Guardian columnist

Kevin Pietersen and the Thatcher parallel: the batsman’s not for returning — For almost 30 years, the passport of ex-King Constantine of Greece did not admit of a surname. It billed him simply as "Constantine, former king of the Hellenes". I wonder if Kevin Pietersen might consider amending his British one so it reads simply: "Kevin, exiled England batsman"?

Passport to post-election comedy: five days of political paralysis just isn’t enough — How long could you go without a government? Belgium did 541 days a few years back, while in 2010 the British were granted a mere five and a half days of hilarity before hung parliament love interest Nick Clegg chose to make his bed with the Tories, despite all the "Don't do it, Deidre" banners fluttering from white vans.

The Oscars: showcasing Hollywood’s generous sense of global obligation — One day, I hope to own the world's largest collection of the phrase "the Oscars of our industry". "The Tractor of the Year awards are, quite rightly, considered the Oscars of our industry," runs a typical example. Last week was "the Oscars of the travel industry".

So here it is: the Merry Christmas World Cup 2022 in Qatar — And so it has come to pass. Fifa has drawn a line in the desert sand - and they haven't used the magic foam. Actually, perhaps it would be better to refer to the latest news about Qatar 2022 as an annunciation, because we now know Fifa is to be delivered of a Christmas World Cup, with a final apparently played on the night before Christmas Eve.

Racist fans are everyone’s problem - not just football’s — "What is football doing to keep its hooligans out of society?" demanded Margaret Thatcher of an FA executive in 1985. "On the contrary," came the reply, "what is society doing to keep its hooligans out of football?" Once you've got over the shock of a 1980s sporting administrator actually putting his finger on something, let us spool forward to this week.

Benghazi on the big screen: expect Bay-hem and explosions but little truth — To the pages of the movie trade press, where a culture war is announced. Specifically, there are now not just one, but two movies planned about the 2012 attacks on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, which left four US citizens dead, including the American ambassador to Libya.

Does Pete Doherty’s crucifixion nail the meaning of life and death? One vicar thinks so … — Let the bells peal at St Marylebone parish church in London, as the C of E strikes a vital blow for relevance by unveiling a statue of mid-noughties curiosity Pete Doherty. I say statue, but in fact, the work is a lifesize crucifixion, commissioned by Pete himself in 2008, and entitled - what else?

It’s high time Sepp Blatter’s gang recognised football’s racist underbelly — Fears that Italian football might be losing its racist identity have been allayed by the intervention of former Azzurri coach Arrigo Sacchi, who makes an important intervention on the changing face of football in his country. "I'm certainly not racist," he began promisingly.

Britain’s tax code is an incredible 17, 000 pages long, surely a dog-whistle to the very rich — I am pleased to catalogue a new entry to the vast repository of Questions to Which I Do Not Know The Answer. (Can you even imagine the size of this notional facility? Clearly, it would dwarf that warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark where the US government stash the Ark of the Covenant.)

Celebrity Tories, declare yourselves! — Those without a handle on the scale of Tory innate self-confidence should consider that the Conservatives call their annual fundraiser the Black and White Ball. As any regular readers of this column will be more than aware, the original party by that name - hosted in 1966 by Truman Capote at New York's Plaza hotel - boasted a guestlist including Tennessee Williams, Andy Warhol, Frank Sinatra, Greta Garbo, Lauren Bacall and the maharaja of Jaipur.
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Mar 05, 2015

If only the British chicken shooting season could run from now till May 7. #comeupwithanewjokeshitheads

Mar 04, 2015

Kevin Pietersen is a post-defenestration Margaret Thatcher

Mar 04, 2015

@keefstuart that is far too nice of you - but thank you so much! And thank you again for the lovely piece

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