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Its own opposition: Labour’s conference was all about in-fighting

As the Tories faced multiple crises this week, Keir Starmer’s party was busy in Brighton doing what it does best: arguing with itself. The Labour conference has been dominated by internal rows about rule changes, a shadow cabinet resignation and whether or not Tories can be called ‘scum’. Labour’s failure to focus on the chaos

‘Let prisoners work’: an interview with Dominic Raab

Whitehall is still adjusting to the government reshuffle. When I enter Dominic Raab’s new office and start to look around, he immediately points out that the art on the walls is not his choice but that of his predecessor. He was shifted from Foreign Secretary to Justice Secretary, a move widely seen as a demotion,

Why I became a writer

Whenever I give talks to children about my books they always ask who inspired me to be a writer. I don’t really think anyone did. I was playing complicated imaginary games inside my head before I could read, and as soon as I could write I filled many Woolworths notebooks with my wobbly printing. But

As COP26 looms, Glasgow is facing a waste crisis

In just a few weeks, Glasgow will be the focus of the world’s attention for the COP26 summit. For the Prime Minister, however, two major embarrassments await. Firstly, an environmental conference aimed at weaning the developed world off fossil fuels looks set to take place in the middle of a British energy crisis. Secondly, Glasgow

What will become of Jamaica’s Maroons?

Jamaican police entered farms in the village of Accompong in August to destroy ganja crops. The village chief, carrying a rifle, drove them away. ‘This is a gross disrespect and violation of Maroon territorial jurisdiction,’ said the chief, on his Instagram. Richard Currie talks a lot about sovereignty: he was elected colonel, or chief, on

The time is up for long films

‘Programme starts at 3.45, so the film will start at 4.15, and it’s two hours and 43 minutes long, so we’d be out just before 7 p.m.’ This is the No Time to Die calculation, and I think many of us are doing it and wondering: ‘Can I face it?’ A dark afternoon spent in

Will China’s ‘digital yuan’ reinvent money as we know it?

What’s behind China’s latest crackdown on crypto? For some time, Beijing has banned bitcoin and other cryptocurrency exchanges from operating within its borders. Last week, the Chinese Communist party extended the ban to criminalise anyone dealing in crypto. ‘Virtual currency-related business activities are illegal,’ declared the People’s Bank of China. The CCP would ‘resolutely clamp

Notes on...

The cult of Irn Bru

There aren’t many countries where Coca-Cola isn’t the most popular drink. Scotland is one of them. And unlike some of the others — such as North Korea or Cuba — it’s not because Coke isn’t sold. It’s because of the popularity of Irn Bru, Scotland’s ‘other national drink’. Few soft drinks have such a devoted