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Fraser Nelson

The return of eugenics

The only way of cutting off the constant stream of idiots and imbeciles and feeble-minded persons who help to fill our prisons and workhouses, reformatories, and asylums is to prevent those who are known to be mentally defective from producing offspring. Undoubtedly the best way of doing this is to place these defectives under control.

Referendum rage

In Scotland’s grittier pubs, a simple rule has long applied: no football colours and no talking about politics. With enough drink, talking about either can lead to violence — and pint glasses are expensive to replace. With an ordinary general election, the prohibition is easy to obey. The wrong buggers might well win, but they

The brain-damage game

In the course of a queasy hour in Harley Street 30 years ago I learned a great deal about the brain — what Woody Allen called ‘my second favourite organ’ — and altered the course of my life in sports writing. Dr Peter Harvey concluded: ‘Boxing is a contest in which the winner seems often

The moths are coming!

Last month a friend invited me to lunch at the Garrick Club. As an impoverished writer, I don’t get many offers like this, so the week before, in a state of anticipation, I took my good suit out of the cupboard to check it wasn’t too rumpled. To my horror there were two holes the

Confessions of a Saga lout

It’s chucking-out time at my local pub, and the high street is full of idiots. They’ve all had a lot to drink, but they’re in no hurry to go home. They’re looking for a party, somewhere loud and lairy to go on to. They’d settle for more booze, but some speed or skunk would be

The poetic state of the nation

[audioplayer src=”http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/thespectatorpodcast-eugenics-torywars-poetry/media.mp3″ title=”Gary Dexter and Dean Atta discuss the poetic state of the nation” startat=1169] Listen [/audioplayer] It was past midnight in Norwich. There was a keen wind rifling up London Street. It was dark and it was January. I was hoarse, my feet hurt and, more to the point, I was cold. I had

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Can the NHS afford the healthcare we want?

The NHS is rarely far away from a crisis. Even so, the last few months have been particularly tough. The junior doctors’ strikes have grabbed the headlines, but perhaps even more worrying for the future of the NHS is the state of its finances. Trusts are falling deeper into debt, yet the biggest budget squeeze

Notes on...

Florence | 31 March 2016

Once, it seems, Sandro Botticelli played a trick on a neighbour. Next door was a weaver who possessed eight looms. He and his assistants kept these in constant use, creating such a judder-ing racket that the poor painter was unable to concentrate on his pictures. Botticelli implored this fellow to reduce the noise, but to