Featured articles


How should I spend Joe Biden’s money?

I’ve spent nearly my entire adult life working in Britain, but Uncle Sam never forgets about Americans abroad. We can vote in elections. We still file tax returns. And we also, it seems, benefit from Joe Biden’s spending binges. His latest instalment slipped through my letterbox last week: a cheque for $1,400. It’s a stimulus;

How Neanderthal are you?

My brother recently decided to get a DNA test. He discovered that our family were all descended from a mix of the usual British suspects — a bit of Viking, Anglo-Saxon and Celt — and were predisposed to standard diseases and health risks. But there was one surprise. My siblings and I had double the

Hospital wards are filling up again – with fakers

How do I know that Britain’s Covid crisis is over? The fakers are back. The hypochondriacs, the psychosomatics, the pseudo-fitters, the attention-seekers and the lonely. They’ve started to return to the acute medical ward where I work. They’ve been gone so long I actually almost missed them. This collection of patients, who take up time

Football’s billionaires will win in the end

Not for the first time, our Prime Minister has executed a very sharp U-turn. Last month, heralding the achievements of AstraZeneca, Boris Johnson professed that the vaccine had been made possible because of greed, echoing the phrase used by Gordon Gekko in Wall Street that ‘greed is good’. Now, though, he seems to be of

The problem with ‘role models’

Watching the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh at the weekend — that Land Rover, that lack of eulogy — I felt an alien emotion steal over me. Shortly after the last blast of the bagpipes faded away, I realised what it was: I’d like to be like that. Amusingly, the only person this working-class

Westminster and the truth about the class ceiling

I come from the Lancastrian town of Ormskirk, which, though pretty, provided little in the way of opportunity or aspiration. No one in our family had been to university. I qualified for free school meals. Expectations for my future were low. But I was lucky. I had great mentors and ended up in Downing Street.

Is Germany about to go Green?

Angela Merkel never quite managed to appoint a successor. Her 16 years at the helm of Europe’s largest democracy has seen every potential challenger either annihilated or neutered. For all her motherly charms, Mutti Merkel is a merciless political operator. The Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister, the Christian Social Union, seem to have

Notes on...

‘Walking football’ is in a super league of its own

As a footballer, I’m elderly not elite, meaning that I’m one of 60,000 or so 50- to 92-year-olds (yep, 92!) in England who enjoy a more pedestrian version of the sport than the Premier League’s whippersnappers. A survey last year revealed that for many of us ‘walking footballers’, the sport is our most significant social