'Taxpayers’ money should not fund faith schools'
Ninja Turtles were the first witnesses at the Spectator debate. The motion ‘Taxpayers’ Money Should Not Fund Faith Schools’ was proposed by Sunday Times columnist Minette Marrin.
She evoked the green cartoon reptiles as proof that faith schools are discriminatory and irrational. The child of a friend had been denounced as ‘satanic’ at his Christian school for
wearing Ninja-branded pyjamas.
AmsterdamBe careful if you are planning to attack a Jew in Amsterdam. What you see is not always what you get. Throw a rock or spit at some bloke with long curly sidelocks and a yarmulke and before you know it you might end up handcuffed in the back of a police van. What you attacked, then, was not a Jew, but a Decoy Jew. Decoy Jews are policemen pretending be Jews, a cunning initiative dreamed up by the city authorities to prevent anti-Semitic behaviour.
A trip to the local bodybuilders’ gym under the influence of muscle drugsIf you want to get ahead in sports, there’s nothing better than a nice big helping of performance-enhancing drugs. Just ask the guys on the Tour de France. At the end of last month the Spanish cyclist and three-times Tour winner Alberto Contador was banned from cycling after testing positive for the illegal anabolic agent Clenbuterol.
So we are to have a new industrial policy, this one courtesy of the coalition government and, more specifically, George Osborne and Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Transport Secretary. Both are economically literate, professing faith in markets as allocators of resources; but they have found the lure of shaping the economy in their image irresistible.The goals of the new industrial policy are two: to reduce the relative importance of financial services, and to disperse economic activity more widely throughout the nation.
New Labour Islington is no more – it is now an area for Tory-voting bankersWhen I grew up in Islington in the 1980s and 90s, there was a reliable election ritual: the bigger the Georgian villa, the more likely the resident barrister was to put up a Labour poster in his sash window. If they weren’t barristers, they were senior Labour politicians. Some were both. The poster in the window in the rambling terraced house in Canonbury belonged to Charlie Falconer, later lord chancellor.
When Dr Liam Fox talks about the ‘ghastly’ inheritance he has been bequeathed by New Labour on the defence budget — which is expected to be butchered further in next week’s spending review, he is not giving us the full roll call of shame.Certainly, there were a succession of clueless Labour defence ministers, who allowed the Ministry of Defence to run up a staggering £36 billion overspend on a variety of contracts.
In the spring of 2008 I went on a press trip with the director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, to Hadrian’s wall. It was one of a series of jaunts planned by the BM in the run-up to its great Hadrian exhibition, a little Roman holiday. But though the wall was fascinating, I spent most of my time inspecting the director. He’s charming and universally admired — but also enigmatic. What are his politics? What does he do for fun? Nobody seems to know.