Skip to main content
The Knowledge logo

6 December

In the headlines

The government’s plan to let ministers “throw out” any legal rulings they don’t like has kicked off a “fresh war with judges”, says The Times. Whitehall says the move enforces the principle that parliament is in charge, not unelected judges. But the plans have been met with “incredulity” by lawyers. “This government seems to forget,” said a top QC, “that this is a country under the rule of law and not under a dictatorship.” Middle-class druggies are being “targeted”, says The Guardian, as the government’s new drug strategy promises to punish wealthy professionals who indulge in class A substances by taking away their passports. “Snow let up,” says The Sun, as strong winds and snow are predicted to blast the country from tomorrow in a “nine-day stretch of wet and wild wintry weather”. Up to 4in of snow could fall, while winds could hit 70mph.

Comment of the day


Macron’s petulance helps no one

As someone who has spent his life writing about France, has French family and could reasonably be described as a francophile, I’m baffled by the “stream of bile aimed at Britain” that now issues daily from the French political elite, says Robert Tombs in The Sunday Telegraph. Okay, Brexit scuppered France’s “greatest project” – European integration. And after casting off the EU’s “cumbersome” medical regulations, the UK developed a vaccine at lightning speed.




Thirty southern white rhinos have been packed into a jumbo jet and flown from South Africa to Rwanda – the largest single relocation of the species. The endangered two-ton animals were tranquillised before their 2,100-mile journey to Akagera National Park, where it’s hoped they’ll be safer from poachers than back home. In South Africa an average of three rhinos a day are killed for their horns.

Inside politics

When a group of new-age religious pilgrims stopped at a farm shop near Chequers in 2019, says Giles Fraser in UnHerd, Boris Johnson was in there getting his groceries. Not knowing what to say, they started singing: “Listen to your heart, listen to your heart. Let love guide you.” According to one member of the group, the PM was strangely moved: “His mouth is just open, he has his hand on his heart, he has tears in his eyes.” He was later overheard discussing the group with his then girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, outside: “Where have they come from, it’s like they have emerged from the Earth?” 

On the way out

The barbering service at London gentlemen’s club the Cavalry and Guards, which has been chopped after nearly a century of haircuts. Philip Kyriacou, 85, had been the club’s barber for 33 years. The pandemic forced him out of business, says Jack Malvern in The Times, although “the club’s discovery that he had been paying the same rent for his concession since 1988 may also have played a part”.


Quoted 06-12

“Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is.”

Winston Churchill

Snapshot answer

It’s Richard E Grant’s breakfast, lunch and supper at the four-star Holiday Inn at Gatwick airport. The Withnail & I star is being charged £228 a night while he spends 10 days in quarantine after returning from a visit to his 90-year-old mother in Eswatini. After he complained on Twitter, not all his followers were sympathetic: “Many families in the UK would love that food on their plates tonight,” replied one. Another, channelling Withnail, tweeted: “For £228 per day I’d expect the finest wines available to humanity.”


A few years ago Milan was Italy’s ugly duckling, says Elena Clavarino in Air Mail. Except during Fashion Week, it was grey and unwelcoming. But since the 2015 Expo, “a brash, braggadocio-filled international exhibition”, the city has been reclaiming its 1980s glory days. Luxury flats have sprung up and world-class art museums such as the Fondazione Prada have opened. When I said I was moving from Milan to New York, one café owner said: “Why are you going there? All the New Yorkers are here now!”