Ian on Sunday

Hero in a terrible moment

At a time when we mourn with their families the brutal murders of Isaiah and Joel Henry and Haresh Singh and Prettipaul Hargobin, I give my column to the words of Gladson Henry, father of Isaiah and uncle of Joel.

The end of the world

Seamus Heaney, the great Irish poet, whose marvelous collection of essays The Redress of Poetry I like to re-read, wrote that W.H.


My tutor at Cambridge, Professor Nick Hammond, authority on the history of ancient Macedonia and on the life of Alexander the Great, used to coach me on what he called “exercises of the mind.”

Exercise every single day

Apart from having the luck in life’s lottery of inheriting good genes there are two sure ways to live a longer and healthier life.

Give counsel without fear or favour

Svensson Knut, Canute the Great, King of England from 1016, King of Denmark from 1018 and King of Norway from 1030 until he died in 1035, was perhaps the most successful and effective of the early rulers of England.

Total education

The debate on improving educational standards never ends. Let us consider what is meant by giving a child a good education in the total sense of the word.

Democracy or dictatorship?

I divert from my usual Sunday column to make a few comments on the 2020 General Election which seems (but who knows) to be entering its final stage after suffering a tortured history since that day on March 2nd when everyone – everyone – was happy with a well-run, transparent, credible day of voting.

Setting standards

I do not like reminiscing about the old days – that immediately marks you as entering your dotage.

The writing on the slate

“The Voters’ Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all your Plotters’ Wit Shall lure it back to cancel the Result Nor all thy fraud and stall wash out a word of it.”

Unfulfilled ambition

I have been re-reading a book of great beauty given to me as a gift by my wife: A River Runs Through It, by Norman Fitzroy Maclean.

The lunge for the tape

A birthday – even an 87th birthday which is leaving it a bit late in the day – is a good time to see if there are any aspects of life which need some sort of reassessment.

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