Osborne’s false prophet: why Jim O’Neill will never deliver a ‘northern powerhouse’

The economist entrusted with reviving the North is a Goldman Sachs B-teamer who spouts airline-lounge nonsense

England v New Zealand - 5th ODI Royal London One-Day Series 2015

Hallelujah! The England cricket team is fun again

4 July 2015

Few would have expected it before the start of the summer, but we have an Ashes worth looking forward to


If Putin comes, the Poles are waiting - a report from Nato's new frontline

4 July 2015

Nato’s Exercise Noble Jump was an impressive sight – and a deeply ominous one


The wonderful, vanishing world of the handwritten letter

4 July 2015

The people in your postbag as a newspaper columnist could not be more different from those who comment online

First he brought limp salad, and now it’s drizzling

The pitfalls of picnics (and how to avoid them)

4 July 2015

Drizzle, dressed salads and the failure to pack a spare gazebo – most of these are problems that can be solved


Greece’s secret weapon: Grexit would hurt Merkel most

27 June 2015

As soon as the decision is made, the €55 billion bill comes due. That’s why it keeps not happening


Why sport and sham morality go so well together

27 June 2015

When the profits of multinational corporations depend on an aura of Corinthian virtue, expect moral contortions

(Photo: REX Shutterstock)

The transatlantic flirtation behind Ukip’s sudden meltdown

Nigel Farage and his senior adviser were caught up by the glamour of the Tea Party – to the fury of some in their own party

Just say no (Photo: George W. Hales/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Customer surveys: just say no

27 June 2015

The customer-service questionnaire is a sign of a company that doesn’t trust its staff to care


The question my mother made me ask André Rieu

27 June 2015

He plays only the best bits, and he’s her favourite classical performer ever


Ten myths about Brexit

27 June 2015

The top scare stories about Britain leaving the EU — and how to answer them

Brugge: best not to call it Bruges

Woe betide you if you try to speak French in Flanders

27 June 2015

Dutch is a challenge, too – but one I’m getting better at


Welcome to Italy: this is what a real immigration crisis looks like

20 June 2015

With 50,000 boat people in just six months, and more to come, the politics of asylum here is becoming increasingly toxic

Women only: The Gift of Fire

Why is a festival of Israeli film fighting for censorship in London?

20 June 2015

The bid to ban men from seeing The Gift of Fire sets a very dangerous precedent indeed


The humiliation that turned Andy Burnham from Blairite to union man

20 June 2015

The former health secretary’s shift to the left wasn’t a purely cynical move; it’s more personal than that


‘Quitting is suffering’: Hon Lik, inventor of the e-cigarette, on why he did it

20 June 2015

His life-saving invention has always been designed to drive out cigarettes. Why can’t public health panjandrums see that?


My eco-home nightmare

20 June 2015

True, I’ve not turned on a radiator for two years – but in spring and summer it’s miserably, and sometimes dangerously, hot


Don’t tell me not to be scared of sharks

20 June 2015

It’s the fear that makes them so fascinating. If conservationists accepted that, they’d have a better chance of saving them

How very English: picnics at Glyndebourne

Country house picnics (with some ace opera attached)

20 June 2015

The English approach to opera and the open air betrays our national discomfort with the art form


2067: the end of British Christianity

13 June 2015

Projections aren't predictions. But there's no denying that churches are in deep trouble


Jonathan Portes, master of the political correction

13 June 2015

These days, when lefties are losing an argument, they nitpick until it looks as if they’ve won


Adultery websites should be as unacceptable as race-hate websites

13 June 2015

If we believe marriage is a social good, we must act on that belief


Why I love undertakers

13 June 2015

If you have seen your fair share of dead people, you’ll know what a relief it is to have the corpse removed

EU Arrest

We should celebrate Magna Carta by abolishing the European Arrest Warrant

13 June 2015

The European Arrest Warrant is incompatible with our traditions. If the only way to abolish it is to leave the EU, let’s leave

The Battle of Waterloo on 18th Juny 1815, 1816. Artist: Anonymous, 19th century

How the French won Waterloo (or think they did)

13 June 2015

Napoleon’s decisive defeat? Nonsense! It was a moral victory. Or at least a score draw…