The Spectator's Notes

The spectator’s notes

Gordon Brown sat next to poor, trembling Alistair Darling on the government front bench on Tuesday for the Chancellor’s statement on the loss of 25 million people’s personal details. He had failed to do the same the day before, when Mr Darling made a statement about Northern Rock. The contrast between his absence one day

Any other business

Shock and ore: the fight for the world’s mineral riches

Marius Kloppers is a man who has clearly learnt that business is like warfare in at least one respect: if you’re planning an attack, it might as well be done quickly. On 1 October this year, the 45-year-old South African was installed as chief executive of the Australian mining conglomerate BHP Billiton. Within less than

Markets are emotional, not cerebral

I have been a technical analyst — or chartist, if you prefer — for 55 years, since reading that the stock market is the nearest thing to the classical economists’ definition of the perfect market, where price is determined purely in accordance with the law of supply and demand. More buyers than sellers, price rises;

Half a million rooms to choose from

Most hotel-group bosses like to be at the opening of each new property in their chain. Some claim to have slept in all of their establishments or even to have spent a night in every room. Not Andrew Cosslett. His company is the biggest hotel group in the world. It has 572,000 rooms in more

In salons for writers, beware giving a black eye to literature

Students of words enjoy the way in which adjectives normally used to describe reprehensible actions are whitewashed to become terms of praise. One instance, which has caught my eye recently, is ‘aggressive’. In the past few days I have seen a firm’s brochure praising its ‘aggressive approach to the worldwide sale of megayachts’, a reference