Featured articles


Matthew Lynn

Europe’s panic: the meltdown over vaccines

The Dutch city of Leiden has rarely played a dramatic role in European history. Quiet, rainy and tucked away close to the sea, it is in many ways the Durham of the Continent. It was besieged by the Spanish in the Eighty Years’ War, Rembrandt was born and worked there, Einstein taught intermittently at its

Failing upwards: the story of Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen looks every inch the modern European stateswoman. Her tailored trouser suits, no-fuss hair and assured speeches: what’s not to like? When she was put forward by the European Council for President of the European Commission, her fellow Germans knew precisely what to expect. A poll found that only a third said

Bristol is now a hotbed of ‘ventrification’

Seeing my hometown, Bristol, in flames this week following the violent ‘Kill the Bill’ riots, it was unrecognisable as the safe south-west city which I had dreamed of leaving since the age of 12 (when I started sleeping beneath a poster of Harry Beck’s classic London Underground map). I finally escaped to the capital in

The agony of watching friends succeed

I’ve just had the first sign that things are going back to normal — and that I’m going back to normal, too. I was suddenly struck by a feeling I’ve not had since the first lockdown last March; a feeling writers and journalists know all too well. Literary envy. Whatever your profession, envy is something

Can Britain’s new military policy end decades of pretence?

Like most prime ministers, Boris Johnson has grown fond of deploying the military — albeit so far on the home front. Enthused by the army’s service in the London Olympics, he turned to them when the pandemic struck and 101 Logistic Brigade have been embedded in government ever since. They distributed PPE to frontline workers

Teenage life has never been so fraught

You’ve heard about Everyone’s Invited? It’s the controversial new website for female students, mostly schoolgirls, to unburden themselves about boys behaving badly. It has trashed the reputation of some independent schools, Dulwich being the latest. There are sections for St Paul’s, Eton and Latymer Upper — and, among the private schools, my son’s state school,

We don’t need a law against ‘conversion therapy’

Earlier this month, with the citizenry still confined to their houses, borrowing at record highs and GDP in a record slump, there was a debate in Westminster Hall about ‘conversion therapy’. An internet petition has called on the government to ‘Make LGBT conversion therapy illegal in the UK’. And so for a couple of hours

Notes on...

How mead became cool again

The last time I drank mead was 7 April 1978. It was my 18th birthday and —unforgettably — it was snowing heavily. My chum Mark had bought me a bottle of Lindisfarne Mead which I knocked back on top of several Tequila Sunrises, a bottle of Black Tower and a few Brandy Alexanders. This toxic