Issue 1408

22 Nov 2021
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About this issue: Overview

Devolution’s sunny uplands
Calls for more democracy for the North even extend – however unlikely – to calls for independence. Is a regional settlement manifest destiny, or pie in the sky, asks Chris Moss/

Ruff drafts make the final cut
With their fiercely competitive breakfasts, lax attitude to work Zoom meetings and upside-down sleeping, Olive and Mabel were the hottest online stars of the lockdown. Susan Griffin catches up with Andrew Cotter, who commentates on the labradors’ feats in hushed tones – while also feeding and walking them.

The many mysteries of Victor Grayson
Elected socialist MP for Colne Valley against the odds, Victor Grayson was a charismatic and flamboyant young MP. But his performances in the Commons were erratic – and later he vanished as a cash for honours scandal was emerging. Paul Salveson goes in search of answers.

Quirke of the author’s fate
Fateful encounters, streams of consciousness, sinister politics and a rich period setting – one of Ireland’s finest prose stylists, John Banville, brings artistry to the craft of crime-writing, says Chris Moss.


News, arts and entertainment, and columnists Saskia Murphy and Roger Ratcliffe in the first of our bumper 48-page editions in the run-up to Christmas.