I spent 2017-21 in Tokyo, studying Japanese and writing about Japan for online magazine Grape Japan. Here's a selection of my articles for them as Word doc or PDF.



I took part in the New Statesman's weekly 'World Review' podcast on July 9th 2021, discussing 'What the Tokyo Olympics mean to Japan' LINK


'How the Olympics has thrown the future of Japan's Yoshihide Suga into question', New Statesman, 6th July 2021

"Japanese voters want to see Tokyo 2020 cancelled and blame the prime minister for perceived failure to tackle the pandemic."PDF and LINK.


'Letter from Old Providence', Private Eye, 7th July 2021

"The last Briton to rule our tiny, palm-fringed island in the western Caribbean was chased out by the Spanish in 1806. Captain John Bligh said he'd be back..." PDF


'Letter from Tokyo', Private Eye, April 2021

"In mid-March, the Olympic Organising Committee and Yuriko Koike, the Governor of Tokyo, finally announced that overseas spectators would be barred from attending what they still hope will be this summer's Olympic Games..." PDF


'The Importance of Talking about Nothing', Standpoint, 28.8.20

"Covid-19 is forcing abrupt change on Japanese office life and traditions ..." as PDF here.


'No sex please, we're Japanese', Standpoint, 22.5.20

"Japan's population shrinks by half a million every year. Is it already too late to reverse this decline? ..." PDf.


How Japan's refusal to impose a coronavirus lockdown is dividing the country', New Statesman, 23.4.20

"A majority of the public view Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's response to the coronavirus as timid and sluggish ..." LINK


'Postcard from Tokyo', Private Eye, March 2020

"Our Teflon-coated PM, Shinzo Abe, was hoping this summer's Olympic Games would distract from Japan's long-term decline..." PDF


'Postcards from an infected world: Once Tokyo smelled of plum blossom, now it is soap', New Statesman, 11.3.20

"Coronavirus has hit Japanese exports and is keeping consumers at home. A roundup of developments in Japan as a 'state of emergency' is declared in response to the coronavirus..." LINK


'Jail Drug Mules?', Sunday Mail, 25.8.13

"TOO many minions such as Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid are taking the fall for the big traffickers and drugs cartels..." MORE and original article here.


'An empty passion for war', Aeon, 18.4.13

"Colombia's FARC guerrillas still resist the coming peace. Is it drug money or the romance of revolution that's to blame? ..."MORE


‘Colombia: cocaine, crime and corruption – separating facts from fiction’, Tribune, 10.9.12

The world’s most dangerous place to be a trade unionist is more complex than mainstream media say...MORE


Daniel Barrera's arrest is a hollow victory in the 'war on drugs', The Guardian, Comment, 21.9.12

As another drug-trafficking kingpin bites the dust, somewhere in Colombia, his lieutenants will be vying to take his crown. MOREand original article here.


‘Colombia's new dawn’, Daily Telegraph, 20.8.12

Once a byword for danger, Colombia is fast becoming one of Latin America's most diverse and welcoming destinations... MORE and original article here.


Any Given Sunday in Bogota, Traveller,
Winter 2012

Bogota: a little-visited city, disparaged by other Colombians, feared by foreigners, with a name hardly redolent of South America at all. MORE


‘If drugs were legal, what would happen?’, New Internationalist, September 2012

As drug-related violence soars and use steadily increases, even political leaders, ex-drug tsars and former champions of the ‘war on drugs’ are admitting that it’s been an abject – and costly – failure. So what’s the alternative to prohibition? MORE


'The Truth about Cocaine', Times, 27.7.09

As a British Crime Survey shows the UK to be a country where cocaine is widespread and liberally consumed, an author explodes some of the myths about the drug — and calls for it to be legalised... MORE


'Let Them Snort Coke?', First Post, 18.8.09

Given the horrendous waste and failure of the prohibitionist regime governing drugs like marijuana, cocaine and heroin, not to mention the terrible violence and corruption that the illegal trade in each has created, you'd imagine that drug legalisation would be a hotter topic than it currently is. Yet legalising drugs is what American politicians call 'a third rail' issue - one that instantly kills the career of anyone who even suggests it... MORE


'A Cocaine Epidemic?', Financial Times, 31.7.09

People will tell you that the waste, destruction and misery caused by the prohibition of drugs pale into insignificance compared with the chaos that would follow a lifting of the ban, writes Tom Feiling. Making a substance as addictive as cocaine freely available would, according to Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, lead to a drug epidemic... MORE


Comment piece published in Expressen, Sweden’s leading daily broadsheet 23.4.10 - (translation here)