Latest Issue: 19 July 2014
19 July 2014
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17 July 2014 by Christopher Howse

Thirty-nine tons of pleasure,” ran the headline in Le Bien Public, the regional daily of the Côte d’Or, with reference, of course, to the new tram in Dijon.

17 July 2014 by David Blair

Even the most wanton and pointless outbreaks of bloodshed eventually come to an end. By the time you read these words, the sudden conflagration between Israel and Gaza may have been dampened down – or, with a bit of luck, extinguished altogether.

17 July 2014 by Jonathan Tulloch

The two figures emerged from under the mulberry tree. Clipboards and cameras in action, they walked slowly up the wide, uncut roadside verge. Zooming down the hill on my bike, I decided to stop. “We’re surveying the wild flowers,” they explained, National Park botanists both.

Previous issues

10 July 2014 by Clifford Longley

Last week’s Notebook page drew attention to the accusations of political bias that the Catholic Church in England and Wales might run into if it produced a pre-election statement in 2015 based on Catholic Social Teaching, as it has done before previous elections.

10 July 2014 by Sara Maitland

Recently, three totally disparate things have been making me think about Heaven.

10 July 2014 by Jonathan Tulloch

Although common, the hedge woundwort is shy and retiring.

03 July 2014 by Laurence Freeman

I was waiting on the side of a busy street. Traffic flowed by like thoughts in neural pathways, sometimes speeding, sometimes congested. I saw occasional acts of kindness and many missed opportunities to make people feel better. Across the street the automatic doors of a large supermarket were opening and shutting continuously.

03 July 2014 by Christopher Howse

In The Independent, Peter Popham, an experienced foreign correspondent, grew quite hot under the collar that a blogger called Erasmus “thinks Pope Francis is a Bolshevik”. Erasmus writes on The Economist website, and though not calling the Pope a Bolshevik by name, he accused him of following an “ultra-radical line: one that consciously or unconsciously follows Vladimir Lenin in his diagnosis of capitalism”.

03 July 2014 by Jonathan Tulloch

IF I WERE inventing a fairy tale, one of the characters would be a leaf-cutter bee. He would be one of the good guys.

26 June 2014 by Clifford Longley

Archbishop Derek Worlock always had a hankering to be a journalist. It is not inappropriate therefore to let him help me with my column this week. His is a voice we need to hear as the working document, or instrumentum laboris, for October’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family was due to be published this week.

26 June 2014 by Joanna Moorhead

Does having cancer change your life? Not in the long term, anyway: in the short term it can hardly fail to make you think things will be different, and significantly. If I get through this, you think, I won’t sweat the small stuff any more.

26 June 2014 by Peter Stanford

There are lots of figures plucked out of the air to justify the huge cost of global sporting events such as the current football World Cup in Brazil. Before and after our own 2012 Olympics, weighty reports totalled up billions and billions of pounds supposedly generated for our economy

26 June 2014 by Jonathan Tulloch

You don’t get hummingbirds in Yorkshire, do you? I asked myself rather feverishly as I lay in the verge at the ruins of Byland Abbey, eight quiet miles from home.

19 June 2014 by Catherine Pepinster

In 1956 an unnamed MI6 officer used a tiny camera in an unlikely act of espionage: photographing, one by one, the pages of Boris Pasternak’s masterpiece, Dr Zhivago.

19 June 2014 by Christopher Howse

I have trouble with the sins of hypocrisy and blasphemy, though in contrary directions. Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another. “Activists poured concrete on top of spikes outside a central London branch of Tesco,” The Guardian re­ported on Saturday.

19 June 2014 by Jonathan Tulloch

“Quick,” said the guide the moment we stepped into the RSPB visitors’ centre at Saltholme near Middlesbrough. “You must see this.” Clearly excited, he marched us to the ground-floor viewing area, which overlooks a phalanx of bird feeders.