Counterpoints

The Army is short of new recruits, but retention of personnel is a much bigger problem

‘My particular bugbear is that inherently redundant phrase “forward planning”. Ever tried ‘backward planning’?’

“Many of our politicians appear much more at ease when condemning the far Right than they ever are when talking about Islamists”

Why is the UK’s growth rate so low and how can we solve the problem?

It’s 119 years since the last southbound main line to London was built — will HS2 do any better than the Great Central Railway?

Encores are an adornment to concert life — like a dessert, completing a meal, or an after-dinner mint

‘Seventy years after independence, bashing Winston Churchill has become a sure-fire way of attracting a mass following on Indian social media’

‘The BBC’s new policy on “equality and diversity” reads as though it is straight out of the W1A comedy series’

‘Jusepe de Ribera went beyond palpability — the way the paint becomes flesh — to the visceral. He sought to engage all our senses at once’

‘There once was a Tudor woman with flaming red hair. Her name was Elizabeth, but she wasn’t the queen. Her reputation preceded her — Bess of Hardwick’