13/08/2016
13 Aug 2016

The memory gap

13 Aug 2016

The memory gap

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Features
Mark Palmer
In defence of dinner parties

In or out? Almost two months on and I’m afraid the great debate shows no sign of abating, certainly not in our divided household. And while we’ve had several referendums over the matter, the result is always a stalemate. The only upside is that this argument has nothing to do with Brussels. It’s far more rudimentary. The battle in Palmer Towers is whether we eat in or out when wanting to see friends.

In defence of dinner parties
Lara Prendergast
Heads in the cloud

The Spectator podcast: Listen to Isabel Hardman, Lara Prendergast, Charlotte Jee, Editor of Techworld, and Professor Martin Conway, head of psychology at City University discuss the memory gap. Ask me what I had for lunch yesterday and I couldn’t tell you. Names disappear as swiftly as smoke. Birthdays, capital cities, phone numbers — the types of facts that used to come so readily — are no longer forthcoming.

Heads in the cloud
Christopher Caldwell
Trump holds the aces

Last week, the New York Times ran the page one headline ‘Pence Supports Ryan, Showing GOP Turmoil.’ There was turmoil in the Republican party because Mike Pence, its vice-presidential nominee, had endorsed the candidacy of Paul Ryan, its most powerful congressman. One wonders what the Times would have called it had the two men actually disagreed about something. The Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had waited days before endorsing Ryan, a signal that he had not forgotten Ryan’s slowness to back him in the spring.

Trump holds the aces
Matt Ridley
Don’t grouse about grouse

The vast Bubye Valley Conservancy in southern Zimbabwe is slightly larger than County Durham, as well as much hotter and drier. Yet both contain abundant wildlife thanks almost entirely to the hunting of game. In Bubye Valley, it’s lions and buffalo that are the targets; in the Durham dales, it’s grouse. But the effect is the same — a spectacular boost to other wildlife, privately funded. Bubye Valley was a cattle ranch, owned by Unilever, until 1994 when it was turned over to wildlife.

Don’t grouse about grouse
Mark Mason
Straight talking | 11 August 2016

Thirty years ago this week, Queen performed what would turn out to be their last gig, at Knebworth. Their penultimate concert, at Wembley, was shown on Channel 4. I recorded it, and became obsessed. Time after time I watched-Freddie Mercury prance on to the stage sporting a moustache you could have swept a factory floor with. I watched him simulate the act of self-love with his famous sawn-off mic stand.

Straight talking | 11 August 2016
Andrew Kenny
The rainbow election

 Cape Town South Africa has just seen her most encouraging election results ever. The general election of April 1994, which brought full democracy, was important in itself but its results were a foregone conclusion — the black majority voted for the ANC, as expected. The local elections this month were different and immensely hopeful. There has been a large vote against the ruling party, the ANC, bringing an end to the great curse of post-colonial Africa under which the people keep voting for the ‘liberation’ party however corrupt and incompetent it is.

The rainbow election
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