Party conferences are an opportunity for reflection. They provide a chance to lift our eyes beyond today’s latest parliamentary skirmish and survey the broader political landscape. There is a lot to take in.

Lyme Disease

There's a great line in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations: "Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule." It was said by the gruff lawyer, Mr Jaggers, and I've always thought it was pretty good rule for life.

Parson's Green, Extremist Propaganda and the Internet

Another week, another terrorist atrocity. The Parsons Green bombing was yet another chilling reminder of the threat we face, and the debt we owe to the police and security services who confront it. These recent attacks are not so much a spike as a shift.

Literature Festival, Tour of Britain, John Lewis and more

Many congratulations to all those who helped organise the Tour of Britain cycle event in Cheltenham. So many people, from borough council staff to an army of volunteers, came together to put on such a successful, positive, event.

New Term

Very good luck to all the young people (and teachers of course!) who are heading to school, university, or are starting their apprenticeship. I wish you every success.

Plastic Pollution

If you were lucky enough to get away this summer with friends or family, you might have headed at some point to the beach.

But whether that beach was in the scorching Med or soggy Britain, there is one grim factor that the coastlines will have had in common – plastic pollution.


“Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Prison Safety

“You can judge a society by how well it treats its prisoners.”


Better is the enemy of good. It’s a saying that is drummed into every rookie courtroom advocate, and is reminder that an insistence on perfection can lead to disaster.