The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 19 July 2008

John Howard, four times Prime Minister of Australia, is one of the great men of our time — direct, amusing, patriotic, moderate but tough-minded. He finally lost an election this year, which had the good effect of giving him some time in London recently. One of the Howard lessons is that when you get into

Any other business

Who’s in charge? It’s hapless Hank

It’s becoming harder and harder to believe that anyone is really in charge of the world’s largest economy. Each day brings a new catalogue of woes, miscues and missteps, each of which should have been foreseen long ago. And at the centre of each fresh foul-up stands one man: Treasury secretary Hank Paulson, ‘Hammerin’ Hank’,

And Another Thing | 16 July 2008

The other evening I went to a ‘pig roast’ in our Somerset village. It was a tremendous turnout from far and wide. There is something about the idea which stirs up deep guzzling instincts, and certainly this pig on his spit looked, and smelt, gastronomically alluring, despite the fact that six of his live colleagues

Can London be turned around like a troubled company?

Tim Parker, the bubble-haired venture capitalist hired to cut costs at City Hall and make Mayor Boris’s vision a reality, strolls down the curved walkway to greet me smiling widely, just like his photographs. Tall and rangy, this socialist-turned-capitalist, who is to be paid just £1 a year, is all charm and apologies for failing