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James Forsyth

Is it over?

Throughout his political career, Boris Johnson has defied all odds. He has been defeated, written off, mocked. At one stage, he left the House of Commons completely. Yet no matter how down-and-out he has looked, how bleak his prospects have appeared, he has always managed to recover. His party chose him as leader partly for

I’m sharing my boyfriend with 60,000 other people

I fell in love with a social media influencer. I could say there are three people in our relationship but I’d be lying. There are 63,423. Imagine a world in which your partner’s private life is his professional life: with thousands of fawning acolytes all vying for his approval, all competing for online traction —

Why should I be sacked for refusing the Covid vaccine?

A few months ago, Sajid Javid was asked how he could justify sacking unvaccinated care home workers if they had been infected with Covid and had natural immunity. The Health Secretary replied as if such people were plainly idiots. ‘If they haven’t taken a vaccine — despite all the effort that’s been made to persuade

Can anyone beat Berlusconi to the Italian presidency?

Silvio ‘Bunga Bunga’ Berlusconi was a populist before the word became all the rage. An almost comically divisive figure, he makes spectacular off-the-cuff remarks which thrill his supporters and leave his enemies apoplectic. He called Barack Obama ‘tanned’. He advised a teenage girl that her best bet in life was to ‘marry a rich man’,

Why legalising cannabis is safer than decriminalising it

I hate weed. Week after week, I see the tragic effects of this substance and how it destroys the minds of the young. I work on a mental health ward which, like many around the country, is home to some of the victims of our current lackadaisical attitude towards cannabis. This drug is particularly dangerous

Haunted: the spectre of revolution is stalking Putin

A spectre is haunting the former Soviet Union — the spectre of people power. Every time it appears, Vladimir Putin leads an unholy alliance of all the reactionary autocrats of the former Soviet space to try to exorcise it. Last week, Putin sent 3,000 Russian paratroopers to Kazakhstan at the request of its president to

My strange encounter with foot fetishists

Around five years ago I started to receive requests online for photos of and details about my feet. I’ve been asked for foot pictures intermittently ever since. Most of the gentlemen are upfront about what they’re after (‘send foot pic plz’), but one man went above and beyond in his pursuits. Posing as an academic,

Notes on...

The bittersweet truth about homemade marmalade

The spectrum of ‘bestowing homemade gifts on one’s friends’ ranges from giving to foisting. Pure giving is when you make something by hand especially for a particular person. Foisting is when you don’t let a friend leave your house before pressing a copy of your privately published memoir into their hands. Where does homemade marmalade