In late 1970, British prime minister Ted Heath learnt that his Australian counterpart John Gorton planned to change the name of the Department of External Affairs to the Department of Foreign Affairs. It became a big issue – Britain’s view was how could Her Majesty’s Australian Diplomatic Service, as our diplomats were then grandly styled, possibly handle relations with the UK from a ‘Foreign Affairs’ department when the UK plainly wasn’t a foreign country?


The coronavirus pandemic is proving a tough time for the Left. The all-consuming focus on a real threat to our lives and way of life has suddenly reduced the world’s patience with woke causes. Greta Thunberg’s calls for continued climate change school strikes – now largely of children being home-schooled – are met with a groan. As the peerless Twitter phenomenon Titania McGrath laments, ‘my greatest concern about the coronavirus is that it is a distraction from the far more serious problem of people being misgendered’.


Boris Johnson returned today to politics today after a life-and-death battle with the coronavirus and a convalescence lasting three weeks at Chequers.


‘Ghost trains,’ Hungary’s emergency law, face masks and social distancing, restaurants’ pivot to takeout and delivery.


Who would have thought until a few weeks ago that Boris Johnson’s success over the coming year would be judged on anything other than his management of the final stage of Brexit? That issue – together with whether he’ll turn out overall to be just the latest in a long line of soft-left Tory prime ministers – will return.


What a difference five years makes. In the European summer of 2015, a huge wave of illegal immigrants overwhelmed Greece and angrily resisted any efforts to impede their onward journey to what they believed were the gold-paved streets of Germany – spurning the countries on the way which could have offered sanctuary.


Today’s news includes the information that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have let go the 15-strong staff of their office in Buckingham Palace.