SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
William Cash

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August 09, 2018
Last week, when Pope Francis made his much-discussed change to the Catechism entry on the death penalty, I happened to be reading a journalist’s memoir about Death Row. The author is an Associated Press reporter, Michael Graczyk, who retires this month aged 68, after witnessing more than 400 state executions. This has made me think
July 19, 2018
Skymeadow Charlie Hart, Constable, 288pp, £16.99 The playwright Terence Rattigan had a rule when he was asked about reviews: “When you’re writing about something you like but about which you have important reservations, the proper thing is to put your approval at the top of the notice and then bring up the reservations afterwards”. So
May 16, 2018
Wolfe drew on a tradition of conservative satire and politically incorrect social criticism
April 26, 2018
Last week I went to the funeral of my dear friend Philip Kerr, who wrote more than 30 novels. Many of these – as we learnt from his agent, Caradoc King, in his splendid eulogy – were sold for “north of a million dollars”. Philip was just 62 when he died but left a legacy
January 25, 2018
When Damian Collins received his first Holy Communion in the 1980s at St Mary’s Catholic secondary school in rural Herefordshire, he was made an altar boy almost straight away. Seeing that he was a natural in his new role, one of the older parish ladies exclaimed: “Damian will be a bishop before he knows it.”
December 14, 2017
With Jacob Rees-Mogg now the bookies’ favourite to be the next Tory leader, 7-1 is too good a price not to have a Christmas bet on Boris Johnson making perhaps his biggest comeback yet, just as many are writing him off. My guess is that not being the front-runner to succeed Theresa May will suit
November 16, 2017
Tom Wolfe, who immortalised the phrase “Master of the Universe” in Bonfire of the Vanities 30 years ago, lives in exactly the sort of apartment owned by the book’s bond-trader protagonist Sherman McCoy: “One of those apartments the mere thought of which ignites flames of greed and covetousness under people all over New York, and
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
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