Once upon a time, there was a boy who loved to run. He loved the feel of the wind through his hair, the uncovering of new trails, the sights, smells, and sounds along the way. Whenever he finished his work for the day, he would have a hearty supper and then he would run until the setting of the sun. People marvelled at how he had so much energy, to which he merrily replied: “I’m powered by what I love”.

One evening, he was running alongside a river deep in the countryside. Weaving in and out of the willows, butterflies…

Theresa May’s African tour encompassed three countries this week: South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. Nigeria and South Africa were natural choices as the continent’s largest economies with respective GDPs of $376 billion and $349 billion in 2017. Given she is on a trade mission, this is to be expected as larger economies offer larger trade deals. So why visit Kenya with a GDP of only $79 billion when six other African nations (Egypt, Algeria, Angola, Sudan, Morocco, and Ethiopia) have larger economies? It is because Kenya, like South Africa and Nigeria, is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

In…

No-one seems able to agree when the British Empire began. It could have been when the Normans invaded Ireland in the 12th Century. Or, perhaps, when Humphrey Gilbert claimed Newfoundland in 1583. Or maybe when Jamestown, the first permanent British settlement outside of the British Isles since Calais, was founded in 1607. However, there is no doubt over when it ended: 30 June 1997, when Britain handed Hong Kong over to Chinese rule.

Yet, this was not the end of Britain’s connection to her former colonies, particularly Hong Kong. Since the handover of Hong Kong, there have been consistent concerns…

David Cameron hugging a husky in 2006

It is almost twelve years ago when hugging was big in the Conservative party. For a while, neither huskies nor hoodies could resist snuggling up to David Cameron and his modernising ways. Green was the new blue. The Tory torch replaced with the gentle oak tree. Cuddly Conservativism was in. This all came to a juddering halt when the recession hit. Since then, environmental issues have been put on the backburner with more politically pressing issues taking centre stage.

However, the Tories’ focus has recently returned to the environment. Whether it has been outlawing the ivory trade, banning microbeads from…

Kent vs Lancashire at Canterbury by Albert Chevallier Tayler

It has long been held that football is England’s national game. One in five adults play, while Premier League turnstiles turned almost 14 million times last year, with Championship turnstiles turned over another 9.5 million times. Meanwhile, the sport dominates the back pages of every newspaper, with every new national captain and manager heralding a fresh wave of debate throughout the pubs of the land. The year 1966 is as recognisable in the nation’s cultural consciousness as 1066. Thus it seems natural for football to hold such an esteemed role.

Yet, and I say this as a Fulham season ticket…

In many corners, Brexit was seen as the result of an island mentality. Suspicion of outsiders and a sense of greatness compared to the rest of the world are usual warning signs of an island mentality; both seemed to play a role in the Brexit result, with calls for more control over immigration and a belief that Britain is big enough to go it alone being major rallying calls of the Leave camps. Yet following the Brexit vote, the Brexiteers-in-chief largely rejected any sign of or cry for a retreat into isolationism. They advocated Britain going out into the world…

A couple of years ago, a friend and I decided to visit Morocco. The culture and sights were quite stunning and undoubtedly worth witnessing, particularly during Ramadan. However, one of the more oddly memorable experiences of this trip happened before we had even stepped onto foreign soil. In order to be able to have the classical entrance into Tangier via boat, we had to fly in to Gibraltar before getting a ride to Terifa to catch the ferry. Gibraltar is a curious place. Attached to the Spanish mainland, the shores covered in yachts, and the Rock riddled with monkeys, it…

It is a slightly surprising statistic that only 2 of the 9 former official leaders of Labour and the Conservatives are still in the House of Commons. Needless to say, this means that none of Britain’s surviving former PMs are still on the green benches of Parliament. Throughout British history there have been seventeen Prime Ministers who have served more than once, yet no PM has fought an election to remain an MP after having leaving office since Callaghan, who contested the 1983 election as an ordinary MP. This is not due to age. Of the five since, Thatcher was…

Barney Trimble

British politics, foreign policy, and cricket.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store