Featured articles


Damian Thompson

Age of the addict

When future generations look back at the early 21st century, they may well decide that its political turmoil — the collapse of the euro, the spread of Islam, the rise of China — pales into insignificance next to a far more important development: a fundamental change in the relationship between human beings and their social

Ukip’s new deal

Nigel Farage is relishing the chance to sow discord in Tory ranks Nigel Farage looks round with mild disgust at the antiseptic Westminster restaurant in which we’re meant to be having lunch. The leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party tilts his head back and sniffs the air theatrically, then whispers, ‘Why don’t we just

The price of gold

On 27 July millions will drown in syrup as Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, delivers his usual platitudes about international togetherness and sport without boundaries. He might, for example, do something close to reciting the mission statement of the IOC’s world conference on Sport for All, held in Beijing last September: ‘to

From Prussia with love

In a baroque palace in Potsdam, on the leafy outskirts of Berlin, those industrious Germans are throwing a spectacular birthday party. The Neues Palais is a flamboyant folly, built by Frederick the Great to celebrate Prussia’s victory in the Seven Years War, and this summer it’s become the forum for a huge exhibition celebrating the

Read more, speak less

Marilynne Robinson, Obama’s favourite contemporary novelist, says we all have a duty to raise our intellectual game As a child Marilynne Robinson was enthralled by writing poetry. As an adult, she says, it has never been quite the same. ‘During a thunderstorm or something like that I would write some crazy poem and then hide

Down with Chelsea

It’s that depressing flower show again, full of forced plants and taking over the television schedules Have you been to the Chelsea Flower Show this year? Did you find it a little bit depressing? I thought so. For me, it’s like New Year’s Eve — every year I feel I should go and have fun,

Travel special – Peak district: Away from the flock

Derbyshire’s landscape is hauntingly beautiful, says Stuart Reid, so long as you can make your peace with the sheep Sheep are ugly, dirty, stupid and cowardly, but by far the nastiest thing about them is that in the countryside they are given precedence over dogs. Take your dog for a romp in the Peak District,

Travel special – Scottish borders: On the edge

It’s odd, but most of the English faces we see in our wee corner of the Scottish Borders are merely ‘stopping’ for a night or two on their way north. What is the point, they wonder, in driving all this way only to settle a hair’s breadth past that gaudy ‘Welcome to Scotland’ sign? If