The hills are alive with the sound of PC

30th July 2019 28

Every year the BBC extravagantly boasts that its Promenade Concerts are “the world’s greatest series of concerts of classical music.” Well, let’s see… This is how they bill tonight’s offering: “The BBC Proms takes over the newly refurbished Battersea Arts Centre for a showcase of provocative, witty and boundary-crossing composer-performers, who have been driving new music in previously unimagined directions.” … [Read on]

Rentasecret

30th July 2019 1

The last thing I thought would result from my cancer diagnosis was a begging letter from the Institute of Cancer Research. It informed me that my details were obtained from a business called The Museums Collection, from which I had over the years made various small purchases. That was the second such link to the Museums Collection within a week. … [Read on]

Mental Health ‘Ishoos’

30th July 2019 3

A friend of mine is in trouble after naïvely writing a piece for Oxford’s Merton College magazine containing the words: ‘Mertonians attended the college Gaudy, reviving the strong camaraderie and easy-going friendships we experienced in the long-ago days when Merton was still a men’s college.’ He was immediately reported for using ‘offensive language.’ The college warned him that,  ‘Those words … [Read on]

The word liberal. Is its modern meaning the freedom to oppress?

25th July 2019 25

If you vote Liberal in Australia, you’re choosing the conservative option: liberal in economics and on freedom from state control, tougher on immigration and crime. In the USA, by contrast, ‘liberal’ is the Republicans’ term of abuse for leftist Democrats and their angry identity politics. In Great Britain, our political establishment and institutions are said to be immersed in ‘liberal-left’ … [Read on]

Boris’s Granny

25th July 2019 7

I knew Boris’s maternal Granny in the nineties. She lived in the same block of flats as my mother in Oxford. They were both widows but Beechy (Beatrice )Lady Fawcett’s husband was Sir James Fawcett (who came from a family of distinguished liberals including the suffragette Millicent Fawcett) and a Fellow of All Souls and President of the European Commission on … [Read on]

Boris will be on the side of free speech, of causing offence, of uttering heresies: Thank God!

23rd July 2019 36

This morning’s Telegraph headline ‘New Prime Minister to be announced as further resignations expected,’ captures neatly the immediate political dilemma of the new prime minister. One’s immediate reaction is ‘good riddance!’ The advent of Boris may finish off the Tory Party, but then a ‘continuity May’ Prime Minister is just as likely to finish off the Tory party, only in … [Read on]

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