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Poles apart | 18 July 2019

Have you ever seen a Pole on British television? Poles are the biggest immigrant group in Britain, numbering between 900,000 and one million, so you might think they would be all over the TV. But no, there are hardly any. There is a Polish character on Coronation Street, who might turn out to be a

Varadkar’s gamble

‘The government has relished wearing the green jersey on Brexit and standing up to the British with the help of the European Union — and been aware of the political benefits of doing so,’ thundered Pat Leahy in the Irish Times last week. ‘But now the pitfalls begin to emerge from the fog.’ Leo Varadkar

Watson’s new plot

Ever since Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour party, many of his MPs have dreamed of deposing him. They’ve tried mass shadow ministerial resignations, a no-confidence motion, even a formal leadership contest — but to no avail. Some, like Chuka Umunna, left the party, hoping (in vain) that others would join their

Penned in

Cynical old hacks like me have been amused by the chorus of establishment applause for the Mail on Sunday’s great Kim Darroch scoop. Our elected masters were outraged, rightly, by threats from the Met’s Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu to criminalise editors who publish leaked memos. Politicians left, right and centre condemned an assault on press

Test match

Why do we need tie-breaks and photo finishes? If competitors have been nip-and-tuck all the way, why can’t they just share victory? England supporters who watched the ICC Cricket World Cup final might have been febrile with joy when the extra-time ‘super over’ ended in another tie, giving England the margin on boundaries, but New

Kent’s new Rose

East Kent is bracing itself. Its Church of England clergy are enjoying their last quiet months before Rose Hudson-Wilkin arrives as the new Bishop of Dover in the autumn, replacing Trevor Willmott. History is being made — the C of E is to have its first black woman bishop. But some members are clutching their

Health warning

Everyone agrees something dramatic has to be done to help the NHS. It is crumbling and the canary in the mine is general practice. I work as a psychiatrist but my GP colleagues are almost all frazzled, overworked and frustrated at not being able to give the care they want to their patients. They’re quitting

Notes on...

Cottage gardens

The confusion is understandable. You arrive at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon, keen to experience the quintessential cottage garden — only to be told that Shakespeare’s garden was, in fact, designed in the 1920s. The space in front of an Elizabethan cottage would have been used for keeping pigs or hens, with a patch for