Melanie McDonagh

Melanie McDonagh is a leaderwriter for the Evening Standard and Spectator contributor. Irish, living in London.

Dominic Cummings's lockdown critics will never be happy

26 May 2020 4:44 am

Happy now? Thought not. Dominic Cummings has delivered his statement and answered questions but still the critics aren’t appeased. Not…

Neil Ferguson has finally gladdened the nation

6 May 2020 10:34 pm

When I first heard that Neil Ferguson, the Government’s Covid adviser, had had to resign, I thought the BBC broadcast…

Hate legislation is blasphemy law by another name

2 May 2020 9:00 am

Hate legislation is blasphemy law by another name

Ten lessons we've learned from the lockdown so far

26 April 2020 1:55 am

Yep, the end is in sight, courtesy of other countries organising the practicalities for the return to some sort of…

France's citizens' climate convention has come back to bite Macron

18 April 2020 5:56 pm

Those of us who are sceptical about the worth of citizens’ assemblies have been noting with interest the upshot of…

The lie of the land: we’re not all in this together

18 April 2020 9:00 am

We’re not all in this together

Don't close the churches because of coronavirus

25 March 2020 4:18 am

Last night, when the Prime Minister made his address to the nation he declared that places of worship would be…

School closures leave parents with a serious headache

19 March 2020 5:39 am

Well, thanks a whole lot, Gavin W. The announcement that schools would close in England from Friday was pretty well…

positive thinking

In praise of President Trump’s positive thinking

15 March 2020 10:08 pm

An opinion piece in the Washington Post by Helaine Olen suggests that President Trump believes that the coronavirus can be…

Why we should welcome a Sinn Fein government

11 February 2020 11:41 pm

There are those – most of my acquaintance in Ireland, frankly – who can think of nothing worse than Sinn…

The puzzling thing about Harry and Meghan’s big announcement

9 January 2020 7:24 pm

Let’s not get carried away. The Queen’s younger grandson may be decamping to North America with his lovely wife and…

Angels and daemons: Children’s books for Christmas

23 November 2019 9:00 am

Sometimes I have to admit the reason I read children’s books with pleasure is that I’m essentially puerile —and look,…

Prince Andrew’s fatal error

21 November 2019 6:08 pm

Well, they’ve got their scalp. Prince Andrew is retiring from public life. But before he did, he said in his…

A Citizens’ Assembly on climate change is the coward’s way out

2 November 2019 11:11 pm

So is it good news that Citizens’ Assemblies are to sit to decide on how best to address the issue…

Children’s literature has become horribly right-on

2 November 2019 9:00 am

There was a spat the other week about a children’s book, Equal to Everything: Judge Brenda and the Supreme Court,…

Parents and children demonstrate against the No Outsiders programme at Parkfield School in Birmingham in March [Photo: Getty]

Should Muslim parents be allowed to challenge LGBT lessons?

19 October 2019 9:00 am

We saw two different worlds, or at least two different value systems, collide in the High Court in Birmingham this…

Desert Island Discs has completely lost the plot

10 August 2019 9:00 am

There’s a cultural problem at the BBC, isn’t there? The Corporation is trying to attract under-35s — the sort who…

A child’s-eye view of the world: The Curse of the School Rabbit, by Judith Kerr, reviewed

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Is there a more perfect children’s writer for this generation than Judith Kerr? She started with a tiger — The…

The Sussexes’ complete lack of self-awareness

2 July 2019 6:30 pm

There’s no stopping the Sussexes, is there? Right after they get up everyone’s nose by saying their son’s christening is…

Boris has to get out of Camberwell

22 June 2019 8:17 pm

Well! Just when it looked like the only political question anyone would be talking about is the start of the…

The Pope is wrong to change the Lord’s Prayer

22 June 2019 9:00 am

Is the pope a Catholic? You have to wonder. In the old days, a pope’s remit was modest: infallible, but…

Why the First Wives’ Club should cut Boris a bit of slack

1 June 2019 8:18 pm

Well, very obliging of Donald Trump to back Boris Johnson – ‘a very good guy…he’d be excellent…I like him very…

Is the Guardian practising what it preaches on climate change?

2 May 2019 8:11 pm

The Guardian has an advertisement today from Sainsbury’s. Nothing wrong with that; respectable paper, respectable retailer. It’s the nature of the…

Scourge of puritans: Christian Dior with model Sylvie, c.1948

How an anarchist music student become of the fashion greats: the life of Christian Dior

9 February 2019 9:00 am

Strange to think when you visit the Christian Dior show at the V&A that his time as designer was so…

LEFT: Shirley Hughes is incapable of drawing a child who isn’t lovable. From Snow in the Garden: A First Book of Christmas. RIGHT: Edmund Dulac’s illustrations are as exquisite as a Persian miniature.From The Arabian Nights, translated by Laurence Housman

Family favourites: children’s books for Christmas reviewed

8 December 2018 9:00 am

There’s no shortage of magical rings in the children’s canon, the sort of things that usefully make you invisible or…