Hugo Rifkind

Shared Opinion | 7 February 2009

I’m a convert to shoe-throwing, and its power. But I bet they ban shoes in public pretty soon Where do we stand, then, on shoe-throwing? Me, I’m in two minds. Muntadhar al-Zaidi, I dunno, I think he carried it off. At least he threw both, and at least he was in the Middle East. Whatever

Politics | 7 February 2009

It takes more than an inch of snow to stop the wheels of Scottish democracy. The devolved parliament was hard at work on Monday morning, eight of its members engaged on a most sombre business: a motion formally denouncing a rogue political columnist. It reads as follows: “That the Parliament notes that the journalist, Fraser

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 7 February 2009

Watching white workers protesting in the snow, I cast my mind back 30 years to the Winter of Discontent. The year 1978/79 is the last time I remember being so cold, and taking such keen pleasure in ‘bad’ weather. It is also the last time that one had a prevailing sense that the country was

Any other business

Standing Room

I’ve recently developed a callous indifference towards the torrent of amateur self-analysis that’s infiltrating our everyday pattern of speech. I’m over ‘issues’. Way too many people have way too many issues for my liking. And too many people I don’t care about feel compelled to ‘share’ their issues with me. Last week people started ‘gathering’,

We don’t need this annual outburst of pipeline politics

The Kremlin wants Western Europe to be dependent on Russian gas, says Neil Barnett, but that doesn’t have to happen if the EU is prepared — for once — to show leadership The annual New Year gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine assumed particularly menacing proportions this year, being longer than usual and coming in

And Another Thing | 7 February 2009

The more I see of the intellectual world and its frailties, the more I appreciate the truth of G.K. Chesterton’s saying: ‘When people cease to believe in God, they do not believe in nothing. They believe in anything.’ It is one of the tragedies of humanity that brain-power is so seldom accompanied by judgment, sceptical