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Tag Archives: politics

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. In many parts of Africa gin is the only currency. — The Nelson Evening Mail, January 6 1909 . James Ramsay MacDonald became Prime Minister of Great Britain three times. Water is a better conductor of sound than air. A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. The telephone has a tendency to render the girl operators left-eared. — The Nelson Evening Mail, July 4 1908 . Eight wickets for eight runs is the worst batting collapse in Twenty20 international cricket. St Blaise is the patron saint of sore throats, and of knitting. Estonian literature suffers from a dearth of stories [...]

Blessed are the speechmakers?

A back-handed tribute to President William Henry Harrison. – For The Spectator

Eight debut novels

Currently sitting at 12 to 1 for this year’s Booker Prize, first-time novelist Paul Kingsnorth has set the cat among the pigeons through the disarmingly original expedient of submitting his offering in a fictional language. Composed in what Kingsnorth calls the ‘shadow tongue’ of ‘eald anglisc’, The Wake (Unbound 365pp £16.99) explores one angle of [...]

theASHtray, vol.9

Read, watch and listen: climate-change, Maldivian politics, Jon Shenk, Mohammed Nasheed, Radiohead, Start the Week, Anne McElvoy, Geoff Dyer, Paul Farley, Andrei Tarkovsky, Tristram Shandy, Werner Herzog, Liz Mermin, large hadron colliders, Scott Waugh, Mouse McCoy, Act of Valor, Navy Seals, John McCain, Facebook, blockbusters, Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma, pianos, Clementi, Mozart, Telemann, and [...]

A Ghanaian election

How much do you remember about the Ghanaian presidential run-off of 2008? Hm? No? Fair enough. Me neither. And there’s a reason for that. But Jarreth Merz does. The Swiss documentary-maker spent three hectic months on the campaign trail, the better that we might understand – and he’s put it all down in his film, [...]

A Very British political drama

The Conservatives have been in power for years, the working man feels disenfranchised, unemployment is rife, and there’s really bad music on the radio. And then [cue: opening chords of Mozart’s Coronation Mass] Labour’s long-awaited electoral landslide, and all is right in the world! 1997? Not a bit of it. This is 1988 – at [...]