Afghanistan: an object lesson in strategic failure

Afghanistan: an object lesson in strategic failure

Many years ago, I was talking with an Afghan who had lived through the country's civil war. After he had described the horrendous privations and dangers he and his family had experienced, he paused. 'Don't ever leave us like that again', he said.  And that, horrifically, is exactly what is happening. Not everything since the [...]

D’oh!

D’oh!

Hardly a day goes by without me reading a story about some conspiracy theory or other and asking myself whether we might finally have reached 'peak stupid'.  Of course stupidity is nothing new in human society, history (I would contend) essentially being a succession of stupid decisions punctuated by moments of getting things right. But [...]

A drama, a crisis, and a tragedy

A drama, a crisis, and a tragedy

As we all now know, Dominic Cummings’ evidence to Parliament yesterday was something of a bombshell - an account of a political leadership beset by ill-preparedness, detachment and complacency. Ill-equipped to deal with a crisis of this magnitude. Perhaps the best single word to describe the Johnson administration’s performance throughout is ‘hapless’.  Not stated explicitly [...]

Optimism bias

Optimism bias

So that's it. Another season finished. Agonisingly, we didn't make it into the play-offs, purely on the basis of goal difference. No-one can complain at the effort the team put in, but you can’t help thinking about what might have been.  The football supporter's life is full of such moments. We start each season full [...]