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Contents COLUMNS Letters 8 Jonathan Meades The Guru of regurgitation 6 Sounding Board Marcus Walker: Why we should resurrect forgiveness 9 Man about Town Robert Thicknesse: Incel inside 10 Dilyn the Dog Sniffing around in Manchester 11 David Starkey History hasn’t ended 12 My Woke World Titania McGrath: The M25 is the modern Maginot Line 17 Economics Tim Congdon: Beware of the postCovid bull 26 Arty Types D.J. Taylor on Lucien Grote 43 Everyday Lies Theodore Dalrymple: Obfuscatory acronyms 48 Romeo Coates A valuable lesson 76

Miriam Elia on ... The balance of nature


Adam Dant on … Welcome to London undone 52

FEATURES Canary in the cultural coalmine Robin Ashenden talks to the prescient Lionel Shriver about “cultural appropriation” 14 The noise before defeat Patrick Porter says even a good exit from Afghanistan would not have rescued a bad war 18 Making the hard choice John McTernan says Tony Blair was right to go after the Taliban after 9/11 21

This month’s cover is illustrated by Mari Fouz

Low panic at High Table Jonathan Aitken on the ongoing fiasco of the battle to oust the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford 23 The very long arm of the law Joshua Rozenberg asks whether a perceived imbalance means that Britain needs to reform the extradition laws 27 The classroom culture war Frank Furedi warns that critical race theory is now being taught in British schools 30 Clash of empires Jeremy Black asks whether the American victory at Yorktown was really a French triumph 32 Failing Black history Christopher Silvester says attempts to “decolonise” school history pay little attention to what is already taught 35 The perils of a Speaker unchained Eliot Wilson on the constitutional consequences of John Bercow’s reign 38 The Parent Trap Melanie Newman uncovers disturbing evidence which reveals why hard-up families are more likely to have their children taken into care 41

It’s not easy being green Irwin Stelzer says a border tax on emissions could encourage the markets to solve global warming 45 Hard Labour Peter Hitchens recalls the lost world of the industrial correspondents 49 Tristram and the tyrants Gawain Towler points out that Laurence Sterne’s masterpiece was hated by Nazis and communists alike 54 STUDIO Anthony Daniels visits the War Photo Limited gallery in Dubrovnik 56

BOOKS Rana Mitter: Blood and Ruins: The Great Imperial War 1931-1945 by Richard Overy 60 Ella Whelan: The Transgender Issue by Shon Faye; The Right to Sex by Amia Srinivasan 62 Will Norton: Brexit Unfolded: How No One Got What They Wanted 64 Christopher Bray: On Love and Tyranny: The Life and Politics of Hannah Arendt by Ann Heberlein; Hannah Arendt by Samantha Rose Hill 65 Will Hawkes: The Philosophy of Beer by Jane Peyton 67 Tom Chesshyre: City of Illusions: A History of Granada by Helen Rodgers and Stephen Cavendish 68 Thomas Gallagher: Tito’s Secret Empire: How the Maharaja of the Balkans Fooled the World by William Klinger and Denis Kuljiš 69 Alexander Larman: The Poet and the Publisher by Pat Rogers; Book Wars by John B. Thompson 71 Richard Waghorne: The Sins of G.K. Chesterton by Richard Ingrams 72 John Self: Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney; Bewilderment by Richard Powers; The Inseparables by Simone de Beauvoir 73 THE SECRET AUTHOR Don’t be sniffy about Super Thursday 75




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