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American meltdown: a democratic disaster

Tuesday night’s debate between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden was a hopeless mess — a national embarrassment. For 90 minutes, two cantankerous and incoherent old men ignored the rules, shouted over each other and ruined the event. Trump insulted Biden’s intelligence and his children. Biden told Trump to ‘shut up’ and called him ‘a

Covid, lockdown and the economics of valuing lives

How much should we pay to save life? The question is often viewed as distasteful: you can’t put a price on human life. But resources are finite. Even if the only purpose of life was to prolong it for as long as possible, there would be limits to healthcare affordability. So if resources are limited,

Let men have their boys’ clubs

Taken to the Garrick Club one evening, I was surprised when a mouse ran across the carpet. I squeaked and pulled my legs up. Not a murmur from the other armchairs. My host leaned over. ‘No one minds the mice,’ he explained. ‘It’s the women they don’t want.’ It made me laugh then and it

BBC sports coverage is becoming unwatchable

Back when I was a kid, just before the internet flattened the world, I spent my Saturday afternoons listening to live football on the radio. The signal came and went, voices bobbed up above the waves of static and sank back down into their crackly depths, but the experience was always magical. I clung to

The fall of Golden Dawn

Next week, the biggest Nazi-related trial since Nuremberg will come to a close. Following the murder of Greek musician Pavlos Fyssas by a member of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn seven years ago, the entire leadership and dozens of members were charged under counter-terrorism legislation with running an organised crime syndicate. The case file, which


Bas Javid: Why I joined the police

There’s no such thing as a typical week in policing and this last one was no different. It started on a high and ended, tragically, on the lowest of lows. I’ve been asked recently why I joined the police — what or who inspired me. My first answer is: Lieutenant Carl Downing. He was my

Notes on...

Box clever: the surprising history of signal boxes

Petersfield signal box is in the wrong place. Or at least it is now. When it was built in the 1880s, it was in precisely the right place, near the tracks and next to the level crossing that the signalman controlled. It had to be. Signal boxes had a series of big levers which controlled