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THE WEEK

10 OCTOBER 2015 | ISSUE 1043 | 3.10

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Putins war

The cost of propping up Assad


Page 6

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6 NEWS

The main stories

What happened

What the editorials said

The Osborne supremacy

After their stunning election win, the Tories are in an


extraordinarily powerful position, said the Daily Mail.
Theres nothing wrong with showing
magnanimity, but the Government mustnt
waste time chasing Labour voters when it has
this chance to bring in bold Tory reforms. Tony
Blair is a cautionary lesson, said The Daily
Telegraph. He was so obsessed with occupying
the centre ground that he abandoned any
pretence of principle. The Tories must hold
firm to their belief in personal responsibility,
low taxes and a frugal state.

The Tories used their conference this week to


claim sole ownership of the political centre
ground. David Cameron pledged to turn this
into Britains turnaround decade as he set out
new measures to increase social mobility and
home ownership. George Osborne, for his part,
tried to steal Labours clothes by announcing the
creation of a national infrastructure commission
headed by the Blairite peer Lord Adonis. The
Chancellor also promised to give councils in
England full control over business rates as part
of a devolution revolution. Osbornes speech
was seen as a bold signal of intent from the
frontrunner to replace David Cameron, who
has pledged to stand down in 2020.

Not if that means sticking to their misguided


tax credit reforms, said The Independent. This
policy is a disaster. Just in time for Christmas,
HMRC will be writing to millions of families
detailing how much they will be losing a
Osborne: a signal of intent
financial hit that, for many, wont be cancelled
The conference also heard from other likely
out by gains from Osbornes as-yet-unimplemented national
leadership contenders. In a warmly received speech, Boris
living wage. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt didnt help
Johnson presented himself as a one nation Tory, and said
matters by claiming the cuts would motivate Britons to work
welfare reforms must protect low-paid workers a swipe at
as hard as people in China. The Tories must think again,
Osbornes plan to cut tax credits. Home Secretary Theresa
agreed The Sun. The public is all for slashing the welfare bill
May bolstered her credentials as a right-wing candidate with
if it means propelling shirkers into work, but not if it
an uncompromising speech in which she declared that mass
hammers those who are working but paid little.
migration made it impossible to build a cohesive society.

What happened

What the editorials said

Russia calls the shots

Russia is playing power politics at its most cynical, said The


Daily Telegraph. President Putins primary aim is not to crush
Russian air strikes on rebel targets in
Isis; it is to bolster Assads criminal
Syria provoked a wave of condemnation
government and, by doing so, humiliate
from the West last week. Nato
the West. At the same time, he hopes to
demanded an immediate end to the
divert attention from his violent gamble
bombing of the Syrian opposition and
in Ukraine and from Russias faltering
civilians, while US Defence Secretary
economy, which has been seriously
Ash Carter warned the Kremlin it was
weakened by Western sanctions. Alas,
pouring gasoline on the fire. Moscow
theres not much the US can do, said
claimed its campaign was directed at
The Independent. Any move to reinforce
Islamic State (Isis), but at present its
A Russian aircraft: who are they targeting? the moderate rebels it once supported
main targets seem to be US-backed rebel
so vociferously would be to risk a
forces. Tensions were further increased when Turkish planes confrontation with Russia. To all intents and purposes, the
intercepted Russian jets in Turkish airspace, prompting
lead in Syria has been left to Russia and Iran.
Nato to protest at Russias irresponsible behaviour.
Washingtons dithering over the past four-and-a-half years of
In an unprecedented show of unity, more than 40 insurgent
civil war has allowed Moscow to make its biggest move in
groups in Syria issued a joint statement vowing to retaliate
the Middle East since the 1970s, said The Economist. But the
against Russia and Iran, Moscows main ally in the region;
US must now respond, by creating no-fly zones to protect
they also accused Moscow of deliberately targeting civilians
the mainly Sunni population from Assads barrel bombs. If
in a manner that reminds us of the scorched earth policy
that means staring down Russian jets, so be it. Any show of
pursued by Russia in its past wars.
weakness will only encourage further aggression from Putin.

It wasnt all bad


The nuclear wasteland
surrounding Chernobyl has
transformed into an unlikely
wildlife haven since the
explosion at the plant forced
humans to leave the area the
size of Hampshire 29 years ago.
The region, in Ukraine, is now
home to elk, red deer and wild
boar at levels similar to those on
nearby nature reserves. Lynx
have arrived and wolves have
flourished. But the wilderness is
not theirs alone; they must share
it with tourists, bussed in from
Kiev on day trips.

A 5ft 3in corporal who accepted


the surrender of the tallest
soldier in the German army
during the Battle of Normandy
has been awarded one of
Frances highest honours. One of
the first ashore on D-Day, Bob
Roberts was helping to oversee
the surrender of a number of
troops when he was approached
by a 7ft 6in-tall German named
Jakob Nacken. Paris recently
said that it would be giving the
3,000 surviving Allied servicemen
who fought for the liberation of
France the Legion dhonneur.
Roberts, now 92, received his
last week.

A Chinese scientist who


unearthed a 1,600-year-old herbal
recipe, and used it as the basis
for one of the most effective
treatments for malaria ever
discovered, has won the Nobel
Prize in Medicine. In 1969, Tu
Youyou, now 84, was put to work
on a secret project set up by Mao
Tse-tung to find remedies for
communist troops falling ill in
Vietnam. Her research led to the
creation of the drug artemisinin
but it went unacknowledged until
2005, when a US academic found
that no one could tell him where
the life-saving drug had come
from, and began to investigate.
COVER CARTOON: NEIL DAVIES

THE WEEK 10 October 2015

and how they were covered

NEWS 7

What the commentators said

What next?

Just like the old days. That was the unofficial slogan of the Tory conference, said Rafael Behr
in The Guardian. Older delegates were reminded of what it felt like all those years ago to
wield power unchecked. Even the angry protests outside the Manchester Central convention
centre stirred fond memories for some. I havent been called Tory scum like that for 25 years,
remarked one delegate with quiet satisfaction. Conservatives feel that the natural order has
been restored: the Right takes difficult, sometimes unpopular decisions in government, the
Left heckles from the sidelines, and in the end, the sensible voters plump for continuity.

Under Osbornes new plan,


councils in England will have
control of all of the 26bn
raised each year in business
rates rather than returning
half of that sum to Whitehall,
as they do now. Theyll also
be able to cut business rates
to attract investment.
Authorities with elected
mayors will have an
additional power to raise
rates provided the consequent
revenue is spent on improving
infrastructure and not on
maintaining services.

Cameron should enjoy the moment, said Daniel Finkelstein in The Times, because it wont last.
The next two years are likely to be the most bloody of his premiership. Next springs welfare
cuts will be deeply unpopular and might even cause serious political instability. On top of
that, ministers have to make punishing departmental cuts. And then theres the EU issue, which
is sure to cause huge ructions (see page 24). The dire state of Labour wont insulate the
Tories from criticism. Just look at what happened in 1980, when Margaret Thatcher became
incredibly unpopular despite being opposed by the hapless Michael Foot. It will get tougher
from here, agreed Steve Richards in The Independent. Hiring Lord Adonis is easy; turning
Osbornes we are the builders slogan into action by actually building infrastructure wont be.
There are plenty of potential landmines ahead, said George Eaton in the New Statesman. But
the lesson of the past five years is that Tory failure doesnt automatically translate into Labour
success. Besides, Osborne is clearly taking nothing for granted. With his latest reforms, he has
unambiguously claimed the mantle of devolution for the Tories ground Labour will
struggle to win back. He has also acknowledged that many voters still distrust and dislike the
Tories, and is working assiduously to win these voters over. In victory, [he] has behaved with
greater humbleness than his Labour opponents did in defeat. Osbornes speech in Manchester
should terrify his opponents. It is a mark of Labours woes that it almost certainly will not.

Some Tory MPs have called


on Osborne to soften the
impact of the tax credit cuts,
warning of a repeat of
Thatchers hated poll tax,
reports The Independent. But
Osborne insisted this week
that he would not be
watering down his plans.

What the commentators said

What next?

Russia is back, said Marvin Kalb in Time magazine. Moscows intervention may well
escalate the civil war in Syria, but what matters to Putin is that it marks the latest step in
Russias route back to superpower status. Putins approval will now be vital to any peace plan;
and the intelligence-sharing deal he has made with Iraq, Iran and Syria leaves Washington in
the cold. Indeed, the US has been thoroughly humiliated and outmanoeuvred, said
Charles Krauthammer in The Washington Post. First, Putin engineers an ostentatious summit
with Obama in New York, a move that marked the ignominious collapse of US attempts to
isolate Russia over its seizure of Crimea. Then, just two days later, a Russian general appears at
the US embassy in Baghdad with a brusque message: air strikes in Syria would begin within
an hour and the US must get out of the way. And why has Putin chosen to act so quickly
and so brazenly? Because he knows the supine Obama who has spoken openly of his dislike
for conflict or coercion in international affairs will only be in office for another 16 months.

Assads forces have just


launched a major offensive
in the central province of
Hama in order to stop the
rebels advancing on Assads
coastal strongholds. The
attack has been backed by
Russian air power and
missiles launched from
Russian warships in the
Caspian Sea, 900 miles
away. Hundreds of Iranian
troops are said to have
crossed into Syria to fight
alongside Assads troops.

Actually, Putin had other reasons to move fast, said Ian Black in The Guardian. A string of
recent setbacks have highlighted just how close Assads army and regime is to collapse. Poor
pay has sapped morale (jihadis pay their fighters a lot more); losses and desertions have reduced
numbers from a pre-war total of 300,000 to fewer than 100,000. But if Putin has won tactical
gains from this gambit, said Peter Foster in The Daily Telegraph, hes still taking a huge risk.
Every radical jihadi group is now focused on attacking Russians, not just in Syria but across the
Russian homeland. And in a year when Russias economy is expected to contract by 4%, huge
extra demands are being placed on the Russian military. No wonder only 14% of Russians in
an independent poll expressed support for military intervention. If Russia becomes involved in
a war of attrition, as it did in Afghanistan, this could prove a gamble Putin will soon regret.
A few months ago, the newspapers were full of the story of the
airline pilot whod drowned his neighbours dog in a bucket. The
terriers yapping, he said, had driven him to distraction, and hed
snapped. It was an extreme reaction, but I imagine we have all come into contact with people who
seem alarmingly on edge, and might just snap at any moment: the friend who turns nasty after a
few whiskies, the driver who loses it in traffic, the aggressive and mentally unstable ex-lover. Will
they drown our pets? Possibly. But need we worry about them drawing out a gun, and shooting us
dead? Not really, because chances are they dont own one.
In the US, not everyone has a gun, but there is a gun for almost everyone its estimated that
310 million are circulation. And in the US, youre unlikely to make the news for shooting your
neighbour, let alone his or her dog. In a country that has seen nearly 1,000 mass shootings since
2012, you have to kill an exceptional number of people, or do it in exceptional circumstances e.g.
live on TV for the media to take notice. Since the latest college shooting (see page 10), there have
been the usual calls for stricter gun controls. But they arent likely to be heeded. For one thing, there
are just too many guns out there. And so long as the bad guys are likely to have them, good guys
will feel they should, too. In the US you can pick up a semi-automatic rifle at the
Caroline Law
supermarket. Once you reach that point, theres really no rowing back.

THE WEEK

Nusra Front, a group linked


to al-Qaeda, has posted a
reward of 14,000 on
social media for the capture
of a Russian soldier, saying
its spiritual leader would
personally supply the cash.
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10 October 2015 THE WEEK

Politics

8 NEWS
Controversy of the week

Boring but important

The war on plastic bags


The gutters of England, and the surrounding sea, may start
looking a little less clogged up, said The Independent. Since
Monday, large retailers across England have been required to
charge 5p for every plastic bag they hand out. Ireland, Northern
Ireland, Wales and Scotland have already passed such laws, and
have seen drops of between 70% and 90% in carrier bag use
since. It was about time we followed suit, said Nigel Burton in
The Northern Echo. Last year, supermarket shoppers in Britain
happily got through more than 8.5 billion single-use plastic
bags nearly 150 bags for every one of us. They are ingested
by birds and sh; they block storm drains. Blowing across
windswept wastelands, choking our hedgerows, uttering
uselessly in tree branches and oating in rivers and streams
the curse of the disposable bag knows no bounds.

Incentives for GPs

The curse of the disposable bag

Its a pity that the law is riddled with exemptions, said the Daily Mail. Elsewhere, the charge is
imposed across the board. In England, thicker bags more than 70 microns thick will be exempt.
Retailers with 250 employees or fewer (including franchises of chains) may continue giving out free
bags. Shoppers will not be charged 5p if theyre buying uncooked sh or meat, loose seeds,
unwrapped blades, or a live goldsh unless another item like a packet of cereal goes in the bag with
the exempt item, in which case you have to cough up. It is a recipe for confusion at the tills for
plastic bag chaos. In the event, Monday came and went without civilisation grinding to a halt,
said Harry Wallop in The Daily Telegraph. There were some complaints: I will never, never pay for
a plastic bag, vowed one shopper, Handan Hussein, outside Tesco on Londons Old Kent Road;
while a nearby Asda reported that a customer refused to pay and made off with a plastic shopping
basket. Most people, though, seemed supportive. But its a worrying trend, said Guy Birchall on
Spiked. Once again, the state has decided that we cant be trusted so has decided to penalise us
with a regressive tax, which, in relative terms, hits poorer people much harder than the rich.
This is hardly the nanny state at its worst, said The Economist. That such a tiny fee can prompt
so big a change implies that the charge is really more of a nudge towards something that people
would be willing to do, if only they had the willpower. And the money raised will go to good
causes: VAT to the Treasury, and the rest largely to charity. Bags are only a small part of overall
plastic waste, said Janice Turner in The Times. But improvements in our lives are often brought
about by modest, incremental shifts like this one. The Clean Air Acts, seat-belt legislation, the
smoking laws; these have all changed our lives greatly for the better. It seems amazing to us now
that, as recently as the 1970s, people were allowed to let their dogs dele public parks. Maybe
we will look back at the plastic bag era in similar terms.

Spirit of the age


A woman who answered an
advert for a flat-share in
Clapham, south London,
found that the 500 a month
(plus bills) room she was
being offered was actually a
cupboard under the stairs.
The space was just wide
enough to accommodate a
single mattress. Last month,
a man went to see a double
room in Bethnal Green, east
London, which turned out to
be a small garden shed
tucked behind a sofa in the
communal living room.
A new app that allows
people to rate, and review,
their friends, lovers and
acquaintances, is due to be
launched next week.
However, the prospect of
the Peeple app, created by
two Canadians, prompted
a wave of revulsion, and its
creators have reportedly
abandoned plans to let
users give negative ratings.

THE WEEK 10 October 2015

Good week for:


Zac Goldsmith, who was elected to stand for the Tories in the
London mayoral race. The multimillionaire environmentalist and
MP for Richmond Park won 70% of the vote in an online ballot,
despite his previous concern that Londoners may feel there are
enough white, male Etonians running Britain already.
Aviemore, in the Cairngorms, which achieved the unprecedented
feat of being both the hottest and coldest place in Britain, on the
same day. Early on Thursday morning, it was close to freezing;
but a few hours later, the village was warmer than Rome, at 21C.
Dartmoor ponies, who are going to be painted with luminous
stripes in an attempt to stop cars crashing into them. A local
charity has estimated that 60 ponies, sheep and cattle have been
killed on the roads that cross Dartmoor so far this year.

Bad week for:


Alex Salmond, with reports that he was recently barred from a
British Airways flight because hed booked his seat under the
name James T. Kirk. Airline officials said the former SNP leader,
and Star Trek fan, couldnt board unless the name on his ticket
matched his passport. But according to Salmond, the row was
resolved and they did eventually agree to beam me up, Scotty.
Temperance, after a newsagent in Britains last dry village was
granted a licence to sell alcohol. Bournville was established by
members of the Quaker Cadbury family 120 years ago, to
provide decent homes for the workers in their chocolate factory.
Birmingham council received 230 objections to the licence, but
granted it after deciding the shop was just outside the dry zone.

