Welcome to the written world of RDN. I am a complicated conservative, and a bit hippy and arty round the edges. I am currently working on poems, a memoir and a one-man show. Over all that is an increasing interest in the idea of spirituality. More »

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RDN on BBC Scotland: “Scrap the BBC!”

Posted by RDN under National Media Trust / On TV & Radio / RDN's media outings on 16 July 2015. No comments.

I had quite an interesting outing on BBC Radio Scotland’s Call Kaye phone-in show on the BBC’s charter review which begins in earnest today. I argued as usual for the “nuclear option” of getting rid of this antiquated institution. More »

EU obligations to Med-migrants

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / Politics & campaigns / RDN's media outings on 14 May 2015. No comments.

I have had a couple of recent outings on BBC Radio Scotland’s Call Kaye phone-in show, on the UK’s obligations – and Scotland’s in particular – toward the “Med-migrants”. My line, I am almost sorry to say, was that we will probably need to be cruel to be kind…. More »

RDN on democracy on BBC R2 Vine Show

Posted by RDN under Politics & campaigns on 12 May 2015. No comments.

I had an outing on the Jeremy Vine Show, discussing the anger which many people seem to feel that “their side” didn’t win. Yes, I said: democracy involves a contest between two or more parties, and they all need to be as electable as possible, and the process as civilised as possible…. More »

Eye-witness: Billy Filson-Young’s death, May ’45

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant on 12 May 2015. No comments.

I have set myself to commemorate the life and death of Wing Commander Billy Filson-Young, and – more broadly – his family. My father Paul North, Billy’s half-brother, in 1990 gathered new material about his brothers and here is an eye-witness account written around then. More »

Vera Bax poems for “The Fallen”, her WW2 sons

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / RDN's poems on 11 May 2015. No comments.

Vera Bax, poet and painter, lost two sons in WW2. Both were RAF pilots. She wrote a sequence of four poems on losing them. Some of the poems have been in various anthologies ever since. More »

Remembering Billy, killed in Burma, May 1945

Posted by RDN under On art on 3 May 2015. No comments.

I want to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the death in action of my half-uncle Billy Filson-Young in Burma on 15 May, 1945, aged 25.

His mother was the poet and painter Vera Bax (it’s complicated) and she wrote a series of poems about the deaths of her youngest son Richard (a pilot killed in action in 1942, aged 21) and Billy himself. They are of course grief-stricken poems. But they embolden me, too. More »

Be the Brightest and Best: vote Tory

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Politics & campaigns on 27 April 2015. No comments.

Many people in the creative, inventive and caring industries – the Brightest and the Best – have never socialised with people who openly espouse the Conservative cause, or have only met them to have a row. This why they should expand their horizons….. More »

RDN on “Do we need The City?”

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs on 23 April 2015. One comment.

I have been invited to discuss  “Do we need The City?” at  The World Traders’ Tacitus Debate 2015, Wednesday 6 May 2015, King’s College London. My response is that as an engine of public trust, we don’t, because The City says nothing of interest. More »

The Establishment failed decent Tories

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs on 23 April 2015. No comments.

There is a class of Tory who would have liked to believe in a benign Establishment that looked after them, and indeed looked after everyone. Instead, they feel betrayed. Such Tories knew that (expensively and only after a fashion) the state looked after  the poor; but they believed Tories should provide for themselves. By the mid-1990s many such people from every class had started businesses and bought pensions. Many watched their pensions wither, and then were whacked – let alone petrified – by the crash. More »

Poem: In a space

Posted by RDN under RDN's poems on 26 February 2015. One comment.

I am not clubbable, though I used to be rather more sociable. I have never been a loner. I dislike any sort of trap, seeking aisle seats and the back row. But I have always fantasised about the satisfactions of small spaces. The problem is: how to avoid self-pity or self-aggrandisement when one is fantasising about voluntary – chosen – isolation or confinement?

More »

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