Friday, 23 November 2012


Nice to see a piece about the mighty Menswear on the Guardian site. Particularly since I wrote it myself...

I was listening to the band's 1995 debut album, Nuisance, yesterday as I was writing. And it's still very fine. Up there with the third Secret Affair album, at the very least.

Thanks to Philip Oltermann of the Guardian for his help, and - as ever - to Sam Harrison.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Top Ten: European sleepwalkers

Ed Miliband is making a speech today to warn us against Britain 'sleepwalking' out of the European Union. What is about Europe that induces sleepwalking?

1. ‘Because we won’t debate it [the Maastricht Treaty] we’re going to sleepwalk our way into it and we will handicap ourselves as a party thereby.’ – Bryan Gould, 1992

2. ‘[A Labour government] would sleepwalk us into a federal union.’ – John Redwood, 1995

3. ‘There are those in the Labour Party and across Europe sleepwalking their way along the dreamy road to a European superstate.’ – Michael Portillo, 1995

4. ‘England must have the right to vote on things that will change the destiny of the nation. To insist that these changes can come about without debate, and without a vote, is madness. It is sleepwalking into an electric saw.’ – James Goldsmith, 1996

5. ‘[Euro-fanatics] were hoping we would sleepwalk into their brave new world.’ – Richard Littlejohn, 1998

6. ‘If battle is not joined, and we sleepwalk into a single currency and a federal Europe, we will be taking the biggest gamble of all.’ – Michael Gove, 1998

7. ‘The idea that we simply sleepwalk into something as important as this would be an outrage from any government.’ – Richard Marsh, 1998

8. ‘[Tony Blair] has to confront the newspapers, he cannot sleepwalk to victory.’ – Simon Buckby, director of Britain in Europe, 2004

9. ‘Brussels appears to be happy to sleepwalk into this nightmare.’ – John Cridland, deputy director-general of CBI, 2007

10. ‘We must not sleepwalk into another crisis.’ – Jose Manuel Barroso, president European Commission, 2009

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Halfway to Paradise - the exhibition

Should you be in the vicinity of South Kensington in the next couple of months, I'd highly recommend a visit to the Theatre & Performance galleries at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The exhibition of Harry Hammond's photographs is really very splendid indeed. Kate Bailey, Jim Fowler, Anna Landreth Strong and others have done a magnificent job.
There are a few events around the exhibition that might also be worth your attention, including an appearance by, er, me at 7 pm on Friday 7 December, when I will be talking with Amber Jane Butchard. It's free, but I think you're supposed to email Amber for a ticket.