Will Gunners fans flock to Rubens?

10th January 2015 0

In my Midlands primary school I was often in a state of excruciating embarrassment. Children of course mature emotionally and intellectually un-evenly at different times, most girls faster than most boys. I always liked art of all kinds and it irritated me that most children in my class fell about laughing at the sight of a nude Venus or a … [Read on]

A marmalade sandwich with Paddington Bear

10th January 2015 0

Families lack a sense of togetherness these days. John Cleese tells how people come up to him – not just to compliment him on the ingenious scripts and ensemble cast of Fawlty Towers – but to mention how his 70s comedy classic united the family, if only for half an hour. Nowadays everyone does their own thing; one person is … [Read on]

The BBC, Islam’s useful idiot

8th January 2015 1

I have recently left London and last night I regretted it. I wanted to be in Trafalgar Square with hundreds of other people, joining thousands in Paris, gathered together in protest against yesterday’s murders, but also in silent support of free-speech. As people stood in the open, lit candles and carried flowers, the mood was contemplative and sad, and some … [Read on]

Is the BBC succumbing to Sinophobia?

4th January 2015 0

There is trouble in China with their Muslim minority the Uighur. The video posted online last month looks much like ones from Middle East jihadist groups. It shows what appears to be a man making a suitcase bomb and grainy footage of an explosion at a crowded railway station here. The soundtrack plays an Arabic chant inciting holy war. The … [Read on]

Haunted by Christmas past

3rd January 2015 0

In the novel The Count of Monte Cristo, the hero Edmond, imprisoned in the Chateau d’If, finds himself sentenced to be flogged every year on the date of his arrival. Naturally this prays on his mind, and time passes both slowly within the confines of those terrible damp walls, but also with sickening rapidity as every day draws him nearer … [Read on]

Is Paris worth a pensioner’s dog?

3rd January 2015 0

The modern political class does not want the electorate to have a sense of the tragic dimension of human existence: for such a sense would reduce the importance of the political class in the electorate’s eyes. It wants instead the electorate to think that, if only the right politicians were in charge, all would be well: this is the means … [Read on]

The Marie Antoinettes of the BBC

3rd January 2015 1

While sensible people were sleeping it off and sleepily sloughing off all the worries of the old dead year, I was up early on New Year’s Day 2015, to take part in a BBC radio show, hosted by Vanessa Feltz, discussing that continuing question of immigration which is certain to dominate political discussion over the next few months. I was … [Read on]

Having the courage of your fortune

31st December 2014 0

Men are like sheep, especially leaders. I saw a photograph of the heads of government of the G7 recently and all of the men among them were dressed the same: dark suits but open short collars and no tie. Not coincidentally, perhaps, there wasn’t a strong face among them. The fashion for wearing suits with no ties is one that … [Read on]

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