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Bush’s object lesson in gracious departure

In 2001, soon after George W. Bush’s inauguration, a bit of gossip surfaced from the White House: outgoing Clinton staffers had crept around the place taking the Ws off keyboards, phone wires had been snipped, furniture broken, glue placed on desk drawers and satirical signs hung up directing people to the ‘Office of Strategery’. Not

Heed the Chinese ghosts of Morecambe Bay

‘Since Dad went to work in England, Mum and I have been missing him all the time. Dad isn’t young anymore and he’s alone in a foreign country. It’s all because of me. What an unworthy daughter I am! Dad wants me to go to university and have a good life. He’s making money for

Savers are Britain’s new underclass

While my remaining bank shares were plummeting last week I bought a copy of Socialist Worker to try to cheer myself up. At least somebody must be enjoying themselves, I reasoned, as I sat down to enjoy what I thought would be red-blooded demands for insurrection and the public execution of Sir Fred Goodwin. I

Smoky notes of the islands: a Burns Night dinner

A wintry London night and the haunting note of the bagpipes summoned us to Burns supper at Boisdale of Belgravia. In the doorway Pipe Major Willie Cochrane paused for breath and shook my hand. ‘Are they giving you a nip of something later?’ I asked. ‘I’ve got one right there,’ he said, pointing to a

My memories of the American Dostoevsky

Justin Cartwright recalls his conversations over the years with John Updike, who died this week, and the master’s contention that the only excuse for reading is to steal I love John Updike immoderately. I am profoundly shocked that he has gone, because he was for me the greatest American writer of the second half of

The disgrace of the Lords is a parable for the end of New Labour

Fraser Nelson says that the ‘cash for amendments’ scandal dramatises the accelerating decay of the Brown regime — economic, political, constitutional. A saga that began in 1997 with grand promises of reform is entering its last bleak phase Even at the ripe old age of 79, Lord Taylor of Blackburn knows how to strike a

Obama Notebook

As Obama-mania engulfs America, I feel that I’m living in the middle of a historical bubble. As Obama-mania engulfs America, I feel that I’m living in the middle of a historical bubble. The palpable excitement that began two months ago, when Obama was elected president, has grown into a great thumping worldwide lovefest. I have