Blogs and Journalism

The cost of cheap food – and hot air

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As Christmas comes early for thousands of infected turkeys and ducks in Suffolk, a familiar sound – a pained, lowing noise like a cow in labour – will soon be heard echoing across the countryside. A government agriculture minister will...

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Elvis Costello is right about England

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The grumpy English expatriate tends to cut a faintly ludicrous figure. Usually male, invariably middle-aged, he takes a bilious view of the country where he was born and, with an unattractive combination of the sour and the smug, sounds off...

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Why does the BBC worship Poliakoff?

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In its latest season of scandals, the BBC has offered us some rare treats. There was the Blue Peter cat outrage, a rich variety of phone-in scams, the allegation that a lovely newsreader, Moira Stewart, was being fired on grounds...

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Heather Mills is right – she is a victim of bullying

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If an artist were commissioned to capture, in heroic mode, key scenes from early 21st century Britain, one of the first tableaux to be painted would be one entitled The Blonde at Bay. For at any one time, there will...

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Despair has eaten into the British soul

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It is a rough and tough culture shock to travel back to England from Australia at this time of the year. There it is springtime and the swallows have just arrived from the north; here the nights are closing in...

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Mr Makeover proves a hit with the Misters and Misses

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Hullo, children. Today we're going to meet one of the happiest families that has ever wobbled, hopped skipped or fallen flat on their faces in a children's book! How do I know they are happy? Because a little bird tells...

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Booker Prize scandals we have loved (and imagined…)

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Deliberations surrounding this year's Man Booker Prize have gone ominously quiet. Normally by this time, there should have been leaks, threats of walk-outs, and at least one revelation that a judge has been sleeping with a long-listed author. It is...

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The countryside in winter – that’s where the action is

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The weekenders are gone now, their interest in the countryside disappearing at almost the precise moment when those other fair weather-friends, the swallows, have deserted us. The dew is heavy on the grass, the nights are closing in. A few...

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The new wave of reality TV stars are a bunch of animals

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When a person in public life compares himself to a plate of food, it is almost a sign that he is in a bad place, psychologically. So Peter Bazalgette's remarks on resigning from Endemol, the production company responsible for Big...

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