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Guardian journalist Simon Hoggart dies at age of 67

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Simon Hoggart, the veteran Guardian journalist, has died at the age of 67 after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer, the British newspaper said on Monday.

Hoggart joined the daily straight from university in 1968, spent 12 years working for its sister Sunday paper The Observer, and for the past 20 years wrote the Guardian’s witty and waspish parliamentary sketch.

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He also penned 20 books and anthologies, including several collections of ’round-robin’ letters that poked fun at the often interminable missives families sent to friends and relatives each Christmas giving updates on their achievements.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said: “Simon was a terrific reporter and columnist -? and a great parliamentary sketchwriter.

“He wrote with mischief and a sometimes acid eye about the theatre of politics. But he wrote from a position of sophisticated knowledge and respect for parliament.

“A daily reading of his sketch told you things about the workings of Westminster which no news story could ever convey. He will be much missed by readers and his colleagues.”

Hoggart’s final dispatch from the House of Commons was published on December 5, the day after finance minister George Osborne’s upbeat autumn economic statement.

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He described Prime Minister David Cameron as smiling “like the Cheshire cat after a large sherry” and remarked on the surprisingly cheerful lawmaker Andrew Tyrie, “a man who smiles as often as an undertaker whose budgie has just died”.

Hoggart fought cancer for three and a half years before complications and another round of chemotherapy in December finally forced him to give up his regular columns.

He died in a London hospital on Sunday, the newspaper said.

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Woman known for racist rants is finally arrested after assaulting Muslim woman and Black teen

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A North Carolina woman known for her racist rants that were captured on video is being accused of attacking a 14-year-old and ripping the hijab off an another woman, the Citizen Times reports.

Rachel Dawn Ruit first received notoriety when she was caught on video yelling racial slurs and threatening people in downtown Asheville. But on July 4, her threats turned physical when she ripped off the hijab from a woman and attacked the 14-year-old, who is Black.

Ernesta Carter witnessed Ruit attack the girl after saying she needed to be "put down" and if she fought back "she would be raped." Ruit then grabbed the girl by the groin, Carter said. When Carter started running towards the altercation, that's when Ruit targeted Nahlah Karimah who was the woman wearing the hijab.

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WATCH: Doctor laughs at Trump’s bizarre boast about passing a cognitive test

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Arthur Caplan of New York University School of Medicine, who holds seven honorary degrees from colleges and medical schools, couldn't help but chuckle when discussing President Donald Trump's recent comments about passing a cognitive test.

"I actually took one very recently when, you know, the radical left was saying, 'Is he all there? Is he all there?' I proved I was all there, because I aced it,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night. “I aced the test... I took it at Walter Reed Medical Center in front of doctors and they were very surprised. They said, ‘That’s an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anyone do what you just did.'"

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Venice completes first test of all flood barriers

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Venice's long awaited flood defense system designed to protect the lagoon city from damaging waters during high tides on Friday survived a first test of its 78 barriers.

The massive infrastructure project known as MOSE, which relies on sluice gates that can be raised to protect the city's lagoon during high tides, has been underway since 2003, but has been plagued by cost overruns, corruption scandals and delays.

The complex engineering system uses a network of water-filled caissons, designed to be raised within 30 minutes to create a barrier capable of resisting a water rise of three meters (10 feet) above normal.

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