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Jonathan Miller

Macron’s last adventure: the President vs the public

Montpellier Every generation or so, French politics is decided on the streets. The May 1968 unrest in Paris spread worldwide; Jacques Chirac’s welfare reform agenda was ended with the 1995 disturbances. The spirit of revolt is so alive in French society that a special police force exists for such occasions, specialising in crowd control. Now

Fear and loathing in New Zealand

The mob lunged towards me, screeching and grabbing, and I knew that if I fell I would never get up. I’ve stopped expecting mercy from anyone whose motto is ‘Be kind’ but the event last week was terrifying. I was sure in that moment, on the New Zealand leg of my ‘Let Women Speak’ tour,

What David Attenborough’s ‘Wild Isles’ doesn’t tell you

It is not just Gary Lineker, apparently, who has fallen victim to sinister right-wing forces at the BBC. A follow-up programme to David Attenborough’s BBC1 series Wild Isles, focusing on the decline of UK wildlife, will not be shown on terrestrial television but only made available on iPlayer. ‘The decision has angered the programme-makers and

A toast to the old man pub

I’ve always preferred ‘old man pubs’ to bars, old man pubs being the kind decked out in mahogany and offering up a gin and tonic to anyone clueless enough to ask for a cocktail. Having just moved to Glasgow, I find myself surrounded by these sorts of places, Scotland practically being the home of pubs

The decline and fall of urban America

They’re calling it ‘revenge travel’: the desire to make up for the touring opportunities we all lost when we were locked down in our pandemical homes. As a keen professional traveller, I confess I’ve got a fearsome case of this bug: I’ve spent the past 20 months going just about anywhere I can, playing catch

David Kezerashvili: ‘Georgia is a proxy of the Russian state’

David Kezerashvili knows better than most what standing up to Russia entails. He helped to overthrow the Kremlin-aligned Georgian government during the 2003 Rose Revolution. Then he served as Georgia’s defence minister for two years including when Russia invaded in 2008. He eventually fled to London in 2012 when the Kremlin-backed Georgian Dream government accused

Getting a job after 50 is easier said than done

I am fed up with the government claiming that half a million professionals aged over 50 are reluctant to get back to work. They make it sound like we’re all on cruises, gardening or watching telly. But have they actually tried getting a job after the age of 50? I’m not doing nothing, I hasten

Notes on...

The new age of sleeper trains

It’s a fabulous combination: travelling by train and sleeping. And the good news is that the concept of sleeper trains is being revived. The bad news is that, like trams and trolleybuses, a wonderful form of travel was allowed to decline in the first place. The first sleeper carriages – as opposed to trains you