Category: Opinion

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Norky’s ramblings: episode 11, puberty

Peter Norcliffe
Peter Norcliffe with Christa from Heidelberg and his brother and sister

Norky recalls his most embarrassing moment, which occurred during a German exchange visit in 1955. ” I’m embarrassed about it even now, I can hardly bring myself to put it down in writing, perhaps doing so will after 63 years lay it down to rest.”

The BBC, the right wing and the people

Pauline Allon

The BBC faces a rocky road ahead, with the Dowden enquiry and the appointment of the new chairperson – former Goldman Sachs banker, and Conservative Party donor. Richard Sharp. And Cummings’ departure will not make a difference to its survival, the damage has been done. The lies spoken and the criticism will continue.

Where no woman is allowed to boldly go?

Dr Pam Jarvis

Dr Pam Jarvis looks at how Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor has been treated differently to her male on-screen predecessors. While an advancement for gender equality in science-fiction, Whittaker’s character has been plagued with maternal stereotypes, gendering the treatment of the character in a role which had the opportunity to escape such shoehorning.

Book Review: How to Be A Liberal, by Ian Dunt

John Cole

John Cole reviews Ian Dunt’s book, How To Be a Liberal. The book stretches back as far as Aristotle to draw a history of liberalism over millennia, examines the personal lives of many of the early liberals, and offers advice for all readers to help create a better world.

2020’s impact on tourism and hospitality – what next for 2021?

Hugh Goulbourne

s we begin 2021, it is absolutely critical we have a plan that will ensure the sector can bounce back more strongly once enough people are vaccinated, to ensure that we are through the worst of the pandemic. The first part of that plan must involve working with the government to form a common understanding as to how and when the sector can safely reopen as early as possible in 2021.

Norky’s ramblings: episode 10

Peter Norcliffe

Peter Norcliffe reminisces about biplanes, old money, and ‘Doctor Dan’s Health Drink’ in his latest column. ” Not for me a train driver or firefighter – both very noble causes, of course, but I’m sure you will agree, not in the same league as a milk man with a black and white horse.”

Reasons to be cheerful in 2021

Andy Brown

Way back in the summer of 1979 there was mass unemployment that was heading up towards three million, and the strident divisive politics of Margaret Thatcher were just about to be inflicted on the nation. Instead of staring at the negative, Ian Dury got together with his band the Blockheads and released one of the […]

Pie of the week: from Cryer & Stott, Castleford market

Jimmy Andrex

Jimmy Andrex reviews the pie of the week – this time from Cryer & Stott, at Castleford market. “If you ever had sex better than this pie you’re either a liar or I need to get to know you better. If you ever took drugs better than this pie, you must be on drugs – cheap, bad ones that make you think the traffic in South Elmsall are crocodiles.”

Is it time for a football Brexit?

Richard Corbett

We have surrendered our sovereign control of football – a sport we invented – to UEFA and FIFA, foreigners imposing their diktats on us. It has always been a problem that matches are overseen by unelected referees, whom we can’t remove (even if the public clearly wants to), but things are going from bad to worse.

Here comes the sun 2021: the darkest hour will soon have passed

Dr Pam Jarvis

Dr Pam Jarvis reflects on the meaning of the Winter Solstice, as we move from the shortest day and into the light. So, what of our duplicitous government, fractured nation and spoiled Christmas? As the New Year dawns, the time to silence, to uproot and to tear down will be coming to an end, and the time to speak, to plant and to mend will be coming around.

What ho ho ho! Festive chums!

Alistair Cowan

But now old Father Christmas approaches, smiling and ruddy – no he doesn’t have a temperature, and his indiscriminate appetite for milk, whisky, shortbread and chocolate is not indicative of a loss of taste – and it’s time for us to let loose, relax and have a jolly old jamboree. Much like pater allowed us when the nanny stopped weeping.

