Fraser Nelson

Politics | 27 June 2009

There was no mistaking the sadistic zeal with which Labour MPs bounded into the lobbies to vote for John Bercow on Monday. The whole election had been an unexpected gift to them: a chance to foist on David Cameron a Speaker who is loathed by the Conservative party. When Mr Bercow promised to serve ‘no

Shared Opinion | 27 June 2009

I remember a colleague’s leaving party a couple of years ago. He slagged off virtually the whole newspaper in his speech, but he didn’t mention me. ‘I’m really sorry,’ he said, afterwards, taking me fondly by the arm. ‘You were in the first draft. I was going to stick you in the nepotism bit, just

You Know It Makes Sense | 27 June 2009

A friend who teaches at an old-fashioned Sussex boarding school has a zero-tolerance approach to racism. The moment he hears one of the foreign boys claiming to be a victim of it, that’s them chucked out of the class for the rest of the lesson. ‘Well I’m sorry,’ says my friend Duncan, quite unapologetically. ‘But

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 27 June 2009

Since the Speakership of the House of Commons depends on general acceptance for the holder to be able to do his job, it would seem to be right to say nothing further against the new one, and wish him well. The trouble is that John Bercow does not have that general acceptance. His own Conservatives

Any other business

Like rabbits caught in the headlights

‘It’s a difficult world out there,’ admits Chris Kenny, investment director at Smith & Williamson, the wealth management and accountancy group. ‘There’s the recession, the economy teetering between inflation and deflation, higher tax rates, increased risk and lower returns all round.’ While market risks have soared, investors’ faith in the people charged with looking after

Trying to pick winners is a losers’ game

One dark evening in October 1994, I was standing in a small meeting room that faced on to Fleet Street, waiting for my last interview before I could escape into the rainy streets. Then a young trader strode in and asked me an unforgettably difficult question: why should Goldman Sachs — for that is where

Does the Bank of England deserve more power?

Critics of Gordon Brown’s ‘tripartite’ regulatory structure want authority restored to Threadneedle Street, says Richard Northedge. Critics of Gordon Brown’s ‘tripartite’ regulatory structure want authority restored to Threadneedle Street, says Richard Northedge. But is the Bank’s track record tarnished? The simplistic initial analysis of the financial crisis — that the tripartite oversight structure of the

Standing Room | 27 June 2009

Logging on to a university homepage I noticed that the first thing it flags up — breaking news — is that they’re installing a £56,000 digital satellite TV system which will ‘transform’ the way students access multilingual news and information from around the world. Apparently the purchase of Exterity IPTV represents the Language Centre’s biggest-ever