Mary Dejevsky

Mary Dejevsky is a writer, broadcaster, and former foreign correspondent in Moscow, Paris and Washington.

Is a national Holocaust memorial still a good idea?

Whatever the fate of the ceasefire and hostage exchange between Israel and Hamas, the latest conflict in the Middle East is reverberating far beyond the region. Recent weeks have seen hundreds of thousands of people march through European and American cities in support of either side. Flag-waving protesters were out in London again this weekend:

Flat-footed: welcome to the floorboard wars

Jarndyce vs Jarndyce, this wasn’t – at least not yet – and it probably passed much of the country by, especially given the rival distractions of recent weeks. It was nonetheless a lawsuit that will have been followed in compulsive detail by at least two groups of people: those who own their own flats –

The NHS problem that can’t be solved with money

Earlier this year, I wrote, out of a mixture of bewilderment and frustration, about my experience as a novice in-patient at what is widely regarded as one of London’s premier teaching hospitals. I had been admitted with a badly broken ankle, and the result was three stays of just a few days each over the course

Can the BBC World Service really go on like this?

The BBC has launched what it is calling an ‘urgent investigation’ into six journalists and a freelancer working for its Arabic-language service over accusations they had shown anti-Israel bias in their coverage and expressed support on social media for Hamas. They were said to have called the attacks that killed more than 1,400 Israelis ‘a

Why can’t I simply book a swim?

It shames me to admit this, but I haven’t been near a public swimming pool for many a year. Hotel pools, yes; the sea – occasionally, in parts of the world with predictable warmth. But I have resisted the new wave of ‘wild’ swimming and was never a regular – to be honest even an

20mph isn’t plenty: the war on motorists has gone too far

‘Absolutely insane’ is the verdict of Penny Mordaunt MP on the Welsh government’s introduction of a 20mph speed limit on residential roads. Having driven along not a few residential roads in Welsh towns and cities earlier this year, I can only agree, with one caveat. There are quite a few places in Wales, and not

The trouble with supermarket self checkouts

Finishing my latest mini-shop at my closest mini-supermarket, I witnessed something I hadn’t seen before. A couple who had used the self-checkouts were stopped at the exit by a staff member who asked to see inside their (store-branded) plastic bag. The customers obliged without demur and a half-smile sent them on their way. But it

What we don’t know about the suspected Bulgarian spies

As a British former foreign correspondent in Moscow and Washington, there are few subjects I turn to with more trepidation than spying, and specifically the Russian variety. On the one hand, there is the 007 factor – the glamour, the martinis, and the derring-do – which colours perceptions on both sides. On the other is the

What’s behind Zelensky’s latest purge?

President Zelensky has announced that he is dismissing the heads of all Ukraine’s regional military recruitment offices and replacing them with veterans who had served on the front line. He used a video address to say that a state investigation had turned up widespread corruption, including bribe-taking and help for draft dodgers to flee abroad. 

Ulez and the limit of Sadiq Khan’s power

That the Conservatives retained the west London seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, albeit by a whisker, has been put down to a single issue: the London Mayor’s plan to extend the ultra low emissions zone to the outer boroughs, to take effect at the end of next month. A legal challenge is currently in

The troubling question of Ukrainian cluster bombs

When the war in Ukraine was only a few months old, Amnesty International published a report condemning what it had found to be the extensive use of cluster munitions in Kharkiv – by Russia. It noted that the weapons were banned by more than 100 countries and said that in Kharkiv they had claimed hundreds

The days of ‘our’ NHS are over

Have you noticed something? Whether it is the nurses, who are no longer striking, the junior doctors, about to spend three days on the picket line in pursuit of their 35 per cent pay claim, or the consultants, threatening a two-day walk-out which they may choose to spend topping up their income in the private

Rishi Sunak is a hit on the world stage

Voters will have learned several things about Rishi Sunak in recent days: that he thinks he can win the next election; that he and his wife have fallen 50-plus places on the annual Sunday Times Rich List, and that he can emerge from a punishing flight schedule – London to Hiroshima via Reykjavik and Tokyo

Move over Help to Buy – we really need Help to Sell

When I learned that the Prime Minister was thinking of launching a new Help to Buy scheme, my first response was ‘Oh no’. My second response was the same, with the caveat that we are in the last days of campaigning for local council elections, with a general election a year or so down the

We shouldn’t rest until all ‘smart’ motorways are axed

Six months after he became Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak has finally honoured one of the smaller, but more eye-catching, promises he made during his party leadership campaign. He has announced an end to the building of so-called ‘smart’ motorways, citing the economic cost and safety concerns. In doing so, Sunak has halted a near 20-year

In defence of Rishi Sunak’s crackdown on beggars

When Rishi Sunak presented the latest attempt by a prime minister to get tough on anti-social behaviour, it wasn’t the graffiti-cleaning or the ‘gotcha’ fly-tip cameras or the labelled jumpsuits that caught my eye. It was the inclusion of begging.  Admittedly, you had to go pretty far down his pledge list before you found it. Perhaps someone

Does it matter if Putin uses a body double?

Was it Vladimir Putin or wasn’t it? ‘Vladimir Putin’ was certainly shown on television being helicoptered into Crimea this week, meeting ‘the people’ and driving himself around reconstruction sites in the devastated city of Mariupol. In the wider world, though, there was widespread scepticism that it was the real Russian President. Clips were posted on

What striking doctors don’t like to admit

The more junior doctors have tried to justify their three-day withdrawal of labour over the past week, the more damage, or so it seems to me, they have done to their cause – whatever that cause may be. On the final day of their strike – in pursuit of a 35 per cent pay rise

How the Manchester Arena bombing inquiry failed

Responding to Sir John Saunders’ third and final report on the bombing at Manchester Arena, Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary called it a ‘difficult day’ for the Home Office. In saying so, she was clearly referring not just to the general failure of the authorities to prevent the attack, which cost 22 lives, but specifically to