Great Britain

Corbynisation: A Classic British Conundrum

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In Europe, councils like to encourage everyone from kids to seniors to go out and get a bit of fresh air, so they build outdoor gyms and seating all over the place. There are benches and tables everywhere, used by everyone. If a few drunks settle on them it’s no big deal. Things don’t quite […]

How A Sweet Story Turned Sour

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One thing every child growing up in Britain knows is that it makes very good chocolate. It wasn’t something we ever thought about as kids. Rowntree’s, Fry’s and Cadbury’s all made great confectionary. I certainly never noticed its quality until I tasted a Hershey bar, which was revolting, like rubber. There was a reason for […]

20 Reasons To Be Fearful

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Ah, the sun is shining, the birds have stopped coughing long enough to whistle a little tune and you feel momentarily good, don’t you? Allow me to wipe that cheery smile off your face. A quick round-up of the UK’s top stories this morning revealed these gems. ‘Arctic ice melt brings uncontrollable climate change at […]

Describe Your Childhood In One Word.

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A new international study has warned that British children are now among the least active in the world. Research comparing the activity levels of children in 38 countries put England, Wales and Scotland behind Ireland, Slovenia and the United Arab Emirates. Scottish children are the worst. Also, ‘Generation Stress’ millennials are now suffering from ‘old […]

Parks Are Public: That Means Everyone

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Two years ago new control orders were introduced in the UK aimed at removing ‘anti-social disorder’ from public spaces. Under the so-called ‘Busybodies Charter’ dogs have been banned from at least 2,205 public places along with cycling, gatherings, fitness trainers and other groups using the open spaces. And this week, councils are trying to swipe chunks […]

PS. More on ‘The Working Class People’

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The Two Words You Can No Longer Say In The UK

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Whether we care to admit it or not, Britain is more divided by class than at any time since the mid-Victorian era. The upper classes, once branded by Alan Clark is the people who don’t have to buy their own furniture, may be embattled but they still own the greatest swathes of land in the […]

Raymond Kirkpatrick On Politics

Grabs from ITV show Steven Woolfe collapsed on the floor after a supposed altercation with fellow UKIP MP's at the European Government building, Strasbourg.

Raymond Kirkpatrick is a colleague of Arthur Bryant’s. The bear-like heavy metal-loving Professor of English is currently working at the British Library and is our occasional guest speaker. His opinions are very, very much his own. Blimey! So another Ukipper goes out for the count – literally this time. Some bloke called Steven Woolfe got […]

And Her Mother Came Too

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Recently I went to dinner with a publisher who brought along his 85 year-old mother without even thinking to mention it. She proved to be sharp and funny, and enhanced the table considerably, preventing it from descending into an endless discussion about book rights. She certainly knew the square meterage of her home. (‘You must come […]

Getting There Is Not Half The Fun

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This weekend I hosted a birthday dinner for 26 in Barcelona, which required a fair amount of logistical manoeuvring as there were people coming in from, and going to, cities all over Europe and further afield. The ones from Madrid and other parts of the EU had no problem at all; they used the AVE […]