Venice was once a city of velvet and marble-now it is tense with clingfilm, the most useless city in Italy. Duncan Fallowell has never been to Venice and thinks Oslo might be more inspiring
Alfred Sherman attacks John Gummer's white paper on land use and his attempt to turn London into Barcelona
Academic life is being crushed by the weight of unwanted articles and books that the new productivity assessment systems require. Noel Malcolm proposes a reform based on agricultural "set-aside"
Robert Putnam has become an academic celebrity in the US with his views on the decline of civic virtue. Nicholas Lemann says that his ideas are popular because they are politically convenient
The coming dispute over the relationship between Euro "ins" and "outs" could begin the unravelling of the EU. Derek Coombs says that Britain has considerable clout on this issue but should not abuse...
The cultural establishment claims that demanding television programmes draw smaller but more committed audiences. New research suggests that this is wishful thinking. Harold Lind sees no escape from...
The newspaper editors who hounded Cedric Brown earn a lot more than he did. Derek Matthews comes to the defence of Britain's highly paid utility bosses
The French used to be proud of the Enarques, their ruling elite embodying an enlightened but monarchical vision of France. Dominique Moisi wonders if they are fit to take the country into the 21st...
The rule of law will not survive in Hong Kong when it returns to Chinese sovereignty next year. Steve Vines blames the colony's reactionary Chinese elite
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