Promoted on behalf of P McLaughlin (Scottish Liberal Democrats), 4 Clifton Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5DR.

Politics guy living in Glasgow with a background in philosophy and intellectual history. Derry man. Liberal. The frequency with which I hope to update this Substack will always exceed the frequency with which I actually update it.

Always happy to chat to interesting people; email me at

I presumptuously consider myself a bit of an expert on:

  • Organ donation policy, especially living donation and kidney exchange.

  • Free speech in the UK.

  • Late twentieth century moral philosophy, especially the works and ideas of Bernard Williams and Derek Parfit.

My other recurring intellectual interests include:

  • The history and philosophy of liberalism, especially the postwar British Liberal Party and Adam Smith.

  • The Scottish Enlightenment, especially David Hume and (once again) Adam Smith, and its eighteenth-century intellectual context.

  • Irish intellectual history, and how it relates to contemporary Irish and Northern Irish politics.

  • The intellectual and cultural history of the American Civil War.

  • Housing, urbanism, and the land.

  • High-quality alcohol, especially spirits, especially whiskey, especially Scottish whisky.

But I will write on essentially anything that takes my fancy.

(As for the name Her Fingers Bloomed: it comes from Emily Wilson’s translation of the Odyssey. The Homeric epics often use repetitive phrases and epithets, designed to help people remember the poems by heart. Probably the most common such epithet in the Odyssey is “ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠὼς”, “rosy-fingered dawn”, used to signal the beginning of each new day. It’s a beautiful image of the first little bits of rose-coloured light that come peeking over the horizon in the early morning. Wilson uses many different translations of the phrase throughout the poem, and the one that always stuck in my mind was: “The early Dawn was born; her fingers bloomed.”)

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Various thoughts about various problems


Northern Irish; liberal; philosopher-ish; proponent of including the genitive case with pronouns in bio (he/him/his)