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Balls wants a 100 per cent tax on inherited brains

Irwin Stelzer admires the Schools Secretary, and so regrets that his admissions policy prevents schools from taking account of a pupil’s prospects of success. Bad news all round Seemingly alone among my acquaintances, I see virtues in Ed Balls. He certainly is not media-friendly, partly because he has the Brownian habit of trying to bury

Happy 60th birthday, Israel: well done for surviving

What would Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion have said if, on the day that he declared the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, he had known that six decades thence Israel would be encircled by its enemies, hopelessly outnumbered and fighting for its existence? He would surely have said: so what’s new?

Sorry, but family history really is bunk

When I visited the National Archives at Kew last week the place was full of them, scurrying about with their plastic wallets in hand, a look of eager concentration on their faces. It was impossible to escape their busy presence as they whispered noisily to relatives or whooped over the discovery of some new piece

Not even science fiction foresaw the end of fathers

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill seeks to end the child’s right to a father figure, writes John Patten, ignoring all sound research in its obsession with ‘discrimination’ ‘Down with Clause 14(2)(b)’ is hardly a snappy slogan. It is not even as succinct as ‘Abolish Clause 28 now!’, the phrase that so resonated back in

Strip clubs are a City girl’s sanctuary

Venetia Thompson, until recently a broker, says that the feminist Fawcett Society should not campaign to outlaw City outings to strip joints: they are harmless after-hour crèches It appears that women’s rights activists have hijacked the credit crunch. There could be no better time for the Fawcett Society, led by their director, Katherine Rake, to