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What’s going wrong 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

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

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. Apparently, this was because

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.

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

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

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

Notes on...

A cure for Christmas stress in Sweden

We’ve all been there, I’m sure. You work your pan off to get everything done in time. You count down the days until you can break out of the madhouse of pre-Christmas London. Then you’re brought down by the dreaded lurgy. I was all for cancelling our travel plans and spending Christmas under the duvet.