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Home 2012 November

Saturday, 24 November 2012

  • Editorial: A princely warning to be heeded
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    It is all too easy to mock the idea of a lifetime achievement award going to someone whose most notable life achievement was to be born first in line to the throne. And recipients of awards are expected to make speeches, something his detractors thi...

  • Editorial: No to press legislation
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    David Cameron, caught on the back foot over his close relationship to the Murdoch empire, his friendship with Rebekah Brooks and the employment of Andy Coulson, instituted the inquiry in July last year following the revelation that the murdered scho...

  • The latest war with Hamas over Gaza proves Benjamin Netanyahu is leading Israel into isolation
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    The country's liberal elite fear this isolation and the soullessness it has created. How else can one account for the government minister who proposed "sending Gaza back to the Middle Ages" or the accusations against Israeli model Bar Refaeli that sh...

  • The joys of boredom!
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    The conference is organised by James Ward, who blogs about stationery and other boring things. He first held a Boring Conference in 2010, on learning that an event called the Interesting Conference had been cancelled. He simply booked the same speake...

  • Why Dave doesn't give a hoot about the EU budget
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    In fact, the EU budget is a trivial matter. The EU might spend a few cents per citizen more or less each year for the next seven years, of which the British share will be a fraction of not very much. The breakdown of the Brussels summit reminded me o...

  • Ukip is sucking up voters Tories can ill afford to lose
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    Ukip won just over 3 per cent of the vote in 2010, outperforming the previous best Eurosceptic performance, the 2.7 per cent won by the now defunct Referendum Party in 1997.As recently as January Ukip was still at 3 per cent on average in the polls. ...

  • Letters: Will they check teachers’ politics?
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    This presumes that they are investigating the political persuasion of all of the people who work with children and are supervising children in care at the moment. No doubt they will be concerned about the political views of the teachers in local sc...

  • Editorial: F1 gets a new and exhilarating lease of life
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    The number of those with an interest – declared or not – in buying Formula One shows that motor-racing is again a desirable property. Enthusiasts will look forward to more of the same next year. By the way, Button won the race, and Vettel the champ...

  • Our media demonises immigrants, refugees and Muslims. What will Lord Leveson say about that?
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    We heard about victims of malpractice, including Millie Dowler and Christopher Jefferies – an innocent man monstered by sensationalist British newspapers after the murder of  Joanna Yeates in Bristol. After that we journalists can’t demand business a...

  • The cosy consensus I saw on Question Time's panel is a disservice to every man and woman in Britain
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    Take a moment to compare the current crop of political “heavyweights” to, say, the leading lights of post-war Britain. In the first majority Labour government, headed by Clement Attlee, there was Nye Bevan (above, with Attlee), ex-miner, fiery orator...

  • What makes a good parent? It's not discipline, or striving for respect (or fear). Above all else, it's trust
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    This week we saw two items that gave cause for judgement on what makes a suitable parent. The Ukip couple who, last week, had the children they’d been fostering for the last two months taken away from them because of their political beliefs. And we l...

  • Blairite loyalists like myself know that Mr Tony Blair only consorts with the nicest dictators around
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    Mr Tony is absolutely huge in Rwanda, where former Downing Street staffers and charity workers of his festoon Paul Kagame’s government, though the source of his besottedness with that tiny country is disputed. Where Blairite loyalists like myself acc...

  • President Morsi of Egypt loses Tahrir Square
    New Yorker Sunday, 25 November 2012

    As he reports: "While many believe that Morsi is flush with a new sense of power, my instinct is the opposite—that he’s probably frustrated and worried about eroding public support. After seeing one constitutional assembly dissolved in the spring, he...

  • Richard III found in Leicester shocker!
    The Washington Post Sunday, 25 November 2012

    Here's a flavour: "Underneath a drab parking lot 90 miles northwest of London, archaeologists have unearthed what may become one of this nation’s finds of the century — half-a-millennium-old bones thought to be the remains of the long-lost monarch. B...

  • John McCain humiliates himself again (this time over Susan Rice)
    The Daily Beast Sunday, 25 November 2012

    Over at the Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky explains how McCain got it wrong - again: "We don’t yet really know as a society what a person has to do to completely and utterly cancel out a record of war heroism, but we may be about to find out. If this C...

  • Steven Spielberg's Lincoln captures why we love politics
    New York Times Sunday, 25 November 2012

    In his most recent column, he reviews Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln. It ideally captures, he writes, the mixture of principle and pragmatism that marks all the great political careers. Here's a flavour: "It [the film] shows that you can do more goo...

  • IoS letters, emails & online postings (25 November 2012)
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    Despite having been instructed by Parliament in 2011 to end this cruelty, the Government is pressing ahead with its ill-conceived inspection and licensing regime, which will do nothing to protect animals in circuses from the routine abuse they face,...

