If the cap fits

The clever money is on Aseefa Bhutto Zardari emerging as the political heir to Benazir rather than her brother Bilawal. According to those that know, she is the more politically fiery of the two. And she certainly has the campaigning gene, wearing her PPP party cap while doshing out food to people fleeing this year’s … More If the cap fits

Our man in Mexico and the fake bomb detectors

Excellent work by the British government on helping end the scam in which a British businessman sold novelty golf ball detectors to the developing world as bomb spotters. Press release arrives from Justine Greening, international development secretary, flagging up the role played by the Department for International Development in hunting down this fraud and putting … More Our man in Mexico and the fake bomb detectors

Hand drawn maps and me

I’ve been enjoying From Here to There, a collection of hand drawn maps from the Hand Drawn Map Association. Some are exquisite artworks, always intended for show. Others  are quick sketches drawn for the out-of-town visitor, setting out places of interest – bars, galleries and suchlike. The sort of thing carried around in a back … More Hand drawn maps and me

Red or dead

The obvious risk of Red or Dead is that it contains too much football for most fans of hardcore modernist fiction and too much hardcore modernist fiction for most fans of football. Not as far as this reader is concerned. Am 100 pages into the new David Peace novel. 100 pages of the new. 100 … More Red or dead

Foreign aid is increasingly used for political ends

Interesting defence of Britain’s foreign aid budget in The Times today (behind the paywall, I’m afraid). Essentially he’s responding to a slew of stories pointing out some of the problems with aid (such as this and this), and makes some pretty sensible points about how many critics don’t realise how little we actually spend on … More Foreign aid is increasingly used for political ends

Greece or Pakistan?

I’d always been a bit sceptical about the Kalash people’s claim to be descended from the invading armies of Alexander the Great. The famous Macedonian leader passed through what is now northern Pakistan more than 2000 years ago. Nice idea, that some of his soldiers, had left behind their DNA giving rise to a tribe … More Greece or Pakistan?