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One year on: how will the Ukraine war end?

In early October 2021 President Joe Biden, the CIA director William Burns and other top members of the US’s national security team gathered in the Oval Office to hear a disturbing briefing from US military chief General Mark Milley. ‘Extraordinary detailed’ intelligence gathered by western spy agencies suggested that Vladimir Putin might be planning to

Ukraine will not compromise

Among Ukrainians, there is little debate about how the war will end. The overwhelming consensus is that it cannot conclude until Russia has been fully repelled, and Ukraine’s borders are returned to the 1991 frontier when independence was declared after the Soviet Union collapsed. This means removing Russian troops from Crimea and the self-proclaimed republics

The dangerous myth of degrowth

Britain is beset by low productivity and stagnant growth, and things are not getting better. In the public sector, productivity stands at 7.4 per cent lower than it did before the pandemic. Until we can generate more growth in the economy, we cannot grow richer and real wages cannot grow. An uncontroversial statement, you might

Japan’s plans for an anti-China alliance

As the world’s attention focused last month on whether to send tanks to Ukraine, Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, was on a whistle-stop tour of the West. He held various meetings with G7 leaders, including Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden. His objective was clear: to create a new alliance that can counter China. Japan has

In praise of greyhound racing

I feel strangely and disproportionately elated when Number 2 dog, Ballyblack Bess, powers home strongly to win the 20.03 race. It’s a Monday evening in January in the greyhound stadium in Blackbird Leys, Oxford. I only won £9 but I’m pleased I came because an evening at the dogs is still great old-fashioned fun. The

Notes on...

Where to find the finest snowdrops 

Who does not love a snowdrop? The pure white of their pendulous petals may be chilly, but who cares when they flower in the chilliest months, often on their own, or accompanied only by hellebores and aconites. I grow a number of snowdrop species and cultivated varieties, as well as unnamed seedlings that seem to