Talking about JB Priestley

Hi there everyone, I had the great pleasure to be interviewed on the East Marshian Chronicles podcast recently about the writer JB Priestley and the historical context of his work. You can hear the show here: https://eastmarshianchronicles.buzzsprout.com/1764181/9442034-historian-nick-shepley-on-the-background-and-context-of-an-inspector-calls

When British corruption drops the ball

Traditionally, Britain has managed to avoid appearing to be a corrupt country, because so much of what any rational onlooker might call graft is actually legal. The rewarding of party donors with the ear of cooperative ministers, peerages and other honours enables British politicians to be easily and cheaply bought. This process acts as aContinue reading “When British corruption drops the ball”

Brexit’s Leninists

Reading Everyday Stalinism by Sheila Fitzpatrick (one of my favourite social histories of the USSR, as regular listeners will know), one thing becomes abundantly clear about the Soviet view of time and history itself. The historical and social state that the party would describe as communism was always something to be eventually reached and neverContinue reading “Brexit’s Leninists”

Correction to this week’s podcast on Harold Wilson and MI6

In this week’s podcast I referred to the author Stephen Dorril as former MP. This is not the case, and in fact the Stephen Dorril in question is an author and academic who specialises in intelligence work. So there you go, bad me, I am not infallible and get it wrong from time to time.Continue reading “Correction to this week’s podcast on Harold Wilson and MI6”

Pravda and Stalin’s Terror

Noam Chomsky pointed out when he was observing the role of the press during the Vietnam War, that it had a significant role to play in atrocities. The job of print and broadcast media, he argued, was to legitimise and explain away mass killings and to tell the story of why they were necessary. LookingContinue reading “Pravda and Stalin’s Terror”