Peter Healey's blog

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This year is the 60th anniversary of the English queen coming to the throne.  Michael Gove, who rather disturbingly has some responsibility for the minds of our children as our Secretary of State for education, has suggested that people across the country should club together to buy the queen a new royal yacht.  A royal […]


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Cambridge University is doing some research on coincidences.  Here are my two: Music coincidence Some eight years ago, after a period of some difficulty in finding a job which suited her, my step-daughter got a job with a company called Saffron.  Cue great pleasure in the family, which was visiting Hungary at the time for […]

We are spending the New Year in Hungary (until yesterday the Hungarian Republic) which more and more becomes dangerous to its people and its neighbours.  A few days ago it failed to sell its short term bonds and paid nearly ten percent interest to market its ten year bonds (some way beyond the rates regarded […]

The UK & Europe

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In June 1975 there was a referendum in the UK on the country’s continued membership of the European Economic Community, as it then was.  I was then a (relatively) young married professional, with one child, and another on the way, in my second period of membership of the Labour Party after some disillusion during the […]

From time to time I send letters to the Guardian newspaper, a decreasing proportion of which get published. It is probably fair to put these up here to illustrate my follies, and some of the follies of the times from my perspective. This one is from Thursday, just before the Brussels summit at which the […]

Fair shares

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Today was a public sector workers strike in Britain, over the value of their pensions. I am not sure about the value of the public sector worker’s case.  True, when I worked in the public sector, on essentially the same conditions as a civil servant, a good pension was seen to balance poor pay.  People […]

Halfway Somewhere

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In 2006 I was the convenor of a major conference organised by my Institute in Oxford. Called Tomorrow’s People, its aim was to consider – from scientific, social and ethical perspectives – radical attempts to enhance human capacities and lifespan.  The book of the conference was published in 2009[i]. The gerontologists at the conference fell […]


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A new film Anonymous sets out the latest and least probable of the theories that suggest that Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare. In this case the putative author is Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford. As the critics tell us, this particular candidate needn’t detain us long: there is no evidence linking him with Shakespeare’s plays, […]


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My grandson Thomas, who will straddle my life and something that might be near to immortality, was born today, weighing in at 2.44 kilos. Son of Kate and John, brother to Anna, and cousin to Julia. I will meet him for the first time tomorrow, but I want to mark his birth by just recording […]

The sound of London’s Notting Hill Carnival reaches us at our flat from some 3 kilometers away. Last year it was the boom of crowds and the occasional snatches of music. This year it was police helicopters.