14/02/2009
14 Feb 2009

14 February 2009

14 Feb 2009

14 February 2009

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Features
David Blackburn
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Intelligence Squared debate report - ‘The era of American dominance is over’

There were few facts and plenty of fictions last night as Intelligence Squared debated whether the era of American dominance is over. Oliver Kamm, journalist and author, proposed the motion. He strode about the stage Cameron-style, with the sound bites to match. “America was on the wane because Americans had lost the appetite to lead.” US dominance rested on guaranteeing “public goods: international trade, currency reserves and collective security.

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Intelligence Squared debate report - ‘The era of American dominance is over’
Fraser Nelson
Extended web version: ‘We need to be ready for two years of recession’

Opposite Alan Johnson’s desk is a plaque from the Chinese health ministry — a gift that must, at times, seem like a taunt. The Health Secretary controls 1.3 million staff, more than anyone bar the commander of the Red Army. His £120 billion budget is greater than any government department in Beijing. The Chinese economy and the NHS were both subjected to limited market-based reform — yet there the similarities end.

Extended web version: ‘We need to be ready for two years of recession’
Venetia Thompson
The party’s over: welcome to the City’s new puritanism

‘Well, I’ve got the lads an espresso machine — after all, none of us can afford coke anymore, how else are we going to stay awake?’ It was nice to hear that one City banker was putting his hand in his pocket and looking after his troops — they may not be getting bonuses, but at least his team were guaranteed a decent coffee. But even this little luxury may have to be confiscated. It simply doesn’t blend in with the new puritanical City landscape, where the amount of milk available in the canteen and what it can be used for is heavily restricted.

The party’s over: welcome to  the City’s new puritanism
Fraser Nelson
‘We need to be ready for two years of recession’

Opposite Alan Johnson’s desk is a plaque from the Chinese health ministry — a gift that must, at times, seem like a taunt. The Health Secretary controls 1.3 million staff, more than anyone bar the commander of the Red Army. His £120 billion budget is greater than any government department in Beijing. The Chinese economy and the NHS were both subjected to limited market-based reform — yet there the similarities end.

‘We need to be ready for two years of recession’
Rebecca Newman
Galapagos Notebook

Did you know that marine iguanas have two penises? That the temperature at which their eggs incubate determines the gender of a giant tortoise? That a female parrotfish can change into a male? Two weeks in the Galapagos and I’ve climbed volcanoes, swum with penguins, and worn out my shutter-finger photographing sea lion pups. I’ve also become a mound of wildlife trivia. It’s Darwin’s fault, of course.

Galapagos Notebook
Rod Liddle
Jade Goody reminds us how arbitrary is success and how close to death we are

The reality TV überchav remained in the public eye because of her unerring ability to court catastrophe, says Rod Liddle — and the television-friendly speed at which her grotesque rise and demise have taken placeYou can still buy Jade Goody’s fragrance, Jade Goody’s Controversial!, online or indeed in your nearest department store. For £19.99 you get a bunch of perfume with ‘clean and fresh top notes of sweet red fruits’.

Jade Goody reminds us how arbitrary is success and how close to death we are
Catherine Blyth
All the stalkers you see are desperate marketing men

I have a stalker. In fact, I have hundreds. So do you. What, do you mean you haven’t noticed? I became aware of my admirers after Christmas. First it was letters, then emails. Could I spare a mo to rate my broadband installation? What about the insurer’s customer service? The building society was sorry I’d closed my account, but would love to hear how well they closed it. The questionnaire shouldn’t take a minute.

All the stalkers you see are desperate marketing men
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