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Centralising, illiberal, catastrophic: the SNP’s one-party state

[audioplayer src=”http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/thedisasterofthesnp-silliberal-one-partystate/media.mp3″ title=”Adam Tomkins vs. Kevin Pringle on the SNP’s 8 years in government” startat=37] Listen [/audioplayer]Imagine a country where the government so mistrusted parents that every child was assigned a state guardian — not a member of their family — to act as a direct link between the child and officials. Imagine that such

Notes from a very small island: wonderful, eccentric Ascension

‘This is one of the strangest places on the face of the earth,’ wrote a Victorian naval officer. Another early visitor called it ‘the abomination of desolation’ — and to this day, on the 200th anniversary of the British occupation, Ascension remains decidedly odd. The summit of an extinct volcano, it pokes up out of

Bring back the bungalow!

Sheila Pugh is 91 and in good health. She lives on her own in Congleton, Cheshire, where she takes pleasure in cooking for herself and moving about the place with a dustpan and brush, albeit a little gingerly at times. She has a private garden with a pond and views over arable land. A lot

The new sexual revolution

[audioplayer src=”http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/thedisasterofthesnp-silliberal-one-partystate/media.mp3″ title=”Jenny McCartney and Paris Lees discuss the new sexual revolution” startat=1710] Listen [/audioplayer]The first thing you need to know about the new sexual revolution isn’t how to do it: it’s how to talk it. Confining yourself to terms such as straight, gay and bisexual — which once, perhaps, covered most of what you

The wonders of Zanzibar’s Stone Town

Zanzibar has become a honeypot for honeymooners — with good reason. This exotic island is a mere six degrees south of the equator and is roughly 60 miles long and 25 miles wide. That means it’s toasty all year round, while being big enough for some exploration if you want it. Its white beaches are

Cable cars, cheese and chic on the quieter side of the Alps

‘It sounds like you’re having an Ann Summers party up there,’ a male traveller called, as our group erupted into girlish hysterics on the viewing terrace of Punta Helbronner, a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif. Unfortunately for him there was no lingerie in sight; instead our shrieks had been brought on by the threat

My Schubert cruise was a transport of delight

‘Blessed Cecilia, appear in visions to all musicians, appear and inspire…’ Auden wrote his words for the young Benjamin Britten, who was born on St Cecilia’s Day, and who set them to music, but his poem would also be a tribute to the composer that Britten admired above all others except Mozart. Franz Schubert was

Notes on...

Adventures on the isle that seduced Odysseus

Gozo — Malta’s tiny island neighbour — was once rather a crucial spot in the Mediterranean. The Knights of Malta built a wall across Gozo’s Ramla Bay to stop Napoleon invading. The clever little Corsican attacked via the undefended gully next door instead. Homer’s island of Ogygia — ‘the navel of the sea’ in the