Gabriel Hershman; Life in the Bulgarian gulag shows the indomitability of the human will.

8th June 2016 0

Some years ago I interviewed a Bulgarian survivor of State Security, Georgi Saraivanov. He spent nine years in prison, beginning in 1953. Altogether, he was kept in chains for seven months awaiting execution. He said the pain from being chained was beyond description. (His sentence was eventually commuted to 20 years’ imprisonment.) He told me he still kept those chains dangling … [Read on]

The Refugee Crisis: The Widow of Sofia

13th September 2015 0

Bulgaria is categorically not a destination favoured by refugees. Most ordinary people – even officials – are openly hostile to foreigners, especially Muslims. Mindful of these attitudes, and a welcome straight out of the Katie Hopkins charm school, most simply bypass Bulgaria and head west via Macedonia. It’s not just that refugees or economic migrants won’t receive handouts, healthcare or any … [Read on]

Euro-loathing in Bulgaria

7th July 2015 0

Two tenants live side by side. One lives frugally and strictly within his paltry salary. He is just about able to pay for food, rent and other necessities. His neighbour earns more but gets greedy, making all kinds of extravagant purchases. It transpires that the richer neighbour has defaulted on his rent for so long that he now owes a … [Read on]

Gay Bulgaria is still living in a Britain of 31 years ago

27th June 2015 0

Organisers of last weekend’s Bulgaria’s Gay Pride rally decided to show a free screening of a rollicking movie called Pride – one that deservedly won widespread praise for its ensemble acting and direction. The film showed how a group of flamboyant London gays and lesbians supported the 1984-5 miners’ strike, winning over homophobic Welsh macho miners in the process. As … [Read on]

Coconut Traitors

24th June 2015 0

The first episode of the BBC documentary series The Met reminded me of my time in Tottenham more than 15 years ago and my relief at having escaped. Mind you, the second episode made me understand the reasoning of a Notting Hill resident who always scarpered at carnival time. The romanticised version may have Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant frollicking … [Read on]

Dead drunk for Tuppence

8th June 2015 0

The so-called disease of alcoholism has been much discussed following Charles Kennedy’s tragically premature death. I cite the dictionary definition of disease – “an unhealthy condition in a person, animal, or plant which is caused by bacteria or infection”. I fail to see how compulsive drinking qualifies as a disease on that score. Yet neither do I subscribe to the … [Read on]

Brand and Miliband – Laurel coming out for Hardy

6th May 2015 0

Will Russell Brand “come out” for Ed Miliband? I’m reminded of Richard Burton’s comment in his published diaries on hearing that Sinatra had come out for Reagan during the latter’s bid to become governor of California in 1970. Burton said it was “like Laurel coming out for Hardy”. Burton thought Reagan was a dangerous guy. Well, as it turned out, … [Read on]

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