Inner pieces, inner peace

Credit: Shutterstock PETER KING says inconsistency is not incoherency We live in fragments. There is nothing that is so large to be all encompassing. There is nothing that is dominant, nothing that is the essence. Of course, we humans are common in our biology, psychology and our mortality, but this is not what defines us…

Brownshirts under the bed

Credit: Shutterstock How to Stop Fascism Paul Mason, Allen Lane, 256 Pages, £20 KEN BELL finds a noted Labour intellectual fighting an imaginary enemy Paul Mason is one of those interesting characters who now seem to pop up everywhere, telling the rest of us what to believe. In his student days he was a member…

The closing down of History

Credit: Shutterstock GUY WALKER calls for a realistic view of humanity’s record Earlier this year a Palace coup at the National Trust saw the Chairman, Tim Parker, helpfully defenestrate himself before the pursuing Imperial Guard did it for him. The revolting soldiery were later in hot pursuit, through the gilded corridors, of the Director-General, Hilary…

Another portion of Chips

Chips and Honor Channon Henry “Chips” Channon, Diaries Vol. 2, 1938-1943 Edited by Simon Heffer, Hutchinson, 1,120 Pages, £35 KEN BELL renews his acquaintance with the famous Tory diarist The Conservative MP and socialite, Henry “Chips” Channon, was a brilliant writer with an acid wit who also had an amazing capacity to misunderstand the people…

The year of Dr. No – and rural poverty

On the Cusp: Days of ’62 David Kynaston, Bloomsbury, 239 P, £18.99 KEN BELL admires a study of 1962, but wonders why that year was singled out for attention David Kynaston must be the premier social historian of post-war Britain writing today, and his latest book is a fine, standalone work which really captures the…

Social ranking redux

Credit: Shutterstock The New Snobbery David Skelton, Biteback Publishing, 253 pp, £16.99 KEN BELL says many members of the middle classes have found ingenious new ways of disliking people Britain is notoriously obsessed with class, but now there is a new, ideological way of looking down on people. David Skelton, a native northeasterner who is…

The Venatio – an extract

LUKE GILFEDDER tells a dark tale of Cheshire Crime writer Stephen Niskus suspects that his long-lost school friend, Alexei Orphonov, is a serial killer. When he catches sight of Alexei in Alderley Edge, he embarks upon an urgent quest to prevent another murder. But Stephen's investigations soon lead him into a far more tangled and…