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James Forsyth

Crash course: how the Truss revolution came off the road

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng wanted to shake things up. They were radicals in a hurry, keen to show that Britain was under new economic management. Theirs would be an unapologetic pro-growth agenda: no more genuflection in front of failed orthodoxies, no more being paralysed by fear or criticism. As a sign of this, they

Open alms: how I came to live on charity

A year ago, I moved into what I hope will be my home for the rest of my life. I became an almshouse resident. The announcement of my implied reduced circumstances provoked some interesting responses: from family, joy that my recent hard times were over; from acquaintances, a range of reactions: embarrassment, shocked disbelief, scepticism.

Meet the Bristol Tyre Extinguishers

If the world really does face a climate emergency, what ought you, personally, be doing about it? Should you, as increasing numbers of young people are doing, roam the streets at night letting down the tyres of SUVs? The fast-growing movement that calls itself the ‘Tyre Extinguishers’ thinks this is an effective approach, and has

How should the West respond to Putin’s threats?

Vladimir Putin clearly wants us to worry that he is crazy enough to use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine. This fear was intensified this week when images surfaced that some – possibly in error – believed showed a train operated by the secretive nuclear security forces moving towards Ukraine. Despite this, many believe the

Fellowship of the Lamb: how we’re saving Tolkien’s pub

I’ve just bought Tolkien’s pub in Oxford. Well, to be more precise, I and more than 300 fellow drinkers have bought the Lamb and Flag, the 400-year-old Oxford pub where the Inklings group of writers – including J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis – drank. Like so many pubs across the country, the Lamb and Flag

Will guns from Ukraine end up on the streets of Britain?

While visiting a Ukrainian militia this summer, I nearly trod on an anti-tank mine which was being used as a doorstop at the entrance to their HQ. ‘Don’t worry, it’s a broken Russian one that we found,’ said my breezy host, Eduard Leonov. ‘We’re trying to fix it so we can use it.’ Eduard’s militia

Notes on...

The barcode revolution

Beep-bop. The sound of the supermarket checkout – a noise Morrisons felt the need to mute after the Queen’s death – is made possible by an invention which turns 70 this week: the barcode. On 7 October 1952, a patent was granted to American inventors Bernard Silver and Norman Woodland. Four years earlier, a shopkeeper