Welcome to the written world of RDN.

RDN is a complicated conservative and a Civilised Right-winger. I am a bit hippy and arty. I am currently working on poems, a memoir, and cultural essays. I nurture hopes of doing a one man show. And I am interested in the spiritual.

Page 7 of all posts

Remembering Billy, killed in Burma, May 1945

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. Read more...

Published

03 May 2015

Filed in

On art

Be the Brightest and Best: vote Tory

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..... Read more...

Published

27 April 2015

Filed in

Economic affairs, Politics & campaigns

RDN on “Do we need The City?”

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. Read more...

Published

23 April 2015

Filed in

Economic affairs

The Establishment failed decent Tories

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. Read more...

Published

23 April 2015

Filed in

Economic affairs

Poem: In a space

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? Read more...

Published

26 February 2015

Filed in

RDN's poems

Christians can vote for the right

I have only read part of the Bishops’ letter to their parishioners and what follows is not a critique of the document. Rather, I simply want to show how the right-wing might be loving, compassionate and Christian as it argues (and votes) against state provision of welfare. Read more...

Published

23 February 2015

Filed in

Mind & body, Politics & campaigns

Following Sachs’ advice to let go a bit

Oliver Sachs writes beautifully about growing old and, in particular, about his imminent death. The essence of his message in the New York Times is that he remains interested in life and quite cheerful about it, but.... Read more...

Published

20 February 2015

Filed in

Mind & body

Prof Cox, fusion and the wonder of risk

Brian Cox has already suggested that mankind is alone, and should celebrate the wonder of it.  But, as he is foremost in reminding us, we are also the shards of star-dust that have become conscious and clever. Indeed, in creating industrial scale fusion reactors, if we ever do, we will have succeeded in not merely imitating our sun, but have found how to deploy its forces. Read more...

Published

20 February 2015

Filed in

Climate change, Mind & body, On TV & Radio

Mr Turner’s inaccuracies

Mike Leigh's film of Turner's later years is almost always lovely, occasionally very touching,  and often instructive. But some of its assumptions and presumptions are amazingly and even ruinously impertinent...... Read more...

Published

17 January 2015

Filed in

On art, On movies

The Anthropocene, Prof Cox, and more

The idea of the Anthropocene has been gaining traction, not least in a spate of books (as exemplified in an FT books review roundup, "Masters of the Earth", 13/14 December 2014). Unfortunately, most takes on the Anthropocene seem misanthropic. Luckily, Professor Brian Cox makes a sort-of exception.  We are alone, and it is exciting. Read more...

Published

19 December 2014

Filed in

Mind & body
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