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Reflecting Characters in Fiction

What a shock to discover that one of my favourite children’s authors, Roald Dahl, who died in 1990, aged 74, was openly Anti-Semitic. His family have recently issued an apology for the author’s self-confessed views. Well, they would: after all, his estate earns them millions annually. In the notorious New Statesman interview in 1983, recently…

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Capitalism gone rampant!

This blog is about to become a rant – and I hope it packs a huge punch! Amazon: what does this word mean to you? Does the word immediately conjure images of a mighty river? A huge rainforest? Or, far more likely, a shopping giant? For most of us, it is the latter. The programme…

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Dumping the past – and moving on

So the British Library has apologised to the widow of Ted Hughes, after suggesting that he may have benefitted from the slave trade through his ancestors. What? Apparently the poet laureate was named, as one of around 300 people and institutions that may have profited from slavery, or colonialism. My first response – so what!…

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Fitting into Society

The word ‘autistic’ has often been seen as derogatory – referring to children and adults who do not easily fit with society’s idea of normal. An article by Alice Thomson (Times, 24.11), focusing on Simon Baron-Cohen’s book, ‘The Pattern Seekers: A New Theory of Human Invention’, attacks this out-dated view. Thomson’s article cites Greta Thunberg,…

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Whatever Happened to Free Speech?

Hasn’t Britain always been a place where citizens can express their views, albeit in a respectful way? Yes – I thought so too until I read the article (Times, 17.11, Melanie Phillips), stating that an actress has been sacked from her role in the musical, ‘The Colour Purple’,for saying that she didn’t believe that homosexuality…

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