Local NHS management


bodies have been accused
of offering GPs ethically
questionable cash
incentives to cut the number
of patients they refer to
hospital. Among the
appointments being targeted
are those for scans, including
cancer screenings, and
consultations with
specialists. At least nine
local bodies are offering
thousands of pounds to
surgeries that manage
to reduce outpatient
attendance. The NHS in
England is under pressure to
make 22bn in efficiency
savings by 2020. The General
Medical Council said that
payments could create a
conflict of interest for GPs,
and weaken trust between
patients and doctors.

The prison smoking ban


A phased plan to make jails
in England and Wales smoke
free will begin this month
when smoking is banned in
all buildings at open prisons.
Currently, smoking is allowed
inside cells and exercise
yards. If the experiment
succeeds (an estimated 80%
of inmates are smokers), the
Government will extend the
ban to all 136 prisons in
England and Wales next
year. Meanwhile, e-cigarettes
are being introduced to ease
the transition.

Poll watch
In a survey taken before this
weeks Tory conference,
27% of respondents said
theyd be likely to vote
Conservative at the next
election if the party was led
by Boris Johnson. 17% said
theyd vote for a Tory party
led by Theresa May; only
15% would back George
Osborne. However, Osborne
emerged as the most
popular of the three among
committed Tory voters. 32%
said he was their preferred
candidate; 29% backed
Johnson; and 18% May.
Ipsos Mori/The Daily
Telegraph
Only 9% of 14 to 16-yearolds agree with the
statement people like me
dont stand a chance in life,
but among 20 to 22-yearolds, the proportion is more
than double that, at 21%.
Ipsos Mori for Barnados/
The Sunday Times

Europe at a glance
Paris
Airport unrest:
More than 100
angry Air France
workers stormed
a works council
meeting at Charles
de Gaulle Airport
on Monday,
assaulting
managers and
tearing their
clothes to shreds
as they ed. One senior manager lost his
shirt and escaped by clambering, topless,
over a fence. Another, Pierre Plissonnier
(pictured), was rushed away by security
guards. Seven people were injured. The
staff were protesting at the announcement
of 2,900 redundancies, which Air France
said had been necessitated by the refusal
of pilots to work a few more hours each
month. The airline insisted militant ground
workers, rather than air crew, were
responsible for the violence.

NEWS 9

Calais, France
Tunnel invasion: In what Eurostar
described as a massive invasion, more
than 100 migrants walked nearly a third of
the way through the Channel Tunnel from
Calais to Folkestone last week before being
stopped. A highly organised group of
more than 200 stone-throwing migrants,
mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, had
broken through barbed wire fences late at
night, stormed the Calais terminal and
headed for the tunnel entrance. French
gendarmes caught up with them at a
junction nine miles inside the tunnel, where
23 were arrested in clashes that left six
injured. Thirteen migrants have died trying
to reach Britain from Calais since June, but
bolstered security measures including new
fencing and the introduction of more
police and dogs, paid for by Britain, have
made a difference. Before this incident, the
number of break-in attempts at the
terminal had fallen to 150 a night,
from a high of 2,000 in July.

Berlin
Migrant numbers: Germany faces an
inux of 1.5 million migrants this year
almost twice the current ofcial forecast
of 800,000 according to condential
government documents leaked to the
newspaper Bild. These show 920,000 new
asylum seekers are expected to arrive in
Germany between October and December
alone. They also project that if migrants
are allowed to bring in dependants, the
total number resettled could top seven
million. Merkels liberal stance towards
asylum seekers was said to have put her in
the frame for this years Nobel Peace Prize,
which was due to be announced on Friday.
But it has also led to a sharp decline in
public support at home, and divisions
within her ruling coalition (see page 19).

Vatican City
Priest speaks out:
A senior priest
has been sacked
from his job at
the Vatican after
coming out as
gay and accusing
the church of
paranoid
homophobia.
Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, 43, a
theologian from Poland (pictured, with his
partner) had worked for more than ten
years for the Congregation of the Doctrine
of the Faith, the Holy Ofce dedicated
to spreading and defending Catholic
doctrine. In a press interview, he said the
Churchs solution for gay Catholics
total abstinence was inhuman. The
sacking overshadowed the start this week
of the long-awaited synod on the family,
called by Pope Francis.

Donetsk, Ukraine
Peace hopes grow: Ukrainian troops began
to pull back from their front-line positions
in the war-torn Donbas region this week as
hopes grew that a permanent peace could
now be in sight. Kievs announcement on
Monday that it was withdrawing mortars,
tanks and artillery with a calibre of less
than 100mm came at the end of a
three-day ceasere that brought ghting in
the region to an almost complete halt for
the rst time in 18 months. The pullback,
expected to be completed within 14 days,
follows two diplomatic initiatives: a
meeting in Minsk between Kiev and
representatives of the separatist Luhansk
and Donetsk republics; and a summit in
Paris involving the Ukrainian and Russian
presidents. Tensions eased further this
week, when the two self-declared republics
agreed to delay local elections this autumn
that had risked derailing the peace process.
They will now take place in February.

Vienna
Holocaust campaigner jailed: A Jewish
historian and long-time critic of Austrias
shabby record in restituting property stolen
by the Nazis has been jailed for a year for
defrauding the state a sentence fellow
historians have condemned as absolutely
outrageous. Stephan Templ, 54, touched
a nerve in Austria with his 2001 book Our
Vienna, documenting the buildings that the
Nazis had conscated from their Jewish
owners. Four years later, he applied for the
return of property seized from his own
mothers family in 1938. But because he
failed to name his mothers estranged sister
as someone also entitled to a share in the
estate, a share that could theoretically have
gone to the state had she chosen not to
claim it, Templ was prosecuted in 2013.
The sentence was imposed on Monday
(three years reduced to one year as a rsttime offender) after several failed appeals.
Antibes, France
Riviera suffers deadly oods: At least 19
people were killed last weekend in ash
ooding in Cannes, Nice and Antibes, after
the French Riviera was lashed by storms.
One of those killed was a British holidaymaker, who was reportedly swept away by
a wall of water at the Pylne campsite near
Antibes; dozens of other Britons were
rescued by helicopters. It was horrible,
a fellow camper told reporters. Her
husband was screaming her name over and
over, but he couldnt nd her. People were
being hit by cars and mobile homes that
were being washed away. Eight of those
who died were found drowned in
underground car parks in Mandelieu-laNapoule; they had been attempting to
retrieve their cars when they became
trapped by the ood. In the town of Biot,
about 25 miles from Monte Carlo, three
elderly people drowned when their
retirement home was inundated.

Catch up with daily news at www.theweek.co.uk

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

10 NEWS

The world at a glance

Roseburg, Oregon
Mass shooting: Nine people were killed
and another nine injured in a mass
shooting at a community college in the
state of Oregon last Thursday once
again prompting anger and soulsearching over Americas failure to
control access to rearms. The killer,
Chris Harper-Mercer, was a 26-year-old
British-born man who had reportedly
suffered from mental health problems,
and had previously declared his support
for the IRA and Nazism. According to
reports, the killer (pictured) asked his victims whether they were
religious before he shot them, telling Christians they were about
to meet God. He is believed to have shot himself dead following
the massacre. In a televised speech, President Obama could not
contain his despair at the routine nature of the tragedy
the 45th shooting at a US school this year. We are not
the only country on Earth that has people with mental
illnesses or who want to do harm to other people,
said Obama. But we are the only advanced country
on Earth that sees these mass shootings every few months.
In a separate case that has further highlighted the issue of gun
violence in the US, an 11-year-old boy in the state of Tennessee
was charged with murder for shooting dead an eight-year-old girl
who lived next door. The boy, from the town of White Pine, shot
MaKayla Dyer using his fathers shotgun last Saturday evening,
reportedly after she refused to let him see her new puppy.

Atlanta, Georgia
Pacic trade deal agreed: The US, Japan, Australia, Mexico and
eight other Pacic Rim nations (but not China) have struck the
biggest international trade pact in a generation following years of
talks which culminated this week in Atlanta. If approved by the
US Congress and the other national legislatures, the Trans-Pacic
Partnership (TPP) will lower trade barriers to goods and services
and set the rules of commerce for 40% of the global economy. It
has the potential to reshape entire industries, affecting everything
from the price of cheese to the cost of life-saving drugs; it also sets
minimum standards on issues ranging from workers rights to
environmental protection. The deal marks a huge strategic victory
for President Obama (although he may face a battle to get it
through Congress) and Japans President Abe, but opponents
claim it hands far too much power to big multinationals at the
expense of small businesses and local politicians (see page 52).

Los Angeles, California


Hollywood drought shaming: Californians are being urged to
grass on Hollywood stars and anyone else whom they
suspect of outing the tight water restrictions imposed to deal
with the states four-year drought. For the rst time, state
governor Jerry Brown and LA mayor Eric Garcetti are urging
residents to report water wasters using an ofcial website and
tens of thousands have obliged. Among those lawn-shamed
and branded grassholes by campaigners are TV star Kim
Kardashian and singer Jessica Simpson, who are accused of
having suspiciously verdant lawns. By contrast, Jamie Lee Curtis,
Charlize Theron and Arnold Schwarzenegger have all emptied
their pools and replaced their turf with desert plants and rocks.
Los Cabos, Mexico
Assassin held: Mexicos best-known
female assassin a gang leader
accused of 150 murders and of
dumping the dismembered corpses of
her victims on the doorsteps of their
grieving families is in police
custody, having been shopped by her
lover. Melissa Margarita Caldern
Ojeda, 30, known as La China, is
the alleged leader of a band of
assassins linked to the Sinaloa Cartel. Ojeda (pictured) was held
last month at Los Cabos in the Baja California Peninsula after her
gangster boyfriend, El Chino, who had himself been captured
by police, gave her up as part of a plea bargain.
Guatemala City
Killer landslide: At least 131 people were killed last week when
a hillside collapsed following heavy rains, sending a wall of
waterlogged earth and debris crashing into El Cambray II a
middle-class neighbourhood about ten miles from Guatemala
City. An area covering four acres was buried in mud and dirt up
to 14 metres deep. The affected houses were situated at the
bottom of a deep ravine, and questions are being asked about why
building had ever been permitted at such a vulnerable site. The
local mayor had apparently been warned of the need to relocate
residents but was waiting for a report by local authorities on how
to proceed. About 1,800 rescue workers have been searching the
rubble for survivors. Some 300 people are still missing.

THE WEEK 10 October 2015

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Olympic budget slashed:
The organisers of the Rio 2016
Olympics are having to slash
spending by almost a third owing to
Brazils faltering economy and the lack of political will to fund
any overspend. The cuts wont affect the main Olympic venues or
infrastructure; they are designed to remain within the operational
budget of 2.4bn, which is raised privately from commercial
sources. The savings will be made through measures including
overhauling the opening ceremony, launching a cheaper ticketing
system and using more tents and fewer structures at venues. We
[Brazilians] are not known for our capability on delivering things
on time and on budget, said Rios mayor, Eduardo Paes, but we
want to prove that this country is capable of doing so.

The world at a glance


West Bank
Intifada fears: A dramatic increase in
violence in the occupied West Bank and
Jerusalem has raised fears that a third
Palestinian intifada, or uprising, may be on
the horizon. The upsurge in violence began
last Thursday, when a Palestinian gunman
murdered two Israeli settlers a married
couple in the West Bank. Days later, a
19-year-old Palestinian launched a knife
attack on Israeli pedestrians in Jerusalems
Old City, killing two people. As a result,
Israel ordered an unprecedented two-day
closure of the area to Palestinians. And
in subsequent unrest, Israeli forces shot
dead two Palestinian teenagers. In total,
500 Palestinians were injured in the space
of three days from Saturday to Monday
according to the Palestinian Red Crescent
humanitarian organisation; at least 41 of
them had been shot by live rounds.

Damascus
Health catastophe: Syrias civil war has
pushed the country to the brink of a
public health catastrophe so severe that
it could pose a threat to the wider region
and even Europe, a leading UK expert has
warned. Professor John Ashton, president
of the Faculty of Public Health, said a
perfect storm of conditions for the
spread of infectious diseases was in place,
including the collapse of the countrys
healthcare and sanitation systems, and the
mass movement of people. The number of
cases of diarrhoea and hepatitis A has
soared, and in August there was an
outbreak of typhoid in the Yarmouk
refugee camp in Damascus. Professor
Ashton warned of a risk of cholera, TB,
the MERS-CoV coronavirus, polio and
other diseases, as well as the development
of new strains of avian u.

NEWS 11

Bishara, India
Beef lynching:
The murder of a
Muslim man who
was beaten to
death by a Hindu
mob over claims
that his family
ate beef has
inamed religious
tensions in India.
Mohammed
Akhlaq, 50, was
lynched in Bishara village, nearly Delhi,
last week. His 22-year-old son was also
seriously injured. Cows are considered
sacred by Hindus, though eating beef is
not illegal. Critics of Narendra Modis
Hindu nationalists say his government has
failed adequately to condemn the killing,
and has given succour to Hindu extremists.

Fujisawa, Japan
Driverless taxis: Japan has
for the rst time approved
a scheme to test selfdriving cars on public
roads, with a view to
perfecting the technology
in time for the 2020 Tokyo
Olympics. From March,
so-called Robot Taxis
designed by robotics rm
ZMP and mobile internet
provider DeNa, with
government backing
will transport residents of
Fujisawa on trips of up to
3km along the towns main
streets. An attendant will
sit in the drivers seat
in case human
intervention
is needed.

Maiduguri,
Nigeria
Child bombers:
The capital of
Nigerias restive
Borno state,
Maiduguri, was hit
by another wave of suicide bombings last
Thursday all of them reportedly carried
out by children aged nine to 15.
According to local reports, a total of
between 15 and 20 people were killed, in
addition to the ve bombers, four of
whom were girls. It was the second time
within weeks that the town has suffered a
co-ordinated attack, presumed to be the
work of the Islamist militants Boko
Haram. In September, more than 100
people were killed in a similar wave of
violence. The day after last weeks attack
on Maiduguri, a further 18 people were
killed in a co-ordinated series of bombings
in a suburb of Nigerias capital, Abuja.

Kunduz, Afghanistan
Deadly mistake: The US air-strike on
a Mdecins Sans Frontires hospital in
Kunduz last Saturday, in which 22 people
were killed, was a mistake, according to
the US commander of international forces
in Afghanistan. General John Campbell
said the strike described as a profound
tragedy by the White House had been
requested by the Afghan forces ghting to
retake the town from the Taliban, but
insisted the hospital was not a target.
We would never intentionally target a
protected medical facility, he said. But
Mdecins Sans Frontires said the
hospitals co-ordinates were well known
and that the bombing couldnt have been
accidental. The aid agency said it was
proceeding on the basis this was a war
crime: it is calling for a never-before-used
body, the International Humanitarian
Fact-Finding Commission, to investigate.

Hong Kong
Ex-leader on trial:
Hong Kongs
ex-chief executive
appeared in court
this week charged
with corruption.
Donald Tsang,
who served from
2005 to 2012, is
accused of
arranging to rent
a at from a tycoon at a knock-down rate,
and of nominating for a civic award an
architect he had employed privately. Both
charges carry a possible seven-year term.
In mainland China, the petty scale of the
alleged offences by Tsang (above) has been
widely mocked. If these are counted as
crimes, no Chinese civil servant can be
spared and all will go to prison, wrote
one wag on social chat site Sina Weibo.

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

People

12 NEWS
An image of pain
As he celebrates turning 80
this month, Don McCullin
has been looking back on a
dangerous life. Arguably
the greatest ever war
photographer, he made his
name in Vietnam, Cambodia,
Biafra and Uganda, where he
was surrounded by violence
and death. But when he
reviewed his lifes work for a
new exhibition, he says, one
image upset him more than all
the rest: a shot from 1968 of a
skeletal albino boy in Biafra,
clutching an empty food tin.
You dont think that was
easy for me, to look at that
starving albino boy who had
licked out the inside of this
French corn-beef tin and made
it look like a brand new
Rolls-Royce, he told Jenny
McCartney in The Spectator.
Even in those bloody days,
McCullin was traumatised by
the sight: he took one shot of
the boy before walking away.
Then he felt a tiny hand slip
into his; the boy had followed
him. McCullin had nothing to
give him but a single barleysugar sweet, which the boy
took into a corner and licked.
Now, only his image remains.
Its a terrible thing to be
alone in the darkroom with
that boy, as if hes coming
back. He wouldnt have lasted
for more than a few days after
I took that picture.
Its a painful reminder of
the limits of McCullins
calling: always documenting
but not changing history.
I know where Im coming
from; I know what I bring and
what I take. I take more than

I bring; I bring hope but I


give nothing.
Building up to coming out
Sue Perkins seems totally
comfortable with her sexuality.
But the Great British Bake Off
presenter hasnt always known
she was a lesbian. In her youth,
she went out with a boy called
Rob for six years until he
announced that he was gay. I
really loved him, she told
Glenda Cooper in The Daily
Telegraph. Absolutely.
Because we shepherded each
other through that odd stage
of life where you move from
your teens to your early 20s.
Hes such a good, kind man.
To be a gay woman doesnt
necessarily mean you couldnt
have truly loved a man or
enjoyed sleeping with men.
But in the years that
followed, Perkins gradually
realised that she, too, preferred
her own sex. And in her 20s,
she plucked up the courage to
tell her parents. She rang her
mother and said she needed to
discuss something important.
Her mother, chewing on a
mouthful of toast, said
casually: Is it about you being
gay? Perkins laughs at the
memory. You build up
coming out to this horrible
moment. Its so stressful, and
theres so much primal fear
even though I know my
parents to be good people
that theyre going to reject you.
And then to get that response,
I thought: Have I really taken
myself on this extreme adrenal
ride for that? I was furious.
And then delighted,
obviously.

