Amid fresh reports that Fidel Castro is at death’s door, Daniel Hannan says that the Cuban dictator was the beneficiary of Western hypocrisy about left-wing tyrants, and of the strategic errors of the 44-year US blockadeSola mors tyrannicida est, wrote Thomas More: death is the only way to get rid of tyrants. And so it has proved for Fidel Castro. Sixteen years ago, he looked finished. The USSR had collapsed, and the Soviet subsidies that had propped up the Cuban economy for 30 years had been abruptly terminated.
Like the assassination of JFK, everybody alive then can remember where they were that Doomsday Week of the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. That Saturday, 27 October, was, and remains, the closest the world has come to nuclear holocaust — the blackest day of a horrendous week. It was an incredibly beautiful autumn day. There was an almost sinister tranquillity in London. I recall walking across Hyde Park, almost deserted, and thinking ‘this is my last walk, the last day I shall spend with my tiny children, the end of all hopes for their future .
Fraser Nelson meets Sir Nicholas Stern, author of the government’s report on climate change, and is struck by how much more equivocal he is than his political mastersIn a lecture a year ago, Sir Nicholas Stern confessed that until recently he ‘had an idea of what the greenhouse effect was, but wasn’t really sure’. What a difference a year makes. The man I meet in the Treasury office has been transformed into a towering figure in the global warming debate.
Andrew Geddes recounts the long affair between his mother Margie and the great poet, and the passion of his letters to her over many decadesMy mother first met John Betjeman in the summer of 1929. She was 20 and he was a master at Heddon Court prep school in Potters Bar where her brothers Dick and John Addis were pupils. Together with her parents, she had driven over from Primrose Hill in an open landau (my grandparents did not seem to be aware of the invention of the motor car) to attend the school sports day.
Rod Liddle says that it is not only entertaining to put your money into companies that behave naughtily. It is also economically lucrative: so buy more stocks todayAre you worried about the size of the footprint you are leaving on this earth? More specifically, are you worried that it might not be big enough? I may have the solution. The Spectator Unethical Investment Fund (SUIF) is a chance for all those decent, God-fearing, rather right-of-centre citizens to put their money where their mouths are, for once.