Marcus Moore

Entries by Marcus Moore

Paid a Pittance and Paying Penance at Poundland

(0) Comments | Posted 16 January 2012 | (20:06)

Dole, many still call it: unemployment benefit, the legal provision of which is enshrined in the National Insurance Act of 1911, though the centenary seemed to pass by without comment or celebration. Paupers previously had to rely for welfare upon begging, parish relief, and the homely, fireside welcome of that...

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A Farmyard Fable: Occupy London

(0) Comments | Posted 22 December 2011 | (16:26)

I have been following developments at the Occupy camp in London from the beginning, occasionally in person, more often as an observer. The story of the movement so far has, I believe, a strong - and seasonally apt - allegorical message.


Nobody is quite sure of anything, the morning...

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It's Time Once Again for Self-Assessment Forms

(1) Comments | Posted 19 December 2011 | (23:11)

Post-apocalyptic science fiction novels have one thing in common: the survivors are never seen sitting around a bleak, wasteland campfire using the stub of a blunt pencil to fill in their annual Income Tax Self-Assessment Forms.

Maybe I should switch allegiances and ask global warming to get its skates on.

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Oh Let us Love Our Occupations

(0) Comments | Posted 4 December 2011 | (18:37)

Toby Veck, the central character of Charles Dickens' The Chimes, stood all day long just outside a church-door and waited there for jobs: a 'breezy, goose-skinned, blue-nosed, red-eyed, stony-toed, tooth-chattering place it was, to wait in, in the winter-time'.

It is a sad tale, written, according to John Forster, the...

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What I Spy With My Little the Small Print

(0) Comments | Posted 9 November 2011 | (21:35)

I SPY: great game, popular with kids on long journeys; occupies the mind; but not much fun played on your own.

Twice lately I have been accused of being childish - on a Facebook thread, for suggesting elected parliamentarians should not call each other 'honourable' and 'right honourable' because they...

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The Occupy (r)Evolution Will Not Be Televised

(0) Comments | Posted 29 October 2011 | (15:09)

"FEEL like doing something."

"Anything in particular?"

"Helping in some way. Doing the washing up perhaps."

The General Assembly has finished: mostly announcements about discussion groups, recycling, banners and sanitation. No fuss, no ranting or chanting. It could be Freshers' Week or a National Trust open day. There is a...

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'Occupy' Really is a Global Movement

(0) Comments | Posted 22 October 2011 | (13:58)

Camp Anonymous in East Africa is intending to join the global movement known as Occupy. They've got tents, some basic sanitation and people wandering about trying to keep the place tidy. All they need are a few more essentials - wifi and laptops - and they'll be ready to connect...

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The Anarchists Occupying Part of London

(0) Comments | Posted 20 October 2011 | (03:59)

LAND close to St Paul's Cathedral remains occupied by a group of anarchists who show no signs of abandoning the camp first established there in 886 AD.

Calling themselves 'The City' and funded by worldwide donations to their cause, the occupants are confident of surviving the cold winter ahead.


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Occupy Your Mind With This Meme

(1) Comments | Posted 17 October 2011 | (21:01)

MEME throws up over 800 million results in 0.11 seconds, according to Google.

It was first coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene, being derived from mimesis, the ancient Greek word meaning 'imitation', from which comes μίμημα (that which is imitated), from the core of which Dawkins plucks his...

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The Poor Health of the National Death Service

(0) Comments | Posted 14 October 2011 | (09:47)

BORN under the NHS, but would like to die privately. Lloyd Evans, a columnist for The Spectator, used that description of himself when he was a performance poet. It has stayed with me, as witty truisms often do.

Again disgruntled by its obsession with audience participation, I abandoned Radio 5's...

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A National Embarrassment: The Citizenship Test

(0) Comments | Posted 13 October 2011 | (07:11)

'GRIT in the Tory oyster', 'pint-sized Rasputin' and 'shaven-headed policy guru'. There's something a bit sinister about David Cameron's close friend and ally, Steve Hilton. His very name suggests he's trying to be both pub regular and posh hotelier.

I suspect he is behind the latest codswallop coming from Downing...

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Of Alarm Bells, Ticking Clocks and End Games

(1) Comments | Posted 9 October 2011 | (19:13)

WOKE early on my first alarm-free morning for two weeks. Didn't turn over, but got up, pulled back curtains, let the sun shine in, made a cuppa, put washing on, booted this thing up, lit a fag, and ambled into the day. I then read a few online news reports...

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Faster Than the Speed of Light: Quantum Economics

(0) Comments | Posted 28 September 2011 | (17:10)

DATA from underground vaults in Europe is baffling economists. Thousands of experiments have led to a startling new discovery. Money, they now believe, disappears faster than the speed of light.

By the time you've finished this article, dear reader, many tiny particles known as neuros will have undergone a significant...

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How Small Changes Could Make Huge Differences

(0) Comments | Posted 19 September 2011 | (23:25)

LIVE Aid, the famine relief concerts of 1985, raised £150 million. The Republic of Ireland gave the most per capita donations, despite suffering a serious economic recession at the time.

Red Nose Day 2011 achieved an 'on the night' record-breaking £74.3 million; Children in Need can expect £20 million...

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The Assassination of Language: a Cautionary Tale

(0) Comments | Posted 10 September 2011 | (01:38)

SPIN, until recently, dwelt among the landscapes of rural cottages and cobbled streets. Many were her friends and admirers: the daughters of farmers, the wives of tradesmen, the shepherdess and the schoolmistress. Grandmothers and cousins (on the distaff side) would while away the hours in her company, gently tapping their...

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Please Can We Have More Immigration?

(0) Comments | Posted 4 September 2011 | (22:30)

BLUE Mink moving me to tears doing Melting Pot on Top of the Pops; standing in the rain with anti-apartheid campaigners outside Barclays on a Saturday morning; laughing at the humour of West Indies' supporters in the cheap seats at the Oval; nervously spluttering a few words in Spanish at...

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Going Forward to School, not Back

(0) Comments | Posted 31 August 2011 | (02:17)

Term starts next week. You can tell by the weather: that bit chillier first thing; fewer zephyrs, more squalls; leaves starting to leave home; darker earlier. Oh, and Dr Who is back on. I think we're supposed to call them 'market indicators', now that business models strut every walk of...

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What Will Your School Do? The After-Math and After-English Lessons

(0) Comments | Posted 24 August 2011 | (16:12)

GCSE exam results this time. Miss being there to shake hands, pat backs, offer hugs. A sort of doors-shut-others-open day, what with the autumn term beckoning. Sod the national curriculum. I'd want everyone to be examining recent events.

"Welcome back, folks. Please take out your i-phones and bookmark

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To Edinburgh and Back: the Destination

(0) Comments | Posted 24 August 2011 | (00:15)

WORD games keep me awake at night. They are a much more exciting way of not being able to get to sleep than worrying about next month's bills, global warming, or what I should have said to that gorgeous woman on the 855 bus instead of making some crass remark...

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To Edinburgh and Back: the Journey

(0) Comments | Posted 22 August 2011 | (17:37)

LONG journeys back from somewhere don't have the same appeal as the journey there. Perhaps that RTN on the ticket stands for retribution: the price paid for having been on an outing through outstanding scenery the previous day.

The four blokes playing cards don't help. Not loud, but bothersome. Then...

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