On Question Time last month, Boris Johnson, London’s Mayor, was asked about his plans to build a new airport in the Thames estuary: an idea seen as reasonable by some and insane by others. As he blustered amiably away, saying not very much, a lady interrupted and asked: ‘Why can’t you just admit it when you are wrong instead of waffling on?’ The audience roared with approval.It was an Emperor’s New Clothes moment.
David Cameron has said that the two most beautiful constituencies in England are his own, in Oxfordshire, and Oliver Letwin’s in Dorset. He obviously knows little of Thirsk and Malton, a small slice of North Yorkshire heaven, but the area will certainly be on his mind next Thursday. For here, the now supposedly united tribes of Tories and Liberal Democrats are engaged in a vicious local election, the first of the new parliament.
For ten years in parliament, I have sat opposite Conservative and Liberal Democrat colleagues. Never did I imagine they would form a government together. How on earth did we get here? And what does it all mean? The Tories won the most seats not just because we looked tired and stale as a government. It was because under Cameron, the Conservative party stopped falling for New Labour’s triangulation trap.
However cosy they may appear, neither Obama nor Cameron care much for the ‘special relationship’. But, says John C. Hulsman, that may be no bad thingGood student that he is, Barack Obama has been careful to dot his ‘i’s and cross his ‘t’s after the British election. Well aware that he is viewed as uninterested in transatlantic relations, Obama made sure he was quick off the mark; he was the first foreign leader to phone David Cameron when he became PM.
Amid the chaos in the House of Commons, with newly elected MPs finding their offices and newly appointed ministers being kicked out of them, Graham Brady is the picture of calm. As the only MP to resign on principle from David Cameron’s front bench (over grammar schools), he knew there would be no phone call from Number 10. Yet next week, he may end up being more important than any minister of state.
No, says Rod Liddle, in fact it was against it — but you won’t see the Press Complaints Commission punishing the Mail on Sunday for breaching its own codeYou know as soon as you see the posed photograph of some sweetly smiling young and hitherto unknown bint on the front page of your morning newspaper that somewhere a man, probably a famous and powerful man, is in the doghouse. Stitched up by the papers, having been dragged towards his doom by the relentless, exhausting power of his own gonads.
So Ben Kingsley, or, as he apparently demands to be called, Sir Ben Kingsley, who are you? I’m sitting in a windowless corridor in the Dorchester Hotel, waiting for him. It’s amazingly pink, this corridor. It looks like a cake. He comes out to collect me and he doesn’t look like he belongs here at all. Perhaps it’s because misery clings to all his famous roles — Gandhi, Simon Wiesenthal, Otto Frank, the sociopath gangster Don Logan, the accountant Itzhak Stern in Schindler’s List.
Brendan O’Neill says that the state’s cruel and antiquated one-child policy is being propped up by British environmentalists with an agenda — but the Chinese are striking back
Professor Yang Zhizhu is a brave man. In flagrant defiance of China’s womb-policing one-child policy, he and his wife have chosen to become outlaws by having two children and flat out refusing to pay the second-child fine (around £18,000).