03/11/2018
3 Nov 2018

Europe's empty throne

3 Nov 2018

Europe's empty throne

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Features
Douglas MurrayDouglas Murray
Mutti’s last days

Whatever anyone’s views on the enterprise, there was one question always begging to be asked of the European Union: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ At an early stage it wasn’t clear to everyone. Then the purpose and direction of travel seemed agreed — under the stewardship of Angela Merkel. She was there to settle disputes, authorise bailouts, offer German help to struggling nations and protect the project as it led to ever-closer union.

Mutti’s last days
Nick Cohen
How to trap a journalist

Shortly before his death, the Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote that capitalism crushed the integrity of artists and intellectuals. Assessed only in terms of their commercial appeal, they became ‘a sub-department of marketing’. In a touching display of filial loyalty, Julia Hobsbawm seems to be proving her old dad right. The former head of New Labour’s favourite PR agency, Hobsbawm Macaulay, now runs an outfit called Editorial Intelligence, ‘a tool for… bringing together key journalists and PR professionals through networking clubs’.

How to trap a journalist
Daniel Butler
Picky eaters

Autumn’s wild bounty is a cause for celebration across the Continent. In France and Germany, people rush into the woods, motivated largely by greed. Families drink, eat and forage, while the elderly show their grandchildren what is — and isn’t — safe to eat. In Britain, attitudes are different. Even conkers now seem suspect. We are particularly nervous about fungi, because we are told that picking mushrooms is both dangerous and bad for the environment.

Picky eaters
Iain Dale
Can’t pay, shouldn’t pay

You probably haven’t heard of the loan charge. I hadn’t until a couple of months ago, when I told listeners to my LBC radio show that I would soon be interviewing Mel Stride, the financial secretary to the Treasury. Following this, I was bombarded by texts and emails from something called the Loan Charge Action Group and its many, many sympathisers. I then became acquainted with what might be the next storm to hit the government.

Can’t pay, shouldn’t pay
John R. Bradley
Hostages to fortune

It says something about the level of political discourse in America that Donald Trump decided to trumpet sanctions on Iran not with a speech, but a Twitter meme in reference to Game of Thrones. 'Sanctions are coming,' he says - in a picture that might be funny if it were not so serious. The White House is, in its head, playing out a drama where it imposes sanctions and brings the Ayatollahs to heel.

Hostages to fortune
Katy Balls
Losing the plot | 1 November 2018

How to explain Theresa May’s resilience? As Prime Minister, she has survived mishaps and calamities that would have finished off her predecessors. She has no shortage of rebels keen to succeed or denounce her, but all seem oddly unable to act. Why? The answer might lie in a group messaging service which seems to have disabled the ancient art of the Tory coup: WhatsApp. Tory backbenchers are so addicted to this app that these days they cannot tear themselves away from their screens.

Losing the plot | 1 November 2018
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