16/02/2013
16 Feb 2013

Pope and change

16 Feb 2013

Pope and change

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Stephen Glover
Farewell, Independent on Sunday

On Tuesday the Culture Secretary Maria Miller announced to a breathless world the latest development in the Leveson saga. The government wants a royal charter to oversee a new press watchdog. I say ‘the government’, but the Liberal Democrats are only half on board. Like Labour, they seem still to hanker after some sort of statute to set Leveson in stone. As for Hacked Off, the celebrity-backed pressure group that has campaigned for greater press regulation, it will settle for nothing less than a statute, and wants every recommendation made by Lord Justice Leveson to be implemented without delay.

Farewell, Independent on Sunday
Piers Paul-Read
Benedict XVI in perspective

In March 2005, when it became clear that Pope John Paul II would soon die, Boris Johnson asked me to write a piece for The Spectator predicting who would be chosen as the next pope. With no special insight into the minds of the cardinals, I ran through the possibilities that had been mentioned in the press — an African such as the Nigerian Cardinal Arinze, a South American such as Cardinal Claudio Hummes, a Frenchman such as Jean-Marie Lustiger, the Archbishop of Paris — but concluded that the best candidate would be the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Josef Cardinal Ratzinger.

Benedict XVI in perspective
John Osullivan
Benedict’s reformation

Shock is probably the predominant emotion evoked by the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to resign at the end of February. Given that the last papal resignation took place 600 years ago, it’s understandable that the world has got used to the idea that being pope is a life sentence. Indeed, previous popes seem to have got used to it as well. Some of them, including Benedict’s immediate predecessor, were martyrs to the job, and not entirely metaphorically.

Benedict’s reformation
Simon Nixon
Reshoring: how jobs came flooding back to America

It is 20 years since the US presidential candidate Ross Perot railed against globalisation, warning of a ‘giant sucking sound’ as millions of jobs left America and went to foreign factories. The presidential hopeful warned that a new economic curse — offshoring — would shut steel mills and factories without government protection. But listen closely and a different sucking sound can now be heard: jobs coming back to America.

Reshoring: how jobs came flooding back to America
Clarissa Tan
Why do Brits seek Eastern spirituality when they have so much of their own?

I used to hang around a group of friends who worked for a British events company. Their boss was a keen follower of Buddhism and all things Oriental and, since the course of business never does run smooth, regularly consulted a feng shui practitioner. The practitioner, who wanted to be called Jampa, gave advice on everything from the setting up of a branch office to the placement of a goldfish bowl.

Why do Brits seek Eastern spirituality when they have so much of their own?
Douglas Murray
Lars Hedegaard interview: ‘I may be killed if I write this’

The assassin came to his home dressed as a postman. When the historian and journalist Lars Hedegaard opened his front door, the man — whom Lars describes as ‘looking like a typical Muslim immigrant’ in his mid-twenties — fired straight at his head. Though Hedegaard was a yard away, the bullet narrowly missed. The mild-mannered scholar (70 years old) then punched his assailant in the head. The man dropped the gun, picked it up and fired again.

Lars Hedegaard interview: ‘I may be killed if I write this’
Neil Clark
Where did all the sweet people go?

To say someone was ‘sweet’ used to be quite common in Britain. We didn’t just use the word to describe our mothers and grandmothers, but a wide range of people, including public figures. But not any more. Public acts of sweetness, such as gently warning people that their shoelaces were untied, are now rare. Sweetness seems to be in terminal decline. Having just celebrated Valentine’s Day, now seems an appropriate time to ask why.

Where did all the sweet people go?
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