipe out the capital in the Cold War."
Now if you just read the headlines you’d think that those dastardly Russkies were going to deliberately target civilians sitting in their semi-detached homes in London suburbs, but in fact, the story - which has been widely reported in other outlets too - is not as it first appears......

You can read the whole article here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

'Crystal clear case for Tony Blair war crimes in Iraq'



Above you can watch the latest interview with me on RT- on Tony Blair's non-apology for the Iraq war.
A transcript of the  interview can be read here.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Seumas Milne and the Wrath of the New McCarthyites



My latest column for Sputnik International- on the smearing of Seumas Milne.

The news that Seumas Milne, anti-war journalist and Guardian columnist, has been appointed the new Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn's Executive Director of Strategy and Communications has caused uproar among Britain's McCarthyite pro-imperialist faux-left.
Milne, we're told is a "terrorism apologist", a "Stalinist" an "extremist", ''apologist for dictators", "apologist for murderous dictators", "Kremlin/Putin apologist" and "facism (sic) apologist"....

You can read the whole piece here.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Brave New World: Aldous Huxley missing from 'greatest Britons' list



My latest piece for RT.com OpEdge.

In Britain, we’re regularly treated to 'Top Greatest Britons' lists, with the latest one released in September. While some names undoubtedly deserve to be there, such as the ground-breaking physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton, others are questionable.
Clearly, there are some serious flaws in the latest 'greatest Britons' list, compiled by The Mirror....

You can read the whole article here.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

On Syria, Russia, western double standards and the great John Pilger



You can listen to a new interview with me and Pippa Jones discussing Russia's intervention in Syria and other related topics on Talk Radio Europe here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Georgia on their minds: West tries to make a Serbia out of Russia



My latest OpEdge piece for RT.Com.

Putin calls the West’s bluff on fighting ISIS in Syria. Western elite figures are most unhappy. The Empire badly needs to strike a blow at Russia – and right on cue, the issue of ‘war crimes’ in Georgia miraculously comes to the fore!
This Thursday it was announced that the International Criminal Court was planning to investigate possible crimes committed during the conflict between Georgia and Russia in 2008....

You can read the whole piece here.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Tory Party Blues- so soon after victory



My latest column on UK politics from Sputnik International.

They say in sport that a team is often at its most vulnerable after an important victory. We've seen lots of examples of this, particularly in football.
On 9th September 1989, Millwall cemented their position at the top of Division One in English football by thrashing Coventry 4-1. The next week though they lost 5-1 and in fact, won only two more games all season, finishing bottom of the entire league.
In September 2014, newly promoted Leicester City pulled off a stunning 5-3 win against Man Utd, but lost their next match to Crystal Palace and didn't win again for another three months. Germany won the 2014 World Cup, beating Argentina 1-0 in the final, but then lost their very next game 4-2, also to Argentina. The phenomenon occurs in politics too.....

You can read the whole piece here.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Insult to our intelligence:New Information War against Russia



My latest piece for RT.com OpEdge, on how neocons and 'liberal' warmongers in the west are trying to get us to hate Russia for intervening against ISIS and its associates in Syria.

Talk about quick on the draw. No sooner had Russian planes taken off to bomb ISIS terrorists and their associates in Syria, claims made by the West’s anti-Russia lobby started to flood in – only to be repeated in much of the western mainstream media...

You can read the whole article here.

Friday, October 02, 2015

6 ways #PigGate reveals the stench of UK establishment hypocrisy



My take on 'PigGate' for RT.com OpEdge

The big story in the UK this week has been generated by the revelations about UK PM David Cameron in a new book, "Call Me Dave," by former Tory Party donor Lord Ashcroft and journalist Isabel Oakeshott, which has been serialized in the Daily Mail…

You can read the whole piece here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Arthur Lowe at 100: The Man who was Captain Mainwaring



The great comic actor Arthur Lowe, most famous for playing Captain Mainwaring in Dad's Army, was born 100 years ago today, on 22nd September 1915.
Here's my 2012 tribute piece to Lowe from the Daily Express.


Don't tell him Pike! That classic line which comes as part of a hilarious encoun- ter between Captain Main- waring and a captured German U-boat commander in an episode of the ever- green comedy series Dad’s Army is regarded by many as the funniest line in British television history.
The actor who delivered it, Arthur Lowe, made – and continues to make – millions laugh with his wonderful portrayal of the self-important and accident-prone bank manager turned Home Guard captain, helping to turn his character into one of the best-loved comedy creations of all time.

