on global justice, climate change, cricket, living in Winchester and other trials of patience

Ignore the elephant in the Itchen at our peril

How can Winchester City Council announce a flood defences scheme without mentioning climate change? It feels as though there’s an embargo on the phrase which is not good for policy-making or for the design of this important scheme.

The accent of motherhood is out of the box

Readings of The Republic of Motherhood by Liz Berry may offer fresh opportunities to reveal the emotional power of her Black Country dialect.

Defence of refugee law sets Aquarius on Mediterranean collision course

The NGO rescue ship Aquarius aims to prevent migrants being returned to Libya despite orders from the European Council not to interfere.

GKN in the 1970s: when nostalgia ruled

The GKN takeover rekindles personal memories of working at the company’s head office in the late 1970s. This was a period of British industrial decline but takeover threats were not on the agenda.

January 2012: a curious month in Oxfam’s woes

How could the detail of the Oxfam Haiti scandal remain secret for so long? How could Duncan Green and Ian Birrell not have known the facts back in January 2012? Not that it matters now, but these loose ends have curiosity value.

Jobs for refugees in transit: the new aid conditionality

Does the $500 million Jobs Compact for Ethiopia represent innovative finance for development or a risky gamble?

Climate change and art: just good friends

A Simon Armitage poem for the Winchester Poetry Festival prompts thoughts about climate change and art in its choice of subject – Antony Gormley’s Sound II

Third World Network website: treasure or trash?

Third World Network is one of the world’s most respected international NGOs. But the design of its website possibly dates from the 1990s. Does this matter?

Peak weather overcooks climate campaigns

Highlighting stories of extreme weather is a core strategy of many climate campaigns. Recent events should reinforce this strategy but is it working?

Salutary Clips from Copenhagen COP15

As world leaders descend on Paris today for the climate showdown, I couldn’t resist digging out the corresponding moments of the doomed Copenhagen COP15 in 2009, filmed by indefatigable colleagues at OneWorld. First, the grand entrance of Angela Merkel. Although the OneWorld crew*…