Not so long ago, the National Consumer Council decided that some shops on railway stations were selling chocolate bars too cheaply and that the public should, for its own protection, pay more for them. This occurred at about the same time as the RSPB mulled over the possibility that it might start shooting or gassing or strangling parakeets (it has since denied it ever intended such a thing). All we needed was a short statement from the NSPCC to the effect that it was entirely in favour of the occasional child sacrifice from time to time and we would have been in an almost perfect upside-down world.
Hardeep Singh Kohli lifts the veil on the new ‘underground kitchens’: confidential gatherings of gastronomes in secret locations, meals that are governed by the rules of omertaSo there I am, in a stranger’s kitchen on a summer Saturday night, knee-deep in freshly cooked basmati rice, chutneys and pickles a go-go. And I’m ladling spoonfuls of smoked aubergine and pea curry on to the 24th of 25 expectant plates, wondering furiously if: 1) There will be enough to go round.
Reihan Salam is a fan of Cameron’s plan for shifting power to citizens. The trouble is — as the row over Obama’s healthcare reform shows — technocrats can often be rightAs neoconservatives pressed for the democratic transformation of the Middle East, curmudgeons on the right and left often wondered if the peoples of the region were in fact ready for democracy. Robust democracy is rooted in a flourishing civil society and a large and literate middle class that is capable of holding elected officials to account.
Angry disenchantment with the political and financial establishment has rarely been deeper. David Horspool says that the English rebel — culturally affronted rather than ideologically left-wing — is an honourable archetype of our nation’s historyG.K. Chesterton’s famous line in The Secret People, ‘We are the people of England, that never have spoken yet’, still seems to appeal across the political spectrum.