It was a gamble, more than Gordon Brown’s aides had cared to admit.It was a gamble, more than Gordon Brown’s aides had cared to admit. Every last detail of the new Prime Minister’s press conference at Camp David had been planned, from the tone of the Prime Minister’s voice to the colour of his tie. The President’s team had taken issue with a few passages of Mr Brown’s text, and amendments were made.
Shortly after the release of Alan Johnston from Gaza the website of Conflicts Forum, a group advocating engagement with Islamists and which is run by the former MI6 officer Alastair Crooke, posted a fascinating transcript. Under the title ‘Hamas briefing’, it was a conversation between Michael Ancram, the former Tory Northern Ireland minister, and Osama Hamdan, a senior representative of Hamas, which took place secretly in Beirut in June while Johnston was still in captivity.
Stephen Pollard says that if embryonic stem cell research is banned in some parts of Europe — as it might be under the new EU treaty — old hostilities will resurfaceI wouldn’t care to estimate how many words have been written so far on the draft EU reform treaty. If and when it becomes a legal document, the English language will have been near exhausted for new terms to express the fundamental theme of almost every comment — that it is the old constitution in another guise.
Oldies have taken to the digital age, says Amelia Torode, and so have their grandchildren. It’s the middle-aged professionals who fear and resent itAlmost 200 years ago a grassroots movement began in Nottinghamshire close to Sherwood Forest — the Luddite movement. The Luddites wreaked havoc for a short but intense period of time in a vain attempt to hold back the tides of technological change. I’ve been thinking a lot about their 21st-century equivalents — the new Digital Luddites.
Like a good many of you, I imagine, I was worried that hosting the 2012 Olympic Games in London might send out the wrong sort of message, especially to our young people. The games have traditionally been an appallingly elitist and singularly competitive tournament of a somewhat exclusive nature. Certain people, unfairly selected on the shallow basis of their physical prowess, run, jump and throw things and the people who do best are rewarded while those who do poorly are labelled failures.