The main stories…
A Games to remember
What the editorials said
“What a great Games!” said The Daily Telegraph. The host city’s performance has been uneven – with empty seats, pools The Rio 2016 Olympic Games ended with that turned green, and filthy water in a carnival-inspired closing ceremony on Guanabara Bay, where the sailing took Sunday night, bringing to a close 16 days place. “But Team GB has truly stolen the of competition, featuring 11,303 athletes show.” Just 20 years ago, at the Atlanta from 206 nations, along with a refugee Olympics, Britain won a solitary gold team. A total of 306 gold medals were medal, in rowing. “With the help of the doled out in a Games that cost the host Lottery, combined with the added impetus nation £8.8bn. Team GB finished second in of hosting the 2012 Games in London, it the medal table, below the US and above has been possible to identify and train top China, with 27 golds and 67 medals in all athletes in sports across the board.” – bettering its haul of 65 at London 2012. Britain won golds in 15 disciplines, a The Brownlee brothers: silver and gold wider spread than any other country. In the later stages of the Games, Nick Skelton won a showjumping gold at the age of 58, while brothers Alistair and British athletes in Rio have covered themselves in glory, said Jonny Brownlee took the gold and silver in the triathlon. The The Observer. But Team GB’s “no compromise” model also women’s hockey team beat the favourites Netherlands in a “raises difficult questions”. The £347m in Lottery and public penalty shoot-out in the final, watched by some nine million money spent since 2012 has been targeted ruthlessly. Sports viewers on the BBC. Nicola Adams became the first woman to that were unlikely to reap a medal were denied funding – even successfully defend an Olympic boxing gold, while Jade if, like basketball and football, they are popular at grass-roots “Headhunter” Jones also retained her title in taekwondo. level among the country’s less well-off and less healthy. By Last Saturday, Mo Farah won the 5,000m, completing a contrast, sports such as cycling and rowing, favoured by the “double-double” of 5,000m and 10,000m titles in consecutive better-off, have received massive investment. Meanwhile, Olympics. Mark England, Team GB’s chef de mission, said: across the country, public sports facilities are “decaying”. “I have no doubt this is our greatest ever Games.” We “must nurture the shoots as well as the tallest blades”.
The tragedy of Aleppo Harrowing pictures of a dazed and bloodcovered Syrian boy rescued from his bombed home in Aleppo last week provoked international outrage. Video footage showed five-year-old Omran Daqneesh in the back of an ambulance just minutes after he had been pulled from the rubble of an apartment building destroyed by an air strike on the rebel-held east of the city. Released by opposition activists, the pictures were immediately shared on social media across the world. Five other members of Omran’s family were pulled out alive, but his ten-yearold brother later died in hospital.
What the editorials said Over the last five years “tens of thousands” of civilians have been killed in Syria’s civil war, said The Times. Yet it has taken the picture of one small, traumatised boy to “prick the world’s conscience”. His “shocked face” is a reproach to the West for letting “this madness continue”. But international condemnation has little effect on the Assad regime, said The Guardian. Last summer a similar storm of protest greeted pictures of a three-year-old Syrian boy, found drowned on a Turkish beach after a refugee boat capsized. Yet a year later the combatants were still locked in a war being “fought with callous disregard for humanitarian conventions”. The conflict is actually intensifying, said The Wall Street Journal. Russian and Syrian aircraft have stepped up their attacks in Aleppo in direct response to recent rebel gains. But even with the Russian air cover, Syria’s “demoralised” army – Assad can now deploy only 20,000 “battle-ready troops” – seems incapable of winning an outright victory in the city. The “bloody stalemate” looks set to continue.
Omran: a reproach to the West
The attack was widely blamed on Russian warplanes supporting the army of President Assad, which is attempting to encircle the city. To deflect international criticism, Moscow agreed to support a 48-hour truce to allow humanitarian relief into the east of the city, which has been entirely cut off from aid since last month.
It wasn’t all bad A San Francisco-based tech tycoon is pouring millions into the small north Devon village where he spent his childhood holidays. British-born Bebo founder Michael Birch, 46, returned to Woolsery – where members of his family have lived since the 1700s – and was shocked to find that its pub, hotel and chippy had all closed down. So rather than see the village die, he set about buying and restoring them. Residents have described his support as like “winning the lottery”.
Water voles have returned to a lake in the Yorkshire Dales for the first time in half a century. Around 100 voles were reintroduced last week to Malham Tarn, England’s highest freshwater lake. The creatures were once found in nearly every waterway in Britain, but are now the country’s fastest-declining mammal – facing a range of threats, including the American mink, which preys voraciously on them. Reintroduction schemes and efforts to control minks are yielding dividends, however: voles are now repopulating parts of Cornwall and the South Downs.
A gang of muggers chose the wrong target when they set upon 77-year-old Winifred Peel. The trio surrounded Mrs Peel at an ATM, near her home on the Wirral, shoved her aside, and pressed the button to get £200 from her account. Mrs Peel, who goes to the gym four times a week, was shaken, but wasn’t giving up without a fight. She managed to grab one of the thieves by the collar, then rammed his head against the machine several times. The muggers ran off, but were soon caught – and all three have now been jailed.
COVER CARTOON: HOWARD MCWILLIAM THE WEEK 27 August 2016
…and how they were covered
What the commentators said
“Imagine a country that isn’t very successful, but wants to boost its image in the world,” said Peter Hitchens in The Mail on Sunday. Its economy is “rocky”, its cities “grubby”, its schools poor. So this country spends huge amounts of money on winning medals, choosing sports where the competition is weak. “The country I am thinking of is East Germany.” But doesn’t it apply equally to Britain today? “We used to ridicule the communists for this,” said Simon Jenkins in The Guardian. Now we’ve joined them. They call it “financial doping”. It’s no surprise that it works. “Who needs to cheat with drugs when medals go to money?”
Tokyo 2020 will be more difficult for Team GB, said The Daily Telegraph. Japan will invest heavily in its athletes, and the Chinese team, after a disappointing showing in Rio, will be keen to make a strong statement on its own doorstep. The Australians, likewise disappointing in Brazil, “won’t lie down”. And – assuming that Russia can allay the concerns of the Olympic authorities over doping – there will be a full Russian delegation as well.
Come, come, said Martin Kettle in The Guardian. “The truth is that the Olympics is good national value.” The £350m that we have put into the Olympic effort since 2012 is “a tiny proportion of total public spending over the same period”. And it creates all sorts of benefits: inspiring people to take part in sports; making people from all sorts of backgrounds feel a part of Britain; creating a general “feel-good factor”. All the big economic powers invest in the Olympics, said Dominic Sandbrook in the Daily Mail: just look at the medal tables. Shouldn’t it be a source of pride that we do it well? And the old sneer, that we are only any good at specialised “sitting-down sports” such as rowing, cycling and sailing, is no longer true, said Jim White in The Daily Telegraph. Hockey, swimming, diving, running, triathlon, boxing, gymnastics, tennis, golf and taekwondo are not exactly “sedentary”. For Brazil, though, the games were less of a success, said Jonathan Watts in The Observer. In the midst of an economic crisis, it has spent billions on stadiums though it “can barely afford wages for doctors and teachers”; while a big security presence in the Olympic areas led to chaos in the favelas. Yet the Games will certainly leave a positive legacy, said Beatriz Garcia on The Conversation. Tourism has boomed. The run-down areas chosen as venues for the Games have been rehabilitated. And thanks in large part to the Olympic infrastructure effort, 63% of the population now have access to public transport, up from 18% seven years ago.
The Paralympic Games will take place in Rio next month, said BBC News online. However, they face major budget cuts, as the organising committee has not raised enough money in ticket sales to fund them (see page 6).
What the commentators said
The picture of Omran Daqneesh has “captivated the world”, said Robin Wright in The New Yorker. But he is just one of a generation of “war-ravaged” young Syrians facing the worst conditions in the world. More than a third of all casualties in Aleppo are now children. Only a “trickle of food” is reaching the city, there is no safe drinking water, and the injured are in constant danger: last month alone saw 42 air strikes on medical facilities, according to a group of Aleppo doctors who appealed to the White House for US intervention. What’s more, only 35 doctors remain for a population of 300,000 in the rebel-held district, said Zaher Sahloul, a Syrian-American doctor, in The Guardian. On my own visits, I have had to operate in hospitals without anaesthetics and under bombardment. Omran’s plight should remind the world of “a tragedy that has been unfolding for years”.
The UN says it is prepared to start delivering aid to Aleppo this week, but it first wants a commitment from all the warring parties – not only Russia – that they will respect the truce. It is also calling for a regular, weekly two-day halt in the fighting.
It’s high time for a “robust” intervention from the US, said Thanassis Cambanis in Foreign Policy. Under the “detached” leadership of President Obama, America “has let deadline after deadline lapse without consequence”, emboldening Assad and his Russian allies. Let’s now step up our training of “vetted” rebel groups, provide them with anti-aircraft weapons and deploy US special forces. But who precisely are our allies, asked Jonathan Spyer in The Spectator. The idea of a potent “moderate” rebel force is a “myth”. Today the Syrian rebellion is run by Islamist forces, in particular the so-called “Army of Conquest” coalition, which has links to al-Qa’eda. To be sure, an Assad victory would be a “disaster” leading to the region’s domination by an anti-West Shia coalition led by Iran. But a rebel victory would turn Syria into a “Sunni Islamist dictatorship”. The best answer may be to leave Assad in control of some “enclaves” while helping Kurdish-led forces, our strongest allies, to crush Isis. That would at least recognise the new reality: that, as a “unitary state”, Syria “no longer exists”.
According to The Times, Moscow is pressing Turkey for permission to operate from the key Incirlik air base, already used by Nato and home to a stock of US nuclear warheads. Ankara’s agreement would be seen in Washington as evidence of an alarming alliance between Moscow and a vital member of Nato.
Blackmail or child abuse – which is more harmful? Which merits more police attention? You might think these precisely the sorts of question that call for nuanced human judgement, the answers varying according to the context. You’d be wrong. As The Times reports this week, senior police officers now seem eager to outsource such judgements to a “menu of harm” index developed by Government statisticians and Cambridge University academics. Taking a range of factors into account – the number of offenders in jail for a given crime, for example – the index vouchsafes that blackmail is actually more serious than child abuse, robbery of personal property than child abduction. This contracting-out of moral judgement to expertise is not a lone example: we do it all the time. Look how we defer to economists. Their proper role is to explain economic outcomes (which they’re good at) and, to a lesser extent, to predict them (which they’re pretty bad at). What they’ve no business telling us, however, is what those outcomes should be and how we must act. (The assumption that economic expansion is the overriding purpose of social organisation is itself a moral judgement.) Yet such is the urge to divest ourselves of moral responsibility, we invite them to do so. In his new book, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Yuval Noah Harari speaks of our ever growing anxiety about losing control of the power to decide our fate, as authority shifts from humans and politics to algorithms and indices. But we’re not losing control. We’re ceding it. Jeremy O’Grady Subscriptions: 0844 844 0086; overseas +44(0)1795 592921; email@example.com The Week is licensed to The Week Limited by Dennis Publishing Limited. The Week is a registered trade mark of Felix Dennis.
Editor-in-chief: Jeremy O’Grady Editor: Caroline Law Deputy editors: Harry Nicolle, Theo Tait Consultant editor: Jemima Lewis Assistant editor: Daniel Cohen City editor: Jane Lewis Contributing editors: Charity Crewe, Thomas Hodgkinson, Simon Wilson, Rob McLuhan, William Underhill, Digby Warde-Aldam Editorial staff: Alanna O’Connell, Nell Lewis, Tigger Ridgwell Picture editor: Xandie Nutting Art director: Nathalie Fowler Sub editor: Kari Wilkin Production editor: Michael Haydock Founder and editorial director: Jolyon Connell Production Managers: Ebony Besagni, Lawrence Brookes Newstrade Director: David Barker Direct Marketing Director: Abi Spooner Inserts: Abdul Ahad Classified: Emma Greenwood, Henry Haselock, Henry Pickford Account Directors: Scott Hayter, John Hipkiss, Victoria Ryan, Jocelyn Sital-Singh UK Ad Director: Caroline Fenner Head of Investment for Dennis: Marc Young Executive Director – Head of Advertising: David Weeks Chief Executive, The Week: Kerin O’Connor COO: Brett Reynolds Chief executive: James Tye Dennis Publishing founder: Felix Dennis THE WEEK Ltd, a subsidiary of Dennis Publishing Ltd, 30 Cleveland St, London W1T 4JD. Tel: 020-7907 6000. Editorial: The Week Ltd, 2nd Floor, 32 Queensway, London W2 3RX. Tel: 020-7907 6180. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
27 August 2016 THE WEEK
4 NEWS Controversy of the week
Cutting the ﬂab “Why are you looking so grumpy?” That’s what my kids asked me when I got home last Wednesday night, said Jamie Oliver in The Times. I had to explain to them I was angry because “the Prime Minister had let British children down”. Last week Theresa May ﬂunked her ﬁrst big test as PM. She had a golden opportunity to show she was serious about tackling the scourge of obesity, by fulﬁlling the promise that Health Secretary A third of British children are overweight Jeremy Hunt made last year to take “draconian” action to force food companies to change their ways. But when the Government unveiled its long-awaited obesity strategy, it proved utterly feeble. “Everything about it stinks of ‘we don’t care’.” It certainly looks as if May has put the interests of business before those of the nation’s children, said George Eaton in the New Statesman. The key measures advanced by health campaigners – curbs on advertising (notably the use of cartoon characters to promote cereals and snacks) and on supermarkets offering promotional deals on junk foods – have been ditched. And although the industry is being asked to reduce the sugar content in food that children enjoy by 20% by 2020, said Sarah Boseley in The Guardian, it’s only a voluntary process, which was started under Cameron’s government – and which has been largely ineffectual. The key measure is the sugar tax, already announced by George Osborne in March: yet this only applies to soft drinks (it will put 8p on a can of Coke) and won’t come in for two years. Nor is any action being taken on fat – as much a cause of obesity as sugar. Instead, schools and parents will be asked to push children to do an hour of exercise a day. And that’s exactly where responsibility should lie, said Emma Gill in the Manchester Evening News. “How long are we going to blame the Government and advertisers for a problem that ultimately lies with us parents?” It’s we who decide what our children put in their mouths. It may not always be fun being “the fruit-and-veg pusher, but it’s part and parcel of being a parent”. No, said Polly Toynbee in The Guardian: what we refuse to admit is that “fat is a class issue”. A third of British children are deemed to be overweight, but “most of the seriously obese are poor”. And that’s hardly surprising: when you have no prospects, are excluded from the ﬁner things society has to offer, and are regarded as bottom of the pecking order, small pleasures occupy a key place in your life. “It is inequality and disrespect that make people fat.” That’s why Government has a central role to play. And under the previous Labour government it played it rather well, said The Observer. It devolved responsibility for nutrition to an independent Food Standards Agency which was “insulated from heavy industry lobbying”. Hence it was able to broker industry-wide deals – to reduce salt content in food, for example – that were copied around the world. But to its shame, the coalition government in 2010 restored nutrition policy to the Department of Health, so exposing it once again to the powerful food and drinks lobby. And May’s “craven” U-turn is the result.
Spirit of the age Burial space in Manhattan is at such a premium that one church is charging $7m for the privilege. The Basilica of St Patrick’s Old Cathedral is offering for sale a crypt that can accommodate six people. The church, one of New York City’s oldest, is billing the crypt as “a premier place of eternal rest”. Of the 11 remaining cemeteries in Manhattan, just one, New York Marble Cemetery, still sells plots: last year, it put two on the market for $350,000 each. As more and more councils introduce parking charges, thefts of blue badges are skyrocketing. More than 2,000 of the badges – which enable disabled drivers to park for free, and on some single and double yellow lines – were recorded stolen last year, triple the total stolen in 2013.
THE WEEK 27 August 2016
Good week for:
Emigration, with reports that 10,647 UK passport holders enquired about the possibility of moving to New Zealand in the seven weeks after the Brexit vote, more than double the number in the same period last year. Nearly 1,000 of them registered with Immigration New Zealand on 24 June – the day the result was announced. Noel Edmonds, who was tipped to become Britain’s highestpaid daytime TV presenter. Although Channel 4 is axing his bestknown game show, Deal or No Deal, Edmonds is due to present several new shows for the station next year, including one called Sell or Swap, and another called Cheap Cheap Cheap. These are expected to earn him £10m a year. Ramen noodles, which were reported to have overtaken tobacco as the most valuable commodity in US prisons. Researchers say the terrible quality of the food in American jails probably explains the popularity of the instant noodles.
Bad week for:
Working mothers, who face a growing gender pay gap, new research has found. Young childless women working full-time typically earn 10-15% less than male peers; but among women with children, the gap rises to more than 33% (see page 44). Waste management, with news that councils had to divert 338,000 tons of potentially recyclable rubbish to landfill last year, because it was contaminated. In some areas, 15% of waste sorted for recycling has to be rejected, often because householders haven’t washed out containers properly.
Boring but important Help to Buy “sham”
The Government’s Help to Buy Isa has been criticised as a “sham”, following revelations that it can’t be used to fund the exchange deposit on a home. Since the scheme’s launch last year, more than 500,000 aspiring first-time buyers have opened the accounts, which pay a 25% “bonus” of up to £3,000, supposedly towards a deposit. However, it emerged last week that the bonus is only paid after the exchange of contracts, as the sale nears completion; the Treasury says this is intended to ensure recipients use it to buy a house. Labour called the scheme “misleading”, while experts warned that savers might be able to take legal action.
Ofsted chair resigns
The chair of Ofsted has resigned over his controversial comments about the Isle of Wight. At a conference last month, former City businessman David Hoare described parts of the island – where he has a home – as a “ghetto” where “there has been inbreeding”, blighted by “a mass of crime, drug problems, and huge unemployment”. Following an outcry, Hoare apologised twice, but this week he quit with immediate effect.
Poll watch 84% of people think EU migrants living in Britain should be allowed to remain after Brexit, according to an ICM poll for The Observer. 62% want the number of low-skilled migrants cut. However, just 12% want to cut the number of highly skilled immigrants; 46% want it to increase. Meanwhile, an Ipsos Mori poll found that people are less gloomy about the economy than they were immediately after the EU referendum. 43% expect the economy to worsen over the next year (down from 57% last month), while 28% think it will improve. 38% of people think more grammar schools should be created. 23% want all existing grammar schools to be scrapped. 67% would send their children to one. YouGov/TES
Europe at a glance The Hague, Netherlands Jihadi repents: A Malian jihadi has become the ﬁrst person to be convicted of war crimes for destroying cultural artefacts. A former member of the Ansar Dine group, Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi entered a guilty plea at the International Criminal Court on Monday. He admitted to ordering the destruction of nine shrines and a mosque in the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu after it was captured by Islamists in 2012, and destroying several artefacts himself, using iron bars and a pickaxe. In court, al-Mahdi (pictured) begged the Malian people for forgiveness, described the jihadis’ actions as “evil”, and urged other Muslims not to “get involved in the kind of acts I got involved in”.
Berlin Partial burka ban: Germany’s federal interior minister has proposed a partial ban on the wearing of the burka and other full-face veils, saying that such coverings “have no place in our society”. Thomas de Maizière said he planned to introduce legislation to have the veils banned in places where “it is necessary for our society’s coexistence”, including government ofﬁces, courts, schools and universities. Ofﬁcials had been considering a complete ban on full-face veils (although these are a rare sight in Germany) but were reportedly warned that this would amount to an unconstitutional encroachment on religious freedom. De Maizière is a member of Chancellor Merkel’s CDU, and one of her close conﬁdants. Merkel herself recently underlined her objections to the burka and other veils, when she told an interviewer that “a fully veiled woman has almost no chance of integrating successfully in German society”.
Berlin Germans told to stockpile food: The German government is set to advise its citizens to stockpile food and water in case of a national emergency, for the ﬁrst time since the end of the Cold War, according to a leaked report. The Concept for Civil Defence, which was leaked to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper, states that “an attack on German territory, requiring conventional defence of the nation, is unlikely” but cannot be ruled out. Under the plans, which were due to go before ministers this week, citizens would be advised to store enough food to last ten days, and ﬁve days’ worth of drinking water, as well as fuel, candles, torches, matches and cash. Opposition MPs have dismissed the proposed advice as “scaremongering”.
Ventotene, Italy Show of unity: The leaders of Germany, Italy and France – the EU’s three largest countries by population once Britain leaves – met for a summit this week to discuss the union’s post-Brexit future. The meeting was long on symbolism: Merkel, Renzi and Hollande (pictured) met on the small island of Ventotene, where they visited the grave of Altiero Spinelli, an anti-fascist intellectual considered a progenitor of European unity. However, it was short on substance, with no concrete policy proposals. The talks were aimed at agreeing a common position before a summit of all EU countries, apart from the UK, in Slovakia next month.
