Blogs and Journalism

We should all cherish Ann Widdecombe

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Ten years after the car crash in Paris that opened the floodgates of public emotion, the crying game is still playing well in politics and in the media. Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, was tearful when interviewed following the shooting...

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England’s green and adolescent land

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Few subjects provide the English with quite so much guilty fascination as that of Englishness. Convinced that we are enigmatic and widely misunderstood by less psychologically complex nations, we tend to be boastfully modest about our national character, forever drawing...

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Why do we not revolt against the City fat cats?

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This Sunday, at one of the great events in East Anglia's social calendar, the Waveney Greenpeace Fair, a Benedictine monk will dress in a recycled habit and, in a booth made of old doors, will hear the confessions of those...

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We need a change of climate at the BBC

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Wearing its title of the nation's public service broadcaster like a badge of virtue and honour, the BBC likes to clear its schedules now and then for an exciting celebrity-strewn day of concern, comedy and music. At first, children in...

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A crossroads is no place to make a home

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In Peter Tinniswood's peerless comedy of northern life, I Didn't Know You Cared, it was at about this time of the year when Carter Brandon, a lugubrious young romantic, sat with his Uncle Mort watching the swallows as they gathered...

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Death isn’t a date to put in your diary

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For a few of us, the description of Lord Deedes's final hours and days, affectionately described in the press, will have made rather chilling reading. He "bravely struggled to write his last column as he lay on his death bed",...

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This BBC apology is a grovel too far

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Another day, another BBC apology. First it was the Queen, filmed walking out when she should have been walking in. Then one of Newsnight's young bucks did something tricksy with a profile of Gordon Brown. More recently, there has been...

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Childhood innocence lost on the internet

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Please assume an expression of concerned sympathy, for here is another - yet another - tale of youthful innocence betrayed by middle-aged cynicism. Four years ago, 14-year-old Lara Jade Coton posted a photograph of herself, wearing a ballroom dress and...

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Don’t just stand there and take it – give them hell

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The man in the cinema foyer was making an exhibition of himself. He was remonstrating loudly in a red-faced, vein-throbbing way, to an official who was trying unsuccessfully to placate him. Cinemagoers hurried by, no more than mildly curious. It...

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A brutal menace is threatening our peaceful havens

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Hardly a day passes in this office without the arrival of yet another anguished press statement, announcing that an action group has been set up to fight some new outrage of modern life. All the same, it was a bit...

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