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Fraser Nelson

Assetocracy: the inversion of the welfare state

To understand how the Tories ended up in such a muddle about who they are and what they stand for, take a walk down any of the nicer streets in Boris Johnson’s constituency. North Hillingdon is as idyllic now as it was a generation ago: spacious houses, with large drives, built before the war. The

Life under the Taliban’s charm offensive

The Taliban Cultural Commission sounds a contradiction in terms but for all foreign journalists it’s the first stop in the new Afghanistan. There, in a dusty office on the first floor of the old Ministry of Information, I was handed a letter which allowed me to go anywhere in the country, except Kabul airport or

The hell of London’s ‘American’ candy stores

The British often complain about an invasion of Americana, from burger joints to twangy accents picked up from television. I love my adopted countrymen, but for an American living far from home, these complaints can be tiresome. However, there is one Yankee invasion I hate as much as the locals do: American candy stores. There

What Britain should learn from Israel about booster shots

It’s hard to remember a time when politicians have so publicly put pressure on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. Even the vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said this week that the booster programme is his ‘absolute priority’ as it will ‘help us to transition the virus from pandemic to endemic status’. So why is

How ‘Xi Jinping Thought’ is taking over China’s classrooms

From this month, in an extension of a personality cult not seen since Mao Zedong, ‘Xi Jinping Thought’ is being incorporated into China’s national curriculum. School textbooks are emblazoned with Xi’s smiling face, together with heartwarming slogans telling readers as young as six that their leader is watching over them. ‘Grandpa Xi Jinping is very

Can cartoons be both funny – and diverse?

Of the many challenges cartoonists face — rejection, money, drink, or lack of — one of the trickiest is the growing pressure to depict diversity. Nowadays readers often write to publications complaining about the dearth of ethnic minorities in our drawings and demand for cartoons to be more inclusive. It’s like being trapped in a

Notes on...

Our fascination with treehouses has deep roots

You can’t (and probably shouldn’t) design a treehouse. Treehouses should grow organically, in every sense: they must be made of wood, obviously — one definition of a treehouse is that it is a tree holding its dead friend — and the footings for the platform must be the knots or branches that are footholds when