In total, the Oxford Left Review has two editors and nine associated editors, which means that in the most recent edition, editors outnumber articles. As far as I can tell, none of those editors takes the time to properly check the references of the articles in the OLR, because in the most recent issue, my column on George Galloway’s victory in Bradford West is being cited as an example of something it in fact doesn’t do, which suggests that the word ‘editor’ is being misused almost as badly as my article is.
Apologies for the long period of silence. My energies have been elsewhere; I have been distracted by one of the most ambitious programmes of retrenchment since the Second World War, a programme of austerity of far greater scope than anything attempted by the Coalition. I was been attempting to reduce the number of books I own. I’m afraid to say that I failed.
Is there an argument for arming the Ugandan government against Kony that isn’t also an argument for arming Hutus against Tutsis in 1992? And if there’s not, shouldn’t that give us pause? And if your reaction to the first sentence was ‘Hu-whats?’, then doesn’t that suggest that you shouldn’t be quite so relentlessly casual in calling for foreign intervention in other nations?
“I don’t believe in God, but I miss him,” writes Julian Barnes in Nothing To Be Afraid Of. That could almost be the mission statement behind Alain de Botton’s Religion for Atheists, a review copy of which made its way on to my Kindle (proof perhaps that God exists, and S/he likes me.). It is a fantastic, fantastic book that I would recommend to everyone, particularly, if, like me, you don’t have a faith, but often would quite like one.
Ivey’s The Snow Child is like a steaming mug of hot chocolate; if I was offered it in the spring or the summer I would find its sweetness overwhelming and unpleasant. But it’s a perfect read for the fag end of winter, a bittersweet comfort read as the cold eats into our bones and we wait for the dark to recede.
The Children’s Act (2004) outlaws only forms of smacking that leave “grazes, scratches, abrasions, minor bruising, swelling, superficial cuts, black eyes” or worse.
Which raises the question of just how hard Boris Johnson wants to be able to hit his kids.
This is one of the most quintessentially British of images, a painting that has stared out of countless textbooks at countless students in countless classrooms. When we imagine Charles I, when we think of the cavaliers, when we think of the era of the Stuarts, when we think of Late Elizabethans, when we think of Shakespeare, it is images like this that we turn to, unwittingly and unthinkingly. And so, these works come to form an enduring part of our own island’s history and what it means to be British. But this image – and the overwhelming majority of images of the Stuart monarch was painted by a Dutch immigrant, Anthony van Dyck. It is these overt and covert contributions to British visual history by migrant artists that Migrations, which opens today at the Tate Britain in the smaller Gallery 2 space, celebrates.
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