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Why Frozen is a fabulously irritating film

17 December 2014 17:40
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For a film I’ve never seen, I really, really hate Frozen. For those who don’t have children and don’t look into shop windows and don’t buy toys and are oblivious… Continue reading

0 Comments

Chelsea fan Brocket dampens Arsenal’s Christmas

17 December 2014 17:23
Lord Brocket with some friends. Image: Getty.

It could be a bleak Christmas party for Arsenal Football Club on the 22 December, as Steerpike hears their planned festive bash booked in at Brocket Hall in Berkshire may be a… Continue reading

0 Comments

Restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba? What’s with all this eruption of sanity in Washington?

17 December 2014 16:38
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The conventional wisdom, at least in Britain, seems to be that Barack Obama’s presidency has been a desperate disappointment. That is partly a reflection of the extravagant – impossibly so… Continue reading

5 Comments

The new CEO of the Arts Council has been announced – Guardianistas won’t be happy

17 December 2014 16:10
Darren Henley - the new CEO of the Arts Council

It is difficult to describe with equanimity the culture shock that has been administered to Arts Council England, the 69 year-old benefits office for the creative industries. Invented by Maynard… Continue reading

8 Comments

Nigel Farage: Bigger Than Jesus

17 December 2014 12:09
Rochester and Strood Parliamentary By-Election

Ukip’s commonwealth spokesperson Winston McKenzie – he of Carnival of Colour fame – is never far from controversy. It was only a matter of time before a devout Ukipper compared their… Continue reading

29 Comments

Tony Abbott is no common sense speaking politician — just look at his comments on ISIL

17 December 2014 8:01
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott gives a statement to the media about the hostage situation which took place in Martin Place yesterday, at Parliament House on December 16, 2014 in Canberra, Australia.

Wow. Anyone who still harboured the idea that Australia was led by no-nonsense, common sense speaking politicians should look away now. Here is Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia, talking… Continue reading

204 Comments

Reindeer roasting on an open fire

16 December 2014 12:59
Image: Getty

What’s wrong with eating reindeer? Well, if you normally eat meat, then I’d argue, absolutely nothing. But not everyone agrees with me. The fact that Lidl are selling packs of… Continue reading

13 Comments

Exclusive: Mrs Farage is still paid for by ‘public sector’ despite Gogglebox denial

16 December 2014 12:06
Nigel Farage with Steph and Dom Parker. Photo: Channel 4.

Ukip has confirmed this morning that Nigel Farage’s wife is still in receipt of public money — despite an on air denial from her husband. The party could not have paid… Continue reading

97 Comments

Dear Mary: How do I use my newly raised profile to meet celebrities?

16 December 2014 11:00
Kate Moss. Getty: Images

From Mr N.M. Gwynne Q. Have you any suggestions on how I could milk my newly raised profile (as a bestselling author on English grammar and Latin, and a regular… Continue reading

1 Comment

Poor Farage was stitched up by Steph and Dom

16 December 2014 10:38
Nigel Farage with Steph and Dom Parker. Photo: Channel 4.

Steph and Dom are the posh-sounding, drunk couple from Gogglebox – the surprise hit programme where people are recorded sitting on sofas giving a running commentary on the TV shows… Continue reading

72 Comments

Steph and Dom Meet…Nigel Farage: the last authentic politician or tipsy fool?

15 December 2014 23:07
(Picture: Channel 4)

Would you invite Nigel Farage around for drinks and dinner? Steph and Dom Meet…Nigel Farage shows what happened when the ‘posh couple’ from Gogglebox did just that. The Ukip leader comes… Continue reading

106 Comments

A radical plan to ease Britain’s housing shortage – double the population of London

15 December 2014 13:55
House Prices Hit New High In The UK

Roger Scruton writes in today’s Daily Telegraph, a sentence that in itself fills me with a sense of Wa – harmony, order. He writes: ‘Whether or not our political class… Continue reading

97 Comments

Dear Mary: What would Mrs Fulford like for Christmas?

