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Alan Bennett: What I did in 2000, 25 January 2001

... in memory had put it somewhere north of Oxford Street, Portman Square possibly. In fact it was in Forbes House in Belgrave Square: not knowing London I took Knightsbridge to be Oxford Street. Of the exhibition I recall only the two huge blackamoors at the foot of the staircase in the entrance and the music that was playing throughout (the notion of music in ...

The Best Stuff

Ian Jack: David Astor, 2 June 2016

David Astor: A Life in Print 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Cape, 400 pp., £25, March 2016, 978 0 224 09090 2
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... as Michael Foot, Tom Hopkinson (of Picture Post), Tom Harrisson (of Mass Observation), Alastair Forbes and Stephen King-Hall, some of whom became Observer contributors when Astor took charge. But that was years away. In the meantime he started to work for Louis Mountbatten in Combined Operations during the week and for the family newspaper in the evenings ...

The Satoshi Affair

Andrew O’Hagan, 30 June 2016

... Nick Szabo, a cool cryptocurrency nut and the inventor of Bit Gold, but he denied it profusely. Forbes believed it was Hal Finney, who, the blockchain irrefutably showed, was the first person in the world to be sent bitcoin by Satoshi. Finney, a native Californian, was an expert cryptographer whose involvement in the development of bitcoin was vital. He was ...

The Laying on of Hands

Alan Bennett, 7 June 2001

... no need sometimes for the deity to draw attention to himself so obviously. It had something of St Peter and the cock crowing thrice about it, not an incident Father Jolliffe was particularly fond of as it showed Jesus up as a bit of an ‘I told you so’, which on the quiet the priest felt he sometimes was anyway. Today, though, the intervention of the clock ...

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