02/04/2022
2 Apr 2022

Biden’s war

2 Apr 2022

Biden’s war

Columnists

Columns
James ForsythJames Forsyth
The three stumbling blocks to a Ukraine peace deal

A month in, and the war in Ukraine looks very different to how anyone expected. On the first day of the invasion, western intelligence sources believed that Kyiv would fall to Russian forces within 72 hours, underestimating the Ukrainians’ ability to defend their territory and overestimating the Russian military’s capabilities. Among Vladimir Putin’s many errors was his underestimation of western unity. He did not predict the severity of the sanctions against Russia or that his act of aggression would snap Europe (most notably Germany) out of its complacency over defence spending.

The three stumbling blocks to a Ukraine peace deal
Rod Liddle
I’m taking in a Ukrainian

Delighted though we all are that Benedict Cumberbatch has decided to allow a Ukrainian family to live in one of his houses, did he have to trumpet this to the entire population of the country? Surely these sorts of decision are best kept to oneself, no? But then, they’re always doing it, the luvvies – proclaiming their saintliness in order to protect and advance the brand, one supposes. Benedict should know that there are more than 100,000 ordinary people in this country, people who have never received a Bafta, who have offered their homes to Ukrainian refugees and they don’t go bragging about it on national media.

I’m taking in a Ukrainian
Douglas Murray
How should Prince William respond to questions about slavery?

It is uncanny how swiftly British culture imitates the worst of American culture. Take Whoopi Goldberg, who distinguished herself again last week on The View. For anyone who does not know, The View is a long-running US TV show in which a collection of the dimmest women in America are invited to opine angrily on things they know nothing about. Goldberg is a long-term resident of this asylum, though she recently had to take a break from the show after declaring that the Holocaust had nothing to do with race, was some white-on-white thing, and in any case (as a woman of colour) didn’t concern her.

How should Prince William respond to questions about slavery?
Matthew Parris
In defence of healthy opposition

Glasses chinked. From massive chandeliers, lights glittered beneath the high vaulted ceiling; heroic statuary around the carved stone walls stared eyelessly down; heraldic flags draped from brass rods; and a sense of history and of – how shall I say? – consequence hung in the air. We were dining at the Guildhall in the City of London, and from my place at the top table, flanked by judges, eminent barristers, our host Lord Grabiner QC of One Essex Court chambers, and the justice minister Lord Wolfson of Tredegar, one could survey the whole hall: perhaps 400 of the brightest and best in the English legal world.

In defence of healthy opposition
Lionel Shriver
How to avoid heating your house

Spring commonly augers a quickening warmth, but for Britons this year the season coincides with a chilling marker: a 54 per cent rise in the energy price cap, bringing the average annual bill to nearly £2,000. By the next increase this autumn, that average will soar to £3,000. Thus what was, until recently, my annoying eccentricity could soon become standard practice: refusal to switch on the heating. Our gas-fired combi boiler functions pretty much as a water heater only.

How to avoid heating your house
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