Featured articles


Opportunity has stopped knocking: who will be its new champion?

Here’s a conundrum as we leave the Blair years behind us. Never has so much faith been placed in the idea of a society open to social mobility; never have so many politicians’ speeches been delivered in praise of a more classless society and the need to promote ability, regardless of background. Yet their rhetoric

‘They know the extent of our reach’

John Grieve, the long-time head of the Metropolitan Police’s Anti-Terrorist Squad, observed shortly after the conviction of the IRA men who bombed South Quay in 1996: ‘It’s great — but every time we have one of these long trials, we give the men of violence a free masterclass on how we go about protecting the

A slum for half a million

It was pretty barmy ten years ago but now it’s downright insane. When I last dabbled in the London property market, prices were rocketing and there were half a dozen buyers for every property. These days it’s a whole lot worse but I’ve got no choice. My wife and I have a toddler nearing his

Cameron is taking on Brown

Nothing much is certain in British politics these days, but assuming that the next general election will pit Gordon Brown against David Cameron, we can be sure of one thing: its result will be a referendum on rebranding. Can the slick young pretender convince the cynics out there that the Conservatives are no longer a

A Parisian interlude

Paris, 1 May Between two rounds of a presidential election, the city seems untypically calm. But from my observatory, two floors above the campaign headquarters of Ségolène Royal, there is a clear view of the frantic efforts underway. I have been staying in this building, with my host, a celebrated surrealist sculptor, on occasional visits

The visit

I wish to write about a place of which I know everything yet nothing, where everything is familiar yet strange, a place where I feel I go too often, but never quite enough. This place is the same for everyone, only different. It is called, of course, Home — not the Home where you now