Our bid for World Cup Football 2018

2018 World Cup: England is best placed to spread the gospel of football
The key proposition of England 2018 is that we will create a festival of football
Boris Johnson hopes that tonight’s Panorama about Fifa will not prejudice our World Cup bid.
I was watching my old chum Howard Flight on television as he tried to dodge the media by pretending to be a potted azalea, and I thought, Howard, we have all been there. He was hunched up in his doorway, head down, doing something with his trouser leg. “I have absolutely nothing to say,” he muttered out of the corner of his mouth. Continue reading Our bid for World Cup Football 2018

Does Waterboarding Work?

We might become reluctant supporters of “extreme interrogation techniques” if we could really persuade ourselves that half an hour of waterboarding could really save a hundred lives — or indeed a single life. In reality, no such calculus is possible
It is not yet clear whether George W Bush is planning to cross the Atlantic to flog us his memoirs, but if I were his PR people I would urge caution. As book tours go, this one would be an absolute corker. It is not just that every European capital would be brought to a standstill, as book-signings turned into anti-war riots. The real trouble — from the Bush point of view — is that he might never see Texas again.
One moment he might be holding forth to a great perspiring tent at Hay-on-Wye. The next moment, click, some embarrassed member of the Welsh constabulary could walk on stage, place some handcuffs on the former leader of the Free World, and take him away to be charged. Of course, we are told this scenario is unlikely. Dubya is the former leader of a friendly power, with whom this country is determined to have good relations. But that is what torture-authorising Augusto Pinochet thought. And unlike Pinochet, Mr Bush is making no bones about what he has done. Continue reading Does Waterboarding Work?

The BBC Strike

I do not regularly listen to the Today programme I never watch Newsnight the whole lot of them could go on strike between now and Christmas, and I wouldn't consider myself in any way starved of information

I have a terrible confession to make.  I have to own up to a cultural shortcoming that will scandalise many high-minded readers of this paper.  It is even more lamentable than my habit of falling asleep during the theatre or my failure to finish reading War and Peace (I got to page 1,216 and then lost my copy, just as it was hotting up).  The dreadful truth is that I do not regularly listen to the Today programme.

Continue reading The BBC Strike

Keep evenings lighter

    it is all the more baffling that we do not make the obvious move and reverse yesterday’s ludicrous clock-change so as to increase the quantity of joyous sunlight that is available to us all lighter evenings would save lives, save CO2, save money, generate jobs and growth
Just when you think the world can’t get any madder, along comes dear old Hattie Harman and takes the biscuit. At last the bossyboots Paulina has decided to pick on someone her own size — herself!