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Rod Liddle

Welcome to the age of sleb politics

Is the hip hop artist Wyclef Jean the right sort of person to run Haiti? He has announced that he will run for the country’s presidential election as the candidate of the Viv Ansanm (Live Together) party. Wyclef is wanted in the United States, where he made his fortune, on tax avoidance issues. The IRS

21st-century pilgrims

The tourists who flock to galleries in Paris, Florence and Rome are like medieval shrine-visitors, says Martin Gayford. Most don’t care about art, and are only there out of duty Last month in Rome I was standing in St Peter’s, in front of Michelangelo’s famous early masterpiece the ‘Pietá’. This, I might add, is by

How Jewish are the Milibands?

At last Britain’s Jewish community has something to celebrate. Not since Disraeli has Britain had a Jewish Prime Minister (although let’s not forget that Disraeli was a practising Christian); now we have not one, but two bright, young, attractive Jewish boys running for the Labour leadership. The Miliband brothers have left every Jewish mother in

Why can’t anyone take a joke any more?

Most people reading this will at some point have had the misfortune to meet one of those piggy-faced people who at a certain point in the conversation says, ‘Excuse me, but I find that offensive.’ Often it is someone who isn’t actually offended themselves. They have claimed offence for a group in absentia. ‘Excuse me,

The Hitch comes home

I met up with Christopher Hitchens in the smaller hours of a warm morning in May, at Heathrow airport. (This was Christopher’s idea. ‘See you at Heathrow,’ he had told me.) From Heathrow we were to drive together to Bath, where he had a speaking engagement that evening to promote his new (and great) memoir,

The guns of August

Anybody who wants to get on in America must give handsomely to good causes. In our own essentially philistine society, the newly rich get further faster by buying grouse moors. I recently heard a tycoon observe sardonically, in an inimitable gravelly Norwegian accent: ‘Grouse-shooting makes all the English prostitutes.’ He meant that lots of people