We really do want our ball back

The entire political establishment, including its commentariat wing, are in a frenzy. The Labour Party has sent out ballot papers and the imminent possibility of Jeremy Corbyn being elected leader is construed as the end of political life as we know it or, at the very least, doom for the Party itself. Senior Party figures […]

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The wrong life

Sir Simon Wessely is President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Together with Greg Smith, who works for the College, he wrote this excellent article about proposals to eliminate the payment of welfare benefits to fat people and people with alcohol problems. It is suggested that they will have their benefits withdrawn if they don’t […]

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Memory of a free festival

The counter culture is extinct. Festivals are no longer unruly affairs featuring the Edgar Broughton Band on the back of a truck performing Out Demons Out. They are organised by the local council to encourage recycling or they’re sponsored by the National Licensed Victuallers Association to support lager consumption. Drugs went mainstream in the 1980s […]

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It’s enough to make you cry

The hapless Sir Tim Hunt FRS, Nobel laureate and important scientific dude, is currently attracting support from a range of senior scientists. They feel that he has been victimised by a baying Twitter mob following some crass comments about female scientists. No one likes to see somebody hounded, but the fact is that his comments […]

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Charles Kennedy is dead

Charles Kennedy’s funeral has passed and so has the intensive press coverage. The sheer volume of comment about him was astonishing. Much of it was repetitive, and it has left me feeling uncomfortable. Even for those of us who didn’t like Charles Kennedy’s politics, he always seemed personable and decent. He was once the youngest […]

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Life

When I was young, old people had a certain mature dignity. They had been through the Second World War. They didn’t talk about it or, if they did, they construed it as one huge apocalyptic party and sing-song. Women still wore the fashions of the 1940s. Men had oiled short back and sides, topped off […]

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