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Plan overboard!

The euro crisis has prompted national parliaments across the continent to dump their Euro-federalist baggage It was the political equivalent of Mother Teresa announcing that she had converted to agnosticism. Bart De Wever, the leader of Belgium’s largest political party, was such a Euro-federalist zealot that a year ago he declared he wanted his country

Can they take Tripoli?

Into battle with Libya’s middle-class rebel army Nafusa mountains, Libya ‘My people, did you forget what you got from this tyrant Gaddafi? Only pain, death and humiliation!’ The commander of the Tripoli Brigade was rallying his men at a rebel base not far from the frontline in the western mountains. ‘Stand up, in his face,

Give Charlie a break

The boy’s gone to jail. Isn’t that enough? I was watching the news on the evening of 10 December, some follow-up reports about the student protest the day before, and saw a clip of a young man wielding a mannequin’s leg — shod in a lady’s wedge-heeled boot — as he declared that he and

High noon

The American left is revelling in Rupert Murdoch’s British troubles – and it’s America that has the power to really hurt him Washington DC Let’s start, first, with the bare facts: a British newspaper has been found to have broken British law. The proprietor has closed the paper and apologised profusely. Some British policemen have

Duvets or blankets?

Some issues are ‘life-dividers’ – no compromise will ever work Sheets and blankets: I have loved them always. The now ubiquitous duvet, current winner in the affections of sleepers, is to me the enemy. There is so much against it: its habit of preferring the other sleeper, and twisting over to his side. The draughts

Freedom in Wales

Peter Paterson, who died last week, was a political columnist for this magazine in 1970, and later a frequent contributor. This extract, from a piece published in The Spectator in 1983, describes his evacuation, in 1944, from Spurgeon’s Orphan Home, south London, to Cwmllynfell, South Wales: Our trainload of orphans had arrived in 1944 in