The property profiteers

The frenzy to speculate on the housing market or own multiple homes has a dangerous downside

On the very day we were warned by the Financial Services Authority that Britain may have its own sub-prime problem, Channel 4 announced that it would commission 55 more episodes of its property show A Place in the Sun. So viewers will still get their fix of this most aspirational of property programmes where people, often including young couples who feel they can’t get a foot on the UK property ladder, are encouraged to follow their dreams.

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Ever the inconvenient royal

The details emerging from the inquest into her death may be overly intrusive but the process proves that Diana was a radical in her own way

Today a leader in the Guardian describes the Diana inquest “a mawkish indulgence of a conspiracy cult” and an “absurdity” and even I, who long supported the need for an inquest, have felt in parts bored and in parts queasy about the continued trawling over Diana’s unhappy personal life. But among the welter of detail, some important and fascinating information is emerging.

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Diana: the unanswered questions

I welcome the inquest into Diana’s death. Hopefully we’ll finally be able to tie up some still-dangling threads.

Most people I know affect a fashionable ennui around Diana these days. The line is that the mourning of Diana was mass hysteria, interest in her life unhealthy and, in particular, any interest in the details of her death the morbid obsessions of conspiracy theorists. In relation to the inquest in to her death, which opens today, the general line is what on earth more could we ever find out about a drunken car crash? So am I the only person left in the UK who thinks that an inquest into the death of Princess Diana, might, if done properly, actually be quite useful?

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The Chains of Childhood

The debate about childhood should focus on something more specific than the pros and cons of modern life.

It is tempting to dismiss yesterday’s letter to a national newspaper from 110 leading experts on childhood as a wail of nostalgia, or as Dave Hill put it, a reflection clouded by “banks of wistful cumuli”. After all, their chosen paper was the Daily Telegraph. And the list of causes included most aspects of modern life: junk food, sedentary based entertainment, lack of interaction with real significant adults and lack of time. But it is interesting how few people, including Dave Hill, are dismissing the letter in its entirety. The massive media response shows that the frustrations behind it are widespread.

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