Hugo Rifkind

Shared Opinion | 17 May 2008

If Scotland is to be independent, then why not London? And good luck to what’s left Here is a fun game for you. In only four words, try to sum up why anybody north of the border might fancy independence. Have a think. Something to rival the neat ‘No Taxation Without Representation’ quip of the

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 17 May 2008

When it was announced in 1999 that Cherie Blair was pregnant, the controversy about the proposed hunting ban was at its height. I discussed the pregnancy at a hunt tea with the terrier-man. ‘It won’t be a baby,’ he predicted sullenly, ‘It’ll be a two-headed calf.’ Actually, it was dear little Leo. Now, in the

Any other business

Any Other Business | 17 May 2008

These days, Vesco the fugitive fraudster would have had a top job on Wall Street So farewell, Robert Vesco, the fraudster, drug trafficker and fugitive from US justice whose death last year has been ‘confirmed by Cuban burial records’, according to the Daily Telegraph. Vesco absconded with $200 million of other people’s money — $60

Microsoft’s Yahoo bid ends well — for Google

David Crow says personal animosities played a major part in the failed merger of Microsoft and Yahoo — to the benefit of their most potent online competitor When Microsoft made its unsolicited $44 billion bid for Yahoo in February, a match looked distinctly possible. Like Beatrice and Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing, it seemed

And Another Thing | 17 May 2008

When I was a child of four or five my big sisters told me edifying stories about the rise of the British empire, which then occupied a quarter of the earth’s surface. A favourite villain was Tippoo Sahib, Sultan of Mysore, a ‘little monster’ who was son of a ‘big monster’, Hyder Ali. Tippoo was

Global Warning | 17 May 2008

I realised that the town was a true community as soon as I heard a rumour that an old lady, a herbalist, had poisoned one of her neighbours. That is what community means: caring enough to poison people. In cities, contact with neighbours is so fleeting and impersonal that antagonism can be expressed only with