The Regulars

Andrew Bartlett
The question ‘who is Andrew Bartlett?’ is largely academic, the answer being of no consequence. Some say that he is the Lord of Entropy. Most say that he is simply disorganised and, as a consequence, largely untrustworthy. Occassional flurries activity followed by long periods of inactivity have led to specualtion that he irregularly hibernates. Or at least enjoys long lie-ins. Andrew is currently battling to gain residence within the ivory towers of isolation from the ‘real world’. When he is not engaged in the serious, sober study of society, or spending his time producing spittle-flecked blog comment, he tries to write intelligent, literate small press comic books. You can try to contact him at the following dead letter box:

Bondwoman is an academic working on EU law and politics, who lives in Edinburgh. She blogs a bit, but not very interestingly, at BondBloke and BloggingonEULawandPolitics. She appears to have strong opinions, and is often called opinionated, but she’s not sure what about.

Donald is a writer, editor and father who only works here for the money.

Jamie K
Jamie K was born in 1964 in London and raised in Stoke-on-Trent. He graduated in Media Studies from the old Polytechnic of Central London in 1986 and has spent the time between then and now promoting the circulation of commodities in direct and indirect ways, many of these related to China and the Far East. He has served time as the media assistant of an MEP. He also blogs at Blood and Treasure.

John Band
John Band is a London-based writer and business analyst. He enjoys Talking And Writing About Business And Politics, bad puns, good pubs, bad punk, strange pieces of technology, and offending people. His views on at least some of the above have been quoted in the Economist, the BBC, the Financial Times and the Telegraph (and less impressively, the Daily Mail and the Metro).

Jonn Elledge
Jonn Elledge lives in London, where he makes up the European half of the Atlantic Rift blog. Formerly an impoverished financial journalist, he now ekes out a living writing about the public sector. He has freelanced for a bewilderingly random range of publications, blogged for the New Statesman, and was a contributing editor of defunct webzine ak13. He knows enough to be worried, but not enough to be useful.

Justin McKeating
Justin McKeating is a Brighton-based writer and blogger at Chicken Yoghurt. Trained as a journalist, he has written for a number of publications, including the Independent, the Press Gazette and several local newspapers on the South Coast including Brighton’s Insight. Justin writes regularly for The Friday Thing and occasionally for The Guardian’s Comment is Free. A few years back he had a blog called Bar Room Philosophy which a few people quite liked and which was shortlisted for the Guardian’s Best British Blog award in 2002.

Nick Barlow
Nick Barlow is a Colchester-based writer and broadcaster, who would like to make it clear that while he lives in Essex, he doesn’t come from there and thus is not an Essex Boy. Until recently he worked for the BBC and has appeared on Five Live, Radio Four, the Asian Network and several local radio stations presenting travel news broadcasts. He currently divides his time between several writing projects, including blogging at the Sharpener, A Fistful Of Euros (shortlisted for a 2005 Bloggie in the Best Group Blog category) and his own blog, What You Can Get Away With. In his spare time, he watches far too much obscure and cult television.

Nosemonkey is J Clive Matthews, the chap behind the surprisingly popular Anglo-European political weblog Europhobia, in which capacity he has found himself being praised and quoted by the likes of The Times, Newsweek, The Guardian, The Financial Times, Slate and The Politics Show, and being invited for interview by both CNN and the BBC. In the real world he writes and edits for a living, co authoring two books (on Tim Burton and The Lord of the Rings), copy-editing a number of non-fiction books on everything from Michelangelo’s finances to sexual abuse in care homes, and contributing to publications as diverse as Starburst and The Times Literary Supplement. His day job is as writer/subeditor on a glossy British history and travel magazine, and he writes regular film previews for an agency supplying a range of British local newspapers in his limited spare time.

