Blogs and Journalism

Town or country? Vive la différence

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It is difficult to know what Stuart Burgess, chairman of the Commission for Rural Communities, would make of the events of Wednesday afternoon in my local village. A young man wearing a balaclava drew up in a silver car outside...

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J K Rowling, a good author in a bad industry

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So, with the perfect symmetry of a well-told fairy tale, the great Harry Potter saga reaches its final chapter. Even for the few of us who are not fully up to speed on what has happened at Hogwarts, the story...

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We need to wage war on teenage boredom

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The sounds of the British summer holidays will soon be heard on our city streets and on the squares of our market towns. There will be laughter, raised voices, the occasional sound of breaking glass, a squeal of tyres and,...

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So our rulers are just like us: foul-mouthed and silly

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The soundtrack of modern British government has been given another slightly depressing spin on the media turntable this week. How, according to Alastair Campbell, does it sound? Well, apparently members of Her Majesty's government were frequently in fuck-it mode. A...

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Music is more than a business, it’s the beat of life

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It is not often that a pop musician, doing a bit of high-profile moonlighting in public life, comes out with remarks which resound with sober good sense, but Feargal Sharkey, former lead singer of the Undertones, managed it this week....

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Forget university if you want to coin it

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Hurrah, hurrah. A new rich list - the millionaire register which now seems to be released with the regularity of pop charts, suggests that Brownite hard work is back in fashion. Communication is for wimps. The media years of Blairism,...

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A bizarre custom redolent of a dark, vanished era

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A significant footnote in the history of Britain in the 20th and 21st centuries concerns the mass inhalation of tobacco, writes our historian from the future. Today, in the healthy, well-ordered 22nd century, we can look back with wonderment to...

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If May be fine, stick up an estate agent’s sign

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There are changes in the English countryside. The air is different. Sometimes it smells of café latté - then the wind will change and it is as if one has walked into a hairdressing salon. The sounds are changing too,...

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Harriet Harman: even more charismatic than Stephen Byers

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A surprising early morning call comes in from Labour Party headquarters. It is my new friend Tony Topspin-Smythe, who works in the party's information control module. Ever since we met at a Tina Brown launch party, Tony has been promising...

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Sometimes a stint in jail can be a smart career move

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In what has been described as the most momentous jail release since Nelson Mandela walked to freedom in 1990, America's heiress celebrity Paris Hilton is due to be released today from the Lynwood Correctional Facility after a harrowing 23 days...

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