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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

235 results for 'Anastasia '

Doc Rationing

By Anastasia , published on Apr 26, 2012

The latest issue of the Spectator has an article by Florence King in which she says that you Americans secretly yearn for a British-style National Health Service (NHS) but will never admit it (To your health, 21 April). Writing from Fredericksburg, Virginia, she says that Doc Martin, the whimsical medical comedy set in Cornwall, is a big hit with you Yanks. It’s not just the whimsy of the whole thing but the sheer delighted of watching people enter and leave a doctor’s surgery without having to pay a thing. Ah, my friends, this is such stuff as dreams are made on.

I wonder how many... (more)

Tags: health care, the british national health service, socialised medicine

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

By Anastasia , published on Apr 24, 2012

A picture is worth a thousand words, even when that picture is an amateurish drawing. The drawing in question shows a fourteen-year-old boy, stripped naked and suspended above a charcoal fire. He is secured to the ceiling by a rope tied around his wrists and a chain around his ankles. As he writhed in agony away from the flames, he was secured in place by one of his tormentors by means of a steel hook through his abdomen.

The boy’s name is Shin Dong-hyuk. The time is 1996. The place is North Korea, a concentration camp, to be more exact. Shin was born there, the product of a casual... (more)

Tags: torture, communism, north korea, concentration camps

Red Gaming

By Anastasia , published on Apr 19, 2012

I love fascinating discoveries, just as I love surprises. I was both fascinated and surprised to learn that the American constitution recognises three sovereign entities: the federal government, the individual states and – this is the surprise – the Indian tribes. Yes, the Indian nations are effectively that – nations.

Clearly these sovereignties are not equal. The Civil War showed that federal authority trumped that of states’ rights. The position with the Indians – I refuse to use the term ‘native American’ – seems to be more ambiguous. Their legal status rests on the various treaties... (more)

Tags: gambling, american indians

Daughter of Saint George

By Anastasia , published on Apr 17, 2012

As we approach Saint George’s Day I’ve been thinking quite closely about issues of national identity. I recall a documentary some years ago made by one Darcus Howe, a black writer and broadcaster (his colour is relevant, as you will see), in which he explored this very question. It was called The White Tribe, a kind of cultural safari in search of England, of what it meant to be English. A great many of the people he asked, people mostly from white working class communities, could not answer his basic questions. One respondent, struggling to come up with something, eventually alighted on line... (more)

Tags: england, saint george, national identity

Titanic Tales

By Anastasia , published on Apr 16, 2012

James Cameron’s 1997 epic Titanic was released in 3D earlier this month to coincide with the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the unsinkable. I saw, and loved, the original when I was a child. I’ve seen it several times since and am not likely to go to the cinema simply for a few wow-me visual afterthoughts.

I dare say a lot of people will go, a new generation who will be coming to it for the first time, coming to the story of Rose and Jack, star and class crossed lovers, playing out their time in the shadow of a greater drama.

The story of the Titanic itself has moved... (more)

Tags: titanic, naval disasters, films

To Die For

By Anastasia , published on Apr 13, 2012

I’m a lover of high fashion, a lover of designer labels. There, I’ve said it! For me things are quite simple: I like elegant and well-cut clothes, clothes that complement the line of the body. I dislike fussiness, frills and fluffs. My favourite clothes are those designed by Jasper Conran and Elizabeth Grachvogel. I simply adore Jimmy Choo’s footwear and handbags.

Mostly I dress in a smart casual manner, with jeans and top, as well as a range of skirts, and I’m particularly keen on magic pants. But I always rise for the occasion: a cocktail dress for semi-formal engagements and a full... (more)

Tags: book reviews, thrillers, gothic fiction, serial killers

Paris in the Spring

By Anastasia , published on Apr 11, 2012

I love Easter, I love spring and I love Paris. When I combine the three nothing could be more perfect. I got back from a long weekend in the city yesterday evening, a lovely time in a perfect place, my favourite in all the world. Paris holds no more secrets for me; there is nothing fresh to be discovered; I have been so many times before, from early childhood onwards. Yet it never ever fails to charm.

My parents have a small flat close to the centre, allowing me to explore the city and its surroundings, to develop an intimacy with it over the years. I don’t go as frequently as I used... (more)

Tags: romance, vacations, paris, easter

Christian Holocaust

By Anastasia , published on Apr 9, 2012

It’s Easter Sunday, late in the evening. I’m in Paris for the weekend, looking out over the city of lights. It’s been a wonderful few days. I’m not in the habit of writing on vacation, especially when I’m on a romantic interlude in the most romantic city on earth!

I could have held this article over until Monday evening, when I’ll be back in London but, as I say, this is Easter Sunday. There is no better time to draw your attention to the plight of the ancient Christian communities in the Middle East, now in serious danger of extinction.

These are the original Christians,... (more)

Tags: christianity, the middle east, religious persecurion

The New Appeasers

By Anastasia , published on Apr 5, 2012

I took part in a discussion recently on Blog Catalogue which focused, or began to focus, on the right of Israel to exist as a nation. It was quite illuminating, not because it added anything of substance to my own views on this issue, but because it made me aware of a new trend, a new mode of thought, one that looks like becoming a feature of policy making in the cabinet rooms and chanceries of the West.

I’ll come to this a bit later but first a word or two about the debate in question. In the course of it I mentioned that I once visited Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the place where all... (more)

Tags: israel, palestine, appeasement, the middle east

No Respect

By Anastasia , published on Apr 4, 2012

I don’t suppose too many people in the States or, indeed, the rest of the world, take an awful lot of interest in British electoral politics. It may therefore have escaped your attention that we had minor earthquake here last week: a by-election in the constituency of Bradford West in the north of England, won by a certain George Galloway, an outsider standing for the British Respect Party (BRP).

He did not just win; he drubbed his opponents, particularly the Labour Party, widely expected to retain a seat it has held for almost forty years. His unexpected victory was, according to... (more)

Tags: islam, elections, british parliament, sectarianism

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