The West is provoking a new cold war with RussiaChair:
Jonathan FreedlandFor the motion:
Professor Norman Stone
Against the motion:
Dr Lilia Shevtsova
Ronald D. Asmus
Russia and the West came head-to-head at Intelligence Squared on Tuesday night. Chairman Jonathan Freedland hailed the aptness of the subject. ‘Just after a new Russian president has been democratically elected.
The author of His Dark Materials talks to A.S.H. Smyth about the latest episode in the saga in which he turns towards politics — with a nod to The Magnificent Seven along the waySeveral years ago, Philip Pullman wrote that ‘“Thou shalt not” might reach the head, but it takes “Once upon a time” to reach the heart.’ Now, the prizewinning author and self-appointed scourge of God is preparing to unveil the latest episode from the universe of His Dark Materials, called Once Upon a Time in the North.
As Brown unveils his National Security Strategy, Fraser Nelson talks to those in the front line against Islamic extremism. MI5 has expanded successfully, but faces in al-Qa’eda an enemy that is organic, elusive and constantly mutating: gangs built on deadly bravadoTo defeat an enemy, one must first understand him — and this, for years, has been Britain’s principal problem in the war on terror.
I can’t remember what sort of foreign policy we have right now. When New Labour was elected we were told it would be an ‘ethical foreign policy’. A year or so later, Robin Cook altered this to a ‘foreign policy with an ethical dimension’, which is a rather different thing. I assume it is now something like ‘a foreign policy with no ethical dimension whatsoever’ or maybe, since about five years ago, ‘a vigorously unethical foreign policy’.
‘Nice shoes,’ said a young Zimbabwean looking wistfully at my $40 Nike tennis shoes that I wore when I encountered him sitting on the floor of a completely barren Bata shoe store in the town of Victoria Falls. It was last November and I was in Zimbabwe having crossed the border from Botswana earlier that day. The once charming town that used to teem with travellers from around the globe was more derelict and much emptier than I remembered it from my visit in the early 1990s.
Mary Wakefield meets Dom Hugh Gilbert, the Benedictine Abbot of Pluscarden — said to be the Pope’s ‘dark horse’ candidate to succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’ConnorWhat is holiness? How do you spot it? I’ve come to Worth Abbey in Sussex to meet a monk often described as ‘holy’ — Dom Hugh Gilbert, OSB, Abbot of Pluscarden in Scotland — and I wonder as I wander around in search of him, what form his sanctity will take.
The huge defeat of the Conservative party in the election of 1997 drove the party back into its rural and suburban redoubts and so cut it off from many things which were happening in Britain. It did not want to think about the rise of political Islam. This opting out was part of a wider demoralisation in conservative culture in recent years. In the time of the Millennium, the death of Diana and all that, many conservative-minded people started to say things like, ‘I don’t recognise my own country.