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James 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

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

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

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

Dinner parties are dying

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

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

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

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

Notes on...

Beach huts have never been so fashionable – or expensive

Despite claims the property market is on the brink of a crash, one niche seems recession-proof: beach huts, barely bigger than Wendy Houses, have never been more in demand. Rightmove has reported that the average asking price for these glorified sheds has more than doubled since 2019, so on average a beach hut costs an