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Hacked hack

As a former Sun editor, I didn’t see why voicemail hacking bothered celebrities – until it happened to me It was the kind of building George Smiley would have been happy to call home. Anonymous and bleak, it’s the home of Operation Weeting, where 60 officers flog themselves to death every day in the biggest Scotland

TRAVEL SPECIAL: Blue remembered hills

On a nostalgic return journey, Janice Warman wonders why the Eastern Cape is not thronged with tourists… The Eastern Cape has a bloody past: it’s where the English were settled to defend the frontier against the Xhosas in the 1820s, and where the terrible forced removals of the apartheid years happened. It’s the birthplace of

TRAVEL SPECIAL: Swimming With Sharks

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the best way to deal with a phobia is to tackle it head-on in the most extreme way possible. I countered my fear of heights by completing the world’s highest bungee jump and of snakes by trying to hunt down a mamba in Zambia. I’ve

TRAVEL SPECIAL:  Other animals

There’s more to South African wildlife than just the ‘big five’, says Taffeta Gray Anyone who has been on safari in South Africa will boast that there is nothing like seeing the ‘Big Five’. Even if you are in the bush yourself, thrilled at having just spotted one of the great beasts, you’re bound to

Plan B

On 9 May 2003 I was having dinner with Nigella Lawson, Charles Saatchi and Dominic Lawson at the Rib Room of the Carlton Tower Hotel when the subject of who would make a good leader of the Conservative party came up. Iain Duncan Smith was struggling and didn’t look as though he’d last the year.

‘There are no exits’

William Hague always knew the euro would go up in flames. But now he’s focused on the rescue operation Politicians normally have to wait for history to vindicate them. For William Hague, vindication has come early. All his dire predictions about the dangers of the euro, so glibly mocked at the time, have come to

George, you need a holiday

Why is it all going so wrong for George Osborne? Only 16 months ago, the poor guy entered the Treasury full of sound principles and good intentions. He would put in order the dodgy public finances inherited from Gordon Brown’s regime, stand back and let market forces do the rest. The Office for Budget Responsibility

Gay rites

Gay marriage will never jeopardise straight marriage. But it can provoke political divorce. In America a new generation of Republicans is challenging the traditional consensus of their party on gay marriage. They — as well as some of the GOP old guard like Dick Cheney — are coming out in favour. In Britain the subject is

A Press Lord’s Notebook

My day started with a bang — or rather, a right hook and a left-right jab combination. A friend in Moscow rang me excitedly, revealing my father had punched someone live on Russian television. I don’t condone violence, but I couldn’t help but find the video clip amusing. Eventually, I got through to my father.