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A World Turned Upside-Down | Paul Theroux
In 1966 Uganda was in a time of curfew and violence. It shaped my thinking about travel writing’s imperative to bear witness.
30th  march  2020  nyt  paul  theroux  travel  politics  uganda  covid19 
16 hours ago
Boris' advice for builders must come from all the plumbing he learnt at Eton | Mark Steel
If you believe what the scientists and doctors are saying, why would you think it’s all right for one million building workers to carry on working?
28th  march  2020  mark  steel  independent  politics  covid19 
3 days ago
At least Boris Johnson is a laugh – pragmatism would’ve been so boring during this pandemic | Mark Steel
Each evening, he comes on television and says a random series of words, giving us the fun of putting them in the right order so we know what we’re supposed to do.
mark  steel  independent  26th  march  2020  politics  covid19 
5 days ago
Brits need coronavirus reassurance like French President Macron's | Mark Steel
Now the threat of losing jobs and homes is off the table, British folk must heed Government advice and stay safe indoors during the Covid-19 outbreak.
21st  march  2020  daily  mirror  mark  steel  politics  covid19 
9 days ago
Boris Johnson's coronavirus speech was laughable - 'Blitz spirit' won't save us | Mark Steel
The Prime Minister wanted to tell the country that we would survive the global pandemic gripping the world simply by being British - but he is very, very wrong.
14th  march  2020  daily  mirror  mark  steel  politics  covid19 
15 days ago
Thank God we have Trump and Farage to show coronavirus who’s boss | Mark Steel
How fortunate that the most powerful person in the world’s specialism is research. His devastating theories on the climate crisis, such as: ‘I don’t believe it’, could be the key to saving us all.
mark  steel  independent  politics  12th  march  2020  covid19 
19 days ago
My Purple Scented Novel | Ian McEwan
I don’t deny there was wrongdoing. I stole a life, and I don’t intend to give it back.
21st  march  2016  ian  mcewan  new  yorker  literature 
21 days ago
Truth is the first victim of the virus of Boris Johnson | Mark Steel
When it comes to the coronavirus, it’s lucky that in Britain we’re led by Boris Johnson, with his famous truthful attention to detail.
7th  march  2020  mark  steel  politics  daily  mirror  covid19 
23 days ago
The US is already giving us chlorinated chicken, let’s bring in voter suppression too | Mark Steel
Over the last 700 years, the people entitled to vote have gradually increased, to property owners, all men, then women and finally anyone over 18. So it’s only fair we start going back the other way.
5th  march  2020  mark  steel  independent  politics  usa 
26 days ago
Classless Act | Jonathan Meades
Gavin Stamp believed in what he saw. Roger Scruton saw what he believed in.
march  2020  jonathan  meades  critic  architecture 
28 days ago
The only way this government can reduce homelessness is by classifying a park bench as a studio flat | Mark Steel
The homelessness figures began to shoot up, even by the Tories’ own estimates, in 2010. It’s a complete mystery why that should be the year.
mark  steel  independent  politics  27th  february  2020 
4 weeks ago
Soon we'll all enjoy supermarkets more - once the crowds of low skilled migrant staff have been deported | Mark Steel
From now on, wherever there’s a field of strawberries, instead of letting Romanians muck us about by picking them, the fruit can go rotten so British maggots can have somewhere to live at last.
20th  january  2020  independent  mark  steel  politics 
5 weeks ago
Low Hum & Little Lo | Martin Amis
Humbert Humbert, narrator of 'Lolita', is a sadist, narcissist and sexual deviant: so why should we think Nabokov's novel morally acceptable?
25th  october  1992  independent  martin  amis  vladamir  nabokov  literature  lolita 
5 weeks ago
The only thing the Tories learned from the Windrush scandal was the thrill of deporting people | Mark Steel
In this new and exciting environment, the possibilities for revelling in people’s despair are endless. We could even have deportation theme parks.
13th  february  2020  mark  steel  independent  politics 
6 weeks ago
Draw me a what’s-it cube | Adam Mars-Jones
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan. Cape, 323 pp., £18.99, August 2012, 978 0 224 09737 6.
