Category Archives: Politics

How to win the coming culture war in 2017

A version of this article first appeared in The Big Issue magazine in January 2017. Journalism worth paying for. Available weekly from street vendors or subscriptions here. History rarely falls into neat numerical decades. I would assert the 1980s (yuppies, … Continue reading

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How should broadcast news journalists interview and talk about extremists?

Over the weekend I spoke to veteran ex BBC journalist Robin Lustig, Berlin correspondent Damien McGuinness for an insight into Germany’s media and Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s 2012 senior strategist for 2 articles I wrote for The Guardian and The … Continue reading

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We’ll get the President we deserve: Suzan Lori Parks on Hillary Clinton & America’s woman problem

“You’ve consumed too much of the Kool-Aid that the man has been serving you.” Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Susan Lori Parks came into the Front Row studio last week to talk about When Father Came Home From The Wars opening at … Continue reading

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Lessons for Trump and us all from the Ronald Reagan Memorial Library

“I wonder what it’s all about, and why We suffer so, when little things go wrong? We make our life a struggle When life should be a song…” We should perhaps we grateful that the teenage Ronald Reagan never grew … Continue reading

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When Cathy met Ken: Revisiting Cathy Come Home in Brexit Britain

The other night I watched Ken Loach meet Cathy – or rather the young actress Elle Payne, playing Cathy in a Cardboard Citizens’ staging of his 1966 landmark TV play Cathy Come Home. The production featured many actors with experience of homelessness. … Continue reading

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The trouble with superheroes taking on terrorism..

I love superhero comics and they’ve never been handled with more love than by writers and filmmakers who grew up on them too. And yet.. And yet.. In the latest Captain America Civil War film, when a terrorist bomb goes … Continue reading

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How the Space Shuttle Broke My Heart

  This weekend’s Radio 4 Extra Floating In Space 3-hour special (9am and 7pm Saturday Mar 1th and iplayer after) with Simon Guerrier explores the history and the fantasy of manned space exploration from the cosmonauts to dreams of Mars … Continue reading

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The men are weeping in the Oval Office…

Lucy Dichmont and I have made a Something Understood for Radio 4 about Weeping. I knew I wanted to talk about the Wailing Women in the Bible and especially that I wanted to talk again to award-winning poet Andrew McMillan … Continue reading

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Newswatch class notes

Some further reading and viewing for Kingston University students at Tuesday’s class. Newswatch website ( 1 year archive) The origins of Newswatch and its mission (2004) BBC launch on website Hutton Inquiry history (wikipedia) BBC Trending website – Blog and … Continue reading

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Marriage, Margaret Thatcher & the closet of female expectations

This article first appeared in The Big Issue. Journalism worth paying for (subscriptions available) For years my mother kept an entire cupboard where she used to save up things for my trousseau; the old fashioned concept of a bride’s personal … Continue reading

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