Category Archives: Culture

Lowlife Literature: The Gilt Kid

 ‘You still in the racket?’ he asked. ‘You mean am I still in the same game?’ ‘Sure. Use your loaf. What the hell else would I mean?’ ‘Yes. There’s nothing else for it when you’ve once been inside.’   One … Continue reading

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Zeitgeist Slices: Cocaine Nights

Which book captures the spirit of the age for you? Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta? Philip K Dick’s The Penultimate Truth? Maybe Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World? Or George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four? In two essays for the Guardian, journalists and readers select their choice of … Continue reading

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Shoot the Messenger

Be it Benjamin Franklin or Edward Ward, whoever said “nothing is certain except death or taxes” failed to account for the impulse of institutions to punish heretics profaning the cherished corporate image. Whistleblowing. An affront to the Met’s “Total Policing”, … Continue reading

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Not Impressed: Section 40 & the Death of Investigative Journalism

As the clocks strike 5 this afternoon, hark that they call “time” on the government’s press regulation consultation. Perhaps the bell tolls too for our free press. I’m open to the case for Leveson 2 – an investigation into the relationship … Continue reading

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On the Enchantment of Discovery

I confess with unconfidence to merely flirting with my greats: Shakespeare, Blake, Dickens; Evelyn Waugh, Kingsley Amis and Graham Greene. Others prove more seductive. J.G. Ballard, in his iridescent idiom, the seer of the city. Peter Ackroyd, medium for the dead. The antiquarian … Continue reading

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The Pubs Code: A Very British Compromise

Wonder why your beer is so dear? Resigned to not getting much change from a tenner for two drinks down the local? Your landlord is probably paying wet rent, a product of the beer tie. Under such arrangements, leaseholders and … Continue reading

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Booze, News and Nothing to Lose

Review: Mike Molloy, The Happy Hack: A Memoir of Fleet Street in its Heyday (London: John Blake, 2016), pp. 336, RRP £8.99  Alas, for the changes of time! The Fleet, that little, quick-flowing stream, once so bright and clear, is now a … Continue reading

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