Featured articles


The thrills of summers past

How my heart sinks at the sight of those little features on ‘summer reading’. Follow these recommendations and you will strain your shoulder and your purse, buying and carrying books that will stay unread at least until the cool blast of the autumnal equinox, and probably forever afterwards. Ignore the log-rolling, the favours to friends

The great unknown

Who was Carlos Kleiber, and why has he been voted the best conductor of all time? Carlos Kleiber — the name evokes both Hispanic and German spheres — cancelled performances, never gave interviews, claimed he only conducted when the fridge was empty, and told Placido Domingo he’d prefer to devote his time to drinking wine

Breivik and the right

Must all conservatives answer for the actions of a psychopath? Anders Behring Breivik believed himself a Knight Templar and awarded himself various military ranks accordingly. He also believed that he and other self-described racists had common cause with jihadis and that the USA has a Jewish problem. So even before he planted a car bomb

Amy Winehouse became more helpless with every photograph

Amy Winehouse was found dead at home at 3.54 p.m. last Saturday afternoon. A day earlier, a Norwegian gunman had let off a bomb in central Oslo, shooting youth workers and teens in a national horror-show that was still ongoing. For a couple of hours, editors deliberated who they should ‘go with’ as the top

Vive les vacances!

‘Vous partez?’ ‘Vous partez un petit peu?’ ‘Quand est-ce que vous partez?’ Since early June, Parisians have been asking and answering these questions remorselessly, their minds fixed on holidays and nothing else. Since early July, the capital has been emptying out dramatically: the markets are deserted, shops are boarded up, food supplies even run down.

A gold medal for idiocy

The Olympics are a gigantic folly – and you still have time to be part of it Would you like to compete for Britain at the 2012 Olympics? No, seriously, compete in the real Olympics, march in the athletes’ parade, wear our national colours? Vacancies are still available. Complete beginners most welcome — no experience

Afraid of being right

The coalition risks withering because Cameron won’t listen to the wisdom of ordinary Conservatives It’s the Mary Poppins principle of successful government: a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. A government does the necessary things to keep the nation healthy while dispensing regular sweeteners to sustain the patient’s consent for the treatment. Across

Wake up, Osborne!

He has been desperately trying to persuade us that things could be worse, but the truth is that this week’s news is a bitter blow for George Osborne. He has been desperately trying to persuade us that things could be worse, but the truth is that this week’s news is a bitter blow for George