13th  september  2012  lrb  adam  mars-jones  ian  mcewan  literature  book  review 
7 weeks ago
With their Iowa entertainment, the Democrats have made the news watchable again | Mark Steel
There’s no finer way of proving governmental competence than holding an election you’ve had three years to prepare for, only to declare all the votes have gone missing because no one knows how computers work.
6th  february  2020  independent  mark  steel  politics  usa 
7 weeks ago
Squalid optimist | Jonathan Meades
The PM’s mendacity about the sunlit uplands of New Model Britain is psychotic.
february  critic  jonathan  meades  2020  politics 
7 weeks ago
Ghost Species | Robert Macfarlane
On a cold morning last January, I travelled out to the Norfolk Fens to see a ghost.
7th  july  2008  granta  robert  macfarlane  nature  landscape  farming  norfolk  fens 
8 weeks ago
Brexit, the most pointless, masochistic ambition in our country's history, is done | Ian McEwan
The magic dust of populism has blinded reason, and damage and diminishment lie ahead.
1st  2020  february  ian  mcewan  guardian  politics  brexit 
8 weeks ago
Brexit day can’t come soon enough – we’ll be free to drink all the bad wine we want | Mark Steel
Finally, we’ll be free to toast to a new spirit of harmony with Europe in the PROPER British way.
30th  january  2020  independent  mark  steel  politics  brexit 
8 weeks ago
Well done, Ian McEwan | Michael Wood
There is a scene which recurs in several of Hitchcock’s films and which could well be in all of them, since it is so central to his favourite fear. An innocent man is discovered in a situation that makes him look hopelessly, undeniably guilty: the corpse in his arms, the knife in his hand. His innocence is both unquestionable (for us) and unbelievable (as far as everyone in the movie is concerned). This man has been framed by appearances, as we all could be; innocence is no defence, innocence doesn’t stand a chance.
10th  may  1990  lrb  michael  wood  ian  mcewan  literature  book  review  innocent 
9 weeks ago
The Lisbon lament | Matthew Engel
Once a backward country in the grip of a grim dictatorship, Portugal has become a hot spot for tech migrants, surfers, foodies and yoga gurus, with a popular socialist prime minister.
22nd  january  2020  matthew  engel  portugal  politics  travel 
9 weeks ago
If you say Muslim women look like letterboxes, the only job you can get is prime minister – it’s the woke brigade’s fault | Mark Steel
Actors, in particular, have faced appalling hardship. Half of the country’s actors currently working were educated at private schools. We’re now so woke that the other half of acting roles are going to that lucky group known as ‘common people’.
23rd  january  2020  mark  steel  independent  politics 
9 weeks ago
Scorsese's New Documentary on Inscrutable Beatle George Harrison | Paul Theroux
George Harrison was liberated by rock and roll. Turns out Martin Scorsese was too.
25th  september  2011  newsweek  paul  theroux  profile  george  harrison  martin  scorsese 
9 weeks ago
Japan Has Attracted the Sympathy of the World | Paul Theroux
Vulnerable, shaken Japan has attracted the sympathy of the world.
20th  march  2011  newsweek  paul  theroux  japan 
9 weeks ago
Dispatch from a Shrinking Planet | Paul Theroux
Google Earth, cell phones, and the Internet are all making the world seem smaller—but the illusion of close contact makes travel more important than ever.
15th  may  2011  newsweek  paul  theroux  travel 
9 weeks ago
Reflects on Honolulu, Hawaii | Paul Theroux
A small town with pretensions, fresh air, and good humor.
26th  june  2011  newsweek  paul  theroux  travel  honolulu  hawaii  usa 
9 weeks ago
How Apple Revolutionized Our World | Paul Theroux
Steve Jobs's dazzling inventions have forever changed us.
29th  august  2011  newsweek  paul  theroux 
9 weeks ago
If I Had a Son, He'd Look Like George Zimmerman | Paul Theroux
The implication of looks equating to innocence (or guilt) is illogical and emotive and divisive, and indeed racially charged.
newsweek  paul  theroux  9th  april  2012 
9 weeks ago
Christopher Tolkien obituary | John Garth
Son of JRR Tolkien who edited much of his father’s posthumously published work including The Silmarillion.
john  garth  tolkien  christopher  guardian  20th  january  2020  literature  obituary 
10 weeks ago
The Subversive Joy of Cold-Water Swimming | Rebecca Mead
Britons are skipping the heated pool and rediscovering the pleasures of lakes, rivers, and seas—even in winter.
