Writings

Oppose privatisation of the Royal Mail……

Please sign up to the statement put out by Compass, opposing government plans to privatise the Post Office. As Compass, the Democratic Left campaigning organisation, says, ‘given the current economic situation it doesn’t make any sense that the Government are nationalising the banks on the one-hand, but seeking to privatise Royal Mail and the Post… Continue reading…

Giving something back

Read my latest Public Finance opinion piece The tone was positively Churchillian: ‘Britain can beat this… just like we’ve beaten everything else this world has thrown at us. We’ll win by pulling together, not by facing the storm alone.’ But such stirring language came not from beleaguered national leaders at a world summit but from… Continue reading…

Missing in ( Domestic) Action, Part Two.

My friend K is burning up with righteous indignation. ‘Why aren’t women rioting in the streets? Where is the anger? None of my male friends are facing this problem.’ Now in her mid twenties, K has landed a junior job in a top company in her field. The hours are already killing; some of her… Continue reading…

Net Etiquette

Since I started occasionally posting pieces on the Guardian’s Comment is Free site, I’ve had my first taste of real net malice. My current favourite remains ‘Melissa Benn. Pig Ignorant and Stupid With It.’ the headline of quite the most extraordinarily insulting blog,  posted by The Devil’s Kitchen, in response to an article I wrote… Continue reading…

On tonight………….

Watch a discussion of Melissa Benn’s latest novel ‘One of Us’ – with Alastair Campbell among others –  on Richard and Judy at 6pm on Watch! TV and straight after that, an interview with Melissa on Mariella Fostrup’s The Books Programme, starting at 7pm on SKY ARTS………. Continue reading…

Missing in (Domestic) Action

 There was something important missing from Sabine Durrant’s The Chore Wars, an otherwise interesting double page feature in yesterday’s Guardian about the degree to which mothers are still left to carry the domestic can. And that was any reference to any sort of feminist analysis. After all, there is a long, troubled, truculent, fascinating backstory… Continue reading…

The public lives of private couples

Writing about his and Barack Obama’s favourite book Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals in his blog today – http://www.alastaircampbell.org/blog.php  – Alastair Campbell  makes the important  point that great leaders like Abraham Lincoln would never have survived the 24/7 rolling news culture and the intense public scrutiny of political life at the top. Lincoln and his… Continue reading…

Richard and Judy Book Club

‘One of Us’ has been selected by Richard and Judy as their book choice for February. Their reviews plus those of Amanda Ross, Joanne Frogatt and Sam West can be read in the Online Edition of the Daily Mail. Continue reading…

Freedom Writers

…………..And while we are on the subject of love, hope and change in unlikely places, please watch Freedom Writers starring Hilary Swank as an idealistic young teacher, apparently foolish enough to wear a string of pearls in her new job as an English teacher in a tough LA public school. The film gathers pace slowly… Continue reading…

Milk – Sean Penn

My respect for Sean Penn has grown over the years; the deal was probably sealed when I saw him in 21 Grammes with Naomi Watts. But if you’d told me even a year ago that this brooding charismatic actor was going to take the part of the impish but extraordinarily tenacious gay activist of San… Continue reading…