Henry VIII: Enemy of the people

The king was a genocidal megalomaniac Bluebeard, a Caligula By Phil Hall A beloved and ailing aunt, a great artist and a generous and beautiful soul, someone loved by nearly all living things (from turtles, cats and dogs, to the husband of a favourite niece) woke up in the middle of the night and called […]

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Piccadilly Style

The Edwardian look saw male fashion at its most elegant By Stephen Hoare Algy, the Piccadilly Johnny with the little glass eye, the subject of a popular music hall song by Vesta Tilley presents an enduring image of the male peacock. Miss Tilley, a small but feisty female whose cross-dressing routines on the Edwardian stage […]

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The Magic of Madagascar

Wishing you a rewarding and sublime journey! By Abhay K. Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island; after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo. Madagascar is in the western Indian Ocean. Some consider Madagascar to be the Earth’s eighth continent because it has such enormous biodiversity.  Geologically, Madagascar broke away from Gondwanaland with the rest of […]

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Capitalism relies on people like Keir Starmer and Neil Kinnock

Strategic betrayals are always rewarded By Phil Hall In the Middle Ages in 1381 the mayor of London, William Walworth, killed Wat Tyler at a parlay with a knife by stabbing him in the stomach and then cutting off his head. The mayor’s coat of arms then became the Saint George’s cross with a dagger […]

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Open letter to Nick Bostrom

Never mind existential risk, what are your politics? An open letter to Nick Bostrom, Director of The Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University By Phil Hall Dear Nick, I think you should be using H. G. Wells’s version of futurology, the one he explores in his book Anticipations and elsewhere and move away from […]

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Do you feel lucky, punk?

Tales of Macau, the biggest poker game in the world By Thomas Levene This article is, in part, my personal poker journey and, partly, an insight into the mysterious and secretive world of nose-bleed cash games that just get bigger and bigger. The elegant Wynn, in Macau Cilade de Sintra, Macau, overlooking Nam Van Lake, […]

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Overcoming inequality: can we restore the wealth of the corporations and the super rich to society?

Eat your sops! By Phil Hall The key to preventing revolution, the powerful seem to have decided, is not to eliminate criminal syndicates but to coexist alongside them and engage them in wars of low-level attrition. Even on my street, in one of the wealthiest parts of one of the wealthiest cities on Earth, the […]

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Photo-essay: The Million Man March

The marchers came from all over North America in a shared experience; strangers hugged and held hands as if they were old friends By Andy Hall In 1995, The Nation Of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan had called for a march on Washington similar to the one 32 years before organised by Martin Luther King and […]

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Socialist arguments against religion

Will there be pie in the sky for us when we die? By Phil Hall Socialist arguments against the use of religion are not always arguments against the idea of an ordering presence in the universe, or against an Earth and a cosmos full of meaning, or against a transcendent expansive all including love, or […]

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Out and About in the Fourth Estate With Steven Gilfillan

Under The Greenwood Tree It was one of these evocative autumn mornings, so I was doubly shocked to hear that Borak Yesenin’s mother had died. It came as a surprise too when on behalf of him and the rest of the family I was asked to the funeral, and in the small parish church where […]

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Mark this day: social media colludes in the first global act of censorship.

The Internet has been captured by billionaires. Progressive Governments must take note! OUR Internet should be in the commons. By Phil Hall Facebook, Whats App and Instagram went down today – presumably in a damage limitation exercise after the release of the Pandora Papers. It’s frightening and, at the same time, there was the curiously […]

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A letter from a revolutionary eco-socialist in pain.

It’s been a very bad month for blue tits, for the poor and for me! By Gordon Liddle Zombie Apocalypse, 18th Sept 2021 Blue Tits tend to have only one brood per year. They feed their young on caterpillars and have to gauge when these are freely available to choose when to lay their eggs. […]

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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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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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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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