Extracts from the May 2006 Journal

French Connections

The refugees from Central Europe have often acted as a bridgehead between Britain, their adopted country, and the cultures and peoples of the Continent. Less prone than the native Brits to fits of insular super-patriotism, they may also be inclined to look more generously on our neighbours across the Straits of Dover than is currently the mood among much of the population, influenced by the tabloid press. Anti-French feeling has long been a staple of British nationalism, especially when that national feeling is fuelled by an underlying sense of insecurity. That has been the case for some decades now, as Britain, having lost its empire and its role as a global power, has struggled to redefine its position in the world, and its relationship with Europe in particular. [more...]

A tale of two secretaries

The death of John Profumo, who had to resign as Secretary of State for War in 1963 after lying to the House of Commons about his affair with the call-girl Christine Keeler, reminds us of more than the most spectacular sex-and-politics scandal in modern Britain. Another Secretary of State for War who was forced to resign under unusual circumstances was Leslie Hore-Belisha, minister in Neville Chamberlain's government until his abrupt dismissal in January 1940. [more...]

Art Notes (review)

Attempts to unravel Shakespeare's life and times are as intricate as the Bard's work. It's enough that his authorship is constantly speculated on: now it's his face we challenge. The search for an authentic portrait produced in his lifetime has been frustrated by lack of conclusive evidence, says the National Portrait Gallery, whose exhibition, Searching for Shakespeare, continues until the end of May. Among five other doubtfuls, the Chandos Portrait is the most recognised; its provenance, according to the Gallery, is arguably the most genuine. Apparently, the little gold earring in his left ear and the murky, open white collar are the definitive sign of an artist. This is the painting of a reflective, middle-aged man, whose receding, but voluminous hair reveals the domed forehead you expect in Shakespeare. The dark eyes look way beyond the seventeenth century and into the future immensity of his literary power. [more...]

A Universal Message (theatre review)

by Miri Ben-Shalom
directed by Lester Richards
Pentameters Theatre, Hampstead, North London [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Hungarian compensation
By extending the terms of a 1997 reparation law, the Hungarian government is now paying improved compensation to the survivors and relatives of Hungarian victims of the Holocaust. Applicants to the 1997 scheme were initially entitled to an award of $150 for each parent killed during the Holocaust and $70 for each sibling. [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Tax breaks

Lump sum compensation payments received by Holocaust survivors will be excluded from inheritance tax (IHT) under an extended concession announced in March by the British government. [more...]

Letters to the Editor

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