Most journalists have spoken of the financial crisis as evidence of a failure of capitalism. But is it? Or is this kind of reversal in fact necessary if capitalism is to work at all? After all, a free-market economy doesn’t do a perfect job of rewarding success. It may pick better winners than, say, governments, but it is still largely arbitrary. Even relatively worthy successes such as Google’s or Microsoft’s may be as much the result of lucky timing as anything else.
John Patten, an Olympics adviser, warns that there is still much strategic thinking to be done for 2012 — not to mention the lax anti-terror measures at the construction sitesI had to be forcibly persuaded on to the rugby field at school. Now, to my amazement, I find myself advising the British Olympic Association. I sympathise with friends who become quite hysterical at the idea of my rubbing shoulders with Sir Clive Woodward and the titans of track and field.
Perhaps now you’ll understand what we’ve been banging on about, we localists. For the better part of a decade, we’ve campaigned to place the police under elected sheriffs. Some of our chief constables, we contended, had cast off the cables that once attached them to public opinion. They were concentrating on speed cameras and hate crimes and community relations when the rest of us wanted them to concentrate on being unpleasant to scoundrels.
Clinton brought Arkansas to Washington, and Texas followed Bush. Now, says Alexandra Starr, Obama is bringing the take-no-prisoners politics of Al Capone’s city to the BeltwayWashington may not have had an architectural makeover in more than two centuries, but the city’s political culture has shown a chameleon-like ability to change with each incoming administration. When Bill Clinton arrived from Little Rock, Arkansas 16 years ago, for example, he brought a penchant for late-night rambling discussions and a Southern disregard for keeping to schedules.
O’ar Pali talks to the ageing Canadian rocker and realises that the President-elect has merely emulated the pious pop-star rhetoric that has made Adams a global brandIt would be no real surprise to pick up the first issue of The Spectator from 1828 and find a review of a Bryan Adams show: he is one of those performers who is just there, and (it seems) always has been. Unless you were on a different planet during the 1990s I guarantee that you heard, loved or hated his single ‘Everything I Do’, which was one of the best-selling records of the decade.
RSPCA Press OfficeDear James, I’m sure you will not be surprised to learn that the RSPCA has received a complaint following your column dated 21 November.We were surprised, however, that it was felt appropriate to trivialise and broadcast a criminal act which may well have led to animal suffering.Can I remind you that whatever your personal ‘sliding scale of values’ may be it remains an offence to fail to meet an animals needs and/or cause it unnecessary suffering? Those found guilty face a maximum six-month prison sentence and/or a £20,000 fine.