22/02/2014
22 Feb 2014

Putin's secret plan

22 Feb 2014

Putin's secret plan

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Owen Matthews
Vladimir Putin’s new plan for world domination

[audioplayer src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/Untitled_2_AAC_audio.mp3" title="Anne Applebaum and Matthew Parris discuss how far we should let Putin go"] Listen [/audioplayer]It’s been a generation or so since Russians were in the business of shaping the destiny of the world, and most of us have forgotten how good they used to be at it. For much of the last century Moscow fuelled — and often won — the West’s ideological and culture wars.

Vladimir Putin’s new plan for world domination
Melissa Kite
The Environment Agency cares more about wildlife than people

What do voles, beetles, mussels, trout and the golden plover have in common? Believe it or not, they have all been used as excuses by the Environment Agency not to improve flood defences. Travelling around the worst of the flooded areas last week, I met family after family who said their local rivers had been left to clog with debris — and always because of some critter or other. Somerset farmer David Gillard, for example, repeatedly begged the Environment Agency to dredge the River Parrett, which runs near his sheep farm just outside Burrowbridge.

The Environment Agency cares more about wildlife than people
Andrew Watts
The church of self-worship: Sunday morning with the atheists

I had always assumed that the one thing atheism had going for it was that you could have a lie-in on Sundays. For the past year, however, an atheist church has been meeting in London on Sunday mornings. Founded by two comedians, Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, the Sunday Assembly is a symptom of what Theo Hobson identified in this magazine as ‘the new new atheism’, the recognition that the new atheism of Professor Dawkins et al had, in rejecting God, gone too far in rejecting all His works.

The church of self-worship: Sunday morning with the atheists
Julie Burchill
Don’t you dare tell me to check my privilege

[audioplayer src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_20_February_2014_v4.mp3" title="From this week's View from 22 podcast, Burchill and Paris Lees debate intersectionality" startat=86 fullwidth="yes"] Julie Burchill vs Paris Lees [/audioplayer]In the early 1970s, my dad was a singular sort of feminist. As well as working all night in a factory, he had banned my mother from the kitchen for as long as I could remember because, and I quote, ‘Women gets hysterical and you needs to be calm in a kitchen.

Don’t you dare tell me to check my privilege
Peter Atherton
Why has Britain signed up for the world’s most expensive power station?

‘As part of our plan to help Britain succeed, after months of negotiation, today we have a deal for the first nuclear power station in a generation to be built in Britain.’ That was David Cameron in October, announcing that his government had reached an agreement with the French power giant EDF over the construction of two reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The Prime Minister must have a funny idea of success, because the more we learn about the Hinkley deal, the more we can see that it is one of the worst ever signed by a British government.

Why has Britain signed up for the world’s most expensive power station?
Philip Delves-Broughton
The American economy vs gravity

The American economy always feels better when the Super Bowl is on. Ads for trucks and beer fill the airwaves. It’s steak and cigar season for the corporate bigwigs, not a time for the calorie conscious. For a few days, they can forget about foreign labour and cratering emerging markets and wallow in the fantasy that America is still about men in faded jeans and worn baseball caps, doing practical things with their hands.

The American economy vs gravity
Matthew Lynn
You, too, can be a shale profiteer

It might not be something you want to mention in the Half Moon Inn in Balcombe, or around any of the other communities where people are getting anxious about shale gas explorers ripping up the countryside with their drills and pipelines. But if shale is the tremendous source of wealth that David Cameron insists it can be for this country, how do you go about investing it? After all, if there are fortunes to be made, there is no reason not to claim your share.

You, too, can be a shale profiteer
Andrew M Brown
Investment trusts – the way the City saves

After years in the doldrums, investment trusts — those venerable pooled funds with names like Foreign and Colonial and City of London — are in danger of becoming fashionable. There are good reasons why they should be better known. They offer the possibility of high returns at low cost, as well as access to exotic asset classes that would otherwise be out of reach. They can be a way of spreading risk, if you do not have the time or the inclination to pick individual stocks for yourself.

Investment trusts – the way the City saves
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