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Time to tax the tech giants

As Labour’s election pledge suggests, digital technology is no longer seen as a luxury. Rolling out broadband for all has been likened to the great Victorian projects to provide clean water, or the building of the electricity national grid. For disabled people especially, technology can be a great liberator. All my life it has played a major role in giving me independence. I was born with muscular dystrophy, which causes severe muscle weakness in all my limbs rendering me quadriplegic and in a wheelchair. Yet by adopting the rapidly developing digital technology I have seen over my life time, I have been able to go from a small village in west Wales, first to university in Scotland, then a long career at the BBC. Currently, my personal campaign is to highlight the case for as many physical...

Modern gravestones – why so deadly dull?

Whenever I get the chance, I love to wander around old churchyards. I don’t have a macabre or Gothic fascination with graveyards, but I am intrigued by the inscriptions on old gravestones that tell so much about the past. I get special delight from finding odd and eccentric memorials such as the one in Brightling, Sussex where Mad Jack Fuller had himself entombed in a pyramid. Inside, so it is rumoured, his corpse is seated in a chair with a glass of wine in his skeletal hand. More normally squires, indeed generations of squires, are laid to rest in grand ancestral vaults with achievements and decorations listed. By contrast one might find a sad row of children’s graves with mawkish Victorian inscriptions. Search around in the long grass at the end of the churchyard that is left to nature ...