No, Mr Hammond, the debate has barely begun…

In a speech to the Royal United Services Institute yesterday (the text of which can be found here) Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond suggested that the debate over privacy and security, over mass surveillance and the role, tactics and practices of the intelligence and security services, was nearly over. In his words, after the current reviews by the Intelligence and Security Committee (the ISC) and the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, both of which are due to report shortly, “we should draw a line under the debate”.  I have one simple and direct response to that. No, Mr Hammond, it isn’t time to ‘draw a line’. The debate isn’t over: it has barely begun.

In his speech, Hammond highlights and praises the role played by the ISC. As he puts it:

“I regard the independent scrutiny and oversight that the ISC provides as a particular and significant strength of the British system.”

Is he talking about the same ISC that put on a public show in November 2013, a public hearing that was little more than theatre, carefully scripted, where the anodyne questions were given in advance to the heads of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ so that they could prepare the answers? The same ISC which failed to notice that, as ruled by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal last month, GCHQ had been acting unlawfully in its surveillance activities for seven years? The same ISC whose chair, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, cheerfully admitted to me at a round table event that formed part of the aforementioned review that he did not understand the most important piece of legislation governing interception and surveillance, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. That same Sir Malcolm Rifkind who had to resign from his position as Chair of the ISC for being duped into offering his services to a fake Chinese company – and even now does not seem to acknowledge that in his position taking a role for a Chinese company might provide some sort of conflict of interest?

No, Mr Hammond, the ISC does not provide the kind of ‘independent scrutiny and oversight’ that is needed – indeed, we don’t just need a review by the ISC, we need a full review of the ISC, so that it has some degree of real independence, so that it has the ability and knowledge, the understanding of the technology and the law that is needed in order to provide real ‘scrutiny and oversight’. Right now, it isn’t a ‘particular strength of the British system’ but very much the opposite. Its existence might suggest we have oversight: in practice, we really don’t.

And how can we draw a line under the debate when even the terms of that debate are still confused? As I’ve written before, the characterisation of the debate is – either deliberately or ignorantly – miscast. Rifkind characterised it as ‘individual privacy vs collective security’ – failing to grasp either that privacy is far from an individual right (indeed, its main function is one about relationships between people, and it underpins collective rights like freedom of assembly and association, and indeed freedom of expression) or that it isn’t really a ‘balance’, or that people want one or the other. People don’t want privacy or security – they want both, and they should be able to have both.

Phillip Hammond continues this mischaracterisation in his speech, referring to the “balancing act between the privacy we desire and the security we need”. No, Mr Hammond, privacy isn’t something we ‘desire’ – it’s something we need. It is a right, a right reflected in all the significant Human Rights documents, and in the Universal Declaration of Human Right and the European Convention on Human Rights in particular, both of which the UK is a party to. A qualified right, of course, but a right nonetheless, and to portray it as something we ‘desire’ is to downplay its significance, something that advocates of authoritarianism appear very keen to do. Privacy isn’t a selfish whim, it’s a fundamental right – and privacy on the internet is becoming more, not less, important these days as we spend more time and put more of our lives online. It is not something to be downplayed, but something to be taken more and more seriously.

So, Mr Hammond, no. No line can be drawn under the debate. As well as the two reviews mentioned in the speech, there are a whole series of legal challenges to the various activities of the intelligence services and others, not just in the UK but all over the world. The debate is only just starting – and if you expect privacy advocates, civil liberties advocates and others to stop campaigning, I’m afraid you’re very much mistaken. Others have recognised this – last Friday I was part of a seminar organised by the Association of Chief Police Officers into the ethics of policing the internet, the debate about which the police believe is only just starting.

Indeed, no line should be drawn under the debate: these debates need to continue forever. The watchmen need to be watched.  The price of liberty is eternal vigilance – and that includes vigilance over the authorities, not just by the authorities.

Debates, impartiality, Cameron and Chickens…

[AMENDED TO REFLECT THAT THE BBC TRUST RATHER THAN OFCOM ADMINISTER THE RULES]

The saga of the TV debates for the General Election has rumbled on over the weekend. The accusations that David Cameron is ‘chickening out’ of the debates have been gaining in volume, and the broadcasters let it be known that they might ‘empty chair’ Cameron if he continues to refuse to participate. Then, on Sunday, a story appeared in the Independent that suggested that the real chickens won’t be Cameron but the BBC. According to the Independent, the BBC are trying to avoid confronting Cameron, and are even considering giving him a separate programme if he ducks out of the planned debate.

