Tuesday 18 January 2022

The Plagues of Britain and Devon - my radio interview

What was the worst plague to hit Britain and Devon? The Black Death, cholera, Spanish flu, covıd? And what can we learn from the diseases of the past about how we should deal with the coronavirus pandemic? I was lucky enough to discuss all this and more with Pippa Quelch on BBC Radio Devon.

How the Black Death killed nearly half the clergy in parts of Devon, how the authorities in Exeter took the right approach to cholera even though no one knew what was causing it, and how one Devon medical officer warned women that low-cut tops and thin stockings were spreading Spanish flu.

You and hear it here -


And learn more from my book A Disastrous History of Britain https://www.amazon.co.uk/Disastrous-History-Britain-Chronicles-Plague/dp/075093865X/ref=sr_1_3?crid=WCY5DXBCGGAD&keywords=a+disastrous+history+of+britain&qid=1642507048&sprefix=a+disastrous+history+of+britain%2Caps%2C209&sr=8-3

Thursday 6 January 2022

Literary corner: Catch-Brexit, with apologies to Joseph Heller


'That's some catch, that Brexit catch', said Yossarian admiringly.

'So hit me with it again. So everyone knows this Brexit is crazy, right? But the MPs say they can't do nothing because the referendum was binding, right?'

'So some guys go to the judge and they say: "Hey judge, not only is Brexit crazy, but the referendum was bent." And the judge, he says: "Sure it was bent. It was bent as a nine dollar bill, but I can't do nothing because the referendum wasn't binding."' 

'So Brexit is crazy, but the MPs can't do nothing cos the referendum was binding, and the judges can't do nothing cos it wasn't binding.'

'Man, that's some catch. That's some catch.'