The BBC is like a goldfish. Just as we have no way of communicating to the poor creature that it is confined by a bowl, experts of the utmost skill and renown have sought in vain for years to explain to the corporation that its ethos is slanted towards the left. It knows no other world but that of the Guardian, in which it lives and moves and has its being. It would die, more of shock than anything else, if it were removed from it.
The turbulent but often triumphant record of Britain’s royal weddings is full of lessons for Kate and WilliamThe popularity of the monarchy has been slowly improving since the Queen’s ‘annus horribilis’ speech in 1992. But the vital spark needed to win over the country was missing. Not even the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday could fully repair the damage caused by years of controversy and embarrassing revelations.
Last January, Annabel Hayter, chairwoman of Gloucester Cathedral Flower Guild, received an email saying that she and her 60 fellow flower arrangers would have to undergo a CRB check. CRB stands for Criminal Records Bureau, and a CRB check is a time-consuming, sometimes expensive, pretty much always pointless vetting procedure that you must go through if you work with children or ‘vulnerable adults’.
Spending pleasurable hours looking for books is not like drilling for oil. Recently, however, while browsing in the excellent Slightly Foxed bookshop in Gloucester Road, the black stuff spewed out like a geyser. A hardback collection of Philip Larkin’s The Whitsun Weddings was on offer for £40. It wasn’t a first edition from 1964, which would have put another nought on the price. The book belonged to the fourth impression, published four years later, but it came with an inscription from another famous writer, who had presented it to an actress friend.
Having transformed his inner-city primary, Greg Martin has bought a stately home in Sussex – and is preparing to turn it into a fully free state boarding schoolWe’re chatting poolside, which feels somewhat incongruous since this isn’t the Riviera or a spa hotel, but a primary school in Stockwell, one of the rougher districts of south London. Greg Martin, the school’s executive head, leans forward confidentially.
On 2 July 2008 we published an article entitled “Just look what came crawling out” which alleged that at a protest at the celebration in London of the 60th anniversary of the founding
of the state of Israel, Mohammad Sawalha had referred to Jews in Britian as “evil/noxious”. We now accept that Mr Sawalha made no such anti-Semitic statement and that the article was
based on a mistranslation elsewhere of an earlier report.