Columns

Lockdown used to be the norm for new mothers

9 May 2020 9:00 am

I laughed when my Spanish midwife mentioned in passing that in Latin American countries they have a custom for new…

This pandemic has put politics on fast-forward

9 May 2020 9:00 am

‘The normal grease of politics is not there,’ bemoans one sociable cabinet minister. Certainly, the whispered conversations in corridors that…

This crisis will be decided by politics, not science

2 May 2020 9:00 am

One of the strangest developments to have occurred during this very strange time is that the Prime Minister’s special adviser,…

Lessons from the plague village that isolated from the world

2 May 2020 9:00 am

Locked contentedly into the rhythms of farming life and digging for lead on its Derbyshire Peak District slopes, the village…

If this is a war, let’s fight it like one

2 May 2020 9:00 am

Under the cloud of conformity that has settled over the land as a replacement for air pollution, heretics who doubt…

Do we really want to go back to normal?

2 May 2020 9:00 am

On the day our A-level exams began some wit wrote on the blackboard: ‘I wasted time, and now doth time…

Real problems erase fake ones

25 April 2020 9:00 am

Last week, a friend quoted a two-year-old email of mine: ‘I’m starting to root for a plague or world war…

Now is the time for comfort reads

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

It all started on the day after the Brexit referendum. People who do not get the result they voted for…

Getting coronavirus does not bring clarity

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

I had thought that actually getting the coronavirus would bring clarity — that there would be some satisfaction in meeting…

I love my fellow hacks – even when I disagree with them

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

It’s one way to keep in touch with people. Each morning, somewhere between the first coffee of the day and…

The difficult balance of public vs political agony

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

Fear is the politician’s friend. When terror grips the public, an opportunity arises for those in power to step forward…

Would Churchill have worn a face mask?

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

The problem with face masks is cutting an opening of the right size to accommodate a cigarette, without the hole…

How Covid-19 will change the Tory party

18 April 2020 9:00 am

Politics is full of events that are meant to change everything but actually do little. Yet the coronavirus crisis will…

We’re all guilty of recruiting this virus to our cause

18 April 2020 9:00 am

There must be a quote from Shakespeare for this, but so far I haven’t found it. It’s the way we…

The joy of short stories in these taxing times

18 April 2020 9:00 am

From time to time, usually when things are quiet, the government brings on the dancing girls. David Cameron made Carol…

The British have bought the lockdown hook, line and sinker

18 April 2020 9:00 am

I am a type. I don’t like groups. I maintain few memberships. I question and resist authority, especially enforcement of…

There’s nothing equal about this virus

18 April 2020 9:00 am

Filthy germ-laden townsfolk were out and about on the footpaths near my home on Easter Sunday, dragging with them their…

The online museums you’ll never want to leave

11 April 2020 9:00 am

‘We don’t talk about the war.’ Yet those of my generation and older reference it daily. The coronavirus is an…

Coronavirus has made amateur mathematicians of us all

11 April 2020 9:00 am

‘What is the point of learning maths? When do you ever actually need it? How does it ever affect your…

Monkeys, bats and our national trust

11 April 2020 9:00 am

There was always one key flaw in our species. Which is that someone always shags a monkey. I have expressed…

If anything is ‘essential’ right now, it’s cigarettes

11 April 2020 9:00 am

The owners of my local grocery shop, a mile or so from my house, very kindly sell me cigarettes in…

Dominic Raab is the constitutional choice, but a complicated one

11 April 2020 9:00 am

We have never had a moment like this before in our history: a time when the Prime Minister is, in…

Keir Starmer may have a better chance of taking Labour to power than anyone expected

4 April 2020 9:00 am

First impressions matter in politics. Once the public have made their mind up about a politician, they rarely change it.…

The corona curtain-twitchers are watching

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Welcome, then, to a country in which the police send drones to humiliate people taking a walk and dried pasta…

The longer lockdown continues, the more imperilled we become

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Comically, Chinese Communist party officials have speculated that Covid-19 was planted by the US army. Yet a respectable conspiracy theorist…