2nd open letter to Boris Johnson

Sue Wilson

Sue Wilson follows up on her last open letter to the prime minister. “I also want to congratulate you on still being prime minister. I wasn’t sure that you would last this long when I last wrote, but I stand corrected. I’m very happy about this, as I really think that the Brexit to come – whether a hard deal or no deal – should have your name all over it. You deserve nothing less, especially as I know how you like to take all the credit.”

“Cramping my inalienable right to determine my own destiny as a free man”

Steve Pottinger

“Working on your car again, Tim?” “Yep.” “Checking the spark plugs? Topping up the oil?” “Nah, mate. Taking out the airbags.” “The airbags??!!” “That’s right.” “But why on earth…?” “Don’t want anything to do with them, mate.” “Well, none of us want anything to *do* with them, Tim. They’re just there for emergencies.” “They’re a […]

A broken budget and a delusional chancellor

Andy Brown

After a decade of peddling a badly flawed set of economic policies, the latest Conservative Party chancellor has had to ditch many of his most deeply held convictions in the face of the economic and social realities of a genuine crisis. Yet he remains stubbornly determined to ensure the country persists with a hugely damaging Brexit at the worst possible of times.

Cummings jumps ship, leaving Johnson tethered to the mast of Brexit

Anthony Robinson

News that Dominic Cummings will be leaving Downing Street before the end of the year has been followed by a typically fawning piece from James Forsyth at The Spectator, the political magazine where Cummings’s wife works as a commissioning editor. Forsyth has frequently been a mouth piece for Cummings in the past, so it was […]

In praise of (once) great men

Ray Kershaw

We like to think the best of men, especially when they’re gone. Indeed, there are some people, and I confess I am one, so empathetic that had avuncular Adolf been cruelly impaled, lynched, poisoned or otherwise bumped off – or (perhaps even worse?) democratically removed – before fulfilling his life’s destiny of annihilating millions, and […]

The BBC’s ‘impartiality’ gag

Shahid Sahid

Every now and again, the BBC bizarrely includes stories in radio bulletins about its inner workings. When they do, it’s always interesting to contrast what is said publicly, with BBC insider perspectives. A radio report last week, about BBC staff being told that disciplinary action, or even dismissal, could follow if they share biased social media, […]

Failure to learn from Grenfell will cost lives

Andy Brown

One of the reasons that cynicism has entered politics quite so strongly in recent years is the way most politicians respond to serious problems. The pattern is all too familiar. A horrible disaster strikes. It is announced that an inquiry will be organised to get to the bottom of the issues and make sure it […]

The US election and Brexit: not as separate as you might think

Jon Worth

It should not have come to this. The European Union had hoped a future trade deal with the UK would have been signed and sorted by mid-October, when EU leaders were meeting at a European Council in Brussels. But that deadline, like so many others in the Brexit process, came and went; meaning EU negotiator […]

Should we use criminal law to get public compliance with covid?

Amy Ramswell

With another lockdown in England starting on Thursday, covid is well and truly back with a bang. It is sweeping the streets, crashing the Test and Trace system and even being carried into parliament by MP Margaret Ferrier. A virus doesn’t spread itself, as the government has repeatedly exclaimed when lambasting young people for house […]

Norky’s ramblings: more mills of the sixties

Peter Norcliffe

True stories from ‘Norky’ who comes from Scapegoat Hill, a small, isolated farming village, high on the Pennines in West Yorkshire. Textile mills had been allowed to run down before I started working, mainly through lack of investment, and cheap foreign imports. The management no doubt assumed, as did the management of many other British […]

Reclaiming populism, and why Johnson is more Caesar than Cicero

Alex Toal

Classics is often at the heart of Boris Johnson’s political brand, and particularly his admiration of the orator Marcus Tullius Cicero. In April of this year, he got in trouble with the historian Dame Mary Beard after misquoting the statesman, and previously he has referred to his use of Ciceronian rhetorical techniques.   Comparing ancient […]

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