November 2007

22 November 2007
England 2 Croatia 3

Boy, was I glad that I decided never to get wound up by this sort of thing ever again.

21 November 2007
Podcast: Brian and I talk about education

There is more to education… than just preparing people to earn lots of money.  Education is also something that prepares you to make do with much less money.

Brian’s Education Blog, if not actually back, is about to be.  So, what better way to celebrate could there be than to do a podcast on education?

In the podcast we talk about sovietisation, compulsion, discipline, the educational impact of Elvis Presley and how teddy bears will go about teaching quantum physics.

Well, that’s the blurb.  Actually, I think it is a bit of a ramble.  An interesting ramble but a ramble nevertheless.  The lesson is that there is a huge difference between being an interviewer and an interviewee.  The last couple of times I have been the interviewee, so I forgot that as interviewer you have to prepare.  Preparation doesn’t have to take very long - all that’s really required is to find out what the interviewee wants to say and tell him what questions you want to ask.  But it’s essential.  Lesson learned.  Until it’s forgotten again.

06 November 2007
Podcast: Brian and I talk about the First World War

In which we cover the Blackadder school of history, tanks, the German character, whether Britain should have fought or not, why Germany lost and Crozier’s Grand Theory of 20th Century History.

Before we recorded this conversation Brian put up a trailer on Samizdata which reaped a bumper crop of good comments.  Sure, there was some wheat in with chaff but a lot of them were first rate.  It was an exercise I suspect Brian will repeat in the future.


Field Marshal Haig (as Blackadder would have it) appears in this clip (it’s the second scene in):

This is General Melchett and Haig’s secret plan:

As funny as they are inaccurate.

Belgian neutrality did indeed date back to 1839.

The late Chris Tame was head honcho of the Libertarian Alliance.

The development of the tank was indeed sponsored by the Admiralty and the Landships Committee.

This is the Bloch we mention, the one who predicted how awful the war was going to be.

This is Brian on DUKWs.

I was right that Haig’s conception of the war included four phases.  The one I missed was the initial clash.

Is it possible to put italics in an Expression Engine title?

Yes, Brian, it is.

01 November 2007
Podcast: Northern Ireland’s continuing “peace”

“I think the counter-terrorist people probably deserve some credit for not topping the IRA leadership.”

“A market among thieves is better than no market at all.”

The continuing ceasefire in Northern Ireland baffles me.  Ian Paisley’s decision to share power with Martin McGuinness even more so.  Brian thought my befuddlement would make a good topic for a podcast so on Monday we sat down to record our musings on the matter - musings that you can listen to by following the link at the end of this post.

I should point out that I am reasonably well qualified (some will doubtless say uniquely ill-qualified) to address the subject of Northern Ireland as I spent a year as researcher to David Trimble and am the author of a couple of pamphlets on the subject.  However, I confess I am rather rusty.

In the podcast we discussed the various theories put forward for this seemingly miraculous peace: the end of the Cold War, the start of the War on Terror, the birth of the Irish Tiger and ageing of the IRA’s leadership.

There were a few things we missed.  We forgot to examine the possibility that in fact things are really quite violent - it’s just that many incidents aren’t being reported.  And there were a few more things I wanted to say about the British-Irish Treaty.

And what is a “switherer”?

Running time: (47 mins)

Update This is the blog post Brian is referring to in the comments.