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Macron is preparing for intellectual battle against Islamism

It’s easy to see why so few western leaders have come to Emmanuel Macron’s defence: when they scrutinise extremists, they are accused of being ‘Islamophobes’. Since the French President’s speech last month about Islam in the West, he has been accused — by populist Muslim politicians such as Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Imran Khan, as

The questions we must ask about the Covid vaccine

After a difficult nine months, we are naturally all sick of lockdowns and other Covid restrictions. Everyone misses parts of their pre-coronavirus lives, from seeing friends and family, to pubs and restaurants, to the theatre and concerts and, yes, even our workplaces. It was therefore no surprise that this week’s news of a vaccine breakthrough

Trump may have lost, but his agenda is here to stay

Donald Trump is now showing exactly why he had to be defeated. Well after the votes have been counted, with no evidence of anything but the usual minor glitches — none of which is sufficient to dent Joe Biden’s margin of victory — the President of the United States is doing what he did for

The peerless social satire of Pont of Punch

Eighty years ago this month, the cartoonist Graham Laidler — better known as Pont — died of polio. He contracted the disease while evacuating refugees from London in his car. He was only 32. In 1940, thousands of people were dying in the war, but Pont’s death was marked by an appreciation from J.B. Priestley

The West has left Armenia to fend for itself

Bomb shelters have come a long way since the Blitz. As missiles from Azerbaijan rained down on Nagorno-Karabakh a few weeks ago, Hayk Harutyunyan and his family took refuge in a basement with wifi, an ensuite toilet and a makeshift mini-bar. There were 12 people crammed in there every night, he told me, ‘but we

Notes on...

The rise and fall of mink

Mink keeps you warm. That’s a most acceptable bonus, but its prime function is status. This week, however, the focus on mink has been for an altogether different reason. Denmark, the world’s largest exporter of mink skins, began culling 17 million minks to stop a mutated form of coronavirus. As a precaution, Britain has closed