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Our suicidal newspapers are throwing press freedom away

[audioplayer src=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_9_Oct_2014_v4.mp3″ title=”Fraser Nelson and Lord Falconer discuss the police’s use of Ripa” startat=57] Listen [/audioplayer]With the possible, although far from certain, exception of the men and women who hire me, it is fair to say that Britain’s editors have a death wish. They suppress their own freedom. They hold out their wrists and beg

The unbearable vanity of Kevin Pietersen

Seven years ago Kevin Pietersen produced his first attempt at autobiography, Crossing the Boundary: The Early Years in My Cricketing Life. Atrociously written, it demonstrated no awareness of the world outside himself. This time round Mr Pietersen has taken the precaution of hiring an excellent ghost writer, David Walsh of the Sunday Times. It is

The US military should be winning wars, not fighting Ebola

As a general rule, soldiers should be employed in the business of soldiering — preparing to fight or actually fighting (preferably infrequent) wars. In response to the Ebola outbreak afflicting West Africa, the Obama administration has decided to waive that rule. His decision to do so has received widespread support. Yet the effect of his

I’ve spent years in war zones. And the most terrifying moment of my life just happened in Norfolk

[audioplayer src=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_9_Oct_2014_v4.mp3″ title=”Justin Marozzi and Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, discuss vicious dogs” startat=1287] Listen [/audioplayer]It happened so quickly, as these things always do. My wife Julia and I were pootling about on Wells beach with our fluffy mongrel Maisie when suddenly two fighting dogs, English bull terriers, came flying towards us like calf-high missiles.

Stock pickers vs robots

Most people manage to hide from their own failure, so pity the poor fund manager, whose every wild blast is measured in unforgiving performance numbers. Between 70 and 80 per cent of fund managers have underperformed a passive index over the past five years, a ratio known as the slaughtered three quarters. Fund managers are

Why everyone will suffer if China cracks down on Hong Kong

With all the chaos and confusion engulfing Hong Kong in recent weeks, it’s worth reminding ourselves what an extraordinary city it is — and what a loss to investors the removal of one of the world’s great safe havens would be. Hong Kong has long operated in a culturally neutral zone somewhere between China and

My investment secret: be as boring as you can

Have a read of the following list and see if you can guess its significance: lubricants, iron ore, steel, oil, pharmaceuticals, ships, telecoms, food packaging, oil, property. With the exception of telecoms and property, and perhaps pharmaceuticals, are they just boring, old, dirty industries which are part of Britain’s industrial heritage but play a declining


Letter from Donetsk: peace, with missile attacks

For what is technically peacetime, there’s a lot of shelling going on round here. Donetsk airport is still held by the Ukrainian army and the rebels of the Donetsk People’s Republic bombard it furiously every day. The Ukrainians reply by lobbing back artillery shells and Grad missiles. Both sides bristle with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles,

Notes on...

Napoleon’s birthplace feels more Italian than French

Napoleon’s birthplace, Casa Buona-parte, in Ajaccio, Corsica’s capital, is pretty grand. It has high ceilings, generous, silk-lined rooms and a gallery that could double as a mini-ballroom. The house fits Napoleon’s upper-middle-class roots, as the son of a lawyer and Corsica’s representative to the court of Louis XVI. But the odd thing is, the home