Featured articles


Confessions of a rent boy

I am not surprised that Keith Vaz has been caught sleeping with male hookers. I’m one myself and so I know that overweight married Asians are our staple. We often joke that without Indians and-Middle Eastern guys, we’d all be broke. They are always married. I’ve always been sickened by the way they betray their

Mystery on Mount Athos

I have just returned from one of the world’s most secretive states. I had to apply for a visa a month beforehand and send in a copy of my passport. There is no way into this place by road; you have to arrive on an authorised boat and a policeman checks your visa against your

Corbyn the parasite

It’s a long way from Westminster to the banks of the Zambesi. But last week, for me, they linked up. I was lolling on my bed in the Sausage Tree Safari Camp, writing up notes for a travel article. Then a single, iridescent, rather delicate green wasp buzzed into my room and settled on my

The Brexit bounce

Next time it comes to redesigning the PPE course at Oxford, I suggest a module beginning with a quotation from George Osborne. It’s something he said to the Treasury Select Committee in May, back when he was still Chancellor: ‘If you look at the sheer weight of opinion, it is overwhelmingly the case that people

Mugabe’s last gasp

Last week rumours swirled round Zimbabwe that Robert Mugabe, the 92-year-old president, had either died or been incapacitated. The government banned demonstrations after Mugabe’s-presidential aircraft had been diverted in mid-air to Dubai during a scheduled journey to Singapore. Then the man himself turned up alive (though far from well) at Harare-airport, where he made a

Local heroes | 8 September 2016

In one village after another across the country, pubs are closing, as many as 25 a week by some counts, and this is accepted with English fatalism. But the people of South Stoke, near Bath, chose not to accept the loss of the Packhorse mutely; the locals decided to save their local. And in the

Death of an anti-feminist

Phyllis Schlafly could have been America’s number one feminist. She graduated from good universities, wrote important books on serious topics, was an outspoken orator and political organiser, didn’t let her life be defined by her husband’s career, and stood up to bitter abuse from her opponents. In reality, however, she was America’s leading anti-feminist. Her

Notes on...

The Douro Valley

They’re called quintas, Joana tells us, because the rich families who owned the land along this stretch of the Douro river used to let others work it in return for a fifth of the profits. And in this part of northern Portugal, ‘work’ means only one thing: wine. We’re here in the Douro Valley to