Peter Mandelson loses his temper

He’s very cool, Lord Mandelson of Hartlepool and Foy. In the sense of never getting over-heated. Except this time. ‘You may think it’s funny and cheap to make snidey remarks about how I could afford to live where I do. If my mother had not got Alzheimer’s and hadn’t died, I wouldn’t be able to live there. And I’d prefer my mother still to be alive.’
Tell me, what do you make of him?

‘Hugely readable and thought-provoking’

“He dazzles,” says Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in The Independent. “You stay with Moreton because you can’t bear to jump off.”

“This exuberant and assured book posits the central dilemmas of our times.”

There are warm words too in The Observer, The Independent on Sunday and The Tablet. The Bookseller previews the book with those by Peter Hitchens and Desmond Tutu and calls it “hugely readable and thought-provoking.” You can read all the reviews here.

‘I’d drunk too much. I was irresponsible, criminal’ Nick Clegg

‘We didn’t know what we were doing. We were teenagers, we’d drunk too much – frankly, we did behave appallingly, irresponsibly, criminally. Next morning, one of the organisers of the exchange rang me up and said, “We know you did this.”‘ What was Nick Clegg talking about? Find out here.

'He dazzles' says Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

“How to describe this eccentric, mistifying and gripping book?” asks Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in The Independent, before going on to give the book a wonderful review. You can read the article in full here but in the meantime, a few choice lines:

“A sprite takes you by the hand and leads you through the streets (and roads and lanes) of England, shows you things, tells you things, some unsettling, many astonishing and a number plain shocking. Only Moreton is no sprite. He is an amiable Englishman, warm like the beer they say such men like to drink, yet also sharp, intelligent, observant, sensitive and what we now call emotionally literate.”

“You stay with Moreton because you can’t bear to jump off. He dazzles, has verve, holds your eye; this charismatic, hypnotic celebrant.’

“This exuberant and assured book posits the central dilemmas of our times.”

Out Of the Blue Sky: 9/11 Minute By Minute

A report from The Independent on Sunday first published in September 2001.

11 September 2001

8:44am

An ordinary morning in lower Manhattan. Clyde Ebanks, vice-president of an insurance company, is one of the 20,000 or so men and women already at work in the twin towers of the World Trade Centre. At a meeting on floor 103, his boss catches a glimpse of something outside in the bright blue sky and yells: “Look at that!”

8:45am (1.45pm BST)

North Tower, World Trade Centre: American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 with 92 people on board, crashes into floors 91 to 100. “We are under attack,” says Nigel Thompson, a 33-year-old trader from Sheffield, on the telephone to his twin brother. Other workers in the building call lovers, friends and family. The initial impact is followed by an explosion as 24,000 gallons of aviation fuel ignite.

London and Los Angeles: Workers at Cantor Fitzgerald hear colleagues on floors 101 to 105 of the tower scream as their conference call is interrupted by the crash.

8.47am

South Tower, World Trade Centre: Derek Swords, 29, telephones his family in Dundee to say there has been an explosion in the other building but that he is safe. There is no need to leave, say fire marshals and security guards, but some people make for the lifts. An official with a megaphone on floor 44 tells people to go back up to their own offices.

North Tower, World Trade Centre: Emergency generators light the stairwells of the damaged, shaking building. Thousands of workers from floor 88 down attempt to flee, moving aside to let burns victims pass more quickly. Ronnie Clifford, 47, from Cork is at the foot of the building. “There was an explosion and a haze and a smell of fuel. Out of this haze came a woman. She came through the revolving doors with her two arms totally burned; her clothes were burned right on her body; no shoes. Her hair was literally melted with her face and eyes. We lifted her up and carried her outside.”

8:48am

Fitzherbert Suite, Grand Hotel, Brighton: Tony Blair is on a sofa, preparing to give a speech to the TUC conference, when an aide enters to tell him about the crash. Like everyone else he presumes it is a dreadful accident.

Continue reading “Out Of the Blue Sky: 9/11 Minute By Minute”
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