On all fours to ignorance

11th March 2019 9

Social mores have changed radically recently. After being brought up on the residue of Victorian strictness in the 1960s, passing through the coarse freedom of the 1970s, I am now beached and stranded in a new age where I hardly know what to expect or what to say. The old heirachy of deference; policeman, vicar, teacher, parent, child has been … [Read on]

Stabbings: Silence of the Lambs

7th March 2019 6

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has called for a summit on knife crime, involving the leaders of all London’s thirty-two boroughs, senior police officers from seven of the forces most affected by violent crime, members of the criminal justice system and the NHS, to tackle knife crime. Last weekend in Manchester, Yousef Makki, 17, died after being stabbed, while in London, … [Read on]

Coming of Islamist Age

22nd February 2019 22

Aged thirteen I was fascinated by politics and became a determined socialist. When I received literature from the National Front in Wolverhampton, whom I loathed, I wrote to my MP demanding that he crack down on them. He wrote back, to my mother, condemning the NF for sending literature to, ‘A child of that age.’ I was enraged; his message … [Read on]

Are you being served?

18th January 2019 5

 ‘What does the ‘plus’ mean?’ I asked the young assistant as I bought a new DAB + radio in the John Lewis post-Christmas sale. ‘I’ve no idea,’ he said smiling confidently. He made no attempt to find someone who did know or look it up on his phone. I bought it anyway, not really knowing what I was getting, good … [Read on]

A Burning Concern

14th January 2019 5

When I moved house in 2014 I was pleased to find a wood-burning stove, a mark of worldly success similar to owning an Aga, endorsed by arbiters of taste such as Lily Allen and Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall. One hundred and eighty thousand people had their chimneys unblocked and stoves installed that year, five times higher than in 2007. Around two hundred … [Read on]

Why old age pensioners should be forced to pay their BBC TV licence

24th December 2018 4

Britain was riveted on Saturday when mega wealthy David Dimbleby guest-edited the Today programme. Not because, like a previous guest, the crime writer PD James, he wrenched the programme away from its liberal bias, but because of a scrap with a programme stalwart, hugely rich John Humphrys. Trouble started during a discussion on the monarchy. DD: I’m sorry, there was a total sneer … [Read on]

Going to prison for having the wrong thoughts

21st December 2018 10

Three young people from a wide range of backgrounds have received lengthy prison sentences this week, perhaps I should say four, as one small baby was involved. Good riddance many people will say in reaction to lively headlines. Sudesh Amman, 18, a former maths and science student at North West London College, is going to prison for three and a half … [Read on]

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