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Heroes and villains

British surgeons | Joe Biden | Jordan Peterson

Taking a relaxed approach to surgery in the Channel 4 comedy Green Wing (2004)


British surgeons, who are getting rather slapdash. The number of “foreign objects” left inside patients after operations hit a record 291 in the year from 2021 to 2022, up from 156 two decades earlier. Swabs and gauzes are the most common items sewn up in patients, but scalpels and drill bits have slipped in too.


Joe Biden, whose dodderiness might prove a geopolitical masterstroke, says Freddy Gray in The Spectator. The president has updated the “Mad Man” approach to diplomacy – which keeps adversaries guessing with irrational behaviour – with a similar “Senile Man” style: repeatedly promising that America would defend Taiwan in an attack from China, for example, remarks which his aides keep having to roll back. “It’s brilliant and terrifying at the same time.”


Italy’s culture minister, Gennaro Sangiuliano, who this week condemned the way foreign (especially English) words are infiltrating the Italian language, but did so while labelling the practice as “snobismo, molto radical chic” – snobismo coming from “snobbery”, radical being directly English, and chic French.


Best-selling Canadian author and psychologist Jordan Peterson, who has committed what one columnist calls the “very 21st-century crime of tweeting the wrong opinions”. These include defending the anti-vax Canadian truckers, calling Justin Trudeau a “puppet” and referring to the transgender actor Elliot Page by the pronoun “her”. Ontario’s College of Psychologists has ordered Peterson to undertake a social media “coaching program” if he wants to keep practising in Canada.