27th  january  2020  new  yorker  rebecca  mead  wild  swimming 
10 weeks ago
Who needs pompous scientists when we have Matt Hancock to solve the climate crisis | Mark Steel
The health secretary’s strategy for the election in 2060 is to win by five votes to three among the eight people left alive after the apocalypse.
16th  january  2020  mark  steel  independent  politics  climate  crisis 
10 weeks ago
No wonder Meghan and Harry are stepping back - she's probably running for Labour leader | Mark Steel
The rule appears to be that it’s treason to criticise the royal family, until there’s a member of the royal family the establishment don’t approve of, then it’s treason not to call them vermin.
9th  january  2020  mark  steel  independent 
11 weeks ago
The capital offences of Boris Johnson | Jonathan Meades
As the excellent book Nincompoopolis demonstrates, the ex-London mayor should be brought to account for his corrupt despoliation of the city.
13th  december  2017  morning  star  jonathan  meades  politics  architecture  book  review  boris  johnson  douglas  murphy 
11 weeks ago
Good companions | Jonathan Meades
Brigitte Macron agitated to be granted the title of Première Dame, hoping to emulate not Yvonne de Gaulle but Jackie Kennedy.
critic  2019  november  jonathan  meades  politics 
11 weeks ago
Welcome waste land | Jonathan Meades
The marshes, creeks, hulks and hidden beaches of the Thames estuary are thrilling.
critic  jonathan  meades  january  2020  architecture 
11 weeks ago
Labour doesn’t need a ‘likeable’ leader – it needs a competent one | Mark Steel
There should also be a discussion about how to counter the relentless hostility that will be fired at whoever becomes leader, from the Conservative press.
12 weeks ago
The Cockneys of Thetford | The Economist
What happens when you take thousands of working-class Londoners and rehome them in the middle of nowhere?
18th  december  2019  economist  thetford  travel 
december 2019
Labour is too busy barking at its own reflection to come up with a solution for survival | Mark Steel
Instead of careful consideration, many in the party are determined to either to insist the left did everything wrong, or the left did nothing wrong and should try the same as before but with a Northern accent.
19th  december  2019  march  steel  politics  labour  independent 
december 2019
I Walked 600 Miles Across Japan for Pizza Toast | Craig Mod
One man’s epic quest to savor the fading beauty of Japan’s traditional cafes — kissaten — and their signature snack.
16th  december  2019  eater  craig  mod  japan  travel  food 
december 2019
The rise and fall of local newspapers | Matthew Engel
The local newspaper, which prized truth and accountability, was once the best training ground a journalist could possibly have.
11th  december  2019  new  statesman  matthew  engel  journalism 
december 2019
Being a milkman in the 1970s | Mark Steel
Anecdotes from time driving around on a milk float delivering diary in the 1970s.
daily  mirror  mark  steel  13th  december  2019 
december 2019
Labour's working class voters are now Hove baristas, while Blyth puts its trust in common blokes like Boris | Mark Steel
The people of Blyth decided to confirm their distaste for the establishment by putting their trust in common folk who understand what it’s like to live in an former shipyard town – people like Jacob ‘always drilling a rivet’ Rees-Mogg.
13th  december  2019  independent  mark  steel  politics 
december 2019
Nobody is asking you to go on holiday with Corbyn – you don't need to like him to vote Labour | Mark Steel
In this general election there are many constituencies where people who want to stop the PM are in a strong majority, but rather than unite behind one candidate that will beat him they still prefer to fight each other.
5th  december  2019  mark  steel  independent  politics 
december 2019
Boris Johnson is dodging the climate debate and I find it very reassuring | Mark Steel
It’s the same as if every scientist agreed all the country’s planes, cars, buses, boats and seaside donkeys were on fire. You wouldn’t expect the transport secretary to interrupt his busy schedule to worry about that.
28th  november  2019  independent  mark  steel  politics 
november 2019
It's a surprise Priti Patel is backing the Tory manifesto – she thinks government has nothing to do with your finances | Mark Steel
For most of the past nine years government policy has been to proudly follow ‘austerity’. How ridiculous to suggest that might lead to anything becoming austere.
