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Jonathan Miller

Can Macron still outplay Le Pen?

Petulance, panic and performance. President Macron’s broadcast following the evisceration of his party in last weekend’s elections for the European parliament had elements of all three. Wearing a black tie as if in mourning, he looked shocked, exhausted and angry. ‘The rise of the nationalists and demagogues,’ he said, ‘is a threat not only to

My brush with doom in Tangier

I wait till early summer to spring-clean so I’m moving my study, a stirring-up that invariably releases powerful methane from its swamp. Every meaningful valueless thing I own has been sorted through and removed from the pretty, bright room next to ours, with the garden below and the custard-cream scent of blooming wisteria, to a

The unlikely political resurrection of Keith Vaz

When Keith Vaz announced his ambition to stand as an independent for Leicester East in the general election, no one in my hometown was surprised. Vaz may be a joke nationally, known for a fondness for rent boys. But in Leicester East, he remains something of a local hero. It may seem astonishing to the

Why are students steered towards duff A-levels?

‘Women are more religious because they are socialised to be obedient and passive.’ ‘In Latin America, men often spend 20-40 per cent of the household’s income on alcohol, as well as further spending on tobacco, gambling and prostitutes.’ ‘The Challenger space shuttle disaster in 1986 is an example of state-initiated corporate crime.’ All examples taken

China’s ‘soft siege’ of Taiwan

‘There is only one China in the world,’ Wang Wenbin, the spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, declared at a press conference late last month. ‘Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.’ The previous day, on 23 May, Beijing carried out major military exercises around the island under the title ‘Joint-Sword 2024A.’ The Chinese Communist

Who dictates how we see the past?

Three weeks ago, I received an SOS from a distressed citizen of Glasgow, urging me to protest against a recently installed display at the Kelvingrove Museum, ‘Glasgow – City of Empire’. Predictably, the exhibition falls over itself to clock every conceivable association between the city and slavery, inviting the visitor to envisage appropriate reparations. Scraping

The quiet return of eugenics

Here follows a non-exhaustive list of my genetic flaws. I am short-sighted, more so as I age. I have bunions, dodgy knees and even dodgier shoulders. I have asthma. My skin blisters easily. My hair started going grey when I was in my late teens. I have zero talent for foreign languages, running or music.

Notes on...

Madrí wouldn’t fool a true Spaniard

Four years ago, Madrí didn’t exist. Today, the faux Spanish lager is sold in a quarter of British pubs, which makes it one of the fastest-growing beers of all time. ‘Madrí’ is the historic name for Madrid, which is peculiar for a beer brewed in Tadcaster – or Tada as the Anglo-Saxon mead-drinkers called it.