Eurotunnel vision

After arriving in London en route to America, an acquaintance's grandfather decided to kill time at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park. It was 1906, and he, similar to my own grandparents, had fled a pogrom in Russia. Despite having his heart set on New York, he changed his mind when he heard an itinerant speaker…

Dead Wrong

It's bad enough that, thanks to the controversy surrounding Brexit, the average Briton no longer lives with peace of mind. From April 1 they will no longer die with peace of mind. A headline-grabbing exaggeration perhaps, but probate fees for opening a file to deal with a deceased person's estate are due to jump from…

Keep Calm and Carry On

The British have always been a supremely pragmatic people. It was thanks to a fickle king that they knocked religious hegemony on the head early on, and thanks to another misguided monarch that they got their revolution out of the way before the Rousseaus, Marxes and Engels of the world could fill the vacuum with…

Yes, Minister

Looking confused next to the overhead locker of my assigned Business Class seat on a British Airways flight from Heathrow to New York last year, I was approached by a helpful flight attendant (if that is what stewardesses are called these days) who offered assistance. Pointing to the little picture indicating which mini-compartment was 12A,…

His Kingdom For A Hearse

With England burying one of its monarchs today, 530 years late, I thought it appropriate to re-post this item from March 25,  2012. Greatest Britain   What makes Britain great? There is, of course, no single answer (and the French would suggest there is no question), but the nation that gave the world its principal parliamentary…

The Balls In Her Court?

What with the World Cup and Wimbledon, the last few weeks have been jam-packed with balls - an appropriate time, perhaps,  for the British Labour Party to present its ideas for the future of tax policy should it win the next General Election. But more of that later. I grew up thinking the Queen was so…