In praise of David Lammy, a true Englishman

David Lammy, the shadow justice secretary, has been doing his LBC radio phone-in show. If you believe LBC, he has ‘schooled’ a ‘caller’ who told him he is not English. If you listen to the exchanges in question, you’ll realise he did something much more impressive, and important than that. The clip, which is all over social media, is here: The short summary is that ‘Jean’ tells Lammy he cannot be English because of his Afro-Caribbean heritage. Lammy, who was born in London, politely examines her arguments and disagrees. There is no shouting and no fighting – that suggestion has been added by LBC to stir up anger and get some

Pure poison: BBC1’s Talking Heads reviewed

The big mistake people make with Alan Bennett is to conflate him with his fellow Yorkshireman David Hockney. But whereas Hockney’s art is generous, warm, bright, life-affirming, Bennett’s is crabbed, catty, dingy, insinuating. The fact that the BBC-led establishment keeps telling us he’s a National Treasure tells us more about the BBC-led establishment than it does about Bennett. Bennett is typical of the English intelligentsia Orwell anatomised in his ‘The Lion and the Unicorn’ essay: ‘It is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings.’ I’d forgotten quite