Fraser Nelson

Politics | 1 November 2008

A nanosecond is easily measured in Westminster as the time between a politician’s hearing of a colleague’s impending resignation and wondering ‘What’s in it for me?’ It takes perhaps a full second to construct a theory as to why the unfortunate soul had it coming and probably deserved it. It takes about a minute to

Shared opinion | 1 November 2008

The real BBC scandal is that John Prescott has been allowed to talk about class Obviously, the senior powers at the BBC should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. What a cock-up. What a failure of leadership. What a grubby betrayal of Reithian values. Is our licence fee really well spent on this gibbering nonsense? What

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 1 November 2008

What would happen if you or I or telephoned an old man we did not know and left a message on his answering machine saying that one of us had ‘f—–ed’ his grand-daughter? What would happen if we then left three more messages, joking about her menstruation and imitating his voice as, in our imagination,

Any other business

City Life | 1 November 2008

Moderation has never been popular in Shanghai. Over the years the city has been home to many types of excess, from opium and sing-song girls to Red Guards. At the moment the favourite is construction, and its partner, destruction. One of the newest and boldest examples of the immoderate is the Shanghai World Financial Center.

Is that a new boom on the far horizon?

The real economy has taken only the first step towards recession but the housing market has already clocked up four successive quarters of negative growth. Indeed, house prices have now fallen further in 13 months, according to the Halifax, than they plunged in the whole three years of the 1989-91 crash. And like the rest

The great downhill bicycle ride

A little over a year ago, when it was already obvious to virtually everybody that the boom was over, the City’s Panglossian crowd came up with one last, seemingly profound, argument to allow them to continue to deny reality. Going by the ugly name of ‘decoupling’, the theory was that the emerging economies were no

Here’s the secret of humour. But don’t tell the Germans.

V.S. Naipaul, that clever and often wise man, once laid down: ‘One always writes comedy at the moment of deepest hysteria.’ Well, where’s the comedy now? There is certainly plenty of hysteria. Old Theodore Roosevelt used to say: ‘Men are seldom more unreasonable than when they lose their money. They do not seek to apportion