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What makes a hero?

‘Flashman’s just a monster,’ says George MacDonald Fraser. ‘He’s extremely unpleasant but he knows how to present a front to the world, and at least he’s honest about himself. But that was because he assumed that his memoirs would never be published.’ I’d just been putting to the author of the Flashman novels the theory

What it means to be Jewish

The fact that I am Jewish has always mystified me. It bears no relation to anything else in my life — not to the way I was brought up, not to religion since I am agnostic, nor to any community in which I have lived. My parents both came from secular, middle-class, professional German (and

Labour’s stolen votes

Birmingham At one o’clock in the morning of 9 June last year, two days before the local council elections, Police Sergeant John Rattenberry of Erdington police station, Birmingham, was called to investigate something strange going on inside a warehouse. Here’s what he witnessed, in his own words: ‘I entered the first floor of the warehouse

Church of martyrs

For most citizens of Iraq, the invasion meant the end of tyranny. For one group, however, it meant a new start: the country’s historic Christian community. When the war stopped, persecution by Islamists, held in check by Saddam, started. At a church in Basra I visited a month after the war ended, the women complained