As to what my identity is, I’d say I’m a European academic, so it’s directly damaged my sense of who I am. I think we will have lost that feeling of being European. I’m sad about it for sure. A lot of our research is done in joint European projects and if we do become disconnected from that, that will be a big loss. I think discontentment from the [financial] crash fed underlying resentment, including to politicians. It has damaged my view of what Britain was – an open country collaborating with people. I think Britain will stop being such a great nation. … [Read more...] about The nation now leaving platform one … views from the Eurostar on Brexit
National trust east midlands
Sent to cover a teachers’ rally in favour of higher pay, staged at the Albert Hall, he wrote: “Not Mr Colin Davis, not the splendiferous Mr André Previn, not even a resurrected Toscanini could have packed the hall so surely.” Surveying 25 years of the BBC’s Any Questions?, he recalled how the bishop of Crediton, a regular team member, was involved in a car accident on his way to the show, arrived looking like death, was given several stiff medicinal brandies, gave a most scintillating performance and afterwards asked what the questions had been. It was perhaps such pithy and flavoursome paragraphs that caught the eye of the BBC and found Dennis installed as one of the regular team in the early years of Robert Robinson’s Saturday evening series Stop the Week on Radio 4. He was also called in for offbeat contributions to the science programme New Worlds. … [Read more...] about Dennis Barker obituary
A recent survey reveals that nearly half the paintings in the National Gallery are Italian. Greece has more objects on show in the British Museum than any other country, with just a tiny proportion from Britain. In the V&A, however, almost a third of its collection is British. Maybe not that surprising, but an interesting snapshot (from builders Barratt London, who commissioned their survey, they claim, because of their love of heritage). Other countries’ collections are less diverse: 31% of the Louvre’s works are French, 60% in Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum are from Japan, while Madrid’s Prado is 44% Spanish. Cultural nationalism reigns. … [Read more...] about Can we rescue the arts – and arts funding – from perennial elitism?
Nobody could have read this Saturday's accounts of the Iraq crisis without being deeply moved. To read how close Tony Blair had come to losing his job was a sobering experience. It was similarly dreadful to learn how "terrified" the Prime Minister had been that Iraq would prove to be his personal "Vietnam". And how touching it was to discover that Mr. Blair had had to warn his family that he might have to quit over Iraq. Those must have been dark days indeed. How distressful it must have been for Jack Straw to know that, should things go against them, he might actually get the blame for pushing for a Commons vote. And poor David Blunkett must have need all the comfort his dog could give him, knowing that as one of those close to the Prime Minister, he would go down with him. And how they must have hated Clare Short. No wonder she has no future in politics. … [Read more...] about Mr Blair’s dark days
2.45pm: Dame Anne Owers, chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and Deborah Glass, the IPCC's deputy chair, give evidence to the Commons home affairs committee about the Plebgate controversy. At 3.15pm Chief Inspector Jerry Reakes-Williams, from Professional Standards for Warwickshire and West Mercia Police, gives evidence. At 3.45pm Detective Sergeant Stuart Hinton from Warwickshire Police Federation, Sergeant Chris Jones from West Midlands Police Federation and Inspector Ken MacKaill from West Mercia Police Federation give evidence. And at 4.30pm Chief Constable Andy Parker from Warwickshire Police, Chief Constable David Shaw from West Mercia Police and Chief Constable Chris Sims from West Midlands Police give evidence. … [Read more...] about MPs question police over Plebgate: Politics live blog