Budapest Pig’s head comment: A Hungarian MEP has suggested that pigs’ heads should be strung up along Hungary’s border fence to deter migrants. György Schöpﬂin, a member of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s right-wing Fidesz party, made the comment on Twitter, after Andrew Stroehlein of Human Rights Watch criticised border guards for using scarecrows made from sugar beet to try to put off refugees. “Refugees are ﬂeeing war and torture, Hungary. Your root vegetable heads will not deter them,” Stroehlein had written. The MEP replied: “Might do so. Human images are haram. But agree, pig’s head would deter more effectively.” Campaigners say his comment reﬂects a deep strain of xenophobia within the Fidesz government. According to Human Rights Watch, migrants at Hungary’s border with Serbia have been attacked by dogs, and beaten with batons and ﬁsts.
Paris Race hots up: President Hollande’s former economy minister, Arnaud Montebourg, has announced that he plans to stand for his party’s presidential nomination. The third – and most high-proﬁle – of Hollande’s former ministers to announce his candidacy, Montebourg accused the president of betraying his Socialist Party’s left-wing ideals, and described his presidential term as indefensible. Hollande himself has not yet conﬁrmed that he will stand in the primaries, in January, but he is expected to do so, and Montebourg’s declaration is a further blow to his already slim hopes of re-election. Hollande’s current economy minister, the 38-year-old pro-business centrist Emmanuel Macron, is also expected to enter the race. Separately, Nicolas Sarkozy formally launched his campaign to win the centreright’s presidential nomination. Amatrice, Italy Devastating earthquake: A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck central Italy in the early hours of Wednesday morning, killing at least 60 people. Hundreds have been injured and thousands may have been left homeless. The village of Pescara del Tronto, in Le Marche, was levelled to the ground, as was much of the small town of Amatrice, in Lazio, about 80 miles northeast of Rome. “The town isn’t here anymore,” said its mayor, Sergio Pirozzi. Many of the dead are believed to have been asleep when their houses collapsed around them. The tremor – which was followed by several aftershocks bigger than magnitude 5.0 – shook Lazio, Umbria and Le Marche, and was felt in Rome. The death toll was expected to rise this week as rescuers reached remote hamlets in the area. As daylight dawned on Wednesday, villagers were using shovels and even their bare hands to try to dig out their neighbours. Catch up with daily news at www.theweek.co.uk
27 August 2016 THE WEEK
The world at a glance
Shishmaref, Alaska Climate refugees: The residents of a village on a tiny low-lying island off the coast of Alaska have voted to abandon their homes to the rising seas, and relocate en masse to the mainland. Shishmaref (population 580) lies on a slither of land north of the Bering Strait which has been losing 10ft a year to coastal erosion for several years. A number of houses have already crumbled into the sea, and the Inupiat Eskimo villagers have been warned that unless more is done to protect the island, their whole settlement could be under water by the middle of the century. The cost of the necessary sea defences has been put at $110m; relocating the village could cost $180m. Dozens of coastal villages in the US are similarly threatened: in February, the US government granted $48m for the relocation of 60 people from Isle de Jean Charles, in Louisiana, which is disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico. Charlotte, North Carolina Trump’s non-apology: Donald Trump surprised the US last week by striking a more emollient tone, and ﬁnally apologising – or appearing to apologise – for some of the caustic and offensive comments he has made on the campaign trail. “Sometimes in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing,” the Republican presidential candidate told a rally in Charlotte. “And believe it or not I regret it. And I do regret it – particularly where it may have caused personal pain.” It was not entirely clear, though, whether Trump really meant to apologise, or to whom – of the many people he has insulted – he was referring. When asked whether he was apologising to the people he has hurt, he replied: “Well they have to take it as they see it.” (See page 15.)
New York Swimmer under ﬁre: The gold medalwinning swimmer Ryan Lochte has lost lucrative sponsorship deals with Speedo, Ralph Lauren and others as a result of his drunken escapade at the Olympics, and subsequent lies to the police. Lochte and three teammates vandalised a toilet door at a petrol station after a night out in Rio de Janeiro, and were confronted by security guards. However, he later told his mother he’d been robbed at gunpoint by men dressed as police. She reported this to the press, and when he was questioned about it, he stuck to his story – only for it to unravel in the face of CCTV evidence. This week, the New York Post said he represented “everything the world hates about Americans”.
San Bernardino, California Thousands ﬂee wildﬁres: A state of emergency was declared in California last week as 2,700 ﬁreﬁghters – plus ten air tankers and 17 helicopters – struggled to contain a wildﬁre that has destroyed around 300 buildings over a 37,000-acre area. More than 82,000 residents were ordered to evacuate their homes after the ﬁre broke out near the Blue Cut hiking trail in San Bernardino county, 70 miles east of Los Angeles. In a rare phenomenon known as “ﬁrenadoes”, ﬂames were sucked up by whirlwinds, causing ash to rain down across the area. Years of drought and a scorching summer have fuelled a reported 4,084 ﬁres in California this year, up from 3,790 in the same period in 2015. Mexico City Police “executions”: An investigation by the Mexican human rights watchdog into a notorious police raid, in which 42 alleged members of a drugs cartel were killed, has concluded that half of the dead were executed by ofﬁcers who then conspired to cover up the extrajudicial killings. The police, whose raid was backed up by a Black Hawk attack helicopter, said that the suspects had been killed in a ﬁreﬁght. However, the fact that only one ofﬁcer died raised suspicions. The report concludes that ﬁve suspects were killed in the initial assault on the ranch in Michoacán state, but that 22 people were then executed; the remaining 15 died in unclear circumstances. Many are believed to have been asleep on a verandah, and to have been shot as they ﬂed across ﬁelds. Caracas Coup warning: Venezuela’s embattled socialist president, Nicolás Maduro, has warned his opponents that if they attempt to overthrow him, he will respond with a force that will make President Erdogan’s crackdown on presumed coup plotters in Turkey look like child’s play. “Did you see what happened in Turkey?” Maduro (pictured) asked during a televised event last week. “Erdogan will seem like a nursing baby compared to what the Bolivarian revolution will do if the right wing steps over the line with a coup.” THE WEEK 27 August 2016
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Paralympics in crisis: The Paralympic Games are to be dramatically scaled down owing to a funding crisis and disappointing ticket sales. With just a few weeks before the Games kick off, on 7 September – the International Paralympic Committee’s president, Sir Philip Craven, announced earlier this month that only 12% of tickets had been sold, and the Games would be subject to large-scale cuts to venues, stafﬁng and transport. “Never before in the 56-year history of the Paralympic Games have we faced circumstances like this,” he said. The Brazilian organising committee was two weeks late in paying £7m in travel grants, meaning that ten countries may now struggle to get any competitors to Rio at all.
The world at a glance Cairo Lose weight or face sack: Egypt’s state TV has suspended eight female presenters for being overweight, and told them to slim down within a month, or face the sack. The ultimatum – reportedly issued by the station’s female boss, Safaa Hegazy – has outraged the women affected, and been condemned by women’s rights groups. Khadija Khattab (pictured), who has worked for the channel for 20 years and presents a current affairs show, defended her appearance as that of a “common, natural Egyptian woman”.
Gaziantep, Turkey Wedding bombed: At least 54 people were killed and scores more injured when a suicide bomber attacked a Kurdish wedding party in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, close to the Syrian border, last Saturday. Around half of the dead are believed to have been under the age of 14. Although President Erdogan initially said the bomber was a child, aged 12 to 14, working on the orders of Islamic State, ofﬁcials later backtracked, saying they were still conducting DNA tests to establish his or her identity. If Isis was behind the atrocity, it may have been in retaliation for offensives by Kurdish militias and pro-Ankara Syrian opposition forces against Isis in Syria. Hundreds of rebel ﬁghters are reportedly in southern Turkey, preparing for an offensive on the Isis-held Syrian town of Jarablus.
Pyongyang Anger at defector: North Korea has denounced its former deputy ambassador to the UK, who defected to South Korea last week, as “human scum who lacks even an elementary level of loyalty and even tiny bits of conscience and morality that are required for human beings”. The Korean Central News Agency, the ofﬁcial mouthpiece of the Pyongyang government, said that Thae Yong Ho – who had been living with his family at the North Korean embassy in Ealing, west London – was a criminal who had defected in order to escape charges of misusing government funds, selling state secrets and child rape. The South Korean government said Thae was the highest-ranking diplomat to have defected from the North to the South, and that he had been motivated by his disgust for Kim Jong Un’s regime.
Manila 1,800 killed in seven weeks: Almost 1,800 people suspected of being either drug dealers or users have been shot dead by police (712) or murdered by vigilantes (1,067) in the seven weeks since Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the Philippines’ president on 30 June. The ﬁgures were cited by the country’s top police ofﬁcer at a senate hearing into extra-judicial killings. Vastly higher than previous estimates, they exclude those killed between Duterte’s election on 9 May and his swearing-in. Juba Leader ﬂees: South Sudan’s opposition leader and former vice-president Riek Machar has ﬂed the country following a resurgence in violent civil disorder. Fighting broke out in the capital Juba in July, between Machar’s bodyguards and President Kiir’s government troops. Machar subsequently claimed that he had left the city following a botched assassination attempt. According to his spokesman, Machar escaped into the bush, and made his way to DR Congo. He is now said to be in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, preparing to undergo medical treatment. Two weeks ago, the UN Security Council voted to send 4,000 more peacekeepers to Juba. However, President Kiir has so far refused to accept them.
Kinshasa Yellow fever kills hundreds: The World Health Organisation is spearheading an urgent vaccination campaign, centred on Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, aimed at halting the worst outbreak of yellow fever in the region for 30 years. The epidemic began in Angola late last year and has since spread into DR Congo and claimed at least 500 lives; related cases have also been seen in Kenya and China (to which Angola has close economic ties). Yellow fever, which is passed on by mosquitoes, has no known cure, and the current strain has a fatality rate of around 20%. The vaccine is effective, but ofﬁcials are struggling to get hold of it in sufﬁcient quantities: each batch takes up to six months to make, and only four companies produce it. Last month the WHO said it was nine million doses short.
Riyadh Bin Laden’s boy: Osama bin Laden’s favourite son has called on Saudi citizens to join al-Qa’eda, in order to overthrow the kingdom’s rulers and drive US inﬂuence out of the Arabian peninsula. In an audio message posted online, Hamza bin Laden (pictured as a young boy) – who is believed to be about 24 and whose whereabouts are unknown – urged Saudi youths to join al-Qa’eda in Yemen to “gain the necessary experience” to ﬁght the House of Saud. It was Hamza’s second propaganda message in weeks, and has increased speculation that he aims to take over the leadership of the terror network. 27 August 2016 THE WEEK
8 NEWS Why Farage can’t forgive Nigel Farage is thoroughly enjoying his retirement from politics. “The pressure is off, and it is wonderful,” he told James Lyons in The Sunday Times. Having stepped down as leader of UKIP after the Brexit vote, he hopes to forge a new career as a talk radio host, here and in the US. “The English accent is really quite an advantage there, it really is. I mean, James Corden and what he is doing out there – it is amazing.” Farage feels only sympathy towards his main Brexit opponent, David Cameron. “I thought to myself that morning when he walked out that the only thing I’m going to say is something nice, because on a human level I always feel a bit sorry for him.” The same is not true of George Osborne – “that departing weasel” – whose warnings of economic apocalypse Farage cannot forgive. “I’d have dragged him out by the scruff of his neck. I thought his behaviour was despicable. Pasty-faced bastard. I’m pleased to see the back of him. I hope he never, ever appears in public again.” Working for Goebbels Brunhilde Pomsel is 105, and the last surviving member of the Nazis’ inner circle. As Joseph Goebbels’s secretary, she was at the heart of his propaganda machine – yet she insists she had no idea about Nazi atrocities, including “the matter of the Jews”. “I know no one ever believes us nowadays – everyone thinks we knew everything,” she told Kate Connolly in the The Guardian. “We knew nothing – it was all kept well secret.” Goebbels, she says, always had a “gentlemanly countenance”. He wore “suits of the best cloth, and always had a light tan. He had wellgroomed hands – he probably had a manicure every day. There was really nothing to criticise about him.” She fondly recalls
People watching him walking into the ofﬁce: “He’d trip up the steps like a little duke, through his library into his beautiful ofﬁce.” Only once did she glimpse something frightening behind the façade: when she saw him on stage in 1943, calling on the German people to wage “total war”. “No actor could have been any better at the transformation from a civilised, serious person into a ranting, rowdy man. In the ofﬁce he had a kind of noble elegance, and then to see him there like a raging midget – you just can’t imagine a greater contrast.” Still, she insists her own conscience is clear. “Those people nowadays who say they would have stood up against the Nazis – I believe they are sincere in meaning that, but believe me, most of them wouldn’t have. The idealism of youth might easily have led to you having your neck broken.” Trump’s doppelgänger Ann Coulter has found her perfect man. The right-wing polemicist (pictured) has been arguing for years that the US needs to crack down on immigration, build a wall to keep Mexicans out, and stop pandering to politically correct liberals. And now Donald Trump is promising to turn her vision into reality. “I’ve been doing nothing but watching Trump on TV,” she told Will Pavia in The Times. “I wish there was a Trump channel where you could just watch him 24 hours a day. I’d never sleep. He’s like the alpha male doppelgänger of me.” She approves of all his ideas – even his threat not to honour America’s commitments to Nato. “Who cares?” she shrugs. “Maybe you guys are losing sleep over what happens to Ukraine, but I promise you out-of-work steel workers could not give two f***s.” She is conﬁdent, too, that he will build the wall she dreams of. “Absolutely. A big, beautiful wall with big, gold Ts on it.”
You have to be tough to survive 60 years in Hollywood – but Ellen Burstyn has always had grit. The 83-year-old actress grew up in Depression-era Detroit with a single mother who was physically violent. “If it were now, I would have gone to a police station, but there were no laws then,” she told Tom Shone in The Daily Telegraph. “There was no such thing as child abuse. Parents owned their children. They could do whatever they wanted. All my life I have asked myself the question: who would I be if I had grown up in a loving home? I don’t know if I would be placid and satisﬁed; a happy, jolly, sedentary person. Did hardship stimulate me? I wanted out of there, and I got out on the day I was legally able to.” Burstyn jumped on a bus to New York, taking just two suitcases and $3, and built a career as an acclaimed character actress. She remains fascinated by the idea of being someone else – so much so that she once spent three days sleeping rough in New York, to see how it felt. “That was a big experience. I went up to a restaurant with outside tables where there were two women eating. I said: ‘Excuse me but I have to take a subway and I have no money, can you spare a dollar?’ One of them reached into her pocket and gave me a dollar. As I walked away I felt really proud that I had gotten that. I was like: ‘Hey, I begged! I got it!’ Yet I felt tears streaming down my face. Why was I crying? It was because she hadn’t looked at me.”
A university education “The characteristic gift of the university is the gift of an interval. Here is an opportunity for you to put aside the hot allegiances of youth without the necessity of at once acquiring new loyalties to take their place. Here is a break in the tyrannical course of irreparable events; a period in which to look around upon the world and upon oneself without the sense of an enemy at one’s back or the insistent pressure to make up one’s mind; a moment in which to taste the mystery without the necessity of seeking a solution. And all this, not in an intellectual vacuum, but surrounded by all the inherited learning and literature and experience of our civilisation. Michael Oakeshott, quoted in The Observer
Farewell Arthur Hiller, director of Love Story, died 17 August, aged 92. Donald Henderson, epidemiologist, died 19 August, aged 87. Marianne Ihlen, Leonard Cohen’s lover and muse, died 29 July, aged 81. Lord Rix, actor and manager of West End farces, who campaigned for people with learning difﬁculties, died 20 August, aged 92.
Desert Island Discs returns on 25 September
THE WEEK 27 August 2016
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Putin’s military build-up
The Kremlin is modernising its military and threatening its neighbours. Is a confrontation looming? Why the cause for concern? Could Russia rival the US? In recent years, Russia’s military has There’s no chance of that. Even the asserted itself on the world stage in a way Pentagon’s top brass – who are using not seen since the Cold War. In early Putin’s build-up to argue for greater 2014, Russian special forces annexed the funding – don’t believe American Crimean peninsular in Ukraine, while military supremacy is in jeopardy. Last large numbers of well-equipped troops year, the US spent nearly ten times more were sent into the east of the country to on defence (about $600bn) than Russia help pro-Russian separatists (although ($66.4bn). It has 19 aircraft carriers to Moscow ofﬁcially denies this). Since Russia’s one, and 13,500 aircraft to September 2015, Russia has fought a Russia’s 3,500. A series of treaties over brutal air campaign in Syria, in support the past 50 years have brought Russia of President Assad. Closer to home, and the US to approximate nuclear Russian aircraft have aggressively buzzed parity. But Nato’s 28 nations have US and Nato forces and intruded into around four times Russia’s military European waters and airspace. In April, ﬁrepower. Strategically, there’s no two Russian ﬁghters passed within 30 contest. However, in smaller-scale feet of a US destroyer in the Baltic Sea. confrontations, Russia has shown itself Russia has also conducted big military to be intimidating, unpredictable and Russia has the largest tank ﬂeet in the world exercises near its western borders, some very effective (see box). involving nuclear weaponry. The image conveyed by these, says Johan Norberg of the Swedish Defence Research Agency, “is that What are the possible ﬂashpoints? they’re preparing for large-scale inter-state war”. Nato sources think that the Russians could easily overrun its eastern ﬂank: Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are very What is Russia up to? vulnerable. But more likely than an actual invasion, suggests the Throughout his 16-year rule, Vladimir Putin has used Russia’s FT’s defence editor Sam Jones, would be a semi-covert act of military as a blunt instrument of Kremlin policy, to project power aggression “calibrated to be just below the alliance’s Article 5 abroad and to shore up his popularity at home. But the 2008 war threshold, the all-for-one-and-one-for-all clause that triggers with Georgia was a turning point: the conﬂict both conﬁrmed that outright war” – such as a huge cyber-attack on Estonia’s national he could deploy forces outside Russia’s borders without risking a infrastructure, followed amid the chaos by a limited, “temporary” Western military response, and also laid bare the weaknesses of invasion to protect the country’s ethnic Russian minority. The real the country’s ill-trained conscripts and outdated equipment. Since aim of such an operation would be to undermine Nato. then the military budget has grown by more than a third, with billions spent on a new generation of missiles, tanks and ﬁghter What is Nato doing to counter the threat? jets. Russian forces have been reformed: improved pay and At the Nato summit in Warsaw in July, it committed to deploy conditions, and better-trained ofﬁcers, have created a much more four combat battalions to Poland and the Baltic states: one US, professional army. The Black Sea Fleet, headquartered at the one British, one Canadian and one German. Nato is prevented by Crimean port of Sevastopol, recently added around a dozen a 1997 treaty with Russia from deploying any new “substantial warships. “The Black Sea has almost become a Russian lake,” combat forces” in the east. The idea is that the battalions fall said Turkey’s President Erdogan. short of that deterrent, yet create deterrent “tripwires” – making Russian interference in these states too risky to contemplate. Nato Why the upgrade? has also doubled its existing response force to 40,000 men, and Putin wants Russia to once again become a credible counterweight created a 5,000-strong rapid-reaction brigade – and pressed ahead to the US and Nato. He wants to with a missile defence system with a protect Russia’s dominion over its base in Romania, along with a series Hybrid warfare: Russia’s “edge” traditional sphere of inﬂuence, which of exercises across Eastern Europe. Russia’s recent conflicts have been used as a testing was threatened by the pro-Western ground for its new weaponry (and as a shop window: “colour revolutions” in Georgia and How did Russia react? the Syrian campaign has generated arms sales discussions with Algeria, India and Iran). The results Ukraine, and by the expansion of the With fury. “Nato must stop reacting are worrying for Nato forces. According to a leaked EU and Nato to its borders. Russian to a non-existent threat,” said the British Army report into the conflict in Ukraine, Russian Kremlin, warning that these forces are designed to be deployed rocket launchers and air defence systems are more fast to any part of the former Soviet “provocative” deployments were powerful than their British equivalents, giving Putin’s Union. New units have been stationed putting Europe’s security at risk. And forces a “significant capability edge”: Britain and the on its western borders, ready to even some EU politicians felt that US have spent the last 15 years fighting counterintervene. Further aﬁeld – from the Nato was engaging in a dangerous insurgency operations, eroding their “high-end western Mediterranean to the Arctic, game of bluff. The difﬁculty is in military capabilities”. The report also said that the UK Putin is determined to maintain a striking a balance: providing a ﬁrm and its Nato allies were “scrambling to catch up” with Russia’s ability to use electronic warfare: jamming and deterrent while not risking a powerful presence. hacking enemy transmissions; using acoustics to dangerous escalation. Russian locate snipers; deploying drones in pairs to locate How powerful are its forces? intentions are hard to fathom. Many Ukrainian units and bring down devastating fire. Some analysts claim that Russia is the in Eastern Europe genuinely fear war. second-strongest military power in the The Russian campaign in Ukraine has been described Optimists point out that in Ukraine as an act of “hybrid warfare”, including clandestine world, with 766,000 active personnel Putin has shown himself unwilling to and regular troops, heavy weaponry and cyber-war. and the largest tank ﬂeet in the world. incur large numbers of casualties, and Russia has been more active than any other country in It devotes a very large proportion of that with Russia’s economy developing its cyber-operations, which range from its GDP to military expenditure: 5% stuttering, the current level of military attacks that brought down part of the Ukrainian power in 2015, compared to 3.2% in the US spending is unsustainable: a cut of grid to trolling Western servicemen on Twitter. and 1.95% in the UK. some 5% is expected over 2016. 27 August 2016 THE WEEK
Best articles: Britain The gross exploitation of hotel staff Yvonne Roberts The Observer
Let’s blame the elites – if we can ﬁnd them Helen Lewis New Statesman
Corbyn is right: our trains are a rip-off Janice Turner The Times
You can’t jail a man for being a scoundrel Brendan O’Neill Spiked
Robert De Niro is about to join the ranks of Britain’s fourthbiggest employer, says Yvonne Roberts – the hotel and tourism industry. The actor and his two US billionaire business partners are opening a luxury boutique hotel in Covent Garden, no doubt one of those chic places where a glass of water costs the same as the London living wage (£9.40). It’s a wage most hotel workers – 70% of whom are immigrants – can but dream of. As Unethical London, a report by Unite’s Hotel Workers branch, makes all too clear, global hotel chains in London do all they can to hobble collective action. Those showing an interest in unionising are assigned extra rooms to clean or get shift time cut on their zerohour contracts. In many New York hotels, by contrast, workers get holiday pay, a guaranteed working week and even medical insurance. That’s partly because they’re unionised, but it’s also due to a kitemark system that tells consumers if a hotel operates a fair policy on wages. Here in Britain we, as consumers, could easily set up something similar via TripAdvisor. But do we really care enough about the exploitation of labour to make it happen? Blame it on “the elites”. That’s the incessant cry these days, says Helen Lewis. But who are they? We can’t accuse them of being “metropolitan”, since 81.5% of us live in cities; but narrowing the focus and fuming against “Islington elites” is equally off the mark: Islington is the 14th most deprived local authority in England. Indeed, if anyone belongs to the elites it’s probably the anti-elite cheerleaders – on the Right, Boris Johnson (Eton, Oxford, London mayor, MP), who rages against the “unelected elite in Brussels”; on the Left, Diane Abbott (MP since 1987) who rails against “the Westminster elite”. Donald Trump’s supporters, too, are said to be rebelling against “the elites”, yet in many states, they’re the voters on above-average incomes. The truth is that power is so dispersed and counterbalanced in our complex, interconnected world, that even those at the top of their profession – be it journalism or politics – feel a lack of power. That’s why “the only thing we can say for sure about the elites is that they are always someone else”. The recent photographs of Jeremy Corbyn sitting on “the ﬁlthy ﬂoor of a rammed London to Newcastle train” might have been a stunt (see page 20), but they point to a broader truth, says Janice Turner. Britain’s trains are a disgrace. So much so that, in recent polls, up to two-thirds of voters say they favour renationalising the railways. This is one Corbynite policy that unites everyone, from hard-left trade unionists to “crotchety old-school Tories”. Privatisation has created a “shoddy, provisional, chaotic” railway system, in which rival operators enjoy state subsidies to the tune of £4bn, charge the highest fares in Europe – and provide a shockingly poor service. “There is no moment you feel more ripped off by rapacious, free-market capitalism than when paying £3,000 for a season ticket for a late train, full because the company only laid on four carriages, knowing that tonight you will miss your kids’ bedtime and stand all the way home.” Other countries, such as France and the Netherlands, have comfortable, efﬁcient railway systems run by the state. It is surely not beyond us to follow suit. You wouldn’t think that in Britain in 2016 a man could be sent to jail for thinking bad thoughts and saying bad things. But that’s what has happened to Anjem Choudary, says Brendan O’Neill. The ﬁnger-wagging Islamist, a lawyer turned preacher, has been “spouting intolerant nonsense for years” – praising 9/11; advocating the imposition of sharia law. But when he recently started “bigging up” Isis, the authorities judged he’d gone too far and now he has been jailed for “inviting support for a proscribed organisation”. Yet there’s no evidence that Choudary organised violence or gave ﬁnancial support to jihadis: all he did was swear allegiance to Isis in an east London curry house in front of a few close aides. He’s a braggart, a blusterer, but he’s not – as the press ludicrously brands him – “one of the most dangerous men in Britain”. By convicting him, the authorities have just been putting on a show of toughness to cover up their inability to stem the spread of anti-Western, anti-liberal ideas among young Muslims. And by censoring him, the British state is effectively espousing an illiberal ideology similar to his. How depressing that “in seeking to solve the Choudary problem, we become like Choudary”.
