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Toby Young

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I swam up to a beautiful girl on the beach, and my life changed

1 November 2014

I’m writing this from Portugal, where I’m staying with my old friend Sean Langan. His family has owned a farm in the Algarve for several generations and I first came… Read more

Russell Brand addresses an anti-austerity rally in Parliament Square Photo: Getty

Russell Brand and Nigel Farage remind me of myself five years ago

25 October 2014

I’m often asked by other free school proposers what lessons I’ve learnt over the past five years. Any pearls of wisdom I can pass on so they don’t make the… Read more

The Walking Dead's father and son, Rick and Carl

I nearly missed out on The Walking Dead. You shouldn’t

18 October 2014

I’m ashamed to say it took me a while to watch an episode of The Walking Dead, the fifth season of which has just begun. I was put off by… Read more

Prime Minister David Cameron Meets With French Prime Minister Manuel Valls At Downing Street

You’ll regret not having a Human Rights Act when Labour get back in

11 October 2014

I’ve been thinking about the Conservative party’s proposal for a Bill of Rights and am finding it difficult to make up my mind. On the one hand, I like the… Read more

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What Nigel Farage really wants

4 October 2014

I initially thought Nigel Farage had made a mistake in unveiling Mark Reckless on the final day of his party conference. Wouldn’t it have been more disruptive to announce the… Read more

Toby

My hormones are all over the place. It must be the manopause

27 September 2014

Women spend ten days a year in a grumpy mood, according to the Daily Mail. The top triggers include being overweight, feeling undervalued, having a bad hair day, breaking a… Read more

Toby

My electrifying 'Führer Kontakt' with Alex Salmond

20 September 2014

It was just after the Tory party conference last year that I met Alex Salmond. Not alone, obviously, but as one of a group of about 15 people. The group… Read more

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When the Welsh go it alone, blame me

13 September 2014

Oh dear. I think I may have inadvertently contributed to the dissolution of Great Britain. I’m not claiming sole responsibility. In due course, when the blame game begins, I’ll play… Read more

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The lesson of the young men fighting for Isis: evil is in all of us

6 September 2014

I had an interesting discussion with my friend Aidan Hartley earlier this week about whether the young men fighting for the so-called Islamic State are psychopaths. (This was before the… Read more

We both want to democratise knowledge, Michael Rosen. The question is which knowledge...

30 August 2014

I first locked horns with Michael Rosen, the former children’s laureate, on Sky News about four years ago. We were debating the merits of trying to teach all children the… Read more

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The self-delusion that makes people go to festivals – me included

23 August 2014

I wouldn’t describe myself as a veteran of the summer festival circuit, but I’ve been to enough to have a theory about them. Or, rather, discuss someone else’s — in this… Read more

Former British Foreign Office minister Mark Simmonds Photo: AP/Getty

Mark Simmonds was just saying what a lot of MPs think

16 August 2014

I feel some sympathy for Mark Simmonds, the Conservative MP who’s resigned as a minister and is stepping down at the end of this Parliament because he can’t support his… Read more

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What’s the point in being married if I can’t feel superior to my single friends?

9 August 2014

I’m due to speak at an Intelligence Squared debate on Saturday and I’m worried that I might be on the wrong side. The motion is ‘Monogamy equals monotony’ and I’m… Read more

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Want to be a neglectful parent? Come to a festival and learn

2 August 2014

I spent last weekend at Port Eliot in Cornwall. This is supposed to be a literary and music festival and my reason for being there was to talk about my… Read more

Image: Getty

Do-gooders neglect their children. Just look at my dad – and me

26 July 2014

A few years ago, a family friend described my father as being a bit like Mrs Jellyby in Bleak House, by which he meant that he neglected his own family… Read more

Toby-Young

Cameron was right to move Gove

19 July 2014

I tried to reach Michael Gove on Tuesday shortly after the news broke that he’d been moved to the Whips’ Office. I’m quite relieved he never called back, because my… Read more

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow Photo: AFP/Getty

If John Bercow were two-and-a-half inches taller, he'd never have been such a big success

12 July 2014

Unlike 99 per cent of my colleagues, I was quite touched by John Bercow’s comment about how fed up he is with jokes about his height. ‘Whereas nobody these days… Read more

Helena Bonham-Carter attended Cameron's Cool Britannia party, along with,  Harvey Weinstein, Richard Curtis, Roger Daltrey and Eliza Doolittle

Accept it, embrace it: Conservatives aren’t cool

5 July 2014

The Times headline on Tuesday was rather cruel: ‘Stars turn down No. 10 invitation.’ This was a reference to the party the press dubbed ‘Cool Britannia II’, David Cameron’s attempt… Read more

David Cameron meets with students during the opening of the Perry Beeches III Free School

Do people really hate free schools – or do they just hate me?

28 June 2014

This isn’t a headline I was expecting to read: ‘Free schools could be a bigger negative for the Tories than Ed Miliband is for Labour.’ Given that Miliband’s net satisfaction… Read more

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It’s time to face down the greatest intellectual threat of our era (oh, and Ed Miliband)

21 June 2014

As you’re reading this, I will still be recovering from the dinner I’m due to attend this week to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Centre for Policy Studies, the… Read more

Toby

Yes, I compared Theresa May to an Israeli tank commander. Why is everyone so upset?

14 June 2014

I expect all of us have said something we regret at one time or another, but not everyone does so in front of 1.5 million people. That was my misfortune… Read more

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I used to think I was a Nietzschean superman. Now I know I'm just a dad

7 June 2014

In The Wolf of Wall Street, there’s a poignant shot towards the end in which we see an FBI agent going home on the subway. This law enforcement officer —… Read more

Education Secretary Michael Gove Speech On Education Reform

Michael Gove did not kill Of Mice and Men or To Kill A Mockingbird

31 May 2014

I suppose I should be grateful that the liberal intelligentsia doesn’t bother to check any of the facts if an opportunity presents itself to attack Michael Gove. They have a… Read more

Pulitzer Prizes winners proudly displayed in the New York Times building Photo: Getty

Chasing Pulitzers has ruined American journalists. That’s why they're edited by Brits

24 May 2014

I was interested to read a story by Michael Wolff in USA Today saying that Graydon Carter may be about to step down as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair. Carter has… Read more

Will I end up on the sofa with Holly Willoughby? Photo: Getty

The publicist who's doing her best to keep me off TV

17 May 2014

I went to a meeting at Penguin earlier this week to discuss ‘publicity opportunities’ for my forthcoming book. Chance would be a fine thing, I thought. It’s essentially a guide… Read more