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Many Tories had doubts about David Cameron’s EU renegotiation, but only Boris Johnson was promised a piece of legislation to assuage his particular concerns. It was quite a compliment. The so-called Sovereignty Bill was, in effect, the Get Boris Onside Act.
If the Church of England was once the Tory party at prayer, then the nation’s shotgun-owning farmers were the party’s armed wing. I grew up on a farm in the Yorkshire Dales and must have been about 18 before I met someone who didn’t identify as TBC (True Blue Conservative). Ours was one of the safest Tory seats in the country, with the local MP being Leon Brittan and then William Hague. And Margaret Thatcher was considered a hero in our ‘community’ not because of the Falklands war or her defeat of Arthur Scargill but because she liked to greet the dawn by listening to Farming Today on Radio 4 (true).
Never before has a radio soap crossed so far over from fiction and into the real world. Never before has it become imperative to listen to each and every episode of The Archers (just after 7 p.m. on Radio 4, every day except Saturday) as if by being there, listening in on the ether, we can in some way stand alongside Helen Titchener and defend her from her poisonous husband Rob as he tries to entangle her further in his stifling, controlling web.
It’s the only thing Bianca Jagger and I have in common: we’ve both been victims of false memory. You almost certainly have, too. False memory is the meanest trick your brain can play on you. Instead of refusing to admit that it can’t recall something, the treacherous little creep supplies a wrong answer instead. It’s a phenomenon I’ve been reminded of by two new books.
We wouldn’t mind if our brain fessed up, if it said ‘Sorry boss, can’t help you on that one.
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I’m planning to propose to my boyfriend this leap year. I’m proposing that he earns another £10,000 and loses a stone. But marriage? Hell, no.
I don’t know why, in the age of equality, society still endorses women going down on bended knee on one solitary day every four years.
On Nawroz, the Persian New Year, last March, Isis sent a holiday greeting to the Kurds. They published several videos of Peshmerga fighters, now prisoners, kneeling, handcuffed and wearing the usual orange jumpsuits. In one video, a prisoner is shot in the back of the head; the rest have their heads sawn off with a knife. In a deliberate twist, no doubt relished by the leadership of the so-called Islamic State, the killers were themselves Kurds.
Last time I went to Thailand, there’d been something of a misunderstanding about accommodation, and my friend and I ended up in a dive on Khao San Road. In a grim room with stained mattresses and peeling paint, the thud of beats from the disco made everything vibrate gently. Stalls outside offered fake IDs, tatty souvenirs and novelty edible insects. I’m not averse to eating crickets, but these ones needed embalming fluid, not cooking oil.