NEWS 13 IT MUST BE TRUE…
I read it in the tabloids Indian surgeons who opened up a patient with abdominal pains were astonished to discover 40 knives lodged in his stomach. The 42-year-old man, who underwent emergency treatment after an ultrasound scan showed a cancer-like mass in his body, later told doctors that he had eaten the blades over a threemonth period, because he liked their taste. One of the surgeons described it as the most horrifying surgery he had ever performed in 20 years of practice.
Life-size statues of Donald Trump naked have been popping up in cities across the US. The artworks (pictured) are large, imposing and unflattering: the presidential candidate is depicted with his arms folded across a bulging belly, and is lacking testicles. An accompanying engraving reads: The Emperor Has No Balls. In New York, one appeared in Union Square, but was swiftly removed. An American man has warned dog-owners not to programme robot vacuum cleaners to come on overnight, after waking up one morning to find a “poopocalypse”. Jesse Newton, of Arkansas, had forgotten to take his puppy out for its last walk, with regrettable consequences. The robot had then run through the pile of fresh faeces, spreading the waste over “every conceivable surface” as it continued its ceaseless rounds of the downstairs rooms. Newton’s online description of the incident went viral – but he’s not the first person this has happened to. “Quite honestly, we see this a lot,” admitted the manufacturer.
27 August 2016 THE WEEK
Best of the American columnists
Is Trump trying to build a media empire?
If you thought the old Trump the Trump mould. However, Bannon campaign was crazy, said Eugene has never run a political campaign, so Robinson in The Washington Post, just it remains to be seen whether he can wait until you see the new one. The do anything to improve Trump’s Republican presidential nominee was general election prospects. apparently feeling “boxed in” and “controlled” by the few people around The theory doing the rounds is that him who actually knew something this campaign reshufﬂe isn’t about about politics. So Trump last week trying to win the election, said John demoted his campaign chairman Paul Cassidy in The New Yorker. Rather, Manafort (who was facing awkward it’s a “business play”: Trump is questions in any case about his “laying the groundwork for a new ﬁnancial ties to the deposed Ukrainian conservative media empire” to leader Viktor Yanukovych, and later challenge Fox News, the cable news resigned from Trump’s team). In the network founded by Rupert Murdoch Bannon: a “practised provocateur” driving seat now is a man named and Roger Ailes. Trump apparently Stephen Bannon, who is sure to “not only let Trump be Trump resents the fact that his campaign has brought in huge ratings but encourage him to be even Trumpier”. Bannon runs for many news organisations, and wants to get in on the action. Breitbart News, a ﬁercely right-wing website, and is a This idea seems all too plausible, said Levi Tillemann and Julian “practised provocateur” and propagandist: the site’s late E. Zelizer in the Los Angeles Times. Trump has hinted before founder, Andrew Breitbart, once described him, admiringly, as that America needs a new network, and has clashed with Fox the “Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement”. News. With the help of Bannon and Ailes – who was recently ousted from Fox News over sexual harassment claims and is With his polls sinking fast, Trump “needed to make a change”, now advising Trump ahead of next month’s presidential debates said Olivia Nuzzi on The Daily Beast. And the irrepressible – he is well placed to shake up the conservative media establishBannon – a former naval ofﬁcer and Goldman Sachs banker ment just as he’s shaken up the GOP. We’ve seen Trump hotels, who has also had stints in Hollywood – is a man very much in Trump University and Trump wine. “Up next, Trump TV.”
Prepare for the sexist backlash Michelle Cottle The Atlantic
Why the Left welcomes race riots Ben Shapiro National Review
This luxury cruise is an abomination Will Oremus Slate
“Get ready for the era of The Bitch,” says Michelle Cottle. Make no mistake: if Hillary Clinton wins the White House in November, becoming America’s ﬁrst-ever woman president, it will usher in years of “down-and-dirty public misogyny”. Just as Barack Obama’s election “did not herald a shiny, new post-racial America”, so Clinton’s election won’t deliver one of gender equality. Sexist insults slamming her as a “menopausal nutjob” are already rife. At the recent Republican convention, vendors did a fast trade in badges emblazoned with slogans such as “Life’s a Bitch – don’t vote for one” and “KFC Hillary Special: Two fat thighs, two small breasts... left wing”. At GOP rallies, it’s common to see T-shirts reading: “Trump that Bitch!” And one of Clinton’s own rallies was disrupted by hecklers chanting: “Iron my shirt!” It would be nice to think this was just a “heat-ofthe-campaign thing” and that the sexism would die down once Clinton was in ofﬁce. But the experience of Julia Gillard, the ﬁrst woman PM of Australia, was that the sexist attacks got worse over time. In the long run, of course, Clinton’s candidacy will help move attitudes forward, but change always triggers a backlash. So brace yourself for some “in-your-face sexist drivel”. Last week saw the latest in a spate of urban riots in the US, says Ben Shapiro. The place this time was Milwaukee. The trigger? The shooting by a black cop of a black suspect armed with a stolen gun. There’s no suggestion that racial discrimination played any part in the killing, but that didn’t stop looters going on the rampage – and it didn’t stop the liberal media presenting this violence as some sort of “uprising” against “oppression”. Why would the Left seek to justify riots that damage black communities? Because it has a “long tradition of using riots to push redistributionist policies that don’t work”. Progressive Democrats have “governed virtually every city in which major riots have taken place, from Milwaukee (no Republican mayor since 1908) to Baltimore (no Republican mayor since 1967) to Los Angeles (before the 1992 LA riots, no Republican mayor since 1961)”. Instead of governing properly and tackling the urban pathologies that lead to unrest, leftists help foster the sense of victimisation, seeing it as an effective way of bolstering their power base and expanding the welfare state. And so it is. “All it costs is the businesses of local black people, the safety of black residents and the possibility of recovery in high-crime black areas.” Global warming isn’t all bad, says Will Oremus. True, it risks destroying the planet, but on the plus side, it has opened up some brilliant new tourist opportunities for the world’s richest people. Around 1,000 of these lucky folk are currently enjoying a luxury cruise on the $350m, 68,000-tonne Crystal Serenity, which is travelling from Anchorage, Alaska to New York by way of the mythical Northwest Passage. Or, to be more accurate, “the formerly mythical Northwest Passage”: thanks to ocean warming, the once-impassable route is now navigable in summer. A “growing trickle” of ships have managed the trip in recent years, but the 820ft, 13-deck Crystal Serenity – with its multiple swimming pools, restaurants, casino and driving range – is by far the largest craft to attempt it. As a precaution, it will be accompanied by an ice-breaker and two helicopters. The passengers, who paid between $22,000 and $120,000 for the 32-day trip, were required to have insurance coverage of at least $50,000 for emergency evacuation. The marketing copy described the cruise as “the ultimate expedition for the true explorer”. In reality, it’s “an abomination – a massive, diesel-burning, waste-dumping, ice-destroying, golf-ball-smacking middle ﬁnger to what remains of the planet”. 27 August 2016 THE WEEK
Best articles: International
The burkini ban: France’s battle of the beaches In the “country of Chanel and Brigitte massacre in Nice, the authorities are in Bardot” the burkini can only be seen as no mood to compromise, said Berna “a provocation”, said Jean-Michel González Harbour in El País (Madrid). Servant in Midi Libre (Montpellier). Prime Minister Manuel Valls fully The hideous full-length swimsuit that supports the bans, calling the burkini some Muslim women have taken to “the expression of a political project, a wearing on beaches is not just “an counter-society, based notably on the affront to human dignity” – as an enslavement of women”. Most “ostentatious religious symbol”, it’s a politicians of the Left and Right agree. challenge to the secular republic. So All the same, the French should avoid full marks to the mayor of Cannes for leaping to “irrational intolerance”. The having the gumption to ban it, on the critics can hardly claim there’s a direct grounds that the sight could stir up link between wearing a “cumbersome trouble in a country still “traumatised” and impractical” bathing suit and by recent Islamist terror attacks. As if committing mass murder. The existing A threat to hygiene, safety and morality? to prove his point, a riot broke out in prohibition on religious symbols in Sisco in Corsica last week, as men of North African origin schools and public institutions is fair enough, but “in the name clashed with holidaymakers who’d been taking pictures of their of equality and liberty, please keep the battle off the beaches”. burkini-wearing female relatives. Now a ban is in place there too, while 15 other French towns have followed suit. Quite, said Remona Aly in The Guardian. “Nothing says ‘losing the plot’ more than demonising what is, let’s face it, a wetsuit.” These bans are a symptom of racism as much as a stand on a The burkini ban is “farcical”, agreed The New York Times. It point of principle, said Aziz Benyahia in Algérie-Focus (Algiers). has been prohibited on the basis that it is “variously, a threat to Yet French Muslims need to be sensible: this isn’t a good time to public order, hygiene, water safety and morality”. Saving wear the burkini. They must know that people are jittery, and Muslim women from “enslavement” by “dictating to them they should “adapt their behaviour” instead of getting into what they can and can’t wear” makes no sense at all. This fights they can’t win. Islam, after all, enjoins its followers to madness threatens to “further stigmatise France’s Muslims at a respect the countries they live in as minorities. After the time when the country is listing to the Islamophobic Right”.
Don’t criminalise ignorance Polityka (Warsaw)
A painful Olympic snub Bloomberg (New York)
The arrogant disregard of Moscow’s elite Deutsche Welle (Berlin)
THE WEEK 27 August 2016
When Barack Obama uttered the phrase “Polish death camps” in a 2012 speech, Polish nationalists hit the roof, says Krzysztof Burnetko. The correct description is “Nazi death camps”, they fumed: to call them “Polish” implies that Poles themselves had a hand in the Holocaust. Now ministers from the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party say it’s time to get tough; phrases like this, which “falsify Polish history”, will soon be a criminal offence, punishable by ﬁnes and up to three years in prison. Can they be serious? Are they going to criminalise ignorance, and punish foreign politicians who make ill-considered statements? The plan also carries huge risks for Polish society: it could suffocate free debate about the War. A “zealous” prosecutor could go after anyone who, say, mentions the 1941 massacre of at least 340 Jews by Polish residents of Jedwabne, on the grounds that doing so “harms Poland’s reputation”. The effect will be to damage our image as an “open and kind” people, able “honestly to deal with its past”, especially at a time when xenophobia and anti-Semitism are on the rise. Trying to legislate in such matters is always “dangerous”. This terrible idea must be dropped. One expects Nobel Prizes galore from Israel – Olympic gold medals, not so much, says Daniel Gordis. It has never been an Olympic “powerhouse”. So when two Israeli athletes, Yarden Gerbi and Or Sasson, each won a bronze in judo in Rio last week, the media went into a “celebratory frenzy”. Alas, Sasson’s victory was marred by the refusal of his defeated Egyptian opponent Islam El Shehaby to accept the customary handshake afterwards. In Israel, it was seen as symbolic of the Arab street’s continuing rejection of the legitimacy of the Jewish state. (Egyptians are puzzled: surely, they say, Israel should be pleased that their man was even willing to get on the mat with an Israeli.) It wasn’t the only slight the Israeli team suffered in Rio – earlier, the Lebanese team refused to ride on the same bus. Israel’s supporters offered consolation, suggesting that such boorish behaviour only increases sympathy for it. That may be true in the long term, but it gives little solace right now. Leaders can sign peace treaties, Israelis sigh, but nothing will ever “mollify the Arab street”. In other countries, the medals would have been occasion for joy. But it brought home to Israelis that “the Jewish state has a long way to go before it experiences anything remotely approximating normalcy”. “In Russia, the elites are callous and arrogant,” says Juri Rescheto. Take Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, for example. Earlier this year in Crimea, he told pensioners desperate about their tiny pensions: “There’s no money. Hang in there.” The video of this incident has been watched over four million times; the phrase has become an internet meme. Now Medvedev is in hot water for telling teachers in Dagestan that if they think they don’t get paid enough they should get a second job (a university lecturer had asked him why police are paid ﬁve times more). This “cynical” suggestion brought back painful memories from the 1990s. Visiting my family home in Siberia I found that “chaos reigned”. People were standing in line “for a few grams of butter”. I spotted my former Russian teacher – who “proudly and passionately” taught me Pushkin and Gogol – selling pickles to make ends meet. Even after two years of economic free fall things aren’t quite that bad. But teachers, like many Russians, are paid “obscenely” little: £120 to £180 per month. No wonder Medvedev’s “thick-headed” aside caused uproar: more than 250,000 people have signed an online petition demanding his resignation. His behaviour shows just how out of touch Russia’s leaders have become.
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Health & Science
What the scientists are saying…
Why tall means Tory
Scientists have discovered that being tall increases a person’s likelihood of voting Conservative – especially if they’re a man. Each additional inch of height raised a man’s chances of supporting the Tories by 0.8%, the Ohio State University researchers found; for women, the equivalent spike was 0.4%. The team used data from the 2006 British Household Panel Study, which includes information on the height and political beliefs of around 10,000 adults. Professor Sara Watson, co-author of the study, which was published in the British Journal of Political Science, said the results weren’t as strange as they initially seemed: other studies have suggested that tall people generally earn more than short people, and that income plays a part in shaping political beliefs – with people’s views becoming more conservative the higher up the income scale they are.
How pollutants enter our water
Harmful chemicals present in our water system could well be getting there via our washing machines. Scientists have long been puzzled as to exactly how phthalates (used to make plastic more ﬂexible), ﬂame-retardants and other chemicals end up in lakes and rivers. But now researchers at the University of Toronto think they’ve found the answer: the pollutants become trapped in our clothing after being released into the air from everyday objects, before being swept into the sewage system when the clothes are washed. As wastewater plants extract only about 20% of the pollutants, most make their way into rivers and lakes – and, potentially, into our food and tap water. In the study, a range of fabrics were exposed to an ordinary ofﬁce environment. Natural ﬁbres such as cotton
picked up considerably more pollutants than polyester garments, the researchers found. When the fabrics were subsequently laundered, signiﬁcant quantities of the chemicals leached out into the wash water. “These results support the hypothesis that clothing ng acts as an efﬁcient conveyor of [chemicals] from indoors to outdoors,” said Dr Miriam Diamond, lead author of the study. Phthalates and ﬂame-retardants have been linked to a host of problems, including declining fertility, thyroid disorders, diabetes and premature puberty.
shouldn’t blame themselves, as the condition was “multi-determined”. “Diet could be an important factor but it’s going to be important alongside a host of other risks,” he added.
The leather-loving iceman
Ne New research on Ötzi the Iceman – a naturally mummified, 5,300-year-old corpse found trapped in the ice of the Italian Alps in 1991 – has revealed him to have been a “picky” and “sophisticated” dresser, reports The Guardian. When he was discovered, the iceman was decked out in an array of Diet link to ADHD leather garments, but their poor If a mother eats high quantities of fat condition meant that it was and sugar while pregnant, it may unclear which animals they increase her child’s chances of came from. Now researchers developing attention deﬁcit from Ireland and Italy have hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), determined their source by scientists have found. The study, led by analysing a type of genetic researchers from King’s College material, known as London and the University of Bristol, mitochondrial DNA, examined the effect of maternal extracted from six of nutrition on IGF2, a gene the garments. The involved in the development of iceman, it transpired, the cerebellum and hippocampus created his clothes from – parts of the brain implicated in Ötzi: a “picky” dresser five species: his loincloth ADHD. The researchers found that was sheepskin, his mothers who ate a lot of processed food shoelaces cow leather and his leggings and confectionery during pregnancy were goat hide. More exotically, his cap came more likely to give birth to children with from a brown bear and he fashioned his modiﬁed IGF2 – and there was evidence to quiver from the skin of a roe deer. Niall suggest that those children were then more O’Sullivan, one of the researchers, said likely to develop ADHD symptoms that Ötzi had been “opportunistic and between the ages of 7 and 13. However, resourceful” in using the “scarce co-author Dr Edward Barker said that resources” available to him in a “very parents whose children had ADHD harsh environment”.
The 400-year-old shark
A Greenland shark accidentally killed by fishermen was nearly four centuries old, scientists believe, making it easily the world’s longestliving vertebrate. The female was one of 28 sharks analysed by researchers after being collected as “by-catch” between 2010 and 2013. Until now, scientists haven’t had a way of calculating the age of Greenland sharks, despite suspecting them of being abnormally ancient. But the Greenland sharks: abnormally ancient team devised an unusual method that involved taking tissue from the shark’s eye lenses and estimating its age using radiocarbon dating. Because the technique isn’t perfect, they built a large margin of error into the calculations: the oldest shark in the study, measuring just over 5m, was judged to be between 272 and 512 – although her “most likely” age was 392. However, even at its most cautious, this estimate still makes her considerably older than the previous best contender for longest-living vertebrate, a 211-year-old bowhead whale found in 2007. Indeed, only one non-vertebrate animal – a 507-yearold ocean quahog clam – has ever been shown to live longer.
