A ghastly tragedy Ukraine may well be, but it is coming to the rescue of a number of British Conservative politicians. Most notably Boris Johnson, of course, who would surely be out of a job by now if Vladimir Putin had not rolled those tanks across the border on 24 February, just as Sue Gray was getting her act together. A little later, Ukraine gave David Cameron a facelift as he was photographed driving a van full of supplies to the transgressed country.
There are two things non-Americans can almost never understand about America and should probably never speak about. The first is guns. If you have a British accent and arrive in America, or talk about America, you should be very careful before opining on the Second Amendment.
It isn’t a precise analogy, but you might compare it to an American arriving in Britain and suddenly talking about the rights and wrongs of hereditary monarchy.
I grew up in the golden age of forensic science, at a time when expert witnesses were becoming celebs, each with their special little area of crimebusting know-how. The papers were full of excited talk about hair microscopy, ballistics and fibre analysis. Crime scene investigators were hot as pop stars.
My brother and I had a nanny with a passion for gore. She wasn’t interested in me as a rule, but I could always hold her attention with a nice chat about blood spatter patterns.
As we get back into Roe vs Wade, prompted by the leak of what is said to be the US Supreme Court’s draft decision to throw out that famous judgment, prepare for an avalanche of misinformation. On BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday, the news said that the court’s 1973 decision had ‘legalised abortion’. Not so. Abortion had long been legal in many states of the Union. But until the judgment, different states had been free to adopt different policies.
BP’s ‘underlying’ first-quarter profit of $6.2 billion, compared with $2.6 billion in the first quarter of 2021, was a direct reflection of the surge in global energy prices. Coming 48 hours before polling day, it also looked like a gift-wrapped on-time delivery for Sir Keir Starmer and his claim that a windfall tax on ‘excess’ profits of North Sea oil and gas extractors would knock £600 off the energy bills of ‘those who need it most’.