Author Archives: Michael House

Michael House was born, of rural, peasant stock, in Somerset, England. He read law at Exeter College, Oxford and was elected President of the Oxford Union. In 1974, along with five colleagues, House started up a set of barristers' chambers in three little rooms in Lincoln's Inn, London, specializing in human rights and in representing the poor and dispossessed. The set now comprises 170 members and occupies a 17th-century building that was home to the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated (Spencer Perceval, 1812). In 1987, depressed by Mrs. Thatcher's third election victory, House fled to Greece for three years, where he was published in The Athenian and The Southeastern Review. He also there met his archaeologist wife, Diane. The pair returned to England in 1990 after a half-year, round-the-world trip, and settled in London and Northamptonshire. Since then, by way of escape from humdrum criminality, House has traveled in Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim, Ladakh, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Morocco, Syria, Jordon, Libya, Mongolia, Kashmir, and Sri Lanka, where only the stout walls of Galle Fort saved him and his spouse from being swept away by the tsunami. House returns to Greece, his second home, almost every year. He has written for, inter alia, History Today, the Universities Quarterly, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Rough Guide to Greece and House practices criminal defense law from Garden Court Chambers, Lincoln's Inn Fields, in London, and hopes that if he keeps on practicing, he may eventually get the hang of it. His yet unachieved ambitions are: to farm alpacas; see Tibet liberated from the Chinese jackboot; and live to see Britain a socialist republic.

A Town like Addis, Xmas Without Xmas & Other Ethiopian Adventures, Part 2

The Polemicist by Michael House. “Etiope . . . hathe a riche contrey. In it be many trees aromatikes and many mynes of fyne gold, and the people of this contrey be so riche that ther be many marchantes housys covered with golde as we do here cover our houses with leade, and that thei […]

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A Town Like Addis, Xmas Without Xmas & Other Ethiopian Adventures, Part I

The Polemicist by Michael House “That amazing unknown country, Prester John’s fabled land of inaccessible mountain barriers and bottomless chasms, and wild, war-loving beautiful folk.”—George MacDonald Fraser BACK IN LONDON England—(Weekly Hubris)—1/23/12—Fraser was writing about Ethiopia in 1868, when Britain sent an expeditionary force to rescue hostages held by mad, brilliant Emperor Theodore (Teeodros), who […]

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Happy Winter Solstice! What I Shall Not Miss This Christmas

The Polemicist by Michael House KING’S SUTTON England—(Weekly Hubris)—12/12/11—In a week’s time, I am going away for my first holiday of the year. I’m going trekking in Ethiopia. There will be no newspapers in English, no TV, no radio. My mobile phone does nothing except make and receive calls, and take photos, so I shall […]

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Tibetans Make Ultimate Sacrifice & Under Islamic Law, Rape Victims Jailed

The Polemicist by Michael House KING’S SUTTON England—(Weekly Hubris)—11/21/11—The Dalai Lama has long ruled out armed struggle. So Tibetans under the jackboot of the Chinese army of occupation have few ways of resisting the invaders. An occasional monk shouts “Free Tibet,” and disappears into the gulag’s prison system for many years or forever. Very rarely, […]

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Jimmy Carter: American Hero

The Polemicist by Michael House LONDON England—(Weekly Hubris)—10/17/11—Jimmy Carter isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. His religiosity is cloying, his smile is so cheesy you feel it must be insincere, and his all-round saintliness makes George W. Bush’s raffishness seem positively appealing. He is almost literally too good to be true. But at 87, he can […]

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Let Children be Children

The Polemicist by Michael House KING’S SUTTON  England—(Weekly Hubris)—10/3/11—My brother, Doctor Richard House, who is senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Roehampton, South London, is as energetic as I am lazy. In 2006, he galvanized academics, educators and child experts into supporting a campaign to reverse the remorseless premature adultification of children. He […]

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The War Against Women Continues

The Polemicist by Michael House KING’S SUTTON England—(Weekly Hubris)—9/12/11—Demented Christians, whose interpretation of “thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” is “thou shalt force thy female neighbor to be an incubator against her will,” never give up trying to subvert Roe v. Wade. In a previous column, I listed some of the wheezes dreamed up […]

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America: A Failed State?

The Polemicist by Michael House “Americans can always be relied upon to do the right thing—after they have exhausted all other remedies.” —Winston Churchill KING’S SUTTON England—(Weekly Hubris)—8/22/10—Extreme Republicans habitually wrap themselves in the flag. “God Bless America” is never far from their lips. Yet, what sort of patriotism is it that would destroy their […]

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Bloggers’ Block & Rupert Murdoch

The Polemicist by Michael House LONDON England—(Weekly Hubris)—8/8/11—We bloggers who specialize in righteous indignation sometimes suffer from indignation-overload. There are so many horrors to write about that it is difficult to know where to start. Should I go with the US debt crisis and the Tea Party nutters who want to ruin the economy in […]

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Partners in Crime: Britain, The US & The Scandal of the Dispossessed Chagos Islanders

The Polemicist by Michael House LONDON, England—(Weekly Hubris)—6/27/11—Dervillie Permal lived on the Chagos Islands, a tropical paradise south of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. Until the summer of 1971. He was coming back from work on a coconut plantation when he was stopped by armed soldiers. He was told he must leave the island […]

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