Ex-doper speaks out An athlete from the former East Germany has warned today’s competitors about the lifelong health problems that may result from taking performance-enhancing drugs. “I had huge problems with my kidneys and my inner organs were poisoned,” Ines Geipel, a former relay runner, told an Australian broadcaster. She added that there were other athletes in their mid40s with “two artificial hips, two artificial knees”, as well as a “large number of dialysis patients and many, many psychological illnesses”. Geipel is head of the German Doping Victims’ Association, which campaigns for compensation for athletes involved in East Germany’s state-sponsored doping programme. Under the programme, which was sanctioned by a secret edict issued in 1974, up to 12,000 athletes were forced to take illicit pills, which they were often told were vitamins.
27 August 2016 THE WEEK
20 NEWS Pick of the week’s
When footage emerged of Jeremy Corbyn sitting on the floor of a “ram-packed” train last week, the Labour leader was praised for refusing to upgrade to first class. But now Virgin Trains has released CCTV footage which seems to show that Corbyn and his team walked through two carriages with plenty of empty seats, before settling on the floor to make the video, in which he called for the renationalisation of the railways. Virgin Trains claims that, moments after he stopped filming, Corbyn sat down in one of many free seats, where he remained for the rest of the journey from London to Newcastle.
Ian McKellen turned down a $1.5m offer to officiate at a billionaire’s wedding – dressed as Gandalf. The venerable British actor was asked to conduct the ceremony for Sean Parker – the billionaire co-founder of Napster – and singer Alexandra Lenas in 2013. The Tolkien-themed wedding allegedly cost $10m, but they failed to secure the wizard of their dreams. “I said: ‘I am sorry – Gandalf doesn’t do weddings,’” McKellen told The Mail on Sunday. “I don’t do dressing up – except in plays and things.” George Osborne was spotted last week “going Rambo” with a machine gun. The former chancellor – who was sacked last month by Theresa May – was on holiday in Vietnam, and visited a former battlefield where tourists can fire vintage weapons. “He went down to the range and fired the biggest machine gun they’ve got,” said an onlooker.
THE WEEK 27 August 2016
Talking points Owen Smith: a pale version of Corbyn? It’s a measure of how far lost its opposition party.” Labour has travelled that last Labour now resembles a “vast week Jeremy Corbyn casually and imbecilic student union at abandoned a security policy a recently upgraded poly”. that has been followed by every British government since The party under Corbyn is not 1949, said Oliver Kamm in “as dismal as it is sometimes The Times. Asked on the made out by the media”, said leadership hustings how he The Independent. It has had a would react if a Nato ally was string of wins in mayoral attacked by Russia, Corbyn contests and by-elections, and said he would “avoid getting has been on the right side of us involved militarily”, adding the argument about austerity, vaguely: “I don’t wish to go to as the Government now war. What I want to do is appears to be tacitly admitting. achieve a world where we “Nor can the enthusiasm don’t need to go to war.” He Corbyn generates among Smith: looking better in a suit appeared to suggest that, people hitherto apathetic or under his leadership, Britain would abandon disenchanted about politics be dismissed.” But Nato – since its rationale is collective selfthe hard fact remains that Labour is at least ten defence. “He implied that Britain’s central points behind the Tories, and Corbyn “has [military] alliance is not an alliance, that neither the policies, the strategy nor the personal Britain’s word was not its bond,” said Simon skills to win back the voters”. Sadiq Khan and Jenkins in The Guardian. “That is wild.” Kezia Dugdale, Labour’s leaders in London and Scotland, are only the latest to point this out and But Corbyn’s rival Owen Smith was not to be declare their support for Owen Smith. But Smith outdone, said Rod Liddle in The Sunday Times. himself appears to be making little headway, Last week he suggested that peace in Syria said George Eaton and Stephen Bush in the New would come about if we could get Islamic State Statesman. Faced with the apparently “round the table”. That sounds dangerous. overwhelming support for his rival inside the What table would that be? Would there be party, he has offered a “left-wing, Corbyn-style “separate dining areas for men and women”? policy platform”: railway renationalisation, a Smith later “clariﬁed” his position, saying that wealth tax, a ban on zero-hour contracts. The Isis could only be involved if it were to renounce message seems to be: “I’m the same as him but violence. Still, it was more evidence of Labour’s I’m more competent; I look better in a suit.” As “terrible dissipation. This is the summer the UK a pitch, it seems unlikely to turn the tide.
Brexit: should the doom-mongers recant? Soaring unemployment; boarded up high streets; tumbling ﬁnancial markets. That was the dystopian future we were told to expect, not only in the run up to the EU referendum, but also in its immediate aftermath, as disappointed Remainers comforted themselves with the thought that the Leavers would soon be overcome by an acute case of buyer’s remorse. But it hasn’t worked out that way, said Larry Elliott in The Guardian. Retail sales deﬁed predictions by jumping 1.4% in July, and the number of people claiming jobless beneﬁts fell. “The ﬁnancial markets are serene.” Share prices are close to a record high. And Project Fear is over. Fearing that their doom-mongering might spark a recession, ofﬁcials effected an abrupt U-turn on 24 June, and began seeking to reassure the voters they’d worked so hard to spook; meanwhile, at the Bank of England, Mark Carney stopped issuing dire warnings, and introduced a stimulus package. Of course, it’s early days, but the indications are that Britain’s economy is not about to nosedive. For Brexiters, these ﬁgures may seem like manna from heaven, said Geoffrey Smith in Fortune. But others show that job openings (a future indicator rather than a lagging one) fell in July; and the retail boost may have been at least partly due to the good weather, and tourists
taking advantage of the weak pound. In other words, it was a good sign, but not solid ground for long-term economic growth. Besides which, Brexit hasn’t actually started yet, said Toby Helm in The Observer. Britain’s key negotiators haven’t even agreed a division of responsibilities, let alone an answer to the multi-billion euro question: how to guarantee the UK access to the single market while also satisfying Brexiters on issues such as freedom of movement. With our laws so closely entwined, disentangling Britain from the EU is a hugely complex task. That’s why Theresa May is in no hurry to trigger Article 50, said Juliet Samuel in The Daily Telegraph. Once she does, we will have just two years to negotiate terms with remaining EU states – some of which are eager for Brexit to fail. So it’s vital that we get our house in order before we start. That means ﬁnding skilled trade negotiators, and thousands of lawyers and civil servants to consider everything from the impact of leaving the Common Agricultural Policy to the constitutional implications for Scotland. The Government also needs time to sound out where the national consensus lies. Some Brexiters are calling for May to activate Article 50 now, because they are convinced their victory is going to be taken away; but an unseemly rush to the exit would not be in anyone’s best interests.
Talking points Muslim inmates: how jail creates jihadis “Don’t let off your celebratory the “most dangerous” terrorist party poppers just yet,” said convicts. Some will also be Emma Webb in The Spectator. “ghosted”: moved between Anjem Choudary, the prisons to stop them building notorious hate preacher up networks of supporters. convicted last week of inviting Her proposal is based on a support for Islamic State, may report by the former prison be heading for jail at last – but governor Ian Acheson, which that doesn’t mean “his warns that Muslim inmates radicalising will stop”. In fact, are already facing “aggressive Choudary’s recruiting talents encouragement” to become (he is known to have had a jihadis. Acheson claims that personal connection with one some warders turn a blind eye in ten of all convicted Islamist because they are afraid of terrorists in the UK) may prove seeming racist. Thus, Muslim even more effective in jail. In inmates are being left some prisons, 20% of inmates Choudary: “wolf among captive sheep” unsupervised at prayers, and are Muslim; many are extremist literature is vulnerable and searching for a new identity. By circulating in prison libraries. locking up Choudary, we may be “letting a wolf loose among captive sheep”. None of these problems is wholly new, said Alan Travis in The Guardian. In 1994, ﬁve IRA men Terrorists always make troublesome prisoners, escaped from the supposedly high-security unit said The Guardian. The “classic dilemma” is at Whitemoor Prison. They had “intimidated whether to disperse them through the prison and then groomed” the prison staff to the point system (which risks spreading their toxic where “they were not only having lobster ideology over a wider ﬁeld), or concentrate them takeaways delivered to the special unit, but guns in a few “supermax” prisons. This keeps the and even Semtex”. But housing Islamist radicals “away from their prey”, but creates a terrorists under one roof has an added danger: symbolic focal point for grievances. The Maze unlike IRA members, most Islamists are “lone and Guantánamo Bay both became “effective operators”, unconnected to any broader recruiting sergeants for the prisoners’ causes”. command structure. Bringing them together may The new Justice Secretary, Liz Truss, is hoping give them a golden opportunity to create the to ﬁnd some middle ground, said the Daily Mail. kind of “hierarchical organisation” they so far She announced this week that specialist isolation lack. Quarantining jihadis behind bars may end units will be built in top-security prisons, to hold up making them stronger.
Social media: a danger to teenage girls? In 2003 – before he came up with symptoms of psychological Facebook – Mark Zuckerberg distress – 10% more than a launched Facemash. It featured decade ago. The ﬁgure for boys photos of Harvard students side is just 15%. Experts say that by side, and invited users to vote girls are facing a huge range of on which was the more attractive. pressures, but the way they use The site was swiftly closed down social media may be a major by college authorities, said factor. It has been noted that Amelia Tait in the New whereas boys tend to use it for Statesman, and Zuckerberg later gaming, girls use it to see what admitted he’d been a “jerk” for their friends are doing. If the starting it – but it wasn’t an reality of their own lives original idea. RateMyFace.com doesn’t match their perception Living in another world had launched in 1999; it was of other people’s, feelings of followed by Hot or Not, and Fitsort. It still goes anxiety and low self-worth may follow. on, but today’s teenagers don’t have to visit a specialist website to ﬁnd out what people think There are myriad theories about why girls are of their looks: it’s all over social media. It seems suffering, said Gaby Hinsliff on The Pool. It that ten to 14-year-olds in particular are could be partly down to them living on social obsessed with posting selﬁes on Facebook and media, where everyone seems to be prettier and Instagram, and seeing how many “likes” they thinner and smarter. Or it could be the burden generate. It’s unclear why they feel the need to of schoolwork, and anxieties about their future: open themselves up to such public judgement – today’s teenagers have little hope of walking into but it’s hard to believe it’s healthy. the kind of secure jobs their parents took for granted. But the truth is, we don’t know. We Certainly, there is a growing concern about girls’ don’t even know whether boys are suffering less mental health, said Radhika Sanghani in The – or just less willing to admit to feelings of Daily Telegraph. According to a new inadequacy. It’s a serious problem, and with Department for Education survey, more than a mental health services already overstretched, one third of 14 to 15-year-old girls suffer from that needs urgent investigation.
Wit & Wisdom “The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels.” H.L. Mencken, quoted on Spiked “There is nothing more agreeable in life than to make peace with the establishment – and nothing more corrupting.” A.J.P. Taylor, quoted in The Spectator “Shyness is the overtly selfconscious thinking that you are the only person in the world; that how you look and what you do is of any importance.” Charles Schulz, quoted in The Guardian “A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transportation.” Enrique Peñdosa, former mayor of Bogotá, quoted in The Times “An id with hair.” Hillary Clinton on Donald Trump, quoted on Politico “Social ease can and should be faked.” Alan Bennett, quoted in The Guardian “A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his client to plant vines.” Frank Lloyd Wright, quoted on Forbes.com “People don’t do what they believe in. They just do what’s most convenient, then they repent.” Bob Dylan, quoted in The Wall Street Journal
Statistics of the week The number of pupils studying French at A-level has slumped to an all-time low of 9,672. In 1992, the figure was 31,261. The Times Only 8,896 – or fewer than half – of the 18,179 officers in the Metropolitan Police actually live full-time in London. The Daily Telegraph
27 August 2016 THE WEEK
Track and field: three great Olympians
“Mo Farah has joined the immortals,” said Oliver Brown in The Sunday Telegraph. Last Saturday, he became the second long-distance runner in history to secure a “double-double”, winning his second successive gold medals in the 5,000m and 10,000m. His “exquisitely judged” victory in the 5,000m followed “the conventional narrative of Farah dominance”: the cagey start, the surge to the front, “the signature last-lap pounce”. The 33-year-old is undoubtedly the “outstanding” long-distance runner of this era: he has now won nine successive titles at major championships – no one else has managed more than five in a row.
bowed out of the Olympics as the greatest ever track and field athlete, and the most compelling: no one else has made “being this good look so human”.
Those qualities have made him indispensable to athletics, said Oliver Holt in The Mail on Sunday. As the sport lurches from one doping crisis to another, Bolt has always been “the shining light”. He has nine of the 30 fastest 100m times in history; the remaining 21 were run by athletes who have failed a drugs test. When he retires next year, the sport will struggle desperately without him. If anyone can fill Bolt’s running shoes it’s Wayde van Niekerk, said Andrew Longmore in The Sunday Farah has the ideal physique for endurance racing, Times. In Rio, the 24-year-old South African shaved said David Walsh in The Sunday Times: the long an incredible 0.15 seconds off the 400m world limbs and stride, the lightness on his feet. His record. Not bad for someone who weighed just over bullishness is unrivalled, too: he believes he’s 1kg at birth, and was given only 24 hours to live. Bolt: the “shining light” stronger and faster than any rival, and tries to Off the track, however, van Niekerk is less exciting: intimidate them before a race. Yet there are some blemishes on coached by a 74-year-old great-grandmother, he is “a quietly Farah’s reputation. His coach, Alberto Salazar, is being spoken” man. He boasts “much of Bolt’s talent”, but “none of investigated over allegations of doping. And he hasn’t come close his showmanship”. to breaking the 5,000m and 10,000m world records. There can be no such reservations about Usain Bolt, said Chris Almeida on Sporting headlines TheRinger.com. True, the 30-year-old Jamaican sprinter is not as MotoGP Cal Crutchlow won the Czech Republic Grand Prix to fast as he once was. But that hardly matters. Bolt hasn’t “raced become Britain’s first MotoGP winner in 35 years. against competitors in years”: since 2008, “he’s been chasing his Football Man City beat Stoke City 4-1. Leicester drew 0-0 with own records”. In Rio, he capped his final Olympics with an Arsenal. Man Utd beat Southampton 2-0. Crystal Palace bought unprecedented “triple-triple”: he won the 100m, 200m and Christian Benteke from Liverpool for £27m. 4x100m relay for the third Games in a row. Such longevity would Rugby league St Helens’s seven-match winning run came to an be amazing in any sport, let alone the sprints, “the razor edge of end when Wigan Warriors beat them 25-0 in the Super 8s. athletic competition”, said Barney Ronay in The Guardian. Bolt
Sport The Caster Semenya controversy
Last Saturday, Caster right to penalise women Semenya won the with abnormal women’s 800m in one testosterone levels, said minute and 55.28 Ross Tucker in the Daily seconds, said Andy Bull Mail, because it gives in The Guardian. It was “an unfair advantage”. the fifth-fastest time in For every women’s track Olympic history – and it athletics world record, was one of the most there are at least 8,000 controversial. This time it men who have run wasn’t about drugs – it faster. And why is that? Semenya: “brutal scrutiny” was about the fact that Testosterone makes the hyperandrogenic South African has them stronger. If it isn’t used as a “dividing unusually high testosterone levels. line” between men’s and women’s sport, women will “disappear from most elite No female athlete has ever come under sport”. Not surprisingly, the IAAF wants its “such brutal scrutiny” as Semenya, said restrictions reintroduced. Jeré Longman in The New York Times. After her victory in the 2009 World But it’s not just testosterone that makes Championships, at the tender age of 18, she the difference, said Olga Khazan in The was called a man by many rivals, subjected Atlantic. There were several to invasive tests and temporarily barred hyperandrogenic athletes in Rio: one of from races. The International Association them, Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, of Athletics Federations (IAAF) then brought the case against the IAAF last year. introduced new rules obliging But it didn’t do her any good: she didn’t hyperandrogenic athletes to reduce their make it beyond the heats of the 100m. No testosterone levels – so Semenya started one denies that extra testosterone is an taking hormones, as a result of which her advantage, but so are the other running times slowed. But after a court “unorthodox features” that give athletes an ruling last year, the restriction was lifted – edge: Michael Phelps’s flipper-like feet, for and Semenya, as she showed in Rio, was instance. We must accept that to be an running faster than ever. The IAAF was Olympian is “to be abnormal”.
NEWS 23 Hart’s harsh demotion Like all great managers, Pep Guardiola can be “hard, unflinching and a bit of a bastard”, said Daniel Taylor in The Observer. And at Manchester City, he has quickly demonstrated his ruthlessness by dropping Joe Hart (pictured). After a decade at the club, the goalkeeper is no longer first choice; he is expected to leave this month. Hart’s career has been marked by “periods of brilliance”, but he is too “accidentprone” for a manager of Guardiola’s class – as he showed at Euro 2016. Still, this isn’t about whether Hart is good enough, said Jamie Carragher in the Daily Mail. He’s just the wrong kind of player. Guardiola prefers a “sweeper keeper” who can play like a defender, and “ping passes with unerring accuracy” – someone like Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer. Guardiola has revolutionised the role: his keepers need to be “better with their feet than their hands”.
LETTERS Pick of the week’s correspondence To The Times
Looking back through my papers from the 1972 Munich Olympics, when Britain won only 18 medals (four gold, five silver and nine bronze), reminded me of the very different amateur rules that the underfinanced GB teams of the past worked under. To be eligible to compete we had to “have always participated without any remuneration”, our “livelihood must not be derived from sport”, and we had to be “engaged in a basic occupation” to “provide for our present and future”. The rules also stated that the “recognised period of full training... must not normally exceed an aggregate of 30 days and in no case exceed 60 in one calendar year”. Communist bloc countries flouted these rules and, aided by drugs, were dominant. Any GB Olympian who won a medal under those conditions was truly outstanding. Rooney Massara, member of the GB rowing team at the 1972 Olympics, Wrelton, North Yorkshire
A comrade in carping To The Guardian
I have but one response to the miserable carping of Simon Jenkins and his attack on the baffling hysterics from our BBC commentators over such issues as the hamfisted draping of the Union Jack. Thank you. I now feel less alone. Dr Tudor Rickards, Woodford, Cheshire
Gold to the bogeyman To The Daily Telegraph
Jeremy Warner sees the spirit of free-wheeling, no-holdsbarred capitalism behind success at the Olympic Games. But the invisible hand didn’t select, train and fund British athletes. Plainly, this winning strategy vindicates an old bogeyman of the Right – state-led planning. Dr David Epstein, York
Fat lot of good
To The Daily Telegraph
There is an irony in the two most successful countries at the Games also having the highest percentage of obese individuals. Simon Baynham, London
Hands off the burkini To The Guardian
I’m a pale person and I spent my formative years turning red on the beach and laying the groundwork for an impressive selection of brown blotches and spots that could easily turn nasty at some point. I could have done with a tiny burkini to keep my skin safe from the sun’s burning rays. My teenage years were riven with angst and embarrassment as I sought to hide my imperfections from public gaze. How I would have welcomed a swimsuit that could have shielded my pale, skinny frame from the eyes of the world instead of having to suffer the worst of British design that incorporated armoured bra cups which soared skywards when I lay on my back. A trip to hotter climes saw me swathed head to foot in towels and sporting an impressive weight of greasy sunblock when I really needed a decent garment that didn’t leave my shoulders and thighs bare. Luckily these clothes are now available in the shape of swim tights and swim shirts so I can go to the beach covered head to foot in clothing that is designed to keep me safe in the sun and that works well as swimwear. If I want to add a swim hat to keep my hair from getting tangled in the water, I can do that… unless I am a Muslim woman. The burkini isn’t a million miles from some of the clothing sold to surfers or those who wish to stay safe in the sun, but because of the religious overtones, Muslim women are being denied the right to enjoy the beach and go swimming like any other person. Whatever your beliefs, there shouldn’t be rules about what people can and cannot wear on the beach. Semi-nudity or total cover-up, it should be up to the individual. Michelle Gibson, Cambridge To The Guardian
Haven’t noticed many nuns on the beaches during years of French holidays. Must be because their robes are “not compatible with the values of the French Republic”. Bernard Clarke, Oxford
Lagoons don’t add up To The Guardian
Steve Emsley is wrong when he compares tidal lagoons with Hinkley and asks why tidal energy is not being discussed. The latest estimated cost of the lagoon proposed for Swansea Bay is £1.3bn. Hinkley would produce 65 times as much electricity, all day, every day – true “baseload”. Tidal lagoons would produce variable amounts (four times as much on a spring tide as on a neap tide in Swansea, and a bigger difference further up the Severn estuary), and the generation would be intermittent (four three-hour blocks a day) – that’s not “baseload”. Lagoons could only produce 8% (about 25 TWh a year) of the UK’s electricity requirements (a figure challenged by tidal energy experts) if five others followed Swansea, each many times larger and much more costly
than Swansea (many times more than £5bn in total). But consent for the next two – huge lagoons further up the Severn estuary – is most unlikely because of various EU environmental designations. As to why no one is discussing them: in fact, Charles Hendry is conducting a review of tidal lagoons to assess, among other things, whether they could play a cost-effective role in the UK energy mix (see www.hendry review.com). Some think the review was prompted by the belated Government realisation that the figures bandied around for lagoons just don’t add up. Phil Jones, Ynystawe, Swansea
To The Daily Telegraph
With the new series of Poldark starting soon, I
find it annoying that, whenever the name is pronounced, the emphasis is placed on “Pol” rather than “dark”. In Cornwall, nearly all names beginning with “Pol” emphasise the second syllable. Examples include Polperro, Polzeath, Polruan. New series, new stress, I say. Judith Argent, Bodmin, Cornwall
Hug a planner To The Observer
In my experience, planners deserve big hugs owing to the hard time they have controlling aggressive developers. Many pieces of land selected by developers for housing lie on the outskirts of existing villages or towns. A typical developer submits an outline application that raises many objections and reveals areas of concern. The planning authority and elected councillors are then quite likely to refuse permission. The developer then returns with amended plans and a full application. The authority may well refuse permission again, and for good reasons. The developer then appeals and brings along his legal team, headed by a barrister to present his case to a Government inspector at a public hearing. The council and residents probably have limited funds, so are in some difficulty, and the developer has a good chance of getting his way. This is how developers are really in charge of what’s being built, and not the planners. I suggest we give planners greater powers to encourage design and development of entirely new villages with proper infrastructure rather than ruin existing ones by adding more and more, bit by bit. Mike Haywood, Cheltenham
“Typical. I get to the other side and have no idea why I wanted to cross in the first place.”
