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Kate Andrews

How the Tories gave up on liberty

Rishi Sunak stood glowering over a school table and listed, with disdain, the flavours of the vapes that lay on the table in front of him. ‘Grapefruit,’ the Prime Minister declared. ‘Bubblegum. Strawberry. Berry Burst.’ Pupils at Haughton Academy were then invited to express their own disgust: ‘Bright colours,’ observed one student. ‘Appealing to younger

The insanity of banning vape flavours

Nicotine may have some deleterious and costly health effects, but so do winter sports, mountaineering, motorcycling and many other activities we leave to personal choice. (I have never been asked to work on a government anti-skiing campaign, though if the opportunity arose I would happily volunteer my services for free.) But it is absurd that vaping

Your country needs you, Gen Z

Gen Z doesn’t look like it wants to fight for Britain, but last week, General Sir Patrick Sanders, the Chief of the General Staff, said we might have to. He suggested that people my age should be prepared to join a ‘civilian army’ in case we go to war with Russia. But could we handle

Don’t believe Emirati promises of editorial freedom

Should the Emirati government be allowed to buy The Spectator and the Daily Telegraph? The government is considering this important question and has hinted that it may allow the sale if promises are made about editorial independence. Fine words, but what would this mean in practice? Assurances of editorial freedom mean nothing when they come

The grim life of a Roman legionary

Over the heather the wet wind blows, I’ve lice in my tunic and a cold in my nose. The rain comes pattering out of the sky, I’m a Wall soldier, I don’t know why. The mist creeps over the hard grey stone, My girl’s in Tungria; I sleep alone. W.H. Auden was right. Life for

Why European farmers are revolting

Dixmont, Yonne I am writing these words from my house in Burgundy. If I look over my shoulder out of the window I can see the house of my neighbour, a cereal farmer. If I look out to my right, across the fields, I can see the buildings of a cattle farmer. There is a

Biden’s Iran policy has backfired

Nine years ago, Barack Obama, with his vice president Joe Biden at his side, announced the Iran nuclear deal. Ayatollah Khamenei’s regime would not enrich weapons-grade uranium for 15 years. The US would lift economic sanctions in return. It was ‘historic’, said Obama. The Iranians had been close to developing their first nuke: this agreement

Why are politicians so ignorant about history?

The news over the weekend that Russell Group universities are letting in students from overseas on lower grades than home students has provoked understandable fury. Having been the proud vice-chancellor for five years of the university Margaret Thatcher helped found, Buckingham, I wince at the story. The fact that undercover journalists for the Sunday Times

Notes on...

Could prayer cure a sore throat? 

This Saturday, go to London’s oldest Catholic church, St Etheldreda’s in Ely Place, Holborn, and you will find a gathering of singers, along with actors, announcers and other public speakers, who have come to have their throats blessed. Two crossed candles are held up by the priest and either these or a piece of wick