No sacred cows

Why punish a scientist for defending science?

4 December 2021 9:00 am

As a defender of free speech, I sometimes feel like a man falling through a collapsing building. Just when you…

I’ve become a social pariah – just for having children

27 November 2021 9:00 am

When Caroline and I got married in 2001, having four kids was not only fashionable, it was the socially responsible…

The day I became a prize contrarian

20 November 2021 9:00 am

Something rather unusual happened to me a few weeks ago: I was shortlisted for a prize. Not the GQ Men…

Racism, cricket and the problem with ancient allegations

13 November 2021 9:00 am

Last week, the former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan revealed that he’d been accused by another cricketer — Azeem Rafiq…

Sky Sports is ruining my football season

6 November 2021 9:00 am

When I promised my 13-year-old son, Charlie, that we would go to as many QPR games as possible in 2021-22…

Why lockdown sceptics like me lost the argument

30 October 2021 9:00 am

I’m optimistic that the government won’t implement ‘Plan B’, let alone impose another lockdown — but not because sceptics like…

Virtue signalling is really status signalling

23 October 2021 9:00 am

A £19,000-a-year London day school was in the news this week because it has started instructing its pupils about ‘white…

‘Retain and Explain’ won’t end the culture wars

16 October 2021 9:00 am

I’m sympathetic to Oliver Dowden’s formula for defusing culture-war disputes about statues of controversial historic figures: ‘retain and explain’. That…

Who let the dog out?

9 October 2021 9:00 am

Caroline and I are just back from a weekend break in Scotland and, nice though it was, I hadn’t realised…

The thrill of running late

2 October 2021 9:00 am

‘Dad, why is it that whenever we go anywhere, we’re always running to catch a train?’ asked Charlie, my 13-year-old.…

My wife is caught in a web of fear

25 September 2021 9:00 am

Even in my shed at the bottom of the garden I can hear the screams coming from the house. Shrieks…

Has Boris Johnson given up on free schools?

18 September 2021 9:00 am

For the founders of the West London Free School, of which I was one, last Thursday should have been a…

The stories that are too good to check

11 September 2021 9:00 am

Last weekend, Rolling Stone ran a story about an interview an emergency room doctor had given to a local news…

Why Gove’s night on the dance floor is good news

4 September 2021 9:00 am

I was pleased to see pictures of Michael Gove at a nightclub in Aberdeen last weekend. According to press reports,…

My eye-opening mini-break in Hull

28 August 2021 9:00 am

Given how difficult it is to arrange an overseas holiday, I thought I’d take Charlie and Freddie, my two youngest,…

The Orwell Foundation has let George Orwell down

21 August 2021 9:00 am

George Orwell would not have been surprised by the brouhaha surrounding Kate Clanchy. Two years ago, Clanchy published Some Kids…

I took my wife to a Millwall match – and it didn’t go well

14 August 2021 9:00 am

The fighting started just as Caroline turned right on to the Uxbridge Road after emerging from QPR’s stadium on Loftus…

Have my suits shrunk in lockdown?

7 August 2021 9:00 am

I hadn’t noticed how much weight I’d put on during lockdown until I went out for a business lunch a…

The true cost of my week in Wales

31 July 2021 9:00 am

Rather miraculously, my daughter managed to leave the country last week to go on holiday with a group of friends.…

In defence of footballers taking the knee

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Before the television presenter Guto Harri took the knee live on air — which cost him his job at GB…

Football’s never coming home

17 July 2021 9:00 am

I failed a moral test last weekend. A friend offered me a free ticket to the Euro 2020 final and…

My battle to be top dog

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Even a small dog can be quite high maintenance. No, I’m not talking about Mali, our one-year-old cavapoochon, but Bertie,…

My problem with the Euros

3 July 2021 9:00 am

I’m struggling to work up much enthusiasm about England’s progress in the Euros. I know, I know, Tuesday night’s victory…

What would ‘sensitivity readers’ have made of my student scoops?

26 June 2021 9:00 am

‘Whatever you do, don’t call them snowflakes,’ Caroline said the last time I spoke to Oxford students. ‘That’s not a…

The luxury of being pro-lockdown

19 June 2021 9:00 am

I’ve just written an essay for the People’s Lockdown Inquiry, a new collaboration between Buckingham University, the Institute of Ideas…