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Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

The art of making people laugh is a funny – that’s to say odd – thing. Sometimes comedy gold travels well down the generations and sometimes – often to some surprise among those who were fans ‘first time around’ – it just doesn’t. Sometimes when we look back at the great [...]

August 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

The means may change but History always repeats itself

Overnight the lead stories on both the website of The Guardian newspaper and Radio Five Live have been similar, detailing advance ‘leaks’ of the finding of a Commons parliamentary Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee about the clear and present danger that the recent global [...]

July 28, 2018 // 0 Comments

It’s all somebody’s Fake News, if you think about it

I suspect like many others I’ve lived the bulk of my life in a warm bubble of perception in which – broadly speaking, despite growing evidence to the contrary as from the late 19th Century onwards as Britain slid from a Grade A imperial power into something a little more mundane – at least [...]

July 26, 2018 // 0 Comments

It’s all up in the air and staying there

My sermon today covers ground far beyond that of my normal brief and in one sense that probably justifies today’s topic (and with bells on) anyway. At some point last year in one of my Rust columns I announced that, post the election and inauguration of US President Donald Trump, I was [...]

July 17, 2018 // 0 Comments

Stop the world, I want to get off (again)

This PC madness continues! The media is currently awash with reports of the decision of Scarlett Johansson to withdraw from a new movie called Rub and Tug in which she had been cast as a transgender character, this after protests from right-on campaigners that it should only be played by someone [...]

July 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

A few days in the country

I have spent a few days away seeing an old friend and his family. I have been visiting their family home since the mid-70s and it’s the house I have been most to over the lengthiest period. The House has had to adjust the passing of the parents, the father bought if from the Estate after the war, [...]

July 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

To 1944 and back

This may sound a degree absurd from someone in their sixties with a general interest in military history but last week I made my first-ever research trip to Normandy as a member of a small touring group spending five days ‘doing’ the D-Day Landings and elements of the 1944 Allied campaign to [...]

July 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

France :A History from Gaul to de Gaulle / John Julius Norwich

I always have a lot of respect for writers of non fiction whose preparation involves a lot of research and who can nonetheless produce a final work that is concise. Norman Stone wrote a brilliant short history of the First World War, Neal McGregor a superb but short history of Germany and now John [...]

July 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

What it’s all about (again)

The other night I met up with a busy professional now in his mid-fifties, who has worked with my family for many years, to discuss ‘stuff’. The subject of mortality came up and it led to a fascinating passage of conversation. You know the sort of thing. We began with the randomness of life [...]

June 30, 2018 // 0 Comments

Prince William’s Middle East visit.

The visit of Prince William as a news story has had to play third fiddle to the World Cup and the greater Manchester moorland fire but it will be one followed closely by the Anglo Jewry community for whom it has long been a sore that the Queen has never set foot in Israel. The Jewish prayer book is [...]

June 28, 2018 // 0 Comments

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