SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
William Cash

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August 17, 2017
If you want to see an electrifying new play that features a mercurial performance by Paddy Considine as a reformed IRA activist and has a tortured Irish priest who is as conflicted and anguished as any creation by Graham Greene, then make sure you get to see Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman at the Gielgud Theatre.
July 27, 2017
Anybody watching Poldark will have noticed three things about epistolary communication in the late 18th century. They had no envelopes, their quill handwriting was elegant and, above all, delivery was usually the same day – making the Regency postal service considerably more efficient than today’s overpriced service. I mention this as for Valentine’s Day this
July 06, 2017
I am writing this from a wonderful little former fishing village called Glengarriff, an hour and a half’s drive from the gleaming new Cork international airport. The economic success of Glengarriff is a good way of explaining why the DUP-Tory deal is so important to Northern Ireland, which for many years has struggled to keep
June 08, 2017
Former MPs standing for re-election are a rare sight in central London during a general election campaign. They are even rarer this time around, as the campaign happened to fall both during half term and when there was a parliamentary recess already planned, so many MPs had to change their email account signature to “[Party]
May 25, 2017
The three main party manifestos tell you surprisingly little about where the parties stand on issues of politics, conscience and faith – there is nothing, for example, on euthanasia. Only the Labour Party suggests any change in abortion law, proposing that the 1967 Abortion Act be applied to Northern Ireland too. But do not be
May 04, 2017
My sources in Westminster say that it was the chance to be elected for a “full five more years” that was the deciding factor for calling the election, along with there being a “window” for a summer election before the European Union agrees its negotiating position and the German elections later this year. Add Theresa
April 13, 2017
Some myths need to be cleared up about the reported £61 billion “divorce bill” that Brussels hopes to force Britain to pay before its departure. This is not simply political posturing on behalf of the sclerotic EU: it is a very weak opening negotiating move. Whenever the other side opens with a “this is going
March 23, 2017
It is not often that an ex-Tory Chancellor gets compared by a former Cabinet colleague to Gordon Gekko. But that was how Iain Duncan Smith reportedly described George Osborne taking a sixth well-paid job last week, after putting himself forward to be editor of the Evening Standard. I suspect that Wall Street was among the
March 02, 2017
For the first time in my life, I have joined the Conservative Party. It cost £25 and took less than a minute online. But it has been a long personal political odyssey that included being so disaffected with the brand of so-called Conservatism espoused by David Cameron and George Osborne, which threatened to fasten us
February 09, 2017
You might have thought that, after more than 30 years of campaigning to leave the EU, Eurosceptic MPs would have celebrated the historic victory of triggering Article 50 in various bars of the Commons. The Maastricht Treaty, undertaken to integrate Europe, was signed on February 7, 1992 – 25 years ago this week. But my
January 26, 2017
This is the second of a two-part feature; the first was published last week The Abbey House first came into view as we walked along the old monastic apple orchard, heading through a huge 13th-century broken colonnade towards a magnificent-looking priory. I winced as I saw medieval transept mullion windows replaced with white gloss-painted frames
January 24, 2017
The PM will be relieved to have clarity, but several major challenges loom