Monthly Archives: January 2017

Good speech. Pity about the speaker.

My immediate reaction: Trump hasn’t changed at all, isn’t going to tack even a little from his position during the campaign. He’s genuine. It was a pretty good speech, I thought, for his audience. I kept imagining it spoken in 1930s … Continue reading

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Inauguration Day

Well, the day has come. I’ll be watching the inauguration on the telly with a couple of friends and fortified, hopefully to blessed oblivion, by a bottle or two (or three) of cheap French wine. Who could have foreseen it? … Continue reading

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Theresa May, Brexit, and the Empire

The best principled case for Brexit was always going to be the ‘internationalist’ one, painting the European Union as a protectionist cabal and a ‘white men’s club’, by contrast with the truly free trading, non-exclusive and friendly-to-everyone nation that Britain … Continue reading

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Breaking an ankle in Chicago

Yesterday a friend reminded me of a story I’ve been telling for years, but not yet on this blog, I think; about an incident at O’Hare Airport in Chicago some time ago, when I came off a plane, only to trip over … Continue reading

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Postnationalism

For those frustrated and even frightened by the West’s current unseemly rush back to the supposed comforts of nationalism and tribalism, and for those who, like me, don’t wish to restrict ourselves to single identities, national or otherwise, Prime Minister … Continue reading

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Hands off our Bard

Talking of conspiracy theories: it was good to see another bucketful of icy water being poured over the heads of the Bard deniers in the Observer today. I’ve always believed – to misquote Theresa May – that ‘Shakespeare means Shakespeare’. … Continue reading

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Trump and Conspiracy

This alleged Russian conspiracy behind Trump is fascinating. I can see where Trump is coming from in denying it, or at least in insisting that it made no difference to the result of the election. If his victory was influenced … Continue reading

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Football 0, Capitalism 5

I’m puzzled by why I don’t feel more gutted after West Ham’s ignominious defeat by Manchester City in the third round of the FA cup last night. Well, not all that puzzled. It wasn’t as if ‘we woz robbed’, like … Continue reading

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The 1950s: Joan Bakewell and Me

My recent TLS piece about 1956 has given rise to some critical letters in the subsequent issue, two of which homed in on my suggestion that it was mainly men who benefitted from the period, while women – not yet … Continue reading

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