  • Editorial: Ukip cannot solve the Tories' Europe problem
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    Among those protesting most loudly were Labour politicians, including the leader, Ed Miliband, who clearly sensed a risk that the party could be tainted by association, given that Rotherham is run by Labour. With a by-election on Thursday – called fo...

  • Despite the sabre-rattling, an attack on Iran is now unlikely
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    This is scarcely surprising. The threat has served Tel Aviv and Washington well in the past because it enabled them to persuade the rest of the world to impose swingeing sanctions on Iran as the only alternative to war. Even so, claims that a final c...

  • The day the chickens came home to roost
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    But this year will take some beating. My wife had organised a no-holds-barred dinner party for the main event, and friends duly arrived bearing gifts. One couple excelled themselves by turning up with a very intriguing-looking box that they insisted...

  • Where is Africa's share of the spoils?
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    Moreover, windfalls of wealth have created a rent-seeking culture in which living standards are not earned and there is a neglect of entrepreneurial endeavour, technological innovation and hard work.Each year, international oil, gas, forestry and min...

  • I work part-time. (I'm a woman, you see)
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    I'm talking about a double shot of caffeine, of course: anything else might slow me down, and I've got a lot to pull off in the three days that I'm paid for my work. I'm sure the 44 women on a new index singling out 50 people at the top of their pro...

  • On the superhighway to where, exactly?
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    It is not that any of this electronic eye-candy is particularly injurious in itself – although I still roar with laughter at the sight of a leotard-clad exerciser bouncing about to the TV screen when she could be running over a field – merely that i...

  • Manners makyth man. Etiquette's just nonsense
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    But it is, no doubt, very welcome to the owners of Pizza Express who commissioned the new guide as they introduce calzone to their menus. This folded pizza can be eaten with the fingers, the posh person's primer pronounced, even though, with all tha...

  • Why do the Republicans want to stop Susan Rice succeeding Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State?
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    The lady, as anyone who follows American foreign policy-making knows, is not just anyone. She is the current favourite – or at least, according to every report, the candidate favoured by Barack Obama – to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State...

  • As the BBC's new Director-General, Tony Hall's first duty is to take the Corporation back to basics
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    Tony Hall might be a lord but his broadening of the audience for opera has shown he is certainly not an elitist. I have nothing but admiration for him, but what a huge task lies ahead. First, he has to keep the BBC Trust at arm's length so he can ope...

  • This squabbling sect has no place in the Lords
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    Far from it: what I've just described is the privileged position of the Church of England. And it's why last week's fiasco, in which the Synod failed to pass a proposal to allow women to become bishops, matters to us all. As a non-believer, I'm mor...

  • Harriet Walker: Winter food should be snuggly
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    When I eat in restaurants, I'm often constrained by the guilt factor of choosing something I can't have at home – hence my almost ordering the veal's head. I very rarely let myself have pasta if I'm eating out, which doesn't make sense because I cook...

  • Danny Boyle says Government cuts are ruining the arts, but where are the statistics to prove it?
    Saturday, 24 November 2012

    Championing the arts to government usually takes one of two forms. The importance is stressed of the arts either as a nurturing force for the population, giving education, enlightenment and understanding both of society and of oneself; or as an econo...

  • With Sandy Island finally off the map, who's to say any of us are really here
    Saturday, 24 November 2012

    Only, it wasn't. It seems this invisibility issue could just be the result of an initial human error, which was then repeated down the years. Really? Some map maker decides to have a sandwich at his desk, spills some HP sauce on his work, so an isl...

  • Good parenting outranks all other considerations
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    That was the aspiration, but that idealism foundered on the reality that you couldn't always achieve it. Children were missing out their chances of finding adoptive parents because of the delays in finding a match. The rules have changed in the pas...

  • Striving doesn't pay in today's Britain
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    This week, we'll learn that Iain Duncan Smith hasn't made the challenge any easier. The DWP's Work Programme has descended into gridlock as Jobcentre Plus staff lose all confidence in it. Referrals to the programme have halved over the past year , e...

  • Rant & Rave (25/11/12)
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    Sigh. Or should that be Psy? For another week brings another parody or five of the South Korean pop star's hit, "Gangnam Style", the internet meme that never dies. The most high profile has been the Anish Kapoor-led art world "protest" vid. Now, it...

  • The Emperor's New Clothes (25/11/12)
    Sunday, 25 November 2012

    My suspicions were first aroused in 2008, on the publication of In Tearing Haste, letters between PLF and Deborah Devonshire. He was obviously proud of his friendship with the chatelaine of Chatsworth. Trouble was, the brilliance of her writing made ...

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