Opinion / Men, Women, Gender

Jo Cox and Binary Politics

Here are two strong pieces on the appalling killing of Jo Cox MP and what (they say) it tells us about other things, including ourselves. They are by some chance related. The first by Alex Massie at the Spectator: So, no, Nigel Farage isn’t responsible for Jo Cox’s murder. And […]

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Alyson Bailes Remembered

My former FCO colleague the legendary Alyson Bailes alas has died, at the age of 67. Here is her Guardian obituary quoting Sir Kim Darroch: Her flair for languages was remarkable. She spoke and read French, Hungarian, German, Mandarin Chinese, Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish at what she herself described as […]

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UK Diplomacy: Ukraine and Gay Rights

Here is an interesting piece about Judith Gough, HM Ambassador to Ukraine, who is accompanied on her posting by her female civil partner: “the first full discussion with a member of the press about life as an out-and-proud ambassador”. Note the desperate improvisation of the FCO scouring its sprawling building […]

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Diplomatic Entertaining

Here’s my latest piece for DIPLOMAT. On the always fascinating subject of diplomatic entertaining: It’s easy to be a diplomatic guest. Just be polite. Show up when you’ve undertaken to do so, dressed appropriately. Then do not get drunk or behave disgracefully. If the event is something special (i.e. not […]

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Corbyn for Gender Apartheid

Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn wants to discuss gender apartheid – but only with women, of course: Corbyn said: “Some women have raised with me that a solution to the rise in assault and harassment on public transport could be to introduce women only carriages. “My intention would be to […]

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Camille Paglia – Still Sizzling

While I am away, read this wonderful interview with Camille Paglia. She never fails to challenge = and dance gleefully on her crushed enemies. So many wonderful lines: My clashes with other feminists began immediately. For example, it was 1970 or 1971, there was a feminist conference at the Yale […]

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Hillary Clinton as Grandmother Willow

It will be especially interesting watching how fans and opponents attempt to ‘frame’ the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign, and indeed each other. My Indy piece a few weeks ago looked at the dynamics of framing in the UK election context: A classic framing ploy is the Dead Cat Denial. You […]

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Hillary Clinton – Feminism ad Absurdum

“She is going to own the wise, smart grandmother,” Walsh said. “Embracing the title grandmother – rather than running away – makes her real, makes her human, makes her a more fully rounded candidate.” (Note the shifty comparative.) It starts. The Feminist-Media Complex starts to bludgeon the world in general and […]

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Michelle Obama Headscarf Shock

+++ OMG! Stop the presses! +++ Michelle Obama did not wear a headscarf in Saudi Arabia! But wait? What does this mean? Some Saudis have Tweeted criticism, others praise. Elsewhere views similarly differ. Christine Odone in the Telegraph (paywalled these days): This gesture is being widely praised for sending a “bold […]

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Speechwriting for Leaders: Black Dynamite!

The magnificent, consistently funny blaxploitation spoof movie Black Dynamite is an unexpected source of sophisticated public speaking insight. The hero of the film is Black Dynamite himself, a laconic unstoppable African-American kung fu master who is enraged when hard drugs even get into the orphanage – yes, the orphanage – […]

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