A road by any other name…

Shutterstock DEREK TURNER takes a Brum road-trip What’s in a name? A great deal – so Birmingham City Council hopes. In December, as part of a £500m redevelopment of the city’s blighted Perry Barr district, it revealed the names of six new roads to “reflect community and Commonwealth sport values”. Diversity Grove, Equality Road, Destiny…

Stuff and nonsense

The Culture of My Stuff Adam Crothers, Carcanet, 2020, 84 pps, £10.99 DEREK TURNER finds a celebrated poet’s latest collection dazzling but lightweight This slender assemblage comes weighted with prestige – Adam Crothers’ prize-winning history (Shine/Strong and Seamus Heaney Centre in 2017), and endorsements of his latest offering by equally well-regarded contemporaries. But any potential…

Un-easy listening

DEREK TURNER tries translating Lingua Ignota Radio 6 is one of the rare good things about the BBC, championing alternative, independent or overlooked pop and rock from the 1950s up to the present. On any evening of any week, you can hear anything from film scores to 1960s psychedelia, prog rock to trip-hop, industrial to…

Something about Stonehenge

DEREK TURNER wanders in the West Country “Quite something, isn’t it?” the American woman asked, nodding towards Stonehenge. “However many pictures you see, it’s something to see it for real!” I didn’t disagree. As over-exposed as the Mona Lisa, emblazoned on a billion brochures, co-opted into countless works of counter-culture, and passed by an often…

Tories and true believers

Cassandra by A. F. Sandys (1829-1904) Small Men on the Wrong Side of History – The Decline, Fall, and Unlikely Return of Conservatism, Ed West, London, Constable, 2020, 426 pages DEREK TURNER likes a conservative critique of conservatism The story of conservatism since 1945 has been one of failure wrapped up in frequent electoral success.…