15 December 2014 11:00
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From Francis Fulford Q. Have you any suggestions for what to give my wife for Christmas? She doesn’t want anything practical and was deeply unamused when I gave her a… Continue reading

1 Comment

Jeremy Clarke’s heartbreak and A.L. Kennedy’s dislike of dates

15 December 2014 9:30
Moby. Image: Getty.

A.L. Kennedy Novelist I dislike dates. It’s either a yes, or a no. Why date? Sadly, I am both bad at reading the signals which indicate the outbreak of a… Continue reading

1 Comment

Is torture acceptable if it helps save thousands of lives?

14 December 2014 11:20
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This week’s Senate Report on the CIA hasn’t settled the question of torture once and for all, as Bruce Anderson has pointed out. When we talk about the heroes of… Continue reading

127 Comments

Dear Mary: Tom Hodgkinson asks how to earn more money

14 December 2014 11:00
Image: Getty.

From Tom Hodgkinson, Idler Academy Q. I have started my own academy where adults can learn skills such as ukulele, philosophy and calligraphy. This venture has every appearance of success: it… Continue reading

0 Comments

‘Torture is torture’ ignores the complex nature of intelligence gathering

14 December 2014 10:11
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On Thursday I was on the BBC’s ‘This Week’ to talk about the CIA and torture. It is, for many reasons, perhaps the most gruesome subject possible. And not just… Continue reading

221 Comments

Matthew Parris and Dan Snow reveal their strangest dates

14 December 2014 9:30
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Matthew Parris Spectator and Times columnist One evening in 1995 some friends brought a friend to dinner at my flat. His name was Julian, and he seemed rather bright. As… Continue reading

7 Comments

Melissa Kite and Celia Walden recount their most disastrous dates

14 December 2014 9:30
Celia Walden with husband Piers Morgan.

Celia Walden Journalist and novelist It was supposed to be an interview, not a date. But Piers seemed to have other ideas. The Ivy dinner crowd was particularly amusing that… Continue reading

4 Comments

Dear Mary: Jesse Norman asks how to deal with defectors

13 December 2014 11:00
sacha guitry

From Jesse Norman MP Q. We’ve been having a little local difficulty at work with one or two colleagues who vigorously assert their loyalty to the organisation, but then go… Continue reading

6 Comments

Dear Mary: Jim Broadbent worries that he lacks ‘certainty’

13 December 2014 11:00
Jim Broadbent. Image: Getty

From Jim Broadbent Q. As an immensely successful actor I am more than happy with my lot. However, I have recently developed a burning desire to make my mark in… Continue reading

2 Comments

Did Adnan Syed do it?

12 December 2014 16:21
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I doubt most people would have been familiar with the relatively unremarkable murder of a Baltimore high school student by her ex-boyfriend in 1999. Until Serial started a couple of months ago.… Continue reading

14 Comments

The last days of the Cameron administration part 2: Failing Grayling

12 December 2014 15:18
Chris Grayling and Theresa May are unlikely to row over cats and human rights at this year's Conservative party conference. Picture: Getty.

Of all the reasons to wish this government gone, Chris Grayling is the largest. He is shutting poor and much of the working and lower-middle class out of the justice… Continue reading

55 Comments

Nigel Farage and Richard Desmond’s cosy deal making

12 December 2014 14:32
Richard Desmond of the Northern & Shell company at the headquarters of Express Newspapers in central London

Ukip are cock-a-hoop this afternoon with news that controversial proprietor Richard Desmond is to donate £300,000 to Farage’s party ahead of the 2015 election. Express sources confirm that Dirty Desmond… Continue reading

59 Comments

James Runcie’s date didn’t turn fruity, despite him tasting of ‘erotic raspberries

12 December 2014 9:30
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James Runcie Author of The Grantchester Mysteries I met Lucy at a dinner party in the early 1980s. By the main course we were holding hands under the table. She… Continue reading

2 Comments