Submitted by Alexander on 17 November 2013 - 10:17am
Global warming is a unique scientific discovery in history. It was made not by scientists but by a political body, in this instance the United Nations.
Since that organisation isn’t known for dispassionate analysis of painstakingly gathered research data, predictably grand conclusions were reached on scant, controversial and often bogus evidence.
Submitted by Alexander on 14 November 2013 - 7:25am
Jack Straw, one of only three men to have been cabinet minister throughout the Labour years (1997-2010), is a case in point.
By the looks of it, Straw has decided to come clean and admit his own, and his government’s, fallibility.
Submitted by Alexander on 13 November 2013 - 4:45pm
Well, not to the mast and not exactly his colours, but otherwise the idiom works.
On 10 November the Petersburg conceptual artist (whatever that means) Pyotr Pavlensky travelled to Moscow to commemorate the annual Russian Police Day.
Submitted by Alexander on 12 November 2013 - 11:42am
Aristotle referred to democracy as a ‘deviant constitution’. And the election of Bill de Blasio as New York’s mayor ought to give pause to anyone wishing to take issue with this put-down.
On the assumption that cold reason is a better cognitive tool than hot air, let’s consider the facts.
Under Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, the city’s previous two mayors, New York did in two decades something I would have bet couldn’t be done in a thousand years. It became a clean, safe, prosperous place.
Submitted by Alexander on 11 November 2013 - 4:01pm
Since leaving Downing Street in 1997 John ‘Maastricht’ Major has been a popular presence on the after-dinner speech circuit, getting £25,000 a pop. (Many people are willing to pay for Sir John’s dazzling insights: there’s one born every second.)
Yet for those who don’t often listen to after-dinner speeches, Major’s profile has been rather low. Finding nothing to latch on to in his soliloquies, the hacks mercifully left them unreported.
Submitted by Alexander on 9 November 2013 - 2:07pm
The other day I visited Bruges, the Belgian city that inspired a film about British gangsters.
I too found it inspirational, though not in any straightforward way. As a tourist attraction, Bruges has always reminded me of a Hollywood starlet: pretty but dull. It’s also, well, a bit twee. But the good thing about Bruges is that it’s only an hour from Calais, if one drives fast (one always zips through Belgium).
Submitted by Alexander on 8 November 2013 - 1:42pm
The worldwide survey undertaken by the Vatican is bizarre on so many levels, one’s head spins.
The sheer cost of polling 1.2 billion subjects, which is the world’s Catholic population, must be staggering.
If it were conducted by a marketing company, the cost could run into billions. But even if much of the work will be done by local parishes, we’re still talking millions.
Submitted by Alexander on 6 November 2013 - 6:04am
The French are on the warpath against English invaders, in this instance words rather than muscular chaps bandying longbows and flipping two fingers at French knights.
Predictably the counterattack is spearheaded by L’Académie francaise, a body established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, first minister to Louis XIII and the villain in Three Musketeers.
Submitted by Alexander on 5 November 2013 - 11:15am
Yesterday I wrote an admittedly facetious piece pointing out the advantages of the niqab, “…provided of course we can be sure that the person inside the niqab is indeed a demure Muslim woman rather than an escaping male terrorist – something that apparently has happened a few times.”
What do you know – in a startling demonstration of life imitating art, that very day a tagged Somali-British jihadist used the garment to escape the attentions of the police.
Submitted by Alexander on 4 November 2013 - 11:46am
For once in his life Ken Clarke has said something sensible.
Muslim women giving evidence in court shouldn’t be allowed to wear ‘a kind of bag’, Ken explained, because that makes it ‘impossible to have a proper trial’.
You see, jurors often judge testimony on the basis of facial expressions and body language, both of which remain hidden under the veil. Since before he became a rotten politician Ken was a good criminal barrister, he knows what he’s talking about.