● Letters have been edited
27 August 2016 THE WEEK
© SATZ/THE OLDIE
It was harder in 1972
ARTS Review of reviews: Books Book of the week Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion by Gareth Stedman Jones Allen Lane 768pp £35
The Week Bookshop £30 (incl. p&p)
When Karl Marx died in 1883, only 11 people attended his funeral, said Dominic Sandbrook in The Sunday Times. Outside a “tiny circle of left-wing radicals”, nobody took his ideas seriously. Yet by the 1920s, they’d helped inspire revolutions around the world and millions saw him as the “secular equivalent of a God”. In Karl Marx, Gareth Stedman Jones attempts to rescue the man from the “myth-making of the 20th century”. While the Marx invoked by communist revolutionaries was a thinker of “merciless consistency”, the man himself was an “anxious, sickly, flawed human being” who frequently changed his mind and never even finished his masterpiece, Das Kapital. “Dauntingly impressive” and “relentlessly high-minded”, this is a work of “old-fashioned intellectual history”. While academics are sure to enjoy it, general readers may find it “frustratingly austere”; one yearns for more personal details, such as the boils on Marx’s bottom that Francis Wheen chronicled with such relish in his earlier biography.
Marx was born to well-off parents in the town of Trier, western Prussia, in 1818, said Oliver Bullough in The Observer. His first ambition was to be an academic, but by his late 20s he was a communist, and his radicalism made this impossible. Instead, he became a journalist, working in Cologne and Paris. Having been carried across Western Europe by the revolutionary upheavals of 1848, he settled in London the following year. There, Friedrich Engels, another German émigré, became both his collaborator and financial backer. Much of what we think of as Marxism, Stedman Jones argues, was in fact created by Engels, who “codified” his friend’s theories after his death. Much about this “rich and deeply researched” portrait of Marx is “interestingly different”, said John Gray in the Literary Review. For example, Stedman Jones is unusually blunt about Marx’s “complicated relationship with his Jewish ancestry”: his father converted to Lutheranism, and he often made “catty antiSemitic jibes”. The book aims to put Marx back in his 19th century context, said Mark Mazower in the Financial Times. But it also asks what “his value is for us today”; and argues that he remains an “outstanding model” of how to critique capitalism. Communism may have failed, but it can scarcely be said that contemporary capitalism has succeeded. Marx shows how to “think about the world as a whole for the sake of its betterment” – and this book is an “admirable guide to how he did it”.
Play All: A Bingewatcher’s Notebook
Novel of the week
The Week Bookshop £11.99
by Richard T. Kelly Faber 496pp £14.99
by Clive James Yale University Press 216pp £14.99 Clive James “might as well have invented” the TV critic’s job, said A.A. Gill in The Sunday Times. Before him, it was a “grudging, unconsidered cul-de-sac”, usually given to washed-up hacks “too long-serving to fire” or celebrity writers who “despised the box”. But James, the Observer’s TV columnist from 1972 to 1982, treated TV “seriously” while also being “very funny about it”. Now, after a “generational interregnum”, he has returned to writing about TV with Play All, a book about box sets. Since being diagnosed with terminal leukaemia several years ago, James has enthusiastically watched shows such as The Wire, The Sopranos and Mad Men, often accompanied by members of his family. Such shows, he acknowledges, have replaced books and even films as the “cultural reference points of our time”. Here, he analyses them with a characteristic mix of “thigh-slapping wit and forehead-slapping insight”. James has still “got it”, said James Medd in the New Statesman. He writes as well as ever about character, and identifies new tropes, such as the “irritating daughter” (as seen in Homeland and The Americans). And he gets stuck into the “big question”: what exactly is it that we find so fascinating about these shows? Yet his glibness can irritate (“Don Draper is Don Giovanni in a Brooks Brothers shirt”) and his “love” for The Good Wife, which isn’t in the same class as other series he discusses, is perplexing. Play All isn’t quite the book about “long-form TV drama” that we needed. I disagree, said Andrew Anthony in The Observer: these essays are “brilliantly illuminating”. On every page, there’s a sentence which you can only stop and admire. James’s own show may be “drawing to a close”, but he remains as “interested, amused and engaged” as ever.
The Week Bookshop £11.99
Richard T. Kelly’s new novel offers a welcome redress to the idea that politics has to be sleazy to be interesting, said Nick Cohen in The Guardian. The story of an essentially “honest” Tory home secretary dragged down by a combination of political machination and personal weakness, it displays a refreshing willingness to break liberal taboos. Kelly’s Tories aren’t “collectively wicked” but are “varied individuals” capable of good and bad. The work of a “deft storyteller”, this is “the best novel about modern politics I have read in years”. A couple of months ago, The Knives would have had the “unmistakable tang of topicality”, said Andrew Holgate in The Sunday Times. Kelly’s home secretary, though a man, has quite a bit in common with Theresa May. But “so much has changed” since the Brexit vote that this tale of “low-key political inﬁghting” has been “overshadowed by the sheer, mad melodrama” of recent events. Kelly is an impressive writer. Yet despite an “admirably nuanced” portrayal of its central character, this is a “confusing and oddly disjointed read”.
To order these titles or any other book in print, visit www.theweek.co.uk/bookshop or speak to a bookseller on 020-3176 3835 Opening times: Mon to Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-5.30pm and Sun 10am-2pm
27 August 2016 THE WEEK
Groundhog Day Music and lyrics: Tim Minchin Book: Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis Director: Matthew Warchus
The Old Vic, The Cut, London SE1 (0844-871 7628) Until 17 September Running time: 2hrs 35mins (including interval) ★★★★
Theatre Strife Playwright: John Galsworthy Director: Bertie Carvel
Minerva Theatre, Chichester, West Sussex (01243-781312) Until 10 September Running time: 2hrs 15mins (including interval) ★★★
“Something extraordinary has The real genius of this stage happened at The Old Vic,” said version however, is the way it Dominic Cavendish in The Daily “cracks open” the film’s plot “to Telegraph. A much-loved, funny reveal the philosophies spinning and clever Hollywood film has beneath its surface”. What been triumphantly reinvented as seemed, on screen, like a slight a musical. Composer Tim fable of a grumpy man “stuck in Minchin and director Matthew a time-loop” starts to look like Warchus – the team behind the “a wise old classic”. This one smash-hit musical Matilda – will “run and run. And run.” have pulled it off with such flair, “Who knew that déjà vu could the result looks “equal to, and smell this fresh all over again?” perhaps better than, the movie”. asked Ben Brantley in The New For those unacquainted with York Times. This “bright whirlithe film, said Paul Taylor in The gig” of a show is “cool (as in Independent, its plot is a hip) and warm (as in cuddly)”. Scrooge-like fable involving a It is spiky and sentimental at the cynical TV weatherman called same time, and I grinned pretty Phil (played in the 1993 movie much the whole way through. Karl: superb in the Murray role by Bill Murray) who – to his vast Broadway star Andy Karl is irritation – is dispatched to the small town of superb as Phil, said Ann Treneman in The Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to report on its Times. He’s just as arrogant as Bill Murray, but annual Groundhog Day festival, only to find younger and fitter, and plays the part with more that as long as he refuses to take joy in the event, swagger. In sum, this is a fabulous evening: he is doomed to relive the day over and over funny, frantic and very touching. again. Not the kind of story, you’d think, that would work well on the stage. But you’d be The week’s other opening wrong: in Warchus’s superb production, the 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips inhabitants of Punxsutawney dash around on Shakespeare’s Globe, London (020-7401 9919) travelators and interlocking revolving stages as Emma Rice and Michael Morpurgo have they continually dismantle and reconstruct the adapted Morpurgo’s story about a botched weatherman’s world. It’s a “miracle of stagerehearsal for the D-day landings; this family show mixes carnival and tragedy in a series of craft and technical coordination”. And mash-ups to great effect (Observer). Minchin’s score is “as smart as Warchus’s staging is witty”, said Matt Trueman in Variety. John Galsworthy’s name is Anthony and strike leader David today largely associated with Roberts. Each is honourable yet The Forsyte Saga, said Michael stubborn, each “disastrously Billington in The Guardian. prepared to sacrifice himself and But if this 1909 play – about a others” for the sake of his vision strike at a Welsh tinplate (women, in particular, suffer the factory – is less well known consequences). In the lead roles, (there has been no major William Gaunt (the boss) and Ian revival since 1978) it is also a Hughes (the strike leader) each lot more topical. That point is “temper mythic grandeur with made right from the start in convincing psychological and this impressive directorial emotional intricacy”. debut by acclaimed actor Much of what Galsworthy says Bertie Carvel. It opens to audio about industrial relations “still snippets of industrial strife in resonates today”, said Tom Britain – beginning in the Wicker in The Daily Telegraph. present day with Tata Steel And at times this piece has the Gaunt: “emotional intricacy” and working back: we watch epic sweep of Greek tragedy. At as a glowing furnace-fresh sheet of metal is others, though, it “feels like a lesson in politics, levered across the stage and becomes rather than anything more animating”. transformed, by a trick of lighting, into an Galsworthy’s characters are “invariably eloquent Edwardian company director’s tabletop. In an mouthpieces, but flat” – and this flatness isn’t instant, “our troubled present” is shown to have helped by some “static staging that roots the cast “its roots in the distant past”. How distantly apart and, often, to the spot”. “invigorating” to see a play so vividly tackle industrial disputes head on. CD of the week Galsworthy’s achievement in Strife is to blend Ed Harcourt: Furnaces “social drama with classical tragedy”, said Clare Polydor £9.99 Brennan in The Observer. “At the white-heat The music on Mercury-nominated Harcourt’s core of his play are the eternal human conflicts new album is “powerful, meaty” and wellbetween idealism and pragmatism, justice and produced by Mark “Flood” Ellis. Thematically, mercy, the needs and rights of individuals and “grotesque appetites” abound, while Harcourt’s communities.” Two men are simultaneously vocals have an “impassioned edge” (FT). hero and anti-hero: board chairman John
Stars reflect the overall quality of reviews and our own independent assessment (4 stars=don’t miss; 1 star=don’t bother)
27 August 2016 THE WEEK
© JOHAN PERSSON
Art Exhibition of the week
Colour: The Art and Science of Illuminated Manuscripts The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (01223-332900, www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk). Until 30 December Most medieval art is exhibition traces this now lost, said Florence history, showing how Hallett on TheArtsDesk. the Byzantinecom. Whether through influenced style of the war, floods, fire, tenth century developed vandalism or botched into the “softer, more restoration efforts, all sinuous” forms of the but a fraction of pre12th. By the late 14th Renaissance creative century, the art endeavour has “reached an apex”, as “succumbed to the evidenced by an ravages of time”. encyclopaedia depicting Nowadays, illuminated Adam and Eve in the manuscripts are the best Garden of Eden. Its text preserved legacy of is “shot through with visual art in medieval gold”, its margins an times; unlike so much “explosion of spiky else, the “richly ivy”. Elsewhere, an decorated” pages of unfinished 14th century many such devotional pontifical is a texts have survived “masterclass of gold intact. Cambridge’s work” with a “strangely Fitzwilliam Museum The Three Living and the Three Dead, from the Book of Hours, Use of Rome (1490-1510) modern” composition. holds one of the world’s finest collections of illuminated manuscripts, and to mark its The show “blows apart clichés” about the medieval world, said bicentenary, it is hosting an exhibition of 150 examples created Jonathan Jones in The Guardian – particularly that it was “drab” between the sixth and 16th centuries. The “beguiling” books on and that its art was “impersonal and generic”. The Middle Ages show in The Fitzwilliam’s darkened galleries “twinkle brought to life in these books was “saturated with colour”, full convincingly” – just as they would have done by candlelight in the of “agony and ecstasy”. A “startling” depiction of a nude, blueMiddle Ages. This is a “rare and wonderful” opportunity to see green man serves to illustrate melancholy, while a “spectacular” these “exquisite treasures”. scroll from the reign of Henry VIII explains the “science” of alchemy, looking for all the world “like a prop from a Harry The monks who created the first illuminated manuscripts aimed Potter film”. You only need look at a 13th century English book to “glorify God” and “pass down the written word”, said of psalms depicting a “moving” image of Christ on the cross to Jonathan McAloon in The Daily Telegraph. But as the form see that this is “expressionist art, as full of emotion as a work developed, a professional class of illuminator arose. The by van Gogh”.
Where to buy… Zsofia Schweger at Griffin Gallery
Hungarian artist Zsofia Schweger’s deceptively quiet paintings of interiors bring to mind any number of 20th century art references; one moment, she appears to be in hock to the eerie symbolism of Craigie Aitchison, the next the clean lines and defined shapes of Patrick Caulfield. But the 27-yearold Schweger is very much her own artist, and the harder one looks at these unpeopled interiors, the more this becomes clear. On learning that all of these paintings are based on the rooms of the house where she grew up, it’s hard not to impose a Freudian reading onto them. The brushstrokes are frenetic, scrappy, entirely at odds with the gentle palette and apparently mundane subject matter: one can’t THE WEEK 27 August 2016
Sandorfalva, Hungary #30 (2016): £1,350
help but wonder what the artist is implying. Is this an intimation that traumatic events took place here? The sinister undertone of these paintings is perversely compelling. Prices range from £375 to £4,450. 21 Evesham Street, London W11 (020-8424 3203). Until 30 September
“They are among the world’s most famous paintings and sell for tens of millions of pounds each,” says Richard Brooks in The Sunday Times. But a new biography of Claude Monet reveals that the artist destroyed about 200 of his water-lily paintings, “after being savaged by critics and racked with self-doubt”. Monet was a perfectionist, and slashed hundreds of paintings as he sought perfection. And evidence unearthed by biographer Ross King shows that these destructive outbursts worsened during the last 20 years of his life, when, with his eyesight failing, he painted huge canvases of the lily ponds of his garden in Giverny in Normandy. They were derided by critics and the public, who preferred his earlier work. Georges Clemenceau, the former French prime minister and a close friend, said a few months after his death in 1926: “Monet would attack his canvases when angry. And his anger was born of dissatisfaction with his work. He was his own greatest critic.”
© THE FITZWILLIAM MUSEUM, CAMBRIDGE
Monet’s destructive urge
The Week reviews an exhibition in a private gallery
32 ARTS The Childhood of a Leader Dir: Brady Corbet 1hr 55mins (12A) Disturbing allegory of the rise of fascism ★★★
David Brent: Life on the Road Dir: Ricky Gervais 1hr 36mins (15) Ricky Gervais lives his dream ★★
Swallows and Amazons Dir: Philippa Lowthorpe 1hr 37mins (PG) Messing about in boats ★★★
Nine Lives Dir: Barry Sonnenfeld 1hr 27mins (PG) A cat-astrophic comedy ★
THE WEEK 27 August 2016
Film Loosely based on Jean-Paul Sartre’s short story about a troubled boy seduced by fascism, The Childhood of a Leader is set in France in 1919, said Robbie Collin in The Daily Telegraph. “But its electrifying, almost clairvoyant relevance to the immediate present touches you like an icy finger on the back of your neck.” The “tyrant in waiting” in actor Brady Corbet’s stunning directorial debut is Prescott (Tom Sweet), a young American boy whose angelic looks belie his monstrous character. Prescott’s father (Liam Cunningham) is a member of the US delegation seeking to impose a peace deal on the vanquished Germans during negotiations at Versailles; and all the adults around the child talk about the need to reject anger and embrace forgiveness, said Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. But Prescott, a strongwilled boy whose various tantrums provide the staging posts in the film’s plot, learns that power lies in the opposite direction. Dark and enigmatic, the film is mainly set in a gloomy old manor house outside Paris, and has a magnificent orchestral score by 1960s pop star Scott Walker, said Geoffrey Macnab in The Independent. There are “longueurs”; and it often “feels more a case study than a drama”. But its “sombre power” is “only accentuated by its elliptical narrative style”. It has been 13 years since the end of The Office, but Ricky Gervais’s anti-hero, David Brent, hasn’t changed much, said David Edwards in the Daily Mirror. His days at Wernham Hogg are over, and he is now less happily employed as a travelling rep, selling sanitary towels for Lavichem. But he hasn’t given up on his dreams of musical stardom; and aged 55, cashes in his pension to fund a tour of Berkshire with his rock band, Foregone Conclusion, and his rapper protégé (Doc Brown). The result is “the funniest film of the year”. I wouldn’t go that far, said Henry Barnes in The Guardian. Gervais’s portrayal of this appalling character is as note-perfect as ever. But we hear too much of the band’s songs (Gervais is clearly channelling his own rock-star ambitions), and without Office co-creator Stephen Merchant’s influence, the comedy is ill-disciplined, and often “shabby”. There is something a bit Alf Garnett about Brent, said Sean O’Grady in The Independent. But fans of The Office will be glad he is back – “more grotesque, more embarrassing and more humiliated by life than ever”. There are no talking animals, no CGI and no 3D in this “resolutely old-fashioned” adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s children’s book – and therein lies its “charm”, said David Edwards in the Daily Mirror. Kelly Macdonald plays Mrs Walker who, in the innocent interwar years, escorts her four fresh-faced children to the Lake District for a holiday. As in the book, the story centres on their adventures on a dinghy named Swallow, and their benign rivalry with two local sisters who have a boat of their own, Amazon. The film is well acted, and “evocatively shot”: 1930s rural England is recreated in “loving Hovis-ad fashion”, said Geoffrey Macnab in The Independent. Purists, though, may wonder why the makers felt the need to bolt on a spy subplot, involving Rafe Spall as a gruff outsider living on a houseboat, and Andrew Scott as the enigmatic character on his trail. The subplot is implausible, and the period detail a trifle “self-conscious”, said Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. Still, this is a decent enough adaptation, albeit one “best savoured on the small screen after tea on a rainy Sunday”. In a summer of terrible Hollywood movies, Nine Lives is perhaps the “most spectacularly inept” of the lot, said Nigel M. Smith in The Guardian. This putative comedy stars Kevin Spacey as a greedy businessman who neglects his simpering wife (Jennifer Garner) and wistful daughter (Malina Weissman), until one day, during a storm, he falls through a window while embracing a cat called Mr Fuzzypants, and wakes up to find his consciousness transplanted into the cat. Now he must reconnect with his family and prevent a devious rival from taking over his company – all from inside the body of Mr Fuzzypants. I’ve never been a cat person, but until now I’d never longed “to chase one down the street with a flame thrower”, said Robbie Collin in The Daily Telegraph. The film has many flaws, chief among which may be the fact that Mr Fuzzypants looks “less like a real cat than a piece of possessed taxidermy”. The effect is “horrific”. This abysmal movie raises only one interesting question, said Kate Muir in The Times. How much was Spacey paid to “humiliate himself”?
Best books… Mark Haddon
The novelist Mark Haddon selects six of his favourite audiobooks. His latest book, the short-story collection The Pier Falls, is available from Jonathan Cape at £16.99. Beowulf 800-1100 AD, translated and read by Seamus Heaney (Faber £8.95). That rare thing: a translation of a masterpiece that is also a masterpiece. After listening to it for the first time I decided to listen to it all over again, not least because Heaney’s voice is a thing of wonder. Paradise Lost by John Milton, 1667, read by Anton Lesser, Laura Paton and Chris Larkin (Naxos £13.99). I was driving regularly between Oxford and London when I listened to this. Those long Latinate sentences with their knotty syntax and subclauses like Russian dolls require concentration. At times I
emerged from the poem to find myself driving at 70mph on a busy motorway. Glorious. Emma by Jane Austen, 1815, read by Juliet Stevenson (Naxos £29). Emma Woodhouse is one of the most lovably infuriating heroines in the whole of English literature. And Juliet Stevenson is Austen’s best reader by a country mile. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, 1851, read by Frank Muller (Recorded Books £4.95). I read it and wasn’t seduced; then I listened to it and fell in love. There are longueurs in Melville’s novel, but the last third contains
passage after passage that rival Shakespeare for sheer poetry. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, 1859, read by Glen McCready and Rachel Bavidge (Naxos £46). Skulduggery, extortion, doppelgangers, sinister secrets, and the obese Count Fosco with his pet mice and canaries. This is a fine romp from beginning to end. Bleak House by Charles Dickens, 1853, read by Sean Barrett and Teresa Gallagher (Naxos £55). Gallagher and Barrett are so good at what Dickens called “doing the police in different voices” I feel like I’m being read to by a cast of hundreds.
