Poet laureate of the hard left, the Bennite bard still awaits the revolution
My Friend was acting peculiar. Not as attentive as usual, mildly moody, and seemingly not as keen to share his every breathing second with me. I turned to the girls at once.
One of the occult powers of e-mail is that once you've written a message it only takes a few seconds to cc it to a hundred or a thousand people. Incidentally, I may be wrong and all my reference books are in boxes, but doesn't "cc" stand for carbon copy?
Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, is the subject of a strange memo, supposedly written at Robin Cook's behest but, according to newspaper reports, actually written by somebody who wants to smear Cook as a smearer.
One of the worst things Margaret Thatcher ever did, as far as I am concerned, wasn't going to war over the Falklands, or destroying the notion of society, or even privatising anything that moved, but boasting that she did not need more than three or four hours' sleep a night.
My proposed series for Radio 4 on sixties coffee-bar culture has been rejected. The letter from the commissioning editor said that although the idea was "intrinsically interesting", he had an "awkward sense" he'd heard something similar on the network in the past few years.
I live in Earl's Court, where for the past week the usual traffic of down-and-outs has been jostling with Saab-loads of the up-and-coming.
William Hague must be off his rocker to sack Gregor Mackay, his top media man, and install Amanda Platell, former editor of the Sunday Mirror and the Express on Sunday.
For a good 20 years I've been telling the story of how I went to great lengths at my Sidcup drama school to fix up my lonely friend Robert with a bouncy blonde called Juliet, only to learn, after all the details of the assignation had been laid out, that I'd been wasting my time.
When my editor was at Sussex University some time ago, he shared a house with two privately educated boys from rich families.
This week there's going to be no airy-fairy analysis of recondite technical matters. Instead, as William Hague recommended, I'm going to deal with the "kitchen-table issues" that concern ordinary people.
As he wallowed like a manatee in the coral reefs of the Indian Ocean, fighting attempts by BBC reporters to wrench off his breathing-mask, John Prescott might have wondered how his globetrotting plays back home.
Institutional racism is the fashion of the moment and now we have it in education. Caribbean boys, we are told by a report from Ofsted, the schools watchdog, do worse in exams than almost any other group.
He is one of Britain's great Marxist intellectuals, yet now he seems a strangely conservative figure
Whether or not General Pinochet is sent for trial, the question looms: who is next? Henry Kissinger and George Bush come to mind. Their terrorism is documented from Chile to South-east Asia.
For devotees of Westminster gossip, the really interesting thing about Ir'n Broon's third Budget was the advance spin put on it by Tony Blair's people.
Independent and newly authoritative, this great institution is Labour's biggest threat
It's good to be back where you belong. To be put firmly in your place is one of the joys of writing for the New Statesman, after all.
If my reception at the "Culture Wars" conference is anything to go by, my three weeks on Colgate Platinum are already bearing fruit. I was initially put off the new whitening toothpastes when I trotted down to Safeway one morning for my customary semi-skimmed and Farmhouse Crusty.
When the kilt-clad and puff-cheeked pipers marched into the dining room, the sun-browned Miami millionaires and their bleached blonde wives let rip thunderous applause. The clapping was not for the pipers, though, but for the balding chinless man accompanying them, HRH Prince Edward.
One of the most moving and impressive responses to the brutal killings of the western tourists in Uganda last week was a letter in last week's Guardian. Bill Dalton lost his son a year ago when he was shot and killed in a "border incident in the Congo".
It is just as well that Jack Straw is taking the flak, because the other cabinet Jack would otherwise be under heavy fire. Jack Cunningham is firmly set on a path to the back benches. "Junket Jack", as he has become known, has always had a taste for the finer things of life.
A kindly reader sent me an e-mail observing that I had seemed a little gloomy of late and wondering whether it was attributable to the distressing process of moving house. And I thought I had been so stoical and brave about it.
My editor required that I write a personal account of my experiences of racism. I was not enthusiastic. Slightly stunned, I left the office in Victoria rolling the camera back to a once-upon-a-time period.
Once, the names of Mansfield, Sedley, Robertson et al infuriated judges. Have they sold out?
Last week, the Guardian devoted three pages to Germaine Greer, who has written a book called The Whole Woman. Other famous feminists were asked to comment. "We should not feel guilty for cleaning our toilets if we want to," said one.
First of all we looked at the X-ray. "This is your spine," said my doctor with a degree of assertiveness that suggested there had been occasions in the past when patients had been churlish enough to contradict even this initial part of his diagnosis.
Another bloody section drops out of my newspaper. What is it? An "East Timor - the new Bali" holiday section? A guide to designer beach huts?
It was September 1972 when word got around York that the alto saxophonist Joe Harriott was coming to town. We were ecstatic. For years we'd bored our friends with Joe's great records, the ground-breaking Indo-Jazz Fusions, and the sheer virtuosity of Free Form.
The general view at Westminster is that Jack Straw, the most authoritarian home secretary since Henry Brooke, has taken a serious hit in his fight with the newspapers over the Lawrence inquiry report. To a great many MPs, his failed injunction looks panicky.