Featured articles


Bookselling for illiterates

Books, we are continually told, particularly by people who rarely read them, are going the way of the dodo. The shops that sell them are closing at an alarming rate, as the dreaded Kindle takes over, and public libraries are being encouraged to turn themselves into noisy ‘resource centres’, designed to attract the feckless young.

The fall of the meritocracy

I caught the figure strolling towards me out the corner of my eye. At first I thought I was mistaken. Then it nearly took my breath away. I was standing in the impressive wooden-beamed assembly hall of Paisley Grammar, where I’d gathered at the start of each school day many years before, silent and smartly

Where’s the divide?

The outcry over Sayeeda Warsi’s speech on Islamophobia last week cannot be understood without a clear grasp of the balance of power within the coalition government. There are two factions, and the strongest can loosely be described as neoconservative. This faction remains an unconditional supporter of the United States of America, continues to defend the

Islamophobia? Not until after dessert

When you have guests over for dinner — Tuscan lamb with truffled polenta, perhaps, followed by pear tarte tatin — at what time do you raise your hand, or bang a knife upon a glass and say. When you have guests over for dinner — Tuscan lamb with truffled polenta, perhaps, followed by pear tarte

Go east, young man

When Poles arrive in Britain, we learn some fascinating things about ourselves. We are, it seems, from a part of the world known as the ‘Eastern bloc’. It is populated by lazy benefits thieves, most of whom want to move to Britain. When the EU flung open Britain’s barriers seven years ago, the stereotype wasn’t

Social engineering

Heinz Wolff’s latest and most ambitious experiment might just solve the problem of care for the elderly Heinz Wolff has been offered Maidenhead by the government as the laboratory for his next and boldest experiment, but it is not enough. ‘They should give me the Isle of Wight,’ he cries, domed cranium pulsing beneath his

Welcome home, Baby

Jean-Claude Duvalier, the former dictator of Haiti once known as Baby Doc, returned to his native land last week, looking wide-eyed and frail. He read a statement in which he expressed ‘deep sorrow for all those who say they were victims of my government’ and promised that he hadn’t come home to cause trouble, but