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The misguided priorities of church authorities

This has been a tough year for everyone. Death, mental collapse, grief, unemployment. In my church we’ve lost people to Covid — one of the earliest victims was a regular at our 9 a.m. Communion. We’ve lost people to mental health — one of the homeless men who came to our services, and who used

Secrets of the Vaccine Taskforce’s success

Until a few weeks ago, the government’s track record on Covid was one of repeated failure. The death toll, the depth of the recession, the public disapproval of the government: Britain’s figures were among the worst in the world. But with vaccines, things have changed. The UK is now on track to be the first

Stresses and strains: the evolution of Covid is not random

In the genetic diaspora of an epidemic, there is ferocious competition between strains of virus to get to the next victim first. That leads to apparently purposeful outcomes, as if the virus had a mind. One of the things people find hardest to grasp about evolution is that it appears purposeful but the mutations on

Why I joined the online army taking on the hedge funds

I spent most of last week drenched in sweat, launching a vicious assault on Wall Street hedge funds which cost them $20 billion. Along with thousands of other ‘degenerates’, I bought shares in GameStop, a struggling videogame shop whose value has recently soared by 2,000 per cent. Behind the surge is an online community called

The power of cold showers

Hippocrates prescribed it to allay lassitude, James Bond favoured it as a token of his manliness, and in less indulgent times Gordonstoun school insisted on it: the cold shower. And now it’s having a moment with the wellness brigade. (The very word ‘wellness’ used to send me screaming from the room: a Californian import, I

Coup de grâce: the downfall of Aung San Suu Kyi

Coup? What coup? The early morning takeover of Myanmar on Monday by the Tatmadaw (Burmese army) barely deserves the name. The word ‘coup’ suggests that Myanmar was being ruled by a civilian and democratic government before now. It was not. Although Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won a landslide victory in ‘free’

Notes on...

Hotel breakfasts are a risky business

A few Spectator readers may soon find themselves confined to quarantine hotels, so the magazine thought it timely to find someone familiar with hotel life to share their advice. Since Dominique Strauss-Kahn was somehow unavailable, they settled on me. Now the first question to ask is: how fancy a hotel should you choose? This is