Castaway of the week


This weeks edition of Radio 4s Desert Island Discs featured
the classical trumpeter Alison Balsom
1 Con Alma, written and performed by Dizzy Gillespie
2 Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy by Freddie Mercury, performed
by Queen
3* Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050 by Bach,
performed by the English Concert Orchestra and Trevor Pinnock
4 Symphony No. 5 V Rondo-Finale by Mahler, performed by the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Sir Georg Solti
5 I Have Nothing by David Foster and Linda Thompson, performed
by Whitney Houston
6 Violin Concerto by Beethoven, performed by the London
Symphony Orchestra, Maxim Vengerov, Mstislav Rostropovich
7 March (Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary) by Purcell,
performed by the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, Equale Brass
Ensemble and John Eliot Gardiner
8 Chorus: Ruht wohl, ihr heiligen Gebeine (St John Passion) by
Bach, performed by Collegium Vocale Gent, Philippe Herreweghe
Book: The Complete Scores of Bach
Luxury: Trumpet

THE WEEK 10 October 2015

* Choice if allowed only one record

Geena Davis isnt one to sit around feeling sorry for herself. So
when she turned 40 and the acting jobs suddenly dried up, she
decided to do something about Hollywoods endemic sexism by
setting up the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and
commissioning the largest-ever study of gender depictions in
family-rated lms and TV programmes. The research found that
women were hugely under-represented on screen, even as nonspeaking extras: women make up just 17% of crowd scenes. And
oddly, this percentage recurs in all sorts of professions. That ratio
is everywhere, Davis told Elizabeth Day in The Observer. US
Congress? 17% women. Fortune 500 boards are 17% women. Law
partners and tenured professors and military are 17% women.
Cardiac surgeons, 17% women. Its freaky when you start examining
it. Yet when women see themselves well-represented on screen
as forensic scientists, for example it can trigger a reversal. So
many women are seeking to get into that profession [forensic
science] that colleges are scrambling to keep up. Because they saw
it on TV! Davis believes getting more female characters on screen
could have profound social effects. If we change what kids see
from the beginning, it will change how they grow up. If we show
them that women take up half the space, and boys and girls share
the sandbox equally from the beginning, it will change everything.

Viewpoint:

Political spitting
Outside the Conservative Party
conference this week, Tory activists and
journalists faced an onslaught of phlegm
[from anti-austerity protesters]. Spitting
holds a peculiar power as an act of
violence that does not involve any actual
physical pain. To belittle with spittle is an
act of intimidation and humiliation, an
insult that leaves no lasting scars, yet it is
uniquely offensive. It is both infantile and
infantilising, betraying not just anger but
also contempt for another human being,
a liquidised punch from someone who
thinks so little of you that they cannot
even be bothered to bruise their knuckles.
Since when did spitting become an
acceptable way to vent anger at the
political process?
Julia Hartley-Brewer, The Daily Telegraph

Farewell
Brian Friel,
dramatist celebrated
as the Irish
Chekhov, died 2
October, aged 86.
Geoffrey Lilley,
inventor and
aerospace engineer,
died 20 September,
aged 95.
Henning Mankell,
writer of the
Wallander novels,
died 5 October,
aged 67.
Phil Woods,
saxophonist and
leading jazz soloist,
died 29 September,
aged 83.

Uncovered
Untold
Unmissable
Uncensored
Unseen
UnForGettable
Unbiased
Unashamed
UnnervinG
Unacceptable
Unknown
Unbelievable
Unexpected
Unreported
world
Fridays 7.30pm. Catch up on All4 now

Brieng

NEWS 15

The Donald Trump Show


The billionaire property developer is the shock leader in the race to become Americas next Republican presidential nominee
prole in The New York Times described
What do the polls say?
him; a blond, blue-eyed, six-footer who
In a crowded eld of 15 candidates,
wears maroon suits and matching
Donald Trump, the bouffant New York
loafers. Trump turned away from his
real-estate developer, has topped the polls
fathers low-key developments and
to become the Republican nominee for
specialised in tower blocks, casinos, ice
president next year more or less since he
rinks and hotels; the bigger and brasher,
announced his campaign, on 16 June.
the better. By 1988, according to Forbes
Throughout the summer, controversies
magazine, he was worth $1bn.
erupted every few days as Trump, the
instantly recognisable host of the US
Has he always been successful?
version of The Apprentice, advanced his
Packed off to military school at the age
polarising views on everything from
of 13, Trump began buying and selling
immigration to pre-menstrual tension,
property as a student at the University of
and autism to climate change. It didnt do
Pennsylvania in the 1960s, and his ability
his ratings any harm. In early September,
to spot deals was quickly noticed by his
he became the rst candidate to top 30%
rivals. He has the uncanny ability to
in a CNN poll, well ahead of his rivals.
smell blood in the water, one said. To
Although the gap has now shrunk,
disguise his intention to buy land for
Trump is still in the lead despite a barrage
Trump: I play to peoples fantasies
casinos in New Jersey, Trump sent 14
of disdain from the media and his critics.
people to buy 15 different plots. If the seller was Italian, he
As he puts it: Theyre always knocking the shit out of my hair.
later explained, we sent an Italian. A big part of his success has
Has Trump run for ofce before?
been talking about it. I play to peoples fantasies, he wrote in
No. Until now, the story every four years has been of Trump
his 1987 book The Art of the Deal. His latest biographer, Michael
irting with the idea of running for the White House but never
DAntonio, points out that Trumps emergence coincided,
going through with it. In 1999, he left the Republican Party
almost exactly, with the moment when median wages stopped
(describing its members as just too crazy Right) and considered
growing in the US, making him an almost mythic success gure,
standing for the fringe Reform Party; he also toyed with the idea
whose own business failures were largely overlooked.
of campaigning in 2004, 2008 and 2012, and has expressed regret
about not running against Barack Obama. I wouldve won, he
What has gone wrong with Trumps businesses?
Since 1991, his companies, mostly in his casino business, have
says. He wouldve been easy. But boasting aside, hes not doing
led for bankruptcy on four separate occasions, with losses
badly for a political novice. He knows his crowd, he knows his
running into billions of dollars. And though hes still extremely
audience, says Howard Dean, a former Democratic candidate
wealthy, the impact on his personal nances remains a mystery.
for the presidency in 2004. Its a phenomenon to watch.
During his stormy divorce with his rst wife, Ivana, in 1992, she
maintained he was worth a mere $400m-$600m, not the $1.5bn
Why is Trump doing so well?
he claimed. In 2005, court papers led by Deutsche Bank had him
The pundits have spent months trying to gure out whether his
down as worth $788m, rather than the $2.5bn reported in the
early success is down to his fame, his billions and (as he would
press. Launching his presidential campaign, Trump claimed to be
say) his braggadocious way, or whether hes tapping deeper
worth $8.7bn (Forbes says $4.4bn), and has tried to spin his
currents in US politics. The people hate the elites, which is not
occasional troubles to his advantage. Stop saying I went banknew, says Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal. The elites
rupt, he tweeted in June. I never
have no faith in the people, which,
The Trump Effect
went bankrupt but like many great
actually, is new. Everything is stasis.
Even if, as expected, he does not win the Republican
business people I have used the laws
Then Donald Trump comes, like a
nomination, Donald Trump is still likely to have a
to corporate advantage smart!
rock thrown through a showroom
serious impact on the partys chances of retaking the
window. His campaign speeches
White House. An internal autopsy of Mitt Romneys
And can Trump possibly win?
combine despair (The American
defeat in 2012 advised that the party dramatically
dream is dead) with a bullish
improve its relations with Americas Latino voters, who No. Political analysts are convinced
description of his own abilities as a
will number 28 million at the next election. It does not Trumps campaign will come off the
dealmaker and outsider who will not
rails when Republican voters actually
matter what we say about education, jobs or the
take orders from anyone. I dont
economy, said the report. If Hispanics think we dont start voting in the New Hampshire
want them here, theyll close their ears to our policies. and Iowa primaries early next year.
need anybodys money. Im not using
the lobbyists, Im not using donors. I
Will Trump zzle? says John
But Trumps campaign has done nothing to win over
dont care, he says. Im really rich.
Zogby, a leading pollster. Id bet the
Latino hearts and minds. Rather, he has depicted the
US as a nation overrun with Mexican immigrants.
Iowa farm on it. There is simply no
Theyre bringing drugs. Theyre bringing crime.
How did he become famous?
precedent for an American president
Theyre rapists, he declared in his opening campaign
He exploded onto the landscape of
with no experience of government
speech. He has suggested mass deportations and
recession-hit 1970s New York as a
whatsoever, writes James Fallows in
ending US-born immigrant childrens right to claim
The
Atlantic. Yet Trumps lead in the
new kind of celebrity businessman.
citizenship: radical proposals that delight right-wing
polls is lasting much longer than most
The fourth of ve children born to
Republicans while driving many of his rivals to adopt
experts predicted, and by stealing the
Fred Trump a property developer
similar positions. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin
limelight from other more plausible
who made millions building modest
briefly suggested building a wall along the Canadian
candidates, he has forced them to
apartments in Brooklyn and Queens
border; Chris Christie of New Jersey proposed using
something like the FedEx package-tracking system to
respond to the fears that he likes to
Donald took over the family
keep tabs on immigrants in the US. Senator Lindsey
invoke (see box) and made the
business at the age of 28 and was
Graham from South Carolina is one of the few to
Republican nominating process a
soon dubbed the Michael Jackson of
dismiss Trumps ideas as gibberish. Theyre just not much uglier and more fascinating
real estate. A brash Adonis from
practical, he says, and will kill the Republican Party.
spectacle than anyone expected.
the outer boroughs is how a 1983

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

Best articles: Britain


Corbyn speaks
for Islington
not Britain
Allister Heath
The Daily Telegraph

Well be paying
for Hinkley for
generations
Simon Jenkins
The Guardian

The outrageous
treatment of
Shaker Aamer
Peter Oborne
Daily Mail

Lets tackle
burglary
not smoking
Jenny Hjul

GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS

The Sunday Times

Jeremy Corbyn will never be prime minister, says Allister Heath,


and for one simple reason: he doesnt understand the country. He
assumes its just a bigger version of Islington North, his innerLondon constituency. Corbyns talk of grinding deprivation and
injustice goes down well in his own seat, which has consistently
voted Labour since 1935 and which is indeed very poor (just 28%
of householders own their home). But this sort of aggrieved
rhetoric doesnt speak to the country as whole, where 63.3% of
households are homeowners, employment is at a record high and
private-sector wages are growing by a healthy 4.4% a year in real
terms. Corbyn has succumbed to what scientists call selection
bias: the assumption that the people with whom we associate are
representative of the overall population. And because he got some
250,000 votes in his leadership election, he thinks he represents a
silent majority. He forgets that although thats a lot of votes far
more than most MPs ever get its only a tiny fraction (0.55%) of
the 45 million people who are eligible to vote in a general election.
It is the costliest white elephant in history, says Simon Jenkins.
For sheer extravagance, no building not the Taj Mahal, not St
Peters in Rome can match the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor,
which is set to be built beside the Bristol Channel. And its we
taxpayers who will foot the bill. The plan to get French stateowned company EDF to build this new reactor was ill-conceived
from the start. To get the project off the ground, ministers had to
promise to pay investors a guaranteed, index-linked strike price
of 92.50 per megawatt hour, or double the current market
price, and do so for an incredible 35 years. And now that British
investors have pulled out of the project, George Osborne has
asked the Chinese to take over Britains 20% stake, offering them
a 2bn guarantee as a sweetener. Madness. The Government
could have built new gas-red power stations, half as polluting as
coal. Instead, were spending 14 times more per unit of output on
a nuclear reactor for which our grandchildren will still be paying
back the French and Chinese long into the distant future.
A grotesque perversion of justice may soon be partially righted,
says Peter Oborne. Any day now, the US is expected to free
Shaker Aamer, the last remaining British detainee in Guantnamo
Bay. That this father of four has been held without charge for 14
years, hidden from his family and almost certainly tortured and
beaten, is an outrage. What makes it even worse is that he was
reportedly rst cleared for release as long ago as 2007, then
again formally in 2010. Why has he been put through such a
torment? Could it be that the authorities are running scared about
what Aamer who claims he was beaten by US operatives in the
presence of a British intelligence ofcer after being captured in
Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11 might reveal? To its great
credit, the US last year came to terms with its past misdeeds when
Senator Dianne Feinstein published a scathing report into the
horrifying conduct of the CIA. But there has been no such
investigation here in the UK even though David Cameron
promised one back in 2010. Now that Aamer is set to be freed,
there can surely be no excuse for waiting any longer.
The lesson governments never seem to learn, says Jenny Hjul, is
that just because something isnt good for us doesnt mean it must
be made a crime. For example, even the feckless among us know
that its selsh to inict smoke on infants. But to ban people from
smoking in cars as the Government has just done (penalty: 50)
is so daft even the police are refusing to take it seriously. Its
not just that the small print contains a list of exemptions that will
be maddening to enforce (it wont apply to 17-year-olds driving
alone, nor to those driving convertibles, nor to avoid discrimination against Travellers to caravans that are stationary). Its
that the police are so hard-pressed to stop serious crimes such as
burglary (in Leicestershire, they briey decided to respond only to
burglary calls from even-numbered houses) they simply dont have
the resources to act as health workers. Like so many other recent
bans on using mobiles while driving; on drinking alcohol on the
Tube this new law is unenforceable. Is it right to always have a
law to x something you dont like? argued ex-smoker-turnedvaper Nick Clegg, opposing the plan. And hes dead right.

NEWS 17
IT MUST BE TRUE
I read it in the tabloids
A thief was arrested after
going into a police station to
complain about the wanted
poster put up by his victim.
Nicholas Allegretto, 23, had
been caught on CCTV stealing
an industrial magnet from a
hardware store in Cambridge.
The shops owner printed off
a still from the footage, and
then pinned it up on a wall as
a warning to other thieves. It
was subsequently circulated
online, and reproduced in
the local press. A furious
Allegretto told police the
poster breached his human
rights, and that hed lost his
job as a result of it but he
ended up being charged
and convicted.

A 77-year-old Indian man


who hasnt cut the nails on
his left hand since 1952 has
won a place in the record
books. Shridhar Chillal
whose thumbnail is two
metres long has been
officially recognised by
Guinness World Records as
the person with the Longest
Fingernails on a Single Hand
Ever. Chillal says he
stopped cutting them after
being beaten at school for
breaking a teachers nail. Life
with long nails hasnt been
easy: he admits finding a
wife and a job was difficult.
But it all seems worth it now
that I can tell everyone with
pride about my record.
When American football
team the New York Jets flew
into London this week to play
the Miami Dolphins at
Wembley, they came well
prepared: their managers had
arranged for 5,000 items to
be sent forward by ship,
including 263 boxes of
snacks, cereals and other
foods and 350 rolls of loo
paper. Apparently, an intern
had warned them that
English paper was very thin.

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

Best articles: Europe

NEWS 19

Is Catalonia saying goodbye to Spain?


