Blogs and Journalism

Well, if you will yield to preconceptions…

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It has been a week during which small but profoundly held beliefs have come into question. An ITN newsreader has been found sleeping rough in Brighton. That is not supposed to happen to newsreaders, least of all those who work...

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Speak only good of the dead at least for a time

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A surprisingly effective, if old-fashioned, term of abuse is to call someone "a shit". Other insults are more forthright and rude but tend to be less precise in their meaning. A shit is sneaky, small-minded, unreliable, selfish and (for reasons...

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Don’t be seduced by this clamour of voices

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Shooting from the hip, as has been her habit down the years, Doris Lessing used her acceptance of the Nobel Prize for Literature as an opportunity to take a pop at the great evils of our time: the decline of...

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Institutional dishonesty has become the norm

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At the Aldeburgh Documentary Festival on Sunday, Anthony Wall, the producer and director who has been responsible for many of the BBC Arena documentaries over the past 30 years, advanced a rather daring moral argument. The behaviour of society as...

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Local democracy is fine (if you do as you’re told)

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For as long as politics and cynicism have co-existed, the excuse of the apathetic non-voter has remained unchanged. Politicians? They're all the same, aren't they? Almost always, the line is demonstrably false, but in one area at least it is...

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Britain’s brand of fair-weather environmentalism

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A couple of small but thrilling items of local news might be included in the papers of Hilary Benn when he travels to Bali next week for the United Nations' great climate change conference. Ipswich Borough Council has announced that...

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If we want to win at sport, we need elitism

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Like some freakish constellation in the night skies, three sports-related events have aligned this month to reveal a deep confusion in the British soul about the question of competition. Firstly, the moustachio'd old cove in charge of the Football Association...

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Oh dear, the ball seems to be in the back of the net

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A goalkeeper for a pub or school team will know the feeling. The opposing team are advancing and – Phew! – one of their players makes the mistake of taking a ludicrously optimistic shot at goal from a long way...

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Please behave in an inappropriate manner

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When the moment comes for the year's Great Britons to be selected, the name of Nora Hardwick must surely be among the nominees. This week, Nora has supported a local charity in the now-traditional way: she took off her clothes...

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Where morality is just an excuse for public bullying

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Some misplaced actorly instinct seemed to overcome Chris Langham as he prepared to face the world when he emerged from jail this week. He was unshaven, hollow-eyed and looked even more hangdog than usual. "My conscience is clear," he told...

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