You can read the whole piece here.




Friday, September 18, 2015

BBC global ambitions trump UK audience preferences

My new piece for RT.com OpEdge

The BBC has announced some ambitious global plans, but is this politicized effort to increase its global influence in countries which aren’t in the NATO/Western ‘camp’ really serving the best interests of its viewers?
Make no mistake; the BBC is facing the biggest challenges in its 93-year history. Its current charter which sets out its public obligations expires at the end of 2016. Its license fee, which has been frozen for the past five years, is under threat, with a committee of MPs suggesting that it be replaced by a household levy.
For supporters of public sector broadcasting in Britain (and I am one of them) these are certainly worrying times. After all, the BBC has made some wonderful programs in its history and continues to make great television - Sunday night’s new television adaptation of the classic J.B. Priestley play An Inspector Calls, being a recent example.

You can read the whole piece here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Stranger than Fiction interview on BBC Tees



If in the UK, you can listen to an interview with me, talking about my new biography of Edgar Wallace 'Stranger than Fiction', on the John Foster show, on BBC Radio Tees, here. The item starts at 3hrs4mins.

Friday, September 11, 2015

I'm Confused, can anyone help me? Part 5




Hot off the press, the latest piece in my I'm Confused series for RT.com OpeEdge

I’m confused about quite a lot of things going on in the world. The West is supposed to be fighting ISIS, yet seems keener on toppling a government which is fighting ISIS. A refugee crisis caused by Western interventions is being used as a pretext for more Western wars. Elite media commentators keen to stress their humanitarianism, cry ‘something must be done’ about Syria, yet appear not to notice the on-going humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.
There are violent anti-government protests again in Ukraine, but the reaction from the US is very different to when there were violent anti-government protests in Ukraine eighteen months ago. What on earth is going on? Perhaps you can help me sort out my confusion…

You can read the whole piece here.

Monday, September 07, 2015

The House of Lords- it's time to abolish



My new piece for Sputnik International on why it's time we abolished the House of Lords:

"The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is." One is reminded of that wonderful line from George Bernard Shaw’s 'Man and Superman' when one peruses the list of the 45 new peers recently appointed by David Cameron to the House of Lords....

You can read the whole piece here.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Putin goes to Crimea – but where’s the Western outrage?



My new piece for RT.com OpEdge.

It’s almost eighteen months since the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly in a democratic referendum to join the Russian Federation. President Putin visited Crimea, an event that was greeted with an unexpected Western media reaction.
Think back to March 2014, when the Crimean referendum took place. The condemnation of Russia was intense. Putin paid a visit to Crimea in May of that year following the ‘annexation’. This triggered a tough response from Washington. “Crimea belongs to Ukraine and we don’t recognize of course the illegal and illegitimate steps by Russia in that regard,” declared US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
Putin’s visit to Crimea this week - when he took a dive in a mini submarine to explore Byzantine era wreckage off Crimea’s Black Sea coast - was noticeably different.

You can read the whole piece here.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Nazi black book for Britain





My new piece for the Daily Express
 
Seventy-five years ago this month Britain faced imminent invasion.
In the spring of 1940 the Nazis had overrun The Low Countries and France. Hitler and his war machine looked unstoppable.
On July 16 the German dictator, while still hoping that Britain would sue for peace, gave his order for invasion. The plan was for the Luftwaffe to destroy the RAF from mid-August with the fullscale German invasion of Britain, Operation Sea Lion, to follow on September 15.
In compliance with the F├╝hrer's orders Informationsheft Grossbritannien, also known as The Gestapo Handbook For The Invasion Of Britain, was put together to be distributed to the occupation forces. It was compiled by SS General Walter Schellenberg. This comprehensive guide to Britain in 1940 makes for a fascinating read.

You can read the whole article here:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mr Kerry goes to Havana. Time to light the cigars?



My latest piece for RT.com OpEdge.

John Kerry’s visit to Cuba this Friday is the first time a US Secretary of State has visited the Caribbean island in an official capacity since 1945. So is it time to light the Cohibas and celebrate the ending of a decades-long international feud?
Kerry is in Cuba for the official ceremonial flag-raising at the US Embassy in Havana- a symbolic moment in the new rapprochement between the two countries, which began December 17 last year. But perhaps it’s too early to celebrate since there are still some important issues to resolve.

You can read the whole piece here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Don't Vote for Jeremy Corbyn! -warns the Very Important NeoCon Columnist Cyril Waugh-Monger



My latest piece for Sputnik International.