For all its ethnic and linguistic
diversity, Spain has managed to
preserve national unity for more than
500 years. But for how much longer,
asked Katya Adler on BBC News
online. The Madrid-centred character
of Francos dictatorship under which
regional languages and culture were
banned and their prominent defenders
imprisoned or murdered still divides
Spain, 40 years after his death. And
nowhere more so than in Catalonia,
Spains richest province, which has its
own language, its own literature and a
strong sense of its own identity.

Catalonia

Spain

Catalonia contributes about a fth of Spains GDP

Last week, when Catalans went to the polls to elect MPs for
their parliament its third such regional election in only ve
years almost two million of them said goodbye, Spain,
said the pro-independence daily El Punt Avui (Barcelona). The
landslide won by the separatist alliance on the highest
turnout ever recorded here spells an end to three centuries of
subordination by Madrid. It vindicates the decision of
Catalonias president, Artur Mas (pictured), to treat the
parliamentary poll as a plebiscite. The people have spoken.
Not so fast, said Enric Juliana in La Vanguardia (Barcelona).
As it happens, the second-largest group to emerge from the
elections was the anti-independence (Ciudadanos) party. And
though the two pro-independence parties Junts pel S, led by
Mas, and the far-left CUP won a majority in
parliament, together they only won 48% of the vote;
well short of the sort of majority theyd need in a
genuine referendum to justify a unilateral declaration
of independence. In fact, Mass manoeuvring may
prove his own undoing. To secure a majority, the
right-wing leader has had to ally with the CUP, which
is profoundly at odds with his own pro-business
austerity policies. Mas will struggle to work in
government with them. And if, as is more than likely,

GERMANY

The knives are


coming out for
Angela Merkel
Deutsche Welle
(Berlin)

SERBIA

Old enmities
flare up
once again
Trud
(Sofia)

they cant agree, there could well be


new elections within months. But the
vote did make one thing clear, said
Jordi Garca-Soler in El Plural
(Madrid): the refusal of the Spanish
PM, Mariano Rajoy, to enter into any
kind of negotiations about Catalonias
future will have to change. Even the
many Catalans who dont want
outright independence want a new
relationship with Madrid. That
Rajoys government cant seem to
grasp this is a recipe for conict.

The pro-independence mood has been


toughened by Spains Great Recession, which hit Catalonia
harder than any other Spanish region, said Vicen Navarro in
Diario Pblico (Madrid). Wages are among the lowest in the
country; education, health, housing and other services have
seriously declined; theres growing polarisation between rich
and poor. All this makes voters receptive to the nationalists
fevered claim that Madrid has plundered Catalonia and
taken hard-earned tax money from Catalans to prop up poorer
regions. But even if Catalonia does contribute about a fth of
Spains GDP in taxes, the region largely runs itself. So dont
just blame Madrid for its dire economic state: it has as much
to do with mismanagement by the conservative politicians,
such as Mas, who have ruled the region for so long.
Its tragic to see the animosities stirred by this separatist mania,
said David Jimnez in El Mundo (Madrid). Families
are divided, friendships broken. The sight of parks and
public spaces draped in the Catalan ag inspires some
but frightens others. People who think differently stop
talking to each other. Cant the politicians bent on
manipulating nationalist sentiment see how theyre
planting the seeds of conict that will grow for years
to come? History is littered with examples of
civilised societies left infected by the bigotry of their
leaders. Catalonia is becoming one of them.

Angela Merkel is destined to share the same fate as her left-wing predecessor Gerhard Schrder, says
Felix Steiner. Ask anyone today why Germanys economy is booming and theyll point to the tough
economic reforms that Schrders government pushed through between 2003 and 2005. Yet at the
time, Schrder was excoriated for his toughness, and his Social Democratic Party has yet to recover
its Merkels conservatives who have been reaping the benet. But now its her turn to pay the price
for doing the right thing. Her uncharacteristically bold decision to allow large numbers of refugees
into Germany has sparked a backlash from core conservative voters, who certainly werent among
those seen clapping their hands to welcome them at train stations. Merkels gesture recalls that of
another chancellor, Willy Brandt: his decision to kneel at a Warsaw war memorial a potent symbol
of dtente in the 1970s was lauded abroad at the time but slated in West Germany. For the rest of
their respective terms, Schrder and Brandt were dogged by internal frictions and public shows of
disloyalty, just as were starting to see with Merkel look how Bavarian conservative leader Horst
Seehofer has been hobnobbing with Hungarian leader Viktor Orbn, one of Merkels ercest critics.
Just weeks ago Merkel seemed unassailable, but clearly the twilight of her reign has begun.
The speed with which old antagonisms are up in the former Yugoslavia never ceases to amaze, says
Kostadin Filipov. It was hardly Serbias fault that Hungary closed its border with Serbia to refugees,
forcing thousands to cross into Croatia instead. But Croatians look askance at anything coming
from Serbia; and to punish its old foe, Croatia shut its own borders to Serbian goods trafc. Serbia
retaliated by slapping an embargo on goods from Croatia; Croatia then raised its own blockade to
include Serb drivers. Recriminations ew thick and fast. Belgrade compared Zagrebs actions to
those of the Nazi puppet regime in Croatia during WWII; Croatian PM Zoran Milanovic talked of
building a fence in the direction of the barbarians which the Serbs took to mean them and
threatened to veto Serbias application to join the EU (Croatia is already a member). It took a visit by
the EU enlargement commissioner, Johannes Hahn, to calm everyone down and get the blockades
lifted; the Serbs declaring themselves the winners, the Croatians happy to have rubbed their neighbours noses in the mud. It reminds us how much growing up the two countries still have to do. For
their oversensitive political elites, it seems nothing is forgotten and nothing has been learned.

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

20 NEWS

Best articles: International

Why Big Pharma gets away with outrageous prices


reality, most drugs are invented not by
If Martin Shkreli is not the most
the big rms that sell them, but by
hated man in America, said Clarence
federally funded university labs
Page in the Chicago Tribune, he must
working alongside start-up companies.
at least be rst runner-up. The brash
Further down the line, these are then
32-year-old CEO of Turing
bought out by one of the pharmaceutPharmaceuticals has provoked
ical giants. Daraprim was developed 62
widespread outrage by buying up the
years ago and its patent has long since
US marketing rights to Daraprim a
expired. But as its not widely used,
drug used to treat toxoplasmosis in
nobody has bothered making a generic
cancer and Aids patients and then
version. Hence Shkrelis de facto
jacking up its price by more than
monopoly and his ability to get away
5,000%. Although each tablet costs
with this outrageous price hike.
less than a dollar to produce, Shkreli
has raised the price from $13.50 per
Americans are uniquely screwed
pill to a whopping $750. And he has
Shkreli: symptom of a dysfunctional system
in this regard, said Tom McKay on
then had the nerve to aggressively
Mic.com. All other advanced nations regulate the price of
defend the move as justied. At this price its a reasonable
prot, he told CBS News. Not excessive at all. True, after
prescription drugs in some way, be it by capping prots or price
the ensuing restorm of protest, he relented slightly and said
increases, or by using the purchasing power of their universal
hed lower the price but he still hasnt specied by how much.
healthcare systems to negotiate fair prices with drug rms. By
contrast, the US permits drug companies to charge whatever
Big Pharma makes for an easy villain, said Nick Stockton on
they like. Medicare is forbidden by law to negotiate with drug
Wired.com. But to bring just one drug to market today costs an
companies for lower prices, and though insurance companies
average of $2.7bn in research and development, and it can take
can negotiate, they have less leverage than government bodies
up to a decade for new medicines to be tested and approved. If
and, in any case, dont always pass on the discounts they secure.
drug companies didnt earn back the money, the drugs wouldnt As a result, Americans pay the highest drug prices in the world;
get made in the rst place. But that in no way justies this sort
double what many Europeans pay for the same drugs. Repulsive
of proteering, said Marcia Angell in The Washington Post. In
as Shkreli is, hes just a symptom of a dysfunctional system.

AUSTRALIA

This is how
to stop gun
massacres
News.com.au
(Sydney)

CANADA

Watch out
were turning
into Texas
Harpers Magazine
(New York)

UNITED STATES

Wanted: a
leader with
no experience
Politico.com
(Arlington, Virginia)

THE WEEK 10 October 2015

If America, reeling from yet another massacre, is looking for an example of how gun control can
be made to work, says Emma Reynolds, it could do worse than consider Australias experience.
Australia has much in common with America, with its large immigrant population and independent,
cowboy culture. Yet unlike the US, which now averages almost one mass shooting per day
(dened as incidents in which four or more people are shot), Australia has one of the lowest gun
death rates in the developed world. It wasnt always this way. In 1988, a particularly bad year,
674 Australians were killed. But after an AR-15-wielding gunman massacred 35 people in a
Tasmanian caf in 1996, our government bravely took on the gun lobby. The state banned semiautomatic weapons, bought back newly prohibited rearms from existing owners, and demanded
detailed background checks and 28-day waiting periods for all gun purchases. Since then, Australia
has not had a single mass shooting, and the number of homicides and suicides using rearms has
tumbled. When will America likewise decide that enough is enough and take similar action?
Canada was once a smug nation, says Heather Mallick. We thought ourselves virtuous, and the
rest of the world took us at our own estimation. But the country is no longer the moderate,
peaceful, environmentally aware place it once was. Under Stephen Harper, who has been in power
for almost a decade, it has turned into a version of Texas. A brooding, secretive man best described
as Richard Nixon without the charm, Harper has introduced one reactionary policy after another.
He slashed taxes after coming to ofce, cutting off revenue for social programmes a starve the
beast tactic pioneered by US conservatives; he cut research into climate change; he pulled Canada
out of the Kyoto agreement on greenhouse gases; and he scrapped a database of registered rie
owners. And the few initiatives he has embraced are those that Americans are now abandoning:
mandatory minimum jail sentences, an expensive military, and an escalation of the war on drugs.
If Harper wins re-election next week, his war on liberalism will no doubt lead to fresh horrors.
During the presidency of George W. Bush, many thoughtful Americans threatened to move to
Canada, but they wouldnt like it now. Were becoming precisely what youre trying to escape.
For the past 40 years, Americans have tended to look outside Washington for leadership, says Jeff
Greeneld. It began with Jimmy Carter who, in response to lingering disgust with the Watergate
scandal and Vietnam war, made much during his presidential campaign of the fact that he wasnt
from the capital and had never served in Congress. The same line helped elect Ronald Reagan, Bill
Clinton and George W. Bush. As state governors, they not only had outsider status, but could
boast of knowing how to run a government, balance a budget and get things done. The Republicans must have been pleased, then, to see so many governors on their roster of 2016 hopefuls. But
things havent gone to plan. Two of the candidates with governing experience, Scott Walker and
Rick Perry, have already pulled out, while four others Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich
and Jeb Bush are polling in single gures. It seems that, for Republican voters, any experience of
governing is now almost a disqualifying factor (see page 15). Conservatives want a crusader
untainted by compromise, who will battle the enemy. Its no longer sufcient to say: Im not from
Washington; now the best message is: Im not from anywhere in the known political universe.

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Health & Science

22 NEWS

What the scientists are saying


Breastfeeding doesnt boost IQ
There are many health benets associated
with breastfeeding but the idea that
breastfed babies grow up to be cleverer is
probably a myth, reports The Times. A
study involving 11,000 British children
enrolled in the Twins Early Development
Study has concluded that whether or not
an infant is breastfed has no impact on
their IQ at two years old; nor did there
seem to be any link with how much their
IQ grew as they got older. When previous
research has found a link, it has been put
down to the effect of the long-chain
polysaturated fatty acids that are found in
human milk. But the researchers in this
study think differences in childrens IQ
levels are far more likely to be a result
of long-term factors such as family
background and schooling. Comparatively small events like breastfeeding are
very unlikely to be at the core of something
as big and complex as differences in IQ,
said Dr Sophie von Stumm, of Goldsmiths,
University of London.

Cancer risk linked to height


The taller people are, the more likely they
are to develop cancer, say scientists in
Sweden. Researchers at the Karolinska
Institute found that the risk of women
developing cancers of any kind increased
by 18% for every extra 10cm of height;
while for men the risk rose by 11%. Their
study yet to be published involved
analysing data on 5.5 million people born
between 1938 and 1991, whose heights
ranged from 100cm (3ft 3in) to 225cm (7ft
6in). Taller women were found to have a
20% greater risk of breast cancer than
smaller ones; while the odds of melanoma
skin cancer increased by about 30% per
10cm in both sexes. But the team admitted
the study didnt take into account risk

had only a 42% chance. Researchers


analysed existing data on almost 14,000
people who had been diagnosed with
bowel, rectal or other gastrointestinal
cancers between 1998 and 2001. Their
findings support earlier research suggesting
that aspirin has a positive effect on some
cancers, possibly because it attacks the
platelets that can mask tumours from
the immune system. However, the study
has not yet been published in a peerreviewed journal; and the results need to
be verified with a randomised control trial.

A double-headed snake crisis

Stocks of anti-venom medicine are running low

factors such as smoking, and said taller


people should not worry as the findings
reflect cancer incidence at a population
level, not an individual one. However, it is
not the first study to find a link between
height and cancer risk. Its possible cancer
could be more likely to strike taller people
simply because they have more cells in
their bodies, so theres a greater chance of
one mutating. Alternatively, any risk
increase could be related to the fact that
being bigger, they tend to eat more:
calorific intake has been linked to cancer.

Can aspirin unmask tumours?


Adding aspirin to cancer treatment may
almost double the life expectancy of cancer
patients, new research suggests. In the
study, in the Netherlands, patients with
gastrointestinal tumours who began taking
aspirin after being diagnosed were found
to have a 75% chance of still being alive
five years later; whereas those who did not

How the black cap was lured to Britain


Our generous bird-feeding habits could be
changing wild birds migration patterns, a
new report says. Researchers from the
British Trust for Ornithology say a rising
number of black caps, which breed in
southern Germany and Austria, are now
visiting Britain in winter, rather than
heading to their traditional wintering
grounds in Spain. In a report published in
the Global Change Biology journal, they
suggest a direct link between this
alteration in their migratory patterns, and the availability of food left out for the birds
in Britains gardens.
Black caps greyish warblers with a fluting song were hardly ever seen in Britain
in winter before the 1950s, but the 12-year study, which used data collected by
13,000 volunteers across the country, showed there had since been a dramatic
increase in sightings, and that these were particularly common in areas where supplies
were routinely left out in gardens. (It seems the birds especially like fats and sunflower
seeds.) Lead author Dr Kate Plummer notes that climate change has also contributed
to the migration shift but said the findings represented concrete evidence that
offering supplementary foods could affect the evolution of wild birds.

THE WEEK 10 October 2015

A leading medical charity has warned that


stocks of the most effective treatment for
snakebites in Sub-Saharan Africa are
running out just as new research
indicates that the number of people killed
each year by snakes has been grossly
underestimated. Anti-venom medicine
Fav-Afrique is used to treat potentially
fatal bites from ten different snake species
but its expensive, with a course costing
up to $500. Its manufacturer, Sanofi
Pasteur, warned years ago that it was
losing out to cheaper rivals, and it stopped
manufacturing the drug in 2014. The last
of the remaining stocks are set to expire
next June. We are now facing a real
crisis, said Dr Gabriel Alcoba, a snakebite
expert affiliated to Mdecins Sans
Frontires. Separately, international
specialists warned that far too little is
being done to address the menace of
snakebites. They cited research showing
some 46,000 people are killed by snakes
every year in India alone far more than
the WHOs estimate of 10,000 and noted
that there may be untold numbers of
unreported deaths in countries such as
DR Congo, where venomous snakes are
common and medical facilities basic.

DIY contraceptive jab


Women can now, for the first time ever,
inject themselves with a long-acting
contraceptive at home, rather than
having to go to their local GP or family
planning clinic, reports The Guardian.
Each jab of Sayana Press, which is made
by Pfizer, provides contraception for at
least 13 weeks. It is not new, but has
only recently been granted an extension
to its licence from the Medicines and
Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
which means it no longer has to be
administered by a GP or nurse. Women
wishing to use it will have to see an NHS
healthcare professional for training; they
will then be prescribed a supply to use
at home, and will only need to come
back to the clinic for annual check-ups.
Pfizer says the contraceptive will give
women more options. However, some
campaigners have expressed concern
that if the at-home contraceptives are
prescribed to underage girls, there will
be a great risk that warning signs of
sexual abuse will go unnoticed.

