30/07/2011
30 Jul 2011

30 July 2011

30 Jul 2011

30 July 2011

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Features
Rod LiddleRod Liddle
If you think the left is twisting Norway’s tragedy, check out the neo-Nazis

So is Anders Breivik mad, or just right-wing? His lawyer has decided to go with the former, presumably on the basis that the Norwegian courts will look more kindly upon someone who is doolally than on someone who is a shade to the right of centre. He is probably right about this. There is a (usually) unspoken subtext within the liberal media here that the two are in any case synonymous, an elision between these two states of mind, right-wing and doolally.

If you think the left is twisting Norway’s tragedy, check out the neo-Nazis
Peter Hitchens
The thrills of summers past

How my heart sinks at the sight of those little features on ‘summer reading’. Follow these recommendations and you will strain your shoulder and your purse, buying and carrying books that will stay unread at least until the cool blast of the autumnal equinox, and probably forever afterwards.Ignore the log-rolling, the favours to friends and publishers, the favouritism of the bookshop display tables.

The thrills of summers past
Oliver Gilmour
The great unknown

Who was Carlos Kleiber, and why has he been voted the best conductor of all time? Carlos Kleiber — the name evokes both Hispanic and German spheres — cancelled performances, never gave interviews, claimed he only conducted when the fridge was empty, and told Placido Domingo he’d prefer to devote his time to drinking wine and making love. He only conducted 96 concerts in his life (does Valerie Gergiev notch up more in a year?).

The great unknown
Douglas Murray
Breivik and the right

Must all conservatives answer for the actions of a psychopath? Anders Behring Breivik believed himself a Knight Templar and awarded himself various military ranks accordingly. He also believed that he and other self-described racists had common cause with jihadis and that the USA has a Jewish problem. So even before he planted a car bomb in a civilian area and gunned down scores of young people, it would have been clear to anyone who bothered to question him that Breivik was insane.

Breivik and the right
Camilla Long
Amy Winehouse became more helpless with every photograph

Amy Winehouse was found dead at home at 3.54 p.m. last Saturday afternoon. A day earlier, a Norwegian gunman had let off a bomb in central Oslo, shooting youth workers and teens in a national horror-show that was still ongoing. For a couple of hours, editors deliberated who they should ‘go with’ as the top story. In the ‘hierarchy of death’, as one commentator grimly put it, was Anders Behring Breivik bigger than the sadly predictable demise of the dark star of British pop?Not for the tabloids, who hungrily ‘went’ with the 27-year-old singer.

Amy Winehouse became more helpless with every photograph
John Laughland
Vive les vacances!

‘Vous partez?’ ‘Vous partez un petit peu?’ ‘Quand est-ce que vous partez?’ Since early June, Parisians have been asking and answering these questions remorselessly, their minds fixed on holidays and nothing else. Since early July, the capital has been emptying out dramatically: the markets are deserted, shops are boarded up, food supplies even run down. Children vanish as mothers take them to the country or send them on Scout camp, leaving the fathers to join the family when the office permits.

Vive les vacances!
Andrew Gilligan
A gold medal for idiocy

The Olympics are a gigantic folly – and you still have time to be part of itWould you like to compete for Britain at the 2012 Olympics? No, seriously, compete in the real Olympics, march in the athletes’ parade, wear our national colours? Vacancies are still available. Complete beginners most welcome — no experience necessary. You don’t even have to be, well, British. I promise I am not making this up.

A gold medal for idiocy
Tim Montgomerie
Afraid of being right

The coalition risks withering because Cameron won’t listen to the wisdom of ordinary Conservatives It’s the Mary Poppins principle of successful government: a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. A government does the necessary things to keep the nation healthy while dispensing regular sweeteners to sustain the patient’s consent for the treatment. Across the country the vast majority of Conservatives are agreed about the tough remedies necessary to restore Britain’s sick economy back to health.

Afraid of being right
Allister Heath
Wake up, Osborne!

He has been desperately trying to persuade us that things could be worse, but the truth is that this week’s news is a bitter blow for George Osborne.He has been desperately trying to persuade us that things could be worse, but the truth is that this week’s news is a bitter blow for George Osborne. Our economy only grew by 0.2 per cent this quarter, at a time when he desperately needs stronger growth to generate the tax required to finance public spending and reduce his awful budget deficit.

Wake up, Osborne!
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