Of all the ideas about constitutional reform swirling around at the moment, the one that is most topical today is the notion of ‘the power of recall’. It is suggested that the voters should have the power to sack individual MPs in mid-Parliament if they have become mired in scandal. In Bromsgrove, the spontaneous ‘Julie [...]
Public relations people get more competitive by the day. No more the lazy days when they earned their keep by sending press releases through the post and waiting for the telephone to ring. The keenest now keep a constant eye on the news, looking out for events that can be used as a peg to [...]
I am sorry that Rose Dean-Davis, wife of that celebrated East End gangster George Davis has died. The campaign that she organised to get her husband out of jail was very imaginative. You could still see the famous slogan “George Davis is Innocent O.K.” painted on a wall along the Walworth Road full ten years after [...]
There is an old joke which I think originated in East Germany during the reign of the appalling Walter Ulbricht. Two East Germans who knew each other well were having a chat, when one said: ”What do you really think of Ulbricht?” The other went ashen, seized his friend by the arm, took him out of the room, [...]
I am pleased to see that Sir Paul Stephenson, the new head of the Metropolitan Police, does not want to be a celebrity but does want to be his own man. I hope that means he will avoid the current obsession with statistics and targets.
Last night, I met the policeman who is assigned to visit [...]
The best I can say for Shriti Vadera and her ‘green shoots’ gaffe is that it was a throwaway comment in a television interview, whereas Norman Lamont’s use of the same phrase was a centrepiece of a scripted speech to Conservative Annual conference. He meant it; she wishes she had not said it.
But there is [...]
I am shocked, SHOCKED, to read the assertion in The Times today that “there was no Master Bates” in the stories of Captain Pugwash.
Years ago, Pugwash’s creator, John Ryan, successfully sued two newspaper who had fallen for the urban myth that his characters include a ’Seaman Staines’ and a ‘Roger the Cabin Boy’. There is no such [...]
As every shopper will have noticed, it is difficult to find a reliable beast tamer or manure dealer in the modern shopping parade. But if you are curious to know what was on sale in your local high street 100 years ago, or more, it is worth a dip into the Ancestry website, where a [...]
I have just rediscovered this beautifully written passge from pages 152 to 155 of ‘The Great Crash 1929′ by J.k.Galbraith, which explains precisely why the Bernard Madoff scandal has hit us now, in the midst of a banking crisis, why something of that sort was inevitable, and why we can expect more of the same:
“To the economist embezzlement is [...]
It has been decreed that the Christmas number one shall be Hallelujah, performed by Alexandra Burke.
By the time you read this, at least one teenage member of our household will be among the hundreds of thousands who have bought it off iTunes.
My objection to this track – and sorry to be a [...]
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