Boris Johnson

WHAT better occasion than a buck’s fizz breakfast for making up one’s mind about Boris Johnson? Genius or idiot, or both? Could he really be some kind of authentic political savant, or is the posh bumbler of the popular imagination entirely a self-creation? Some have called him a pretender to the Tory throne, and perhaps that word, pretender, is more… Read more »

Reading Orwell in the Age of Trump

“It was a bright cold day in April,” said Richard Blair, “and the clocks were striking thirteen.” Blair is seventy-three and the son of George Orwell. To witness him stand at a lectern and read the opening line of his father’s great final novel, 1984, is to experience a sense of completion, an equation solved…. Read more »

Lou Reed

IT was a bright cold day in March, and the clocks were striking one when I learned I was to interview Lou Reed. Lou Reed! My immediate reaction was elation, swiftly followed by doubt, then dread. Reed is notoriously difficult; he is to journalists what Cape Horn was to 18th century sailors – a vicious… Read more »

Whatever Happened To The Castlemilk Lads?

IT is early 1963 and a group of schoolboys are standing on a green hill in Castlemilk, Europe’s largest housing estate, having their photograph taken. They jostle in front of the camera, crowding into the frame, anxious to be in the picture. One stands on tip-toe, leans his chin on another’s shoulder, and stares straight… Read more »

Runrig: The Last Dance

On a blazingly hot afternoon towards the end of June, the Cuillin ridge zigzagging above Skye like God’s own ECG, Donnie Munro stops outside his childhood home: a roughcast semi on Kitson Crescent, Portree, and points up to what had been his bedroom window. “I always said,” he smiles, “that this must be the best… Read more »