1. In the early years of the 21st century, the inevitability of an ever more competitive, deregulated, internationally orientated market economy, to which both government and society were subordinate – a doctrine often called neoliberalism – was accepted right across the mainstream of British politics: from the Thatcherites who still dominated the Conservative party; to the increasingly pro-business Liberal Democrats, who would soon form a coalition government with the Tories; to the Scottish National party, whose then leader Alex Salmond praised Ireland and Iceland for their low corporate taxes; to the Blair cabinet itself, where, I was told by a senior Labour figure in 2001, “You won’t find a single member with anything critical to say about capitalism.”
  2. Perhaps it’s art appreciation, bread baking, five-a-side football, astronomy, philately, writing erotic fan-fiction, playing soldiers from the comfort of your couch in Call of Duty, metal-detecting, larping, running, playing darts, keeping goldfish, reading up on Middle East politics, cabinet making, restoring old hi-fi equipment, learning Russian, amateur dramatics, pickling vegetables, cultivating cacti, knitting, learning the clarinet, free climbing, standup comedy, philosophy evening classes, caravanning, consulting the tarot, fly-fishing, yoga, DJing, making ceramic Toby jugs, designing your own clothes, photographing vintage American diners for your Instagram feed, following college athletics, floristry, collecting true-crime books, racing 1970s muscle cars, or watching old silent films.
  3. This article was amended on 19 October 2018 to clarify that: Ipso was not asked to adjudicate on the whole Times series, only the third article, which was the subject of the Ipso upheld complaint; Ipso specified that its adjudication about the third article be published on page six or further forward in the paper – the Times was not compelled by Ipso to use page one; Ipso did not uphold a complaint by Miqdaad Versi about a Sun article published on 1 December 2016 - Ipso found that paraphrasing in the article was not “significantly misleading” and welcomed the newspaper’s offer during the Ipso process to amend the article; and the Sun was not forced to correct a 4 December 2016 article about which Miqdaad Versi complained - the Sun corrected that article and apologised as part of an Ipso mediation process.
  4. Heywood has been so central to British government for so long that few of its most contentious modern episodes have not involved him: the Iraq war and its aftermath; the hasty formation of the coalition; the Conservatives’ encouragement of Rupert Murdoch’s abortive bid for BSkyB; the News of the World phone-hacking scandal and Cameron’s employment of its former editor Andy Coulson; the alleged gagging of ministers over airport expansion and the EU referendum; the row over British plans to restrict benefits for EU migrants; the Plebgate affair that ruined the government chief whip Andrew Mitchell; the government’s refusal to release official papers on the treatment of trade unionists and other Tory foes during the 1970s and 1980s; the attempted silencing of the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.
  5. So, in one typical two-week period last September, Armitage did the following, and more: worked on a dramatised version of the Raft of the Medusa for Radio 4 (broadcast in April and now in development at the National Theatre); worked on a translation of the medieval poem Pearl (now finished); went to an exhibition by someone who is painting his portrait; met musicians with whom he may collaborate on a spoken-word project; appeared on Radio 3; led a poetry writing workshop at the Wakefield literary festival; had meetings at the Liverpool Everyman theatre to discuss a dramatisation of The Odyssey (it will transfer to Shakespeare’s Globe in London in November); did interviews about a film he had made for the Culture Show; met his new students (he is professor of creative writing at Sheffield); wrote notes for one poem, began another, finished yet another; and did a reading, with the poet Jamie McKendrick, in Modena, Italy.