Tom Fort

The rhetoric of fairyland

I have never met George Monbiot, and I know nothing personally about him to his discredit. I have no reason to think that he is other than polite to shopkeepers, considerate to other road-users, fond of animals, a staunch friend, a sound family man, a respectful and affectionate son. I can only judge the keeper

Mother Earth in a bad mood

The other day someone — actually it was my MP, the member for Henley-on-Thames and former editor of this magazine — asked me if I ‘believed’ in global warming. The question was put in such a way as to suggest it was a matter of faith rather than commonsense. I replied that only half-wits and

The rising tide of clichés

In more tranquil times, before the Gilligan storm broke over his head, the BBC’s admirable and honourable director of news, Richard Sambrook, contributed a foreword to one of the corporation’s periodic attempts to remind its journalists of their responsibilities towards the English language. ‘Clear storytelling and language,’ Sambrook wrote, ‘is at the heart of good