Blogs and Journalism

Parish councils and a quiet revolution

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The dawning of this new age of happy liberation from the state (or should that be "miserable betrayal by the state"?) has provided few greater surprises than the suggestion that the parish council, that whiskery old joke beloved of sitcoms...

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Camping – the proper way to have a holiday

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Now that politicians vie with one another to prove the sweet ordinariness of their domestic lives, holidays have become competitive. Rather than do what they would like to do – sit by a billionaire's swimming pool in the sun –...

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Libraries – and an elephant called Google

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High passions and occasional dottiness are never far away when public libraries are under discussion. Earlier in the year, I wrote a light-hearted blog which induced an attack of the vapours in Ed Vaizey, the shadow Culture Secretary. Vaizey is...

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Gorillas have no place in captivity

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Thumping his chest, a silverback of the London Zoo management has announced that, after the premature deaths of two male lowland gorillas, another is to be imported. "Without a doubt, seeing a gorilla will rank as one of the most...

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It’s not the players, it’s their followers

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As from this week, the word "shame" is likely to be appearing with increased regularity in the national newspapers. The Premier League football season starts on Saturday, and the national team will be in action on Wednesday. Already the predictable...

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Beyond the whinge – a message to Sir Jonathan Miller

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Now and then, about once a year, the stage of public life darkens as a leading player makes his entrance. Sir Jonathan Miller is about to make a pronouncement about the cultural state of the nation. The news is rarely...

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Time to herald the wisdom of chickens

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It is the ultimate hippie nightmare. The Grateful Dead, a band which for 30 years represented the cause of love, peace and LSD, is about to provide marketing lessons for 2010. Their fans, who liked to be known as Deadheads,...

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Stand by for the new Hollywood hero – the publisher…

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Even coming from the weird and wacked-out world of Tinseltown, the news that Sean Penn is to appear in a Hollywood biopic of Maxwell Perkins is somewhat startling. Perkins was a mild, courteous, self-effacing publisher’s editor. He was, admittedly, such...

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The recesssion turns us into new people

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Anyone looking for a happy, escapist view of recession and unemployment should skip along to the Vaudeville Theatre in London where a revival of Neil Simon's 1971 play The Prisoner of Second Avenue has just opened. The storyline may be...

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