“As the Conservative Party’s fortunes have waned, Johnson’s standing has waxed. After all, if the party is heading for electoral disaster, taking a punt on Boris becomes much less of a risk.”

Post-doctoral studies may be a waste of time in the future world of work

Skilled jobs such as carpentry and nursing will be at a premium in an automated world

“Some doctors have an intuitive rapport. For others it’s a work in progress.”

“The top of the bookmark juts out from the pages of my copy of The Woodlanders like a tombstone marking the mortal remains of any hope I ever held of finishing the thing.”

“Michael Gove’s Wild Animals in Circuses Bill appears at first glance to be nothing more than his latest essay in exhibitionistic compassion. But is it a misreading to ascribe this picayune law-making to opportunistic big-heartedness?”

“At one point Norman Stone and Hugh Trevor-Roper both agreed to record a party political broadcast for UKIP which I had founded and led. Norman was too drunk to record his lines and Trevor-Roper had such dreadful toothache that he could not either. I still have that video with six failed attempts at speech by both of them”

“60 per cent of coppers are used only once before being consigned to a piggy bank. Clearly, few can bear to feel their pockets weighed down with coins of such small worth”

An iconic American art form is in crisis thanks to new writers pushing politically-correct storylines

“Heidi Tworek’s shrewd, erudite and timely News from Germany is a work of historical analysis that can also be read as a corrective to the dangerous hysteria over the information games—fake news and all the rest—currently being played over the internet.”

“How could one of the most civilised societies on earth become the instrument of a mind of such malice? I confess that my heart sank at the thought of spending any more hours in the company of this personification of radical evil. Yet we cannot wholly avert our eyes”

Female artists are at last getting their fair share of exhibitions, but the market is failing to catch up