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Ross Clark

The towns making waves

The real secret behind Margate’s revival isn’t so much the restored Dreamland amusement park, but the trains. A decade ago, it gained high-speed, InterCity-like trains to St Pancras, putting it within 90 minutes of London. Before the trains get to Margate they stop in Whitstable, which I remember as a bit of a hole in

Home and away | 8 August 2019

The epiphany came when I was standing in the oxymoron of a speedy boarding queue at Gatwick, waiting to have my ticket checked by Eva Braun, mewling middle-class brats squabbling beneath my feet, all of us en route to somewhere in the EU which is both searingly hot and supported by British taxpayer subsidies (for

Bill of health

It would be daft for someone to offer you £1.8 billion and you turn it down. That sort of money isn’t to be sniffed at. This is how much Boris Johnson announced he would give to the NHS as an extra funding boost. And I don’t want to seem churlish or ungrateful — after all,

Spectator writers on the UK’s best beaches

Tom Holland Trevone, Cornwall   Pretty much every summer, my family and my cousins head for a farm in north Cornwall, strategically situated for visits to our favourite beach: Trevone. A beautiful cove with breakers, cliffs and an unobtrusive shop, its chief appeal is the opportunity it provides for building colossal sandcastles. Each year, our

Cast astray

There’s a cultural problem at the BBC, isn’t there? The Corporation is trying to attract under-35s — the sort who don’t really listen to scheduled radio programmes and who probably listen, if to anything from the BBC at all, to Radio 5 Live. This is the most obvious way to explain what’s happened to Desert

Losing our religion | 8 August 2019

There is no faster way to get yourself classed as dim than by admitting that you hold religious belief, especially Christian belief. Anti-Catholicism used to be the anti-Semitism of intellectuals; now Catholics get no special attention. All believing Christians are regarded as stupid, eccentric or malevolent. Some conservatives will make the case for the social


Designer’s Notebook

‘Volcanic temper… suspicious of everyone… irritability, mood swings… terror stalking the shadows… devastating collapse of Europe’s economy… rampant insecurity, unbridled hypochondria…’ Trump? No, it’s Henry VIII, according to Robert Hutchinson. But the ‘king’ across the water is uncannily like the Tudor tyrant; the discarded wives, the wenching, the rival heirs, the fawning, the flattery, the

Notes on...


Savannah GA is supposed to have lots of ghosts, but I’d forgotten that. It was an April morning and sunlight filtered through the Spanish moss. As I arrived at Wright Square, someone fell into step with me and we crossed the road together. At the other side I glanced to see who it was. No one.