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Bribe, Cut and Run: Britain’s retreat from Afghanistan

Retreating from Afghanistan has never been a task at which the British military has excelled. Our first incursion in 1839 resulted in the wholesale massacre of an entire division, save for an army doctor by the name of Dr William Brydon, who was spared only so he could tell the tale. Troops fighting the Second

The Iraq war: ten years on, was it worth it?

Yes — Emma Nicholson More than 20 years ago I stood on the burning sands of Iraq’s southern deserts and watched in horror as tens of thousands of desperate men, women and children struggled, some barefoot, to reach the sanctuary of marshlands in the east. I was there as a British parliamentarian after hearing stories

Can animals really be gay?

Last week, at the select committee on the same-sex marriage bill, a lawyer for the Christian Institute revealed that a teacher had been disciplined for refusing to read to her charges a book about gay penguins. It is par for the course to teach kids about adult stuff through animal tales. So it makes sense

Kenya election: bullets and the economic boom

The bandit opened fire at me from a distance of about six feet. He rose out of darkness and pumped three bullets into my car as I drove slowly through my neighbour’s farmstead gate in time for supper. The shots were loud but what I remember most is the muzzle flashes showering sparks across the


The Queen, the Commonwealth and the electric heater

Since many people are barely aware of its existence, I was pleased to see Commonwealth Day enjoying a splash of media attention this week. It was, of course, because the Queen was back on parade for the first time since her recent illness — and endorsing the Prince of Wales as next Head of the