Featured articles


Britain must be saved from the financial abyss

A few months ago, Alistair Darling was asked how long he thought his government could continue to borrow £600 million a day. Might creditors one day refuse? The Chancellor gave an oblique reply. ‘When you walk over ice, you never know it is too thin — until you fall through.’ He said no more, but

Let’s set schools free

Our dismal education system means that too often poverty is a life sentence, says Michael Gove. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Schools can be freed from stifling state control I owe Peter Bazalgette an apology. A very big apology. Peter is the man who brought Big Brother to our TV screens. His

Why not start your own school?

Parents who can’t afford to move into the right catchment area, let alone pay expensive fees, are often desperately worried about the local schools. Teachers are worried about schools too: brilliant teachers who have worked in some of the worst classrooms in the country know they can do better. Charities are longing to work where

The public has every right to fear homicidal nutters

There was a loony on my train the other day. He sat quietly for most of the journey, but when we pulled into a station he began barking like a dog; that’s how I knew he was a loony, the barking bit, not the sitting quietly bit. Every station, his head went back and he

Fellow travellers: South Africa falls for China

Jacob Zuma is in Britain this week, paying lip service to the West. But, says Alec Russell, his vision for South Africa’s future is of ever closer ties with the emerging superpower When Jacob Zuma addressed the banquet at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday night, he will have nodded at his host and saluted the Commonwealth.

Cricket’s foreign legion

Last week a ferocious new talent made his debut for the England cricket team. Craig Kieswetter, a wicketkeeper/batsman, is only 22 years old and is thought likely to be a regular in the England team for years to come. Normally this would be a matter for national celebration. But with the arrival of Kieswetter there

The public sector at prayer

The government’s fiercely secularist agenda has turned very few Christians into Tory voters. Damian Thompson asks why the Churches have kept faith in New Labour Gordon Brown’s Cabinet is the least Christian in British history. Its members sneer at the Churches’ teachings about sexuality. They bully faith schools with relish, making them talk to primary

Great Scot — a triumph for Vettriano!

Every year the cream of Scotland comes to Boisdale of Belgravia to celebrate Scottish talent and to toast the winner of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Great Scot award. Boisdale is quietly opulent. The mighty banqueting tables and blood-red walls decorated with country views suggest baronial splendour in a modern key. It’s Balmoral with central

In defence of ‘devil dogs’

The proposed competence test for dog owners is designed to stop hoodies owning pit bulls, says Brendan O’Neill. But are the dogs, or their owners, really that dangerous? Some people call them ‘dangerous dogs’. The tabloids prefer ‘devil dogs’. The police refer to them as ‘status dogs’. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty