Miriam Gross

Miriam Gross

“After only a few words, we were overcome by hilarity. Conversing in German seemed to us not only comical but also strangely liberating”

‘The Vidia Naipaul I knew was friendly, warm-hearted (not quite the same as kind-hearted), curious, responsive, humorous (and able to laugh at himself), convivial, mischievous, never hypocritical’

‘I’ve come to the conclusion that revolution is something you can’t make It’s a happening rather than a planned operation and attempts to force it don’t quite work out’

In 1984, 17 years after defecting from the Soviet Union,  Stalin’s daughter Svetlana agreed to give an interview for the Observer, explaining why she had become disillusioned with the West      

Dartington Hall’s sense of community and lack of condescension towards its students made for a welcoming atmosphere. But its emphasis on child-led learning let its pupils down

‘One of my most vivid memories, though, is the weekly visit from “the Arab with the eggs”, as we called him. The arrival on our doorstep of this mysterious figure never failed to thrill and terrify me. There he would stand, wrapped from head to toe in layers of what looked like grey blankets, his swarthy face barely visible beneath his Arab headdress’

This isn’t just any bureaucracy, this is M&S bureaucracy: Miriam Gross was told by the high street giant that she needn’t worry about her lost card. That’s when she should have started worrying.

Standpoint senior editor Miriam Gross tries seven times in vain to negotiate the hopeless beaurocracy of British Gas’s customer service department

British politicians anxious to combat juvenile obesity should learn from China, and rediscover an old dance