As we circle out into Table Bay and back towards the mountain, the pilot welcomes us to Cape Town – and warns us about the burgeoning violence. For the first time, locals are talking about it too. ‘We all know people who have been raped and murdered,’ says one friend who delivers me to my guesthouse after a meal and watches until I am safely inside. She rings her security company and arranges for a guard to meet her at her door if she is coming home late.
Rod Liddle says that Harriet Harman’s notion of ‘structural pay discrimination’ is nonsense. It is women’s decision to have children that disrupts wage equalityOne government proposal which seems to have gone largely unnoticed as a consequence of the credit crunch, Susan Boyle’s triumph on Britain’s Got Talent and flying Mexican pigs spreading their lethal filth hither and thither is Harriet Harman’s plan to remove the wombs from all British women and force them to go to work as stockbrokers and hedge-fund managers in the City of London.
In an exclusive interview, Sir Michael Lyons, the BBC chairman, talks to Matthew d’Ancona about the licence fee, the Ross-Brand affair — and hints at flexibility over fundingIf there is a stereotype of the BBC chairman, Sir Michael Lyons does not match it. Marmaduke Hussey, for instance, was the archetypal establishment patrician, while Gavyn Davies was one of the original New Labour cronies (felled by the Hutton Inquiry).
Travels in Obamaland: we take our two boys for their first holiday in the vast parish of St Barack, as his first 100 days come to an end. The wave of T-shirt wisdom unleashed during the election campaign hasn’t dried up: one favourite is a sepia image of a group of American Indians, being sold by native Americans in Union Square — and bearing the slogan ‘Homeland Security: fighting terrorism since 1492’.
I blame Matthew d’Ancona, esteemed editor of this organ, for his over-generous hospitality. It was after one of The Spectator’s pre-Christmas celebrations that I was breathalysed and banned from driving for a year, later reduced to nine months if I underwent counselling. It all started when, as an occasional Spectator scribe since 1974, I received a last-minute invitation to a dinner for readers to meet contributors.
Brahma Chellaney says that India is indeed ‘the sponge that protects us all’ from terrorism emanating from Pakistan. The new President’s strategy is compounding the Af-Pak problemNew DelhiOne of the most striking things about the larger Asian strategic landscape is that India is wedged in an arc of failing or troubled states. This harsh reality is India’s most glaring weakness; its neighbourhood is so combustible as to impose a tyranny of geography.
The Eighties mantra ‘greed is good’ may be unfashionable, says Fraser Nelson, but it is still true. We have forgotten that wealth generates revenue, while high taxes crush prosperity and pauperise nations. Will the Conservatives have the guts to declare this economic truth?Before Gordon Brown was writing books about political courage, the subject that fascinated him most was greed. He detected plenty of it when the Thatcher revolution was in full bloom.