Melanie McDonagh

Melanie McDonagh is a leaderwriter for the Evening Standard and Spectator contributor. Irish, living in London.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Speech On International Development

Is the man who gave us fixed term parliaments now trying to do away with them?

27 June 2016 15:27

Nick Clegg has written an interesting column for the Evening Standard today about the referendum result. You will not be…

Heading to the polls. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

There will be big trouble if Brexit doesn't mean lower migration

26 June 2016 17:49

It does seem to me that there’s been a misunderstanding about what, exactly, a referendum is about. It’s not a…

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Image: PAULO NUNES DOS SANTOS/AFP/Getty Images

What does Brexit mean for Britain's relations with Ireland?

24 June 2016 16:13

The Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny, was quick off the block to react to the referendum result – see his…


This EU anarchy is more interesting than the alternative

24 June 2016 12:34

Don’t know about you, but the healing process is proving difficult from my point of view in dealing with my…

(Photo: Getty)

The collective amnesia over Turkey and the EU is astonishing

22 June 2016 13:01

Just wondering: is there anyone out there who actually remembers supporting Turkish membership of the EU? Last night Sadiq Khan…

What’s the point of The Templeton Prize? After going to last night’s ceremony, I’m not sure

27 May 2016 14:17

The Templeton Prize is known to lots of people from Richard Dawkins’ intemperate denunciation of it in The God Delusion…

What seeing Thomas a Becket’s elbow taught me about the church

25 May 2016 18:06

It’s not every day, you know, you get to see a bit of the elbow of Thomas a Becket. In…


What was the Queen meant to say about the Chinese officials?

11 May 2016 16:46

A retired diplomat I know had no doubt about where the blame lay for the Queen’s Very Rude episode. ‘Sounds…


Sadiq Khan’s victory has caused a Great Smug to settle over London

9 May 2016 17:57

London is going through one of its periodic fits of smugness right now, for which the only real parallel is…

Boris Johnson Leads 48Hour Brexit Blitz Of Campaigning

Has Boris finally realised why Turkey shouldn’t join the EU?

18 April 2016 14:44

So good to see Boris Johnson making the obvious case for Brexit, namely that the Turks are at the door.…

David Cameron Addresses University Students Over The EU Referendum

There’s a right way – and a wrong way – to hold a referendum

10 April 2016 11:56

Personally, I love referendums. It’s the notion that the people really can have things their way which is so pleasing,…

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Justin Welby has discovered who his genetic father really was – isn’t uncertainty better?

9 April 2016 8:57

A few things come to mind as a result of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s bombshell revelation that his father was…

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Want to stand up to terrorism? Then keep calm and carry on

24 March 2016 10:50

As I’m sure is the case with many of you, I’ve been giving serious thought to how best to Stand Up To Terrorism,…

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Getty)

How would Turkey’s EU membership stem the flow of migrants?

9 March 2016 14:47

Stop me if I haven’t got this right. But as I understand it, as a result of the deal that…

teh queen

Is anyone surprised that the Queen didn’t approve of gay marriage?

7 March 2016 15:43

Of all the frankly riveting stuff in the Daily Mail’s serial of what it calls ‘The Unknown Queen’ — nicely timed…


The DfE has issued guidance on exclamation marks. How Orwellian is that!

6 March 2016 18:04

A friend of mine, another journalist, is getting terrifically worked up about the Department for Education’s persecution of exclamation marks.…

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The mystery of Mothering Sunday

5 March 2016 19:00

Among the treats the mothers of Britain can look forward to on Mothering Sunday there are some rum offerings. A…

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A late retirement is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, it should be celebrated

2 March 2016 13:17

Can you think of anyone who isn’t actually better in work than out of it? My mother took early retirement…

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If I were Richard Dawkins, I’d count my blessings

16 February 2016 12:52

It reflects rather well on Richard Dawkins that he still hasn’t joined his followers – the religious connotations of the…


Facebook’s ‘Motherhood Challenge’ is designed for sad exhibitionists

5 February 2016 17:06

Further proof that social media is fundamentally evil comes by way of Facebook’s Motherhood Challenge. It has been doing the…

Prime Minister David Cameron Announces Free Schools Pledge

State education hypocrites aren’t new, but does Cameron really want to be one?

1 February 2016 13:58

You can expect an oddly muted response to the news that the Camerons may be sending their son Elwen to…


Britain is losing its religion, but nobody seems that bothered

19 January 2016 16:46

This evening, if you have time and are around central London, there is an interesting lecture at the British Academy…

James McConnell and Muhammad Al Hussaini (Photo: PAcemaker)

This tale about a pastor, a priest and an imam gives me hope

8 January 2016 17:06

Pastor James McConnell is back in business as an Evangelical preacher having been found not guilty on a couple of…

Tyson Fury poses for a photograph ahead of a press conference at the Macron Stadium on November 30, 2015 in Bolton, England

Why Tyson Fury deserves to win Sports Personality of the Year

6 December 2015 18:49

We can all agree, I think, that the notion of a Sports Personality of the Year is something of an…


Modern media makes the world smaller – and that’s no bad thing

30 November 2015 18:01

It’s not that often you get the low business of journalism put into its proper social and spiritual context but…