It’s pretty difficult to get excited about Starbucks finally getting the red cups in when one of the adults present at Christmas dinner could soil themselves at any moment. But even a bittersweet Christmas is worth having.
Black tie is still a code, of course, but not really a dress code. It is code language. It shouts to the sober world: we are on a serious bender here, so give us a wide berth.
With Islamist terrorists, ebola and poisonous chickens threatening to overwhelm us, you would think the British have enough to worry about.
In spite of retail frenzy, the gratuitous use of glitter and our attempts to reconcile irreconcilable family, we perceive in the darkness a light shining, tiny and vulnerable but inextinguishable.
There are 13 immigration detention centres in Britain but only the name of Yarl’s Wood really resonates – it’s where nearly 400 stateless, powerless women – the majority of whom say they are previous victims of sexual violence – are held.
It’s almost as if we are yearning for politicians of greater and diverse experience who know something of life beyond Westminster.
The red-blue duopoly that had held for decades fractured as insurgent tribes invaded the pitch.
In Ukraine’s battle against Russian-backed separatists, civilians keep the army equipped.
Ian Stewart shows how maths is changing cosmology, and explains why the best way to reach a comet near Mars is to go round the back of the sun.
A family lost a son and daughter in the Indian Ocean disaster. Ten years on, they may have found them.
Breaking Bad’s power lies in its chilling vision of a society in thrall to the market.
The winner of the inaugural New Statesman/Speri Prize in political economy on how an innovative state can tackle inequality.
Fairy tales are capable of depicting the hardest challenges we face as human beings.
Antonia Quirke rounds up the best of the New Year's radio, including War and Peace and The Supernatural North.
New voices join old friends in our selection of the best poems published in the New Statesman over the past 12 months.
A N Wilson's book reveals the surprisingly diverse tastes of this quintessential English monarch.
A new exhibition at Lille's Palais des Beaux-Arts reveals the life of an ancient image-maker.
NS pop critic Kate Mossman talks to the former Sex Pistol about Ed Miliband, Ukip and “men’s dangly bits”.
At 75, after many years of personal struggle, John Cleese says he is the happiest he has ever been. But what on earth will that mean for his comedy?
Children get the best TV this year, says Rachel Cooke.
Wonder Woman is riddled with contradictions: sexless, yet sexy; strong, yet vulnerable; a feminist hero created by a man.
Ryan Gilbey casts an eye over the Christmas fare.
You hear TV producers sometimes talking about the importance of having “strong female characters”. This is balls, particularly in comedy.
Is there a darker Christmas lyric than Band Aid’s “Well, tonight thank God it’s them instead of you”?
Unexpected guests arrive in a specially commissioned winter’s tale.
Jay the lesbian gannet made our Christmas much less tense than normal. The home-made Baileys flowed.
Christmas, of course, is a time for giving, and from early December gifts start to come in from patients.
Cheer up, Stevie! Go, Schlupp! And Pearson, don’t come down from the stands.
Everything went a bit hazy after that. It had got a bit hazy before, to be perfectly honest, because I had drunk about six bottles of wine and several shot glasses of slivovitz.
The child of a grey coal town in Calvinist Scotland, I was hungry for imagery, wild about colour and, even though I accepted that I would never live there, desperate for proof of some other world.
From without in the chilly night, the Hovel – which is a maisonette above a shop – looked cosy; I could see lamplight and books ranged on shelves.
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