Ah, the last Prime Minister’s Questions of the year. MPs always find it impossible not to overdo the festive references, as though they had just been given uniquely privileged inside information that Christmas was only a week away. There is the frankly obsequious kind, such as Therese Coffey’s: “Thank you for calling me, Mr Speaker, and a merry Christmas to you and your family. The people of Suffolk have enjoyed a cracker of a Christmas present with the excellent news on the A14 [not becoming a toll road]...” Then there is the beseeching, as in her fellow Tory Stewart Jackson’s: “Will the Prime Minister give an early Christmas present to Peterborough people by giving his personal support to our bid for a university technical college.”
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Friday 01 March 2013
While Laura Mvula deserves credit for blending her Caribbean heritage with her classical training, Sing to the Moon is far from the masterpiece some claim.
Sunday 13 January 2013
What's wrong with children? However much you attempt to instill an anti-consumerist philosophy into them, they still hurl themselves unthinkingly at the latest fads, costing you an arm and a leg in the process.
Saturday 12 January 2013
Saturday 12 January 2013
Wednesday 26 December 2012
It pays to make a tasty meal out of leftovers
Sunday 23 December 2012
Those festive sorts at the Government's Health and Safety watchdog, wearied presumably by annual comparisons to Dr Seuss's Grinch, have released their own guide to Christmas, debunking twelve myths about their work and its party-pooping nature.
Wednesday 21 November 2012
The Football Association and Fifa today moved to heal the rift between the organisations that developed after England's failed 2018 World Cup bid.
Saturday 06 October 2012
Saturday 01 September 2012
1612 Underture is an electronic concept album which uses the trial of the Pendle Witches in 17th century Lancashire as the focus for a meditation on the social divides that still grip the North or, as it's described here, "the home of hard-grafting bastards, where even the children have Vimto moustaches".
Wednesday 02 May 2012
Further to Steve Bunce's obituary (28 April), I hadn't seen Terry Spinks for many years and I was pleasantly surprised when, sometime in the late 1990s he came into my pub, The Woodman, at Stanford Rivers, Essex, writes Eddie Johnson. He was having treatment at a hospital nearby and his devoted cousin Rosemary was taking him home for the weekend and they decided to have a drink (non-alcoholic) before continuing the journey to Chadwell Heath.
Friday 13 January 2012
No one evokes the feeling of being trapped like an 18th-century author. The smallness of the city, the difficulties of transport and communication as compared to now, meant that one obsession, one place, could take over your life. They say that Henry Fielding's 'Tom Jones' created earthquakes on its publication in 1749 – if so, then 'Clarissa' should have inspired a volcano. It is a novel simmering with anger.
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 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 2 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 3 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- 4 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police