Military Covenant.

Western publics generally admire their military. But this admiration doesn't extend to all military campaigns conducted in their name.

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“Shady Lady” (2012): a brilliant low-key movie

This summer, I saw Shady Lady: Mission accomplished... running on empty at the Chichester Film Festival and thought it marvellous. I nabbed a DVD of the film on my way out, and some others from Fact Not Fiction Films, and settled on a stormy British winter afternoon to be transported to 1943 and the longest range bombing mission ever then attempted, from Darwin, to  Balikpapan, on the island of Borneo, 1300 miles away. Read more...


25 January 2014

“The Railway Man”: Oddly unconvincing

Most middle-aged people with any sense of history have had plenty of opportunities to try to get to grips with the horrors of the Japanese exploitation of their prisoners of war. On the face of it, the extraordinary real-life story of Eric Lomax's journey from victim to forgiveness would have made a wonderful film. But it hasn't, I think.... Read more...


17 January 2014

RDN at BCS digital access debate

The British Computer Society asked me to be one of two responders at a debate dinner featuring Trevor Phillips of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (7 November 2011). The question was: will it be possible for someone to be a full citizen without digital access? Read more...


08 November 2011

A New Military Covenant: The 21st century warrior?

The British military tradition is real, but it is up for grabs. Here is my account of a British military which becomes large, clever,  multi-purpose, and is deployed worldwide. Along the way, it becomes more commercial, more part-time and more argumentative. Read more...


02 March 2010

Top reads of 2009

I keep meaning to try to do justice to the books I read.  Here is a list of some of the things which rocked my world in 2009. Read more...


24 January 2010

The costs of modern war: where are the numbers?

Body-counts and other metrics about casualties aren't everything by a long shot, but we need to find ways to think about the computable "costs of war". That will contribute to an assessment of its moral dimensions. So far, I'm finding the numbers hard to find, let alone think about. Read more...


15 November 2009
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