A RECORD audience enjoyed the Grassington and District Peace Group and Skipton Quakers’ 13th annual public lecture in the Judi Dench Drama Studio at Skipton Girls High School.

The Guardian’s parliamentary sketch-writer John Crace was the attraction in conversation with chairman for the evening Mike Vineall from Threshfield.

John Crace’s daily column in the Guardian covers not just parliamentary proceedings but also party conferences, press briefings, public events like the Queen’s funeral and public inquiries.

That very day he had been attending the Covid Inquiry in London before rushing to get the train to Skipton in time for the talk. His daily column in the Guardian is rich in satirical writing, wit and withering scorn for the foibles and hypocrisy of the politicians.

For Guardian readers the daily John Crace columns are light relief in a diet of mostly grim news though John admitted sometimes straight reporting of actual events has required little wit to both amaze and appal.

The audience enjoyed the mockery whilst deploring the results which have wrecked so many people’s lives and the public services they rely on. As Shakespeare showed, tragedy and farce often go hand in hand.

John Crace is on a national book tour to promote his latest book, 'Depraved New World – Please Hold – The Government Will Be with You Shortly' featuring many of his Guardian columns from October 2021 onwards.

Signed copies sold out at the event which ended with hot drinks and delicious treats provided by Skipton Quakers which were much appreciated. Thanks were expressed to the school for use of their excellent venue and for the caretaker’s personal help especially at the event.

Richard Hargreaves

 Grassington and District Peace Group