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The pursuit of happiness

You’ve got to realise they would have done it. They would have gone right ahead and swept another priceless heirloom from the mantelpiece of history. They were revving up their bulldozers, ready to roar into the ancient and irreplaceable ecosystem. Another great tree would have been felled in the forest of knowledge, and the owl

The only way is up

Whatever happened to social mobility? One of the most disturbing themes to emerge from the grammar schools debate and the current rash of Blair retrospectives is the discovery that even under a supposedly progressive Prime Minister, our society is holding too many people back rather than propelling them forward. And the reasons behind this reveal

Nato’s Commander in Kabul

Dan McNeill, Nato’s commander in Kabul, tells Heidi Kingstone that even a ‘hard-bitten dude’ faces a struggle to make the liberated country function as an orderly society Dan McNeill used to give his briefings from a rocking-chair. Today, as he opens the door to his Kabul office, there is no rocking-chair in sight. As the

Happy birthday John Wayne

Iain Johnstone celebrates the centenary of the ‘Duke’ and recalls a memorable holiday off the Mexican coast with the toupee-less Hollywood legend Had he lived, John Wayne would have been 100 on Saturday. I knew him. In the spring of 1976 he invited me to go on holiday with him on the Wild Goose, his

The BBC should be less opinionated

Rod Liddle says that the Corporation has no right to adopt a position on an issue such as David Maclean’s private member’s bill, and should stick to reporting the facts A BBC foreign correspondent was once sacked by the Corporation for claiming expenses fraudulently. What alerted the BBC accountants to a possible transgression was this