Hugo Rifkind

Shared Opinion | 29 November 2008

If there really is a secret Zionist brotherhood running the world, why aren’t I a member? I know that the Iranian regime is famously confused about quite a lot of things, but if they are right about David Miliband being a member of a shadowy Zionist conspiracy, I’ll be absolutely livid. That bloody man has

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 29 November 2008

In his speech announcing his Pre-Budget Report, Alistair Darling said that he was going to put up the top rate of income tax to 45 per cent from 2011, because he wanted the burden to be borne by ‘those who have done best out of the growth of the past decade’. In his speech announcing

Any other business

General Motors must be allowed to crash

There is probably no company in the world as iconic as General Motors. As the manufacturer of Cadillacs, Buicks and Chevrolets, as well as Opels in Europe and Vauxhalls in Britain, it would be no exaggeration to describe GM as the corporation that perfected 20th-century industrial capitalism. Henry Ford created the first mass-production car 100

A new job for the IMF: as global policeman

In early November the head of the world’s leading multilateral agency made a remarkable public bid for survival. Speaking in São Paulo, addressing the world’s most powerful finance ministers, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, announced that his institution was the right one to lead us out of our financial and economic

Carbon footprints

There’s a modern myth that food miles are bad. But measuring the carbon footprints of food items produces surprising results. We discover, for example, that bringing New Zealand lamb to our table — according to information collated by Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute — can generate fewer emissions than if the Sunday joint originated in Wales,

And another thing | 29 November 2008

There are all kinds of reasons for objecting to Percy Bysshe Shelley. Selfish and often indifferent to the feelings of others (especially young women), while hypersensitive to his own, he was one of those intellectual monsters who think ideas matter more than people. But he was a great poet nonetheless. His ‘Ode to the West

Global warning | 29 November 2008

Because of the economic crisis, I was waiting at the bus station: £2.80 for a bus instead of £28 for a taxi home. I had 50 minutes to wait and was reading a book by Richard Yates. I was wondering why the literature of so optimistic a country as America was so deeply pessimistic (awareness