Featured articles


Balancing act

In a British circus, you will no longer find big cats, dancing bears or sea lions balancing on balls. Anne, the last elephant, paraded around the ring for the final time almost a decade ago, after a circus career lasting more than 50 years. The only wild animals that continue to perform under the big

Blood Brotherhood

 Istanbul In another time, in another place, we might never have known about the death of Jamal Khashoggi. In a Saudi consulate, the staff are guaranteed to say nothing. The reason we know so much is that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, has been willing to tell the world not just what he

All the rage | 25 October 2018

My father, an avowed liberal, taught me old-school manners: hold the door and give up your seat for ladies; stand up when anyone, male or female, enters the room or approaches you at a social gathering; extend your hand in greeting; listen politely when others speak. My mother issued similar instructions in French, and as

American nightmare

 Washington, DC As if American politics were not scary enough, the prospect of President Hillary Rodham Clinton has once again reared its frightful head. The woman is a proven horror, politically speaking. One senior Democrat strategist calls her the ‘kiss of death’. She loses elections she ought to win because people don’t like her. Just

Homage to Ambazonia

 Calabar, Nigeria Simon Ngwa is a gentle and polite man, and he apologised to me first for what he was about to say. ‘I’m sorry if this upsets you, but we in Cameroon are very bitter towards Britain,’ he said. ‘As a child, I was taught to look up to the British Crown as a

Mad about the beast

Richmond Park is an eerie place at this time of year. It’s not just that it’s the deer rutting season, when huge stags fight over their harems, charging heavily about the misty grassland and bellowing as they go. It’s also the herds of photographers looming out of that mist, as strange as the prehistoric cries

How to save Brexit

It’s pretty hard for Britain’s friends, here in Australia, to make sense of the mess that’s being made of Brexit. The referendum result was perhaps the biggest-ever vote of confidence in the United Kingdom, its past and its future. But the British establishment doesn’t seem to share that confidence and instead looks desperate to cut

Notes on...


The first time I encountered Morwenstowe on Cornwall’s north coast I was alone. It was early spring and the church wore a fresh skirt of primroses. As I crossed the stone stile next to the lych-gate, the churchyard inclining before me, I glimpsed beyond the sturdy grey church tower a triangle of greenish blue, a