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The news from Afghanistan has dominated the media for well over a fortnight now, and not surprisingly the press has concentrated mostly on the Taliban’s lightning-fast triumph and the unfolding human drama of the evacuation. Tempting though it is to focus on current events and the chaotic pictures at Kabul airport, we prefer to offer some more forward-looking thoughts and observations for what the Taliban’s return will mean.
My essay two weeks ago on the challenge of preserving the UK produced a bigger postbag than any of my articles for at least the last five years. And strikingly, they were almost all on the theme not so much of “What will it take to keep the Union together?”, as I had positioned my essay a fortnight ago, as “What is the reason for trying to preserve the Union at all?” It is a question that needs to be answered.