David Hansard

David Hansard has written 30 posts for david:hansard

Syria: the strangest war

– Western military support for jihadist fighters in Syria could result in hundreds of thousands more deaths –     The Syrian government and its forces, led by Bashar al-Assad, has been winning the war that has raged in the country since 2011. Helped greatly in recent years by Russia, and by others, including the … Continue reading

Serena Williams: doctors to blame for black women’s deaths

— Tennis star’s reckless accusation of lethal lack of care goes unchallenged in the media —   Serena Williams is the greatest ever tennis player. Roger Federer comes close, but he’s not quite the best. I’ve admired Williams for a long time. Her tennis is exceptional, her career astonishing. But her achievements and fame place … Continue reading

BBC videos: sentimentalising the news

  — BBC News videos are often no more than sentimental manipulation of its audience —   In idle moments I sometimes make the mistake of watching short videos on the BBC News website. You know the sort. They’re usually only a minute or so long, but can occasionally be up to ten. They can … Continue reading

Manufacturing offence

  — The Dove advert controversy: how to ignore reality and fake racism for your own benefit —   This week one of the world’s largest corporations, whose existence depends on pleasing millions of customers, brazenly released an advertisement showing it believes black people are inferior to white people. Despite their marketing team being the … Continue reading

Cellophane and tealights: mourning terror victims in Britain

  — Why do memorials for terror attacks in Britain lack the dignity found elsewhere? —   With the increasing number of terrorist attacks in Europe in recent years I’ve often been struck by the odd way in which the British, compared to other nationalities, use flowers to pay tribute to the victims of such … Continue reading

The poem Blackbird, by Adam Zagajewski

  A few days ago I heard a short programme about the blackbird, on BBC Radio 4. The blackbird is my favourite bird. I’ve already written a little about it here. There was lots of good stuff in the programme. And the tone was peaceful and calming too, something I’ve begun to seek out in … Continue reading

How to damage public health and the environment while feeling virtuous

— New e-cigarette law discourages smokers to quit and harms the environment —   In less than a month’s time, a law will come into effect which reduces public health and further damages the environment. It was passed by people who say they believe in promoting better public health and in protecting the environment. Yet … Continue reading

Making tea great again

— Britain is a nation of tea drinkers, yet the best brews forever elude us —   It seems impossible in Britain to mention good quality tea without coming across as a bit pretentious. People may readily admit that yes, indeed, there must be good, even great teas, teas better than the type they usually … Continue reading

The Age of Djokovic

— Novak Djokovic, not Federer, is not only the greatest ever male tennis player, he is also challenging our very idea of what is possible — [Warning/disclaimer: The following contains tennis statistics and sustained enthusiasm about sporting activities. While every attempt has been made not to include irrelevant facts and figures, by reading this blog post, … Continue reading

It’s not about the bird

— Outrage as robin is declared the UK’s national bird — It’s perhaps surprising that the United Kingdom didn’t have a national bird, official or otherwise, until last week. Many other countries have long had one: India has the glorious peacock; Kenya, the delectable lilac-breasted roller; and an emu appears on Australia’s Commonwealth Coat of Arms – although, … Continue reading

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