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24 NEWS
Pick of the weeks

Gossip
Mrs Thatcher never famed
for her sense of humour
was particularly deaf to
innuendo, according to her
biographer Charles Moore.
In the 1980s, Private Eye had
a running joke about her
trade minister, Cecil
Parkinson, discussing
Ugandan affairs (a
euphemism for having sex)
with his former secretary
and lover Sara Keays. But
Thatcher was perplexed. I
know its untrue, she said.
Hes never been to Africa.

T.S. Eliot, titan of modernist


literature, had a sideline
in erotic verse. Three
newly published poems
discovered in notebooks
that he filled for his second
wife, Valerie (pictured
together) reveal a fruitier
side to the author of The
Waste Land. In How The Tall
Girl and I Play Together (a
tribute to Valerie, who was
5ft 8in and 38 years younger
than Eliot), the poet mused:
I love a tall girl. When she
sits on my knee/She with
nothing on, and I with
nothing on/I can just take
her nipple in my lips/And
stroke it with my tongue.
Because she is a tall girl.
Denis Healeys sharp tongue
made him plenty of
enemies, says The Times.
After a particularly fierce
dressing-down, one of his
speech-writers took
revenge. Chancellor Healey
was giving an important
speech which he hadnt had
time to read in advance. It
was only when he got to
page four that he realised
the remaining pages were
blank, except for a
handwritten message:
From now on, youre on
your own, you bugger.

THE WEEK 10 October 2015

Talking points
Slavery: can Britain ever make amends?
times removed, who received
Goodness knows, Jamaica
what amounts to 3m in
needs a new prison. In fact, we
todays money. Such wealth
probably need more than one,
trickled down the generations,
said Grace Virtue in the
but was dwarfed by the
Jamaica Observer. So why,
transformative riches slavery
when the British PM David
brought to Britain. It has been
Cameron offered to give us
25m to help pay for one, did
easy to put our role in 18th
it cause such fury here? I can
century slavery out of mind,
think of a few reasons. One is
because it took place so far
that no country likes to be
away, but its monuments are
reminded that its so overrun
all around us: the great
Georgian houses were built on
with dangerous criminals that
slavery, as were the port cities
it needs new jails even more
of Liverpool and Bristol.
than it needs hospitals; nor
that it is so broke, it cant
Its notable that while British
afford such basic infrastructure
A slavery memorial in Zanzibar
politicians are eager to
itself and has to have it paid
remember the victims of other genocides such
for by its former colonial power. More than
that, though, is the identity of the giver: for 200
as the Holocaust they prefer not to dwell on
years Britain kept our people in chains, inicting
the millions killed by the North Atlantic slave
trade, said David Olusoga in The Observer.
unimaginable cruelty. So theres something
There isnt one memorial to British slaves in the
grimly ironic about its PM coming here and
UK, although there are (rightly) several to
faced with calls to apologise for slavery and
abolitionists. Whats the answer, asked Tristram
offer reparations suggesting that we move
Hunt, MP, in The Times. I am sceptical of the
on, and offering us instead a jail, designed to
hold deviants of Jamaican origin that the
merits of historical apologies, but even if we
dont pay reparations, we could surely use our
UK doesnt want in its own prisons.
aid budget to reect our imperial heritage. In
place of a jail, we could open a British university
Cameron isnt the rst PM to try to brush aside
campus in Jamaica, or fund an exchange
the case for reparations, said The Guardian. Yet
programme for medics. Finally, this difcult
Britain has compensated for slavery before. In
1833, after abolition, it paid out the equivalent
period in our history must be properly taught
of 17bn. Trouble is, this wealth didnt go to
in all schools, so that future generations
recognise that it was slavery that kick-started
slaves: it went to 46,000 of their British former
owners among them Camerons rst cousin six Britains ascent to Workshop of the World.

The EU: are we heading for Brexit?


Six months ago, his job appeared to be in peril,
said the FT, but today, with his opponents in
utter disarray, David Cameron dominates the
commanding heights of politics. There is one
issue, however, on which hes still vulnerable:
Europe. He promised an in-out referendum on
EU membership by the end of 2017 and the
clock is ticking. Cameron has thus far refused to
spell out exactly what concessions he hopes to
win from Brussels as part of his plan to negotiate
a looser relationship with the EU, for fear that if
those demands are rebuffed it will be seen as
defeat. But this has allowed opponents to seize
the initiative. Although the formal campaign for
Britain to stay in the EU isnt set to launch until
next week, the out campaigners are already in
full cry: last week, the Tory-backed
Conservatives For Britain appointed former
chancellor Lord Lawson as their gurehead. If
recent polls are anything to go by, were drifting
inexorably towards Brexit.
The in campaigners may be lagging now,
said Mark Leonard in The Guardian, but they
have one big advantage in the forthcoming
referendum battle: they share the same, coherent
vision. Not so their Eurosceptic opponents.
Some, such as UKIP MP Douglas Carswell, want
Britain to become Singapore on steroids an
independent trading nation with high migration,

low taxes and a tiny state. Others, such as UKIP


chief Nigel Farage, hanker for a little England
that restricts migration. Others want to
emulate the semi-detached approach of Norway
or Switzerland. None of these competing
scenarios seems likely to win over British voters.
Dont be too sure, said Fraser Nelson in The
Daily Telegraph. The alternative, after all, is
to remain shackled to an EU project that is
descending into increasing chaos in the face of
the migrant crisis. With Britain today enjoying
record employment and an enviable rate of
economic growth, the argument that we need
to be part of the EU to thrive for jobs, trade
and families has never been more risible.
What an exquisite dilemma this situation must
present to Boris Johnson, said John Rentoul in
The Independent on Sunday. The election result
dealt a nasty blow to the London mayors
leadership prospects, but were he to break from
the pack to lead the Brexit campaign, that might
help him leapfrog over George Osborne, who
has recently overtaken him in the affections of
Tory members. He would have to win the
referendum, of course. The betting market
suggests the chance of Britons voting to leave
the EU is still only 30%. Boriss advocacy might
push that gure up signicantly. But would he
bet his future on it?

Talking points
Trident: Corbyns nuclear dilemma
could anyone be crazy enough
With one word, Jeremy
not to agree to slaughter
Corbyn has embroiled his
millions of civilians? And he
party in a nuclear conict, said
sprung this revelation on us
The Times. At last weeks
with no prior warning,
conference, Labour decided to
except a lifetimes membership
duck a potentially messy
of CND. Corbyn has a good
debate on whether to renew
point, said Simon Jenkins in
Trident, Britains nuclear
The Guardian. Trident has no
deterrent: Corbyn supports
military value. No modern
nuclear disarmament, but only
danger, such as terrorists or
7% of conference delegates,
rogue states, are deterred by it;
and a handful of MPs, agree.
nor is it independent, since we
All attempts to gloss over this
could never use it without US
unbridgeable gap came to
backing. Trident is about
nothing, though, when he was
global posturing and
asked on Radio 4 if he would
domestic grandstanding
ever use nuclear weapons.
and it has meant that the rest
Corbyn was quite clear. No,
Corbyn: lifetime member of CND
of the defence budget has had
he replied. Shadow defence
to suffer constant cuts to pay for it.
minister Maria Eagle described his response as
not helpful. Shadow foreign secretary Hilary
Still, disarmament is a fantasy, said Ian Leslie in
Benn pointed out that it rather undermines the
the New Statesman. Corbyn says he is opposed
point of nuclear deterrent, if a potential leader
to the use of nuclear weapons. Well, so is
reveals that he would never press the button.
everyone else; cooler minds, however, argue
So under a Corbyn-led government, the nations
that holding them, and signalling your
defence capability would be seriously
willingness to use them, is the best way to stop
diminished, said Richard Dannatt, former of
chief of the general staff, in The Daily Telegraph. any being used. True, but there are better ways
than spending 25bn to renew Trident, said Ian
Our enemies would be encouraged; our allies
Dunt on Politics.co.uk. We could replace it with
would be dismayed; and Britains place in the
a cheaper, scaled-down system; keeping our
world would be gravely weakened.
nuclear deterrent, while still encouraging other
nations to reduce their arsenals. Support for
We knew Corbyn was mad, but its worse than
we thought, said Mark Steel in The Independent. Trident has become an article of faith for many
British politicians but lets not pretend it is
It turns out that he wont press the button to
the moderate position.
annihilate cities in a nuclear holocaust. How

Uber: the end of the black cab?


clearly designed to hobble Uber.
Ive never really understood why
The changes include banning
Londons black cabs are regarded
operators from showing the
with such affection, said
whereabouts of available drivers
Matthew Gwyther in
on an app a hallmark of
Management Today. Most are
Ubers service and introducing
uncomfortable, diesel fumea mandatory ve-minute waiting
spewing dinosaurs expensive,
time. Londoners are furious:
difcult to nd, and driven by
more than 130,000 have signed a
men whose minds have been
petition against the changes.
progressively denuded by
consumption of non-stop talk
But Uber isnt the good guy here,
radio. So is it any wonder that,
since arriving in London three
Cabbies protest on Oxford Street said James Ashton in the London
Evening Standard. It has ooded
years ago, Uber has cleaned up?
the capital with minicabs 18,000 so far
The Californian company allows you to
leading to increased congestion and pollution.
summon a freelance minicab at the touch of a
It keeps its prices low by insisting that its drivers
smartphone. The app uses a GPS system to
identify your position on a map, match you with are independent contractors, and therefore not
protected by normal employment laws. Yet it
the nearest driver and calculate your fare, which
takes a whopping 20% of their prots, and
is then charged to your credit card. Passengers
sacks any driver whose average rating falls
are asked to give drivers a star rating, which
below 4.7 out of ve. Instead of trying to
encourages excellent service. An Uber ride is
sabotage what everyone loves about the app,
usually comfortable, clean, efcient and cheaper
said Tom Peck in The Independent, why doesnt
than a black cab. And now, Transport for
TfL simply insist that Uber behaves decently? It
London wants to put a stop to it.
should be banned from taking more than 10%
of drivers fares, and obliged to register in the
After months of protests and blockades by
UK (instead of Holland) for tax purposes. Uber
black-cab drivers, TfL has given in, said
is clearly the future but it must pay its tax
Madhumita Murgia in The Daily Telegraph.
Last week it proposed a series of new regulations and treat its drivers like human beings.

NEWS 25

Wit &
Wisdom
It is better to wear out
than to rust out.
Bishop Richard
Cumberland, quoted on
Forbes.com
My son is 22 years old.
If he had not become a
communist at 22, I would
have disowned him. If he is
still a communist at 30,
I will do it then.
Georges Clemenceau,
quoted in The
Sunday Times
The trouble with some
women is that they get all
excited about nothing and
then marry him.
Cher, quoted in The
Daily Telegraph
The worst thing in politics
is to tell the truth at the
wrong time.
Denis Healey, quoted
on Twitter
Ive been married to one
Marxist and one fascist,
and neither one would take
the garbage out.
Actress Lee Grant, quoted
in The Daily Telegraph
Why is art beautiful?
Because its useless. Why
is life ugly? Because its
all ends and purposes
and intentions.
Poet Fernando Pessoa,
quoted in The Wall
Street Journal
A two-year-old is kind of
like having a blender, but
you dont have a top for it.
Jerry Seinfeld, quoted
on BuzzFeed.com
Integrity is doing the right
thing, even when no one
is watching.
C.S. Lewis, quoted in
The Daily Telegraph

Statistic of the week


55 current presidents, prime
ministers and monarchs
more than a quarter of all
world leaders studied at
British higher education
institutions. Manchester
University tops the list,
having educated ten
world leaders, followed by
Oxford (nine) and
Sandhurst (seven).
The Guardian

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

Sport

26 NEWS

Rugby union: Englands embarrassing exit


Lancaster, the head coach, is out of his depth.
Its over, said Steve James in The Sunday
When he took over in 2011, he had spent just one
Telegraph. Last Saturday, on only the 16th day of
season coaching in the Premiership, and two in
the World Cup, England were knocked out before
charge of Englands second team. That
theyd even finished the opening round. They
inexperience has shown: Lancaster has been
knew they had to beat Australia to have a chance
outmanoeuvred by real heavyweights Waless
of reaching the quarter-finals. But in the event, it
Warren Gatland and Australias Michael Cheika.
wasnt even close: they were drubbed 33-13.
He has made too many pointless changes to
They now have the embarrassing honour of
the line-up, while foolishly overlooking Danny
being the first host nation ever to be knocked out
Cipriani and Henry Slade for the fly-half slot.
at the pool stage. England were hammered,
said Stephen Jones in The Sunday Times.
Incoherent in attack, they lacked presence at
Lancasters days as coach look to be numbered,
the breakdown. Worst of all, they were crushed
said Eddie Butler in The Observer. And its easy
to lay the blame at his feet. But we have to face
in the scrummage, the part of the game they
Frozen by the occasion
up to the fact that this is not a very good
traditionally dominate. The Wallabies, by
team, with hardly any world-class players. With the exceptions,
contrast, were superb: they put in the finest performance
perhaps, of scrum-half Ben Youngs and wing Anthony Watson,
of this World Cup so far. With composure and supreme
the side failed to rise to the occasion; rather, they appeared
footballing ability, they exposed the limitations of the
frozen by it. These players werent ready for World Cup glory,
bedraggled home side.
said Oliver Holt in The Mail on Sunday. This is a young side,
brimming with talent: Watson, Jonathan Joseph and Joe
England have no excuse, said Sam Peters in The Mail on Sunday.
Launchbury are particularly promising, and theyre still in their
Almost everything was working in their favour. They got to play
their matches at their Twickenham fortress, with a full weeks
early 20s. At the next World Cup, in four years time, they
rest between each game. And they have a bigger budget than any
should be in full bloom. England will have a better
other side: there is an army of coaching, medical and catering
opportunity in 2019, said The Times. And Lancaster deserves
credit for laying the groundwork. Now, a different coach is
personnel tending to the players every need. But on Saturday,
needed to finish the job.
that counted for nothing. The problem is clear enough: Stuart

Football: Liverpool give Rodgers the axe


stunning: they scored 101 goals and came within
two points of winning the title; Rodgers was named
Manager of the Year by his peers. But after Luis
Surez was sold in July 2014, everything went
downhill, said Phil McNulty on BBC Sport online.
Without the strikers goals, the side struggled; his
75m transfer fee was squandered on overpriced
players such as Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana.
The same thing happened this past summer, when
Raheem Sterling moved to Manchester City. But
blame for those transfer failures doesnt lie with
Rodgers, said Tony Barrett in The Times. Signings
are decided by the clubs transfer committee; Rodgers
In many ways, Rodgers was a perfect fit for the
Rodgers: a beaten man had a say, but players were often bought against his
Reds, said Ian Ladyman in the same paper. An
wishes. And those compromises left him with a
disjointed side, lacking a distinct style of play. It was a mess.
emotional man, he talked the way Liverpudlians like their
It certainly was, said David Usher on ESPN online. The team
managers to talk. And in 2013-14, a season after he joined from
seemed to have given up altogether. Rodgers simply had to go.
Swansea, everything seemed to fall into place. Liverpool were
The writing had been on the wall for weeks, said
Dominic King in the Daily Mail. Sitting glumly in the
dugout, Brendan Rodgers had started to look like a
beaten man. And on Sunday, after a 1-1 draw
with Everton, the phone call finally came: he was
sacked as Liverpool manager. The side had won just
one of their last six league games and in the League
Cup last month, they struggled against League Two
side Carlisle, only winning on penalties. The club is
now wooing German manager Jurgen Klopp as a
replacement for Rodgers; Klopp has reportedly been
offered a three-year contract.

Iranian football: a question of gender

Sporting headlines

enthusiastic about the sport, said


Womens football is rarely
Claire Cohen in the same paper.
rocked by scandals. But Iran has
Banned from mens matches,
more than made up for that, said
they resort to buying tickets on
Barney Henderson in The Daily
the black market only to be
Telegraph, by providing one of
turned away at the stadium.
the most extraordinary scandals
They like playing the game, too,
in recent footballing history:
said Babak Dehghanpisheh in
eight players in its womens
Newsweek, even though their
team have turned out to be men.
menfolk can make it incredibly
And the Iranian authorities, who
difficult for them. Last month,
were accused last week of being
unethical, were apparently in
The team must wear headscarves the sides captain, Niloufar
Ardalan, was unable to travel to
on it. Now, in response to the
a tournament because her husband wouldnt
allegations, they have reportedly ordered the
give her permission. And when they do play in
national squad to undergo gender tests.
the team, they wear headscarves, long-sleeved
Not that this is the first time Iran has been
tops and tracksuit bottoms. In 2011, they were
caught up in this kind of scandal. In 2010,
disqualified from a game because their kit didnt
doubts were raised about the gender of its
meet Fifa regulations officials claimed the
goalkeeper; last year, four players were revealed
to be men. Yet Iranian women are tremendously
headscarf could pose a choking hazard.

