On 1 May, the European Union will have 75 million new inhabitants—and ten new member nations, bringing its total to 25. The ‘rich man’s club’ is opening its doors to its less wealthy neighbours—amid muttering from many of those already ensconced in its comfortable armchairs. It may seem strange—even presumptuous—for a publication based in the UK to welcome the new arrivals. To the rest of Europe, Britain has sometimes seemed an awkward member of the club, carping about the rules, resisting change and casting aspersions on everyone else. Although our government championed the enlargement, the prospect has sparked a xenophobia in some quarters which is matched only by attitudes to asylum seekers and refugees.
01 April 2004
Perhaps it's David Beckham, late of Manchester United, or Posh, his glamorous wife (formerly of the Spice Girls). If you're an England rugby fan, it could be Jonny Wilkinson whose last minute drop-goal secured the world cup.
01 February 2004
One thing that parents and their children have in common is that they are both on a learning curve.
01 December 2003
There are plenty of well intentioned heads of government, and any number of enlightened statutes. But creating the perfect world cannot be imposed from on top.
01 October 2003
UK citizens were 13th on the integrity list of 18 nationalities, with only 58 per cent reckoning to be honest.
01 August 2003
If love makes the world go round, greed also keeps things moving-but it makes for a stomach-churning ride. Personal greed is rampant-not least where failed company bosses receive seven-figure 'golden handshakes' while their redundant ex-employees are only offered a few thousand pounds. A recent white paper from Britain's Department of Trade and Industry offers hope that these scandals may be addressed, by linking directors' retirement pay-outs to their companies' performance.
01 June 2003
Few issues have caused such division in recent times as Saddam Hussein's despotic regime. The Bush and Blair governments argue that such a regime must not be allowed to use weapons of mass destruction. Other governments - and millions of peace marchers - feel that war is too costly a solution. Both sides claim the moral high ground.
01 April 2003
Today people criticize or, at best, take for granted the existence of the European Union. It has somehow slipped out of our memory that it was an unprecedented, phenomenal event when, so soon after World War II, enemies became friends.
01 August 2002
Cardinal Basil Hume, the Archbishop of Westminster, died on 17 June mourned not just by Britain's Roman Catholics but by many of different faiths and of none.
01 August 1999
Analysing the war in the Balkans, as well as the student massacre in Colombine High School and racist attacks in Britain, William Rees-Mogg wrote in The Times of London recently about 'the racism that threatens the world's future'.
01 June 1999