11/06/2022
11 Jun 2022

The next plot

11 Jun 2022

The next plot

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Features
James ForsythJames Forsyth
How the rebels plan to finish off Boris

The Tory party knows it has a problem with plotting. Of its last nine leaders, six have faced a leadership challenge of some sort. The current rules for removing a leader are designed to constrain the party’s appetite for regicide – no one can be challenged unless 15 per cent of the MPs write demanding a no-confidence vote, and the incumbent benefits from a second layer of protection: win, and they can’t be challenged again for a year.

How the rebels plan to finish off Boris
Neil Clark
The danger and glory of the Isle of Man TT

It’s around 8.10 on a lovely warm summer’s evening on the Isle of Man and the sidecar practice session in the 2022 TT – Tourist Trophy – is about to begin. The announcer at the grandstand asks the sidecar riders to get ready to race in ten minutes. There is the sound of engines revving up, great excitement and then… nothing. There has been an incident in the TT Supersport qualifying session at Ballagarey, it turns out, and other races are suspended.

The danger and glory of the Isle of Man TT
Owen Matthews
How Russia is holding Ukraine’s wheat exports to ransom

Starvation is a weapon as old as war itself. But Vladimir Putin has put a perversely postmodern twist on the ancient stratagem. Instead of menacing his Ukrainian enemy with hunger and poverty, he is threatening the whole world. Putin has long used oil and gas as a political instrument, most recently cutting off supplies to Poland and Bulgaria in retaliation for their refusal to pay their bills in roubles. But it is Putin’s blockade of the export of Ukrainian wheat that could prove just as effective in Russia’s war of weaponised commodities.

How Russia is holding Ukraine’s wheat exports to ransom
Aidan Hartley
The real reason Africa can’t feed itself

Northern Kenya Claims that Vladimir Putin is stoking famine in Africa is a compelling red herring, which also exposes inconvenient truths about why people are going hungry in the world’s poorest continent yet again. For sure, the Russians are holding up 22 million tons of Ukrainian wheat, have bombarded grain terminals, blockaded shipping and disrupted farming. But that’s still a tiny percentage of global harvests and, though the challenges are great, crops like winter wheat are growing and there are other routes to export via Ukraine’s neighbours.

The real reason Africa can’t feed itself
Gus Carter
Dinner parties are dying – and romance too

I don’t get invited to that many dinner parties. I hope it’s not a problem with me, although I can’t rule it out. Instead, I have a feeling that the era of nibbles, laying the table and stressing about the starters is over. When I asked my friends how many invites they get, there was a reasonably consistent answer: roughly one every few months. I’m not talking here about spag bol with pals. A dinner party is a sit-down affair, with multiple courses and, ideally, a few people you don’t know for company.

Dinner parties are dying – and romance too
John Connolly
The danger of putting migrants in warehouse ghettos

So far the UK has managed to avoid the kind of clashes between asylum seekers and local residents that blight other European countries. Our workforce is now 19 per cent immigrant – an even higher percentage than America’s. But this relative harmony might soon be threatened. Since 2018 the processing backlog for asylum seekers has grown to a staggering size, thanks to the Home Office’s failures, Covid lockdowns and, to a lesser degree, a recent rise in the number of Channel crossings.

The danger of putting migrants in warehouse ghettos
Susan Hill
The day I found a postcard from Virginia Woolf

A dispiriting week. Three months ago, skips arrived, into which were cast the detritus of a decade. Charity shops were donated so much that they began to wave us away. Family welcomed furniture while, oddly, refusing to accept their own toys, clothes and school photographs which had been stored with us ‘temporarily’. Book collections were culled because the new house is much smaller. But hey, we had sold the dearly loved house, whose surrounding garden, meadows, trees, pond and abundant wildlife I will miss so much – and, even better, to enthusiastic, trustworthy buyers whose dream home it was.

The day I found a postcard from Virginia Woolf
Anshel Pfeffer
Is a return to power in Netanyahu’s grasp?

Jerusalem ‘Netanyahu’s coming back soon, and he’ll be back with a vengeance!’ Simcha Rothman’s eyes flashed as he made his bold prediction. The normally mild-mannered lawyer, an ultra-nationalist Knesset member, was convinced. ‘He’s coming back and it’s all the left-wing’s fault for demonising him. If it wasn’t for them, the right-wing would have found a different leader by now. But the left made him into an icon and much more dangerous.

Is a return to power in Netanyahu’s grasp?
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