Douglas Murray tours a country despondent about its presidential race and increasingly uncertain about Barack Obama. Yet the world still needs America’s strengthsIn front of me at the University of Chicago, and several times my height, is a stone carving of a half-human deity from the Assyrian empire. All round this exhibition on ancient Iraq are towering artefacts from lost cities and faded empires.
The case of Ben Collett, the footballer awarded £4.5 million for a tackle that ended his career, bodes ill for the game, says Rod Liddle. Blame the zeitgeist, not the judgeIf you went rock-climbing in the Andes and, halfway up a vertical cliff face, the surface beneath your feet crumbled away and you slipped and fell — condors and local Indian tribesmen laughing in the background, air whistling past your ears and then bang, bang, bang as you clatter into the ground, sustaining disfiguring but not fatal injuries — well, would you sue the mountain for negligence? Get your lawyers on to it double quick, shove in a claim for a million quid or so? Press conference on the steps of the court with you in your wheelchair: ‘It is time that mountains understood that they have a duty of care under the law.
Philip Bobbitt says that the crisis reflects Russia’s determination to remain an old-fashioned nation state, dominating its region. Intellectual imagination will be needed to thwart that ambition: a recognition that the post-Cold War world needs new global institutionsGeorgia, which was admitted to the UN in 1992 following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, was beset from the outset by the fatal conundrum at the heart of the national self-determination of the nation state: when is a nation — an ethnic, linguistic, historic-cultural idea — entitled to its own state? In Georgia, two nations — Abkhazis and Ossettians — were isolated within the majority population of ethnic Georgians.
Liam Byrne — tipped for Cabinet promotion in the reshuffle — says that when Cameroons advocate ‘fraternity’ they are repackaging the Conservative case for the shrinking of the stateThe idea that we might have a fight about ‘fraternity’ at the next election shows just how far the centre ground of politics has moved. Not so long ago, people would have laughed if you suggested the Tories might have a stab at a row about feelings of solidarity.
‘I’m morris dancing to Norwich and I need someone to captain my road-crew. You’re the only man for the job. Yours, Tim.’ Tim FitzHigham, Bt. BA Hons. Dunelm. FRGS (all Ret.) is a man so wildly different even Ranulph Fiennes thinks he’s a little crazy. And Sir Ranulph is by no means alone. When Tim rowed the Channel in an original Thos. Crapper bath (one example among many), Marcus Brigstocke felt duty-bound to ask him if he was aware that ‘most of us just stay at home and write our jokes from there’.