Why Gove’s night on the dance floor is good news

I was pleased to see pictures of Michael Gove at a nightclub in Aberdeen last weekend. According to press reports, he barrelled into a pub in the city centre at around 1.15 a.m. on Sunday, and when last orders were called he was persuaded by fellow revellers to accompany them to a nightclub called Pipe, where he spent the next hour dancing energetically to loud music. ‘I am almost sure he was by himself,’ said Emma Lament, a singer who had performed an acoustic set earlier in the pub and revealed a ‘merry’ Mr Gove had ‘rocked up’ before closing time. ‘He really was enjoying himself. I don’t think he

Vaccine passports are a betrayal of young people

The government denied it for months. Michael Gove said there were no plans for them. Backbenchers professed that the idea was unethical, unthinkable and unenforceable. The vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said the public could hold him to his promise that vaccine passports were never going to become a reality. Yet in a rather predictable turn of events, the Prime Minister has this week announced that all over-18s will need to demonstrate that they have received both doses of a vaccine in order to enter nightclubs, venues and other large gatherings. From now on, ‘proof of a negative test will no longer be enough.’ Perhaps it’s our fault for continuing to

What’s changed since the last Tokyo Olympics?

Waiting Games What did Japan, and the world, look like the last time Tokyo held the Olympics in 1964? — As this year, Tokyo had to wait to hold the Games. It was awarded the 1940 Olympics, but the offer was withdrawn after the Japanese invasion of China (before the 1940 Games were abandoned altogether). — South Africa was banned for the first time for refusing to send a single, multiracial team to the Games. — In spite of it being three years since the building of the Berlin Wall, East and West Germany entered a single ‘united’ team. — They were the first Games broadcast around the world by

Douglas Murray

The 2020s will be boring, not roaring

Earlier this year, I noted the suggestion (made by an American academic and run with by a swathe of the British press) that we may be about to enter a party decade. The claim was that much as the Great War was followed by the Roaring Twenties, so the Covid era might be followed by a roaring 2020s. Advocates of the theory might point to the queues of young people waiting to get into the country’s nightclubs at one minute past midnight on Monday’s so-called ‘freedom day’. But I would suggest that there is more evidence accumulating in the opposite direction. Far from roaring, I would say it is more

The ancient Greeks had no time for losers

Every red-blooded Englishman has believed that exercise in the open air is the finest prophylactic against popery, adultery and the fine arts. Baron de Coubertin, who dreamt up the modern Olympic Games, took a different view. He admired the spirit of games on the playing fields of Eton and thought that they might provide a model for games of the sort he imagined the ancient Greeks enjoyed at Olympia: competitive but amateur, fair, wholesome, played for the sake of it and also, he hoped, acting as a stimulus to world peace. Up to a point, Lord Copper. The Olympic Games, founded in 776 bc, celebrated Zeus, god of Mount Olympus,

The thrill of going clubbing again

Over the past 16 months, many things in our society have changed: we stayed at home, we baked, we zoomed, we tutted at people enjoying green spaces, we seamlessly slid ‘lockdown’, ‘pandemic’ and ‘social distancing’ into our vocabularies. But one thing that has stayed absolutely, stubbornly, admirably the same is the British public’s dedication to a Big Night Out. Forget Shakespeare, Constable, the Beatles, our true culture is best embodied by our seemingly primal urge to drink to excess, scream the lyrics to cheesy 80s music and generally make a tit of ourselves on the dancefloor. So, doing my patriotic duty, I found myself queueing to get into a bar