Flat White

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Free votes: a free reform

When the dispiriting kabuki theatre that is the same-sex marriage survey finally reaches its denouement next month, focus will again…

21 Oct 2017

Chesterton’s prophesy

To step back and take a broad view of history is to see a constant and almost incessant Muslim onslaught…

21 Oct 2017

Business/Robbery etc

BHP’s green-aligned sabotage of the Mineral Council of Australia’s battle to save the Australian coal industry cannot be explained simply…

21 Oct 2017

Climate excuses

Tony Abbott may have annoyed the climate change mob with his speech in London (see Diary), but a far more…

21 Oct 2017

Decaying one day, enchanting the next

The private island resort of Bedarra was once a byword for excess: champagne baths were not unheard of. But when…

Energy robber barons

The car industry were amateurs compared to these guys. During the last great assistance package to the car sector, the…

14 Oct 2017

A world without Christianity

Not all homosexuals are cowering in corners as they suffer the dreaded hate speech of the same-sex marriage debate; indeed,…

14 Oct 2017

Kiwi cargo cult

Driving south from Auckland you might well ask why the big volcanoes are spread all over the North Island unlike…

14 Oct 2017

Cressida Campbell Still life with dragonfly 2016-17

Emerging from a gifted family, Cressida Campbell is now one of Australia’s most celebrated artists. She chose an unusual medium…

21 Oct 2017

Xavier de Maistre

Gracie Fields used to sing: ‘I took my harp to a party but nobody asked me to play’. I can’t…

14 Oct 2017

The Merry Widow

Not everyone celebrates a 55th anniversary, but if you are a national ballet company at the peak of its form,…

7 Oct 2017

Terracotta bust of Edmund Barton by Nelson Illingworth (c.1901)

Although they are not especially grand, these houses are arguably the most significant in the country. The four official residences…

30 Sep 2017

Dear Mary

Q. A newish friend who has very good manners lent me a DVD of his grandfather at the Olympics. I…

21 Oct 2017

High life

I may have spoken too soon last week when I defended my old friend Harvey Weinstein. It now looks very…

21 Oct 2017

Low life

On Saturday night, I toddled up to the village hall for the fish-and-chip supper, quiz night and raffle — bring…

21 Oct 2017

Einstein vs Weinstein

Before I forget, I was cheered by the letter from Keith Aitken in last week’s issue noting another sense for…

21 Oct 2017

A choice of first novels

Black Rock White City (Melville House, £16.99) is ostensibly about a spate of sinister graffiti in a Melbourne hospital. ‘The…

21 Oct 2017

Unearthly powers

This delightfully good-humoured novel is the sort of genre scramble that doesn’t often work: there’s a bit of 1990s family…

21 Oct 2017

The pilgrims’ ways

Liza Picard, an chronicler of London society across the centuries, now weaves an infinity of small details into an arresting…

21 Oct 2017

Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat

Lord Woolton put it best: ‘Few people have succeeded in obtaining such a public demand for their promotion as the…

21 Oct 2017

Art and aspiration

When Adam Gopnik arrived in Manhattan in late 1980 he was an art history postgrad so poor that he and…

21 Oct 2017

Three daemons in a boat

Philip Pullman’s new k, the prequel to his Northern Lights series — the one north Oxford academics very much prefer…

21 Oct 2017

Lend me your ears

Complaints about the decline and fall of political oratory are nothing new. Back in 1865 a British reporter branded the…

21 Oct 2017

Hunt the lady’s slipper

Who would want to read a whole book about a teenage boy’s gap year? When most 18-year-olds take time off…

21 Oct 2017

Something scary in the attic

How do you like your ghosts? Supernatural fiction is arguably the hardest to get right. Ideally it should terrify, but…

21 Oct 2017

Broken dreams

In the expensive realm of musical comedy, it’s impossible to predict what will take off and what will crash and…

21 Oct 2017

The problem with Hungary

The name of the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, is on the lips of most left-wing, liberal politicians and intellectuals…

14 Oct 2017

On the waterfront

Much has been made of the American novelist Jennifer Egan’s mutation, in her latest novel, from purveyor of metafiction and…

14 Oct 2017