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Ross Clark

The Covid revolts: Europe’s new wave of unrest

Given the ability of Covid-19 to make fools out of everyone, it is not entirely fair to single out an opinion piece penned by Christina Pagel and Martin McKee, members of the self-appointed ‘Independent Sage’ committee on 7 October. But it sums up an attitude which was common just seven weeks ago. ‘England, not for

Daughters for sale: Afghans are growing desperate

Shukria Abdul Wahid has nine children, two boys and seven girls. All they had to eat yesterday, she says, were two small pieces of stale flatbread — for the whole family. She and her husband went without. They couldn’t even have tea to quieten their own hunger pangs. The gas bottle used to boil water

‘Immigration is war’: an interview with Éric Zemmour

Éric Zemmour looks down at a copy of The Spectator and cocks his eyebrows at the unflattering cartoon of him on the cover. He decides he doesn’t care. ‘It takes a lot to offend me, you know,’ he says. He then leafs through the magazine making polite and appreciative noises. ‘Ah, Doooglas Murray!’ he exclaims.

Peng Shuai and the return of the concubine

A high-flying Chinese businessman once told me his secret to happiness: ‘Before a man is 35, women are tools; after 35, women are toys.’ It worked for him. He married an educated woman from a good family who helped him climb the career ladder; but once established in his career, he began seeking more exciting

When did Christmas adverts become so unbearable?

When I was young, I dated a man who wasn’t in advertising, but had lots of friends who were. Because I am witty, at some point during dinner — usually when dessert was being laid out with a platinum credit card — one of them would say: ‘Have you ever thought of working in advertising?’

Why today’s classic books may not be tomorrow’s

I used to think that you could spot a literary classic by identifying certain salient characteristics: the writing would need literary quality, for example; the book would have had some historical significance; it would have an enduring reputation among scholars and general readers. But each rule threw up exceptions. Darwin’s The Origin of Species is

Notes on...

The secrets of being a Christmas elf

I was 19 when I became a Hamleys elf. The closest thing I can compare it to is military service. Every elf was given a uniform and it was our responsibility to make sure it looked presentable. It was green and red, with matching shoes and hat, and striped tights that didn’t keep out the