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Trump’s eastern front

 Kiev There is no lavatory paper to be found in government buildings in Kiev. Plan ahead, locals advise, if you visit a tax office, the council or some other arm of the bureaucracy. This state of affairs is one small sign of the corruption that pervades Ukraine. Even the trifling sums spent on toilet roll

Blatant not latent

It’s exactly 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act, which partially decriminalised male homosexuality, received the Royal Assent on 27 July 1967 after an impassioned late-night debate in the Commons. I wish I could say — death of Kennedy-like — that I remember where I was. But I don’t. I had only one concern that

How cool is Macron?

For a man with a reputation as a bit of an egghead, Emmanuel Macron has acquired a sudden passion for sport. In recent weeks, he’s been seen at rugby matches and football internationals, invited the Lyon women’s football team to the Élysée Palace to celebrate their Champions League win, and found time to chat with

‘I like making things’

Sir James Dyson would make a good therapist for anxious Brexiteers. Everything about him is comfortingly precise — his manner and way of speaking, his owlish round glasses and blow-dried white hair. He exudes a Zen-like calm. What he has to say is reassuring, too. He is as sunnily optimistic about leaving the EU as

Persistent buggers

The credit for decriminalising male homosexuality in 1967 — for those over 21 in England and Wales at least — goes to Harold Wilson’s government, the Labour MP Leo Abse, and the Conservative peer Arthur Gore, 8th Earl of Arran. Yet more than a decade before the Sexual Offences Act received royal assent, a journalistic

Diana the diva

Twenty years in August since Diana died. The anniversary is sad for me on many levels — she was definitely the final famous person I’ll have a pash on, and it reminds me that I haven’t yet earned back the whopping advance I was given for my book about her. To be fair, the book

Notes on...


The South Downs cover 260 sq miles from Hampshire’s Itchen Valley to Eastbourne in East Sussex. Nestled near the southernmost point is Goodwood racecourse, which claims to be the most beautiful track in the world — and you can certainly see why. The downs are stunning, and from the top of the stands you can