Private Eye Covers

Here is a great collection of all the covers of Private Eye. I think this may be the best Private Eye cover of all time, back from 1966, on the assassination of the South African Prime MInister, Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd

George Bush and the Bible

My Dad reproduced this very funny spoof letter in his blog – see it here. Every time I read it, it seems funnier and funnier.

Visiting Pennsylvania

We spent the weekend in Pennsylvania. You can see the photos here.  Philadelphia was the venue for the meetings which lead to the drafting of the US Declaration of Independence, and the US Constitution – documents (esp the Declaration of Independence) which are, even today, inspiring and radical. It is difficult to conceive of such a group of people coming together today.  Lancaster County was beautiful. The life of the Amish people (the subject, in part, of the movie Witness) is fascinating. I was touched that the reason for the lifestyle they choose is not a sense of biblical injunction,… Read More »Visiting Pennsylvania

Another McDonalds Tragedy

I have the greatest sympathy for the family of Charlie Bell, the Chief Executive of McDonalds who died on Sunday of cancer of the colon at the age of 43. That is a tragically young age for a man who should have had a great future. It is all the more saddening because it follows the death from a heart attack of his predecessor, Jim Cantalupo, who died aged 60 last April. It may seem distasteful to mention this, but you can’t help wondering if the premature deaths of these two men are related to their product. In American business… Read More »Another McDonalds Tragedy

Aid and private giving

A request has flooded in for the figures for my previous posting ("Is America stingy with aid?"). So I have worked out league tables for the industrialised countries which rank countries according to: public and private giving measured in total dollars (the US is ranked 1st of 22) public and private giving as a percent of national income (the US is 21st out of 22) public and private giving per head of donor population (the US is 12th out of 22) You can see the league tables here. You may also want to look at this Center for Global Development… Read More »Aid and private giving

Is America stingy with aid?

There is an interesting discussion going on about whether the US is "stingy" in the amount of aid it gives. US official aid is 0.15% of national income. But some commentators are claiming that this understates American generosity, because of substantial flows of private giving. See, for example: Replublicans and Conservatives Blog Bruce Bartlett’s article This article by Susan Raymond on the onPhilanthropy website The facts are collected by the OECD – you can see them here.The offiical figure for US foreign private aid is $6.3bn (table 13 line 26). This means that US foreign assistance, public and private, was… Read More »Is America stingy with aid?

Story of our trip to Ethiopia

Grethe and I have, at last, got around to writing an account of our cycling holiday in Ethiopia in 2002. You can read about it here. Ethiopia is a wonderful destination for a holiday. It has a fascinating history, spectacular and varied countryside, open and engaging people, and a very pleasant climate. Ethiopia needs income from tourism. Please consider choosing to visit Ethiopia for your holiday.

Gordon Brown and the fight for global justice

Gordon Brown made a moving and powerful speech to the charity CAFOD last Sunday. It is well worth reading in full: you can see it here. Gordon Brown’s leadership in the fight against international poverty is inspiring and important. It deserves backing.

New blog software

I’ve upgraded my blog software. I use WordPress. If you are using Firefox, and if you want to use the “live bookmark” feature, click on the orange icon in the bottom left hand corner.