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Ill Manors

This gritty urban film came out in 2012 by rapper Plan B aka Ben Drew. It was highly praised at the time as being far from a predictable pop star vanity project. It’s a grim, fast paced but at times touching and even humorous view of the lives of young people on east London’s housing … Continue reading

A Peerage for Farage?

A Peerage for Farage?

Don’t collapse with laughter or throw something at your screen.This is a controversial but intriguing  suggestion from Mary Dejevsky in the i paper. Having stated her dislike for the honours system and the problems with the house of lords: For the time being, though  we have the system we have, and given that reform is … Continue reading

Healthcare USA in 2009

Healthcare USA in 2009

I just found this feature from the Independent newspaper of 15 August 2009 which ran over 3 pages. The article shocked the newspaper and it shocked me enough to keep the whole piece. In the wake of the recent election it is worth looking at it again. Why do the Republicans hate – or fear … Continue reading

Justifying Georgian Luxury

In 1772 jeweller James Cox opened a Museum in London’s Spring Gardens which became the most popular show in the capital to the extent it became known as ‘The Museum’. It displayed ornate  jewelled automata in an opulent setting and charged a massive half a guinea (10/6d) entry. Fanny Burney mentioned it in her novel … Continue reading

Master Percy Praises The Lever Museum

Master Percy Praises The Lever Museum

Eighteenth century England produced a lot of child proteges who were often put on display by their partents and guardians in a way that to modern eyes seems like exploitation, but for families of humble birth could provide a welcome income. Some went on to achieve well deserved success such as the future President of … Continue reading

Lessons from History – Transatlantic Problems

The problems of Brexit and the impending US Presidential elections seem to be tearing the UK and USA apart. As is so often the case, these problems are nothing new – England suffered 2 centuries of discord following the Reformation, when church power collapsed, plunging the country into a time of ignorance, mismanagement and the … Continue reading

Aida versus Political Correctness

Last week the papers ran yet another story that makes me fear for the future of this country. A student production of Aida has been cancelled due to charges of “cultural appropriation’, as the leading roles were likely to be played by white actors. The production was not to be the original, by Verdi, but … Continue reading

Women of Elizabeth’s England

This is some more from Thomas Platter’s Travels in England 1599. He mentions several times of how much freedom women had, perhaps reflecting the fact that a woman was on the throne, but I suspect also there were more of them than men, so strength in numbers. There are times, however, when I wonder if … Continue reading

Law Abiding in Yorkshire, 1766

This is from the Newcastle Chronicle of July 1766. It is noteworthy as soon after this, the south and west of England erupted in food riots. This region remained calm as they ate mostly potatoes instead of suffering speculation in wheat which caused bread to skyrocket in price. York, July 22 Last Friday the assizes … Continue reading