‘Sources at the BBC’ have told the Independent that:

“…to comply with election and Ofcom rules about impartiality, if it hosts a debate without Mr Cameron, it would feel compelled to let him have his own programme, an in-depth interview or allow an extended party political broadcast. It is believed that the other broadcasters would follow a similar approach as the BBC.”

But can this actually be true? On the face of it, this appears to be the opposite of impartiality – indeed, it appears to be rewarding Cameron for his avoiding the debates. The BBC’s rules on impartiality are derived from the Communications Act 2003 (as amended) and the Broadcasting Act 1996 (as amended) – that is, they are backed up by legislation. They are effectively similar to those rules set out in the Ofcom Broadcasting Code (which can be found online here), though it is the BBC Trust rather than Ofcom who administer the rules. There are two things immediately worthy of note:

  1. That the words in the act – including the word impartiality – are generally to be interpreted literally; and
  2. That there is no specific guidance about debates – mainly because debates are not a traditional part of the electoral process in the UK.

Still, it should be possible to work out what the rules mean in this context. The relevant parts of the code are as follows:

5.5 Due impartiality on matters of political or industrial controversy and matters relating to current public policy must be preserved on the part of any person providing a service (listed above). This may be achieved within a programme or over a series of programmes taken as a whole.
Meaning of “series of programmes taken as a whole”:
This means more than one programme in the same service, editorially linked, dealing with the same or related issues within an appropriate period and aimed at a like audience. A series can include, for example, a strand, or two programmes (such as a drama and a debate about the drama) or a ‘cluster’ or ‘season’ of programmes on the same subject.

No precise guidance is given about how to apply this to debates – because, as noted above, there is no guidance specifically about debates. You could, and perhaps the BBC is, interpret the piece about ‘series of programmes taken as a whole’ to mean that another programme would fit the bill, but helpfully there is an extra bit of guidance in the section on elections that seems to establish the principle. This is in Section 6, which applies to elections, though about ‘[c]onstituency coverage and electoral area coverage in election':

6.9 If a candidate takes part in an item about his/her particular constituency, or electoral area, then candidates of each of the major parties must be offered the opportunity to take part. (However, if they refuse or are unable to participate, the item may nevertheless go ahead.)

So what does this all mean? Well, first of all, it seem entirely clear that the Ofcom Broadcasting Code does not ‘require’ the BBC or other broadcasters to offer Cameron his own programme. As I’ve mentioned twice before, there are no specific rules about debates that would bind them in this way. Indeed, as also shown, the general approach should be the opposite: the rules about specific constituency events should set the principle: if someone refuses or is unable to participate, as long as they have been offered the opportunity (and Cameron has) the debates should nevertheless still go ahead.

Indeed, impartiality should mean that if the BBC does offer Cameron a separate programme, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg (and potentially others) should be able to demand one for themselves. I suspect each of these leaders’ advisers has already worked this out – if they haven’t, they should have!

Personally, I rather dislike the debates – they make our electoral system seem too ‘presidential’, they increase the focus on personality rather than policy, and they end up giving ‘telegenic’ politicians an advantage that may bear little relation to their intelligence, morality etc etc – but if we are to have them, we should be fair about it. If Cameron thinks they’re a bad idea, he should have been honest about that from the start – but he wasn’t.

I’m not sure Cameron is a ‘chicken’ about this – I suspect he’s making precise calculations about risks and benefits – but if the BBC is really trying to suggest that they are bound to give him his own programme, I think they really are being chickens, and that there is certainly not the obligation on them that has been suggested. They should be simple and straightforward: if Cameron wants to be included, include him. if he doesn’t, then go ahead anyway. That’s what the law, and the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, as I see it, requires. The BBC Trust, who follow the same legislation that backs up the Ofcom rules, should follow the same rules.

Ethical policing of the internet?

acpoheaderThe question of how to police the internet – and how the police can or should use the internet, which is a different but overlapping issue – is one that is often discussed on the internet. Yesterday afternoon, ACPO, the Association of Chief Police Officers, took what might (just might, at this stage) be a step in a positive direction towards finding a better way to do this. They asked for help – and it felt, for the most part at least, that they were asking with a genuine intent. I was one of those that they asked.

