Opinion / Chess, Football, Cricket, Sport

Wittgenstein and Chess

Ludwig Wittgenstein! There’s a name for us newbie philosophy fans. Wittgenstein burst into the tranquil Cambridge life of the then mighty philosopher Bertrand Russell and was soon arguing with him intensely about the presence or absence of a rhinoceros in the room. Or was it a hippopotamus? Wittgenstein often used […]

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Tottenham Shed Spursitude

My new piece for The Spurs Web on how Tottenham have moved on to a completely new level in the past two seasons. Nothing like this since 1961. A LONG time ago. Look at the season goal difference stats: In the first sixteen years of the Premier League era Tottenham […]

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More Chess and Diplomacy

A canny reader spots a fine reference to chess in Sir David Omand’s evidence to the Iraq Inquiry (pp 56/57): The second point that strikes me is that greater care is needed in threatening the use of military force to back up diplomatic measures. It is quite an easy thing to […]

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Tottenham – Berahino and Negotiation

Here’s my first piece for Spurs Web on what the Saido Berahino transfer (or not as it turned out) saga tells us about Negotiation Theory: In international negotiating, Time can be unlimited. Issues drag on for decades if not centuries: Cyprus, Korean peninsula, Russia/Ukraine/Poland/Germany. Brexit? For football transfers Time is […]

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Chess and Diplomacy

My latest DIPLOMAT piece looks at the similarities (or not) between chess and diplomacy: One cliché of diplomacy is that it is like chess. It combines patient strategic manoeuvring with sudden flashes of sharp decisive action. In chess, as in diplomacy, there is ‘objective’ strength: political and economic assets and […]

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Summerising Public Speaking

Becalmed in Olympic Glory and mulling over a gruelling September that might include a passing visit to Tajikistan. Contact established with Helen Sewell at Simply Speaking. Helen looks at public speaking with the keen eye of journalism and science – a mighty combination. Here she analyses the performance of UK […]

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Corbyn Labour: Hierarchy of Norms

One of the great issues in Jurisprudence is the Hierarchy of Norms. Where exactly does law find its moral legitimacy? Can a legal system’s legitimacy be traced back to one ‘Groundnorm’ as Hans Kelsen argued? Legal science, as Kelsen would like it to be, has to describe a legal norm […]

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Brexit v UKinEU (15): Migration

You don’t have to go far in the seething Brexit debate to find that ‘migration’ is a Big Deal, not least as the Labour/Guardian side of the argument smells its own panic. Thus this: Ed Balls’s latest intervention in the EU debate is striking. In today’s Daily Mirror, the former […]

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Football Negotiation: Time

Remember my football negotiation thoughts on the sundry attempts by Tottenham Hotspur FC to buy Saido Berahino last year? That possibility rumbles on in the 2016 UK winter ‘transfer window’, a month when clubs can buy or sell players mid-season to try to improve their chances in the coming race […]

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Football and Negotiation (Again): Vultures

+++ Update+++ Is this one now off? The West Brom Chairman has gone very public explaining why Mr Berahino will not be moving any time soon: “I have informed Saido that he will not be transferred during this summer window and that he is staying at the club” said Peace […]

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