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Ian Acheson

Inmates and Islamism

In response to the Westminster attack, a 100-strong new counter-extremism taskforce has been announced to deal with the terrorist threat in prisons. I’m taking some credit for this badly needed focus. In the autumn of 2015, the then Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, asked me to lead an independent review of the threat posed by Islamist

War-war, not jaw-jaw

It’s often said that the Trump administration is ‘isolationist’. This is not true. In fact, we are now witnessing a dramatic escalation in the militarisation of US foreign policy in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. This has not been announced but it is happening, and much of it without consultation with Nato or other

Kaiser Donald

 Massachusetts All politicians wear masks. Donald Trump’s favourite is that of Maximum Leader. It was on display during this past week. ‘If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will,’ he said at the weekend, ahead of his meeting with Xi Jinping — a throwaway comment that could end up causing mayhem in

Trump’s plan for Pyongyang

On several foreign policy issues, Donald Trump has toned down the campaign rhetoric now that he is in office. His administration still has concerns about the Iran nuclear deal, but it is backing away from the idea of simply ripping it up or unilaterally rewriting it. On the European Union, he is calming down too;

My towering problem

Why don’t tall people get the same sympathy as short people? Everyone feels sorry for minnows, cutting them slack when they talk loudly in meetings or get themselves elected Speaker of the House of Commons. But tall people are seen as life’s victors; the ones you want to be, the ones who get everything their

In defence of  Ken

We never loved each other, Ken Livingstone and I. We first clashed in public more than a decade ago, and have enjoyed castigating each other ever since. But now that he has been suspended from the Labour party for a second year in a row, I come not to bury him but to praise him.

Notes on...


Marmalade’s had a rough old time of it lately. A recent report in the Telegraph declared it is dying out; that only oldies are buying it because millennials can’t handle ‘bits’ in spreads. Well, excuse me, but I direct you to this year’s World Marmalade Awards, held a few weeks ago in a big Georgian