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[/audioplayer]Ever since Darwin published his uncomforting theory, people have been trying to exempt themselves from one or another of its unwelcome consequences. Today’s equivalents of the 19th century’s outraged clerics include the many social scientists, economists and historians who insist that evolution is of no relevance to their disciplines.
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[/audioplayer]If a curious stranger asked you to name a British Muslim commentator, I guess you would name Mo Ansar. So omnipresent has he become, he seems at times to be Britain’s only Muslim commentator.
‘Mo Ansar: Open for business,’ read his first tweet on 8 August 2011, and business has been rolling in ever since.
One afternoon in 1942, Kenneth Clark and his wife Jane called on two young painters for tea. The artists were John Craxton and Lucian Freud, then both around 20 and sharing a house in St John’s Wood. The visit was a success, as Craxton told me many years later, but not without its awkward moments. Jane Clark had to be headed off from helping in the kitchen, since the oven contained dead monkeys that were currently serving as models, placed there to restrict the smell.
What is worse: Iran with the Bomb or bombing Iran? This is a question we must reconsider as diplomats return to Vienna this week to discuss Iran’s nuclear programme.
Of course, we all hope that the negotiations will result in a lasting diplomatic accord that resolves the Iranian nuclear challenge once and for all. The election of a new and more pragmatic Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, last August and the successful conclusion of an ‘interim’ nuclear pact in November mean that the prospects for a ‘comprehensive’ settlement have never been brighter.
As I came into Parliament last Thursday, I swung by the newspaper stand to take a brief look at the headlines. ‘Oxford Union president, 21, arrested on suspicion of rape and attempted rape,’ said one. My heart sank. A photo of the beaming Oxford Union president, Ben Sullivan, dominated the front page in his swanky dinner jacket. He looked as if he had the world before him — until, that is, the police knocked on his door, warrant in hand.
In 1967, two Cologne-based gallerists came up with the Cologne Art Market — a trade fair where German galleries could set up temporary gallery-style spaces for a few days to showcase their stock. The following year, three dealers in Basel copied the idea but opened up their event to international galleries. For years these two art fairs were discrete yearly shows which were in the background to far more visible gallery exhibitions, museum shows and biennials.