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February 2018: Land of the Prince Bishops

County Durham is not perhaps well-known as a tourist destination, that very fact surely making it worth visiting, but it does enjoy a wealth of ...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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Brit Quote:
I am told that I talk in shorthand and then smudge it. - J R R Tolkien
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On this day:
Battle of Bramham Moor - 1408, Treaty of Westminster signed - 1674, First Man Utd Match at Old Trafford - 1910, 1st episode of Eastenders - 1985, Cocker's Contempt for Jackson at Brits - 1996
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