News coming in of Tristram Hunt’s turn at a fundraiser for Hornsey and Wood Green Labour Party last night. The shadow education secretary “did what I haven’t seen someone on the Labour front bench do for four years”, according to one witness: “He simply refused to agree with the leftists and political conservatives in the [...]
We were up in North Yorkshire at the weekend. Every morning, a heavy mist hung over the Howardian Hills, refusing to budge until well after lunch. In the morning, it was chilly enough for coats and fleeces, but when the sun broke through it felt as though there was a 10 degree increase in temperature. [...]
Some 46 per cent of overseas pensioners don’t get the annual state pension increase? Why? Because they live in the wrong country
One more thing from the last chapter of John Campbell’s wonderful biography of Roy Jenkins. My special interest in it is in its charting of Jenkins’ growing disenchantment with his protégé, which is entirely to Tony Blair’s credit.
I particularly enjoyed Campbell’s account of Jenkins’ description of Blair’s “second-class mind”.
Just because I could, I dug out [...]
Children’s Book Blog – books for April: The Day the Crayons Quit, The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig and Grasshopper Jungle
At the start of each month, I pick out three of the best children’s book I’ve been reading recently, from picture books to Young Adult novels, old classics to new favourites. My recommendations for April are The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers, The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig by Emer Stamp and Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith.
Another lovely footnote in John Campbell’s biography of Roy Jenkins. This time it is about Sir Menzies Campbell. Jenkins wanted him to take over as leader of the Liberal Democrats when Paddy Ashdown stood down in 1999, having long thought highly of him and “probably thinking Charles Kennedy was still too young”.
At this point the [...]
Sir Alex Ferguson will surely have choked on his Premier Cru when he saw that bookies are offering 13/2 (that’s six and a half to one) about Manchester United winning a game at home
The blast of publicity received over the weekend by the Conservative MP for Fylde, Mark Menzies, had political journalists rummaging through the archives to try to find out anything they could about his political career. This morning, I have undertaken a new search through the database to uncover any interesting snippets. The pickings are thin, [...]
I’ve been on holiday, but the allotment isn’t taking any down time at the moment – despite some very chilly days last week, buds are bursting on the fruit trees, the spring cabbages under nets are swelling and tiny radish seedlings are getting bigger by the day.
The weeds are also flourishing – my plot is [...]
At this rate I could blog about John Campbell’s biography of Roy Jenkins every day. Indeed, I could do a daily commentary just about the footnotes, a special interest of mine.
There is a lovely bit about Jenkins’ book about Gladstone, which was published in 1995. This is a play within a play: Jenkins’ biographer commenting [...]
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