Featured articles


Why a no-deal Brexit is nothing to fear

Warnings by Remainers about the consequences of a ‘no deal’ Brexit are beginning to resemble a game of oneupmanship worthy of Monty Python’s Yorkshiremen. Not content with claims that the M20 to Dover will be gridlocked with lorries waiting to undergo customs checks and that the North Ireland peace process will break down, Doug Gurr,

How to be a Corbyn Jew

Being a Jew on the Corbyn left is soul- crushing. In the name of the cause, you must excuse racism in all but its extreme forms. The presence of a real Jew in its midst provides the left with cover. But stray from the party line, and you are not a comrade having a legitimate

En garde!

‘It could be argued that getting out of the office to beat up some leftists is a good way to work up an appetite for lunch,’ one of France’s more cynical millionaires tells me, admiring Alexandre Benalla, 26, a recently fired security aide to President Emmanuel Macron. Benalla had rushed from his office at the

Making China great again

Most reporting on Jeremy Hunt’s visit to China this week went little further than his slip of the tongue in describing his wife as Japanese rather than Chinese. Preoccupied by that trivial matter and any offence it might have given the new foreign secretary’s hosts (which seemed to be none), commentators missed the somewhat more

Brexit means Boris

A few months before he died in 2007, Bill Deedes asked if I would come to see him at his home in Kent and bring Boris Johnson along with me. I was writing a biography of Bill at the time, and I knew he was miserable because he had broken his hip and could no

Forever stumped

‘There can be no summer in this land without cricket’, wrote Neville Cardus, whose rhapsodic vision of the game lies at the heart of its mythology. Hardly a week goes by without somebody borrowing a phrase or two from Cardus to emphasise what cricket means to England — or used to mean, for the modern

A tale of two abbeys

Twenty years ago, Douai, a monastic boarding school in West Berkshire, shocked parents with an announcement that it was ‘no longer viable’. Pupil numbers had fallen through the floor — below 200 — and the sums didn’t add up. So four centuries of history were brought to an end and the boys were sent packing.


Holiday Notebook

Sharing a plate of oysters with a three-year-old: where could this be but France, where children are brought up not to be faddish. The fads are for adults. It’s a relief to be away from Cambridge, where summer is bad for the soul. I find myself getting constantly annoyed: with suicidal cyclists, psychopathic taxi drivers,

Notes on...

Two days in New York

In Britain I never drink cocktails, but on arrival in New York it has become a ritual that my first drink is a Manhattan. Sipping this year’s drink, I realised that my regular two-day forays to the Big Apple have become one long ritual. We stay on Fifth Avenue to allow for a saunter among