Rugby union In the World


Cup, South Africa beat
Scotland 34-16. Wales beat
Fiji 23-13. Ireland beat Italy
16-9.
Football In Man Citys 6-1
victory over Newcastle,
Sergio Agero scored five
goals in 22 minutes.
Arsenal beat Manchester
United 3-0. Southampton
beat Chelsea 3-1.
Horse racing Frankie Dettori
won the Prix de lArc de
Triomphe for the fourth time,
on Epsom Derby winner
Golden Horn.
Tennis Johanna Konta lost to
Venus Williams in the quarterfinal of the Wuhan Open.

THE WEEK 10 October 2015

LETTERS
Pick of the weeks correspondence
Why Corbyn won
To The Sunday Telegraph

I do not believe it is wholesale


disdain for the political class
that has led to the election of
Jeremy Corbyn as Labour
leader. I think he won the
contest because he best
represents the notion of
people power.
Seven years ago our
economy collapsed. Unbridled
capitalism blowing in from
across the Atlantic unfettered
by any proper oversight by
our regulatory bodies
combined with disgraceful
behaviour by some bank
directors to cause the countrys
economic problems. Yet little
has changed for the people
who deserve the blame. The
economic measures that
through necessity have been
taken since the 2008 recession
have hurt the poorest in
our society.
In supporting Mr Corbyn,
people were voting against
capitalism, which has put the
blameless into reduced
circumstances where they feel
powerless and indignant.
Jane ONions,
Sevenoaks, Kent

True devolution
To The Times

As cities and counties queue


up for greater powers, the
Chancellor is casting himself
in the role of commander-inchief. George Osborne
deserves credit for promoting
the cause of England
devolution. But his Northern
Powerhouse brand is becoming
toxic: increasingly seen as a
vehicle to secure his election as
the next Tory leader the man
who can reach parts of
England his rivals cannot.
Devolution is only genuine
if real powers and freedoms
are handed down and if
there is enough funding to
address underlying economic
and social imbalances. The
devolution offered by Mr
Osborne, by contrast, merely
gives away the power of his
fellow ministers. Indeed,
power is already shifting from
No. 10 to No. 11, with the
Chancellor effectively
becoming the domestic PM.
The greater powers for
councils trumpeted by Mr
Osborne this week will be
backed by more money, but
this isnt true devolution. It

Exchange of the week

Reparations for the slave trade


To The Guardian

The question which comes to mind whenever slavery and


compensation is mentioned is: Where do you start, and
where do you stop? Slavery was so ubiquitous that I doubt
there is anyone on Earth high or low who does not have
slave ancestors. Until the middle of the 19th century, my
coal-mining ancestors lived in virtual slavery (a ten-year-old
forebear is noted in the 1841 census as collier just before
the practice of employing children underground was banned).
It is almost certain that some ancestor of mine was enslaved
by the Vikings or Romans or others. Should I demand
recompense and apology from the descendants of mine
owners (who lived in some state on the back of miners),
or should I sue the Norwegian or Italian state?
Society developed thought processes which finally saw that
slavery was disgusting and demeaned both slave and owner.
At the same time, a powerful state, in this case Great Britain,
was there to impose abolition and was prepared to use its
naval and diplomatic power to end the trade. Many
thousands of Navy personnel died during the decades of
anti-slavery operations in West African waters.
Compensation to slave owners was a pragmatic way of
settling one of the issues. It was not pretty, but it was
relatively quick. Alternative solutions may well have meant
that slavery could have continued for decades more. How
would this have affected the American Civil War? A distant
nod of thanks to European Enlightenment thinking and its
expression in the actions of Great Britain and others would
be useful. We have the guilt.
Ian Hale, Carnforth, Lancashire

29

commercial reactors, totalling


5.6gw of capacity by 2020.
This is less than a third of the
cost per gigawatt of the
Hinkley project. The first
reactor is 75% complete and
due to go online by 2017.
The Hinkley project should
be put on hold and bids
invited from South Korea
and elsewhere to ensure we are
buying state-of-the-art reactors
at the best possible price.
Roger Yates, Ludlow,
Shropshire

Never mind the doctors


To The Times

Richard Smith calculated the


hourly rate to be 110 for a
locum doctor.
After a five-year degree and
post-graduate qualifying year,
a community pharmacist,
working as an independent
locum, can look forward to
rates of 22 in the week and
24 for Saturday. These rates
were almost the same 12 years
ago. My heart does not bleed
for doctors.
Maureen Chapman, MPharm,
Wallrake, Wirral

Secret shipping codes


To The Times

To The Daily Telegraph

You report that the Jamaican government is claiming


compensation for the effects of long-past slavery and
colonisation.
In 1993 Chief Moshood Abiola, who was running for
the presidency of Nigeria, promised to make a similar claim,
were he elected. I believe that he was told that the British
Government entirely supported and accepted his claim, and
that Nigeria would be paid the millions that he asked for
as soon as we get it from the Romans.
Edward Windham-Bellord, Cucklington, Somerset

The African student who


thought the Shipping Forecast
was a coded broadcast to
British spies might not have
been far off the mark.
For years I wondered why
the broadcast would always
end with the phrase: No icing
in Southeast Iceland.
This ending hasnt been
heard since the end of the
Cold War. I listen to the
Shipping Forecast every day
in case the mysterious
message makes a return.
William T. Nuttall,
Rossendale, Lancashire

simply makes the Treasury a


national commissioning unit
that provides funds in return
for programmes bound by
tight centralised rules.
Getting local areas to deliver
back-to-work programmes, for
example, isnt devolution, its
recommissioning. Taking
78m from stamp duty income
in Greater Manchester and
giving back just 30m to boost
housing isnt devolution either.
The freedom for councils to
generate and vary taxation,
and then decide how they
want to spend it, is the very
least the Northern Powerhouse
should allow if its to live up to
its hype. In Oldham wed call
Mr Osbornes record so far
all fur coat. He will need
one in Manchester this week

to protect him from the frosty


reception hell get unless he
delivers the goods.
Cllr Jim McMahon, leader,
Oldham Council

Halt the Hinkley project


To The Sunday Telegraph

Christopher Booker points to


the spiralling costs of the
proposed new Hinkley Point
nuclear reactor, currently
estimated at 24.5bn to
deliver 3.2gw of capacity by
2023. He also refers to cheaper
nuclear plants being built by
South Korea.
According to the World
Nuclear Association, the
United Arab Emirates has
accepted a bid from a South
Korean consortium for $20bn
(about 14bn) to build four

Id like to join the parish


council. I would be willing to
push the nuclear button
MATT/THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

Letters have been edited

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

ARTS
Review of reviews: Books

31

Book of the week

Maisky was purged in 1953, and


imprisoned, said Nicholas Shakespeare
in The Daily Telegraph. Rehabilitated
The Maisky Diaries
in 1960, he wrote a memoir which
Edited by Gabriel Gorodetsky
was discreet, misleading and dull. By
contrast, the diaries, unearthed and
Yale 624pp 25
edited by the Oxford historian Gabriel
The Week bookshop 22 (incl. p&p)
Gorodetsky, are fascinating, and
spiced with anecdotes. They are a
find of historic importance. Maisky
Very few senior Soviet officials kept
diaries in the 1930s and 1940s, said
became a cultish figure during his
Tony Barber in the Financial Times. It
time in London: he was sculpted by
was too dangerous. The secret police
Epstein, painted by Oskar Kokoschka
could knock on your door and rifle
and applauded when he took his seat
through your papers at any time, and
at the Savoy Theatre. When he left
Maisky (left) had a warm relationship with Churchill
even keeping a diary was thought to
in 1943, General Alan Brooke
indicate a contemptible bourgeois mentality. Nevertheless,
complained that the new Soviet ambassador was certainly not
Ivan Maisky, ambassador to London from 1932 to 1943, took
as impressive as that ruffian Maisky was.
that risk. Sharp-witted and cultured, with a long experience of
His popularity had, in fact, waxed and waned throughout his
London dating back to his time as a Tsarist exile, Maisky
time in Britain, said Gerard DeGroot in The Times. The 1939
cultivated an extraordinarily wide range of contacts at the top of
Nazi-Soviet Pact made him a pariah, while Hitlers invasion of
British politics and public life, including Anthony Eden, David
the Soviet Union in 1941 meant that everything Russian was
Lloyd George, Lord Halifax and George Bernard Shaw.
suddenly in vogue. But even at the most difficult times, Maisky
Chamberlain considered him a revolting but clever little Jew,
remained wonderfully diplomatic. By contrast, his diary is
but he had a warm relationship with Churchill, who summoned
starkly honest: his painfully accurate reflections of the British
him to Downing Street late at night, sometimes looking, Maisky
character remind one of Samuel Pepys or Dr Johnson. And amid
reports, as if hed had a drop too much whisky. Maiskys
the observation of momentous historical events is some
diaries, discovered in a Soviet archive in 1993, have the
delightful gossip, such as the socialist Beatrice Webb telling him:
wonderfully fresh smell of material written by someone with a
Churchill is not a true Englishman, you know. He has negro
ringside seat at history and a gift for engaging prose.
blood. You can tell even from his appearance.

List of the Lost

Novel of the week

by Morrissey
Penguin 128pp 7.99

A Strangeness in my Mind
by Orhan Pamuk
Faber & Faber 599pp 20

COURTESY OF THE SCHEFFER-VOSKRESSENSKI FAMILY

The Week bookshop 7.59 (incl. p&p)

As a lyricist, Steven Patrick Morrissey, the former


lead singer of The Smiths, crafted some of the
most enduring indie rock songs of the 1980s,
said Charlotte Runcie in The Daily Telegraph.
And his recent Autobiography was mostly
warmly received. So hopes for his debut novel,
about a team of runners in 1970s Boston, were
high. On publication last week, those hopes were
dashed not least by a sex scene which was
immediately declared a shoo-in for this years Bad Sex in Fiction Award. (Ezra
and Eliza rolled together into one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation
with Elizas breasts barrel-rolled across Ezras howling mouth and the pained
frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it smacked its way
into every muscle of Elizas body except for the otherwise central zone.) But
what struck me, said Runcie, was how little that scene stood out from the rest of
the book, which is just as overwrought, just as nonsensical, just as poorly
conceived, awkwardly expressed and lazily imagined.
Do not read this book, said Michael Hann in The Guardian. Do not sully
yourself with it, no matter how temptingly brief it seems, being only 128 pages
long. It is an unpolished turd of a book, the stale excrement of Morrisseys
imagination. It reads like a barely edited first draft, by a teenager who has just
swallowed his first thesaurus, said Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail. Illogical,
baffling leaps are made from the 1970s running track to rants about the Royal
Family, Margaret Thatcher and abattoirs. Morrissey complains, for instance,
that all the Royals did during the War was dine lavishly in manicured splendour
with their manicured teeth. His writing is like Adrian Mole on magic
mushrooms, verbal diarrhoea being squirted at you through an industrial hose.

The Week bookshop 17 (incl. p&p)

Despite its title, the Turkish Nobel laureate


Orhan Pamuks new novel isnt strange at all,
said Stuart Kelly in The Scotsman. Where his
best-known novels are complex, postmodern
puzzles, A Strangeness in My Mind is a rather
sentimental, bitter-sweet romance. That
shouldnt put you off, though, as Pamuk, being
a genius, does wistful longing and lump-in-thethroat moments with his customary brilliance.
The storys hero is Mevlut, who comes to
Istanbul as a boy and spends his life selling
yoghurt and boza a fermented wheat drink
door to door in the citys streets.
With its comedy, sentiment, melodrama and
voracious curiosity about the urban habitat, this
is Pamuks most Dickensian work, said Boyd
Tonkin in The Independent. Generally seen as a
Westernised writer, he has never before placed
Istanbuls working-class Anatolian incomers at
the centre of one of his works. Mevlut is a good
man, an innocent dreamer, and his adventures
have a folkloric quality. The book as a whole
is a sprawling, epic fusion of soap opera, family
saga and state-of-the-nation novel.

To order these titles at the above discounts, or any other book in print,
visit the online bookshop at www.theweek.co.uk/bookshop, or tel 0843-060 0020. Free p&p for UK customers.
For p&p in Europe, add 20% of the cost of the order, and 35% in the rest of the world.

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

Loch Leven
Grand sofa

1799
37.47 a month
for 4 years interest free

0%
APR

REPRESENTATIVE

Free 10 year
guarantee

Drama

Medea
Playwright: Euripides, in a
new version by Rachel Cusk
Director: Rupert Goold

Almeida,
London N1
(020-7359 4404)
Until 14 November
Running time:
1hr 30mins (no interval)

Musical
Showstopper!
The Improvised
Musical
Created and directed
by: Adam Meggido and
Dylan Emery

Apollo,
London W1
(0844-482 9671)
Until 29 November
Running time:
2hrs (including interval)

coiled with pent-up fury, at one


The novelist Rachel Cusk is
point collapsing in a broken
perhaps best known for her
heap, is sensational.
unsparingly honest memoirs,
The problem is the final
said Henry Hitchings in the
furlong, agreed Michael
London Evening Standard, and
Billington in The Guardian.
above all for Aftermath, a
Having initially followed
brutally candid account of her
Euripidess model with
divorce from the father of her
exhilarating success, Cusk
children, which is saturated
bolts at the final fence, and
with references to Greek tragedy.
allows her heroine to exact an
On the face of it, then, she
artistic, rather than a physical,
would seem an inspired choice
revenge on her husband and his
to update Euripidess devastating
new bride in a way that
tale of marital breakdown and
substitutes bathos for fear and
bloody filicidal revenge. But
pity. Even so, Rupert Goolds
shes also a high-risk choice,
with no prior experience of
production is exciting and
writing for the stage. Does she
powerful, said Susannah Clapp
pull it off?
in The Observer. The scenes
Fleetwood: sensational
Nearly, said Dominic
between Fleetwood and Justin
Cavendish in The Daily Telegraph. What Cusk
Salinger as the stinkingly entitled ex-husband,
has come up with is a fiercely intelligent and at
Jason, contain the most convincing and shocking
times ferocious modern retelling of Medea,
marital rows I have ever seen on a stage. They
transplanting the action from ancient Corinth to
will be recognised by any woman who thought
a near-at-hand, horribly recognisable world of she was having a conversation with a man, but
middle-class London. Medea is now a writer,
found he was granting her an interview.
faithless hubby Jason has been recast as an
The weeks other opening
actor, a Brazilian cleaning lady tends to the
Kiss Me Kate Grand Theatre, Leeds (then
couples chic home, and the female chorus are
touring; www.kissmekatethemusical.co.uk)
now Islington-ite yummy mummies. For
Gadzooks, but Opera North have a cracking
much of the evening until the tension-deflating,
good time with Cole Porters backstage
muddied ending I was held in a state of rapt,
musical. Director Jo Davies skirts around the
agonised attention. The searing torments of
dodgy sexual politics and gives her women
divorce are laceratingly rendered, the dialogue
a wicked sense of fun (Sunday Times).
flinty, perfect. And Kate Fleetwood as Medea,
what you do see is all but certain
When the cast of a show are
to be properly funny and a
making it up as they go along,
triumph of individual
its usually a very bad sign,
inventiveness and of teamwork
said Sarah Hemming in the
too. Huge credit is due to the
Financial Times. But in this
cast of six, on-stage director and
musical, by contrast, it is a thing
three musicians. The format may
of wonder. Since 2008, the team
be disposable and spoofy, but
behind the brilliant
there is something magical
Showstopper! have been creating
about seeing something so
musicals on the hoof, building
evolved crawl out of the mud
every show afresh using a title,
right in front of your eyes.
location and style suggested by
I confess this show sounded
the audience. Its a high-risk
like my idea of purgatory, said
strategy a sort of creative highDominic Cavendish in The Daily
wire act and part of the
pleasure is watching them skirt
Telegraph. But cynicism be
perilously close to disaster. But
hanged: it turned out to be
boy, are they good at it.
top-dollar amusement that
You may have misgivings
doesnt let up from frisky, lowDylan Emery in Showstopper!
about improv, said Dominic
key start to standing ovationMaxwell in The Times. You may even have
inducing finish. The incidental pleasures I
misgivings about musicals. Put the two
witnessed included hilarious parodies of The
together, though, and the results are joyous. Of
Book of Mormon, The Threepenny Opera and
course, not everything soars, and nights will
West Side Story. You had to be there. Go.
vary. No other audience will get to see the
debate about journalistic ethics set to a Gypsy
CD of the week
Kings backing that I saw in The Lyin King, a
John Grant: Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
musical set in the offices of the Daily Mail. And,
Bella Union (9.99)
because critics were invited along twice to check
In this third superb album, singer-songwriter
the veracity of the spontaneity, I can also
Grants lyrics remain haunted by personal crises
report that youll never again get to see the
and self-lacerating honesty; musically, he jumps
Stomp-style routine in an Irish fairy grotto that I
easily between gorgeous soft-rock ballads and
saw in Puck Off. Or the spot-on Jersey Boys
funky electro-pop (Sunday Times).
number. Or the wicked spin on Wicked. But

