West Indies Woebegone

In just under three weeks the Australian cricket team, as part of the international game’s now whirligig schedule, begins another tour of West Indies.  A few years ago I was fond of saying that anyone who thought themselves a cricket “tragic” could not properly claim that title until they had experienced such a tour: nowhere … Continue reading

Crime, Place and Justice

Any Twitter follower of Ian Rankin (@beathhigh) will know he is now at work on his new novel following the success of The Impossible Dead, itself the second in his post-John Rebus series following Inspector Malcolm Fox of the “Complaints” division at the Lothian and Borders police, the unpopular cops who check the cops.  Rankin … Continue reading

Higher Education: Global Change and Local Pressure

There is scarcely a day goes by now without some new announcement of major changes in the structure and function of higher education around the world, all with local nuances and impacts but with global resonance.  Here are a few examples: President Obama’s announcement of a new approach in the face of escalating costs (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/01/30/obama-higher-education-plan-signals-policy-shift … Continue reading

A Woolf @ the ICC Door

There is a saying in government and consultancy along the lines of: “never ask a question to which you do not know the answer”, or “never order a review where you cannot predict the findings”.  It is highly likely that there are at this moment several highly placed members of the International Cricket Council wishing … Continue reading

Australian Politics Risibilis

In the political dimension there is a plus and a minus of being out of Australia for a while, seeing things perhaps a little like an outsider might. The plus is not having to endure the daily politics of the banal as press and TV pundits desperately seek something new to say – “Well, that’s … Continue reading

Watching Syria Sadly

For anyone who has been to Damascus and Syria in the past few years and inevitably fallen for both, there is a current air of unreality in imagining that the locals no longer risk travelling on the road north, and that the road to the airport has seen what amounts to military action.  There are … Continue reading