Lant Street would be easy to miss, if you weren’t looking for it. Charles Dickens lodged on Lant Street as a child, during his father’s stay in Marshalsea debtors’ prison nearby. The Gladstone Arms is about halfway down, doors open to the narrow street on a warm afternoon in August.
Inside, an old man nurses a pint in late summer light that falls through mullioned windows. The grain of the oak floors has a dark patina of London grime.
[audioplayer src="http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/thereturnofassisteddying/media.mp3" title="Lord Falconer and Douglas Murray debate 'assisted dying'" startat=42]
[/audioplayer]A couple of years ago I contacted Holland’s top pro-euthanasia organisation. Our House of Lords looks likely to approve a bill legalising euthanasia here, I told them. ‘Very exciting!’ came the reply.
Next month Parliament will again be discussing ‘assisted dying’, and although the tone of the British debate is not yet quite like the Dutch one, a shift in tone has undoubtedly occurred.
It’s Notting Hill Carnival this weekend. Two days of skanking, dutty dancing and daggering (the dance, rather than the weapon).
No carnival experience would be complete without rum punch and jerk chicken, or for that matter crime, cannabis and cocaine. Drugs are part of the fun at Europe’s biggest street festival. There were 76 drug arrests at the festival last year, and 88 arrests made before the party even started as part of a dawn raid seizing machine-guns and crack.
How should a new mother feed her baby? You might well imagine that was up to her. While some mothers take to breast-feeding as if their bosoms have been waiting all their lives for it, others find it exhausting, excruciating and demoralising. Sacrificing every waking hour to nature’s cause, they still produce a mere soupçon of milk, not nearly enough to satisfy a ravenous baby. So isn’t it sometimes better to bottle-feed, with formula milk?
[audioplayer src="http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/thereturnofassisteddying/media.mp3" title="Simon Jenkins and Fraser Nelson discuss whether foreign interventions can work" startat=1768]
[/audioplayer]Is it going to happen again? Will the next 12 months really see western armies return to Iraq?
Last year was meant to signal an end to wars of intervention that dominated the world stage at the turn of the 21st century, attacks by powerful western states mostly against weak Muslim ones.
The idea of dyeing a rhino’s horn pink is not absurd. It’s everything else about the 21st-century rhino-human interface that’s ridiculous. The pink-horn notion is a serious proposal and it’s as sane as the whole thing gets. There are plenty of other wacky notions out there. One is to drill a hole in a rhino’s horn and fill it with poison; the idea of the dye is to mark the horn as a poisoned one. Cutting the damn things off has also been tried.
Every year without fail, as the trees start thinking about losing their leaves, the papers are full of the same photographs and the same stories. The pictures are of groups of teenagers grinning triumphantly — hugging one another or throwing their exam results in the air in joy.
What we have just experienced is exam results week; or, to be precise, results fortnight: first A-levels and then, one week later, GCSEs.