Kinder Sculpture


Extracts from the Jul 2010 Journal

Vote, vote, vote for Clement Attlee?

Now that the dust is settling on the close-run general election of May 2010, we can expect a period of political jockeying where no single party has a stable parliamentary majority. It is interesting to look back 60 years to the successive elections of February 1950 and October 1951, when, rather as in 2010, a tired-looking Labour government faced a groundswell of demand for change. By 1950, the electorate had grown weary of the austerity, rationing and controls associated with ‘socialism’, and the Labour Party that had swept to power with an unassailable majority in the anti-Tory landslide of 1945 was returned 5 years later with a wafer-thin majority of 5 seats. [more...]

In praise of … old age

Many years ago, a humorous poem by an anonymous author circulated among Continental Britons. Its title was Über das fröhliche Alter (The Joys of Old Age) and it started and finished with the line ‘Wer achtzig wird, ist selber schuld’ (It’s your own fault if you live to 80). I was then a youthful seventyish who still climbed mountains - well, perhaps they might be more truthfully described as hills - in the Swiss and Austrian Alps. Even at 80, I still managed the Höhenweg from Hofgastein to Bad Gastein (which may mean something to the Journal’s Austrian readers) - a pretty steep two-and-a-half hours’ walk. Nowadays, I begin to flag after I’ve walked for just an hour. [more...]

‘A deplorable mistake’: The Dunera 70 years on

This month marks the 70th anniversary of the sailing of the infamous troopship Dunera. On 11 July 1940, the Dunera left the port of Liverpool carrying 2,000 (mainly) Jewish internees to Australia, along with 251 Nazi POWs and 250 Italian Fascists. None knew their intended destination. [more...]

Art notes (review)

‘Draw, Antonio! Draw and don’t waste time!’ A typical art teacher’s admonition to a lazy student, you might think. Well, the teacher was Michaelangelo, the year 1522, and the concept of drawing was relatively new to the Italian Renaissance. Its development forms the basis of a collaborative exhibition by the British Museum and the Uffizi Gallery, Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance Drawings, which runs at the British Museum until the end of this month and proves how taking pencil to paper laid the foundations of the High Renaissance. [more...]

Letter from Israel: ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’

The audience in the auditorium listened intently as the head of one of the departments of the Music Academy gave an erudite analysis, with illustrations at the piano, of aspects of Mendelssohn’s ‘Songs Without Words’, which we were to hear later in the programme. Professor Assaf Zohar, a rotund figure whose lectures are always lively and fascinating, had just apologised for being unable to play the piano with his usual dexterity as he was still recovering from an injury to his hand – the worst thing that can happen to a musician. To my unprofessional ear, however, his demonstrations sounded as impeccable as ever. [more...]

Letters to the Editor

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