Featured articles


The Asbo swan of Cambridge: a fable for our time

A swan won’t take your eye out, says Rod Liddle. So why the health and safety paranoia? Never mind hung parliaments and the ending of the two-party dominance of British politics (a notion I seem to remember being mooted in about 1982) — here’s the important question of the week: was the BBC right to

What did Nick Clegg get up to at Cambridge?

I am not sure that I quite envy James Delingpole, cast as a teddy bear-carrying social climber in When Boris Met Dave, Channel 4’s drama-documentary about the future Tory leader’s time at Oxford. But I do feel a bit peeved that my generation is about to seize power and I can’t even claim a bit

For true democracy, bring back ostracism

Among the many complaints I have heard about this unsatisfactory election is this one: it is impossible for the general public to get rid of a thoroughly unpleasant, or corrupt, or dangerous politician if he (or she) sits in a safe party seat or in the Lords. Such people can thumb their noses at us,

Welcome to the Age of Irrationality

It is a truth universally acknowledged that reason and religion are mortal foes. Reason deals a death blow to religion; religion is clearly irrationality on stilts. If only religion didn’t exist, reason would rule the world and there would be no more wars, tyrannies or murderous hatreds. It follows therefore that religious people are either

HMS Albion to the rescue

Stanley Johnson was a volcano victim — stranded in Spain with thousands of other British holidaymakers. Fortunately, the Royal Navy was on hand to bring him home in style Last week was quite extraordinary. My wife Jenny and I landed at Madrid airport on Monday afternoon, having flown overnight from Ecuador. We should have had

The cure for calling in sick

Asking NHS staff to call a medical hotline — rather than their boss — when they feel ill has cut ‘sickies’ by a quarter. Martin Vander Weyer meets the man behind the scheme It’s Monday morning and you’re feeling a bit below par. Maybe it was last night’s kebab, maybe it’s the bug that’s going

Notes from a war zone

When Winston Churchill, as a young cavalry officer, found himself fighting the fierce tribesmen who inhabited the imposing mountainous terrain that defined the Indian empire’s northern border, he provided a graphic account of the brutality of the enemy the British force encountered. When Winston Churchill, as a young cavalry officer, found himself fighting the fierce