Questions to which the answer is still no

I have regretted ending my collection on more than one occasion

Looking forward to this year, The Daily Telegraph today carried a headline: “Could this be the year we make contact with aliens?” And no, it didn’t mean Bulgarians. We also had this cheery headline in The Guardian on Christmas Eve: “Could rationing hold the key to today’s food crises?”

On both occasions I regretted ending my collection of Questions to Which the Answer is No. I closed the series in September, having reached number 1,000 in my list, with the question asked by South Oxfordshire Council: “Who can help in a flood?” (A Question to Which the Answer is Noah.)

No sooner had I done so than the controversy erupted over the Daily Mail’s attack on Ed Miliband’s father as “The Man Who Hated Britain”. A few days later Matthew Bayley of Sky News reported the view from the Daily Mail newsroom: “If we’d just stuck a question mark after the headline none of this would have happened.”

No further questions, your honour.

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