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Articles tagged with Sadie Smith

Exclusive: Articles on Thatcher's funeral protests

Exclusive: Articles on Thatcher's funeral protests

by Sadie Smith / 15 Apr 2013 08:31

It’s not what I’m going to write about but, for the record, my attitude towards Margaret Thatcher is, as they say, complicated. I grew up in the staunchly working class Tory stronghold of Bognor Regis in the 1980s, and my earliest political memory is of bawling at my younger brother that we were going a different way home on my mother’s tricycle so “mummy can vote for Margaret Thatcher”. Happily, I avoided the smack of

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Hair apparent: do looks matter in politics?

Hair apparent: do looks matter in politics?

by Sadie Smith / 21 Mar 2013 11:08

 

It is my lot in life, I fear, that when all the exciting stuff happens, I am destined to be holed up in the photocopying room.

And so it was last Thursday when it was all kicking off in the Sports and Social Bar in the House of Commons. By all accounts, something resembling the final scenes of any given A-Team episode was going on outside (“Quick, BA! Shoot the

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Boobs, booby traps, and matters Leveson

Boobs, booby traps, and matters Leveson

by Sadie Smith / 18 Mar 2013 13:05

 

In 1986, former Labour MP and professional Blair-botherer, Clare Short, introduced a Private Member's Bill that would have abolished Page Three. The arguments against Page Three, most of which I agree with, are well worn and I don't plan to go into them here. As always, chaps, feel free to vent your sweaty-palmed outrage in the comments at this snook against the ainshunt liberteez wot George Orwell wrote about.

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Gordon Brown's alive - and doing the right thing

Gordon Brown's alive - and doing the right thing

by Sadie Smith / 07 Mar 2013 10:52

The end of day adjournment debate is undertaken after all the other usual business of the House – Departmental questions, Private Member’s Bills, government legislation, and Dennis Skinner roaring about “posh boys” – is over. They are an opportunity for backbench MPs to pin a Minister down about a local issue and, whilst nothing substantive often emerges, it is a useful way in which ordinary Members can hold the Government to account.

It’s

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The vulnerability of political staff should worry us

The vulnerability of political staff should worry us

by Sadie Smith / 27 Feb 2013 14:08

Last week my colleague and I – after we’d stopped screaming like girls - had cause to put a call into the Parliamentary Rodent Dude. Amid a wide ranging discussion on a number of issues, and a free and frank exchange of views on the state of our office, I asked for reassurance that Fortesque the Mouse was definitely a mouse, and not a rat. I hate rats.

Did you know that Parliament

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38 Degrees: 'Dangerous, untrue and insulting'

38 Degrees: 'Dangerous, untrue and insulting'

by Sadie Smith / 14 Feb 2013 12:25

 

Having read the article by David Babbs on 38 Degrees, I think we can agree on one thing: MPs do often grumble about the organisation. Not just them but their researchers and constituency staff too, but perhaps not for the reasons Babbs thinks.

No. MPs and staff are irritated by 38 Degrees because, in trying to fix the problem of low political engagement, it is creating an atmosphere in which

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The gay marriage debate in full

The gay marriage debate in full

by Sadie Smith / 11 Feb 2013 09:42

 

Last week a tiny minority of the country was variously quoting Leviticus, shouting “bigot!” at each other, or tweeting that it was “Literally crying at Jane McOily MP’s speech. So proud to be Labour and in favour of equal marriage”. Some had a punt at bizarrely claiming that this was all a massive conspiracy against that most maligned minority: white, straight men. Meanwhile the Online Wimmin Mob declared the whole thing was

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Who will watch the papers if there is no state regulation?

Who will watch the papers if there is no state regulation?

by Sadie Smith / 26 Nov 2012 10:41

The latest in the long-running series of 'Why politicians shouldn’t make funnies. Ever' is Michael Gove’s latest offering at the Spectator awards. Okay everyone, prepare to hold your sides: Gove said "It's … a pity that His Honour Brian Leveson cannot be here so he could receive the Bureau of Investigative Journalism award for commitment to truth-telling for his wonderful comments: 'I don't really need any lessons in freedom of speech, Mr Gove, really

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Political debate turns to panto

Political debate turns to panto

by Sadie Smith / 23 Nov 2012 15:19

I was watching Question Time last night.

Yes, I know, I know. I’ve tried to kick the habit, but within the first couple of minutes of Dimbers’ weekly bumblefest I’m on my feet, roaring at the television, causing a good deal of collateral damage to my carpets and red wine glasses. What can I say? I’ve got a problem.

Last night’s panel comprised of a woman from Dragon’s Den (who, for someone

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Liberty and those who misuse it

Liberty and those who misuse it

by Sadie Smith / 13 Nov 2012 10:18

Dinner party discussions comparing contemporary Britain to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four have been de rigeur for a couple of years now for two reasons: first, it plays into the arrogance of the V for Vendetta generation who assume that they are so goddamn interesting that the state – naturally! – wants to cop an eyeful. Second, Orwell’s book may well be a classic, but it’s conceptually quite simple and not at all obtuse in

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In praise of political dramas (even the rubbish ones)

In praise of political dramas (even the rubbish ones)

by Sadie Smith / 05 Nov 2012 13:43

 

See also: Why are political TV dramas so cynical and A very Danish coup

I love political dramas. I mean, I really love political dramas.

Although there are some gems out there, I really like the slightly ropey ones too. It’s Monday and I’m actually working on something infinitely more boring for this esteemed organ of record, so I thought I’d take time out to explain how the Great And Not-So-Great

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Van-banging: a study

Van-banging: a study

by Sadie Smith / 30 Oct 2012 16:11

Of all the traditions that set us British apart from our continental cousins – be it the pathological need to join a queue, the monarchy, dogging, or complaining about the weather – it is van-banging that has latterly come to embody our national condition.

For those late to the party, van-banging is the practice of demonstrating the perpetrator’s disapproval of one accused, usually with crimes relating to a child. Some poor kid will

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