Portraits of our mothers

Over a number of years, the artist, Franklyn Rodgers, photographed his mother Loretta and her close circle of friends, building up an extraordinary series of large-scale portraits. The size and grandiosity of the works combine with a remarkable intimacy, achieved by the artist’s close relationships with these women.

Whose mythical past?

This month, scientists unveiled a reconstruction of the face of Cheddar Man, who died around 9,000 years ago, and whose skeleton was found in a cave in Somerset in 1903. DNA analysis has now revealed that ‘the earliest known Briton’ – part of a population from which modern white Britons are thought to descend – probably had dark to black skin and blue eyes.

Who speaks for Muslims?

The announcement yesterday that the government has chosen Sara Khan as the Lead Commissioner for its new Counter-Extremism agency has provoked predictable condemnation from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and one of its most high profile allies, Conservative peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.

Thomas Sowell lives!

I read a tweet the other day from Andrew Neil which saddened me. It said “Mr Sowell was a great man. His death a great loss”.

Thankfully, after a quick check, I established that reports of Thomas Sowell’s death have been greatly exaggerated.  Aged 87, he has merely retired from writing to focus on his hobby of photography.