26/04/2014
26 Apr 2014

Old Labour, new danger

26 Apr 2014

Old Labour, new danger

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Features
Dan Hodges
Meet Team Miliband

[audioplayer src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_24_April_2014_v4.mp3" title="Dan Hodges and Marcus Roberts debate the state of Milibandism" startat=47] Listen [/audioplayer]If the opinion polls and bookmakers are to be  believed, some time during the morning of Friday 8 May next year a small group of men and women will appear out of the of the Derby Gate entrance of the old Scotland Yard building on Whitehall, stride purposefully across the road, and assemble at the gates of Downing Street.

Meet Team Miliband
Fraser Nelson
Old Labour, New Danger

[audioplayer src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_24_April_2014_v4.mp3" title="Dan Hodges and Marcus Roberts debate the state of Milibandism" startat=47] Listen [/audioplayer]A cruel new joke is doing the rounds about Ed Miliband: that the Labour leader is like a plastic bag stuck in a tree. No one is sure how he got up there, but no one can be bothered to take him down. It’s one of many unfair gags, made on the premise that he is a laughing stock and, ergo, doomed in next year’s general election.

Old Labour, New Danger
Julie Burchill
A Protestant country is a free country

For the past decade, I have lived — literally — between a church and a synagogue; as metaphors go, I would get laughed out of town if I stuck it in a novel. I left my church (not the one next door) when a ten-year-old child (not just a random passer-by, but a regular attendant) identified the cross as ‘a space rocket’ and everyone laughed indulgently. And then I left my synagogue (again, not the nearby one) when the liberal rabbi’s insistence that all religions were equally worthy of respect began to sound increasingly hollow in the face of the increasing intolerance and bigotry of Islamism.

A Protestant country is a free country
Mark Mason
Subterranea is sexy

‘Sometimes when I’m down here,’ says Harry, ‘I get them to stop the train in the middle of a tunnel. Just for a minute or two, so I can savour the peace.’ Harry Huskisson is press officer for the British Postal Museum and Archive. He’s showing me the ‘Mail Rail’, the GPO’s underground train system, which until 2003 carried letters across London. The museum plans to reopen it as a tourist attraction.

Subterranea is sexy
John R. MacArthur
Clinton vs Bush — again

[audioplayer src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_24_April_2014_v4.mp3" title="John Rick MacArthur and Freddy Gray discuss Clinton vs Bush" startat=929] Listen [/audioplayer]America is much less threatened by right-wing extremists than by the oligarchic rule of the two major political parties. The mainstream right, however, is wedded to the absurd notion that the Democrats are a party of the ‘left’ that is in authentic ideological competition with ‘conservative’ Republicans.

Clinton vs Bush — again
Aita Ighodaro
Investment special: Boom time in Africa

It’s easy to see why until recently Africa has been a hard sell. It is still regarded as a place for charity rather than investment. But that view is out of date: much of the continent is booming now and investors are wising up. The economy of sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow by 6 per cent this year. Compare this with the eurozone’s paltry 1 per cent, and you start to see why smart money is moving from the old continent to the dark one.

Investment special: Boom time in Africa
Ian Cowie
Investment special: How to come out top in the pensions revolution

Three years after The Spectator called on the Chancellor to ‘stop treating pensioners like babies’, his Budget this year gave everyone greater choice about how we enjoy our life savings. While more column inches have been expended on the outside chance that some pensioners might blow the lot on a Lamborghini, less has been said about our exciting freedom to retain control of the biggest fund most of us will ever acquire and to remain active investors after we retire.

Investment special: How to come out top in the pensions revolution
Ross Clark
Investment special: Sell your Ferraris

Here is a paradox. Study the photographs of the flats and houses being sold in London’s prime property boom and you see one minimalist interior after another. The huge, empty sweeps of marble and limestone, broken only by a solitary painting, might give you the impression that it is fashionable to declutter your life. One can imagine one of those H.M. Bateman cartoons portraying the shock and horror generated by the man who placed an ornament on his mantelpiece.

Investment special: Sell your Ferraris
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