Principled leaders like Volodymyr Zelensky are the exception, not the rule

So perhaps the best long term solution to this feeling of utter powerlessness is to question why, exactly, we always look to the loudest and lairiest for leadership. Why do we never reward those quieter, more thoughtful humans who might... Read more

Instead of teaching children racial and emotional literacy, how about we teach them to be literate?

Whenever you read about a particularly cretinous new strategy, policy or initiative, there’s a strong chance it’ll have something to do with Brighton and Hove City Council. Whether it’s schoolgirls being banned from wearing skirts or schoolboys being taught that... Read more

War shows the folly of ignoring farmers’ role as food producers

Britain has been blindsided by the threat to our food security as a result of the war. For years, Defra has been incapacitated by food and environmental wokeism. When it has not been obsessing over exaggerated fears about methane, it... Read more

Unity and action can destabilise Putin

There is a tendency in politics to claim that every policy initiative is “world beating”. During the pandemic, we had global-leading vaccine programmes, the best testing regime, the most advanced genome sequencing and the rest. Nothing was ever run-of-the-mill, or... Read more

The case for a tax rise has become even harder to sustain

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, will make his spring financial statement later this month in a landscape utterly changed by the Ukraine crisis. Energy prices were rising at the time of his annual Budget last October but few expected the inflationary... Read more

Can the West afford an energy embargo?

The ultimate sanction against Russia for invading Ukraine is an embargo on its sales of oil and gas. Impounding the yachts of billionaire oligarchs is incidental to the true source of financing for Vladimir Putin’s war – energy exports. Last... Read more

Trump was right on Russia. He could have been its deterrent

Donald Trump is like one of those Roman emperors who everyone hated at the time but historians later admit was prophetic. His advice on Ukraine is to paint Chinese flags on F-22s and bomb Russia. That’s classic Trump: mad, bad,... Read more

Welcome to ugly island, dreamboat Justin Trudeau

Trudeau then repeated his remarks in French. What he said, I wish I knew (I dropped French in favour of smoking behind the bike shed), one just has to hope that he wasn’t insulting Britain and its cooking for the... Read more

Vladimir Putin never believed the West would cut off Russian oil: that was a grave mistake

The Ayatollahs are being cut some slack too. A deal could open the way for the return of 1m barrels a day of Iranian crude, though it will be a staggered process of over many months. Add in China’s zero-Covid... Read more

It is wishful thinking to expect the Russian people to topple Putin

We in the free world might well still hope for an end to the Ukraine conflict. Still, as we ratchet up economic sanctions on Russia and help arm a Ukrainian resistance effort to gut the resolve of a Russian military... Read more

Inside the shadowy world of celebrity ghostwriters

Prominent ghostwriter Andrew Crofts – who has written 80 books for a range of politicians and billionaires, charging a reported six figures – was thrown in at the deep end when a business acquaintance asked for his help in writing... Read more

Katie Price: What Harvey Did Next, review: one in the eye for the rubberneckers

People tend to have strong opinions about the one-woman soap opera formerly known as Jordan. Even if it’s purely based on glimpsed headlines or half-remembered gossip, she tends to elicit a robust reaction. Naysayers might just have found themselves surprised... Read more

Life and Death in the Warehouse should strike guilt into all next-day delivery junkies

Finally, after limping back onto television with so little energy that you wonder why they bothered, BBC Three has a programme to get people talking. Life and Death in the Warehouse is a fictionalised exposé of the hellish working conditions... Read more

Our House, review: as ever with an ITV drama, the message is clear – all men are awful

Martin Compston’s character in Our House (ITV) seems like a stand-up guy, but of course he’s not. He’s a man in a TV drama! Everyone knows the rules of TV dramas in general and ITV dramas in particular: the women... Read more

Clash of the captains: Kirk, Picard and the battle behind Star Trek Generations

Star Trek writers Ronald D Moore and Brannon Braga slouched into their boss’s office on the Paramount Studio lot in the summer of 1992 expecting to be fired. But a different sort of bombshell awaited, as they discovered when they... Read more

What’s on TV tonight: Our House The Real Peaky Blinders, and more

The WitchfinderBBC Two, 10pmThis terrific six-part comedy drama is set in 1645, in the middle of the English Civil War and at the height of fears about famine, plague and witchcraft. Comedian Tim Key is Gideon Bannister, an incompetent witchfinder... Read more

Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier ‘the romance of the century’? It feels more like a tragedy to me

The next day, they drove to the studio, but Leigh was far too deranged to work – “Eyes overbright, she chattered ceaselessly.” One night, her maid rang Niven and begged him to come because her mistress was “possessed”. He found... Read more

The show to make you fall in love with architectural drawings

When Sir John Soane – architect of the Bank of England and collector extraordinaire – died in 1837, he had something like 30,000 architectural drawings tucked into various albums and drawers inside his London home, now a house museum. In... Read more

A bold and beautiful Pixar animation about female puberty? Turning Red is exactly that

It’s hard to know what’s more impressive about the latest Pixar film: its boundless artistry, ingenuity and loopy comic verve, or the mere fact that the studio got away with making it. The house of Toy Story has long been... Read more

Yuck! This new biography of Carrie Johnson is absolutely enraging

I’m no advocate of cancel culture but these two little words pretty much sum up the writer’s antediluvian mindset. There are other clues. Do any of us really care that aged 12 or 13 “after their Christmas lunch, the two... Read more

Tonight with Andrew Marr, LBC, review: the voice is back – it just needs a little work

For weeks, in all the promotional material surrounding his new radio gig, Andrew Marr has been talking about “getting his voice back”. “Anyone wanting bland, safe, wearily predictable journalism is strongly advised to look elsewhere,” he said.  Given that Marr... Read more

Putin has learnt nothing from his beloved Soviet history books

Given the events of the 1930s in Ukraine, it is perhaps not surprising that a number of Ukrainians initially wanted to help the Nazis. In doing so, many of them sought not just to create an independent Ukraine within the... Read more

Ukraine crisis puts SNP plans for another Scottish independence vote in doubt

SNP plans for a new independence referendum could be shelved again due to the Ukraine crisis, the party’s Westminster leader has suggested. Ian Blackford said that his short-term focus was on the Russian invasion and called on his party to... Read more

Monday evening UK news briefing: Putin lays out Russia’s demands to end war in Ukraine

Back home, Boris Johnson has warned that the use of Russian oil and gas cannot be cut off overnight, as he pledged to unveil a new energy strategy in days.  Speaking at a Downing Street press conference alongside the Canadian... Read more

Boris Johnson: Criticism of Lord Lebedev’s peerage ‘suits Vladimir Putin’s agenda’

Criticism of Lord Lebedev’s peerage “suits Putin’s agenda”, Boris Johnson has claimed, as he denied overriding security concerns from Britain’s spy agencies about the appointment. On Monday, the Prime Minister responded to allegations that he had personally intervened to support... Read more