Boris at Party Conference

Monday 3 October

* 12.30 – 14.00 The Future of Conservatism The Telegraph Debate with Boris, Charles Moore, George Osborne MP and Alice Thomson. Chaired by Matthew d’Ancona

* 22.00 The Policy Exchange Quiz Journalists v Politicians. Boris and Charles Moore will captain the teams to include Iain Dale and Michael Gove MP.

Tuesday 4 October

* 13.00 Politeia Any Questions? Speakers: Boris and Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

historic grandeur of Wintergardens.jpg

Blogs for discerning shopping

Hurrah for blogs! BBC news

As many blogs were the work of individuals, many believed that they were more honest and reliable because they were not subject to the same marketing pressures as corporate or commercial websites.

Shoppers use blogs for bargains

Many see blogs as trustworthy sources for what they should buy
Consumers are starting to use weblogs, or blogs, as guides to what they should and shouldn’t buy, finds a survey.
More than three-quarters of those questioned in the research said they consulted blogs before going shopping.

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Life in Basra

We have spent 30 months working with the local Iraqi police in Basra. Hundreds of millions of British taxpayers’ money have gone on the rebuilding of the institutions of civic society, of which the police are the key component. We have coached them, drilled them, exhorted them and recruited them. Swarms of MPs and journalists have been flown out to admire the change we are wreaking. And what is the net result?

The war in Iraq was based on a lie – and policing Basra is an illusion

What a shambles. What chaos. And how quickly it all seems to be getting worse. Looking at those pictures of a Basra jail, pulverised by the British Army, it seems hard to believe that it was only six months ago that the very same British Army took me to see a jail in the very same city.

I was there with a couple of Labour MPs, and a leading Welsh Nat, and we inspected the premises in our best Duke-of-Edinburgh way, smiles stitched tightly on, hands behind backs, and we all agreed that it was really rather impressive. I am not suggesting that a Basra jail is exactly a Mark Warner holiday – I remember the terrible fug and the black hole full of 34 juvenile offenders, some of them in for rape and murder, and the way they clutched at my legs and begged for “forgiveness”.

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In Defence of the Male Sex

Male vanity is vital – to win the Ashes and for human survival
Daily Telegraph column

There comes a point in all our lives when we realise that we are hopelessly out of our depth, and it happened to me yesterday as I was trying, for the purposes of television, to interview an Italian politician.

Since we had earlier had some success in striking up conversations in the street I was having a go in Italian. Except this guy wasn’t speaking the sweet, slow Italian, in which every consonant is enunciated. He was speaking in a curious accent and so fast that the words were winging over my head like a flock of supersonic pheasants above a drunken shooter.

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Visit to Uzbekistan

It is always nice to get back and find you haven’t been burgled. The locks were secure, the windows intact, and with a song in my heart I opened my bank statement. It all seemed pretty satisfactory, if a tiny bit emaciated, and for a second or two I let my eye run down the list of outgoings. Funny, I thought. What was this ‘payment to Egg’? I seemed to have been making all sorts of payments to something called Egg. In fact, Egg had received several grand from me. I looked closer, the beginnings of suspicion frosting my heart.

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Freedom of BBC Journalists : WMD : Turkey and EU

Britain still has a global reputation – based largely on the BBC – as the home of free speech

The only sign of life from Labour has been from the maverick former Europe minister, Denis MacShane, who was himself whacked by Blair for being too free in speaking his mind.

Humphrys spoke the truth: that’s why Labour got itself in a spin

You know I sometimes wonder what kind of country we really are. We think of ourselves as a happy jabbering bazaar of free speech. Yet when a notoriously cantankerous broadcaster utters the round unvarnished truth, he receives a rebuke from the top of the BBC that is so sinister, and so plainly the result of internal wrangling, that it can have been inspired only by the Labour Government itself.

What was so “misguided and inappropriate” in the remarks of John Humphrys? There is nothing controversial in saying that Gordon Brown is on the dull side in debate. The Chancellor prides himself on his dullness. If anything, Humphrys was too mild. Most of us who have endured Gord’s Budget speeches would happily pay Humphrys’s exorbitant after-dinner rate not to hear another word from the man, and as for the suggestion that John Prescott is difficult to understand, it is as blindingly uncontroversial as saying that Tony Blair has a simpering grin.

What enraged the Labour Party was nothing to do with Brown or Prescott. The reason they are persecuting Humphrys is that they still cannot face the reality that the BBC was right about Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair, and the sexed-up dossier about Saddam’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

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China as a world economy

Let me assert this as powerfully as I can: we do not need to fear the Chinese. China will not dominate the globe.

Getting our knickers in a twist over China

Quite often on a Wednesday lunchtime I find myself conferring with my friend Rudi the sandwich man about the madness of Ken Livingstone, and his latest monstrous scheme for London. Rudi blames the congestion charge for pushing up his costs. I can’t stand the evil frankfurter buses that crush cyclists to the kerb.

This week, however, the newt-fancier has exceeded our wildest fantasies. Do you know how he has chosen to spend £1 million of our congestion charge cash? That crazy old Trot has bought in 100,000 doses of anti chicken flu medication, to be distributed, presumably, so that his key workers can continue to clamp cars and impose their poxy charges while the rest of us are expiring during the approaching epidemic.

It is a ludicrous waste of taxpayers’ money, and before you dismiss it as another case of Red Ken-ery, you should know that the madness has infected the Department of Health. They have drawn up a list of “elite” figures, mainly government ministers and BBC high-ups, who would be required to keep the country going in the event of the chicken plague, and who must therefore receive free doses of the wonderdrug.

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