Category Archives: Campaigning

Yes, no, definitely maybe – part 2

More excellent writing on Scottish independence

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Yes, no, definitely maybe

The battle for and against Scottish independence is inspiring some fine writing.

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SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP

  I spent my schooldays staring the glass out of the windows. The poverty of expectation suffocated aspiration. The punitive discipline blunted everything about us. Teachers yawned their way through lessons. I had been imprisoned for a crime I had not committed. I hid from bullies and sports masters in music and art rooms, inventing […]

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Less is more…more or less

I’m still buzzing from the D&AD Awards Ceremony at The Roundhouse in June. It was extra brilliant this year because Neville Brody (D&AD President and founder of the Anti-Design Festival) masterminded a parody of awards ceremonies. We got the 1970s light show, street-cred beatboxer, fetishistic nouvelle cuisine, fledgling artists and actors waiting tables, and sexy […]

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Turned out nice again

The Southbank Centre invited me to create a language installation for the Festival of Neighbourhood. The site stretches from Waterloo Bridge to the London Eye, and incorporates the new Jubilee Gardens that front the old Shell complex. Language is a strong theme in this year’s summer festivities. They include the London Literary Festival, typo-graphics by […]

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Apostrophegeddon

Writing is not about rules, but communicating ideas. Any company that rejects a job application because of a misplaced apostrophe is barking up the wrong tree. The most original thinkers I work with struggle to tie their shoelaces.

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Leaders and Speechwriters

‘You start by writing down the headline you want to see in the paper after you’ve delivered the speech. Then you write the two press releases for the articles you want to appear as follow-up stories to the speech. Then you sit down to write the speech.’ Paddy Ashdown

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Noisy perfection

I am sitting in the Bodleian Library with Dr Christopher Fletcher, a Fellow of Exeter College, member of the English Faculty and Keeper of Special Collections. On the table between us is a yellowing manuscript of translucent pages inscribed with a neat copperplate script in brown ink. It is the autograph draft manuscript of The […]

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Heavenly bodies

A hop, skip and jump from the Olympic VIP entertainment suites where regimes with appalling human right records are enjoying a break from torturing their citizens, is a simple, humble encampment of Eelam Tamils. Gobi Sivanthan is on hunger strike to raise awareness about Black July, 1983. According to Tamils Against Genocide, this is the period […]

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You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!

Just back from touring Italy with The Ham and Cheese Company – part of the breakaway faction from Borough Market now trading in Spa Terminus – Bermondsey. We travelled from Bologna to Parma to Siena to Roma meeting people whose lives revolve around making marvellous food. The idiosyncratic hams and cheeses we sampled along the […]

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