The big political story in the UK this summer is undoubtedly ‘Corbynmania'. How a 66-year-old antiwar activist and socialist has gone from being the rank 200-1 outsider in the Labour leadership contest election to be the red-hot favorite.....

Not everyone though has welcomed Corbyn's advance. One man who has made repeated warnings about the 'dangers' of Jeremy Corbyn is Cyril Waugh-Monger, a 'Very Important' newspaper columnist for the NeoCon Daily, a patron of the Senator Joe McCarthy Appreciation Society and the author of 'Why the Iraq War was a Brilliant Idea', as well as 'The Humanitarian Case for Bombing Syria'. 
Below are Mr Waugh-Monger's ten commandments to Labour members to not, under any circumstances, vote for Jeremy Corbyn. Remember, we need to take what he has to say very seriously — as, after all, he did reveal to us that Iraq possessed WMDs in 2003.……. 

You can read Cyril Waugh-Monger's ten reasons why we should not vote for Jeremy Corbyn here. 

Merkel forever? Let's hope not

My latest RT OpEdge.

According to Germany's influential news magazine Der Spiegel, Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided to run for a fourth term in power and has already started talks on who will run her campaign.
There’s been no official confirmation yet, but Merkel has already hinted that she would seek re-election.
This autumn she celebrates her 10th anniversary as chancellor, and if she is re-elected in 2017 and serves her full four-year term, she will tie with Helmut Kohl - who was also from the CDU party - as the longest-serving chancellor in the history of the Bundesrepublik.
There are no term limits for German chancellors, meaning that Merkel, who is still only 61, could even go on beyond 2021. If you’re not a fan of 'Mutti', then I’m afraid she could be around for quite a while yet. Which prompts the question: How is that that she has come to dominate German politics in the way that she has?

You can read the whole article here.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

My Intelligent Punter's Guides to the 2015/16 Premiership & The Championship



The EPL season starts today. Here's my team-by-team IP Guide.



The Premier League may be one of the most entertaining football competitions in the world, but it has been won by just three different teams in the last 11 years, and is nowhere near as competitive as the Championship (won by a 25-1 shot last year) but that doesn't mean there aren't some value bets to be had. 
We can improve our chances of beating the bookies if we bear in mind some key statistics.

You can read the whole Guide here. Do check it out first before placing any bets!
Also, if planning to have a flutter in the Championship, here's my IP Guide for that too.

Good luck with your football bets!



Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Stranger than Fiction -the Life of Edgar Wallace, the man who created King Kong by Neil Clark




Duncan Campbell's review of my biography of Edgar Wallace, from Saturday's Guardian:

There is a plaque on Ludgate Circus, at the end of Fleet Street, that says of its dedicatee: “He knew wealth and poverty, yet had walked with Kings and kept his bearings. Of his talents, he gave lavishly to authorship – but to Fleet Street he gave his heart.” How many of the thousands of people who scurry past it each day know that Edgar Wallace, the man commemorated, was once the most widely read author in the world and had also been a newspaper seller, medical orderly, poet, war correspondent, crime reporter, editor, playwright, racehorse owner, director, parliamentary candidate and Hollywood screenwriter responsible for one of the most famous scenes in cinema history?....

You can read the whole review here

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Let's turn the tables on the trophy hunters- and get justice for Cecil the lion

My latest column for RT.com OpEdge:

There has been global outrage over the brutal killing of Cecil, the best-loved lion in Zimbabwe, who was killed in the cruelest way imaginable by American trophy hunter Walter Palmer.
The anger that so many people have expressed on social media is entirely justified – for if we can’t get angry over the senseless killing of a magnificent animal like Cecil, who has the same right to life as we do, then there really is something wrong with us....

You can read the whole piece here

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Regime Change in Russia? Think again, neocons



My new column for RT.com OpEdge.

As events in Syria have proved, Russia is the biggest block on the endless war lobby’s plans for world domination, which is why the removal of Putin and his replacement with a marionette who will do exactly what the neocons want is their overriding objective.

However, the chances of them achieving their ambitious goal are as slender as was the prospect of Saddam Hussein’s WMDs turning up in Iraq. The new neocon instigated ‘Cold War’ on Russia, which was supposed to weaken the Russian economy and lead to Maidan-style anti-government protests in the country, has actually boosted President Vladimir Putin’s popularity, as new polls show....

You can read the whole piece here.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Why Jeremy Corbyn is the right man for Labour



If in the UK, you can listen to an interview with me on Jeremy's candidacy on BBC Radio Tees here.
Discussion starts c9 minutes- (after the Bee Gees).

