Stephen Pollard

Algerian winter

It is more than possible that before any Brexit deal is discussed, let alone concluded, the EU will have effectively collapsed. And the key factor could be the demise of Algeria’s leader of 17 years. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is 79 and has needed a wheelchair since having a stroke in 2013. ‘His mind is even

Warrant for alarm

A concerted effort is under way to make sure that, when it comes to the European Arrest Warrant, Brexit does not mean Brexit. The Police Federation, for example, will hear no ill spoken of the system. And the same might be said of the Prime Minister, who as home secretary praised it to the skies.

Dead Jews don’t make news

I’ve a question. You’ll see in a moment why I’m tempted to call it a Trivial Pursuit question. Can you tell me when the worst suicide bombing in Europe since the 7/7 murders took place? I doubt you’d believe me if I said it was last week. I can hear your response: ‘What suicide bombing?

Theatre of rudeness

I’m told that the new production of Dvorˇák’s Rusalka at the Royal Opera House is controversial. There were boos at the first night and reports of audience members walking out in disgust. I too walked out in disgust. Mine, however, had nothing to do with what was happening on stage. It was prompted by the

The end of Israel?

Perhaps the least important aspect of Sunday night’s events in international waters off Israel is what actually happened. In the world in which Israel operates, the rights or wrongs of what Israel actually does are irrelevant. Reaction to Israeli behaviour is no longer governed by facts or by rational responses. The country is judged —

It was Mandy wot lost it

It’s time to drop the myth of Lord Mandelson as a political genius, says Stephen Pollard. No one has done more to wreck the Labour party Whatever the election result, one thing is sure: industrial quantities of obloquy will be heaped on Gordon Brown as the man responsible for Labour’s result. But if the party

Stick to making your schmaltzy films, Mr Curtis

Richard Curtis’s films — rose-tinted, upper-middle-class parodies of modern Britain — are bad enough, says Stephen Pollard. But his politics are even worse There are few film-makers whose name instantly conjures up a style, an atmosphere, a set of recognisable characters, even a plot. Richard Curtis is one of them. From Four Weddings and a

Why do we kowtow to the MCB?

Last week, the Department for Communities and Local Government announced that it was lifting its ban on Whitehall contact with the Muslim Council of Britain, the self-proclaimed umbrella group of British Muslims. Quite apart from the tactical mistake of such a move — far from being an ally in the fight against extremism, the MCB

Why Europe may soon split along religious lines

Stephen Pollard says that if embryonic stem cell research is banned in some parts of Europe — as it might be under the new EU treaty — old hostilities will resurface I wouldn’t care to estimate how many words have been written so far on the draft EU reform treaty. If and when it becomes

Campbell holds a mirror up to shallow Britain

Stephen Pollard, who as David Blunkett’s biographer longed to see Alastair Campbell’s journal, says it tells us as much about the nation as it does about New Labour Alastair Campbell may be no Chips Channon or Alan Clark, but his diaries are at least readable. Very readable. And that is not something one can take