Featured articles


Fraser Nelson

Cop out: Boris’s battle to save the climate summit

As so often, the Queen put it best. While opening the Welsh parliament a couple of weeks ago, she was caught on microphone discussing the COP26 summit and its frustrations. ‘Still don’t know who is coming,’ she told the Duchess of Cornwall. ‘It’s really irritating when they talk, but don’t do.’ In just a few

The Tory blame game over COP26 has already started

Just a few months ago, the view inside Downing Street was that the COP26 summit would be a national morale booster. The Coldplay singer Chris Martin was mentioned as a potential headline act and there were excited discussions about giving the event a cute mascot. Now, the headlines are about rail strikes, bin men running

My family and the scars of forced adoption

I was nearly 40 when I discovered that I had an older brother. My lifelong family position as the eldest of four evaporated in a flash one Sunday afternoon in 2008 when my mother called us all together at her house, saying she had something she needed to tell us. She opened a box file

Why are we so afraid of nuclear power?

The climate change summit in Glasgow will have one important part of the discussion missing: the role of nuclear power. It seems the government is in no mood for a discussion with the nuclear industry — every one of its applications to exhibit at the COP26 summit has been rejected. That’s a shame, because there

What’s really behind the net-zero zealotry of big businesses?

Boris Johnson’s biggest challenge at COP26 doesn’t lie in avoiding a finger-wagging from Greta Thunberg, who won’t be going. Neither will it be in preventing the party being spoiled by Insulate Britain holding up the limousines of the great and good. Nor will Johnson have to struggle too hard to persuade his fellow world leaders

In Israel, there’s never an easy fix

From an Israeli army base on the border with Lebanon, I can see the village of Maroun al-Ras. An Iranian flag flies from the dome of the mosque. Nearby, strapped to a post, is a 20ft cutout of the late Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, which was put there earlier this year by Hezbollah after he

Fight club: when book groups turn nasty

‘Small friendly village book club is looking for three or four new members.’ I was infuriated to read this in our village newsletter, an alternative to the parish magazine. I had just been ‘cancelled’ by this ‘friendly’ club from featuring at one of their evenings. A text, sent by a hitherto pleasant woman who’d liked

Why I’m paying my daughter to go to church

It would be weird if my 13-year-old daughter didn’t say she was an atheist. It’s what you say in our culture when you’re that age. To be honest it would creep me out a bit if she was all pious. But she is getting confirmed into the Anglican faith. This is a piece of hoop-jumping

Notes on...

How the pumpkin hijacked Halloween

You see them everywhere in vast orange mounds: pumpkins, piles of pumpkins, large enough to be turned into a coach in Whole Foods, a bargain 65p in M&S. Halloween, in terms of retail, means orange for pumpkin and black for witches. Round our way, a pumpkin outside the front door means that the household is