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Rebel island

Hong Kong isn’t what it was. Under British rule it was meek and mild, careful not to rock the boat, forever nervous about its future under China. The rich bought property in Chelsea and Vancouver, put their children into good schools and universities in Britain and America, and did whatever it took to get another

Nowhere to hide | 13 September 2012

Ever since the millennium, I have wondered how long the utopian faith in the emancipatory potential of the web will last. Of course, we know the new technologies give the citizen new powers to communicate and connect. We hear this praised so loudly and so often, how could we not know? But what benefits the

Fights of the feminists

Naomi Wolf’s Vagina is not an organ so significant it needs italics; it is a book, and a catalyst for a swiftly assembled feminist lynch mob. In the New Statesman, Laurie Penny wrote, ‘Naomi Wolf’s Vagina is crassly attention-seeking… It’s upsetting to see a prominent feminist having what can only be described as a dramatic

Hancock’s hour

David Cameron has made clear where he thinks the future of the Conservative party lies. In his reshuffle last week, he brought 12 of the 2010 Tory intake into government. This chosen dozen are clearly on a fast track to the Cabinet. The promotion of some of these newbies was a surprise. But one of

A speech for Europe

On Wednesday the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, gave a ‘State of the Union’ address at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Here is the text of the speech Senhor Barroso did not give: Amigos! Citoyens! You there! This is my State of the Union address. Our European Union is, after all, in


Mexico notebook

Four a.m. Something was triggering the motion-sensor on the outside light. One minute, darkness, the next, a window-full of flailing palm leaves, bright with rain. I blinked for a bit, then remembered: hurricane! There was one on its way, we’d been told by Rudy, the beach barman the day before, a bruiser called Ernesto. But