It was a very interesting gathering – a lot of academics, from many fields and most far more senior and distinguished than me – some representatives of journalism and civil society (though not enough of the latter), people from the police itself, from oversight bodies, from the internet industry and others. The official invitation had called the event a ‘Seminar to discuss possible Board of Ethics for the police use of communications data’ but in practice it covered far more than that, including the policing of social media, politics, the intelligence services, data retention and much more.

That in itself felt like a good thing – the breadth of discussion, and the openness of the people around the table really helped. Chatham House rules applied (so I won’t mention any names) but the discussion was robust from the start – very robust at one moment, when a couple of us caused a bit of a ruction and one even almost got ejected. That particular ruction came from a stated assumption that one of the weaknesses of ‘pressure groups’ was a lack of technical and legal knowledge – when those of us with experience of these ‘pressure groups’ (such as Privacy International, the Open Rights Group and Big Brother Watch) know that in many ways their technical knowledge is close to as good as it can be. Indeed, some of the best brains in the field on the planet work closely with those pressure groups.

That, however, was also indicative of one of the best things about the event: the people from ACPO were willing to tell us what they thought and believed, and let us challenge them on their assumptions, and tell them what we thought. And, to a great extent, we did. The idea behind all of this was to explore the possibility of establishing a kind of ‘Board of Ethics’ drawing upon academia, civil society, industry and others – and if so, what could such a board look like, what could and should it be able to do, and whether it would be a good idea to start with. This was very much early days – and personally I felt more positive after the event than I did before, mainly because I think many of the big problems with such an idea were raised, and the ACPO people did seem to understand them.

The first, and to me the most important. of those objections is to be quite clear that a board of this kind must not be just a matter of presentation. Alarm bells rang in the minds of a number of us when one of the points made by the ACPO presentation was that the police had ‘lost the narrative’ of the debate – there were slides of the media coverage, reference to the use of the term ‘snoopers’ charter’ and so forth. If the idea behind such a board is just to ‘regain the narrative’, or to provide better presentation of the existing actions of the police so as to reassure the public that everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds, then it is not something that many of the people around the table would have wanted to be involved in.  Whilst a board like this could not (and probably should not) be involved in day-to-day operational matters, it must have the ability to criticise the actions, tactics and strategies of the police, and preferably in a way that could actually change those actions, tactics and strategies. One example given was the Met Police’s now notorious gathering of communications data from journalists – if such actions had been suggested to a ‘board of ethics’ that board, if the voices around the table yesterday were anything to go by, would have said ‘don’t do it’.  Saying that would have to have an effect – or if it had no effect, would have had to be made public – if the board is to be anything other than a fig leaf.

I got the impression that this was taken on board – and though there were other things that also rang alarm bells in quite a big way, including the reference on one of the slides to ‘technology driven deviance’ and the need to address it (Orwell might have rather liked that particular expression) it felt, after three hours of discussion, as though there were more possibilities to this idea than I had expected at the outset. For me, that’s a very good thing. The net must be policed – at least that’s how I feel – but getting that policing right, ensuring that it isn’t ‘over-policed’, and ensuring that the policing is by consent (which was something that all the police representatives around the table were very clear about) is vitally important. I’m currently far from sure that’s where we are – but it was good to feel that at least some really senior police officers want it to be that way.

I’m not quite clear what the next steps along this path will be – but I hope we find out soon. It is a big project, and at the very least ACPO should be applauded for taking it on.

Be more goat…

Tomorrow is the Chinese New Year – and depending on who you talk to, the new year can be called the Year of the Sheep, the Ram, or the Goat. Personally, I’m going for goat.

Goat

Sheep and goats have played a significant part in the history of people all over the world. They come into proverbs and religion – separating the sheep from the goats is the one that springs most readily to mind, and highly relevant in these days where governments seem intent on creating division and setting some people to one side as ‘worse’ than others. David Cameron’s recent suggestion that obese people on benefits should have those benefits cut if they ‘refuse’ treatment is just one of a plethora of attempts to create and emphasise division, to cement in peoples minds the idea that some people are better than others, that some are more deserving than others, and so forth.

That, indeed, was how I always understood the idea of ‘separating the sheep from the goats’. The vicar who I first heard tell it was pretty clear: sheep are better than goats. The Lord is My Shepherd, not my Goat Herd. Sheep are cuter and better. They’re obedient and subservient, and they get their reward as a consequence. We should be like sheep, and let ourselves be herded – not like goats, who are ugly, stubborn and disobedient. We even have a word specially for it: capricious. It’s a primarily negative word – to be unpredictable, ungovernable, stubborn, unwilling to follow rules. Unwilling to be ruled. Don’t be a goat, the message seems to go. Be a sheep.