Titles in print are available from The Week bookshop on 020-3176 3835. For out-of-print books visit www.bibliofind.com
The Week’s guide to what’s worth seeing and reading
This year the Cheltenham Literature Festival takes place in the run-up to the US election. The line-up of authors will include such distinguished commentators on American politics as P.J. O’Rourke, Oliver Stone and the US ambassador to the UK, Matthew Barzun. 7-16 October (www.cheltenhamfestivals.com). Gemma Arterton will return to the London stage in the title role of George Bernard Shaw’s classic
three-part series about the Big Apple homes in on Grand Central Terminal, the world’s largest railway station. Tue 30 Aug, BBC2 9pm (60mins).
Stacey Dooley Investigates: Sex in Strange Places – Turkey
Turkey is the first destination for presenter Stacey Dooley in this investigative series about the global sex industry. Tue 30 Aug, BBC1 10.45pm (55mins).
Young Hyacinth Comedy
prequel to the droll sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, in which Kerry Howard plays the youthful but already ragingly snobbish heroine. Fri 2 Sept, BBC1 9.30pm (30mins).
Janis Joplin: Little Girl Blue Another chance to see
this acclaimed documentary about the talented but selfdestructive rock singer. Fri 2 Sept, BBC4 10.30pm (90mins).
Ellen (2016) A made-for-TV
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at the National
play Saint Joan, about the French peasant girl who heard voices telling her to drive the English out of France. 9 Dec-18 Feb, Donmar Warehouse (www.donmarwarehouse.com).
Just out in paperback
The Criminal Alphabet: An A-Z of Prison Slang by Noel “Razor” Smith (Particular £6.99). Smith, who has spent most of his adult life in jail, reveals the meanings behind slang terms such as “nostrils” – a sawn-off doublebarrelled shotgun – and “polo” – skint (Times).
The Archers: what happened last week
© RORY CARNEGIE; © MANUEL HARLAN
New York: America’s Busiest City The first in this
Ingeniously entertaining animated feature about a villain (voiced by Steve Carell) who is determined to be recognised as the world’s most evil baddie. Sun 28 Aug, ITV1 4.55pm (100mins).
Maria Lassnig at Tate Liverpool (0151-702 7400). The late, great Austrian artist’s work, as presented in this “superb” exhibition, is an unflinching, often moving portrayal of mortality (Guardian). Ends 18 September.
Despicable Me (2010)
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at Dorfman, National Theatre, London SE1 (0207452 3000). This energetic musical about the disreputable activities of a girls’ convent school choir is “one of the great theatrical experiences of the year” (Telegraph). Ends 1 October.
Toby drops round for lunch with Pip. But when she steps out to take a call from her ex, Matthew, he loses his cool. They have a row and Toby storms off. Ursula and Rob discuss the statement Rob is planning to give at the custody hearing. She reminds him of Helen’s lapses of judgement and says she’s sure the court will rule in Rob’s favour. Justin Elliot offers Rob a job running Damara’s estates; Rob asks for the weekend to think about it. George is obsessed with Roald Dahl’s Danny the Champion of the World. Clarrie asks Joe and Eddie to stop talking to young George about poaching as if it weren’t a crime. Joe puffs on his pipe and pontificates about the deep bond between man and the land, regardless of ownership. Anna is depressed because her husband, Max, with whom she hoped to get back together, has a new girlfriend and has asked for a divorce. On top of that, Helen still isn’t giving her the information she needs to build a strong defence. Anna’s confidence is dented: she isn’t sure she can win Helen’s case for her.
movie – part of a C4 scheme to develop new talent – in which a teenager (Jessica Barden) wrestles with the trials of adolescence. Thur 1 Sept, C4 10pm (90mins).
Carnage (2011) In this intense drama, a supposedly civilised meeting between two couples discussing their children deteriorates into a slanging match. With Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz. Fri 2 Sept, BBC2 11.05pm (75mins).
Coming up for auction
Sotheby’s sale of Irish Art includes modern sculptures, paintings and sketches by Irish artists. Highlights include Jack Butler Yeats’s handsome pen and ink sketch Porter (est. £10,000-£15,000), Paul Henry’s gorgeous oil Landscape with Cottage (est. £20,000-£30,000) and Sean Keating’s amusing SelfPortrait in a Bear Skin (est. £50,000-£70,000). 13 Sept, London W1 (020-7293 5000). 27 August 2016 THE WEEK
34 Houses with fabulous gardens
▲ Dunbartonshire: Parkhead, Rosneath, by Helensburgh. A remarkable country house, with fantastic gardens which have been seen in the national press and have been open to the public on occasion. The 7 acres of grounds have been a labour of love for the current owner and include woodland, parkland, a stunning walled topiary garden and a kitchen garden. 7 beds, 5 baths (1 en suite), 2 kitchens, 5 receps, library, stores, study, WC, gallery. OIEO £595,000; Savills (0141-222 5875).
Oxfordshire: Gowers Close, Sibford Gower. This Grade II thatched cottage with landscaped gardens in a pretty village on the edge of the Cotswolds is currently owned by a gardening writer. The owner has beautifully maintained the sheltered south-facing garden, which has featured in several gardening magazines and is open to the public once a year as part of the National Gardens Scheme. Large vaulted master bed, 3 further beds, 2 baths, ground-floor suite, breakfast/kitchen, 2 receps, utility, cloakroom, office, WC, study area, garage, parking. £875,000; Savills (01295-228000).
▲ Wiltshire: West Wing, The Ivy, Chippenham. A fine family home, forming part of a Grade I baroque mansion, with a private formal garden with sunken terracing, a wild flower garden and woodland beyond. The house is set over 3 floors, with many period features, including high ceilings, ornate plaster work, sash windows and working shutters. Master bed, 4 further beds (1 en suite), 2 baths, breakfast/kitchen, 3 receps, hall, utility, cellar, 0.35 acres. £955,000; Knight Frank (01225-325999). THE WEEK 27 August 2016
on the market
▲ Wiltshire: Dial House, West Lavington. A Grade II* house in beautiful formal walled gardens with a stream running through. 6 beds, 3 baths, attic, breakfast/kitchen, 5 receps, utility, studio, cloakroom, double garage, stables, outbuildings, swimming pool, tennis court, 1.43 acres. £1.45m; Savills (01722-426880). ▲
Suffolk: Smallwood Farm House, Smallwood Green, Bradfield St George. A 500-year-old Grade II farmhouse in a magical garden setting which has featured on TV and in national magazines. The garden is a combination of traditional and contemporary planting, with more than 60 different old-fashioned roses, 2 natural ponds and a meadow. Master suite, 4/5 further beds, 2 further baths, breakfast/kitchen, 3 receps, utility, study, barn, greenhouse, further barn. £1.05m; Bedfords (01284-769999).
Hertfordshire: Garden House, Cottered. A historic country house with an early 20th century Japanese garden created by Herbert Goode, and further ornamental gardens and parkland. 6 beds, 4 baths, kitchen, 2 receps, utility, study, terrace, indoor swimming pool, gym, sauna, storage, 1-bed garden cottage. £2m; Savills (01279-756800).
▲ Worcestershire: Woodley Farm, Earl’s Croome, Worcester. A Grade II house set in 3.3 acres of pretty gardens, with a paddock, wildlife ponds and fields. Master suite with dressing room, 4 further beds, family bath, breakfast/kitchen, 3 receps, utility/shower, garage, attic. OIEO £685,000; Fine & Country (01905-678111).
▲ ▲ London: Trouville Road, Clapham SW4. A link detached Victorian house with a beautifully designed 118ft south-facing rear garden. Master suite, 3 further beds, family bath, WC, study/bed 5, large open-plan kitchen/dining room, utility, 2 receps, off-street parking. £2.65m; Knight Frank (020-3667 6750). 27 August 2016 THE WEEK
LEISURE Food & Drink
What the experts recommend Bronte 1-3 The Strand, London WC2 (020-7930 8855) What’s this? A swaggeringly luxurious restaurant on the edge of Trafalgar Square named after the literary sisters from the edge of the Pennines? No, says Emma Henderson in The Independent. This extraordinary place – “like walking into a colonial dream, but with a punch of modernism” – takes its name from the column-topping chap you can see from the restaurant’s terrace: Admiral Nelson, the 1st Duke of Bronte. Designer Tom Dixon’s theme is global exploration. There’s a vast Buddha head and an oversized white plastic boat. There are huge palm trees, arched glass doors and a colonnade tiled terrace. And there’s a vast dusty-pink concrete bar, and glass cabinets full of minerals and fossils. In a place like this, the food is almost beside the point, but Bronte’s “fusion on steroids” cooking – there are Asian, Antipodean, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern offerings – is extremely serviceable (without being spectacular). Our highlights included a prawn and chorizo Scotch egg, and chicken samosas with feta and butternut squash. Large meal for two, with cocktails and wine, about £120. The Riverside Quayside, Woodbridge, Suffolk (01394-382174) On a warm summer’s evening, the Suffolk streets of Woodbridge do not “buzz with
stuff. In fact, the only bum note was the embarrassingly tiny skirts that the female waiting staff are obliged to wear: for God’s sake, give them proper clothes! Starters about £6-£8, mains £13-£18.
Bronte’s dusty-pink concrete bar
a Mediterranean-style passeggiata”, says Tim Hayward in the FT. Rather, there’s more of a sleepy “Enid Blyton meets Essex Riviera” vibe. So it is a delight to discover The Riverside, a thriving cinema and theatre with a top-notch restaurant attached. My starter was “lobster caesar”, with sweet lumps of claw and tail meat steamed just right and “gilded with some of the most outstanding anchovies I’ve had in ages” – firm-fleshed, lightly smoky and “applied in gracious plenty”. The main course was a fresh fillet of sea bass served with a crab croquette and a mound of “sprightly roast peppers”. The Riverside’s head chef, Dan Jones, decidedly knows his
Recipe of the week Avocados contain more potassium than bananas. And though 77% of the calories in avocados are from fat, this isn’t just any fat, says Julie Montagu. This is oleic acid, a monounsaturated “heart-healthy” fatty acid believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. Enjoy the many health benefits of avocados with this quick and easy recipe
Avocado gazpacho Serves 2-4 600g tinned plum tomatoes, roughly chopped ½ cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped ½ red (bell) pepper, chopped 1 avocado, peeled and stoned 1 tsp lemon juice ½ tsp apple cider vinegar 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp chilli flakes (red pepper flakes) sea salt and black pepper
• Put all the ingredients, except for the olive oil, chilli flakes and one half of the avocado, in a food processor or blender. Add 40ml (2½ tbsp) water. • Blend until fairly smooth and then add the olive oil.
On Café 31 Clapham Park Road, London SW4 (020-3759 0162) This “absolute gem” of a place in Clapham is “a long way from some of the flashier dim sum outfits in the centre of London, the likes of Royal China and Yauatcha”, says Jay Rayner in The Observer. But while On Café’s size and pricing are both modest, the quality of chef Loretta Liu’s dim sum is “exceptional”; and here, that quality “comes with a side dish of charm”. Pieces of scallop and king prawn inside “translucent crystal skins of potato starch and tapioca are so fresh that they practically pop between the teeth”. Duck xiao long bao “burst with ginger, five spice and sesame”. As well as being expert at dim sum, Liu (who trained at the Raffles Hotel in her native Singapore) is also a patisserie wizard. Her Clapham chiller cabinet is full of macarons, tarts and other sweet wonders so “intricately accessorised, they could be worn at Ascot as fascinators”. Some, alas, do look tired – as if this site’s low footfall means they’ve spent a day too long in the chiller cabinet. “Which is why I’m now encouraging the crowds to descend.” Meal for two, including service, about £50.
• Blend again until totally smooth. Season to taste. • Serve cold in bowls, with the remaining avocado chopped and sprinkled on top, along with the chilli flakes, or in slices on the side.
Taken from Superfoods Superfast by Julie Montagu, published by Quadrille at £18.99. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £14.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit www.theweek.co.uk/bookshop.
Brazil’s wine industry is dwarfed by those of its fellow South American nations Chile and Argentina, but its sales quadrupled after the football World Cup in 2014, says Jane MacQuitty in The Times. Now its producers are hoping for a similar postOlympics boost – especially in the UK, which accounts for almost 40% of its exports. The pick of Brazilian whites is Waitrose’s 2015 Brazil Chardonnay (on offer at £4.94), from the prime Serra Gaúcha region, which bursts with zingy apple and melon fruit. Or – ideal for drinking with churrasco, Brazil-style barbecued steak – go for M&S’s terrific, roasted black fruit and prune-spiced 2014 Intenso Teroldego red (on offer at £8).
If you fancy something stronger, why not try Brazil’s national spirit, cachaça, distilled from fermented sugar cane. Of the four I recently tasted, the Matos family’s creamy yet punchy, aniseed and lawn cuttings-scented Zeca Cachaça (£34; Harvey Nichols) is the one to buy. If you’re a cocktail fan, try it in a caipirinha: pour a slug of Zeca into a glass, add caster sugar, to taste, and the juice and peel of half a fresh lime. Muddle until the sugar has melted, and finish with ice cubes.
27 August 2016 THE WEEK
New cars: what the critics say
£27,830 (including Government grant)
Auto Express The i3 has “always been one of our favourite electric cars”. Since its launch two years ago, it has impressed with its “excellent” performance and low running costs. Now, BMW has upgraded the car’s batteries, giving it a bigger range: it officially does 195 miles off a charge (double its predecessor), but the real-world figure is more like 124 miles – far enough to alleviate most owners’ “range anxiety”.
The Daily Telegraph This is “a striking vehicle, if not a beautiful one”. It doesn’t resemble other BMWs – instead, it looks like something Dyson might produce. And the cabin also looks “different from the standard BMW”: steam-bent wood veneers give it the appearance of a modern coffee shop. The front seats are comfortable, while the bench in the back “is (just) big enough for a couple of adults”.
The best… coffee machines
Autocar On good roads, the i3 is “uncannily smooth”; on rough surfaces, however, it “thumps” about. It’s a “swift” car, outpacing most vehicles from 0-30mph. Refinement is impressive, and the ride quiet – though the regenerative brakes do make you stop abruptly. This is a pricey vehicle – even after the £4,500 Government grant for electric cars – but it’s still “a very fine thing to own”.
Morphy R nts Richards Accents Espresso Superb value, the Accents Espresso can make two espressos at the time There’s a steam am same time. foa d, wand for foaming milk and, o unlike the other machines wor with coffee here, it works w as ground pods as well coffee (£70; www. morphyric morphyrichards.co.uk). Sage Barista Express The Barista Express is packed with nice touches: the tray on top warms your cups, and the water tank has a changeable filter. The machine has a built-in grinder (with 18 settings, from coarse to fine) and an excellent steamer wand (£550; www. sageappliances.co.uk).
Jura E8 This automatic automat beanver pricey to-cup machine is very produc indeed, but it produces professional-quality brews effor with barely any effort. o Despite a wealth of options, part it’s simple to use, particularly if don you buy the optional dongle that lets you control it on your phone www.stafco. (£975; www.stafco.co.uk).
Gaggia Naviglio Relatively cheap for a bean-to-cup machine, the sturdy Naviglio produces excellent espresso. The options are extensive enough, if not exhaustive, and it has a steam wand (£399; www.house offraser.co.uk).
Tips of the week… … how to train yourr cat
▲ Cuisinart One Cup Grind and Brew This automatic filtercoffee maker lets you customise your brew by strength and flavour. It’s easy to clean, and has a good built-in grinder – but no tools for steaming milk (£100; www. johnlewis.com).
And for those who o have everything… ev …
● When you bring a new object into your home, it won’t contain your cat’s scent – which means it may smell threatening to them. To capture their scent, put on a cotton glove and stroke them on their scent glands (around the chin and ears). You can then transfer the scent to the object by rubbing it. ● Cats learn more easily when they’re relaxed. By teaching them to associate relaxation with a comfortable place – a blanket, say – you can ensure that they’re relaxed before training begins. ● The key to successful training is rewarding your cat – with food, or stroking. But make sure you do this immediately; otherwise, the cat may think it is being rewarded for something else. ● Cats have short attention spans, so make sure you keep the training sessions short; no longer than ten minutes, and just a few minutes for cats new to training. ● Signal clearly when training’s over – by crossing your arms, or saying “all done”.
Billed as “the world’s most sophisticated pillow”, the Zeeq can monitor your sleep and wake you up. It’s got built-in speakers, playing music just loud enough for you to hear but too quiet to disturb anyone else. Already funded on Kickstarter, it will be dispatched in December. from £170; www.kickstarter.com
AccuWeather is a good all-round weather app. Offering 15-day forecasts and handy at-a-glance forecast graphs, it also gives you a “RealFeel” temperature that takes into account humidity, wind and other factors (free; Android, iOS). Dark Sky specialises in predicting rain. You can monitor thunderstorms around the world, seeing how they develop, and customise the app to alert you when it’s about to start pouring in your area (£2.99 a year for full version, Android; £2.99, iOS). Haze uses animation and sound to display forecasts clearly and simply. Providing key information, it’s particularly user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing for a weather app (£2.49; iOS). Weather Underground gives an incredibly detailed hourly forecast, meeting all of a weather obsessive’s needs. With more than 180,000 locations, it’s packed with data and can be configured to focus on your meteorological interests (free; Android, iOS).
SOURCES: THE DAILY TELEGRAPH/THE OBSERVER
SOURCE: DAILY MIRROR
THE WEEK 27 August 2016
SOURCES: STUFF/THE INDEPENDENT/T3/DAILY 3/DAILY MIRROR
This week’s dream: hiking the high road to Machu Picchu
Coachloads of tourists leave the equal of anything at Machu Picchu”. Peruvian city of Cusco each day for the Reaching the height of their power in Sacred Valley of the Incas and the lost the 15th century AD, the Incas had city of Machu Picchu. But to immerse some “odd” obsessions – such as yourself in the Andes mountains and to human sacrifice and skull modification discover something of the local culture, – but at “ravishing” sites like this you should make the journey on foot, there’s no doubting their artistic genius. says Stanley Stewart in Condé Nast Beyond Písac, you pass villages with Traveller. To do so via the spectacular simple bars where fattened guinea pigs Lares Valley takes four days. Passing (a local delicacy) run about on the through villages where you hear more floors, offerings are made to a Quechua (the “soft, sibilant” language moustachioed local god called Ekeko, of the Incas) spoken than Spanish, this and chicha (corn beer) flows freely. route sees few tourists. Nonetheless, Then the way becomes lonelier, there are luxurious places to stay along crossing the Ipsaycocha Pass at 4,450 the way, thanks to Mountain Lodges of metres, and affording “immense” views Peru, a company that donates 25% of across rank after rank of “spectacular Machu Picchu: shrouded in mystery its profits to local communities. stony-faced summits”. Finally there is First stop is the old Inca town of Písac, where the market Machu Picchu itself, whose origins are shrouded in mystery, and square teems with local women in hats, riotously colourful skirts, whose great walls have been laid low by time, but whose location and woven shawls concealing babies, lambs and trussed-up – astride its own mountaintop, “framed by plunging canyons” – is chickens. Tiers of ancient stone walls rise up the mountainside overwhelming. Audley Travel (01993-838620, www.audleytravel. above it to the Temple of the Sun, an Inca monument that is “the com) has a 13-day Peru trip from £4,750pp, including flights.
Hotel of the week
Getting the flavour of… A fairy-tale beach break
andBeyond Benguerra Island, Mozambique
With golden sands and easy access to amazing snorkelling and diving in the Mozambique Channel, the Bazaruto Archipelago is “paradise” – and this resort is a great place from which to enjoy it, says Tatler. Revamped last year by the safari operator andBeyond, it has 12 thatched casinhas (“little houses”), with private pools, hanging daybeds and “exquisitely tiled” outdoor showers. Decor is in the local style, with dark-wood shutters, canopied beds and “tribally inspired” textiles. There’s a bar carved out of a dhow beside the thatched main lodge, and many other distractions, including horse riding and trips to nearby islands. From $765pp, full board. +27 11 809 4300, www.andbeyond.com.
With its enormous Baltic seascapes and lightly populated hinterland, the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is like a more exotic Norfolk, says John Gimlette in The Daily Telegraph – a great place for a family holiday. Pretty resorts such as Boltenhagen and Binz have popular, sandy beaches, while on Rügen island there are little-visited coves backed by wild woodlands. The medieval ports of Wismar and Stralsund are entrancing for children – like towns for “elves and shoemakers”, with their crow-stepped gables, brightly coloured façades and clustering spires. There are “brilliant” museums, including the phanTECHNIKUM (full of “curiosities and gadgets”), and the Ozeaneum, a huge, dazzling aquarium. And it’s worth driving inland, too, for wild forests, swimmable lakes and romantic old castle hotels (try Ulrichshusen or Gutshaus Ludorf). Fred Holidays (01473-242609, www. fredholidays.co.uk) has a seven-night trip from £789pp, including flights and car hire.
Swimming in the Ionian Sea
Wild swimming is one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK. If you want to try it but don’t fancy doing so in cold northern waters, head to the Greek island of Lefkada for one of The Big Blue’s week-long guided trips, says Joanna Lodewyke in The Guardian.
