Jokes, charm and woolliness: beware the Tory way

A glimpse into our political future. At a dinner held by the august book trade body, the Society of Bookmen, the shadow culture minister Ed Vaizey explained to senior publishers, booksellers and the odd author how a Conservative government would behave towards books and those earn their living from them. It was an interesting performance, …

The heroic career of an unserious man

Someone surely should commission a biopic based on the bizarre life of Gyles Brandreth, that Zelig in the world of contemporary celebrity. For more than 50 years, Brandreth has played the fool in one way or another, modifying and varying his act and career as the culture around him changed.  When he was at Oxford, …