Featured articles


Damian Thompson

The papal visit is in jeopardy

Damian Thompson reveals the turmoil behind the scenes in the preparations for Pope Benedict XVI’s keenly awaited visit to Britain — and how the trip has been hijacked by a Blairite cadre Last week, the Catholic Arch-bishops of England and Wales were summoned to a private meeting in London where they were given astonishing news

Don’t let fear spoil the World Cup

South Africa has all but bankrupted itself to stage a glorious World Cup, says Rian Malan. Shame that all foreigners can do is worry about the nation’s crime rates Here in Johannesburg, the most striking symptom of World Cup fever is a steady procession of taxis bringing foreign correspondents to my door in search of

No one outside England thinks we’ve got a prayer

Rod Liddle wouldn’t risk more than a tenner on the team getting beyond the group stage in the football World Cup. The truth is, we usually perform more or less exactly as well as might be expected given the size of the country Nobody outside of this country thinks that England stands a cat’s chance

‘His only vice is women’

Vittorio Sgarbi, the mayor of Salemi in Sicily, is a notorious philanderer who is obsessed with art, beauty — and the mafia. James Silver spends a day with him When Silvio Berlusconi was in trouble last year, accused of trysts with girls young enough to be his granddaughters, his former undersecretary for culture Vittorio Sgarbi

We need a compact with Muslim Middle England

Andrew Gilligan says the new coalition must reformulate our relationship with moderate Muslims — and marginalise the extremists for good One of the unsung heroes of this year’s election campaign was the Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, Jim Fitzpatrick. Alone in his party, Mr Fitzpatrick stood up before the election and said something that

The end of Israel?

Perhaps the least important aspect of Sunday night’s events in international waters off Israel is what actually happened. In the world in which Israel operates, the rights or wrongs of what Israel actually does are irrelevant. Reaction to Israeli behaviour is no longer governed by facts or by rational responses. The country is judged —

Where’s the gain in the capital gains tax?

The idea of ‘squeezing the rich’ may be politically attractive. But, says Arthur B. Laffer, it means less tax revenue — as the coalition may be about to learn the hard way Britain’s new coalition government has a simple mission: to walk the thin line separating huge deficits and political correctness. Just how can a