Although best known as political cartoonist of the Daily Telegraph, and for his eye-catching covers for The Spectator, Nicholas Garland trained as a fine artist, and never stopped drawing even during his active though short-lived career in the theatre. Recently, he has focused his energies on print-making and is about to open his first exhibition of woodcuts at the Fine Art Society. Exploiting different densities of black ink and the varying texture of the woodblock into which he carves his design, he makes bold simplified images of considerable impact and sophistication.
Why is Tony Blair regularly lampooned as George Bush's poodle? It is a fate that Margaret Thatcher never suffered, despite her long and intimate alliance with Ronald Reagan.The reason is not that difficult to find. Thatcher was perfectly willing to swing her handbag at the Americans if she judged that British interests required it. There is, as yet, no evidence that Blair would even wag his finger in that direction.
You are leaving the civilised sector. These words were pinned, in German and English, to the outside of the fence which protects the American embassy in Berlin. In order to get through that fence, you would have to persuade the gallant, bone-headed men of the Bundesgrenzschutz – Germany's frontier police, who also guard government buildings – that you are not intent on blowing up the Americans. Meanwhile you can take the chance to study the messages left by German peace protesters, of which the general drift is that George Bush is a mass murderer.
I'm in a Swiss mountain village. I've spent the day glacier skiing, and now I'm showering in my steamy hotel bathroom. The water is crashing off my ample curves, my muscles are aching pleasantly and I'm looking forward to a convivial evening. But, damn, it's difficult to get out of this shower – it's just too good. Every jet of water has zest and purpose, the shower head is big and shiny, and the water has a creamy quality.
If you read only the Daily Mail, you would think the Labour government was taking the middle classes, like the mountain gorillas of Uganda, to the brink of extinction. 'Middle Britain could be forgiven for feeling under siege from a government that remorselessly stakes new and higher claims on its income – while treating its children as some sort of privileged elite which must be put in its place,' boohoos a Mail leading article.
Right! You've got 40 minutes,' says Nick Wood, Iain Duncan Smith's spin doctor, in the manner of a game-show host. We are sitting round a table in IDS's office. Nick has a large glass of red wine in his hand and I have water. Iain can't have a drink, I soon realise, because it would end up all over the wall after one of his emphatic hand gestures.It has been a good week for IDS, perhaps his best since becoming leader of the opposition.
Let us imagine for a moment that you are a visitor from the Planet Zarg, a civilised and agreeable world somewhere near the great gaseous star Proxima Centauri. Your spaceship landed here a few weeks ago as part of an interplanetary inclusive outreach scheme funded, on your own planet, by a sort of sophisticated private-finance initiative. Your mission is to observe Earth and its multifarious political and cultural doings, and so, with that in mind, you park your ship on Shepherd's Bush Green, just down from the delectable Nando's chicken franchise on the Uxbridge Road.