Run by a British woman and her Greek partner, this holiday firm accommodates guests at the Ilios Club Hotel and Villas in the fishing village of Yemi, and takes them out in a motor yacht for twice-daily swims around and between nearby islands. Groups range widely in age, ability and approach – so you can compete or just potter along at your own pace, soaking up the “gorgeous” views. A one-week trip costs £760pp (0113216 9434, www.thebigblueswim.com).
England’s new lakes and dales
The boundaries of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks have just been extended to take in much of the beautiful countryside that once lay between them, says Christopher Somerville in The Daily Telegraph. Two parcels of land have been added to each, amounting to 188 square miles in total. The largest of these blocks is the “wonderful” stretch of grassy uplands and limestone fells that now forms the northwest corner of the Dales – wild and extremely tranquil walking country around the lively market town of Kirkby Stephen, peppered with “handsome” stone-built villages. Among its treasures are the wildflower sanctuary of Waitby Greenriggs, and the steep valley of Smardale Gill, one of only two places in England where the Scotch argus butterfly is found. See www.yorkshire dales.org.uk and www.lakedistrict.gov.uk.
Last-minute offers from top travel companies India’s Golden Triangle Enjoy a 5-night India trip offering the highlights of the classic Golden Triangle tour. From £1,049pp, incl. Heathrow flights. 01293762456, www.hayesandjarvis. co.uk. Depart 19 October.
September in Devon Extend your summer with a 1-week stay at River Cottage, Lynmouth, a riverside house sleeping 6 – arrivals on 10 or 17 September cost £624. 01271-813777, www.marsdens.co.uk.
Utah fly-drive Hit the road with an 8-night trip to the Beehive State, home to five national parks, from £1,355pp room only, incl. flights and car hire. 0800-316 0194, www.bon-voyage.co.uk. Travel in October.
Italy’s Unesco caves The new Ben-Hur film features Matera’s sassi: stay 7 nights at the town’s Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita from £1,374pp b&b, incl. flights. 01425480400, www.prestige holidays.co.uk. Departs 1 Sept. 27 August 2016 THE WEEK
The corrupt Brazilian who transformed world football “I have come to change entirely the way Fifa works,” João Havelange declared on being elected Fifa president in 1974. “I have come to sell a product called football.” The tall, charismatic Brazilian – a former Olympic athlete and the head of Brazil’s Sports Confederation – was given to audacious claims. Yet he was as good as his word, said The Guardian. During his 24 years at the helm of football’s global governing body, he transformed the “beautiful game” into a multibillion-dollar industry. But to his critics it was a triumph achieved at the cost of football’s soul: he seemed to care less about the sport than its commercialisation and expansion. And as his career came to an end, his legacy was irreparably damaged by a welter of revelations exposing corruption on a massive scale. João Havelange 1916-2016
time Havelange stepped down from the post, however, the staff numbered hundreds; he had secured huge sponsorship deals from the likes of Coca-Cola and Adidas; and he’d doubled the number of countries participating in the World Cup – from 16 to 32. “I found an old house and $20 in the kitty,” he boasted. “I left property and contracts worth over $4bn. Not too bad, I’d say.”
That process of enrichment had its “upsides”, said Tom Peck in The Independent, not least in securing vastly greater resources for training young talent. Yet it came at the cost of Fifa becoming Havelange’s personal fiefdom, said The Guardian. Eventually even the most loyal of executives grew tired of his “Napoleonic” behaviour. He had a habit, for example, of concluding meetings by simply standing up and quitting the room. On one occasion, rather As a youngster growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Havelange: “Napoleonic” behaviour than discussing possible executive appointJean-Marie Faustin Godefroid de Havelange, ments with the board, he just handed members who has died aged 100, excelled at both football and swimming, a list of his choices and declared that this settled the matter. said The Daily Telegraph, and his father, a Belgian arms dealer, extracted a deathbed promise that he would one day compete in But Havelange overreached himself in 1994, when he had the the Olympics. In 1936, young João, as he was known, fulfilled his ever popular Pelé ejected from a promotional event in Las Vegas. pledge by competing as a middle-distance swimmer at the Berlin It was to punish Pelé for having accused Havelange’s son-in-law, Olympics, although he didn’t win a medal – a failure he attributed Fifa executive Ricardo Teixeira, of corruption. Yet Pelé had the to the length of the sea voyage from Brazil, which, he maintained, last word: by the end of the decade both Havelange and Teixeira had made it difficult to train. He went on to earn a fortune were shown to have been involved in graft amounting to millions. building up Brazil’s largest bus company, but returned to the Both avoided prosecution: corporate bribery isn’t a crime in world of sport in 1958, when he became head of the Brazilian Switzerland. Even so, Havelange felt it prudent to step down in Sports Confederation. That was the year in which Brazil won the 1998, though not before ensuring that his successor would be his first of three World Cups, an achievement due at least in part to protégé, Sepp Blatter. It wasn’t enough to save his reputation, the extraordinary skills of Pelé. And it was Pelé who proved a however. In his old age, Havelange was compelled to surrender great asset to Havelange as he launched his bid to become head of his position as honorary president of Fifa and membership of the Fifa: he toured the world, schmoozing delegates, with Pelé always International Olympic Committee after investigations by the FBI at his side. The dynamic Havelange also stood out by being such a and Fifa’s own ethics committee uncovered yet more instances contrast to the “out-of-touch” and unshowy incumbent Fifa boss, of malfeasance. Nonetheless, the old man went to his grave Sir Stanley Rous. Rous ran the organisation from a ramshackle unbowed, said The Times. When asked recently what needed to office in Zurich, with just a dozen full-time employees. By the change about Fifa, he replied defiantly: “Nothing. It is perfect.”
The “element of humanity” inside R2-D2 The record-breaking success of naughty midget in Labyrinth and an uncredited Kenny Baker the 1977 sci-fi blockbuster Star midget in Willow.” But his big break was, of 1934-2016 Wars transformed the lives of course, R2-D2: although the robot had neither its cast – including the actors you never actually arms nor legs, and never spoke, it was a hit with got to see, said The Guardian. One of these was children – far more so than C-3PO. (Some the 3ft 8in actor Kenny Baker, who inhabited the speculate that this sparked the animosity between suit of the cute, dustbin-shaped robot R2-D2. In the two.) Baker recalled how a female fan had fact Baker always said he hated playing the role: once embraced him and burst into tears, explainfor one thing, the film was being shot in the ing that her parents had divorced around the time North African desert, which meant it was of the first Star Wars film and that she took unbearably hot inside the cramped robot comfort by snuggling up in bed with her R2-D2. costume. (The crew lowered him into it, he recalled, then “put the lid on me like a boiled Although Baker never enjoyed making the Star egg”.) He also became embroiled in a distressing Wars movies, in later life he did enjoy attending Baker: no friend of C-3PO feud with his co-star Anthony Daniels, who Star Wars fan conventions. That was partly played his fellow robot C-3PO, and whom Baker described as because Daniels rarely turned up, but mainly because he loved “the rudest man I ever met”. meeting up with his friend Peter Mayhew, the 7ft 3in actor who played the hairy Chewbacca. He also loved the appreciation that Baker, who has died aged 81, was born in Birmingham, to accompanied such events, particularly when it came from Star parents of “normal height”, said The Times. When he was in his Wars director George Lucas, who in 1999 paid tribute to “the teens, his mother ran off with another man, and his father died element of humanity” to R2-D2 that “comes from having Kenny soon after, leaving him to fend for himself. Young Kenny joined a Baker inside”. In 1970, Baker married Eileen, a woman only a circus and later embarked on a career in film and TV. Inevitably, few inches taller than himself who had got in touch after spotting his roles followed a certain pattern. As he put it: “I was a lead him on a TV talent show. They went on to have normal-sized midget in Time Bandits, a magical midget in The Dark Crystal, a sons, Christopher and Kevin. THE WEEK 27 August 2016
CITY Companies in the news ...and how they were assessed
Asda/Walmart: return of price wars?
When the US supermarket giant Walmart bought Asda 17 years ago, the move “sent shock waves” through Britain’s grocery sector, said Deirdre Hipwell in The Times. But the combo “has never quite lived up to the hype”, and last week saw a new low when Asda reported its “worst sales fall on record”. Like-for-like sales in the second quarter fell by 7.5% – an even more dire performance than “an already bearish market had expected” following a 5.7% fall the previous quarter. The new boss, Sean Clarke, has a big challenge ahead of him, said Jon Yeomans in The Daily Telegraph. Walmart, which said it was addressing Asda’s slump as a matter of “urgency”, has signalled a return to “retail basics”. But “such a precipitous fall can augur only one thing”, said Simon Duke in The Sunday Times: “a price war”. And with the “colossus” of Walmart behind it, “Asda has the firepower to do serious damage” that could “torpedo Dave Lewis’s attempt to turn round Tesco”. Let’s hope not, said Graham Ruddick in The Guardian. More price cuts would be “ruinous” for the “Big Four” – “already struggling to make their largest stores profitable” following an ill-advised land-grab. Asda and its rivals have a long battle ahead, but “a race to the bottom” is not the answer.
The race to bring self-driving cars to consumers is revving up, said Richard Milne and Leslie Hook in the Financial Times. Uber, “which has been investing heavily in driverless technologies”, has just formed a $300m partnership with the safety-conscious Swedish carmaker Volvo (which is owned by China’s Geely) to get a new self-driving car on the road by 2021. In its largest acquisition to date, Uber has also bought Otto – a company specialising in self-driving technology for trucks. Perhaps the most eye-catching announcement of all, however, is news that Uber “will start testing the world’s first autonomous taxi fleet in the next few weeks” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “The cars will not exactly be driverless,” said Samuel Gibbs in The Guardian: “they will have human drivers as back-up”. But they are “the next step towards a fully automated fleet” that will hasten CEO Travis Kalanick’s stated “mission” to provide “transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere for everyone”.
Sports Direct: brotherly love
Weeks ahead of what is expected to be “a stormy shareholder meeting”, Sports Direct is facing “new questions over its governance”, said Harry Wilson and Deirdre Hipwell in The Times. It emerges that the retailer has been making hefty “undisclosed payments” to an obscure Cleethorpes-based company, owned by the elder brother of its billionaire founder, Mike Ashley. Listed companies in Britain are required to disclose deals with parties who are connected with directors. According to Sports Direct, the tie-up with John Ashley’s firm, Barlin Delivery, helped the retailer to “de-risk” its overseas delivery. Investors don’t see it quite that way: one major shareholder described the deal as another “black mark”. This isn’t the first time that Sports Direct has come under scrutiny for Ashley’s personal connections, said the FT. In January, it emerged that he had put his daughter’s boyfriend, a 26-year-old former nightclub promoter, in charge of the retailer’s property team via a consultancy contract potentially worth millions.
Seven days in the Square Mile The world’s central bankers met in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, amid speculation about whether the US would raise interest rates next month following further evidence of a strengthening US economy. Futures markets were pricing in a 28% chance of a hike. The oil price hit a two-month high, breaking through $50/barrel, after Opec hinted at a production freeze. Moody’s predicted Britain would avoid a recession, with the lower pound helping to support growth. It forecasts 1.5% growth this year and 1.2% in 2017, some way above BoE forecasts. The agency reported that growth globally is “stabilising”. The TUC said Britain is facing a debt time bomb, with more than 1.5 million households barely able to cover the interest payments on personal loans. Shares in WPP, the world’s largest advertising group, hit a record high after it reported strong growth in the first half: revenues, at £6.5bn, are up almost 12% on the same period last year. Growth was helped by the pound’s weakness; shares are up 50% since the referendum. RBS began charging some 70 financial clients, including banks and pension funds, interest for holding their cash. Pfizer bought cancer specialist Medivation for $14bn. India appointed Urjit Patel as the new head of its central bank, to replace Raghuram Rajan. Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman resigned, with a $72m settlement, following a fraught battle for control with founder Sumner Redstone and family.
Woodford Investment Management: bonus ban breaks new ground One of the most prominent figures in the City doubtless sincerely held”, will probably give his has taken “the unprecedented step” of firm a “branding advantage” – provided plenty abolishing all staff bonuses at his firm, of other funds “stick to the bad old ways”. It arguing that they do little to boost could also alleviate internal politicking, said performance, said Patrick Hosking in The Hosking. But there are downsides. In a difficult Times. “Star stock-picker” Neil Woodford has year, WIM could be “exposed” if it is unable to instead put all 35 employees of his fund reduce its total pay bill. And without a deferred boutique, Woodford Investment Management bonus award to tie them in, “star performers (WIM), on a fixed salary. “The radical shift in could be more amenable to poaching”. policy is unheard of in the City where discretionary bonuses have traditionally been “It’s relevant that this radical move is being seen as necessary to drive performance.” But, made by a fund manager,” said Maggie Pagano according to Woodford and co-founder Craig in the Daily Mail. Their own big bonuses are one Newman, the payouts “can distort behaviour, reason why they have consistently failed to Woodford: a radical move encouraging misconduct, recklessness and curtail excessive pay at the companies in which short-termism”. The firm has increased its employees’ fixed they invest. M&G’s Richard Woolnough took home £33m in 2014: salaries to compensate for the loss. his fund is now “at the bottom of performance tables”. It has become “an article of faith” that companies must pay ever-higher “The view from the moral high ground is fantastic,” said discretionary bonuses to get the best from staff. If Woodford’s Jonathan Guthrie in the FT. Woodford’s ethical position, “while move helps “prick” that bubble, bring it on.
THE WEEK 27 August 2016
Talking points Issue of the week: c’mon the Reds
China Everbright’s tilt at Liverpool FC highlights the country’s growing influence in English football Last year, China’s President Xi Jinping this year. “The sudden attractiveness of outlined his ambition to make the English football is symptomatic of a country “a world football superpower”. game swimming in cash after the Premier That aim may have come a step closer League’s recent £8bn broadcast deal.” now that China Everbright, a stateIt also shows the willingness of Chinese backed financial giant, is contemplating firms to pay big sums for businesses they buying a large stake in one of Britain’s reckon will flourish “in China’s vast most prestigious clubs, Liverpool FC, domestic market”. The club fits the bill: said Jonathan Northcroft and Simon in the Middle Kingdom, Liverpool (or Duke in The Sunday Times. The deal, “Liwupu” as it is rendered in Chinese) which could be sealed in the coming is “synonymous with football”. weeks, is understood to value the club at around £800m and would “significantly Liverpool’s official position is that bolster its finances”. It would also be “the club is not for sale and no active “the largest investment by China in the discussions are taking place”, said the UK since the EU referendum”, coming at FT. But John W. Henry is taking the a time of “great strain in Sino-British approach seriously enough to appoint “Liwupu”: synonymous with football in China commercial relations”. The chief advisers Allen & Co. Another potentially stumbling block is that it is unclear whether Liverpool’s current crucial player in the Everbright consortium (reportedly backed by US owner, Fenway Sports Group – the outfit founded by the China Investment Corporation, the country’s main sovereign American sports tycoon John W. Henry – is willing to sell. wealth fund) is Amanda Staveley of PCP Capital Partners – a “keen Liverpool fan” who brokered Sheikh Mansour’s deal to The move follows a flurry of recent football deals, said Marcus take over Manchester City in 2008. Liverpool have been in the Leroux in The Times. Shortly after President Xi’s visit to doldrums of late: they won their last major trophy in 2012. But Manchester City’s training ground during his state visit last a “dearth of trophies” has “barely troubled the bottom line”. October, a consortium of Chinese private equity groups paid Earnings have risen to £62m from £4m since 2012. Indeed, $400m for a 13% stake in City Football Group, which owns the “seen through a spreadsheet rather than from the Anfield terraces, club. Meanwhile, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa and Liverpool is a sports marketing company with a football club West Bromwich Albion have all come under Chinese ownership attached”. No wonder the Chinese are so keen to grab it.
Making money: what the experts think
Santander account was even more striking when It’s been a terrible you consider that the summer for savers. The current best-buy twoBank of England’s rate year fixed-rate bond – cut to 0.25% has “a product that would triggered a slide in be expected to pay interest-rate cuts across depositors more as they hundreds of accounts. have no access to their Arguably the worst money for 24 months – affected, said Anna offers just 1.81%, said Mikhailova in The Naomi Rovnick in FT Sunday Times, are the 3.6 million Britons Santander has cut its rates; will Lloyds? Money. There are still a few generous deals who hold their cash in around. The Club Lloyds current account, Santander’s instant access 123 account, for instance, pays 4% on balances of which currently pays 3% on balances £4,000-£5,000 but – ominously – that too between £3,000 and £20,000. That rate is now “under review”. will be slashed to 1.5% in November, removing “one of the few remaining options for savers looking for a decent ● Rate-chasing return on their cash”. TSB, Nationwide, Tesco and Bank of Scotland also still have high-interest ● Stand-out appeal accounts on the market, said Richard It was probably only a matter of time Evans in The Sunday Telegraph. The before Santander succumbed, said Andrew problem is that “all pay their best rate on Hagger of the consumer advice site only a small tranche of your overall MoneyComms. “Paying 3% with instant balance”, so you need to open “a number access was probably too good to be true in of them” to make a difference – a “fiddly the current depressed savings market.” process” that’s complicated to manage, The average rate paid on current accounts particularly given that some accounts have with balances of £5,000 fell to 0.30% this a finite period of higher-interest rates. But month. Returns from conventional instant with no end in sight to ultra-low rates, access savings accounts are even worse: savers are going to have to get used to more than a third now pay 0.25% or less, this kind of “active cash” strategy, said “with some offering returns as measly as Rovnick. “Rate chasers” have never had 0.01%”. The “stand-out appeal” of the to work so hard. ● Savings stinker
THE WEEK 27 August 2016
Mind the gap! “If you’re a woman, you will earn less than a man,” observed Theresa May in her first statement as Prime Minister. Sadly, she is right, said Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, in The Times. “The gap between men and women’s wages is one of the most persistent features of the labour market” – as new research from the IFS demonstrates. True, some progress has been made: the difference between the average hourly pay of men and women fell from 28% in 1993 to 18% last year. But during those two decades, the gap between men and women with higher qualifications hasn’t closed at all. Women with degrees still earn 20% less per hour than men, while those with A-levels earn 25% less. The biggest losers are mothers, said Gemma Tetlow in the FT. By the time their first child is 12, they earn 33% less than men per hour. That discrepancy might reflect “mothers missing out on promotions, or simply accumulating less labour market experience”, according to the IFS. “Training, progression and promotion are much harder to come by if you work part-time,” said Johnson. That might be down to “cultures of presenteeism” or losing out on “informal interactions down the pub”. Whatever the reason, we seem to have “a big problem in the way we organise work in the UK”.
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Commentators A dangerous time for global trade Dan Roberts and Ryan Felton The Observer
How about a North Sea Union? Ambrose Evans-Pritchard The Daily Telegraph
Corporate sponsors can be ruthless James Surowiecki The New Yorker
Why French businessmen dress better Adam Thomson Financial Times
“Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton don’t agree on much,” say Dan Roberts and Ryan Felton. But they have formed “an unlikely alliance” over trade. “Never before have both main presidential candidates broken with the orthodoxy that says globalisation is always good for Americans.” Last week, Clinton, once a supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (the proposed giant deal with Asia) reaffirmed her opposition to it – breaking faith with a tradition of multilateral deals led by the US for more than 70 years. The TPP has become “a lightning rod for disagreement over whether continued trade liberalisation is good for the US economy”. Many companies find “the lack of political support for trade” perplexing. Yet crucial sectors – notably America’s biggest export industry, car-making – refuse to back a deal that, in theory, opens up important new markets; they worry that it could unfairly benefit Japan. The big concern if the US does withdraw is that scrapping the TPP would allow China to seize control of the Asian trade agenda. If it fails, the rest of Asia will have no choice but to move in the direction China wants to go. European leaders “are starting to look for creative ways to heal the referendum rift”, says Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. For instance, the prime minister of Flanders – Belgium’s dominant region – has proposed a “North Sea Union” to cushion the Brexit shock. The bloc outlined by Geert Bourgeois would consist of Britain, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden and Norway, and would focus on “blue industry”: creating an “integrated sphere for offshore energy and marine research”, with “a defence and security” element. The idea of a North Sea Union was first proposed by the German state of Bremen six years ago, “but has suddenly become topical again”. Bourgeois wants to avoid what he calls a “new EU”, favouring “a light structure” run on an “intergovernmental basis”. Bourgeois’s overture is a signal that EU politics is moving beyond the “grief and anger” stage of the upset. “The majority of the EU now agrees that anything other than a soft Brexit would have a huge cost,” said Bourgeois. And he is well-placed to work on a framework for cooperation. “The Belgians are masters of this kind of statecraft.” After falsely claiming to have been held up at gunpoint in Rio, the swimmer Ryan Lochte has lost four lucrative deals from sponsors including Speedo and Polo Ralph Lauren, says James Surowiecki. He chose “the wrong era for misadventure”: brands are much quicker to dump athletes “for even the appearance of bad behaviour” than they were in the past. Companies are still keen to bask in the “reflected glory” of athletes, and there is evidence that the strategy works: a 2012 study found that endorsements boosted sales by 4%. But there is now greater awareness of how these deals can backfire. “The key moment in this evolution” of “reputational risk” was the Tiger Woods debacle, which cost his sponsors “billions of dollars in market capitalisation”. The upshot is that sponsors are much more likely to sever relationships quickly. They insist on tighter “morals clauses” in contracts, and would rather sign a “team of endorsers” than “make big bets” on individuals. The endorsement economy, in short, “is much tougher and less forgiving than it once was”. “I first noticed how well French business leaders dress in 2013”, when Publicis chief Maurice Lévy unveiled his doomed $35bn merger plan with the US group Omnicom, says Adam Thomson. Lévy strode out in a black suit, crisp white shirt and black tie: “it was understated but elegant and brimming with confidence”. His opposite number’s blue shirt and gold tie came a distant second. The Lévy black-white-black combo is a classic in France. Indeed, the “flamboyant” London code of pink and striped shirts “could easily derail a promising career” in Paris. And in France, clothes fit; while if you remove an Englishman’s jacket you will probably “discover a spinnaker billowing under his arms”. What explains this style gap? I blame school uniforms, which English children wear and the French do not. Choosing what to wear makes French children more aware of clothes and fit; uniforms bought by value-conscious parents, by contrast, are either too large, or too small. The lesson, if you’re heading for Paris, is to play it safe: “rein in the colours, and above all, wear a suit that fits”.
