18/03/2017
18 Mar 2017

Double trouble

18 Mar 2017

Double trouble

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Features
James ForsythJames Forsyth
Double trouble | 16 March 2017

Theresa May is a cautious politician. She has risen to the top by avoiding unnecessary risks; no one survives 18 years on the Tory front bench by being a gambler. But few prime ministers have the luxury of choosing their battles, and she would not have chosen the two that may now define her premiership: successfully negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union while saving the United Kingdom.

Double trouble | 16 March 2017
Qanta Ahmed
Uncover her face

I was raised as an observant Muslim in a British family. Women, I was taught, determine their own conduct — including their ‘veiling’. We’d cover our hair only if we freely chose to do so. That’s why I’m baffled by the notion that all good Muslim women should cover their hair or face. My entire family are puzzled by it too, as are millions like us. Not until recent years has the idea taken root that Muslim women are obliged by their faith to wear a veil.

Uncover her face
Boyd Tonkin
Why Milton still matters

Just 350 years ago, in April 1667, John Milton sold all rights to Paradise Lost to the printer Samuel Simmons — for £5, with another £5 due once Simmons had the first run of 1,300 copies off his hands. That sounds like a bargain for the 12-book epic poem of Satan’s war with Heaven, Eve’s ‘fatal trespass’ and the expulsion from Eden that soon became a monumental pillar of the literary canon. Samuel Johnson — who as a Tory deplored Milton’s revolutionary politics — placed it first (for design) and second (for execution) ‘among the productions of the human mind’.

Why Milton still matters
Mary Wakefield
Redemption for the Ripper

In the autumn of 1888 London was in a state of terrified excitement over Jack the Ripper. There had never been a killer like this in England before, wrote Meredith Townsend and Richard Holt Hutton, the joint editors of The Spectator. They congratulated the British public on not succumbing to the continental habit of lynching (‘In Naples the doctors would have perished, in Berlin the Jews’) but warned that ‘this devil’ might never be caught.

Redemption for the Ripper
Simon Barnes
Little birds, big trouble

A British military base is being used for a multi-million-quid criminal enterprise, possibly involving the Russian mafia — and Britain seems powerless to prevent it. Last year they had a crack at enforcement and had to give up. Mafia 1, British army 0. It’s happening in Cyprus, in the British Sovereign Base Areas. The situation in Cyprus is a bit like the Schleswig-Holstein Question, but with more complex problems of nationality, culture and power.

Little birds, big trouble
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