How to celebrate the Day of the Dead

… and a calavera for the selfish By Phil Hall So you have lived deep and extracted all the sweetness out of life, and you have had your last meal. But, what food and drink would you like people to remember you by? What wafting smell would have the power to conjure you up from the […]

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Personal Tragedies in Rodrigo Hasbún’s Los afectos

by Kathryn A. Kopple In 2015, the Bolivian writer Rodrigo Hasbún published Los afectos (Affections), a slim volume loosely based on the Ertl family, a clan foisted on the reader with precious little introduction. “The day papa returned from Nanga Parbat (with some heart-rending images, of a beauty that wasn’t human), he told us while […]

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Alexei Navalny and the Revival of the Cold War

Reproduced by kind permission of the author, from Global Research The case of the poisoned underpants I think we are all curious about the political trajectory of Alexey Navalny. Clearly there is a big power play being made around him. He is a pawn in a great game most of us do not properly understand. […]

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We need to talk about neo-liberalism’s Rawlsian pact with crime

For all Priti Patel’s posturing, the Tories are soft on crime – they prefer it to revolution By Phil Hall You think you are OK on your first world island. It is unrocked by social unrest because of decades of post-war investment into a functioning social democracy by Labour governments and one nation Tories. But […]

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Extracts from Alexandria Adieu

Published in London by Gilgamesh Books in Autumn 2021 In his powerfully evocative new book, Alexandria Adieu, the veteran Fleet Street foreign correspondent, historian and author, Adel Darwish, has written the memoir of his birthplace: Alexandria. Alexandria is not simply an Arabic, or a Greek city, an Egyptian city, it is much more. Alexandria is a […]

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A Retrospect on The Three Tenors

by Jon Elsby Just about everyone old enough to remember the football World Cups of the 1990s and early 2000s will remember the Three Tenors. The open air concerts they gave, cleverly timed to coincide with those World Cups, converted Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, and José Carreras from operatic superstars into household names, and briefly […]

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Capitalism is what happens when the psychopaths and gangsters are running the neighbourhood. Our only chance is to wrestle the wheel from them.

… and create a National Forest the length and breadth of the UK. Zombie Apocalypse, 16th Aug 2021 by Gordon Liddle Time to pause. Stop. Time to take stock. We are drifting toward war and ecological collapse like drunks seeking the next open bar. Staggering along, bouncing off lampposts and cars, desperate for the next […]

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The human chimera

A riff on genetic manipulation, Artificial Intelligence and aliens by Phil Hall Regulations are being enacted all over the world to prohibit the development of human animal chimera. Let’s call them zeeple. On the one hand, by helping animals along to sentience, we could probably justify calling them sentient – the word would fit. Claiming […]

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May Uprising, Paris, 1968

by Garry O’Connor ‘The past is bourgeois propaganda,’ booms a deep voice in French from the stage of Paris’s Odéon Theatre. I am participating after a fashion in the May uprising of 1968. I have lived for some months in a tiny maid’s room, eight flights up on the Île Saint-Louis, happily exiled, insulated from […]

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The USA broke Afghanistan, now it must own the mess.

The USA Bugs Out By Phil Hall and Tony Hall The decisive battle that the USA has lost is the battle to rebuild Afghanistan and win hearts and minds. Let’s start by injecting a little historical memory into these farcically simplistic and convenient narratives of invasion, counter invasion and withdrawal. ‘We tried. We came in […]

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The Labour Party – sifting through the wreckage

Will activism become a cottage industry? By Paul Halas The news that the selection process for prospective Labour candidates is to be changed to allow yet more Tories to represent the party will surprise no one. It is only the latest increment in Keir Starmer’s drive to make the party a safe place for venture […]

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In the end, are religion and science compatible?

Does the answer lie in the ideas of Teilhard de Chardin? By Matthew  Taylor In 2014, Pope Francis confirmed that the idea of the expanding universe (the Big Bang) and Evolution are both true and compatible with Christian belief. At a meeting at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for the Sciences, Pope Francis said that God; […]

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What will it take for the British to reach a tipping point and realise they are being shafted by this bunch of Eton inbreds?

…and ban plastic grass! Zombie Apocalypse, 05th Aug 2021 By Gordon Liddle As miserable weather continues with more miserable weather, the crop from the garden is poor this year. Polytunnel is miles behind last year and even the potatoes outside have been poor. If we had to survive on what we grow we would have […]

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An audience with Samuel Beckett

by Garry O’Connor Ian Herbert, another friend from King’s, was working for Pitman’s. He commissioned a book on French theatre. I decided I would try to interview Samuel Beckett, intending a whole chapter just on him. I wrote to ask if I could see him and gave him some dates I could be in Paris. […]

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A Conscientious Objector’s view of the War against Vietnam

By Thomas Gilbert First things first: I was never in Vietnam. I was a conscientious objector (CO). When I turned 18 years old, just graduated from high school, I received a letter from the draft board indicating that I had been given a draft status of 1-A. There were only three classifications: 1-A, a combatant, […]

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group of persons wearing yellow safety helmet during daytime

Why the Asian Century for China, may never arrive

By Tobias Devene When China Rules the World, China: The Emerging Superpower, How Economic Reform is creating a New Superpower, and China, the Remaking of the World Order. These are all titles of books about China and how it will rise, inevitably to be the next global superpower. The idea of China’s 21st century dominance […]

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Kathryn’s Windfall

Episode 1: The Transsexual Stumbles By James R. McGuire Fall, 2004                         BRANDON (to AUDIENCE. Beat. SFX phone ringing) The phone rings and it’s my transsexual father. I allow the voicemail to pick up as always. Then, two minutes later, I retrieve the message…                         KATHRYN (on voicemail) Brandon, I’ve called you three times. I […]

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Poet of Honour: Raymond Antrobus

The Year 2019 can be emphatically coined as the Raymond Antrobus year! Deaf at birth and not diagnosed until he was seven, as Antrobus says, his poems are an ‘investigation of missing sounds’. Not to forget that he also investigates meaning; after all, how can any poem ignore that leap! He has emerged as one of our most revered contemporary poets.

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