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July 2019: Blackpool and the Lancashire Coast

Itís illumination time in Blackpool. Lancashire in October is not likely to be your choice for a sunshine break, but that is not why ...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 Ė Israelís 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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The Pistols were like my work of art. They were my canvas - Malcolm McLaren
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On this day:
Vesuvius Erupts - 0079, Battle of Sandwich - 1217, Heworth Moor Skirmish - 1453, Last Traitor Hanged, Drawn and Quartered - 1772, British Cleric Patents Corkscrew - 1795, British Burn Washington - 1814, Factory Act - 1833, Hull Airship Disaster - 1921, Huxley Finishes Brave New World - 1931, First Edinburgh International Festival - 1947
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