Motion: We were wrong to recognise Kosovo’s declaration of independence.Speakers For the motionSir Ivor Roberts
Dragan ZupanjevacAgainst the motion Wolfgang Ischinger
Veton SurroiThe voting tells the story. Before last Tuesday’s Kosovo debate most of the audience were unsure whether we were right to recognize Kosovo’s declaration of independence on February 17th 2008.
No Jews. No hint of Jewishness anywhere. That was Howard Jacobson’s instruction to himself when he sat down to write his new novel, The Act of Love. ‘I took the restriction very seriously,’ he told Peter Florence in a discussion for Intelligence Squared on 22nd October. ‘I nearly set about writing the book without using any word containing the letter “J”. Then I realised that “Howard Jacobson” would appear on the cover.
Mr Brown’s bank recapitalisation exercise has been portrayed in the British media as a financial and political coup. The Financial Times has been particularly enthusiastic, describing it as ‘a global template’. Mr Brown’s admirers apparently believe that the British government’s programme is both intellectually original and a real-world success, and is therefore being copied in other leading nations.
Melissa Kite says that the shadow chancellor should have known better than to cross the most brutal spin-doctor in Westminster, or flout the conventions of the super-rich. But we should not be distracted from the Business Secretary’s true role in this sagaIf George Osborne survives the spectacular fallout of his now notorious Corfu adventure he may want to review the way he spends his holidays.
The market needs speculators who are willing to challenge the big battalions, says Patrick Macaskie. Don’t believe the hype: short-sellers were not the villains of this financial crisisPeople everywhere have been grappling with what has befallen them. Like the closing stages of A Midsummer Night’s Dream we are waking from a reverie and human folly at its most extreme is being revealed. It is harder to see the happy ending but some things will be for the better.
It is difficult to think of anything more depressing than the recent photographs of a smirking Lord Mandy in his ermine drag flanked by two of yesterday’s major groupies, Lord Falconer and Baroness Jay, she who gleefully masterminded the removal of the hereditary peers, but couldn’t resist a title for herself. At the very moment the PM was berating the bonus culture, his new friend, Lord Mandy, was looking forward to trousering some serious dosh from Brussels, and senior executives of our self-congratulatory, ratings-obsessed BBC were awarding themselves £318,000 extra for doing nothing discernibly advantageous for the licence payers.
It’s very difficult to get one’s head around the moral and ethical implications of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill on a damp and frowsy October afternoon after perhaps one too many stiffeners. I came away from my research with a vague notion that the Roman Catholic Church wishes to prevent scientists from experimenting on dead lesbians, but that the House of Commons is determined to let this iniquity go ahead and that some progressive left-wing MPs wish to proceed further and allow scientists to monkey around with lesbians who are not yet dead, regardless of whether they give their consent.
Bingo is a game that I have never really seen the point of — despite recent advertising campaigns attempting to market it as the new raucous ‘girls’ night out’ of choice. It was thus with trepidation that I climbed Home House’s grand staircase and entered one of their private rooms along with 30 other guests for a game of wine bingo. I was swiftly handed a glass of something light and fizzy, thankfully, and all images of fat, single, middle-aged Gala-dwelling women and their legs-11 disappeared.