Phil Edwards
Phil is a researcher in the Law School at Manchester University. He used to be a freelance journalist, writing for Channel Four, the BBC, the Independent, Red Pepper and anyone else who would ask, really. While he still takes the odd freelance gig, most of Phil’s writing these days goes up at Actually Existing. Phil describes himself as a libertarian Marxist, a folk singer, a social movements analyst and a jaded old cynic, depending on who’s listening.

Aleksandr Rodchenko was a Russian constructivist painter and photographer who began his career by revolutionising painting, typography, collage and design. He ended his career taking propaganda photographs of Stalin’s largely pointless White Sea Canal project, which cost the lives of over ten thousand convict labourers. For his part, Rochenko waits patiently over at Smokewriting, occasionally (i.e. when the stars are right) posting about politics, environmental ethics and continental philosophy, for the moment when he will undergo the same transformation as his namesake, stop being the incandescent conceptual revolutionary that he is, and turn to worrying about “the blacks”, property prices and the state of his feet. In the meantime, he ekes out a living at a well-known Welsh University, in a job financed by your money, and writing philosophical treatises on why you should care more, you feckless swine.

Sunny Hundal is editor of the progressive politics group-blog Pickled Politics. Academically trained as an economist, he dabbled in web development before getting interested in race politics and becoming a journalist. After working at some publications for a short period, he launched Asians In Media magazine in 2003. He has written for the Guardian, Independent and Financial Times on media and race related issues. He also writes for the Guardian’s Comment is free [column].

The Irregulars

Andrew is a northern boy made good in the big city down south. His movement along the political spectrum from idiot soft-left liberal to idiot hard-right libertarian to cleverer right liberal Tory has coincided with the steady annual increase in the money he pays to the revenue, but correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation. He’ll probably think his current opinions are idiotic in a few years time, but for now anything that cuts down the size of government is de facto a good thing. He is not a professional writer, but likes to think he could be if he actually applied himself, spent longer editing, and didn’t get so angry at petty state intervention. He lives with his wife in leafy Hertfordshire and does some kind of arcane Excel wizardry for a living. He also blogs at non-trivial solutions and Once More.

Chris Applegate
Chris Applegate is a 20-something geek from London. He originally started out as a programmer, before moving to Edinburgh to study the sociology of science & technology, then went back to being a programmer. Having been at various points in his life a puzzle developer, webmaster for a London freesheet, freelance blog consultant, he now works with political statistics and map data. Best described as a lefty liberal (as we all know, there’s a real shortage of them in the blogosphere), he blogs (less frequently than he likes to) at the snappily-named He also created the Daily Mail headline generator, which remains to this day enormously popular with a certain political party’s HQ.

Eddie Bernard
Eddie Bernard is a politics student in a university somewhere in the Norf of England, but the location must remain a secret to protect him from his many enemies. He spends far too much time concerned about the future of British democracy to the extent that any interest in entering politics for himself has now been washed away in a tidal wave of cynicism. Instead, he would like to finish his politics degree as soon as possible and work instead to indoctrinate the future youth of the planet into his crypto-libertarian-with-statist-undertones muddled thinking.

Jim Bliss
Jim Bliss is a poet, industrial engineer, philosopher, pot-head and international playboy. Twice runner-up in the annual Trans-Saharan kayak race, he’s worn a confusing number of hats over the years, and indeed for a while had to employ someone fulltime just to keep track of them all. Jim quit a lucrative career working for The Man and now earns a pittance consulting on various issues. He also works as a freelance journalist for the Anarcho-Syndicalist Broadcasting Corporation (an organisation he’s just this minute invented) and when asked where he sees himself on the political spectrum, Jim replies “I’m the guy just about to smash the prism with a big hammer”. Described variously as “a visionary”, “an immoral absolutist”, “that Irish bloke with the glasses… y’know the one?”, “a great lay” and “the prophet of change”, Jim Bliss has spent most of the last decade fusing philosophies, political ideologies and hard science into a solution to all the world’s problems. One day he might share it with the rest of us. He blogs at The Quiet Road.