With the Chinese New Year ahead, the political statements are already making the point. Hong Kong’s CY Leung said that  citizens had better ‘inherit the traits of the sheep, of being tame and friendly, in the New Year’. That’s how governments would like us to be – indeed that’s how ‘the powerful’ all over would like us to be. Tame and friendly. Obedient. Compliant. Not too much trouble. The increasing moves in the UK towards a more authoritarian approach to the internet are just one example. We’re expected to just accept surveillance – like sheep accepting sheepdogs watching us all the time. We’re expected to embrace ‘porn’ filtering – again, it’s for our own good. Being penned in, like sheep. We’re not supposed to question this. We’re supposed to believe that those set to watch us, those who build the fences that pen us in, have our best interests at heart – rather than wish to shear off our wool, roast us and eat us with mint sauce.

And the evidence that they don’t have our best interests at heart seems to be growing all the time – the tax avoidance and evasion stories are just another example of the same sort of stuff we’ve seen before. One rule for the sheep, another for the dogs, still another for the farmers.

So, in this New Year, I say we shouldn’t accept it. Don’t be a sheep. Be a goat. Be awkward. Challenge what we’re told – and disobey the rules if they’re not right. Don’t be afraid to challenge even the biggest trolls on the bridges. Goats can be more powerful than they seem. I’m not afraid of being less cute than a sheep, less valued than a sheep. I’d rather be ugly and ornery than compliant….

Be more goat.

Thanks to David Spencer (@Honxqp) for the quote from CY Leung.

Paris damages the case for mass surveillance…

Predictably, the horrific killings in Paris have led to a number of calls for more, and more invasive powers of surveillance for the police and the intelligence services. This always happens after an atrocity – the horrendous murder of Lee Rigby, for example – but as then, these calls are misguided at best. In particular, what happened in Paris doesn’t make the case for mass surveillance stronger – if anything, it damages that case. A huge amount has been written about this already, and I don’t want to go over the same material yet again, but there are a few key points to bear in mind.

Firstly, that France already has extensive surveillance powers. It already has ID cards. It already has more privacy invasions than we in the UK have – and we have a huge amount. That surveillance, those privacy invasions, didn’t stop the shooting in Paris. Why, therefore, would we believe that similar powers would work better in the UK? Because our police and intelligence services are somehow ‘better’ than the French? To say that’s an unconvincing argument is to put it mildly.

Secondly, and more importantly, it looks almost certain that the perpetrators of the atrocity were already known to the police and intelligence services. They had been identified, and noted. Just as the murderers of Lee Rigby had been identified. And the men accused of the Boston bombings. The intelligence services already knew who they were – so to suggest that more dragnet-style mass surveillance would have helped prevent the atrocity would simply be wrong. Let me say it again. We knew who they were. We didn’t need big-data-style mass surveillance to find them – and that’s supposed to be the point of mass surveillance, insofar as mass surveillance has a point.

Most privacy advocates such as myself are not, despite what the supporters of mass surveillance might suggest, ‘anti-police’ or ‘anti-intelligence services’. Most that I know are very much in favour of the police. None of us like terrorism – and to someone like me, a free-speech advocate, an amateur satirist and even occasional cartoonist – this particular attack hits home very sharply. When we say we oppose mass surveillance, amongst other things it’s because we don’t think it’s likely to work – and in particular, that we think other things are likely to work better.  And the evidence, such as it is, seems to support that. Police and intelligence services do no have unlimited resources – far from it in this age of austerity. If the resources – time, money, energy, intelligence – currently put into mass surveillance systems that are unproven, have huge and damaging side-effect, and are even potentially counterproductive, were, instead, devoted to a more intelligent, targeted approach, it might even be that counterterrorism is more effective. We should be looking for new ways, not going down paths that are costly in both financial and human terms.

The fundamental problem is that terrorism, by its very nature, is hard to deal with. That’s something we have to face up to – and not try to look for silver bullets. No amount of technology, no level of surveillance, will solve that fundamental problem. We shouldn’t pretend that it can.

Politicians of the year…

‘Inspired’ by The Times nomination of Nigel Farage, here is my wholly biased, evidence-free and not exactly serious set of ‘politicians of the year.

Politician of the year: Caroline Lucas
Honourable mention: Dennis Skinner

For sticking to her principles (hell, for even having principles in the first place!) listening to debates and generally being a good human being – something far beyond the reach of most MPs, Caroline Lucas took this award with relative ease – though Dennis Skinner’s NHS speech towards the end of 2014 took the breath away.

