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'He's a wonderfully warm, funny man... though if I were a 16-year-old apprentice I'd be scared'
A school boasting traditional values, with Carpe Diem – seize the day – as its Latin motto, was celebrating yesterday after being ranked as the country's top comprehensive for A-level results.
Mahmoud Darwish, who died at the weekend, was, according to the Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif, "the last poet who could fill a football stadium". In a country that regards poetry as a pastime for the lost and the lonely – like, say, knitting tea cosies, or making wicker baskets – this is quite hard to understand. Celine Dion fills football stadiums. So does Elton John. So does Simply Red. But a poet?
Jack Straw's salivary glands squirted at the sight of Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State. In 2006, the unmarried Alabama boffin let our exhausted then-Foreign Secretary sleep in her bunk on a flight to Baghdad, while she took the aisle floor. ("I feel a bit of a cad about it," said Straw. "I was so tired.") In return he tried to dazzle her with an all-expenses grand tour of Blackburn, before getting fired.