Sunday 30 April 2023

How assassins work and does assassination work? My podcast now available


What motivates assassins? What are their favourite methods? What was the first assassination in history? What was the strangest? What was the first terrorist group? And does assassination work?

These are some of the questions Matt Lewis asked me in a wide-ranging podcast interview about assassinations over more than four thousand years from ancient Egypt to the present day, drawing on my book Assassins’ Deeds (Reaktion). 

Follow the link to access the podcast – mine is episode 7. The series is inspired by the popular video game Assassin's Creed.

Tuesday 11 April 2023

Brexitwatch: how to talk like a Conservative minister

Ever wanted to be a Conservative cabinet minister? No reason you can’t be, but one thing you will need is the right speech. So, as a public service I am providing, free of charge, the Tory Self-writing Speech Kit.

Write each of the phrases below on a card, then put on a blindfold, and arrange them in a random order. Fill in the gaps between with any old guff that takes your fancy (fact-checking not required).

These are the phrases:

evil gangs of people smugglers (put this on 3 separate cards to ensure repetition)

illegal asylum seekers (again on 3 cards)

economic migrants

a lot of them are young men, you know

stop the boats (3 cards)

abusing Britain’s hospitality

proud record of taking in refugees (though not ones arriving in small boats obviously)

delivering the people’s priorities

activist lefty lawyers

opportunities of Brexit

global Britain

I am available to promote any business of your choice in return for shedloads of money [actually, maybe leave this one out]