General de Gaulle, in a moment of irritation (and there were many of those in his mighty career), dismissed demands for independence from Martinique and Guadaloupe by referring to the islands as "pieces of dirt" in the Caribbean sea.
It has become the triumphant symbol of American imperialism; but, in the new century, it surely face
It may subvert the cuddly left-liberal political credibility that I've been subtly cultivating in this column for the past few years, but a conjunction of events makes me realise that now is the moment when I must stand up and admit to having regularly accepted a number of well-stuffed brown env
Behind its propaganda, British foreign policy is undergoing significant changes. The armed intervention in Sierra Leone is a case in point.
It's an unwritten rule - maybe even a written rule - that columnists shouldn't write about other columnists, let alone columnists in the same paper. But there were a couple of examples in last week's NS that I couldn't resist.
There will be a Cabinet reshuffle in July, senior ministers believe. But it will not affect the big names, only figures "on the fringe".
Welcome, Leo. You've given everyone something to smile about.
Have you heard of MP3? Do you have an MP3 program? Do you have an MP3 player? Have you already stopped reading this column and turned the page?
Hark! Listen to the sound of hammer and chisel: there is someone chipping away at an ivory tower. It's music to liberal ears - and the prelude to a transformation of Oxford as we know it.
I arrived in Trinidad full of expectation. It is the land of my birth, but it is not my home. I haven't actually lived there for about 40 years. I have travelled to and fro, spent extended periods there, and have maintained family relations and friendships.
Few sights are more pathetic, in the true sense of the word, than Tony Blair frantically riffling back and forth through his waffle book at Prime Minister's Questions. Head down, balding crown to camera, he searches for an answer, any answer, to put William Hague over a barrel.
It's a simple enough voicemail, but it takes me the best part of three days to ring back.
As I'm passing his desk on the sixth floor of Broadcasting House, Mike Garland turns and wiggles a finger at me. Only when I'm crouched by his side does he whisper his bit of news: "Roger's gone into hospital."
Of course, it isn't true that Downing Street is a nest of control freaks. They don't tell ministers to whom they can speak and what they can say. So they keep telling us.
When non-fiction books die - that is, when they are proved wrong, superseded, rendered irrelevant - the overwhelming majority just disappear into the oblivion of second-hand books and one copy in the British Library. But a few get a strange new life.
The mistress is taking on the wife in an office near you. Before you rush to buy ringside tickets, I should make it clear that this is not about a cat fight that risks overturning the chairs in the boardroom, or an expletive-packed shouting match among the filing cabinets.
It is more than 25 years since I first came to Antigua. Political activism brought me here in the first place. The Caribbean then was a hive of freedom fighters. It seemed that anyone who was able to string two words together - black and power - qualified for the title "black activist".
This month, two extraordinary men came to London and spoke about a silent holocaust, and not a word of what they said was reported.
The French and the Portuguese got out; but the British stay, trying to forget the murderous acts of
I am off to the Caribbean, there to make the sequel to the White Tribe, my three-part documentary series on the English, which was broadcast on Channel 4 earlier this year. At the end of it, I declared myself an Englander of Caribbean origin.
I'm increasingly concerned about my callous attitude towards other people's avowed depression.
Normally, I would hesitate to make assumptions about an election that takes place the day after the NS goes to press. But I think I can safely predict that, after the votes are counted, Frank Dobson will be in need of a job.
The other day, I was at a party after the screening of a film when I was introduced to one of the people involved in it. The conversation went something like this: "This is X, he was the penis?" "What?" "You know. The penis. On the slab." Then I remembered.
The news that Maeve Binchy, Britain's most popular female novelist, is to hang up her pen, has plunged me into despair. Binchy was no Tolstoy, but she served a key social role. She fought the conspiracy to make us, the female readers, feel hopelessly inadequate.
"How little things can make a big difference." This is the subtitle to the clever new bestseller across the Atlantic, The Tipping Point.
I attended the funeral of a very dear friend a few days ago. He had just turned 62, and had spent all his working life at British Rail and the Ford Motor Company.
Authoritative and avuncular, he was a symbol of a society at ease with itself - and the public can't
"We've recently tried a spot of S&M," said Mark with a sweep of the hand, which suggested that he'd been testing a new carpet cleaner rather than pushing back the barriers of erotic love. "Did it work?" wondered Claire. "It certainly freshened things up," Mark told us.
The Foreign Office continues to send out its standard dissembling letter on Iraq. Dozens of copies have been forwarded to me by members of the public bemused or angered by the contempt in which they are clearly held by the civil servants responsible.
Did you see the recent advertising campaign for IKEA which was based on the slogan, "Don't be so English"? What must have been especially galling for many people was that this slightly dismissive exhortation was coming not from Americans or Italians but from a Swedish company.