21st  november  2019  independent  mark  steel  politics 
november 2019
The plot against the Prime Minister | Matthew Engel
Boris Johnson was parachuted into Uxbridge four years ago and has never bothered to make himself popular there. Now, activists in this odd and divided constituency are agitating to overthrow him.
15th  november  2019  new  statesman  matthew  engel  politics  london 
november 2019
Boris Johnson's sputtering tour of Britain makes Theresa May look like an expert campaigner | Mark Steel
The prime minister’s performance over the past few days should put to rest any questions about why he’s kept away from the public.
mark  steel  independent  politics  14th  november  2019 
november 2019
Maybe the Tories are being this bad in the name of ‘light-hearted satire’ | Mark Steel
James Cleverly says his party doctored a video of Keir Starmer in the name of mockery, not fakery. Could Jacob Rees-Mogg, Andrew Bridgen and the rest been tripping themselves up on purpose for our amusement?
mark  steel  independent  7th  november  2019  politics 
november 2019
After nine years, the Tories say "Britain deserves better" than them | Mark Steel
The Conservative campaign seems to be based on the idea that only they can be trusted to fix the problems they’ve caused. Okay then.
mark  steel  independent  politics  31st  october  2019  brexit 
october 2019
Is Britain really so bored we'll let a sociopath PM do whatever he wants? | Mark Steel
This is Boris Johnson’s selling point. He gets on with it. He’s not like those other stodgy politicians, bound by elitist codes, like the one that suggests if you print something as a fact in huge letters it ought to be true.
24th  october  2019  independent  mark  steel  politics 
october 2019
Norfolk: Still a boy's own world | Roger Deakin
In Cromer the wind sends everything flying - but especially the imagination.
4th  august  2001  telegraph  roger  deakin  travel  cromer 
october 2019
Rejoice! We finally have a Brexit deal that makes us poorer and hands power to sociopaths | Mark Steel
This is only the start, we can and must build on this now we’re free to shrink our economy by however much we choose, without having to consult the Germans first.
17th  october  2019  independent  mark  steel  politics  brexit 
october 2019
No wonder Extinction Rebellion is unpopular, they're trying to make us care about humanity | Mark Steel
The protesters can make their point, they should just do it without disrupting anything, maybe by drawing a turtle or looking out of the window. Only then can we contemplate giving up a few bad habits.
mark  steel  independent  10th  october  2019  climate  change 
october 2019
The government’s Brexit plans are sillier than we knew possible | Mark Steel
Now we can enjoy the thrill of wondering what else will be revealed. It might even be a giant mechanical parrot that flies across Europe identifying goods heading for the Irish border, squawking ‘that needs VAT paying on that, truckload of onions, truckload of onions’.
mark  steel  independent  3rd  october  2019  politics  brexit 
october 2019
The Two Sides of Diego Maradona | Brian Phillips
The lifelong story of Maradona is that the more broken and ugly something is when it enters his sphere of influence, the more beautiful and joyous that thing tends to become. The opposite is also very often true.
1st  october  2019  ringer  brian  phillips  football  diego  maradona  profile 
october 2019
Boris Johnson is desperate to honour Jo Cox, so maybe he could talk about the real betrayal of the 17.4m | Mark Steel
He’s had this job thrust upon him. And we should all remember that any of us, when we’re under pressure, react by insulting the memory of a woman who was murdered.
mark  steel  independent  politics  26th  september  2019  boris  johnson 
september 2019
Boris Johnson has gone so barmy he doesn’t even know what a journalist looks like | Mark Steel
It’s possible the prime minister had mistaken them for nurses and surgeons, which as we know look uncannily like cameras and tripods.