CITY 47 City profiles Roger Jenkins The former Barclays banker, credited with “saving” the bank during the crash by bringing on board Middle Eastern investors, hopes to become “America’s new cannabis king”, says the Daily Mail. The muscular Scot – nicknamed “Roger the Dodger” for his expertise in tax avoidance – is backing a fund that aims to farm in California, months before the state votes on whether to allow “recreational” use. If the measure is approved, the market for legal cannabis in the state is expected to grow from $2.7bn today (medical use is already permitted) to $6.6bn by 2020. Jenkins, who once dated supermodel Elle Macpherson and “happily” awarded his ex-wife a £150m divorce settlement, was once the City’s best-paid banker. Time will tell if the “green rush” proves as lucrative. Philip Hammond
The new Chancellor’s racy business career belies his “understated”, somewhat boring image, says the FT. A product of “the swashbuckling Thatcher era”, he was “a risk-taker” whose business ventures didn’t always pay off. After cutting his teeth running school discos in Essex, Hammond “bought and sold Ford cars from the nearby Dagenham plant” and, after Oxford, sold summer trips to the city to Iranians – a venture scuppered by the 1979 revolution. After a bruising experience with a medical device company, liquidated in 1986, Hammond eventually cleaned up in property with house-builder Castlemead. As his friend and business associate Lord Moynihan recalls. “He always saw the opportunity. He was never not thinking about how to make money.”
27 August 2016 THE WEEK
Who’s tipping what The week’s best buys
Air Partner The Mail on Sunday Air Partner’s main business is chartering commercial, private and freight jets – and business is brisk thanks to growing global demand. Successful moves into brokering aircraft sales and air safety bode well. Undervalued. Buy. 377.5p.
Games Workshop The Daily Telegraph After going through difﬁcult times in 2015, shares in the table-top games-maker have now recovered and are offering good value – with strong cash generation and healthy overseas sales. Buy. 535p.
Just Eat London Evening Standard Heartened by “a beast” of a ﬁrst half, broker Jefferies has upped its rating for the online takeaway company and increased proﬁt forecasts by 18%. The new target price is 1000p. Buy. 599.5p.
Ithaca Energy The Daily Telegraph Despite suffering deep losses in the ﬁrst half, the North Sea oil explorer should be on the verge of a production boom when its Greater Stella oil ﬁeld opens. Cost efﬁciencies and progress on tackling net debt should further strengthen its position. Buy. 67p.
Mears Group The Times Recent acquisitions have seen Mears branch out of its core social housing business into care provision. The National Living Wage has meant a rethink of business partnerships, but continuing contracts with local authorities bode well long term. Buy. 416p.
Morgan Sindall 850 800 750 700
CEO buys 500,000
650 600 550 March
Co-founder John Morgan spent £3.2m afﬁrming his faith in the construction ﬁrm’s turnaround after interims revealed a 21% increase in proﬁts. Improved cash management has helped cut debt by a third, making it easier to weather the postreferendum construction storm.
…and some to sell
Gem Diamonds Daily Mail Core earnings at the mining ﬁrm have slipped, owing to a dip in value of the diamonds at its Lesotho mine. Revenue and proﬁt are both down, with a resulting 4.3% fall in share price. There’s not much to indicate a rebound. Sell. 122p.
Laird Daily Mail The electronic components business just lost its CEO to a rival – a worrying development. Analyst Berenberg doubts whether the group will be able to meet market expectations in the second half of the year. Sell. 299p.
Premier Farnell London Evening Standard The struggling parts distributor saw its shares slip, after one of its suitors, Dätwyler, declined to raise its bid. Further momentum looks unlikely now that US-based Avnet will probably emerge as the winning bidder. Sell. 183.78p.
HSS Hire The Sunday Times Last year’s disastrous ﬂoat led to two proﬁt warnings at the tool rental business, and a plunge in shares. Management attributes the slide to the erratic nature of the business; analysts argue it should never have gone public. Sell. 79p.
Merchants Trust Investors Chronicle Equity income funds are usually a good bet for income seekers, but underperformance, combined with a high level of expensive debt, make Merchants a risky option – despite the ever-increasing dividend. Sell. 434.45p.
William Hill Sharecast Rank Group and 888 Holdings have thrown in the towel on their pursuit of a three-way merger with the bookie. Analyst Berenberg argues that William Hill’s size makes it a tough target for other potential suitors. Sell. 306p.
Shares tipped 12 weeks ago Best tip Booker The Times up 3.03% to 180.3p Worst tip Greencore Group Shares down 6.92% to 358p
Market view “Fed watching… has been the single biggest waste of my time in the past two years.” Hedge fund manager Stephen Jen laments continued mixed messages about US rate rises. Quoted in the FT
Market summary Key numbers numbers for investors Key investors FTSE 100 FTSE All-share UK Dow Jones NASDAQ Nikkei 225 Hang Seng Gold Brent Crude Oil DIVIDEND YIELD (FTSE 100) UK 10-year gilts yield US 10-year Treasuries UK ECONOMIC DATA Latest CPI (yoy) Latest RPI (yoy) Halifax house price (yoy) £1 STERLING
23 Aug 2016 6868.51 3743.52 18565.44 5266.36 16497.36 22998.93 1342.00 49.70 3.68% 0.64 1.55 0.6% (Jul) 1.9% (Jul) +8.4% (Jul)
$1.322 g1.169 ¥132.391
Best shares Best and and worst performing shares Week before 6893.92 3748.86 18593.32 5240.39 16596.51 22910.84 1339.40 48.95 3.66% 0.68 1.58 0.5% (Jun) 1.6% (Jun) +9.20% (Jun)
Change (%) –0.37% –0.14% –0.15% 0.50% –0.60% 0.38% 0.19% 1.53%
WEEK’S CHANGE, FTSE 100 STOCKS RISES Price % change 486.20 +10.07 Barratt Developments 1870.00 +7.72 Persimmon 165.10 +7.35 Taylor Wimpey 57.59 +6.75 Lloyds Banking Group 1629.00 +6.19 Travis Perkins FALLS Fresnillo Randgold Resources Admiral Group Old Mutual Standard Chartered
Following the Footsie 7,000
1836.00 8020.00 2122.00 204.50 626.00
–7.37 –6.58 –5.86 –4.22 –4.15
BEST AND WORST UK STOCKS OVERALL 0.27 +292.84 Sigmaroc 1.30 –45.26 AEC Education
Source: Datastream (not adjusted for dividends). Prices on 23 Aug (pm)
6-month movement in the FTSE 100 index
27 August 2016 THE WEEK
Admiral Group The Times Shares in the insurance group have fallen despite “good enough” half-year ﬁgures and rising premiums. Admiral’s low cost-base should help it weather volatility, and worries about the solvency ratio look overstated. Buy. £21.22.
The last word
Farewell to my funny, loving, schizophrenic big brother Alastair Campbell’s brother Donald, who died earlier this month, struggled for years with schizophrenia. Yet he remained extraordinarily positive, especially when playing the bagpipes. Here, his “little brother” pays tribute to his funny, loving, happy sibling about him while he was surrounded by people who were all discussing terrible things they were about to do to him. Then he would laugh and say: “Absolutely mad, innit, Grace?”
Medication helped to give Donald long periods free of the His illness, not mine, voices in his head and is the real reason I the hallucinations campaign for better before his eyes that understanding and otherwise reduced treatment of mental him to a sometimes illness, not least terriﬁed and other because people who times aggressive have schizophrenia do human being. He had have such shortened a marriage, though it life expectancy. I talk didn’t last. He had about my own better luck in work, problems of depression holding down a job he and addiction partly loved at Glasgow because I am asked to University for 27 and because I think years; at his farewell openness is better all last year – due to round if we are going physical ill health – The Campbell brothers playing the pipes at Charles Kennedy’s memorial service to break down the the turnout and the taboo and so win the ﬁght for the services and treatments we warmth were evidence of the huge contribution he had made. need. I never talked about Donald’s illness in public, mainly because our mum didn’t want me to. Donald had two main roles at the university: he was the principal’s ofﬁcial piper, who played at dinners, ceremonies and That was not out of the shame and stigma that many people graduations; and he was part of the security team, mainly sadly still feel attaches to mental illness. She was hugely proud of working at the control point in the university library. It meant him for what he managed to he got to know hundreds of achieve despite what he called students; he loved the banter, “You heard voices once and you’re Mr Bloody taught some of them the pipes “this shitty illness”. It was more that, with one son in the media and often ordered anyone with Mental Health. Why don’t they come spotlight, she worried that if feet on a library table to “kindly and talk to a real expert?” Donald’s head were in any way use the carpets”. Glasgow above the parapet, it could have University was a model made him even more vulnerable. Donald, on the other hand, employer for someone with severe mental illness, and his role was totally up for it. Like a lot of mentally ill people, when he as piper gave him a sense of purpose and status, which he loved. was well he thought he ought to be famous. And when he was He piped out thousands and thousands of students from their ill he thought he already was. He was competitive about his graduations. One of the greatest sadnesses in his life was that illness. “Saw you on the telly again talking about your latterly, because of breathing problems caused by his medication, psychotic breakdown, Ali. You heard voices once and you’re he was unable to play other than on electronic pipes – “Second like Mr Mental Bloody Health. Why don’t they come and talk best, Ali, but I’m still better than you.” to a real expert?” The very last time he played the “real” pipes, we performed Our mum having died two years ago, Donald and I were together at a memorial service for the former Liberal Democrat planning to make a ﬁlm together – centred on him – about living leader Charles Kennedy, who had been rector of the university. with schizophrenia. He had caught the telly bug a bit when we “Good lad, that Charlie Kennedy – always stopped for a chat.” appeared together in a ﬁlm about bagpipes, one of our shared He had to give up halfway through to get his breath, and I loves. My daughter Grace, a ﬁlm student, had begun to record ﬁnished alone. It didn’t stop him adding this to his brotherly interviews with Donald about the ups and downs in his life since boasts: “Did you see Nicola Sturgeon nodding along to my he was ﬁrst diagnosed while serving in the Scots Guards in his playing? Alex Salmond isn’t the only one who knows I’m a better early 20s. So he would sit and tell her about the time he was in a player than you.” (Salmond had once said in an interview that waiting room, and the electrical plugs were talking to the lights Donald was the better player of the two of us – on this, at least, THE WEEK 27 August 2016
© UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW PHOTOGRAPHIC UNIT
My big brother died on Tuesday 9 August. It was a massive, horrible shock, even though we have always known that people with his condition live on average 20 years less than the rest of us. Donald was 62. His condition was schizophrenia.
The last word he was right.) Our sibling rivalry went back to the one piping competition in which I beat him, aged ten – I got gold; he got bronze – and to his dying day he swore the judges confused us. He was probably right.
53 favoured form of psychiatric treatment, and Donald had his fair share of that. My dad was a self-employed vet and had to get back to work. I was in my late teens, on a long college holiday, and decided I wanted to stay down there. I didn’t have a driving licence at the time but went north to collect Donald’s car; I spent my days in the hospital with him and my nights either ﬁnding someone to put me up or sleeping in the car.
So the drugs worked. Kind of. But decades of powerful anti-psychotic medication takes a toll. When it came to “normal” illnesses such as colds and ﬂu and chest infections, the gaps between them became Donald reciprocated after my own – “not as shorter and the quantity of “normal” psychotic as mine, Ali” – breakdown in the drugs required to treat them grew larger. 1980s. We went on a road trip, visiting Added to which, a recent change of his friends and relatives around Britain. He was main medication for the schizophrenia – great company: a strong glue in our close necessary to deal with his physical illness and extended family, and a very loving and and weight increase – seemed to have sent supportive brother. Donald was very clever him haywire mentally. In the end but not very well educated (the reverse of a Sibling rivalry: the young Campbells something had to give. His life. It is a lot of people I know). I have no idea when source of great sadness that my last conversations were with the his mind started to go wrong, but I do know that of all of us he psychotic Donald, not the loving, giving, funny Donald who was the one who found schoolwork hardest. I’ve often wondered brought so much to our lives by making so much of his own. too whether those times when he just couldn’t seem to get himself out of bed, which my parents saw as a sign of teenage Like me and our brother, Graeme, and sister, Liz, Donald was rebellion, were the ﬁrst indications of an illness about which we born and raised in England, but an adult life that started in the knew absolutely nothing when that call from the military came, a Scots Guards as a teenager and, once he had been discharged on call after which, our mother said many times, her life was never medical grounds, was lived almost entirely in and around the same again. Glasgow – a lot of it in the piping world – meant that he had a 100% Scottish accent (200% when psychotic). When we were He had many doctors, nurses and psychiatrists, and to the end he interviewed together for the piping ﬁlm, the interviewer doubted received fantastic NHS care in several parts of the country and we were brothers, because although I have tinges of a Scots various moments of crisis. One of them once said to me: “Donald accent when with Scots, I have is my greatest success story. lived most of my life in England. Keeps his job. Owns his own “There was only one bagpiping competition in ﬂat. Drives himself. Stays active. We were brothers, all right. which I beat him, aged ten. To his dying day, Has a passion for his music. Has Living very different lives. But very close. No death have I ever more friends than any of us. Has he swore the judges had confused us” dreaded more than this one. a positive attitude almost all the time.” That last bit was He had little interest in politics; even less in sport. His passion certainly true. I wrote a book about my depression and called it was the bagpipes. The piping was a gift from our father, also The Happy Depressive. If we had ever made the ﬁlm about Donald, who taught us when we were very young and growing Donald, we were going to call it The Happy Schizophrenic. “It is up in Yorkshire. Indeed, if ever I do Desert Island Discs, the ﬁrst what it is, Ali. I got given a bit of a crap deal, but you’ve got to song will be Donald Campbell by Donald Campbell, a tune make the best of it. Know what I mean?” It helped that, unlike written in honour of my dad and played by my brother on one of me, he did do God, and his faith was certainly a comfort. the CDs he recorded for the university. For Donald Jr, piping became a life-deﬁning passion. He competed at a high level. The He loved people and he loved life. If there were an extended judges were aware he could sometimes be “out of form up top”, family vote – I have about 60 cousins – to elect its most popular as once when my sons, Rory and Calum, and I went to see him in member, he would have walked it. He worked almost all his life. a piobaireachd competition – top-rank stuff. Donald’s mind was He didn’t like hospital for all the obvious reasons but also wandering, and the judges smiled as he stopped prematurely, because he didn’t like to be a burden on the NHS, which he felt said: “Bugger it – I was away with the fairies there”, saluted and had already given him more than most. He adored his nieces and left the stage. But he was competing, composing, recording and nephews and was obsessed with the idea that he should have teaching almost to the end. something to leave them, even though several of them already earn more than he ever did. He was always a giver. He joined the Army as a young man, largely so he could be in one of the guards’ bands – he hoped to spend more time piping My sister, Liz, was the last person to visit him, shortly before the than soldiering. He was serving in Northern Ireland, however, respiratory collapse that led to his death. In recent days he had when his comrades and superiors started to notice that he was become unusually violent as the voices became more and more behaving strangely. The next thing we knew, he was in a nowunmanageable. But he could be calmed a little when Liz played defunct military psychiatric hospital in Netley, Hampshire. When him his piping CDs. Right until the end of it, he never lost the we got the call, I travelled down with my dad. Donald was on his music in his soul. And though the Donald who died was the sick own in a room, bewildered and scared, and had been drawing all Donald, the workings of his mind divorced from people and sorts of weird things on the walls. Insofar as he spoke, he talked events around him – which is what schizophrenia is, not the absolute nonsense. My dad and I just stood there, shocked to the “split personality” cliché that compounds the stigma – in there core. Those eyes were not the eyes we knew. somewhere was the real Donald. The real Donald leaves behind so much grief precisely because he inspired so much love, and It was a tough place. That is no criticism of the doctors and gave so much love to so many – not least his little brother. nurses. They were operating at a time when servicemen and women who wanted to leave early had to buy their way out, and Alastair Campbell is an ambassador for Time to Change, a so, among the really serious cases evident to all, the medics were campaign to end mental health discrimination. A longer version on the lookout for people feigning mental illness so as to be of this article ﬁrst appeared in The Sunday Times. © The Sunday discharged. It was also a time when electric-shock therapy was a Times/News Syndication. 27 August 2016 THE WEEK
THE WEEK CROSSWORD 1019
This week’s crossword winner will receive an Ettinger (www. ettinger.co.uk) Bridle Hide Red Travel Pass Holder, which retails at £95, and two Connell Guides (www.connellguides.com).
An Ettinger coin purse and two Connell Guides will be given to the sender of the first correct solution to the crossword and the clue of the week opened on Monday 5 September. Send it to: The Week Crossword 1019, 2nd floor, 32 Queensway, London W2 3RX, or email the answers to email@example.com. Set by Tim Moorey (www.timmoorey.info) ACROSS 1 Not all there in British race started properly (7-7) 8 Introduce lager back at home (4,2) 9 Nonsense about delays regularly for poor country folk (8) 10 Reading skill not stodgy and risque (8) 11 Singular cut demonstrated once (6) 12 Drink brewed by teenager (5,3) 15 Run fast behind old US airport (1’4) 17 More cutting after leaving court (5) 18 Popular position, for example (8) 20 Crime writer’s sinister? The opposite (6) 22 What’s left on highway and as well on roundabout (4,4) 24 Slash delicate material price (8) 25 Father Ted recalled in US state capital (6) 26 Product of light industry in Shanghai? (7,7)
DOWN 1 One could be a regular breakfast dip (7) 2 Now for a sort of shirt gift (2,7) 3 Nation making an appearance in Eton game (5) 4 Poor Hodgson passes over lowest points in Euro championship (5) 5 Doctor Who’s after ways to get publicity from these? (4,5) 6 Empty potty son’s removed (5) 7 Former army unit storing tons furthest from the centre (7) 13 PM pauses at work? (3-6) 14 Ring master from Sri Lanka turned up (3) 16 A label stuck on long weapon immediately (2,1,6) 17 Rot found in two English trees (7) 19 Refurbished entrance not right for eatery (7) 21 Money brought about that is for linked advertising (3-2) 22 Nick’s good buy (5) 23 Veteran car down under not starting (5)
Name Address Clue of the week: Take in (4-4, first and last letters H) The Times
Tel no Clue of the week answer:
Solution to Crossword 1017 ACROSS: 9 Somnolent 10 Apace 11 Ephesus 12 Lenient 13 Lot 14 Groundlings 17 Macho 18 Tor 19 Slain 21 Soldiered on 23 Aid 25 Throw up 27 Seepage 28 To-dos 29 Cooperate DOWN: 1 As well 2 Emphatic 3 Monsignori 4 Mews 5 Stalingrad 6 Naan 7 Cavern 8 Jettison 15 Outer space 16 Los Angeles 17 Misstate 20 Aga-sagas 22 Laredo 24 Dieter 26 Wash 27 Stop Clue of the Week: Creature featured in pop song (6, first letter W) Solution: WEASEL
The winner of 1017 is Peter Wholley from Royston The Week is available on CD and via the e-text service from National Talking Newspapers on 01435-866102; www.tnauk.org.uk
Sudoku 563 (very difficult)
Fill in all the squares so that each row, column and each of the 3x3 squares contains all the digits from 1 to 9 Solution to to Sudoku Sudoku 562 228 Solution
9 7 9
Puzzle supplied by
Puzzle supplied by
Charity of the week Millions of adults struggle with their everyday maths skills. National Numeracy wants this to change. Numeracy is the maths you need for everyday life. It’s an essential skill – and an entitlement – linked to better wages, employment chances and even health. We want everyone in the UK to reach a level of numeracy that enables them to meet their full potential, and we believe a major shift in attitudes is needed to make this happen. In 2014 we developed the National Numeracy Challenge, which anyone can use to check and improve their numeracy level. Over 83,000 people have registered, two million questions have been answered, and four out of five people who use it improve their score. Visit www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk to find out how to get involved, or check your numeracy level confidentially for free at www.nnchallenge.org.uk.
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27 August 2016 THE WEEK