15/08/2009
15 Aug 2009

15 August 2009

15 Aug 2009

15 August 2009

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Features
James ForsythJames Forsyth
The candidate from Kabul

Rory Stewart’s career to date reads like something from the heyday of the empire.Rory Stewart’s career to date reads like something from the heyday of the empire. Eton and Oxford- educated, he has been a tutor to royalty, an officer in the Black Watch, the deputy governor of an Iraqi province, has founded a charity in Afghanistan and has written two critically acclaimed books as well as walking across Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, India and Nepal.

The candidate from Kabul
Rod Liddle
Let’s hear it for the python that had the civic good sense to eat Wilbur the cat

Rod Liddle takes issue with Wilbur’s grieving owners who want a change in the law to impose restrictions upon creatures such as snakes. What we really need is a new citizen’s right to defend ourselves against the feline menaceIt’s been a grim summer for news, all things considered, what with Afghanistan and flying pig flu and the rain and now Harriet Harman squatting over us all like one of those terrifying smallpox deities the Hindus have.

Let’s hear it for the python that had the civic good sense to eat Wilbur the cat
Quentin Willson
‘Strictly’ isn’t what it was in my day

Among my life’s achievements I treasure a rare and special honour. I have the lowest ever recorded score on Strictly Come Dancing. That quartet of steely-hearted judges awarded me a lamentable eight out of a possible 40 points for a Cha Cha routine that was hypnotically and hysterically hopeless. A record, I’m quietly proud to admit, that stands unbroken to this day. I danced with the poise of a prematurely opened deck-chair and made John Sergeant look like Tinkerbell.

‘Strictly’ isn’t what it was in my day
Simon Hoggart
My dream of Mandelson as Labour leader

A semi-conscious Simon Hoggart attends a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party in which the Prince of Darkness has replaced Gordon — and is cheered to the raftersIt was one of those dreams we all have. It had its own internal logic: everything that occurs seems to make perfect sense, and it’s only when we wake up that we realise the whole thing was absurd and silly. The other night I dreamed I was a Labour MP and we were in the Grand Committee Room welcoming the new leader of our party.

My dream of Mandelson as Labour leader
Matthew Dancona
The spooks are squirming. But be careful what you wish for

As the controversy over torture gathers pace, it is ‘open season’ on the intelligence agencies — investigated by the police and challenged by MPs. Scrutiny is fine, says Matthew d’Ancona — but beware of making life impossible for those responsible for our security‘One question at any rate was answered. Never, for any reason on earth, could you wish for an increase of pain. Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop.

The spooks are squirming. But be careful what you wish for
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