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Showing posts from April, 2013

Othello, but not at the National

In the week of Shakespeare's birthday (probably) it is no bad thing to indulge in a bit of Shakespeare watching, and so I took myself off to see Othello with a couple of friends.  No, not the lauded one at the National, but a great fringe production in a north London pub.  Well, at the top of it anyway.  The review is here

Envy, jealousy and rage in a war camp setting are one thing, but there must be a chance soon to comment on our own prime minister's uneasy relationships.  Looking over his shoulder all the time at Boris Johnson, he has decided that one of his best manouevres is simply to get a member of Johnson's family on board, and so he has appointed Jo Johnson - unlike Boris, an MP - as his new head of the policy unit.  Whether that's to generate new political ideas, or just because the magic of the Johnson name is meant to assuage unhappy Tories who believe Cameron is too left-wing, is yet to be seen.  It's probably not a long term solution to electoral u…

Funeral Reflections on Margaret Thatcher

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I was nursing a hot chocolate in a small café beneath one of the North Yorkshire peaks when someone told me that Margaret Thatcher had died.There were no rumblings in the nearby mountains, no lighting strikes and the rain didn’t stop falling, but it was possible nonetheless to feel a sense of the profound.We all of us, after all, live in a country whose political environment she has largely ordered, and the acres of print and online commentary which followed the announcement of her death was all produced by men and women whose own political outlook was shaped by her.We are all Children of Thatcher.Progressives and reactionaries, lovers and haters, nationalists and internationalists, we have all had our political consciousness defined by the woman whose funeral procession will move along the Strand and Fleet Street and up to St Paul’s this morning.It is an extraordinary reflection of her impact.Just as politics seemed to be retreating into blandness, and fewer people want to be bother…