Liar of the year: Iain Duncan Smith

Extensive research has yet to find anything that IDS said in 2014 that was actually true. Full reviews of Hansard as well as of all his official speeches have failed, but close friends believe he may have been honest when telling the time once in late October.

Villain of the year: Chris Grayling

For his sadly partially successful attempts to destroy our justice system, Chris Grayling is my villain of the year. Hardly any aspect of the system has not felt his malign touch – what he has done to legal aid is nothing short of criminal, whilst probation and the prisons have been hit horribly and his judicial review plans are hideous. He’s been beaten many times in the courts, but his viciousness lumbers forward all but unabated.

Disappointment of the year: Yvette Cooper

Yvette Cooper had a real opportunity to change the authoritarian direction Labour has been heading since Blair’s embrace of the so-called ‘War on Terror’, and make Labour once again a party that understands the importance of civil liberties. Sadly she’s done pretty much precisely the opposite, seeming to want to ‘out-tough’ Theresa May, to love the surveillance state and out-Farage Farage on border controls. Sad, and totally unnecessary.

Failure of the year: Michael Gove

From leadership contender and the Man Who Would Save Education, Mr Gove has suffered a sacking, been stuck in the Commons toilet and been revealed to be a thoroughly incompetent Chief Whip – losing votes he should have won, having MPs defect just after having lunch with him. The world’s smallest violin is playing the world’s saddest song…

Racist Dog-whistler of the year: Nigel Farage

There are many awards that Nigel Farage could win – ‘Best Actor’ for his impersonation of an anti-establishment figure, despite being as establishment a politician as they come, right down to the employment of his family and full-scale exploitation of expenses rules – but the racist dog-whistles are his real forte. ‘You know the difference’ he told James O’Brien once. Yes, Nigel, we know the difference. And we know exactly what you mean.

Tragic figure of the year: Julian Huppert

Julian Huppert was one of the heroes of the commons in the way he was pivotal in the defeat of the Communications Data Bill – the snooper’s charter – but he went from hero to zero in 2014 by allowing himself to be used by Theresa May to ‘legitimise’ the passing of DRIP. That episode – the act was passed in mere days – was one of the most shameful in parliament’s recent history, and Huppert didn’t just fail to prevent it, he helped make it happen. It didn’t need to, and Huppert’s role in it was simply tragic.

Authoritarian of the year: Theresa May
Dishonourable mentions: David Blunkett, Hazel Blears

For her desire to bring back the snooper’s charter, preferably with all its powers strengthened and made less accountable, for her love of secret courts, and for all-round authoritarianism – and I’m not making this up – Theresa May is a shoe-in for the Authoritarian of the Year award. David Blunkett is past his prime, but still brings back memories of 90-day detention – while Hazel Blears’ supine efforts on the Intelligence and Security Committee make her seem positively starry eyed in the face of authority. Still, neither are a match for Theresa May!

The Mary Whitehouse Award for Puritanical Nanny of the year: Claire Perry
Dishonourable mentions: David Cameron, Helen Goodman

Fairly stiff competition for this award, but Perry wins in for her championing of ineffective, over-blocking Internet filtering systems. Cameron came close by championing of Perry, and Goodman would have loved to have had the chance. Perry, Cameron and Goodman would also have been in the running for the ‘technologically incompetent politician of the year’ award if it were not for the fact that more than 95% of MPs reached world-championship levels of technological incompetence.

Curate’s Egg of the year: Simon Danczuk

Danczuk is a quintessential Curate’s Egg: brilliant in relation to child abuse, abysmal over welfare and even worse about immigration. Tirelessly seeking out the truth about child abuse – but accepting the worst and most damaging of myths over ‘scroungers’ and strangers.

Cock of the year: Penny Mordaunt
Dishonourable mention: Brooks Newmark

It was a close run thing between Penny’s speech and Brooks’ Paisley pyjamas, but Penny’s cock was calculated whilst Brooks’ was essentially a cock-up, so Penny has the edge. She is the cock, rather than just having one.

Peacock of the year: Keith Vaz

Want a quote? Ask Keith. Want a photo? Ask Keith. Want to meet a Romanian at Luton Airport? Ask Keith. You ask for it, Keith will do it, and shake his tail feathers too.

