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Journalism

The Rory I knew

The first time I met Rory Stewart was in Afghanistan at a dinner party held in the house where I was living. I had just arrived in Kabul and had no idea who this odd, lanky Brit was. But I have two vivid memories of that evening. One was how much Stewart looked like the…
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The nauseating apologies from wannabe prime ministers must end

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa. The guilty confessions are erupting from politicians faux-troubled consciences like molten lava from Mt Vesuvius. Michael Gove has done it, Rory Stewart has done it, Dominic Raab has done it – and frankly, who cares? Our prisons would heave with writers, politicians, journalists, entertainers and dozens of casual drug users…
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Women’s bodies should be theirs to control, not a battleground in backward US states

Once again, women’s bodies have become a battleground in the United States. From Alabama to Georgia, states are repealing abortion rights. Once again, even in the #MeToo era, women are losing control over their lives and their futures. Those of us who grew up in liberal democracies never thought we would see these kinds of…
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Glittering Moscow proves the Russians have left Communism behind them

I arrived in Moscow thirty years too late. Except for the five red stars over the Kremlin, any vestige of Communism was obliterated by the time I took my first trip to the Russian Federation in October 2018. I walked from my Stalin-era ‘penthouse’, read over-heated top floor flat, that used to house Party apparatchiks…
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Why I’ve stopped reading the news

Doom descended pre-dawn on 24th June 2016, and the existential angst hasn’t lifted since the referendum result. A few months earlier, I thought we had hit rock bottom when Jeremy Corbyn became the leader of the Labour Party. Then Donald Trump became president, and the Dystopian nightmare became a reality. This year, just when you…
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Our obsession with body image has got to end

Flesh is everywhere. More and more of it is on show because fat is the new thin, naked is the new look, and we’re all obsessed about body image. Being honest about weight is still an issue, as both Boris Johnson and I know only too well. Remember our potential future prime minister as he…
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