Great Britain

Killing The Black Dog

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  Writers are required to have a somewhat raised level of sensitivity. It’s in the job description. The upside is that it can massively improve the quality of your work. The downside is the Black Dog. It’s hard to explain depressive bouts to others. I once believed there was no such thing, and was on […]

O brave new world, That has such people in ’t.

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  Nothing funny today, I’m too depressed. As a trio of egotistical monsters kicks out the PM who undid 50 years of European protection and now prepare for power, the appalling realisation of what they’ve done is already starting to sink in. Gove looking after your kids’ education, Farridge kicking out anyone he doesn’t like […]

Final Thoughts On The EU Referendum

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It’s not a legally binding decision but a matter of public debate. MPs can choose not to act. I might consider the Leave option more seriously if it didn’t feel as if a row about EU tariffs got hijacked by a coterie of careerists. I’m more swayed by direct evidence of damage caused by the […]

Something Lurking In The Hollyhocks…

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The hollyhocks are a giveaway – it could only be an English country garden. The one at Charleston, Sussex, summer home of members of the Bloomsbury Group. It seems an unlikely place for a battle, but that’s what’s going on here. Because in order to get here we had to pass through many pretty villages […]

Weird Stuff The English Instinctively Know

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The news is too depressing to contemplate today. Let’s cheer ourselves up by looking at the secret stuff  most British people know without even realising it. Here are the ten I’ve noticed. Feel free to add to the list… No matter how badly they did in maths, they can work out the speed and distance […]

Why Are US Newspapers Better Than Ours?

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A writer at the Daily Mail once told me about her dream story for the paper; one that upsets and angers the reader in equal measure. The Mail is massively successful, selling an average of 1.5 million copies on weekdays, 2.4 million on Saturdays. Only the Sun sells more. Its readers include more from the top […]

Things Brexiteers Demand

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I know you’re the kind of hip urbane sort of person who thinks the only people who would vote for Farage & Johnson are mad, 105 year-old Telegraph readers and the Welsh, but after the EU debate it emerged that there are certain things Brexiteers want, two of which are (and I swear I’m not […]

Nostalgia Is Never What It Was

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I’m turning into Arthur Bryant. He remembers a different nation (in a nice non-Nigel Farage way), and it turns out there’s a reason for it. In childhood there’s a thing call the Reminiscence Bump, where the memories you recall from your youth stay brighter and sharper than others. Or as Wikipedia explains it, something that […]

Will We Stay Or Will We Go?

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According to the Daily Telegraph, the newspaper for all your urgent articles on arthritis, hedgehogs and Prince William (although they do have great arts coverage) the crossover age from Remain to Brexit is 43. This is the point when you go mad and turn from a cuddly liberal to a swivel-eyed loon who spends every […]

Why You Can Be A Liberal And Still Love The Queen

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After surviving the ‘Be warned he’s a far left writer’ criticism in the US and thinking ‘Hang on, I’m a middle-of-the-road liberal,’ I’m facing something similar in an online question. ‘How can you people support the Queen?’ Well, Elizabeth Windsor celebrated her 90th birthday yesterday, and is the longest reigning royal in British history, and […]