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A choice of revolutions

Is France on the brink of a political revolution? Already, four established candidates for the presidency — two former presidents and two former prime ministers — have backed out or been rejected by the voters, and another, François Fillon, is on the ropes. The campaign is being taken over by outsiders, principally the Front National’s

Javid’s home truths

Just before Christmas, Sajid Javid performed a ritual he has observed twice a year throughout his adult life: he read the courtroom scene in The Fountainhead. To Ayn Rand fans, it’s famous: the hero declares his principles and his willingness to be imprisoned for them if need be. As a student, Javid read the passage

In praise of pink Lego

There aren’t many toy companies that could make headlines in the business press merely by expanding their London offices — ‘Lego blocks out Brexit concerns’ — but Lego is not like other toy companies. Last week it was named the world’s most powerful brand by the consultancy Brand Finance; this week the second Lego movie

Rides without romance

You know the old designation NSIT — Not Safe in Taxis? Well, we need a new one: TSIU — Too Safe in Ubers. I don’t want to get into the rights and wrongs of Uber, whether the gig economy puts more money in the pocket of the taxi driver from Wembley or benefits only the

Toff luck

F. Scott Fitzgerald got it wrong; it’s not the rich who are different from you and me — it’s the posh. There is no social act so rude or outrageous that it cannot be explained and then excused on the grounds that the perpetrator was posh. I was recently at a drinks party and saw

Who will be London’s next bishop?

In typical theatrical style, the outgoing Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, he of the sonorous voice and imposing beard, ‘never knowingly underdressed’, ‘the last of the great prince bishops’, attended his final service as bishop at last Thursday’s liturgy at St Paul’s Cathedral for Candlemas — the day on which Simeon spoke the words, ‘Lord,

Notes on...

Dogs for children

Henry, our springer spaniel, has died, suddenly and prematurely. With the passing weeks, we are becoming accustomed to the strange stillness his absence has left behind, and I no longer expect to meet him hurtling around the house in motiveless delight or to find him sidling against my leg as I sit in the kitchen.