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The Mandelson Memorial Dim Sum Lunch, Eagle Eye

The Mandelson Memorial Dim Sum Lunch

This pivotal event in the political calendar – the UK equivalent of the Iowa straw poll – was held even later this year than in recent years. Supposed to be just before Christmas, to mark the anniversary of the first fall of Peter Mandelson, this time we did not get round to it until a fortnight ago.
Last [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 30 March 2014 at 6:40 pm

Barking Blondes: Who trained your dog?, The Dog Blog

Barking Blondes: Who trained your dog?

We have never given birth but we reckon books on child rearing must suffer the same wrath as those on dog training – different trends and styles are celebrated and then trashed.

By | The Dog Blog | Sunday, 30 March 2014 at 12:00 am

In Praise of John Campbell, part II, Eagle Eye

In Praise of John Campbell, part II

One of the loveliest things about John Campbell’s style as a biographer is his use of footnotes. I have only dipped into his biography of Roy Jenkins (yesterday I got as far as the back cover), but immediately found this gem, on page 740. It is in the last chapter, about The Great Pooh-Bah’s* afterlife, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 29 March 2014 at 6:24 pm

Dish of the Day: Street food – what is it really?, Dish of the Day

Dish of the Day: Street food – what is it really?

Street food was accessible, affordable and part of a great culture. But something’s gone wrong.

By | Dish of the Day | Saturday, 29 March 2014 at 4:57 pm

On the red carpet, finally, something new, courtesy of Nicolas Ghesquiere at Louis Vuitton, Fashion

On the red carpet, finally, something new, courtesy of Nicolas Ghesquiere at Louis Vuitton

I’m not overwhelmingly interested in celebrity dressing. Is anyone, really? The rounds of premieres, awards-shows and television appearances are relentless – every country has its own launch for a film, a television programme, a magazine, a cereal. And every launch has an outfit. Bar a few celebrities with emblematic style (Kate Moss) or hefty endorsement deals (Jennifer Lawrence in Dior, obviously), what they wear is mostly forgettable. Just like so much of fashion today is forgettable. There’s a surfeit of stuff. Most of it is anodyne, rehashed, dull and unnecessary. Why would I be interested in that?

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Saturday, 29 March 2014 at 4:10 pm

In praise of John Campbell, Eagle Eye

In praise of John Campbell

I was surprised, on turning over my copy of John Campbell’s authorised biography of Roy Jenkins, to discover my name on the back. The first quotation of “praise for The Iron Lady“, Campbell’s previous work, is:
“Anyone who wants to know what really happened between 1979 and 1990 should read this book.” John Rentoul, Daily Telegraph.
I remember [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 28 March 2014 at 9:23 pm

Friday Book Design Blog: Verso Radical Thinkers, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: Verso Radical Thinkers

How to market ‘theory’ – that strange monstrous genre of quasi-philosophical, quasi-social-scientific, quasi-lit-critical writing that crawled from the continent in the second half of the last century? Verso know how to do it. Their list ‘Radical Thinkers’ is chock full of heavyweight names, from Adorno to Foucault to Žižek to… well, you’d have to say there [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 28 March 2014 at 1:01 pm

What “everyone knows” is wrong: the Budget was popular with young people, Eagle Eye

What “everyone knows” is wrong: the Budget was popular with young people

Everyone knows that George Osborne designed the Budget to help repulse the UKIP threat to older once-Tory voters, especially working-class ones. What is more, it succeeded. Recent polls by ComRes, YouGov and Populus have seen Labour’s lead cut.
All hail the political genius of the Chancellor.
Except that it is not so.
The brilliant Leo Barasi points out [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 28 March 2014 at 12:17 pm

Is Labour set to abolish fees and introduce a graduate tax?, Eagle Eye

Is Labour set to abolish fees and introduce a graduate tax?

I wonder if this, asked by George Eaton of the New Statesman two days ago, will turn out to be a Question To Which The Answer Is No.
There was a reason why Gordon Brown and then Nick Clegg failed to come up with a workable plan for a graduate tax: it is a bad idea.
But [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 27 March 2014 at 9:56 pm

Ibet: Stats Point To A Lay Of Arsenal As Manchester City Come To Town, Football

Ibet: Stats Point To A Lay Of Arsenal As Manchester City Come To Town

Arsenal put in a storming end to last season to secure Champions League football but this time around they are losing momentum at just the wrong time.

By | Football, Notebook, Sport | Thursday, 27 March 2014 at 4:55 pm

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