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The New Statesman was founded as a weekly review of politics and literature, and though it was of the left it was not dogmatically on the left.
You have to shake hands and say “peace be with you” to someone you don’t know, which doesn’t feel very English.
A bishop I know carries a list of the 12 disciples in his briefcase just in case someone puts him on the spot.
The pharmacist looked confused and told me, “It’s free.”
Christmas fanatics always seemed slightly disturbed to me, as if they were embracing the festive period in the absence of someone to love.
She’s able-bodied, can look after herself and is solvent. So why have I started to worry about her so much?
I can’t think of a better way of describing the state we’re in than as an increasingly fictional one.
Numerous inebriated posh English blokes clambered over each other to tell him what a legend he was.
Culture in the age of nationalist ferment.
Your weekly dose of gossip from around Westminster.
How Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophy began with the nativity.
Eh? Shouldn’t something about a virgin’s womb be there?
On the pace and grace of the fast-bowling great Bob Willis.
Dominic Grieve stood firm against Boris Johnson and a no-deal Brexit. His reward was to be expelled from the party his family had served for so long.
The local newspaper, which prized truth and accountability, was once the best training ground a journalist could possibly have.
The humble berry can bring festive magic – and rare winter visitors.
We have built AI systems that can do everything from diagnose our illnesses to drive our cars. But how can we trust them if we don’t understand them?
How a journey into the Arctic Circle left the painter Peder Balke with ice in his soul.
Travelling Europe by train is not just more responsible than flying, it offers a different philosophy of travel.
What I learned when I bought a forest instead of a house.
While the British high street declines, Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols are turning over record profits, fuelled by a new kind of global consumer.
My technique was to act like a decent and caring human being, then hope some of it rubbed off.
I buried my law career when I was asked to dig up worms.
My earliest dream was to be the next Tim Rice and write lyrics for musicals. In the winds of my adolescence, Rice morphed into Tupac Shakur.
Hospitals represented everything good about the world and they still do for me.
If I hadn’t become a mother I could have done everything, or nothing.
I always knew I should be a priest. But why not do the thing properly and be a monk?
My uncles and my grandads were at sea, but I soon noticed there was an alternative. River pilot.
A high-profile job complete with pension and proper salary – it seemed the perfect next move. So why did I feel such deep disquiet?
It was the final week of school. I was standing on a table in the library, farewelling my fellow prefects with a version of “E Lucevan le Stelle” that I believed was as good as Lanza’s.
For as long as I can remember, I have been enraptured by the underwater world.
I cofounded a theatre company, Theatre of Black Women, because there was such a paucity of roles for us, good or otherwise
The 88-year-old writer on truth-telling, the Irish backstop and the elusive “love object” that has haunted her life.
He was a child outlaw who embraced his own “evil” in search of an authentic life. But society turned Genet’s rebellion into bourgeois conformity
Social isolation is a growing modern phenomenon. But can we treat it as a disease?
From aliens in love to a reindeer gone bad.
In the city of Leiden, the budding artist was surrounded with industrious craftsmen, freethinking printers and cutting-edge science
A new poem by Kathleen Jamie.
A new short story by the winner of the Goldsmiths Prize.
A new film of the American classic asks whether grown women can retain the spirited independence of their girlhood. It’s a question that Louisa May Alcott and her pioneering family understood all too well.
The questions are easier and more fun: there’s an injection of pop-culture trivia and a heavy serving of Christmas-themed questions.
From Motherland to Succession.
Dark Matter is one of a distinguished sub-genre of ghost stories set at the Poles.
From The Missing Cryptoqueen to Digging Deep with Robert Plant.
The film zips back and forth in time, teasing out the telling contrasts and bitter ironies of the novel.
From The Souvenir to Midsommar.
From six-mile hikes in search of marzipan to cold Christmas puddings on the Trans-Siberian Express.
2019 began with me in Scotland and in love; I end it in Brighton and… well, how long does it take for the scar tissue to form over the heart again?
The Trial of Christine Keeler longs to be the new A Very English Scandal – unfortunately, it wants both for that series’s pace and its camp wit.
Drinking bourbon on stage was one of my highlights of the year. It’s not always books and films and songs – sometimes it’s just moments.
A decade of austerity and the Brexit-related loss of EU workers have left the NHS in England short of around 40,000 nurses and 10,000 doctors.
The comedian talks Eighties sports films, Stephen King’s strong grammar skills, and Black Panther.
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