16 October

Marie Antoinette was beheaded, the Palace of Westminster was gutted by fire, the first broadcast of Blue Peter went out on BBC TV (with presenters Leila Williams and Christopher Trace) - and Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize.

October 16, 2009 · 1 min read

All of these happened on 16 October, with the last prompting the satirical songwriter Tom Lehrer to declare that ‘satire became obsolete’ the day it happened. He never performed in public again.

Sadly for the urban myth-makers, the two were unconnected. ‘I don’t know how that got started,’ Lehrer said in interview years later. ‘For one thing, I quit long before that happened, so historically it doesn’t make any sense. I’ve heard that quoted back to me, but I’ve also heard it quoted that I was dead, so there you are.’

I hold your hand in mine, dear,

I press it to my lips.

I take a healthy bite

From your dainty fingertips.

My joy would be complete, dear,

If you were only here,

But still I keep your hand

As a precious souvenir.


From the US to the UK: shared legacies of black struggle

Far too often, we think of police brutality in the US as exceptional. Families on both sides of the Atlantic tell stories that prove otherwise. Black Britain must be heard, writes Wail Qasim

Immigration detention and the politics of Covid-19

 The response to the pandemic has allowed us to imagine a world without immigration detention centres, writes Rachel Harger

The Gold Vaults of the Bank of England [Credit: Bank of England]

Fighting the inequality pandemic: the case for a super-tax

Keval Bharadia argues for a super-tax on financial markets to curb extreme inequality in the wake of Covid-19


Breaking the Big Pharma stranglehold

Affordable healthcare means breaking the stranglehold that Big Pharma has on our medicines system, writes Dana Brown

Gender, class and cliché in Normal People

The BBC hit drama shows the complexities of class mobility, but can’t avoid class and gender stereotypes, says Frances Hatherley

Momentum

Forward Momentum: democracy isn’t a distraction

Democracy isn’t a distraction, says Deborah Hermanns - it’s the only way to transform Momentum and the Labour Party and effectively build power in our communities.