29/11/2014
29 Nov 2014

Geeks vs spooks

29 Nov 2014

Geeks vs spooks

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Ian Thomson
Bob Marley: from reggae icon to Marlboro Man of marijuana

A kind of political correctness dictates that one should not be too hard on Bob Marley, who died of cancer in 1981 aged 36. His loping, mid-tempo reggae sounds slightly vapid to my ears, but for many non-Jamaicans, Bob Marley is reggae; he remains an international Rasta celebrity, honoured with a waxwork at Madame Tussaud’s as well as a Jamaican Order of Merit (the third-highest honour in the Jamaican honours system).

Bob Marley: from reggae icon to Marlboro Man of marijuana
James Forsyth
The technology giants are breathtakingly irresponsible about terrorism

[audioplayer src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_27_Nov_2014_v4.mp3" title="James Forsyth and Hugo Rifkind debate the clash between geeks and spooks" startat=37] Listen [/audioplayer]The arrogance and intransigence of some of the technology companies in the fight against terrorism has become extraordinary. We learned this week that one of Fusilier Lee Rigby’s murderers, Michael Adebowale, had Facebook accounts closed.

The technology giants are breathtakingly irresponsible about terrorism
Patrick Marnham
Is Nicolas Sarkozy headed back to the Elysée – or to jail?

In his more hyperactive moods Nicolas Sarkozy, former president of France, has been known to compare himself to Charles de Gaulle. Following defeat in the 2012 presidential elections ‘Sarko’ made a dignified exit from the national stage, stating that in future his personal commitment to the well-being of France would be in some loftier sphere. De Gaulle did the same thing in 1946; he retired to his country estate for 12 years of reflection and study, before being summoned back at a time of national crisis to found the Fifth Republic.

Is Nicolas Sarkozy headed back to the Elysée – or to jail?
Hugo Rifkind
Google vs governments - let the new battle for free speech begin

[audioplayer src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_27_Nov_2014_v4.mp3" title="Hugo Rifkind and James Forsyth debate the clash between geeks and spooks" startat=37] Listen [/audioplayer]Imagine there was one newspaper that landed all the scoops. Literally all of them. Big news, silly news, the lot. When those girlfriendless, finger-wagging freaks in Syria and Iraq opted to behead another aid worker, it would be reported here first.

Google vs governments - let the new battle for free speech begin
Alex Massie
The National shows just how much danger the Union – and Scotland – is still in

Nearly 20 years ago, during one of the many impasses on the road to ‘peace’ in Northern Ireland, Gerry Adams reminded his opponents that the republican movement would set the terms of any agreement. The IRA reserved a power of veto. ‘They haven’t gone away, you know,’ he said. Scotland is not Ulster, of course, but the Scottish nationalists haven’t gone away either. Anyone who thinks the referendum settled this country’s constitutional future hasn’t been paying attention.

The National shows just how much danger the Union – and Scotland – is still in
Misti Traya
Pacific-sized love

Grandpa turns purple in the sun. He says it is because we are Filipino, but my skin never colours that way. I watch him mystified as he calls to the pigeons. His whistles are strong and long and loud. They are all of his breaths pushed out, part Kools, part Budweiser, part Mentholyptus Halls. The wind scoops them up and makes them hers, using their smoky song to amplify her sound. Pigeons come flying home and Grandpa Melvin smiles.

Pacific-sized love
Joshi Herrmann
The hidden price of more overseas students at British public schools

Just a decade or so ago, most public‑school-educated parents felt obliged to give their children the same start in life they themselves were given — selling off heirlooms to send their Jacks and Henriettas off to Eton, Stowe, Cheltenham Ladies or St Paul’s. These days the price is just too high, says Andrew Halls, head of King’s College School in Wimbledon, and he’s been honest enough to name the cause: the hordes of prospective parents from other countries, oligarchs and oil men, all jostling for places for their progeny.

The hidden price of more overseas students at British public schools
Jenny Mccartney
The agony of dying gadgets

It’s hard, being a technophobe today. The condition is defined as ‘a fear, dislike or avoidance of new technology’, which in slow-moving times — involving a popular shift from the fountain pen to the rollerball, say — should be manageable, but electronic change is coming so fast now that one is rarely without an encroaching sense of panic. We technophobes are often compelled to use technology, of course, and we can certainly sniff the magic of its portal into a world of limitless information.

The agony of dying gadgets
Kit Wilson
When did ambition become a dirty word in Bristol?

When a man is tired of London, he just needs to relocate to Bristol — or so the stream of westbound émigrés would suggest. Each year, hundreds up sticks and flee the capital in search of its laid-back lifestyle. Bristol prides itself on being the chilled-out alternative to the big smoke — a bit like Brighton, but further west and therefore cooler. Here they swap the ruthless capitalism of their blowhard cousins in London for giant water slides, balloon festivals and radical street art.

When did ambition become a dirty word in Bristol?
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