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Don’t confuse conversation with dialogue or quips

Catherine Blyth says that conversation is an art: its essence is the acrobatic business of reading and changing minds — talking with people, not at them How would you feel if you arrived at a dinner party to find your plate garnished with a menu? Impressed, irritated or inspired to discover a new level in

For a bit of perspective, try thinking Jurassic

Bees do democracy best. They vote, you know. Not that they bother with anything as trivial as electing a new president. Nor do they worry about the colour of their ruler’s stripes. In the natural world of a beehive there are no unnecessary arguments about popular succession, no expensive lobbying or financial fuss. When election

Where is our inspiration when we most need it?

Bryan Forbes remembers listening to Churchill as a 14-year-old evacuee and now looks with envy at Obama’s capacity to galvanise hope. Where are his UK counterparts? All across America, galvanised by an inspirational candidate, people stood in line for up to four hours in order to vote, many for the first time in their lives,

The great Tory tax and spend battle: seconds out…

In the wake of Cameron’s decision to drop his pledge to match Labour spending, Fraser Nelson and Daniel Fin kelstein of the Times trade rhetorical blows over the issue that is gripping and troubling the Conservative party as it adjusts to the transformed economic context Dear Fraser, I feel we really need to have a

Thank goodness we can have a run on the pound when we need one

Martin Vander Weyer looks ahead to next week’s Pre-Budget Report and reflects on George Osborne’s contentious remarks about the devaluation of sterling. It looks like Gordon Brown is getting away with his borrowing binge — leaving the Tories isolated On Monday afternoon I rang a distinguished City economist and asked him a rather technical question