19/05/2018
19 May 2018

The Italian job

19 May 2018

The Italian job

Featured articles

Features
Fredrik Erixon
Macron’s next move

It was a moment to cherish, not to spoil. But I wasn’t the only one at the grand Charlemagne prize ceremony for Emmanuel Macron in Aix-la-Chapelle last week to wonder if the French President has already accepted that the federalist game is up. The medal is awarded for services to the cause of European unification, a cause that Macron has done his best to advance. But first the Brits bailed out. Then the Hungarians and Poles dissented.

Macron’s next move
Nicholas Farrell
Italy vs the EU

It looks indeed as if Italy — the beating pulse of European civilisation — will be the first country in western Europe to fall to what’s popularly known as populism. Those who regard populism as an affirmation of democracy are pleased; those who regard it as a negation of democracy are appalled. The markets remain silent. For the moment. The alt-left Five Star is on the verge of forming a coalition government with the hard-right Lega in the EU’s fourth largest economy, which has been stuck in more or less permanent stagnation since the global banking crisis of 2008.

Italy vs the EU
Peter Oborne
False friends

Harold Macmillan once remarked that: ‘There are three bodies no sensible man ever directly challenges: the Roman Catholic Church, the Brigade of Guards and the National Union of Mineworkers.’ Today it’s tempting to add a fourth name to this list: the Conservative Friends of Israel. The CFI counts an estimated 80 per cent of Tory MPs among its members. It can whistle up cabinet ministers for its dinners and has superb access to Downing Street and Whitehall.

False friends
John R. MacArthur
The right stuff | 17 May 2018

To some, Tom Wolfe’s death might seem a greater loss for readers on the right wing of American culture and politics, since he viewed himself as a conservative, very much in keeping with his upbringing in the Richmond, Virginia, of the 1930s and 1940s. His gentleman’s manners and soft-spoken demeanour recalled another era — a class-defined and racially segregated world of courtliness and formal collars.

The right stuff | 17 May 2018
Matt Ridley
The art of the impossible

The extermination of every single one of South Georgia’s rats, for the sake of its birds, was confirmed at a press conference in London last week. A summer of searching with dogs and bait two years after the last poison was deployed turned up no sign of a rodent. This achievement is remarkable, not least because it was deemed impossible right up until it was achieved. It was a barmy idea, way out there, crazy, bound to fail.

The art of the impossible
George Mccoy
The whip hand

Spanking is back in the news. Le vice anglais was meant to be a dying art — a vestige of a time when men were more repressed, but it’s recently become clear that British men enjoy a thrashing just as much as they ever did. In the past few weeks a London barrister, Robert Jones, has claimed he was unfairly dismissed after a consensual spanking session with a junior worker, while up north a ‘dungeon master’ called Shaun O’Driscoll, who has thrashed diplomats and a duke, gave evidence at Bolton Crown Court.

The whip hand
Lara Prendergast
The House of Soho

I have a phobia of wedding lists. They always seem very presumptuous. Friends ask for monstrous amounts of things that I’m sure they don’t really want. I look at their lists and my heart sinks. I know I should buy something, but what to choose from all the overpriced paraphernalia? I wonder if the guests of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle felt the same way when their royal wedding invitations arrived.

The House of Soho
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