Another Voice | 21 June 2008

It’s all too easy to leave Top Secret papers lying around — I should know News last week that police are investigating a ‘serious’ security breach after a civil servant lost top-secret documents containing the latest intelligence on al-Qa’eda sent a shiver of alarmed reminiscence down my spine. The unnamed Cabinet Office employee apparently breached

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 21 June 2008

How strange that Gordon Brown’s suggestion this week that MPs should have no say in setting their own pay is being welcomed as a curb on sleaze. If their pay is to be set, as is proposed, by a government-funded agency instead of by their own votes, MPs will cease to be independent legislators and

Any other business

Wishful thinking at the Economist

In 1990, the former Wall Street trader Jim Rogers (interviewed here by Jonathan Davis, 15 March) set off to circumscribe the globe astride a large motorcycle. He returned in 1992 having pondered the meaning of life — and the answer was ‘commodities’. As a player of markets, he did not have to do anything so

Business as usual with the Burmese generals

Elliot Wilson explains why international condemnation of Burma’s brutal military leaders is so ineffectual: because many other countries are eager to do deals with them The satirist P.J. O’Rourke once noted that the more references to democracy a country has in its official title, the greater the chance it is run by a grubby totalitarian

Not a scandal but a textbook success

Ross Butler says MPs’ criticisms of the sell-off of theformer Defence Research Agency are financially naive In America it would have created celebrity entrepreneurs and provided a template for future deals. Instead, the British government’s hugely successful privatisation of the defence business QinetiQ has prompted a political witch-hunt. The taxpayer made more than £800 million

And Another Thing | 21 June 2008

I recently gave a lecture, on quite a solemn subject, the connection between freedom and the ownership of property, to about 200 people, and was gratified — and surprised — at how well it was received. I think it was because I followed my own maxim, and spoke for only 25 minutes, leaving the rest

Global Warning | 21 June 2008

The last time I played rugby, I was sent off for reading on the field. It was my small satirical protest against the supposition that my character would be much improved by having my knees dragged along icy ground, or my hand trodden into the mud by boys who, by dint of no effort of