Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Six of the Best 986

"Seething in private is not enough when lives, jobs and sanity are at stake. MPs must reflect over the coming days on the tumultuous events of 2020, which began with Johnson saying this would be “a fantastic year for Britain” and ends with the sort of headlines about a mutant virus cancelling Christmas that might be found in a science-fiction film." Ian Birrell says it's the duty of Conservative MPs to depose Boris Johnson.

Paul Sorene looks back to the Grunwick dispute of 1976: "Prime minister James Callaghan set up a cabinet committee under Lord Justice Scarman to resolve the dispute. This was music to the ears of TUC general secretary Len Murray, who responded: 'No employer has ever defied a court of enquiry.' Jayaben Desai, unsurprisingly, saw things differently. 'He will defy the court of enquiry', she said."

This first attempt to bore a tunnel under the River Severn ended in disaster and attempted murder, reports Janet Hughes.

William Boyd reviews a new biography of Graham Greene: "He enjoyed entering literary competitions, often parodying his own work. In 1949 he entered a contest held by the New Statesman – where the demand was to write the notional opening of a Graham Greene novel – and didn’t win outright: he shared the six-guinea prize with five others."

The Liverpool Echo has behind-the-scenes shots of the making of the Ealing comedy The Magnet, which starred a very young James Fox.

"Sometimes, a storm or other natural disaster could change the fortunes of coastal towns overnight. New Romney in Kent is one of these places.  Once a thriving and important port, a terrible storm in 1287 cut off the town’s lifeline." Flickering Lamps visits the town today.

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