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Web exclusive: A grim panorama

Tom Giles’ attempt – on The Spectator’s Coffee House blog – to impugn CAMERA’s video documenting the BBC’s violations of its Editorial Guidelines is an example of the illogical and desperate flailing with which the BBC has consistently approached reasoned arguments about Panorama’s “A Walk in the Park”, a flagrantly biased documentary about Jerusalem.  

Out of the shadows

Bin Laden’s death has exposed Pakistan’s double game with the West Even those of us who did not believe that Osama bin Laden was producing his videos from a cave in a remote tribal mountain would never have guessed that he was, in fact, living in a ‘Come and Get Me’ three-storey house surrounded by

Terrorism after bin Laden

Two propositions: first, whatever its short-term consequences, the killing of Osama bin Laden will neither significantly hasten nor significantly delay the decline of al-Qa’eda. That is happening anyway. Secondly, however slowly or rapidly AQ declines, it will not significantly affect the global level of terrorism. We’re stuck with it anyway. But it’s manageable. Two propositions:

Mission impossible

The killing of Osama bin Laden settles nothing, decides nothing, and repairs nothing. Yet the passing of the al-Qa’eda leader just might serve an important purpose. We confront a moment of revelation: coming across bin Laden comfortably ensconced in a purpose-built compound in the middle of major Pakistani city down the street from the nation’s

Net loss

The scene is a drawing-room at nightfall. A group of weekenders sit in time-honoured tradition around a crackling fire. One is engrossed in a magazine; another chats with her boyfriend; the rest debate whether the word ‘zapateado’ is permissible in their board game. But this is not a house party as Terence Rattigan knew it:

Spy fiction

Have historians exaggerated Ian Fleming’s role in the cracking of the Enigma code? Ian Fleming is best known for his novels about the superspy James Bond. But his reputation as a creative genius has been considerably enhanced by his exploits during the second world war as a lieutenant commander in naval intelligence. He has been


Karachi is a notoriously lively city, with gun battles on the streets a daily occurrence — so it seems only sensible to stay in the comfort and safety of the Sind Club, a grand institution built during British rule in the centre of the town. Karachi is a notoriously lively city, with gun battles on

Scarborough unfair

If it is evidence of the decline of British civilisation that you are after, you cannot do better than go to Scarborough. It is precisely because the material traces of that civilisation are still so much in evidence there, albeit dolefully altered, that the impression is so strong and so painful. The town retains its

Axeman in chief

After a year in government, most ministers look ten years older. Not Francis Maude. He bounds into the anteroom of his ministerial suite to greet me, wearing his customary open-necked shirt with a red check that matches the colour in his cheeks. In a confident voice, he says, ‘I just need to get some things