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Sue the Normans!

Restorative justice for the victims of colonialism is an idea whose time has come. A few years ago, the Indian diplomat Shashi Tharoor suggested Britain pay India compensation to atone for centuries of colonial rule. ‘I’d be quite happy if it was one pound a year for the next two hundred years,’ he said. In

A losing battle

Foreign fighters are returning from the battlefield — not Islamists but the Americans, Europeans and South Americans who fought to rid the world of Isis. But for all their bravery, their homecoming is a tricky one because their home countries do not want them back. I have now interviewed more than a dozen volunteers. Many

The ties that bind

It seems a fitting end to an ill-fated premiership. As Theresa May prepares to leave No. 10, a major quarrel erupts between her government and its most powerful ally, the United States of America. Leaked diplomatic cables show Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador in Washington, calling President Donald Trump ‘inept’, ‘insecure’ and ‘uniquely dysfunctional’. The

Who’s afraid of no deal?

How bad would a no-deal Brexit really be? This is now perhaps the most important question in politics, and the one provoking greatest disagreement. The answer will help decide whether parliament allows Brexit to happen, and whether Tory MPs bring down their own government. If they think calamity would follow, patriotic rebels might risk a

‘Duty howled’

We could all forget about Ann Widdecombe for the past nine years while she was doing Strictly Come Dancing and panto and Celebrity Big Brother and the rest. But now she has risen from the political grave to become a Brexit MEP. Tragically, it has meant cancelling her Christmas panto booking as Chop Suey in

Jog on

Forget the cigar, the homburg and the V-for-victory sign. If Winston Churchill were around today, he’d be pounding the streets in T-shirt, shorts and chunky trainers. Jogging is an almost compulsory obsession for any Tory alpha male. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are forever out running; Michael Gove has lost a drastic amount of weight

Notes on...


The first one was too straight. In the absence of a speed limit, early motorists on the M1 used the long sections without bends as racetracks. The record was set in April 1964 by two drivers testing their AC Cobra for Le Mans: they reached 185 mph. The following year new express trains appeared on