27/02/2010
27 Feb 2010

27 February 2010

27 Feb 2010

27 February 2010

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Features
James ForsythJames Forsyth
The Tory situation is now verging on critical

Why has the Tory lead halved since December? James Forsyth says that Cameron and his four top men — Osborne, Hilton, Coulson and Bridges — must take the blame for the party’s dismal performance and its lack of message and purposeOne evening earlier this week a group of senior Tories gathered for a secret meeting in a house in Notting Hill. All of the most trusted members of Cameron’s inner circle were there — George Osborne, Steve Hilton, Andy Coulson, Michael Gove — but the atmosphere was not one of jubilation, or even excited determination.

The Tory situation is now  verging on critical
Ross Clark
How Essex betrayed its residents

Ross Clark on a supposedly ‘model’ Tory authority which has, behind the scenes, left elderly homeowners to suffer at the hands of private contractorsFor an idea of what public services might look like in Cameron’s Britain we are encouraged to look at Essex County Council. Along with Hammersmith & Fulham it is held up as a ‘flagship’ Conservative authority, showing what can be achieved if councils become more businesslike.

How Essex betrayed its residents
Stuart Wheeler
A question of trust | 27 February 2010

What are MPs worth? I don’t mean this literally. I hope they’re all each worth as much as they would like to be, or deserve to be. But what are they worth to us? They’re the product of our democracy. They’re the consequence of our centuries of stable constitutional development, and the enduring part of Britain’s place in history as the global pioneer of representative government. So to us they are worth quite a lot in fact.

A question of trust | 27 February 2010
Rod Liddle
Shouting and throwing things isn’t bullying, it’s just bad manners

Of course it’s bad to persecute people, says Rod Liddle. But bullying has now become the latest politically correct public sector growth industryMy Concise Oxford Dictionary defines ‘bullying’ in the following terms: ‘to persecute or oppress by force or threats’. The charity at the centre of this latest furore about the Prime Minister, the National Bullying Helpline, meanwhile describes it thus, on its introductory webpage: Stress.

Shouting and throwing things isn’t bullying, it’s just bad manners
James Walton
We believe in angels

Among the more neglected victims of the recession have been the authors of misery memoirs — or ‘mis-mems’ as they’re rather heartlessly known in the trade. As if these people hadn’t suffered enough at the hands of their drunken, violent and/or abusive families, the credit crunch brought more bad news. The books sections of supermarkets began to think that misery was something we could now get for ourselves without the help of reading.

We believe  in angels
Richard Dowden
Three decades of murder and misrule

Next week marks 30 years since Robert Mugabe was elected Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. Last month was 20 years since Nelson Mandela left jail. The two men have much in common. Both are nationalist leaders who fought white rule in southern Africa. Both served long periods in prison, Mandela 27 years, Mugabe 11. Both emerged and won elections and then offered their white oppressors the hand of forgiveness and friendship.

Three decades of  murder and misrule
The Spectator
What the papers said...

On 4 March 1980, following Zimbabwe’s first all-party elections, Robert Mugabe won overall control of the country’s new 100-seat parliament. On 4 March 1980, following Zimbabwe’s first all-party elections, Robert Mugabe won overall control of the country’s new 100-seat parliament. The result, a humiliating defeat for outgoing Prime Minister Bishop Abel Muzorewa, prompted sharply mixed reactions in Britain.

What the papers said...
Justin Marozzi
Mogadishu Notebook

From Miami to Mogadishu; from blues skies, pastel perfection, grilled red snapper, key lime pie and margaritas to blue skies, a bombed-out cityscape, warm beer and boiled goat (the main dish in ‘the Dish’).From Miami to Mogadishu; from blues skies, pastel perfection, grilled red snapper, key lime pie and margaritas to blue skies, a bombed-out cityscape, warm beer and boiled goat (the main dish in ‘the Dish’).

Mogadishu Notebook
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