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Baby bust: China’s looming demographic disaster

This week, the world is gripped by the risk of conflict between the US and China. The People’s Liberation Army has fired live missiles into the Taiwan Strait in retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei and those who fear that China vs America is the next world war see Taiwan as

What foreign policy would look like under a PM Truss

When Tom Tugendhat announced he was backing Liz Truss for prime minister, his former supporters were dismayed. He was the candidate for the ‘One Nation’ caucus of moderate MPs, who defined themselves against the Tory right. ‘Anyone but Truss’ was their mantra – and they lined up behind Rishi Sunak. Yet here was their former

Sanctions are working – whatever Putin says

Don’t believe Vladimir Putin’s hype. The Russian economy is not OK. With western sanctions jeopardising up to 40 per cent of the country’s GDP, Putin’s assurances of an economic pivot to the East are a sham. And his weaponising of gas supplies to Europe is the financial equivalent of strapping on a suicide vest. That,

How Rishi Sunak won over the Tories of West Suffolk

‘I’ve cancelled my exercise class for this! I hope he’s worth it,’ said Selina in the hotel lobby. Rishi Sunak was coming to West Suffolk to meet members of our Conservative Association. Would he be worth a listen? Clearly our members thought so. More than 90 of us rocked up at one day’s notice to

What we can all learn from Jim Corbett’s tiger tales

‘The word “Terror” is so generally and universally used in connection with everyday trivial matters that it is apt to fail to convey, when intended to do so, its real meaning.’ Thus begins the third chapter of The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag (1947), part of the Man-Eater series by the great Anglo-Indian hunter and naturalist

How to be PM: ten rules for the next Tory leader to live by

You’ve just become prime minister. The public finances are in a mess, the Bank of England has stoked inflation, cutting taxes may make it worse, energy prices are through the roof, people are hurting so you can’t cut social spending, the Health Service is lengthening its waiting lists despite record budgets. What can you do?

Notes on...

How to blend your own beard oil

Every few months I take out a box of essential oils and carefully lay them out on my kitchen table, organising them in order from sweet-smelling to musty. On the left will be scents like juniper berry, lime, frankincense and bergamot; in the middle, woodish fragrances such as sandalwood and cedarwood; on the right, the