Melanie McDonagh

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

Why Gillian Keegan is right to scrap the free school cap

1 May 2024 8:31 pm

The other day a nice Albanian builder came round. He was in an upbeat mood because his son had been…

Why the public doesn’t support decriminalising abortion

9 April 2024 10:30 pm

Curious, isn’t it, how sentiment changes on a critical issue all of a sudden? Not so long ago, the prospect…

Irish voters have refused to erase the family

10 March 2024 7:33 pm

It’s not been a particularly good weekend for the political establishment in Ireland. Two constitutional changes have been rejected by…

Menopausal women shouldn’t be treated differently

22 February 2024 9:58 pm

Granted, I could be a beneficiary of the latest guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) about women…

How to get through Lent

15 February 2024 3:38 am

Well, it’s a pig of a coincidence to have Ash Wednesday coinciding with Valentine’s Day. So, at the start of…

Canterbury Cathedral’s ‘rave in the nave’ is indefensible

10 February 2024 4:14 am

It’s too late to get tickets for Canterbury Cathedral’s silent disco tonight – as with last night’s event, they sold…

Is Caroline Nokes really a Conservative?

3 February 2024 7:43 pm

Quite a number of people have been asking what Caroline Nokes MP is doing in the Conservative party after her…

Alabama’s nitrogen gas execution is indefensible

27 January 2024 12:09 am

Let’s park for a moment the morality of the death penalty. You know what you think. It’s one of those…

Why are doctors being threatened for reporting late-term abortions?

26 January 2024 8:42 am

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) this week threatened to use punitive measures against doctors who report late-term abortions…

Why the Children’s Word of the Year makes me feel sad

17 January 2024 12:26 am

Along with the Oxford University Press Word of the Year – usually something you’d never say yourself – and the…

Just Say No to abstinence this January

2 January 2024 12:52 am

Today’s a day for waltzes from Vienna and loafing around on one of the three days of the year when people…

A true Vienna experience includes the Sacher cake

21 December 2023 1:31 am

What Victoria is to a jam sponge, so is Sacher to chocolate cake. It’s a man, a hotel and a…

Stella Creasy is wrong about the ‘motherhood penalty’

17 December 2023 8:39 pm

If you find yourself frazzled by the Christmas rush, spare a thought for Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow, who is…

Do we really need more diversity on Gardener’s World?

18 November 2023 5:00 pm

Boo. Monty Don is retiring in a couple of years as presenter of Gardener’s World, because it’s getting to be…

Should Kyiv really ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church?

17 November 2023 9:14 pm

The war in Ukraine, which was until 7 October the only foreign news we could think about, is no longer centre…

The best of this year’s children’s books

11 November 2023 9:00 am

Among many delights, the Greco-Persian wars are brought to thrilling new life and a truly bizarre Alaskan folk tale is retold

Why did this brilliant Irish artist fall off the radar?

28 October 2023 9:00 am

Sir John Lavery has always had a place in Irish affections. His depiction of his wife, Hazel, as the mythical…

There’s nothing conservative about Sunak’s smoking ban

5 October 2023 10:03 pm

Is Rishi Sunak the least Tory Tory PM ever? He’s fundamentally Californian at heart: witness his terrible policy to ban…

Parent trap: the relentless rise of children’s speaker Yoto

23 September 2023 9:00 am

Yoto, the technological babysitter


26 August 2023 9:00 am

Manchester United failed Mason Greenwood

22 August 2023 6:58 pm

So, the Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood has not been found guilty of the offences of attempted rape and coercive…

Why does the Beano want to cancel itself?

29 July 2023 9:00 am

The drive for inclusivity in children’s publishing