Counterpoints

“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”

“Patrick Kavanagh wrote about an Ireland that “froze for want of Europe”. He was thinking of an Ireland that history had removed from the mainstream of European culture”

“Greggs was supposed to be safe from the liberal metropolitan elite. The vegan sausage roll showed that it wasn’t”

“Without a way of visualising and recording our spoken words, our world would not be the same”

When I was a precocious Young Conservative, people were most willing to tell me they disagreed with me and I thrived on it. But how much of a challenge does Greta Thunberg have from her classmates or teachers?

Where are Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and George Osborne? It was as if they couldn’t wait to leave Parliament, having got what they could out of the system, with no thought of putting something back

Was Her Majesty waiting behind the scenes in Westminster, ready to provide her Royal Assent to the EU Withdrawal Act? The reality is more mundane

If there is an art to writing after three courses and wine, I never mastered it. But now that the long, boozy lunch is endangered, I’m having serious second thoughts

“Patrick Kavanagh wrote about an Ireland that “froze for want of Europe”. He was thinking of an Ireland that history had removed from the mainstream of European culture”

“Greggs was supposed to be safe from the liberal metropolitan elite. The vegan sausage roll showed that it wasn’t”

“Without a way of visualising and recording our spoken words, our world would not be the same”

When I was a precocious Young Conservative, people were most willing to tell me they disagreed with me and I thrived on it. But how much of a challenge does Greta Thunberg have from her classmates or teachers?

Where are Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and George Osborne? It was as if they couldn’t wait to leave Parliament, having got what they could out of the system, with no thought of putting something back

Was Her Majesty waiting behind the scenes in Westminster, ready to provide her Royal Assent to the EU Withdrawal Act? The reality is more mundane

If there is an art to writing after three courses and wine, I never mastered it. But now that the long, boozy lunch is endangered, I’m having serious second thoughts

‘If every writer who disliked what other contributors wrote decided to withdraw their work, there would be no papers, no magazines, perhaps no telly’

“The dispute over Parkfield’s “No Outsiders” scheme shows that some people are eager for the state to take over”

The view that children need to go out alone, play unsupervised, take risks and learn independence and resilience speaks to something important that Western societies have largely lost

Mathematics publishing is a soft touch. The publisher usually hasn’t a clue, so they send the manuscript to someone like me to comment on. I used to be a soft touch too

For better or worse, that City has undergone a revolution. Its old guard has been seen off, or paid off

Michael Gove’s plan to ban foie gras is an essentially frivolous self-advertisement

“We do so love a literary rejection, provided it isn’t our own, of course.”