The Woman in Me

BY JACK WATSON In her memoir The Woman In Me, Britney Spears, a controversial teen pop artist from the 1990s, shares her story on how she earned her name. The ‘Princess of Pop’, the moving story about her difficult life and the challenges she has faced are highlighted, as are her hard childhood, her father being her conservator and all her setbacks through this period … Continue reading The Woman in Me

Hill Farming in the North of England

BY JAMIE FOSTER Our hill farmers have shaped some of the most beautiful parts of Britain for generations, acting as custodians of precious environmental amenities while providing a crucial part of our livestock industry. Our hills and uplands are elevated areas of less favoured agricultural land. These Less Favoured Areas (LFAs) are suitable for extensive livestock production because of their geography and their climate: they … Continue reading Hill Farming in the North of England

Dogs Like Us

BY JAMIE FOSTER A paper, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, says a dog’s personality reflects the personality of its owner. It also explains that dogs experience personality changes similar to how humans do over the course of their lives. Research conducted in 2020 surveyed the owners of 1,600 dogs, covering 50 different breeds. The canines were split closely between males and females, … Continue reading Dogs Like Us

Gates of Hell?

BY JAMIE FOSTER In this powerful and hard-hitting analysis, Daniel Jupp examines the enormous personal power and political influence of one of the world’s richest men. The Gates of Hell covers everything from the childhood influences that shaped Bill Gates to the Microsoft years and his current incarnation as the most powerful philanthropist on the planet. Jupp traces just how vast and unaccountable the influence … Continue reading Gates of Hell?

The Dictionary of Posh

BY ALEXIA JAMES Oliver Preston has been drawing cartoons for 25 years and draws weekly cartoons for Country Life Magazine. His work has been published in the Beano and the Dandy, Paris Match, The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, Punch Magazine, The Spectator and he drew regularly for The Field Magazine. Preston has now teamed up with Hugh Kellett who studied languages at Oxford and … Continue reading The Dictionary of Posh

Europe’s Leadership Famine

BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN Ask anyone but politicians anywhere around Europe what they think of politicians, and you’ll get groans. You’ll also hear words like “low calibre” and “disconnected”. You’ll receive whingeing about “short-termism”, “career politicians” and “reacting only to polls”. There is no coincidence in this. In the Internet age we are all interconnected as never before, and politicians, under far too much scrutiny, are … Continue reading Europe’s Leadership Famine

Unbreakable

BY JACK WATSON In Unbreakable, Ronnie O’Sullivan, certainly one of the most successful and prestigious players in the history of snooker, shares the story of how he became perhaps the greatest snooker player of all time. It explains how his journey has been extreme, from ‘losing himself’ for seven years to alcohol and drugs, to spending part of his career in rehab going through the … Continue reading Unbreakable

The Island of Missing Trees

BY ROGER WATSON Elif Shafak is a Turkish feminist writer. A contemporary of Turkey’s ‘man of letters’ Orhan Pamuk, and, like Pamuk, persecuted by the present Turkish government, she chooses to live in England. Pamuk, on the other hand, under constant armed guard, chooses to remain in Istanbul. Being an outspoken writer in Turkey is a dangerous business. The topics covered by Shafak are wide … Continue reading The Island of Missing Trees

The Countryman Sets Forth Again

BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN Sir Johnny Scott is a fine man. If you want to learn about the British Countryside, please refrain from turning to the hucksters or doomscultists. Instead look for someone like Sir J who has lived, worked and breathed our Countryside – I am sure he won’t mind me saying – for rather a few years. Always better to find a doer covered … Continue reading The Countryman Sets Forth Again

Life on the Edge

BY JAMIE FOSTER Tristan Voorspuy was a larger-than-life character. His obituary in the Daily Telegraph talked of: “a free-spirited alpha male.  His greatest contribution was as a conservationist and safari guide, but he was always an engaging companion with great charm mixed with outrageous behaviour and glorious political incorrectness.  Aged 61, born on 26th March 1955, he was shot dead on 5th March 2017 while … Continue reading Life on the Edge

Cold

BY ANDREW MOODY And then there was a new sound. A rhythm, dull and flat through the frozen air. Thud. Thud. Bang. Thud. Thud. Bang. I thought of the shields beaten by the Zulu impi. Thud. Thud. Bang. Thud. Thud. Bang. Many interesting successes of our social media led culture include the massively increased ability of the general public to both read and write more … Continue reading Cold

The Effluent Society

BY JAMIE FOSTER In 1952, Norman Thelwell (1923-2004) penned his first cartoon for the satirical British magazine Punch, renowned internationally for its wit, irreverence, and for publishing the world’s best comic writers and poets. This led to a relationship that lasted for 25 years and over 1,000 cartoons, including 60 front covers. Thelwell was a master of sharp social comment and sheer zany humour, and … Continue reading The Effluent Society

The Name’s Bland

BY STEWART SLATER Burning books has a long, if unpleasant, history. The Florentines in 1497 perpetrated the Bonfire of the Vanities, setting light in the main square to thousands of “deviant” works of art. It is a minor irony that one of the few works modern audiences would, almost unanimously, subject to that treatment is the film of the same name. For burning art is … Continue reading The Name’s Bland

The Jasmine Sari

BY ROGER WATSON Published in 2017, this book has had a recent publicity boost and one without which I may never have come across it. It is self-published by the author Philip Tucker, which may explain its obscurity, but the author has clearly and happily decided to invest in having it advertised on the London Calling and Weekly Sceptic podcasts, both of which feature journalist … Continue reading The Jasmine Sari

The New Puritans

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE As opening sentences go, ‘You f*cking Nazi c*nt,’ takes some beating. This was the charge made against Andrew Doyle not by some faceless internet troll but by an old friend to whose son he is the godfather. A left-wing homosexual with a doctorate in early Renaissance poetry, Doyle makes an unlikely flagbearer for fascism. In fact, it’s hard to imagine anyone to … Continue reading The New Puritans

A New Book about Nicola Sturgeon

BY JAMIE FOSTER Surprisingly, this is only the second biography of Nicola Sturgeon ever published. The last one came out in 2015, and so has been overtaken by events. More importantly, this book is founded almost exclusively on what the First Minister said in parliament. It is not a collection of media stories, nor a bloodless academic “assessment”. It is the unarguable truth of what … Continue reading A New Book about Nicola Sturgeon

Great Scott

BY JAMIE FOSTER A new biography of Sir Peter Scott by Chris Moore has been published in partnership with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT). Called Peter Scott and the Birth of Modern Conservation, Moore’s book charts the remarkable life of one of Britain’s greatest conservationists. Scott was born in London at 174, Buckingham Palace Road, the only child of Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott … Continue reading Great Scott