Featured articles


Rising credulity

The truth about sea levels? They’re always fluctuating It has now become traditional for climate change summits to open with a new, dazzling prediction of impending catastrophe. The UN Climate Conference under way in the South African coastal town of Durban is no exception. This year’s focus is on a familiar and certainly arresting argument:

The trick Osborne missed

The politically mobile American entrepreneur is a species which has no real equivalent in British politics. We tend to separate the moneymakers from the policy­makers at an early age. And that is what Steve Forbes, the publishing billionaire and former presidential candidate, thinks has gone wrong in Britain: our political class has lost its sense

Revolution or civil war?

Homs, Syria Hassan the smuggler got on his motorbike and disappeared up a dirt track that led from Lebanon into Syria. He did not return and an hour or so after nightfall we heard long, echoing bursts of automatic fire. Hassan had been captured by a Syrian Army patrol, said one of the villagers. No,

A new chapter

 ‘Dear Heywood, I hear Mollie is leaving at the end of next week, in which case so am I. Yours ever, Nancy.’ So wrote my ever-direct aunt, Nancy Mitford, to her employer Heywood Hill, the founder of the famous Mayfair bookshop, on 17 May 1944. Whether or not Nancy’s threat had some effect, she continued

Waiting for Dr Nasty

David Starkey is no longer quite as eager to show off his bitchy side, but he can be persuaded …  ‘I don’t think I could have been Dr Fluffy,’ says David Starkey, poised behind a hake. ‘No. Absolutely not Dr Fluffy.’ He takes a sip of wine. He looks like an evil Professor Yaffle. I

Rough treatment

If anyone needed persuading of the deep moral disarray of modern British society, the latest figures on assaults against National Health Service staff should be more than sufficient to convince him. It is not so much their overall number — though 57,830 in a year seems quite a lot to me — that is alarming,