Stars reflect the overall quality of reviews and our own independent assessment (4 stars=dont miss; 1 star=dont bother)

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

MARC BRENNER; GERAINT LEWIS

Theatre

ARTS 33

34 ARTS

The Martian
Dir: Ridley Scott
2hrs 21mins (12A)
Matt Damon makes a
home on Mars

Macbeth
Dir: Justin Kurzel
1hr 53mins (15)
Visceral adaptation of
the Scottish play

The Walk
Dir: Robert Zemeckis
2hrs 3mins (PG)
Vertigo-inducing 3D
spectacle

The Intern
Dir: Nancy Meyers
2hrs 1min (12A)
Sickly sweet generationgap comedy

THE WEEK 10 October 2015

Film
Who knew that Ridley Scott had it in him? said
Kevin Maher in The Times. Having not made a really
good movie since Gladiator 15 years ago, he has
delivered a muscular storytelling masterclass. The
Martian stars Matt Damon as an astronaut who gets
stranded on Mars, with a limited food supply and
four years to wait before he has a chance of being
picked up. Fortunately, hes a botanist, skilled at
growing vegetables in artificial habitats. Houston,
we have a solution! said Peter Bradshaw in The
Guardian. One of the many pleasures of this inspiring
film lies in the ingenuity our hero employs to survive.
Some of the science has been dismissed as balderdash, said Brian Viner in the Daily Mail. But I saw
the film with an astrophysicist, a man who knows something about stars. He gave it four stars out
of five. Its just a shame that the powerful supporting cast, which includes Jeff Daniels as a concerned
Nasa chief, is so underused, said Ian Freer in Empire. But that said, Damon is on terrifically engaging
form, and the end result is Scotts most purely enjoyable film for ages.
Whats left to be done with a play, once Orson
Welles, Akira Kurosawa and Roman Polanski have
finished with it? The answer, to judge from this
raw, visceral adaptation of Shakespeares Macbeth,
is plenty, said Robbie Collin in The Daily
Telegraph. The young Australian director Justin
Kurzel, who convincingly takes his place alongside
those distinguished forebears, opts for a traditional
setting (Scotland, a long time ago), but controversially
inserts an opening scene in which Macbeth (Michael
Fassbender) and Lady Macbeth (Marion Cotillard)
lay to rest a deceased child. This personal loss, only
ever hinted at in the text, adds bitter pathos to their determination to wipe out the bloodlines of
their rivals for power. Fassbender as the murderous usurper miraculously retains our sympathy
despite his horrific crimes, said Kate Muir in The Times, while Cotillard is hypnotic as his accomplice. Where both actors fall short, Im afraid, is in their speaking of the verse, said David Sexton in
the London Evening Standard. Shakespeares language is more lastingly vivid than any screened
image: here its often garbled. The lines are not well spoken, sometimes indistinct, and the imagery
too often pulls us away from the words. Its a missed trick in an otherwise impressive film.
If you suffer from vertigo, I advise giving The Walk a
miss, said Kate Muir in The Times. The film recreates
the true story of a stunt pulled in 1974 by French
acrobat Philippe Petit, who took it upon himself to do
a terrifying and illegal tightrope walk between the
towers of the newly built World Trade Centre in New
York. For the record, that was 1,362ft above street
level a height that is dizzyingly conjured for viewers
in this movie by director Robert Zemeckis, using all
the power of the latest 3D technology. The early
scenes set in Paris are a little hit-and-miss, said Mark
Kermode in The Observer. We see Petit (Joseph
Gordon-Levitt) laboriously learn his craft, mentored by Ben Kingsley (with a decidedly dodgy accent)
playing a circus guru named Papa Rudy. But the pace picks up once he moves to New York to put
his plan into action. And when he finally steps out onto that wire, I actually hid my eyes. The
spectacle is worth the wait, said Andy Lea in the Daily Star. We are with Petit every step of the way,
hearts in our mouths, as the space drops away beneath him. This is what 3D was invented for.
Writer-director Nancy Meyers is famous for making
comfort comedies Its Complicated, for example
that play like the movie equivalent of mac and
cheese, said Cath Clarke on TimeOut.com. The
danger with her new film is that you get so comfortable, you risk slipping into a feel-good coma.
Robert De Niro plays elderly New Yorker Ben, who
is failing to adjust to retirement. Every morning, hes
in Starbucks at 7.15am, newspaper in hand, as if he
has a job to go to. But then he enrols in a seniors
intern programme and gets assigned to Jules (Anne
Hathaway), the young, kooky, stressed-out boss of a
web-retail fashion business. Naturally, they dont get on at first, then gradually warm to one another,
as Ben offers oldster advice on Juless personal and professional crises. Ive a sweet tooth for Meyerss
oeuvre, but this made me gag, said Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. The cutesiness factor and
ickiness quotient are just too high. Lets not be too harsh, said Brian Viner in the Daily Mail. The
storys a bit predictable, but the two leads are charming enough. I have to admit I quite enjoyed it.

Art

ARTS 35

Exhibition of the week The Turner Prize


Tramway, Albert Drive, Glasgow (0845-330 3501, www.tramway.org). Until 17 January
Independent. Her
I dont know why, but
installation,
the Turner Prize always
Infrastruktur, consists
feels fresher when its
of an arrangement of
not in London, said
modernist chairs with
Will Gompertz on BBC
fur coats draped and
News online. This years
sewn onto the backs.
show, at Glasgows
The point, if there is
Tramway gallery, is a
one, is subtle to say the
case in point. It is the
least. A little better is
least egotistical,
Camplins The Military
knowing, in-jokey
incarnation of the
Industrial Complex, a
annual award Ive seen,
room filled with books
a million miles from the
on mysticism and
shock-n-gawp once
conspiracy theories. In
provided by the likes
the centre of the space,
of Tracey Emin and
four video screens
Damien Hirst. Three
show interviews with
out of four of this years
seemingly normal
nominees Bonnie
people telling
Camplin, Janice Kerbel
outrageous stories
and Nicole Wermers
about alien abductions
Wermerss Infrastruktur: subtle, to say the least
are women. The fourth,
and their out-of-body,
Assemble, is an architectural collective a first for the Turner
out-of-mind encounters with the dead and famous.
Prize. All of them produce very different work, but all four
exhibits here are intelligent investigations into everyday life.
When it comes to picking a winner, Assemble is likely to
After years of inward-looking, art history-obsessed efforts, this
triumph, said Gareth Harris in the FT. The architectural
hits a high the prize hasnt reached for a long time.
collective have been nominated for their quirky regeneration
scheme in the Granby Four Streets area of Toxteth, Liverpool,
Dont get your hopes up, said Mark Hudson in The Daily
where they worked with the local community to save a clutch of
Telegraph. Individually, the works here are not notably bad;
run-down Victorian terraces from demolition. Their exhibit here,
but the overall effect is one of cosseted vapidity. Take, for
titled A Showroom for Granby Workshop, is a mock-up of one
example, Kerbels work Doug a slapstick comedy of errors in
of the houses, containing handmade works of craft and design
the form of a song cycle, performed by classically trained singers.
that the public will be able to buy. It is a project that hits exactly
Their harmonies are initially intriguing, but the piece soon
the right note in this age of austerity. Perhaps the real winner,
descends into irksome aural meandering. By far the weakest
though, is the Turner Prize itself. By expanding its remit to include
artist this year is Wermers, said Fisun Gner in The
the likes of Assemble, it has given itself a much-needed reboot.

Where to buy
David Bomberg
& Borough
at Waterhouse & Dodd
David Bomberg is probably best known
for the explosive abstract paintings he
created before the First World War,
and for his links to Wyndham Lewiss
vorticist movement. In later life,
though, his critical stock diminished,
and he was forced to take a position
teaching art at the Borough Polytechnic
(now London South Bank University).
That isnt to say he resigned himself to
quiet obscurity, however: as a teacher,
he became the leading light for a new
generation of artists, including Frank
Auerbach, Leon Kossoff and Cliff
Holden. This outstanding show brings
together the work of his most notable
pupils, and rightly gives Bombergs later
output the attention it deserves. There
are some extraordinary exhibits here,
many by less celebrated artists of the

Bombergs The River Tajo, Toledo (1929):


51 x 40.5cm, 240,000

Borough school. Alongside Bombergs


own Farm by the Sea, Cornwall, the
highlights include Dorothy Meads
paintings. Mead, a founder member of
the Borough Group, created work that
still seems to radiate light and energy.
Prices range from 2,200 to 325,000.
47 Albemarle Street, London W1
(020-7734 7800). Until 24 October.

Hermann Gring was


one of the most
prolific of the Nazi art
thieves, says The
Daily Telegraph. The
Reichsmarschall
(right) amassed a vast
number of looted
works, by artists
including Botticelli,
Drer, Van Gogh,
Renoir and Manet.
Now a handwritten
catalogue of his
collection has been
published for the first time by the Paris
publishing house Flammarion; it had previously
been kept in Frances diplomatic archives.
Resembling a simple bookkeepers log, the
tome sat on Grings desk in his office. Every
time a painting arrived at Carinhall, his vast
residence outside Berlin, it was noted down; the
log also shows where exactly the works were
hung. The catalogue lists some 1,400 stolen
paintings, along with 250 sculptures and 168
tapestries. It also, vitally, details the origins of
the collection; most of the works were pillaged
from Jewish families. It is hoped that the
publication will aid the process of returning the
art to the families of its rightful owners.

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

KEITH HUNTER

Catalogue of an art thief

The Week reviews an


exhibition in a private gallery

The List

37

Best books Andy Beckett


Historian and Guardian journalist Andy Beckett picks his favourite books
about the recent past. Promised You a Miracle: UK 80-82, Becketts new
book on Britain in the early 1980s, is published by Allen Lane at 20.
Vineland by Thomas Pynchon,
1990 (Vintage 8.99). What
happened to the radicals of the
1960s in the tougher decades
that followed is one of the
great modern subjects. I first
read this as a student at
Berkeley, with the washed-up
hippy California it captures so
beautifully all around me.
Style Wars by Peter York,
1980 (out of print). In Britain,
a lot of the rebellions we
associate with the 1960s
actually happened in the
1970s; and York was there,
watching the punks and the
David Bowie obsessives, and
turning them into pithy
sentences. When I moved
back to Britain, I read this
collection of fizzing social

portraits on late-night London


buses, and England seemed
interesting again.
The Untouchable by John
Banville, 1997 (Picador 9.99).
Margaret Thatcher named MI5
officer and royal confidant
Anthony Blunt as a Russian
spy in 1979, after a 15-year
official cover-up. It was a sign
of how uncompromising and
dramatic her premiership was
going to be. Banvilles sly,
exquisite novel is partly about
Blunt, but also about the
unknowable depths of some
peoples political loyalties.
Midnight in Sicily by Peter
Robb, 1996 (Harvill 10.99).
The workings of power in Italy
can make even the English

establishment look like


innocents. Robbs labyrinth
of a book lures you in with
delicious food and travel
writing, towards the deadpan
figure of the late Giulio
Andreotti Italian prime
minister for turbulent parts of
the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s,
and alleged Mafia associate.
The Last Thing He Wanted
by Joan Didion, 1996 (Fourth
Estate 8.99). A short and
skeletal thriller: not much
more than ominous hints and
atmospheres. But each page
says more about the smiling,
scary 1980s American
presidency of Ronald Reagan
than a whole fat history book.
Theres a lesson for historians
there somewhere.

Titles in print are available from The Week bookshop on 0843-060 0020. For out-of-print books visit www.bibliofind.com

The Weeks guide to whats worth seeing and reading


Showing now
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at
the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (0238071 1811). The Trocks, New Yorks all-male
comedy ballet troupe, are touring the UK, clad
in tutus and lashings of mascara. Their sublime
dance parodies are not to be missed (FT).
Ends 10 Oct, then moves to Canterbury and
beyond, until 11 Nov (www.trockadero.org).
Henri Cartier-Bresson: Decisive Moments
at The Fine Art Society, London W1 (020-7629
5116). Photographs by one of the 20th centurys
greatest photographers. The signed prints, which
include portraits of Marilyn Monroe and
Truman Capote, are on sale. Ends 29 Oct.

Book now
One of Americas most formidable lawyers, Alan
Dershowitz, and former chancellor of the
exchequer Norman Lamont debate the motion
that the nuclear deal with Iran wont make
the world a safer place. BBC presenter Nik
Gowing chairs the discussion for Intelligence.
Takes place on 2 Nov at the Emmanuel Centre,
London SW1 (www.intelligencesquared.com).

Television
Programmes
Ted Hughes: Stronger
Than Death Documentary
looking at the life of the poet;
it includes the first televised
interview with his daughter
Frieda, as well as input from
friends and fellow poets. Sat
10 Oct, BBC2 9pm (90mins).

Return to Larkinland
A.N. Wilson looks at the life
of poet Philip Larkin. Sun 11
Oct, BBC4 9pm (60mins).

Sir Alex Ferguson: Secrets


of Success Over 26 years
Alex Ferguson transformed
Manchester United into a
multimillion-pound global
business. Nick Robinson finds
out how he did it. Sun 11 Oct,
BBC1 10.30pm (60mins).

River Stellan Skarsgrd and


Nicola Walker star in Abi
Morgans six-part crime drama
about a brilliant but damaged
police officer. Tue 13 Oct,
BBC1 9pm (60mins).
Restoring Britains
Landmarks This new series
about conservation charity
The Landmark Trust examines
the history of some of Britains
most remarkable buildings,
and reveals the work that goes
into restoring them. Wed 14
Oct, C4 8pm (60mins).

Films

Went the Day Well? (1942)

The Trocks: not to be missed

Valery Gergiev conducts the Winners of the


2015 International Tchaikovsky
Competition, at Symphony Hall, Birmingham.
28 Oct (0121-345 0600, www.thsh.co.uk).

Just out in paperback


Universal Man by Richard Davenport-Hines
(William Collins 9.99). This book explores the
private life of the economist John Maynard
Keynes who was, among other things, one of
the most assiduous pick-up artists of his
generation. It is great fun (Sunday Times).

The Archers: what happened last week


Adam captains the last cricket match of the season, against Darrington. When theres a suggestion
Rob edged the ball, Adam asks Rob to do the decent thing and walk. Rob refuses. Ambridge win the
league. Adam tells Rob hed rather have lost than cheated. Rob tells Adam to stick to growing wildflowers. Helen thinks she might have caught the incident while filming Henry. Rob takes her phone to
look, then gives it back saying theres nothing there. Helens perplexed. Ruth drives Heather to
Ambridge. They enjoy a sing-song before Heather has a nap. When Ruth stops at a service station,
Heather doesnt respond. Shes had a stroke and died. Tom wants to ask Fallon to run the caf next to
the farm shop. Helen parrots Rob and questions whether is Fallon the right person, but she leaves
the decision to Tom. Fallons delighted to be offered the site. Roy offers Kirsty the job as the health
club boss. Ruth tells David she feels responsible for Heathers death her mother was put under
great strain as a result of them not moving to Hexham. Fallon tell Rob that shes running the caf.
Rob berates Helen for taking Toms advice. Helen tells Rob shes pregnant, which cuts short his anger.

In Cavalcantis wartime
propaganda film, a troop of
soldiers descends on a rural
village claiming to be Royal
Engineers. When it is revealed
they are the advanced guard
for a German invasion, the
villagers fight back. Mon 12
Oct, Film4 12.40pm (110mins).