20th  september  2019  independent  mark  steel  politics  boris  johnson 
september 2019
The Tories are playing Anarchy in the UK while Labour goes out of tune | Mark Steel
Iain Duncan Smith is convinced that 17.4 million people – and no mathematician has ever been able to think of a bigger number, remember – voted explicitly to pay £35 for a tomato.
politics  mark  steel  independent  12th  september  2019 
september 2019
Imagine Diane Abbott sprawled on the front bench, texting mates. The Tory media would have been fine with that too | Mark Steel
In any reasonable, measured society, Jacob Rees-Mogg would be in a circus, billed as ‘The Gentry from another Century’. And people gather to watch him polish his monocle.
politics  mark  steel  independent  5th  september  2019 
september 2019
‘Grand Designs’ Delivers a Dream Home—Disaster Included | Brian Phillips
What could possibly go wrong with the construction of a 10,000-square-foot palace made entirely from a mixture of mud and straw? Everything, it turns out. Which is part of the appeal of the British home-building reality show.
brian  phillips  30th  august  2019  ringer  tv  grand  designs 
august 2019
Johnson said Brexit was ‘do or die’. But no MPs opposed to no deal are willing to do either | Mark Steel
It shouldn’t be hard to vote this government down given the majority of MPs against leaving without a deal. But that would be too grubby, so they’re wasting time squabbling about the Queen instead.
politics  mark  steel  independent  29th  august  2019  brexit 
august 2019
From bombs to Benidorm: how fascism disfigured the face of Spain | Jonathan Meades
As dictator, Franco built a cemetery with slave labour and orphanages for his murdered enemies’ children. Then Spain discovered tourism – and the lager louts flew in.
guardian  26th  august  2019  jonathan  meades  architecture  spain 
august 2019
Europe basically told Johnson to play with his toys for 30 days – that’s no breakthrough | Mark Steel
We’ve been told twice already that the EU will wait until the deadline and then back down. They haven’t yet, but perhaps the prime minister knows the third time’s a charm.
22nd  august  2019  independent  mark  steel  politics 
august 2019
The Lib Dems hate no-deal Brexit, but they'd rather burn than let Jeremy Corbyn douse the flames | Mark Steel
Maybe they’re worried that during his few days as prime minister, he’d sneak off in the night and make Britain part of Palestine.
15th  august  2019  mark  steel  independent  politics  brexit 
august 2019
All Due Respect | Peter Hessler
An American reporter takes on the yakuza.
new  yorker  peter  hessler  1st  january  2012  japan  crime  jake  adelstein  profile 
august 2019
The truth is the last thing that will set us free from Boris Johnson and his X-men of liars | Mark Steel
The duplicitous prime minister hasn’t just changed the rules, he’s playing a different game. It’s time for us to learn it and beat him at it.
politics  mark  steel  independent  25th  july  2019 
july 2019
Just like the racist president, no Tories will save us from the kipper-waver in chief | Mark Steel
Now he’s going to be PM, they’ve all caved in. ‘LOVED the fish, Boris, let’s go to war with Portugal, you can borrow my laptop if the other one broke in that incident that wasn’t your fault’.
politics  mark  steel  independent  18th  july  2019 
july 2019
The Promise and Price of Cellular Therapies | Siddhartha Mukherjee
New “living drugs”—made from a patient’s own cells—can cure once incurable cancers. But can we afford them?
siddhartha  mukherjee  new  yorker  22nd  july  2019  science  medicine  immunology 
july 2019
Novak Djokovic’s Lovely, Victorious Crisis | Brian Phillips
On Novak Djokovic’s confounding marathon win against Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final.
14th  july  2019  tennis  brian  phillips  ringer  sport  wimbledon  roger  federer  novak  djokovic 
july 2019
First World Cup transfixed England but set tone for 44 years of hurt | Matthew Engel
Following failure in 1975, England assumed the cricket world would be small enough to conquer eventually. They’re still waiting but now have their best chance yet.
guardian  matthew  engel  13th  july  2019  cricket  world  cup 
july 2019
No wonder Labour antisemitism got the Panorama treatment – Tory racism is way too much to fit into an hour | Mark Steel
Conservative members love politicians who protect the kind of British life a person can relate to, such as wearing a monocle and having 19 kids you never see until they’ve left Eton.
11th  july  2019  mark  steel  independent  politics 
july 2019
England’s California? | Jonathan Meades
The Buildings of England: Dorset By Michael Hill, John Newman & Nikolaus Pevsner, Yale University Press 864pp £35.
december  2018  literary  review  jonathan  meades  book  architecture  dorset 
july 2019
To the Innards of the Earth | Jonathan Meades
Underland: A Deep Time Journey By Robert Macfarlane, Hamish Hamilton 487pp £20.
may  2019  literary  review  jonathan  meades  robert  macfarlane  book  literature 
july 2019
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