The Spectator's Notes

Charles Moore

The Spectator’s Notes | 20 August 2005

There are certain political moves which have now become regular, almost ceremonial features of our national life. One is the IRA’s announcement that the conflict is over. This is repeated once a year or so, flagged by the BBC and No. 10 as ‘historic’, and used as a reason for further concessions to Sinn Fein.

Any other business

Wittgenstein and the fatal propensity of politicians to lie

Lying is a terrible thing in any circumstances. When politicians and governments lie, it is a sin against society as a whole, against justice and civilisation. In Ray Monk’s admirable life of Wittgenstein, I learn that at the age of eight he asked himself the question: ‘Why should one tell the truth, if it’s to