Labour and ‘Traditional Voters’

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Eight weeks after gaining 40 per cent of the national vote on an unapologetically forward-looking social democratic platform, Labour MPs who still perceive their majorities to be under threat are again saying that the party is failing to appeal t

2017-08-03 15:38:42  

Sylvia Plath and the NHS

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When Sylvia Plath’s marriage to Ted Hughes foundered in August 1962, her family assumed that she would move herself and her children back to America. ‘The worst difficulty is that Ted is at the peak of his fame,’ she wrote to her mother on

2017-08-01 17:30:09  

What have they got against the ECJ?

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As posturing over Brexit has given way to negotiations, the European Court of Justice is looming large. The prospects for EU citizens resident in the UK, uncertain enough to begin with, have been obscured by the government’s insistence that ECJ j

2017-07-31 10:08:47  

Unison’s Supreme Court Victory

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The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that employment tribunal fees are unlawful. They were cancelled immediately, and the government will have to pay back every claimant charged since fees were introduced in 2013. There are different estimates as

2017-07-28 15:43:57  

Isaiah Berlin of the FO

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For much of the Second World War, Isaiah Berlin worked at the British Embassy in Washington DC, where he carried out intelligence gathering for both the Ministry of Information and the Foreign Office. I recently came across a file in the archive

2017-07-27 09:55:54  

Run-ins with the Gatekeepers

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‘Whitmanesque’ is how Colin Ward, writing in the LRB, described Heathcote Williams’s book Whale Nation (1988). Williams, who died on Saturday, was a difficult catch. We persisted for a time, trying to get him to write for the paper, then lost hea

2017-07-04 06:59:52  

Leave it to Osborne

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In Psmith, Journalist (1915), P.G. Wodehouse’s most enterprising character stumbles into the world of New York journalism and transforms a sleepy and sentimental family paper, Cosy Moments, into a campaigning publication. He sacks all the regular

2017-07-03 15:04:20  

Read everywhere!

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It’s July, which means #readeverywhere is back. Enter our annual photo contest by taking a picture of yourself, or somebody else, reading the London Review of Books or the Paris Review in a scenic/dramatic/eccentric/perilous etc. setting, to be i

2017-07-03 12:37:40  

Children of Men

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Earlier this year I was teaching an evening class for part-time degree students in Bristol. A woman in her late twenties approached me, to check that I knew she would be breastfeeding. She introduced her classmates to her son, a few weeks old. Th

2017-06-30 15:19:11  

‘I can taste the smoke’

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My five-year-old son goes to school near Grenfell Tower. Nadia Choucair, his teaching assistant, was last seen waving a makeshift flag from her window on the 22nd floor. ‘I’ll remember her even if I’m 100,’ my son said. Nadia’s mother, her husban

2017-06-29 16:14:36  

Something to Resist With

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Translated by Ahdaf Soueif On my first day in prison, trying to make me feel better, my fellow inmates listed the advantages of our particular prison, and our particular ward: most of the inmates were senior civil servants, businessmen, judges, p

2017-03-31 10:45:13  

‘Europe has killed my hope’

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Alongside a Frontex vessel flying the Union Jack, a group of Afghan men sat dangling makeshift fishing rods into the harbour at Mytilene. It’s over a year since EU and Turkish leaders signed an agreement to ‘end’ irregular migration across the Ae

2017-03-30 16:20:06  

The Art of Protest

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The first time I saw one of Kaya Mar’s paintings was at the March for Europe a week after the Brexit vote. I took a picture of him, as did many of the people he walked past: a small man with a neat moustache carrying a peculiar painting, apparent

2017-03-29 07:30:29  

Rolling Coal

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Remove a truck’s catalytic converter, install a ‘smoke switch’ that tricks the engine into burning more diesel than it needs, and before you know it you’re rolling coal, purging impenetrable clouds of soot through your exhaust pipe on I-10 in Tex

2017-03-28 18:21:49  

Blunt Instruments

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The justice secretary, Liz Truss, announced last week that four new ‘super prisons’ would be built in England and Wales, to hold five thousand prisoners. Last month, Truss gave a speech rebuffing calls to reduce the prison population. She acknowl

2017-03-27 09:47:34  

At the Overdose Prevention Society

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The fentanyl crisis in British Columbia continues unabated. There were 128 overdose deaths in November, the worst month on record until December’s figures were released this week: 142 deaths. There were nine fatal overdoses in Vancouver on the ni

2017-01-27 20:02:20  

Ann Coulter’s ‘Intricately Knit Conspiracy’

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Ann Coulter has been Donald Trump’s outspoken champion since he launched his campaign. In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!, her book that came out last summer, was more of a manifesto than anything Trump has written himself (that said, I’m not

2017-01-27 16:54:13  

Tam Dalyell

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Tam Dalyell, who served as the Labour MP for West Lothian (later Linlithgow) from 1962 to 2005, died yesterday. In 1982 he resigned as Michael Foot’s science spokesman over the Falklands War. He wrote a number of pieces for the LRB, the fir

2017-01-27 10:54:46  

Britain Declines

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In the last month Theresa May has given striking evidence of a tilt towards Binyamin Netanyahu and Israel. On 29 December, her spokesman sharply criticised a major speech by John Kerry, who was signing off after years of labouring for an agreemen

2017-01-26 17:00:22  

How does it make you feel?

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‘I have spoken as recently as 24 hours ago with people at the highest level of intelligence,’ the president of the United States said on ABC News last night, ‘and I asked them the question: “Does it work? Does torture work

2017-01-26 10:10:09  

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