It’s a mistake to focus on the dodgy dossier, says Fraser Nelson. Blair’s real crime was to invade Iraq with no strategy, no understanding of the Islamist factions and no qualms about leaving Iraqis to the mercy of death squadsThere has always been a faction of the Labour party that wanted Tony Blair in the dock for the Iraq war — no matter how pointless it would be. This was the sole purpose of the Chilcot inquiry.
Readers may remember the Not The Nine O’Clock News parody of those Seventies current affairs programmes in which a professor and a social worker earnestly discussed teenage delinquency.Readers may remember the Not The Nine O’Clock News parody of those Seventies current affairs programmes in which a professor and a social worker earnestly discussed teenage delinquency. Expecting the usual concerned talk of deprivation, poor parenting, and high-rise flats, the interviewer was disconcerted to find both his guests averring that the only answer to youth criminals was to ‘cut off their goolies’.
Unpredictable, spectacular, bold and contentious — Lady Gaga is the perfect pop star for the 21st century, says Luke CoppenIn 1903, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote a letter to a young man who yearned to be a great artist. ‘In the deepest hour of the night,’ the German poet advised, ‘confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself: must I write?’It’s fair to say that Rilke never imagined his words would end up tattooed on the arm of a pop star with a penchant for porcelain bikinis and flamethrower bras.
Instead of deriding John Major we should celebrate him, says Peter Oborne. His government was stunningly radical and initiated most of Blair’s so-called reformsGordon Brown may be in terrible trouble but he and his allies have a defence strategy. However bad things are, they say it was much worse under John Major’s weak, hopeless and sleazy administration.I believe that the time has come to mount a serious challenge to this analysis and make the case for both Major and his government.
Rod Liddle says it’s difficult to ignore the fact that the worst violations of human rights happen in countries dominated by an Islamic ideologyA young girl in Bangladesh has been sentenced to 101 lashes for having become pregnant as a consequence of being raped. Her father will also have to pay a fine to the local Islamic savages who presided over the case. The rapist was pardoned by the village elders.
Only a Pakistani journalist could have linked a New Jersey school’s decision to cancel its Christmas concert because of head lice with the American conspiracy to subjugate Islam.In her ‘View From US’ column in the Dawn newspaper, Anjum Niaz, one of Pakistan’s leading journalists, quoted the letter to parents. ‘Although the likelihood of spreading lice by attending the concert is near zero, we feel that this is an appropriate precautionary measure at this time.
The proposal on the American table is simple: break up the so-called super banks. To have the deposit-taking banks in one place, and the risk-takers (or proprietary traders) in another. The aim is laudable: that Main Street should not have to pay for Wall Street. This is, after all, the system which existed under Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era legislation. But that broke down, because finance became much more international, ingenious, complex and important.
If Gordon Brown really wants to start appealing to the middle-class vote, he could start by picking up my rubbish. The bin bags outside my flat in Kentish Town, north London, weren’t collected for four weeks over Christmas because of the snow. When the foxes started to rip them apart and left a trail of chicken carcasses and half-chewed bread across my front garden, I cracked.Patching up the most damaged bag and strapping it to my handlebars, I pedalled along the snowy roads — if my bike could negotiate the streets, so could a rubbish truck, by the way — to my local park.
Waffling on about free speech and forming committees is no way to deal with nascent terrorists, says Michael Burleigh. Let’s hope the Tories do betterWhat would a Conservative administration do about the radicalisation of Muslims at British universities? It is a question voters must be asking, given the swell of disturbing reports about student terrorists in the press. Last weekend, it was revealed that British students have been visiting Somalia to fight for the extremist group Al-Shabab (‘The Youth’), while the Sunday Telegraph reported that Yayha Ibrahim, an extremist preacher barred from America and Australia, was planning a speaking tour of British campuses.