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

No beach is complete without a good book



My new piece from The Daily Express on the joys of holiday reading.

While the sun, sea and sand (and something else beginning with “s” which I probably can’t mention) are all important there’s another essential ingredient for a good vacation: having plenty of reading material, in addition to the Daily Express of course.
For me a holiday without books wouldn’t be much of a lark at all. I can put up with overcooked vegetables at the hotel, or some unseasonal weather....

You can read the whole piece here.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Intelligent Punter's Guide to the 2015 British Open Golf



 Anyone for golf?
My latest IP Guide from The Week.


The third golfing major of the year - the British Open, aka The Open - teed off at the Old Course, St Andrews this morning. With last year's winner Rory McIlroy missing the event due to injury, media attention is on the new wonder boy of world golf, the 21-year-old Texan Justin Spieth, who has won the first two majors of the year. Can he lift the Claret Jug and make it three out of three?
Before placing your bets, there are five key factors to bear in mind if we want to beat the bookies.

You can read the whole piece here.

Alexis Tsipras: Latest so-called 'Leftist' to sell-out to the bankers



Here's my new OpEdge piece for RT.com on Tsipras' truly epic betrayal of the people who voted for him.

The only surprising thing about Alexis Tsipras' capitulation to the troika is that anyone should be surprised by it.
For the so-called 'radical leftist' from Greece is only the latest in a long line of ‘radicals’ and 'leftists' to betray the people who had voted for them and cave into the demands of imperialist international finance capital....

You can read the whole piece here.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Srebrenica's legacy should be one of peace, not war






My new piece for RT.com OpEdge.

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. Around 8,000 men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb forces in the worst single massacre in the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia deemed the massacre genocide, a finding upheld by the International Court of Justice. But have the right lessons been learnt from this appalling tragedy? 

You can read the whole article here.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Greece- is it all in the game theory?

My new piece for RT.com OpEdge.

Game theory has been described (in Viotti and Kauppi’s “International Relations Theory”) as “a decision-making approach based on the assumption of actor rationality in a situation of competition.”
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is an expert on game theory - he has studied it, taught it at universities, and written extensively about it. (He's probably also got a T-shirt with “game theory” emblazoned on it.)
Therefore it’s been no surprise to see a plethora of articles in recent weeks and months questioning the part that game theory has played in Greece’s dealings with the Troika.

You can read the whole piece here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Patrick Macnee, The Avengers and a lament for a lost Britain



My new piece for RT.com OpEdge.

The actor Patrick Macnee, the star of the cult 1960s British adventure series The Avengers, who died last week aged 93, has been widely mourned.
Co-stars and fans paid generous tributes. There was a widespread feeling of sadness - not just because we had lost a fine actor and a very nice man, but also, I believe because of nostalgia for one of the greatest and most inventive television programs of all time- and the era in which it was made. When we mourn Patrick Macnee we are also mourning a more colorful, eccentric and laid-back Britain which sadly no longer exists. The Avengers was a product of a confident, but not aggressive country - the Britain of Harold MacMillan, Harold Wilson and detente- the Britain before Rupert Murdoch came to the country and before the neocon/neoliberal takeover of power which made our politics and our public life much uglier....

You can read the whole piece here.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Intelligent Punter's Guide to Wimbledon 2015



My latest IP Guide from The Week.

Anyone for tennis bets?  Wimbledon starts today, and offers plenty of opportunities to serve up an ace and beat the bookies - provided the intelligent punter does their homework and bears in mind some key statistics.
Let's take the men's tournament first. While 128 players will compete for the title, only a small handful can entertain realistic hopes of winning the tournament, or even making it to the final....

You can read the whole Guide here.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Jeremy Corbyn-Why he's got Britain's anti-democratic democrats worried

My new column for Sputnik International:

It didn't take them very long, did it? Almost as soon as it was announced that veteran anti-war socialist Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn had achieved the requisite number of nominations to make it on to the ballot in the Labour leadership contest, the attacks by Blairities, 'elite' media commentators, and pro-war faux-left gatekeepers began.

You can read the whole article here:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Intelligent Punter's Guides to the US Open Golf and Royal Ascot 2015



A busy week for top sports action.
Here is my Intelligent Punter's Guide to the US Open Golf from The Week.
While here is the Intelligent Punter's Guide to Royal Ascot. Good luck with your selections!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

‘Political agenda to have World Cup taken away from Russia’



The latest interview with me on RT.

