26/01/2008
26 Jan 2008

26 January 2008

26 Jan 2008

26 January 2008

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Features
Lloyd Evans
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Intelligence Squared debate report - “Britain should have a referendum on the EU Treaty”

Motion: Britain should have a referendum on the EU treaty.Chair: Andrew Neil   For the motion: Neil O’Brien Andrew Roberts Rt Hon Lord Lamont of Lerwick   Against the motion :  Sir Stephen Wall Vernon Bogdanor CBE David Aaronovitch. It was like an eclipse. Wednesday’s debate on the EU referendum exactly coincided with a parliamentary vote on the same issue. ‘Over at the Palace of Varieties,’ prophesied Andrew Neil, in the chair, ‘the debate will be dull, predictable and whipped.

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Intelligence Squared debate report - “Britain should have a referendum on the EU Treaty”
Theodore Dalrymple
Global Warning | 26 January 2008

Theodore Dalrymple issues a global warning Thank goodness I retired in time from the National Health Service: it has cut down enormously the number of forms I have to fill in. The latest proto-genocidal form sent out to employees by my erstwhile employers was called ‘a data cleanse’, though it soon became known as ‘an ethnic cleanse’ since it related, inter alia, to the staff’s ethnic group. Each member of staff was asked to choose one of 17 ethnic groups to which they belonged, one of six marital statuses, five sexual orientations and nine religious affiliations.

Global Warning | 26 January 2008
Dan Collings
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Will the special relationship prevail?

As the US presidential race gathers steam, Westminster is abuzz.  Like the Derby Trials, MPs across the political spectrum are watching their horses anxiously.  Some are seasoned observers.  They know the trainers and even the thoroughbreds themselves.  Others are more recent spectators, but with no less passion.  The outcome of the presidential election matters in Westminster, for the course of US policy certainly, but also for UK domestic politics.

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Will the special relationship prevail?
Rod Liddle
In one sentence, Jacqui Smith became the Gerald Ratner of the Home Office

There is a term for what Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, did at the weekend. She announced that she would not feel safe walking the streets of London alone after dark. This, I believe, is called ‘doing a Ratner’. If you remember, Gerald Ratner was the boss of the eponymous down-market jewellery company which dissolved into nothing in 1991 when he cheerfully pronounced that his products were ‘crap’.

In one sentence, Jacqui Smith became the Gerald Ratner of the Home Office
Bryan Forbes
Get your hands off my light bulbs, Big Brother

Call me old-fashioned, as Dame Edna says, but I don’t fancy spending my remaining years in semi-darkness because this poxy government has performed yet another knee-jerk reaction and decreed that all incandescent light bulbs will be phased out, whether we like it or not. A warning bulletin from Defra informs us that should we be careless enough to break a long-life bulb, we must immediately vacate the room in which the tragedy occurs for at least 15 minutes.

Get your hands off my light bulbs, Big Brother
Lloyd Evans
Intelligence2 debate report: should we bomb Iran?

Iran was in the cross hairs last Tuesday. At the Intelligence Squared debate the mellifluously worded motion, ‘It’s better to bomb Iran than risk Iran getting the bomb,’ was proposed by Dr Emanuele Ottolenghi, a distinguished Italian political scientist. He argued that letting Tehran acquire nukes would create turmoil in the Middle East — and beyond. The Persian Gulf and the Caspian Basin, which currently operate as a sort of all-night Texaco garage to the world’s economies, would fall under the spell of a dangerous anti-Western regime.

Intelligence2 debate report: should we bomb Iran?
Allister Heath
Fleecing non-doms is the thin end of a bad wedge

Allister Heath says that Brown’s poll tax on Britain’s 114,000 non-domiciled residents will drive away talent when our economy most needs it. Shame the Tories would do the sameYou would have thought that with the economy weakening, the stock market sliding, house prices tanking and Northern Rock’s botched rescue a daily humiliation, Gordon Brown would be doing all in his powers to help the City of London weather the gathering storm.

Fleecing non-doms is the thin end of a bad wedge
Con Coughlin
Gordon Brown has a new plan to beat terror. This is what he should do

Do you feel safe? Every time you go to the airport do you worry that you might be blown up by Islamist militants? Do you avoid using public transport, or frequenting louche nightclubs, for fear of being targeted by fanatical suicide bombers?While the 7 July bomb attacks against London’s transportation system in 2005 have rightly dominated the public’s consciousness in terms of the tangible threat posed by Muslim terror groups, there have been many more foiled attacks that would have created far more carnage had they succeeded with their deadly designs.

Gordon Brown has a new plan to beat terror. This is what he should do
Rani Singh
The schmoozer of Davos prepares to bare his teeth

In the week of the World Economic Forum Rani Singh talks to Angel Gurría, head of the OECD, who has sharp words on capitalist ‘schizophrenia’ and a coded warning for Gordon‘Because of the miners’ strike we were all asked to have only one light bulb on. My wife and I had to take baths together in order to economise on heating the water and since then we’ve always taken baths together, for 35 years,’ booms Angel Gurría in a surprising aside, recalling Ted Heath’s premiership.

The schmoozer of Davos prepares to bare his teeth
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