Born and raised in Dublin, JimG fled Ireland’s depressingly succesful free-market paradise in 2001 to study in London, where he’s lived ever since. In his day job he works on housing policy, and blogs here about international (under)development. He enjoys watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 and writing short profiles of himself.

Katie Bartleby
Although ostensibly Glaswiegian, Katie Bartleby has spent her entire, albeit short, adult life in the U.S. – in North Carolina, DC and California – and France and has only recently returned to the UK. Her academic background is in literature, especially the European Renaissance and the Romantics, and linguistics, specifically CMC, writing her these on discourse in online environments. She has worked for a planetarium, a theatre company, a prison, a newspaper, an embassy, and an agricultural fair, and recently changed career paths again. She’s a self-confessed dilettante.

Liadnan is a 30-something property barrister by day, and a dilettante layabout by night. Once upon a time he harboured delusions of being an early medieval historian and Byzantinist but harsh economic reality hit home and, somewhat counter-intuitively and largely on the basis of a drunken conversation with a friend, he found himself in law school racking up debt: rather to his surprise he made it into practice and actually quite enjoys it. Before that he spent most of his time procrastinating about his thesis and scraping a living by moonlighting as a copy-editor and bookseller. He now spends most of his time reading anything and everything with little critical judgment, watching cult television, pretending he is still a student, wandering around art galleries, and finding excuses for not writing his novel. His politics consist of a constant struggle to determine which of the Tories or the LibDems is the less awful option, veneration for J.S.Mill, and general opposition to Banning And Taxing Things: he also manages to cling on to thinking of himself as a liberal Catholic despite lots of Issues and occasional bouts of agnosticism. He sporadically rambles at and lives in centralish London.

Merrick surprises himself and others by getting out of bed sometimes. During these precious fleeting blips he is a writer and activist on environmental and other issues. Finding the conventional left/right scale wholly inadequate to describe anybody’s political perspective, he envisions something more complex that looks a bit like the spiky thing on the cover of Automatic For The People. However, he suspects it should really be some sort of omnidimensional hypergraph inconceivable to the human mind. But whichever framework you take, you’re likely to peg him out on lines marked with labels like ‘anarchist’, ‘humanist’ and ‘proprietor of a tattooed arse’. Whilst keeping a hand in as part of the Godhaven Ink publishing collective, in these cybertimes not much of his writing comes out on actual paper things. Nowadays it’s most frequently done on his Bristling Badger blog. He also helms U-Know!, the political section of Julian Cope’s site, which is where he tends to publish his longer stuff. ‘If food be the music of love, I’ll have a 16 inch deep pan with extra everything,’ he often says. But we suspect he doesn’t have any clear idea what it means either.

Owen Barder
Owen Barder is a researcher at the Center for Global Development and an academic at Berkeley in California. He has been a civil servant, working with Ministers from both Conservative and Labour Governments, including a stint as the Economic Affairs Private Secretary to Tony Blair. He has lived in many countries in Africa, and was an economic adviser to the Mandela Government. His current work is on global health, aid effectiveness and technical cooperation. He also writes books about marathon running. You can read his stuff at He is a left of centre, old Labour, Guardian-reading, vegetarian, libertarian, free-market hippie, who finds Berkeley quite to his tastes.

Rachel North
Rachel North (aka Rachel From North London) was quickly co-opted by the BBC as an anonymous ‘citizen journalist’ when her train carriage was suicide-bombed killing 26 people just behind her on July 7th 2005. She then started her own personal blog which became a focal point for other atrocity survivors, and set up the Kings Cross United 7/7 survivors group. She has continued to write about the aftermath of July 7th and to campaign for peace and civil liberties whilst getting into arguments with members of the Blair Cabinet. Rachel has written for various newspapers and magazines including the Sunday Times, Grazia, the Sun, the Observer, the Evening Standard and is regularly asked to comment on national and international news on the aftermath of terrorism. Her day job is in advertising strategy, and she also teaches pole dancing in her spare time.