Stuart Wheeler

A warrant for exit

On the 12th of January, 500 of the great and good, or at any rate the well-heeled, sat down to a sumptuous dinner at the Guildhall at a cost of £500 a head. This was to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, widely regarded as one of the most important documents in the world. Celebrate?

Making plans for Nigel

When I was asked to write this article I intended to start by saying that Nigel Farage had to choose whether he preferred that Britain should leave the EU or that he should remain Ukip’s leader, because the two were incompatible. I hope I was wrong about that, but there is some truth in it,

Why I’m voting for Ukip

I once gave the Conservatives their biggest ever donation, yet I recently took the difficult decision to support Ukip for the European elections on 4 June. So I have been expelled from the Tory party. I am not an observant person but I do not seem to have been cut by anyone since then; rather

Painful truths

Juan E. Méndez has a fantastic CV. Mercilessly tortured in Argentina, the country of his birth, when 30, he is now, four decades on, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, in other words, its chief investigator. In between, he has worked for Human Rights Watch for 15 years and been the United Nations First Special

A question of trust | 27 February 2010

What are MPs worth? I don’t mean this literally. I hope they’re all each worth as much as they would like to be, or deserve to be. But what are they worth to us? They’re the product of our democracy. They’re the consequence of our centuries of stable constitutional development, and the enduring part of

Why Britain needs a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty

[After the news that the British public want a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, here’s a exclusive blog from Stuart Wheeler. Stuart is one of the leading figures in the fight for a referendum, and he’s secured a High Court hearing (which began yesterday) over the Government’s refusal to hold one. Here at Coffee House,

Roll over, Mozart

The author is nothing if not versatile. Apart from being the Observer’s music critic he has written books on a very wide variety of subjects. This book is about his experiences in the world of poker, specifically the form of poker that has taken the world by storm, No Limit Texas Hold’em. There is much

Only obeying orders

Would you ever torture somebody? ‘Of course not’, you say. The author, Professor (of psychology) Philip Zimbardo, disagrees. His view is ‘any deed that any human being has ever committed, however horrible, is possible for any of us — under the right or wrong situational forces’. The evidence he adduces for this shocking proposition is

The Tories must say No to torture

The government is, on behalf of you and me, involved in the worst type of man’s inhumanity to man — torture. Yet with the honourable exceptions of William Hague and Andrew Tyrie, the Conservative party, the party I wholeheartedly support, the party that talks of compassionate conservatism, is failing to speak out about it when

The general and the particular

‘Gays are cowardly.’ ‘Capricorns are self-confident.’ Both prop- ositions are (pace astrologers) simply untrue or, as the author puts it, spurious. ‘Gays are more likely to get Aids than non-gays.’ There is plenty of evidence for this, although of course not all gays get Aids. So this is what the author calls a non-universal but

Finding a way to beat Catch-21

‘You’re not losing; we don’t care for that type of play here. Just cash in your chips and collect your check.’ Thus the Caesar’s Palace pit boss to your reviewer in the Sixties when in fact, contrary to what the author says, the casinos did already know about, and object to, players counting the cards