The disruption wrought by the so-called ‘Beast from the East’ at the beginning of March brought home how utterly dependent we are on regular, guaranteed supplies of foodstuffs. I listened to seemingly endless accounts of the hardships being experienced by residents of hamlets three miles further on than the back-of-beyond who were entirely cut off from any food shops; and I wondered why journalists were not interested in our plight, trapped as we were in a residential street near Polmont station accessible only on foot for four days, with the young and fit returning from fruitless pedestrian excursions to report that there was a complete absence of staple foods like bread and milk anyway. We coped; our fitter neighbours toiled willingly to open our road to vehicles; and we didn’t complain about a lack of council services, well aware that our road is priority 3 for gritting … entirely properly … and would not be done until more essential routes were … [Read more...] about Sandy’s Garden … Charity Begins … in the Garden?
Helping the poor quotes
Martin Amis, displaying his customary terror of the first person singular, once described Graham Greene as the first serious writer “you came across”, the one “we happened to read” before “we read anybody else”. Greene, Amis wrote – stepping marginally closer to confessional territory – had served as “an awakener”, and what he awakened was a taste for Literature, a property that his writing embodied in a pleasing, plotty form. Assuming this role for later generations looks an immeasurably taller order. Greene, by cross-breeding the novel in its earnest and ethical mode with the devices of the thriller and the yarn, helped to create an appetite for the Catholic tradition as well as for godless existentialism, and for such heroic forebears as Conrad, James, and Dostoevsky. But who could prepare the budding reader in the 1980s or 1990s or today for such multifarious challenges as, say, the po-faced nouveau roman, the … [Read more...] about ConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightA look at the long prime of novelist Muriel Spark on the centenary of her birthDictator’s playground: inside Viktor Orbán’s Hungary
On 17 June 1963, the body of murdered civil rights leader Medgar Evers was borne through the streets of Washington, bound for a historic black church on 14th Street. People bared their heads and wept as the hearse passed, followed by hundreds of mourners. Evers had been assassinated in Mississippi five days earlier and was to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Twenty-five thousand people would turn out to view his body at the John Wesley AME Zion Church. “There’ll be no trouble,” an NAACP leader said. “Only ... troubled consciences.” Washington was, after all, “the coloured man’s paradise”, as some whites called it. Despite decades of slavery, segregation and discrimination, Washington was said to be special. There was, of course, the huge Ku Klux Klan march in 1925, and the real estate covenants that barred blacks, and the swathes of poverty and want. But it wasn’t Mississippi. There was a solid black middle class. … [Read more...] about Nobody expected race riots in Washington DC until the shattering events of 1968
Nick Cohen 3 April 2018 1:06 PM 3 April 2018 1:06 PM Share Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Email Whatsapp The supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are meant to comprise the most cultish movement British politics has seen. Yet on the issue of left anti-Semitism they do not blindly follow their leader. For once in their lives, they give every impression of thinking for themselves. Corbyn has come as close as he can to admitting a mistake – which by most people’s standards is not close at all. Like Stalin airbrushing his own history, he has deleted his Facebook account. He did not explain how he found himself a member of Facebook groups that featured Holocaust denial, or defending medieval fanatics who believe Jews drink the blood of Christian children, or endorsing Nazi-style propaganda. But he was prepared to say the abuse of Jews and non-Jews (for all you have to do on the far left to become a ‘Zionist’ today is criticise Corbyn) was … [Read more...] about Jeremy Corbyn and the far left’s anti-Semitism doublespeak
IT’S been a tough week for everyone involved with Derry, be it supporters, players and management. They may have played in the old Division 2B as recently as 2004 but they were relegated from 1B and put there because of the way the leagues were split. This relegation has a different feel about it. It’s a confirmation that they are, officially, among the eight weakest footballing teams in Ireland. The sharp contrast with reaching the Division One final as recently as 2014 (and naturally, though people forget, continuing to play in the top flight in 2015) has been an obvious starting point for the discussion since defeat to Sligo saw them drop down beneath Offaly. ‘James’ feels that the lack of star quality is down to a lack of depth in the current club scene. “Four years ago we played Dublin in a league final, since then it's been a sharp demise. Facts are we have no marquee players since the Muldoons, Lockharts and Bradleys of this world left the stage. … [Read more...] about Off The Fence: Star quality non-existent in Derry… and don’t be blaming Celtic Park either