Blogs and Journalism

When refusing to repent is considered suspect

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It was, on reflection, not such a good idea for Sebastian Horsley, the English artist and decadent, to fly into New York on a publicity tour during Easter week. It was six years ago that he acquired a certain notoriety...

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Yawn ! Another tale of the tragic funny man

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Here they come again, the tragic comic gang. There is Tony Hancock, of course, and our old friend Frankie Howerd. Absent this time around are Kenneth Williams and Spike Milligan, and the ghost of Peter Cook is being given a...

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Forget fame – just aim for a gig on Cromer Pier

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Here is an idea for a cracking new radio series. Called something like The Horse's Mouth, each programme would bring together famous people who share a talent but who are separated by several generations. A grizzled old footballer would talk...

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I’d swap French pride for British cynicism

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Now and then, events which are utterly disparate and different align themselves into a pattern of dreamlike logic. So it has been this week with the self-banishing of the eminent actor Hugh Laurie, an uncertain spasm of loyalty to the...

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Novelists have responsibility as well as power

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We live in a golden age of bullying. Hardly a day goes by without some example of playground mobbing being enacted in politics (a minister or party leader on the ropes), television (the latest reality-show villain) or the press (some...

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Rural dwellers are the victims of betrayal

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How Hilary Benn's heart must have sunk at the arrival of yet another report on the state of rural Britain. New Labour has never quite understood the countryside, and those made responsible for it – Nick Smith, Margaret Beckett, Ben...

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It no longer pays to be a loyal customer

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It has been difficult over these rocky past few weeks to find genuine success stories from the world of business but here is one which is positively heart-warming. Paul Ryan, a bricklayer from Bedford, spotted a money-making opportunity in the...

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We need to savour our bacon – and here’s how

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It has become a difficult business being a conscientious consumer. In the everyday matter of buying food, for example, there is the ecological cost of transporting goods to consider, the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process, the environmental price-tag on...

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When pubs die, we are all the poorer

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Some news writes itself. A binge-drinking episode is only worth reporting if it involves the young. Drug use among the respectably middle-aged is not worth a paragraph. One murder or kidnap is fascinating, the other banal. The difference between the...

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It’s embarrassing, but I’ll miss George Bush

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Something rather odd is happening. On those increasingly rare occasions when the most powerful man in the world appears on the TV news, I am no longer filled with despair at the state of the world. It is not just...

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