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Matthew Lynn

Vaccine wars: the global battle for a precious resource

Armed guards are patrolling the perimeter fence of a sleek factory. Software experts are fending off hackers. Border officials are checking trucks and ferries, not for weapons or illegal immigrants, but for a mysterious biochemical soup, while spies and spin doctors are feeding social media with scare stories flaming one national champion or another. Welcome

Australian border closures could work for Britain. Here’s why

Melbourne Australia has been a rare success story during the pandemic. There have been around 29,000 cases of Covid, 908 of which have proved fatal. There are currently just 125 active cases in the entire country, a mere 25 of which have required hospitalisation. For a population of 25 million, this is a vastly different

#MeTooInceste: has France’s code of silence finally been broken?

Montpellier Accusations of child abuse against Olivier Duhamel, now 70, ex-vice-president of Sciences Po university and of the secretive Siècle (Century) club of Parisian movers and shakers, have cast a dark shadow on the legacy of the soixante-huitards, the baby boomers who occupied the Sorbonne in 1968 and went on to rule (and ruin) France.

Will Britain’s orchestras survive the Brexit exodus?

In the first month of Brexit, two British orchestras were publicly beheaded. The London Symphony Orchestra was shocked to discover that its music director, Sir Simon Rattle, had taken a better job in Munich, while the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra was forced to accept that its luminous Lithuanian, Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, was simply too hot

After three centuries, we need a museum of British premiership

Thursday 3 April 1721 was an unremarkable day in political London. No fanfare or ceremony surrounded King George I’s appointment of Robert Walpole as First Lord of the Treasury (Prime Minister), merely a paragraph buried in the press: ‘We are informed that a Commiffion is preparing appointing Mr Walpole Firft Lord…’ Yet here was the

Capital punishment: why wealth taxes don’t work

No new year would be complete without the traditional Oxfam survey showing that a few of the richest people on the planet own more assets than the poorest 50 per cent of the world’s population combined. The figures change, but the gist is the same. January is usually a slow month, and it makes for


My taste of lockdown freedom on the Camino pilgrimage

A few of the hip young things sitting along the Lisbon quayside turned their heads my way as my walking sticks scraped along the pavement. I didn’t slow down, though, because I was self-conscious about how I looked. Hiking 2,000km along an extended Camino pilgrimage from the French-Spanish border through northern Spain then down through

Notes on...

Why Doc Martens are the only footwear you need

Doc Martens are one of those quintessentially British things that, like the royal family and lorries queuing on the M20, turn out actually to be Germany’s doing. The ancestor of what became the ‘Air Wair’ sole was designed in 1945 by a German army doctor with a sore foot. Amid the postwar hurly-burly, he ‘salvaged’