EU legislators have adopted a resolution that calls for FIFA President Sepp Blatter to step down immediately, a move that journalist Neil Clark calls political posturing and lacking any sort of democratic due process.

You can read the whole interview here:

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Gee - What a load of hypocrisy and humbug at the G7!


My latest piece for RT OpEdge

The hills are alive… with the sound of G7 leaders talking absolute nonsense. Some described the event as a “world leaders” meeting in Bavaria, but that’s not true. More accurate to say this was a meeting of the US and its closest lapdogs.
The menu for the G7 leaders at the Schloss Elmau luxury hotel, nestled in Germany’s Eastern Alps, featured a hearty plate of Pomposity (with plenty of sauce on the side) and a stein of Double Standards. 

You can read the whole piece here.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

A jumbo-sized problem- Africa’s elephants in peril

My latest piece for RT.com OpEdge

Seventy years ago, there were between 3 million and 5 million elephants in Africa. Today, as the number of African bush elephants has dropped to nearly half a million, this magnificent animal faces extinction in some parts of the continent.
“If conservation action is not forthcoming, elephants may become locally extinct in some parts of Africa within 50 years,” warns the World Wildlife Fund.
Others have said that elephants could be extinct in Africa within our lifetime.
Recent news about elephant populations has been heartbreaking. These wonderful animals are being slaughtered on a truly horrific scale.

You can read the whole article here.

Monday, June 01, 2015

'When our society was more equal, our football was more equal too'



My new piece from The Week on why Saturday was a sad day for football romantics.

First things first: Arsenal were great at Wembley and congratulations to manager Arsene Wenger, and to Gunners supporters. But for romantics, the FA Cup, the tournament that we're repeatedly told "anyone can win", has become a disappointment.
Consider the facts:

You can read the whole piece here.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Queen’s Speech - and the Ghost of Margaret Thatcher roars with approval


My new column for Sputnik International:

Margaret Thatcher may have died in 2013, but the Queen's Speech shows that Thatcherism lives on - and is indeed in rude health in David Cameron's Britain.
Despite the early mention of the phrase 'One Nation' and the claims that it was a Queen's Speech for 'working people', the legislative program of the new Conservative government announced on Wednesday owed far more to Mrs Thatcher, and her neoliberal and neoconservative ideology, than it did to Harold Macmillan. Once again Cameron has shown that he's the man who talks like a 'center-ground' moderate but whose polices are actually quite extreme. Consider the key proposals:

You can read the whole piece here:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Intelligent Punter's Guide to the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest

Twenty-seven countries will line up for the final of the 60th Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna on Saturday. It will be broadcast live on BBC1 from 8pm, with Graham Norton providing the caustic commentary.
For punters, there are four key stats that have a bearing on Eurovision odds:


You can read the whole of my IP Guide to tonight's Eurovision Song Contest here.

How Europe changed its tune- 60 years of Eurovision



Classic Eurovision- Domenico Modugno and Volare

My new piece for RT.com OpEdge

On Saturday night in the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna the grand final of the 60th Eurovision Song Contest takes place. Twenty-seven countries, not all of European, will compete for the prize, won last year by the Austrian ‘bearded lady’ Conchita Wurst.
Eurovision is more than just a song contest- its history tells us much about the way Europe has changed politically, culturally and economically since the mid-1950s, and how the changes have not always been for the best.

You can read the whole piece here.

Monday, May 18, 2015

In the footsteps of Edgar Wallace (in southern Africa)



My travel feature from the Mail on Sunday, in which I follow in the footsteps of the Mail's Boer War correspondent Edgar Wallace, (the subject of my new biography), in southern Africa.

'I have always loved Cape Town and the Peninsula. There is no spot on Earth quite like it’.
So wrote Edgar Wallace, the Daily Mail’s Boer War correspondent who went on to become Britain’s most popular author and to write the screenplay for the classic Hollywood monster movie King Kong. 
As my wife and I gaze down at Cape Town and its glittering bay from the 1,086m summit of Table Mountain on a beautiful sunny afternoon at the beginning of the South African summer we can see why Wallace was so impressed. 
We’ve travelled 6,000 miles to retrace the footsteps of a remarkable man whose adventurous, rags-to-riches life story really was stranger than fiction - hence the title of my new biography. 

You can read the whole piece here.

