22/01/2011
22 Jan 2011

22 January 2011

22 Jan 2011

22 January 2011

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Features
James ForsythJames Forsyth
What would Tony do?

It is easy to tell when David Cameron is wading into trouble during interviews. He becomes defensive, audibly irritated and — as an emergency self-calming measure — tries to force a little laugh. He performed this telltale routine on the radio on Monday, when challenged over his NHS reforms. He had promised the country no more upheavals to the NHS — and had clearly reneged. How to get out of this tight spot? Cite Tony Blair.

What would Tony do?
Paul Wood
Blood price

Sangin, Afghanistan‘You don’t want to end up on a bracelet or on a fucking T-shirt. If you see people that need to die, kill them,’ said the US Marine Corps sergeant, briefing the convoy about to leave. It was night and we were setting off along the main road out of Sangin. Highway 611 had recently reopened — one of the successes here trumpeted by Nato — but no one would call it safe. ‘If you need to fire your weapon, that’s between you and Jesus.

Blood price
Melanie McDonagh
Sir Humphrey’s new suit

A friend of mine has just come back from a few days of Civil Service in-house training. He managed in no time to get the hang of the exercise, namely, the mastery of another language. Not a foreign language, which might have been handy, but not English either. ‘I learnt,’ he said proudly, ‘about “brain-friendly learning”, “career pathing”, “energy management” and — my absolute favourite — “impact residue”, which is what you leave behind when you have met someone: what the uninitiated would call a lasting impression.

Sir Humphrey’s new suit
Brendan O’Neill
America’s Islington

The New York City neighbourhood where politically correct prejudices are born Most people, when they hear the word Brooklyn, will think of big-bellied pizza-spinners, or men hunched over pints of the black stuff in Little Ireland, or black kids in hanging-down trousers ghetto-limping through the streets. But there’s another side, a whiter, cleaner, more PC side, where the inhabitants probably don’t eat pizza at all, never mind drink Guinness, because they’re more than likely allergic to the gluten in the pizza base and probably disapprove of booze.

America’s Islington
Dominic Prince
The racehorse diet

Being married to Rose, one of the greatest cooks in the country, is an especially pleasurable thing. No meal is ever dull. Breakfast can be a variety of treats from toast to scrambled eggs to a fried venison liver. Lunch is usually a sausage, perhaps some lentils or something leftover from the evening before. Dinner kicks off around 6 p.m. with a cocktail or two followed by wine. In winter we are great consumers of game, partridge, hare and pheasant.

The racehorse diet
Ross Clark
How to warm your mansion with other people’s money

Let no one say this is not a redistributive government. It is taking benefits away from the poor and giving them instead to people with large houses and a bit of spare capital. How? Through a great green energy scam, originally devised by Labour, which could not be better designed to penalise the poor and reward the rich. In fact, the government might just as well have come up with Spat Credits or a Top Hat Top-Up Allowance.

How to warm your mansion with other people’s money
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