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Farewell, Independent on Sunday

On Tuesday the Culture Secretary Maria Miller announced to a breathless world the latest development in the Leveson saga. The government wants a royal charter to oversee a new press watchdog. I say ‘the government’, but the Liberal Democrats are only half on board. Like Labour, they seem still to hanker after some sort of

Benedict XVI in perspective

In March 2005, when it became clear that Pope John Paul II would soon die, Boris Johnson asked me to write a piece for The Spectator predicting who would be chosen as the next pope. With no special insight into the minds of the cardinals, I ran through the possibilities that had been mentioned in

Benedict’s reformation

Shock is probably the predominant emotion evoked by the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to resign at the end of February. Given that the last papal resignation took place 600 years ago, it’s understandable that the world has got used to the idea that being pope is a life sentence. Indeed, previous popes seem to

Reshoring: how jobs came flooding back to America

It is 20 years since the US presidential candidate Ross Perot railed against globalisation, warning of a ‘giant sucking sound’ as millions of jobs left America and went to foreign factories. The presidential hopeful warned that a new economic curse — offshoring — would shut steel mills and factories without government protection. But listen closely

Lars Hedegaard interview: ‘I may be killed if I write this’

The assassin came to his home dressed as a postman. When the historian and journalist Lars Hedegaard opened his front door, the man — whom Lars describes as ‘looking like a typical Muslim immigrant’ in his mid-twenties — fired straight at his head. Though Hedegaard was a yard away, the bullet narrowly missed. The mild-mannered

Where did all the sweet people go?

To say someone was ‘sweet’ used to be quite common in Britain. We didn’t just use the word to describe our mothers and grandmothers, but a wide range of people, including public figures. But not any more. Public acts of sweetness, such as gently warning people that their shoelaces were untied, are now rare. Sweetness


Giles Coren eats fried seal loin with Eva Avila

My week began on a plane to Quebec, where I’m filming a show for Canadian television. It is a broadcast pilot for a format of my own devising and, if it flies, I stand to make billions. But first it must succeed in Canada. Because Canada is the country that has bravely chosen to try it first,