Thursday, 27 July 2017

Twitter suspends right-wing satirist Gordon Elfwick for being mean to multimillionaire BBC leftie, Gary Linker. Shame!

I became aware of Twitter's attitude to right-wing snark-meisters a few years ago when Old Holborn used to disappear on a regular basis, only to pop up under another, similar name - but "Britain's vilest troll" appears to have learned how to play the thought-police's game. America's alt-right twitterati felt the mighty force of the platform's disapproval in 2016 (the actor James Woods stopped tweeting for a while in protest, but his splendidly splenetic fellow-thespian Nick Searcy kept on swinging). Now, possibly emboldened by Jeremy Corbyn's unexpectedly strong showing at the general election and the tsunami of ersatz leftie fury following the Grenfell Tower fire, British Twitter is falling into line by suspending various alt-right/right-wing/libertarian troublemakers. This comment on Gary Linkere's eye-wateringly vast BBC salary is what earned Godfrey Elfwick - currently the funniest thing on Twitter - a ban (if fruit language offends you, please don't read it).

The centenary of the Russian Revolution is an opportunity to restore the reputation of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Harvard Commencement Address, 1978
(This is an article written for the next edition of The Salisbury Review.) When Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn rose to deliver his Commencement Address at Harvard University in June, 1978, he was arguably the world’s leading cultural figure: a globe-bestriding literary giant in the tradition of Tolstoy; an implacable, grim-faced Old Testament prophet in the mould of Jeremiah; a heroic, seemingly indestructible truth-teller who survived imprisonment, exile and cancer to bear witness to the horrors that ensue whenever Communism is put into practice.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Doreen Tipton addresses the issue of BBC pay

And here, Ms Tipton (who suffers from LCS - of Lazy Cow Syndrome) interviews Sakari Faisal-Lamb, Minister for Things Going Wrong:

Thursday, 20 July 2017

"M: Maxwell Knight, MI5's Greatest Spymaster" could be my non-fiction book of the year - superb!

The best of the three spy books I've read recently - one of the best I've ever read, in fact - is M: Maxwell Knight, MI5's Greatest Spymaster by Henry Hemming, which came out in April. Knight was one of the most fascinating Britons of the 20th Century. A rather dissolute young man, he played clarinet in his own jazz band in London in the '20s, populated his flat with exotic animals, couldn't settle to anything, and, after his father died, was forbidden any contact with his highly respectable family by his older brother. He started his spying career (for a businessman who unofficially fed whatever information his agents gleaned to the government) by joining the British Fascisti in 1924, reporting on their activities, and simultaneously infiltrating half a dozen of his fascist colleagues into the British Communist Party...

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Can anyone help the Financial Times by making the democratic case for NOT stopping Brexit?

Oh wait - I think I can help with this...

Synchronicity - or coincidence - strikes again... twice!

On Saturday, I checked the proofs of a lengthy interview I've done (via email) with an American horror writer and historian of the genre for a specialist publication. The writer had originally contacted me to confirm some details for his forthcoming book on the history of the late 1970s/early 1980s horror boom, in which I played a tiny role as a writer and as publicity manager for New English Library, the publisher which did more than any other to create that boom in Britain by publishing James Herbert and Stephen King and a slew of others - including yours truly, under the name Nick Sharman. (The book is due out in September, and I'll publicise it noisily then.) Our correspondence, and my chronic addiction to sharing anecdotes, led to a request from the writer for an interview, which, of course, I was delighted to agree to - after all, I don't get many requests for interviews (well, none, to be honest). No sooner had I checked the proofs and emailed my suggested emendations back...