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Nicholas Farrell

Is Giorgia Meloni the most dangerous woman in Europe?

Rome Giorgia Meloni’s spacious office, on the top floor of Palazzo Montecitorio – Italy’s House of Commons – has large French windows that adjoin its own huge rooftop terrace with spectacular views of the Eternal City. You could hold the party of the century up there if you were so minded. Perhaps she will, if

Why I still love the Edinburgh Festival

When I was in my twenties, exactly 50 Edinburgh Festivals ago, Frank Dunlop directed the first professional production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which Andrew Lloyd Webber and I had written for a primary school concert in 1968. In the first four years of the work’s existence, it began to burrow its way

The hidden harms in the Online Safety Bill

Weighing in at 218 pages, with 197 sections and 15 schedules, the Online Safety Bill is a clunking attempt to regulate content on the internet. Its internal contradictions and exceptions, its complex paper chase of definitions, its weasel language suggesting more than it says, all positively invite misunderstanding. Parts of it are so obscure that

My holiday from the news

We are all supposed to remember where we were when we heard that Mrs Thatcher had resigned (my mother rang me while I was having a late breakfast). But I will always have a much more vivid memory of where I was when I heard Boris Johnson had called it a day. I was at

The petty cruelty of the GMC

Doctors make mistakes. We mess up, have lapses in judgment, do stupid or downright wrong things. Some break the law, some violate trust. Patients place their wellbeing, and sometimes their lives, in our hands. So it’s only right that we are held to account. All good doctors want scrutiny. Our regulator, the General Medical Council

Is crypto back?

This time it was surely all over. As inflation started to rise towards a 40-year high, as central banks started raising interest rates for the first time in more than a decade, and as the monetary printing presses finally stopped running, the crypto-currencies crashed. What a crash it was. Bitcoin, the best-known crypto, fell all

Notes on...

The brutal truth about holiday packing

The general flying advice this year, with airports resembling cattle markets and when you can’t be sure if you’re ever going to take off, is: only travel with hand luggage. Packing a fortnight’s holiday into the tiniest of bags has become an art form. Social media is awash with tips on minimalist packing and dedicated