‘The wrong tie’ award for MPs representing the wrong party: Danny Alexander
Dishonourable mention: Tristram Hunt

Danny Alexander just pips the rest of the Lib Dems and pretty much the entire Labour Front Bench for this critical award. He’s a Tory’s Tory, and if it wasn’t for the fact that his constituency is in Scotland he would probably have defected years ago. Tristram Hunt attempts to emulate Alexander’s Tory imitation, mostly by channelling mid-period Michael Gove, but doesn’t have Alexander’s sheer shamelessness in following Tory policy to the finest detail. Nice try though.

The Bulldog Award for persistence: Tom Watson

Not content with taking on Murdoch, Tom Watson is still pursuing the historical sexual abuse cases with patience and persistence – let’s hope 2015 finally starts to see some results.

…and finally…

The Clegg Award for broken promises: George Osborne

Osborne has shown a knack for missing every target he sets himself. He hasn’t quite matched Clegg for direct promise-breaking, nor has he managed an apology, let alone an auto-tuned one, but his record for missing targets is nothing short of remarkable.

50 at 50….

Today is my 50th birthday – and as you can imagine that has meant a lot of reflection, a lot of retrospection, and a fair amount of contemplation. Lots of interesting ideas came, themes, thoughts… but mostly, my feeling right now is one of general happiness and wonder. Life can be pretty hideous at times – but it can be wonderful too, and the thing that seems to make it wonderful to me is often random, seemingly unconnected stuff. The best things that have happened to me have very often – almost always – been unpredictable, chaotic, even sometimes dangerous.

A few things I do know. I know that you don’t have to lose your ideals as you grow older. I know that you don’t have to become more conservative as you grow older. I know that you don’t have to become more selfish as you grow older. I know that you don’t have to get grumpier as you get older. I know that you don’t have to get more afraid as you get older. I know that you don’t have to stop loving life, loving people, and loving things as you get older. I love things because I love them – not really for any rational reasons, but just because I love them. Yes, that means family and friends, but that’s not for here or for now. Here and now, I just want to set down a few things – well, 50 things, because I like numbers (!) – that make me smile, and that in some ways make me what I am.

Everything here matters to me in some way – and has some connection to what it feels to me to be 50, to be alive, to be here. This is not a carefully calculated list – making sure there are no omissions, or that everything is in balance – but mine has not been a carefully calculated life. Very much the opposite – successful long term plans have been very much the exception, not the rule. Anyway, in the unlikely event you’re interested, here they are, in no particular order – or rather, in the random order that they came to my mind.

1 Bacon

streaky_bacon
2 Studio Ghibli

mononoke

3 Wolves

wolves

4 Wolves

wolvesfc

5 Protests

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 15.19.19

6 Marmite

Marmite

7 Romania

romania-2

8 Snow Leopards

Snow_Leopard_Sitting_In_Rocks_600

9 Cambridge

Pembroke_Homepage_LowRes_0046_header

10 Fatherhood

11 Marvin Gaye

marvin

12 Socialism

red-flag-madrid-spain-may

13 Travelling

map

14 The Princess Bride

swordfight

15 Twitter

Twitter

16 Realising I’m wrong about something

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 07.51.35

17 Multiculturalism

multicultural

18 Dumplings

dumplings

19 The Clash

Clash210513

20 Train journeys

train2

21 Law

scales

22 Cold, clear days

cold clear day

23 Trees

24 Sushi

sushi

25 Bringing Up Baby

bringing-up-baby

26 Computers

old mac

27 Children’s films

Merida

28 Parodies

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 07.38.14

29 Regina Spektor

Regina-Spektor-midcoast-9771

30 Mathematics

trigonometery

31 Indigo snakes

Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition

32 Boston Legal

Boston-Legal-cast

33 Gene Wolfe

Gene-Wolfe-007

34 Poetry

Windscale

35 Surprises

surprised-animals-3

36 Dartmoor

dartmoor

37 Axolotls

axolotl1-960x960

38 Castles

Castle 2

39 Croquet

croquet

40 Judge Dredd

dredd

41 Social Justice

social_justice

42 Bridge

Bridge

43 Cooking

Toad

44 Tea

mug-of-tea

45 Roast dinners

Roast beef

46 Ancient history

47 Beethoven

beethoven-1

48 Steve Bull

Steve Bull

49 Writing

writing

50 Fairy Tales

Fairy tale

———————–

Well, that’s me for now. Congratulations for reaching this far – it’s been a bit of a trek. I hope I keep trekking a lot longer.