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Rod Liddle

‘All local government should be abolished’

It doesn’t matter who’s in charge, says Rod Liddle. Once elected, a localcouncil automatically becomes self-important and incompetent A charity called Help for Heroes, which raises money for wounded British soldiers, asked Portsmouth City Council for a £500 donation towards a proposed ‘fun day’. The council declined the request, saying that to have given money

Don’t mention the Afghan–Pakistan war

At a recent dinner party in the British embassy in Kabul, one of the guests referred to ‘the Afghan-Pakistan war’. The rest of the table fell silent. This is the truth that dare not speak its name. Even mentioning it in private in the Afghan capital’s green zone is enough to solicit murmurs of disapproval.

‘Make him sit and wait’

The lady in the orange baseball cap is shouting to be heard. It is true that she hasn’t got much choice — the barking has become deafening. ‘You have to teach them to respect you!’ she screams. Owners tug sheepishly at their dogs’ leads and attempt to shush them without appearing to be unworthy of

Our lazy firemen must make a radical change

Britain’s firefighters are under-worked and inflexible, says Leo McKinstry. It’s time we created a unified emergency service A cooling breeze wafted through the plane trees under the inky-black Provence sky. In the distance, the band played as couples danced. The rural village’s annual summer celebration presented the gentlest of scenes. But suddenly there was a

Marking Sats has always been a total fiasco

The Sats disaster is depressing, but I’m afraid that as someone who’s marked them for ten years, it’s not altogether surprising. In the early days of the National Curriculum tests — the Sats — I was a Key Stage 2 Science marker, sworn to Masonic-like secrecy about this mysterious testing process. In my innocence I

Meet Italy’s answer to Boris

Gianni Alemanno, Rome’s new right-wing mayor, tells John Laughland that it’s time for the Eternal City to adopt a ‘zero tolerance’ approach There are few people, I imagine, who could make Boris Johnson jealous, but Gianni Alemanno is probably one of them. Two days before Boris’s election as Mayor of London, the conservative Alemanno conquered