"Once upon a time," begins Ciarán Collins' debut novel, "there were two lovers called Sinéad and James." She is a local girl from a poor Catholic family where her home life is troubled and her parents abusive, while James is the son of a well-off Protestant couple who move to the area to renovate an old castle.
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Sunday 11 July 2010
Lord Mandelson was today blamed for the "disaster" of Labour's general election campaign by one of Gordon Brown's closest allies.
Thursday 08 July 2010
Andy Burnham, a contender for the leadership of the Labour Party, has accused supporters of a rival camp of conducting "malicious briefing" in the hope of getting him to throw in the towel. His remarks are the first public sign of mutual antagonism in a leadership contest that has been marked by restrained language up to now.
Wednesday 19 May 2010
Wednesday 05 May 2010
New figures released by the election watchdog show the Conservatives accepted £123,464 from Lord Ashcroft, the deputy chairman of the party, who is spearheading the battle for the key marginal seats.
Friday 30 April 2010
Wednesday 28 April 2010
Friday 23 April 2010
Tory frontbencher Michael Gove today called on the Prime Minister to rebuke Labour MPs and ministers who had spread "fear and smears" about Conservative policies in their election leaflets.
Friday 23 April 2010
But first the hair. Nick's was the youngest, tousled as from afternoon sex. Young people will like that, and it helps project his policy on Europe. Cameron's hair hadn't set properly, there was a bold sweep at the front but then it went flat the further into it you went. I wonder if that means anything. And Gordon's! The poor fellow, his hair is only going in one direction. Soon he'll have fulfilled Blair's promise of being "whiter than white". He should prepare for the next debate with 36 holes in the Bahamas. That advice is so good I may send him a bill (he'll have a spare £100m for emergencies if I know him).
Thursday 22 April 2010
This wondrously unpredictable election campaign has its first incontestable winner. I refer to the Daily Mirror and its deployment of the young man who puts David Schilling's more outré Ladies' Day titfers in the shade by following David Cameron while wearing a fluffy chicken head as a hat. Before we go on, some good news. The tripartite Vulcan mind meld conjoining Ed Balls, Charlie Whelan and Mirror political supremo Kevin Maguire into the one mental entity is holding. That resolved, back to the chicken. What most impresses about using poultry to highlight alleged cowardice is the originality. Pedants might point out that the tactic has been tried before, but who remembers the Tories doing it to Mr Tony Blair in 1997? The record book shows how spiffingly that panned out, so small wonder Mr Whelan-Balls-Maguire hunted out such an encouraging precedent. If the chicken provided Mr Cameron with one of his better moments, when on Tuesday he joshed with it in as endearing a fashion as tightly gritted teeth allowed, that's not how the Mirror chose to report it on yesterday's front page. But it is excused the confusion on a news day so frantic that only one tiny paragraph could be spared to gloss over Labour's abysmal showing in every poll published the previous evening. The key thing when facing brutal humiliation, the Mirror reminds us, is retaining professional self-respect. This enables a newspaper to bounce back quickly, live long and prosper.
Monday 19 April 2010
Friday 16 April 2010
There was a slight sense of sulphur in the air in the Manchester media room; surely the Iceland volcano couldn't have got here so quickly? No, it was Peter Mandelson gliding into the hall.
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 4 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile