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James Forsyth

Zelensky’s choice: can Ukraine force Russia to negotiate?

When Russian forces first rolled into Ukraine, most thought that President Zelensky would have to flee. Boris Johnson said Britain could host a Ukrainian government in exile. The Americans offered to get Zelensky out of Kyiv to protect him from the hit squads that Moscow had sent to kill or capture him. Zelensky, with the

It’s time for the chop, Boris

Thinking about it, there is only one thing that my father-in-law Stanley and I really agree about: it’s the hair. His oldest son’s policies, achievements, claims (and other things) strike us both in very different ways: in Stanley’s case with a farmyard cockerel’s swelling red-breasted pride; in mine with a deep-rooted despair of the type

The pernicious creep of Big Nanny

Waiting at a coach station recently, in the space of seven minutes I was cautioned three times by the disembodied voice of Big Nanny. No smoking or vaping was allowed. Cycling was prohibited. Pedestrians were directed to use only the designated crossings. I almost wished I’d opted to travel by rail, but then I remembered

Italy’s hostility to Nato is building

Ravenna, Italy The war in Ukraine has caused an unholy convergence of the left and right in Italy. While there is nothing formal so far about this alliance of enemies, it nevertheless threatens to destroy the unity of Nato. The most high-profile participant is -Matteo Salvini, leader of the Lega – the party with the

Cold Turkey: why is Erdogan resisting Nato’s expansion?

Driving a hard bargain is the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief survival skill – one that has kept him in power for nearly as long as his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. And the basic principles of bargaining are twofold: never give something away for nothing, and make your threats to walk away convincing. No

Changing channels: the new war for political broadcasting

It’s hard to step outside nowadays without being confronted with a massive picture of Piers Morgan. In the adverts for his new TalkTV show he can be seen crushing the House of Commons in his hands or pointing to an address for the channel’s complaints department. ‘Love him or hate him,’ the adverts declare, ‘you

Notes on...

The politics of bowls clubs

Bowls has a reputation as a sedate pastime, but it can be as fiercely competitive as any other sport. It can even get rowdy. At the Edinburgh cup final in 2012, a young player, angry at losing the match, stripped down to his boxers in protest. When committee members from his team tried to restrain