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James Forsyth

A new deal for Britain

It is becoming increasingly clear what the Conservative party expects of its Prime Minister. If he is going to agree to 17 eurozone countries pushing ahead with the Franco-German plan for fiscal union, he needs to secure a new deal for Britain in exchange. Just what this new deal should look like is a matter

The bomb in the living room

During the last parliament William Hague likened the issue of Europe to an unexploded bomb at the heart of the Conservative party — best leave it alone, or it might well detonate. But it still dominates British foreign policy. However far David Cameron has travelled in search of a different world — paying tribute to

Losing my bottle

Why does Waitrose think I can’t be trusted with Chablis? I was refused alcohol in Waitrose the other day. Not because of my age, nor because I don’t look my age. Nor, I hasten to add, because I was drunk. I was buying supper in Waitrose — two chickens, two bottles of chablis, some green

Al-Qa’eda’s new war

Lahore, Pakistan From a distance, the devastating attacks on Shia Muslims in three Afghan cities this week looked like the type of sectarian religious attacks which we got used to in Iraq. The faultline between Sunni and Shia is one of the greatest and most violent in the world, and now and again it divides

The rival

Ken Livingstone’s attacks on Boris Johnson seem to conceal admiration How does Ken Livingstone think he is going to beat Boris Johnson in the election for Mayor of London to be held next May? When I put this question to Ken, he launched into an almost admiring denunciation of his opponent: ‘He’s Britain’s Berlusconi. He

Prince of progress

The tragedy of Prince Albert was not that he died at the age of forty-two 150 years ago this month, but that his quick-tempered and lusty Hanoverian wife loved him too well. Queen Victoria’s orgiastic response to widowhood — her determination through four decades of sorrowful singledom never again to be amused — kicked over

A question of faith | 10 December 2011

What would it take to convince you that Nils-Axel Mörner’s arguments on sea levels are not scientifically credible? If people are committed to an unscientific position, no evidence or argument will shake them out of it. Whether they subscribe to AIDS denial, excessive fear of radiation, vaccine scaremongering, homeopathy or creationism, they tend to demand

Debate denied

The odd thing about the great debate on global warming is that there never really was a debate. As soon as the global warming scare exploded on the world in 1988, to its promoters there could be no argument about it. The scientists who that year set up the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change