Bryn Frere-Smith

Race Matters

I chose to study Religious Education as one of my GCSE’s at high school, partly because I liked the kind, motherly nature of Mrs Stewart, but mainly because I knew it was one of my best chances of getting an A. And I was right. I can’t say, however, that I remember much from that […]

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It’s my birthday this week and I am turning 34. 34! It’s funny isn’t it, you spend most of your childhood wanting to be older, to be allowed on the bigger ride at the theme park, to watch a higher age movie at the cinema, to learn to drive, to get served in a pub,

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A couple of years ago, I started an online course on the issues of global terrorism with St Andrews University. My job at the time involved sitting in a hotel corridor, looking after a Middle Eastern dignitary, who was visiting the capital for an indefinite period. The days turned into weeks, which soon became months

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Few topics have the capacity to create more contention than the issue of immigration. The mere mention of it loads a room with an uncomfortable air of fear, anger, bitterness and upset. It has, wrongly, become a subject which ‘polite society’ now collectively avoids, in fear of ruining a perfectly good dinner party. Borders, however,

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The year of the Bear

I have never been very good at keeping things short. If someone asks me to give a ten-minute talk, I will always do over fifteen and if I’m asked to keep it under 500 words, I’ll usually write double. This characteristic spills over to my buying habits too. My wardrobe and fridge will attest to

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Boy’s don’t cry

Well it’s true, isn’t it? At least in the UK it is, where centuries of patriarchal programming has instilled upon us British men an inherited predisposition to stifle one’s emotions. Whether it’s the fallout from our stiff-upper-lip wartime conditioning or a deeply entrenched view from generations of Fathers explaining to their sons that crying is for

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This time last year, I managed to get a mortgage on a small two-bed flat in a suburb of south London, known for its reasonable rail links and prolific knife crime. There are a fair few things I dislike about the area. The rubbish for example, that collects outside my block every morning, picked at

Characters Read More »

What does evil look like?

Robert Kraft and Jeffrey Epstein. Do either of those names mean anything to you? It’s possible that the English amongst us may not have heard of these men before, but for those following along in the US, I’m confident their notoriety hasn’t escaped you. For those unaware, let me give you a quick update. Robert

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The Way

A couple of weeks ago I decided to swap the litter-strewn pathways of central London for the rolling cornfields of the Spanish Pyrenees. A few days had become free in my work schedule and, in a last-minute burst of spontaneity, I booked a flight to Bilbao, took a bus to Pamplona and joined the steady

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Luck be a lady

I can say with some confidence that luck has never been much of a lady to me. Unless that lady is my secondary school music teacher who hated me with the red hot passion of a thousand suns! In fact, I have recently become convinced that I may be one of the least lucky men

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