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Power grab: who’s hoarding all the gas?

Before Britain started worrying about a shortage of lorry drivers and petrol, we were fretting about a spike in wholesale gas prices. A couple of weeks and news cycles later, it would be easy to imagine that crisis had gone away. It hasn’t. On the contrary, global gas markets are preparing for a volatile winter.

Why I retrained as a butcher

Two years ago, I enrolled on a butchery course. I rather fancied seeing how the sausage was made, and also envisaged taking home handsome pork chops and having an ‘in’ when I needed to order my Christmas turkey. But the amateur course was no longer offered by my local college. So instead of a four-week,

China is using the climate as a bargaining chip

China’s President Xi Jinping has apparently not yet decided whether to travel to Glasgow next month for the big climate conference known as COP26. That is no doubt partly because he’s heard about the weather in Glasgow in November, and partly because he knows the whole thing will be a waste of his time. After

Has Covid killed criticism?

The pandemic was bad for criticism with its universal dogma of ‘kindness’. Restaurant, theatre, film and book critics felt compelled to be kind, as if criticism itself was coughing at a death bed. But who does this kindness benefit? Last year I reviewed Michael Rosen’s book about his Covid-19-related coma: Many Different Kinds of Love.

Why Cressida Dick must go

After the murder of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens, I have come to the conclusion that Cressida Dick needs to go. Yes, it’s easy to call for the resignation of a Metropolitan Police Commissioner. Things go wrong in the policing of London and when the mistakes are big enough, there will be calls for heads

Notes on...

Lateral thinking: the beauty of bungalows

We keep hearing about the importance of levelling up. Architects tasked with the responsibility of building new homes, however, might want to consider levelling across. With land prices at a premium, bungalows may not appear to be the most prudent use of limited space but lateral living has plenty to recommend it. Originally built for