In British politics, the Europe question always comes to embody the problems that a Prime Minister faces. So Gordon Brown will fly back from Lisbon with a treaty that emphasises that he is scared of putting things to the country and that he spins just as much as his predecessor ever did. With the ratification process expected to run for six months, Mr. Brown faces prolonged trouble over this document and maybe even his first large scale Labour rebellion.
Inheritance tax is one levy that makes good economic sense
An interview with Monica Ali
The Muslims’ letter to the Pope is not all it seems
Public bodies have no role in historical disputes
Sir John Bourn and the Al Yamamah inquiry
The reaction to the latest drinking survey is hysterical
Hammer’s 1958 Dracula is being re-released
Tony Blair promised a referendum on the EU constitution to defeat 'Eurosceptic myths'. Is Gordon Brown afraid of such a contest?
Sun columnist Jane Moore on her week
Stephen Pollard on the Lib Dem leadership race
Tamzin Lightwater's take on the week
It is in listening to other people talk that you learn to appreciate silence. What higher praise of a man could there be than that he is taciturn?
Charles Moore on what really did for Ming Campbell
This is a column about the reform of the House of Lords. I have a hunch it might not look like one, probably until pretty much the end, but that… Read more
Recently I managed to get hold of a copy of Alone by Norman Douglas. This series of essays about Italian towns at the time of the first world war was… Read more
Martin Jacomb says the crisis that led to the first run on a British bank since 1866 should have been foreseen, but that apportioning blame is less important than learning lessons
Judi Bevan learns the distinctive philosophy of the Pret a Manger chain from its founder, Julian Metcalfe
Gordon Brown can’t stop himself from meddling, even with his own good ideas. Soon after he moved into No 11 Downing Street, he introduced one of the best pro-growth capital… Read more
The concentrated aroma of — how shall I put it — deep piggy doo-doo that wafts through your car window as you motor up the A1 through North Yorkshire is,… Read more
Over the past 20 years or so, I have found myself almost continuously on the client side of building contracts, large and small, domestic, corporate and charitable, in four different countries: Britain, France, Hong Kong and Japan. It is an activity in which optimism is rarely justified by experience: builders the world over tend habitually to under-estimate the time required for any task, to have trouble with supply chains, to misread architects’ plans, and to fall off ladders and take time off to recover
P. J. Kavanagh
Doris Lessing was last week awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Philip Hensher traces the career of ‘one of the greatest novelists in English’.
Robert Gore-Langton on why a Sixties satire on the first world war still has enduring power
Exhibitions 1: Louise Bourgeois
Exhibitions 2: Paula Rego
Theatre: Shadowlands; Cat’s-Paw; Glengarry Glen Ross
Opera: King Arthur; Teseo
Dance: Giselle — on love and other difficulties; Shaker
Alan Howard's 70th Birthday (Radio 4), Words and Music (Radio3)
Heroes (BBC 2), The Relief of Belsen (Channel 4)
‘You’re joking, right?’ The person on the other end of the phone was Grub Smith, a sports-loving friend of mine who I was hoping might get me out of a… Read more