Norman Stone on the dramatic life and death of Ali Kemal, one-time interior minister of Turkey and our mayoral candidate’s forebearBoris Johnson is one eighth Turkish. His great-grandfather (there is, if you abstract the fez and the moustache, a family resemblance) was a well-known writer, Ali Kemal (1868–1922) who came, because of his politics, to a tragic end. He knew England very well, and when the British occupied Constantinople for four years at the end of the first world war, he collaborated with them.
Boris Johnson has confounded his critics, says Matthew d’Ancona. The contest will go to the wire, but our man has proved himself to be both shrewd enough and serious enough to take charge
‘Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the next Mayor of London...’ A January dinner at the Dorchester in honour of Boris Johnson, and it falls to me, as one of the hosts, to introduce the Tory candidate. I look across the room at the high-rollers, hacks, friends and acquaintances who have come along to toast the candidate and, in some cases, to see if he is for real.
Hillary Clinton did not have to wait until 3 a.m. for the call telling her that she had won the Pennsylvania primary. Within an hour of the polls closing, the news networks had declared her the winner and by the end of the night she had secured a double-digit lead, handily beating the spread set for her by the media.Pennsylvania was always going to be Hillary’s kind of state; its demographics play to her strengths.
If you take that excellent map showing negative equity ‘hot-spots’ produced by George Bridges for The Spectator a couple of weeks back, and overlay it across a map of cancer ‘hot-spots’ for the UK, you will find that those baleful dark areas, the bad places on each map, tally almost exactly. You might have expected as much: falling house prices cause cancer. Or maybe cancer causes house prices to fall — one of the two.
It was a strange place for the red mist to descend. A railway car park in the snooty Surrey town of Weybridge. I was putting my £3.50 into the ticket machine when I spotted a notice from Elmbridge Borough Council which told those of us who had the temerity to pay for our parking spot rather than leave our car for free in the street that there was to be an increase from 1 April.My bet was that a 10 per cent rise would be the top whack.
The last time Opus Dei was portrayed as a murderous, self-flagellating, power-hungry secret society of monstrous hypocrites was — you may remember — in The Da Vinci Code, first in the novel, then in the film starring Tom Hanks. Millions read the book, millions saw the film, millions decided that we were the personification of evil. On the upside, for a few weeks the world’s media camped on our doorsteps, so we had a chance to respond.