Vice is a pleasingly cynical Big Short for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars

Dick Cheney, February 2011 by Gage Skidmore

I’m unsure if I was supposed to enjoy the joyous cynicism of the opening half-hour of Vice as much as I did, nor if I was enjoying it quite as its creators intended. Either way, it was hard not to.

Adam McKay’s stylised biopic leaves you in no doubt that Dick Cheney, recent US vice president, is a bastard. After an early stint of feckless drunkenness he tries political wonkery, and is sufficiently impressed by the crudeness of a young Donald Rumsfeld to become a Republican. Some diversions aside, he keeps rising.

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Clegg’s Knighthood Must Be for Services to Brexit

Nick Clegg Stop Brexit review 2

When Nick Clegg takes a knee in front of the Queen to receive his knighthood later this year, it will not be obvious what he has achieved in two decades of public office.

To be sure, as leader of the Liberal Democrats he was the first yellow tie in government since the Second World War. But his Commons seat loss at the hands of Corbynite Jared O’Mara – later disgraced for Internet rudeness – capped a year of Liberal destruction, in an election that has all but ensured Brexit by securing Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

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And Yet I’m still left with the sense the best of Hitchens is missing

Christopher Hitchens Dies, December 2011 by Surian Soosay

For all the slating that Christopher Hitchens attracted in his lifetime, it’s the quiet criticism of Jason Cowley, editor of the New Statesman, that best captures the man’s flaws as a writer.

In an otherwise generous obituary in 2011, Cowley wrote that Hitchens’ “polemical denunciations and pamphlets on powerful individuals […] feel already dated, stranded in place and time, good journalism but not literature”.

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