The winners of the political year

This is the text of the remarks that Matthew d’Ancona, editor of The Spectator, delivered at the Spectator Threadneedle Parliamentarian of the Year awards lunch at Claridge’s Hotel. My Lords, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon and welcome to the 23rd Threadneedle/Spectator Parliamentarian Awards. Yes, once again, this is the big one: the Oscars of Westminster,

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 17 November 2007

Politicians find it impossible to say they are against Freedom of Information because it sounds as though they must be hiding something if they do so. But the way FOI is now being used means that government will become more and more secretive. When David Cameron suggested in Parliament last week that Gordon Brown had

Any other business

Don’t bank on it

With Alistair Darling coming under increasing pressure after the loss of the personal data of twenty-five million people by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, Martin Vander Weyer reviews how Darling and Gordon Brown have also moved into the firing line in the whole Northern Rock debacle. They along with its employees and shareholders now have the

The debt crisis is far from over

There is a lot of borrowing around these days. How can we judge this? Last year, total securities issuance came in at $11.5 trillion, about 25 per cent of world GDP according to IMF estimates. This statistic is every bit as batty — and as true — as the tabloid headline in 1989 that the

Darling is out of his depth

For a man who has been Chancellor of the Exchequer for just over four months, Alistair Darling has certainly made some powerful enemies. In fact, it’s hard to think of anybody important with whom he hasn’t fallen out. Sir Ronald Cohen, the private equity king who is one of Labour’s most prominent business supporters, has

The price of valour and the value of money

Our gallant armed forces who face the daily horrors of Iraq and Afghanistan are often said to be undervalued by the public. But at least in the narrow financial sense, that cannot be said of historic acts of bravery and devotion to duty and the medals that commemorate them. Have you ever looked to see

Celebrating St Pancras Day

I like to think I was the first (indeed I may have been the only) journalist to have been invited to climb the scaffolding under the clock at St Pancras station. That was back at the beginning of May, when the refurbishment of what is, from today, London’s Eurostar terminus still had a little over