One Nation? Why the divisive David Cameron is not the man to save the UK



My latest column for Sputnik International:

After his shock election win David Cameron promised to lead a government for 'One Nation'. The question is: how can he do that when his right-wing Thatcherite ideology is so divisive, and one large part of the UK - Scotland - has voted overwhelmingly for the pro-independence Scottish National Party?

You can read the whole article here.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

John McCain advising Ukraine? It's totally insane!



My latest piece for RT.com OpEdge

You really couldn’t make it up, could you? Serial warmonger and unsuccessful US Presidential candidate Senator John McCain has been offered a post as an advisor to Ukraine’s ‘Chocolate King’ President Petro Poroshenko.

You can read the whole Op Ed here.

Monday, May 11, 2015

UK General Election- The Establishment wins again




My take on the 2015 UK General Election, for RT.com OpEdge.

Football presenter and ex-England international Gary Lineker once joked: “Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes, and, at the end, the Germans always win.” We could say something very similar about general elections in the UK.
They’re a simple game: Lots of parties stand, we have a "democratic" choice, and, at the end, the party favoured by the British Establishment always wins.
The exit poll on Thursday night, which showed the Tories well ahead of Labour (despite all the earlier polls predicting a close-run contest) caused surprise to many, but really we shouldn’t have been too shocked. We've been here before....

You can read the whole piece here:

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Ten key UK election battlegrounds



Just hours before the poll open in the UK General Election. My new piece for Sputnik News:

Voters in 650 constituencies across the UK will go to the polls in Thursday's General election which is likely to be a very close contest.
Unfortunately, it's not true to say that 'every vote counts equally' because under Britain's first-past-the-post electoral system, some votes matter much more than others.
Many constituencies are 'safe' seats — ie its easy to predict which party will win them. We all know for instance, that Labour will hold onto Liverpool Walton and that the Conservatives will retain Henley. The election won't be decided by these results, but what happens in the so-called 'marginals'. It's voters in these constituencies who will effectively decide the result of the election. What are the seats we should be paying particular attention to as the results start to come in on election night?
Here are ten of the most important election battlegrounds — not simply the ten most marginal seats — but seats where the results will have a particularly big impact and where the parties are going all out to win.

You can read the whole piece here.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ofcom and the geo-politics of media regulation



Here you can watch extracts of an interview with me on Ofcom and the role it plays in UK broadcast media regulation, on the Al Jazeera programme The Listening Post. The item on Ofcom starts at around 14 minutes.

Another extract from the interview can be watched above.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

UK Child Abuse- it’s not the evidence, but who you are that matters

My latest for RT.com OpEdge

The decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to bring charges against the wealthy peer and establishment insider Lord Greville Janner in connection with allegations of child abuse has been met with outrage among the general public and police.
Janner, now 86, has been investigated by the police four times in the last 25 years. More than a dozen people came forward to say that they had been abused by the former MP at children’s homes - but once again he’s been let off the hook - with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) citing as the reason the “severity” of Lord Janner’s dementia.
What makes the decision particularly hard to take is that the CPS openly admits that Janner should have been prosecuted following investigations in the past, and that the charges against him were “extremely serious”.

You can read the whole piece here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Christians in peril- because of Western foreign policy





My latest column for RT.com OpEdge.

Easter should be a time of celebration for Christians, but for those of the faith living in the Middle East, there hasn’t been too much to celebrate in recent years.
‘Kill the Christians‘ is the title of a new BBC documentary, to be broadcast this week. In it, veteran reporter Jane Corbin travels ‘across the Middle East, to examine why Christianity is facing the greatest threat to its existence. She finds hundreds of thousands of Christians are fleeing Islamic extremists, conflict and persecution’.
It’s a grim story, but for the reason why Christians are so threatened today, we need to look at Western foreign policy.

You can read the whole of the piece here.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Intelligent Punter's Guide to the 2015 Grand National



Could there be a fairytale ending for the soon-to-be retiring racing legend Tony McCoy in Saturday’s Grand National, due off at 4.15pm and televised live on Channel 4?
If ‘AP’ does win on the favourite Shutthefrontdoor he’s likely to hang up his riding boots there and then. But there are plenty of potential party-poopers in the 40-strong field.
To separate the realistic contenders from the also-rans in the 4 miles 3.5 furlongs Aintree marathon, it’s important to bear in mind these key factors before placing your bets.

You can read the whole of my horse-by-horse guide to tomorrow's Grand National - and the key factors we need to bear in mind before placing our bets, here. While here you can listen to an interview with me on the National and the meeting at Aintree on BBC Radio Wales (starts at 1hr22mins)

Good luck with your selections!