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January 2019: Get Fit on the North York Moors

January is the traditional month for regretting the excesses of December and promising yourself – and others – that this year you are definitely going ...More
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Christopher Hitchens

Over the past two decades Western politicians have largely hugged the antiseptic middle ground; most journalists have cosied up to them; and sound-bite polemicists have served their own cause. Christopher Hitchens was one of the few figures who stood apart in the world of debate. Rather than adherence to any political grouping he argued for certain values: he was an antitheist; an enlightenment thinker; and a believer in justice. Thus he loathed Bill Clinton, but fought against those he thought traduced him. He was never afraid to speak out on the most sensitive of subjects – Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, Jihadism, ending the war on drugs, the abolition of our monarchy - risking the wrath of powerful and sometimes poisonous interest groups, and did not hesitate to turn against former friends when their views diverged. A fine writer and often a humorous one, his heroes ranged from Wodehouse to Orwell and it showed. Intellectual life will be poorer for his passing.

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Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. - Douglas Adams
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On this day:
The assassination of James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray - 1570, The Royal Exchange opens in London. - 1571, Battle of Rorkes Drift - 1879, The Tottenham Outrage - 1909, First Labour Government - 1924
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