Status anxiety

Iceland’s scenery takes your breath away – but so do the prices

6 August 2022 9:00 am

I’m writing this on the plane back from Iceland, a fact that fills me with relief. Not because I didn’t…

My Icelandic holiday with Kevin and Perry

30 July 2022 9:00 am

I’m currently on holiday in Iceland. I say ‘holiday’, but I’m with my three teenage sons so it’s more like…

My brief career as a marijuana farmer

23 July 2022 9:00 am

The latest heatwave reminded me of my brief career as a marijuana farmer. This wasn’t in the summer of 1976,…

Has identity politics had its day?

16 July 2022 9:00 am

Have we reached peak woke? In Hollywood, that seems to be the emerging consensus. Thanks to the box office success…

My admiration for the other Toby Young

9 July 2022 9:00 am

It’s started again. Sixteen years ago, another ‘Toby Young’ kept appearing in my email inbox. I’d created a Google Alert…

The day I got heckled at Speakers’ Corner

2 July 2022 9:00 am

Monday was the 150th anniversary of Speakers’ Corner and, in the hope of drumming up some publicity for the Free…

Will my kitchen be designated a ‘safe space’?

25 June 2022 9:00 am

As the father of four children who will be entering higher education in the next few years, I’m worried that…

Why country house opera is just the ticket

18 June 2022 9:00 am

Last Saturday I went to the opera for only the second time in my life. This was at the invitation…

My wine-fuelled mini break

11 June 2022 9:00 am

For Christmas Caroline bought me a ‘Deluxe GiftExperience’ at Chapel Down, the UK’s leading winery. I say ‘me’, but it…

My approach to wine? Wishful drinking

4 June 2022 9:00 am

I fancy myself as a bit of an oenophile and during the lockdowns, when my local branch of Majestic was…

Beware the wrath of middle-class homeowners

28 May 2022 9:00 am

‘Apocalyptic’ food shortages, gas and electricity bills soaring, wages not keeping pace with inflation… it’s beginning to look like we’re…

The courage of Katharine Birbalsingh

21 May 2022 9:00 am

Five years ago, I put my friend Nell Butler in touch with Katharine Birbalsingh, Britain’s most outspoken headmistress. I was…

How not to understand the Brexit referendum

14 May 2022 9:00 am

Simon Kuper’s Chums: How a Tiny Caste of Oxford Tories Took Over the UK is a wonderful compendium of anecdotes…

A bonfire of the quangos should start with the College of Policing

7 May 2022 9:00 am

I welcome Jacob Rees-Mogg’s recent announcement that he intends to reignite David Cameron’s ‘bonfire of the quangos’ in his capacity…

There’s no one better than Boris

30 April 2022 9:00 am

Eighteen months ago, I wrote a column for this magazine saying I regretted having been such a Boris enthusiast for…

The tragedy of being a QPR fan

23 April 2022 9:00 am

Normal families spend the Easter holidays by the seaside or in the Mediterranean. But not the Youngs. My three boys…

Is this Premier Inn all I’ll be remembered for?

16 April 2022 9:00 am

It’s fairly commonplace for people to wonder what, if anything, they’ll be remembered for. I’m going to be 59 later…

The most disadvantaged group in Britain? White working-class men

9 April 2022 9:00 am

I’m not sure what to think about the BBC’s announcement that it wants a quarter of its staff to be…

My £50-a-week chocolate habit

2 April 2022 9:00 am

As I’ve got older my tastes have generally become less refined. During my youth I dutifully slogged through Kafka, Camus…

How to save the Oscars

26 March 2022 9:00 am

This Sunday’s Academy Awards will be a litmus test of whether Hollywood can uncouple itself from the political agenda of…

My football analogy for the free speech debate

19 March 2022 9:00 am

By the time you read this the new draft of the Online Safety Bill should be on the DCMS website.…

What really happened when my wife left me in charge

12 March 2022 9:00 am

I’m currently standing at the top of Brownie Point Mountain, having spent the past two weeks looking after our three…

Nuclear war, magic mushrooms and a teenage trip I’ll never forget

5 March 2022 9:00 am

Vladimir Putin’s decision on Sunday to put his ‘deterrence forces’ – code for nuclear weapons – in a high state…

Mexico is no country for journalists

26 February 2022 9:00 am

I’m writing this on my last day in Mexico City, having accompanied my 18-year-old daughter here for the first week…

When does ‘middle age’ end and ‘old age’ begin?

19 February 2022 9:00 am

I was a bit irritated by all the millennials saying the Superbowl half-time show made them feel old. The 15-minute…