The Disappearance of
Alice Creed (2009) Taut and
twisty thriller in which a
wealthy businessmans
daughter (Gemma Arterton) is
kidnapped by two men. Fri 16
Oct, BBC1 11.50pm (95mins).

Coming up for sale


Multiplied, the fair dedicated
to contemporary art in
editions, returns to Christies.
Galleries including Flowers
and the Whitechapel Gallery
will be selling prints,
photographs and digital art.
Work by established figures
such as Alison Wilding and
Sir Peter Blake will hang
alongside that of emerging
artists. 16-18 Oct, Christies,
South Kensington, SW7
(www.multipliedartfair.com).

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

38
Houses with renovation potential

Powys: The
Mill, Melinddol,
Llanfair
Caereinion. A
historic Grade II
derelict mill with
original workings
and various
outbuildings,
requiring full
renovation. The
22-acre property
also includes a
3-bed farmhouse,
3 2-bed cottages,
outbuildings and
planning
permission for a
caravan park.
Available as a
whole or in lots,
the Mill will be
sold by formal
tender on 13
October. Whole:
620,000; Strutt
& Parker (01743284200).

Herefordshire: 1 The Old Hall, Brierley, Leominster. This Grade II end-ofterrace cottage in a small hamlet has been partially restored, leaving scope for the
new owner to complete the renovation. Master suite, guest suite, 1 further bed,
breakfast/kitchen, 2 receps, office/study, WC, 2 attic rooms, long rear garden,
shed, parking to front and rear. 249,995; Hunters (01432-278278).

North Somerset:
Bickley and Bickley
Cottage, Cleeve. A
period house and
separate 2-bed
cottage, both in need
of updating, set in a
private spot
overlooking the
grounds, with mature
woodland beyond.
Main house: 2 suites,
3 further beds, family
bath, shower, kitchen,
3 receps, utility,
cloakroom, hall,
2 drives, extensive
gardens, tennis court,
woodland, pasture,
8.45 acres. Available
as a whole or in lots,
whole: 1.1m; Knight
Frank (0117-317
1999).

THE WEEK 10 October 2015

on the market

39

Devon: Dunsland Court, Jacobstowe,


near Okehampton. An unspoilt and
secluded 65-acre estate, with views to
Dartmoor, now in need of restoration.
8 beds, 2 baths, kitchen, breakfast
room, 5 receps, study, cloakroom, cellar,
3 attic beds, courtyard of outbuildings
including former coach house and
stables, further outbuildings, garden,
pastureland, woodland, stream, pond,
4-bed lodge cottage. For sale as a
whole or in two lots. Whole: 1.175m;
Jackson-Stops & Staff (01392-214222).
Cornwall: ChyConary, Parc Owles,
Carbis Bay, St Ives.
Offered for sale for
the first time in
about 25 years,
this classic 1960s
house has great
redevelopment
potential and
fantastic views
across St Ives Bay
and around the
coastline. 4 beds,
family bath, kitchen,
double recep with
balcony, hall, utility,
parking, detached
garage, gardens,
terraces, 0.3 acres.
OIEO 600,000;
Lillicrap Chilcott
(01872-273473).

Kent: Great
Napchester Farm,
Whitfield. A Grade II
farm, with a partially
restored farmhouse,
in a rural setting with
scope to refurbish to
create a lovely family
home. 5 beds, family
bath, kitchen, 3
receps, utility, cellar,
gardens, garage,
redundant swimming
pool, 3-bed annexe,
2 large steel-framed
agricultural barns
with stables, various
outbuildings,
paddocks, woodland,
29 acres. 1.1m;
Jackson-Stops &
Staff (01227781600).

London: 3
Alexander Place,
SW7. A wide, Grade
II, early Georgian
house in this quiet
street between
Knightsbridge and
South Kensington.
The house is
unmodernised and
extends to
approximately 1,900
square feet, with
potential to extend,
subject to consent.
Master bed with
dressing room, 2
further beds, 2 baths,
kitchen, breakfast
room, double recep,
1 further recep,
garden. 3.95m;
W.A. Ellis (0207306 1620).

Surrey: Shellwood Cottage, Leigh. A Grade II cottage, now requiring


modernisation, set in 0.35 acres of landscaped gardens and grounds. 4
beds, 2 baths, kitchen, 2 receps, hall, utility, cloakroom, study/bed 5,
detached double garage block. 835,000; Savills (01737-230200).

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

LEISURE
Food & Drink

41

What the experts recommend


Lido Oakfield Place, Bristol
(0117-933 9530)
Lido, in Clifton, is so called because it
overlooks a small but stylish open-air
swimming pool, says Joseph Connolly in
The Daily Telegraph. But is the cooking,
with its Spanish and Middle Eastern
influences, worth splashing out on?
Yes indeed. I wolfed down my wood-roast
scallop starter three mighty, lusty and
juicy examples well served by a not-toogarlicky butter and generous scattering of
sweet herbs. My companions octopus a la
gallega was also very gorgeous: slowcooked chunks of octopus with a hint of
smoke atop a silky potato pure. And the
mains were superb: seared pigeon breasts,
earthy, meaty and satisfying, were
perfectly paired with a sweetcorn pure;
the wood-roast poussin was even better
nicely plump atop gooey cauliflower
florets with the faintest curry dusting.
Puddings, alas, were not in this class. But
this friendly and easy bistro is well
worth dropping into; the food has brio,
from a chef who knows what hes up to.
About 30 for three courses, with wine.
Lurra 9 Seymour Place, London W1
(020-7724 4545)
Londons best Spanish restaurants have
a tendency to proliferate, says Tracey
MacLeod in The Independent. Barrafina,
Brindisa, Salt Yard, Barrica, Iberica all of
them have been breeding like conejos

was fantastic with a quiver of paprikadusted fries. I loved this place and as a
meat eater dining with vegetarians, I didnt
even get to taste one of Lurras star
attractions, a sharing plate of aged
Galician beef. So I immediately booked a
return trip at my own expense. Its that
good. Around 30 a head, before wine
and service.

Lurra: a glowing lightbox of a room

while keeping the quality control


admirably high. The latest to go forth
and multiply is Donostia, a terrific
Basque-inspired place just north of
Marble Arch, which has now spawned
Lurra. This is just over the road from its
parent, and swankier a glowing
lightbox of a room, where diners feast on
marble tables. The food is also a take on
Basque cookery and is similarly
sophisticated. An elegant tempura-battered
courgette flower was filled with silken
cod brandade. A horn of squid held a
smoky-sweet dice of chorizo and prawn,
anchored by a lick of squid-ink sauce.
Solomillo (rare Iberico pork tenderloin)

Two Cats Kitchen 27 Warstone Lane,


Birmingham (0121-212 0070)
Any idea what New Baltic Cuisine is?
Nor me, says Marina OLoughlin in The
Guardian. But that is what chef Niki
Astley reckons hes serving at his
intriguing restaurant in Birminghams
jewellery district and whatever it is, it
works like a dream. Shocking pink
Latvian cold beet soup is a brilliantly
lurid and bracing opener. Chopped raw
tartare of beef noisette teeters towards
the sublime. Chewy pelmeni (dumplings)
with a molten goats cheese stuffing and
crystalline onion broth sploshed with
homemade lovage oil are entrancing;
as is Arctic char, the fish flaking into
translucent folds over smoky shiitake
mushrooms. I shall gloss over the only
stinker, a catfoody bunker of mutton
done no favours by the addition of
pumpkin and whole raw blackberries. In
every other respect, this place reeks of
brilliance. About 25 a head, plus
drinks and service; 40 tasting menu.

Coffee and walnut meringue roulade


Once you master this simple meringue roulade, youll never want to make a standard Swiss roll, says James Martin. Ive filled
it with coffee cream and candied walnuts, but you could also use marrons glacs, or whatever else takes your fancy.
Serves 10 5 egg whites 275g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting 115g butter, softened 140g icing sugar 3 egg whites
115g plain flour brown and purple food colouring gold food spray 150g caster sugar 150ml water 200g walnut halves
vegetable oil, for frying 400ml double cream 10ml Camp Chicory & Coffee Essence 1 vanilla pod, split and deseeded

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 23cm x 33cm


Swiss roll tin and line with silicone paper.
Place the egg whites in a completely clean and
dry bowl. Whisk on high speed until soft peaks
form. Add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking
until smooth and glossy. Spoon into the prepared
tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 8 mins or until
golden brown, then lower the oven temperature to
170C and bake for a further 15 mins or until crisp.
Remove from the oven and turn out of the tin
onto a sheet of silicone paper dusted with caster
sugar. Remove the paper from the base of the
meringue and allow to cool.
For the tuiles, turn the oven up to 200C. Beat the butter and
icing sugar together in a bowl until smooth, then whisk in the
egg whites, one at a time, until smooth and shiny. Sieve the flour
over the mixture, then fold in gently. Tip half of the batch into a
separate bowl. Use the colouring to colour one batch brown and
the other batch purple, then chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Place a leaf stencil on a non-stick mat or silicone paper. Using
a palette knife, spread the tuile mixture thinly over. Repeat across

the mat or paper. Bake for 4-5 mins, then


immediately lay the leaves over the handle of a
wooden spoon to curl them. Leave to go cold and
to harden, then colour with the gold food spray.

For the walnuts, put the sugar and water in a


pan and bring to the boil, stirring once. Simmer
until the sugar has dissolved and the resulting
syrup has thickened slightly. Add the nuts. Cook
for 2-3 mins. Empty the mixture onto a sheet of
silicone paper.
Pour enough oil into a saut pan to cover the
bottom 2cm. Heat until just shimmering. Carefully
put the walnuts, a few at a time, into the oil and
cook for 2 mins or until golden. Place on a fresh sheet of silicone
paper to drain. Leave to cool.
For the filling, whisk the cream, coffee essence and vanilla
pods in a bowl to soft peaks. Spread it over the cooled meringue,
then scatter three-quarters of the walnuts over the cream.
Starting at the long end, roll up the meringue using the paper to
help you. Decorate the top of the roulade with the tuile leaves
and remaining candied walnuts.

Taken from Sweet by James Martin, published by Quadrille Publishing at 20.


To buy from The Week bookshop for 17, call 0843-060 0020 or visit www.theweek.co.uk/bookshop.

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

Consumer

LEISURE 43

New cars: what the critics say

2015 Vauxhall Astra

from 15,295

Auto Express
Few cars are as ubiquitous
as the Astra: Vauxhall
says that more than a
quarter of British drivers
have either owned or
driven one. Yet the family
hatchback is really just
a triumph of sales and
marketing: it has never
deserved its place as one
of the nations favourites.
With this Cheshire-built,
seventh-generation car,
however, thats changed:
this is an Astra that finally
merits serious attention.

What Car?
On the road, the new
Astra impresses. The
diesel and turbo petrol
engines are sprightly,
and the car handles
with deft composure
it really benefits from
the new design, which
makes this model 130kg
lighter, on average, than
its predecessor. Its
comfortable to drive
even if it can thud a bit
on rough roads and
pleasingly quiet, with little
wind or tyre noise.

The Daily Telegraph


Vauxhall has given the
Astra an all-new design:
from the outside it looks
reasonably stylish,
particularly the curved
roof. It manages to be both
smaller and roomier than
before, with space for two
large adults in the rear
although the hard seats are
slightly uncomfortable.
All told, this highly
likeable car is the second
best in the sector, behind
the VW Golf. Its a
little smasher.

Clear away dead leaves as soon as


possible after they fall (they can harbour
disease) and remove them from ponds.
If you have any tired perennials or
alpines, you can reinvigorate them by
dividing and moving them. This should
help them produce more flowers next year
and give them a better shape.
You can plant new lilies, narcissi and
many other bulbs in October. But wait until
at least November to plant tulips; otherwise,
they risk getting tulip fire, a debilitating
fungal disease.
Autumn is a good time to tend to your
lawn: repair worn-out patches or, if youre
feeling energetic, sow and turf an entirely
new lawn.
Scarify and aerate your lawn, if you have
the time, before feeding it with a highpotassium fertiliser, then top-dress it with
loam and sand. Feeding is the most
important task, as it will make the grass
strong enough to fight off weeds and moss.

And for those who


ho

have everything

Pogo sticks promise a lot, but most


disappoint by only lifting you a few inches
above the ground. The V4 Pro is different:
it claims to reach heights of 10ft. You can
adjust the air pressure, too the higher the
pressure, the higher youll go.
323; www.vurtegopogo.com
SOURCE: THE OBSERVER

Tips how to get your


garden ready for winter

HP Deskjet 2540
An
A excellent budget
option
o
option, this printerr is
easy to install and
use and it scans
remarkably well,
too. At seven
pages per minute,
however, its on
the slow side (35;
www.tesco.com).

Samsung Xpress M2835DW Ideal for


S
text,, this black and white laser
prin
nter is ssimple,
printer
we
ell desig
well
designed
an
nd, as th
and,
the
na
ame su
name
suggests,
sp
peedy: iit prints
speedy:
up
p to 28 p
pages
pe
per
er minu
minute (150;
ww
www.samsung.
ww.sam
co
com/uk).
m/uk).

Apps
for DIY and decorating
decorati
Houzz has some seven million photos of
interiors and exteriors to give you ideas for
your own home. You can browse by style
and room, saving the images you like to an
album. Theres also information about the
furniture featured, and links to where you
can buy it (free; Android and iOS).
iHandy Carpenter offers five useful tools
for measuring and building: a spirit level,
surface level, ruler, protractor and plumb
bob. Its nicely designed and easy to use
(Android, 1.54; iOS, 1.49).
Autodesk Homestyler helps you plan
and decorate rooms by letting you place
models of furniture and light fixtures on an
image of the space. The app also produces
floor plans (free; Android, iOS).
Handy when youre buying or moving into
a new home, Sun Seeker figures out how
much sunlight a room will get throughout
the day and year, using GPS. It even shows
you the path of the rays (Android, 5.75;
iOS, 7.99).
SOURCES: THE IOS/THE GUARDIAN/ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

SOURCES: GQ/PC ADVISOR/TECH RADAR/THE INDEPENDENT


DENT

Canon
Pixma
Pi
MG7550
M
This
relatively
re
st
stylish inkjet
pr
printer is
a great allro
rounder. The pr
print
rint
qu
quality is superb,
rb,
b particularly on photos
an
and it also scans
ns and copies (160; www.
ca
canon.co.uk).

Brother HL-3140CW
at
Remarkably cheap for what
you get, this colour
laser printer is pretty
fast (up to 18 pages
per minute) and
produces impressive
text and colour. Its
quite costly to run,
though (100; www.
johnlewis.com).

HP Envy 7640
The
e
The all-in-one
one,
inkjet Envy (with
scan, copy and
even fax features)
has two trays, so
you can keep it
loaded with both
standard paper and
photo paper. Its reasonably priced, but the print
quality isnt great (130; www.pcworld.co.uk).

SOURCE: THE SUNDAY TIMES

The best home printers

TO THOSE WHO
ARE VULNERABLE
AND ALONE, I LEAVE
COMPASSION,
REASSURANCE
AND HOPE.
When you write or update your will, please remember
the work of the British Red Cross. By leaving just 1%
of your estate, you can make sure were always ready
to help people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are,
in the UK or abroad.

Find out more about remembering the British Red Cross in


your will. Call 0800 138 4000 or visit redcross.org.uk/giftinwill
today for your free information pack.

The British Red Cross Society, incorporated by Royal Charter 1908, is a charity registered
in England and Wales (220949), Scotland (SC037738) and Isle of Man (0752).

Travel

LEISURE 45

This weeks dream: Papua New Guineas lush highlands


Papua New Guinea was once known by
of pigs they own (pigs are an important
sailors as a place to avoid, says Mark
currency in PNG). Afterwards, the
Blunden in the London Evening
body paint comes off, and their tank
Standard. Of course, the fierce warriors
tops and flat caps go back on.
hunting for heads are long gone, and
Flying east to the island of New
todays visitors are likely to receive a
Britain, you find a coastline where
warm welcome. But thats not the only
abandoned machine guns gunked up
reason to visit. The infrastructure is still
with saltwater and barnacles serve as
basic, but intrepid visitors to this largely
reminders of the brutal Japanese
unspoilt Pacific nation home to 850
occupation during WWII. The diving
here, amid sunken Japanese bombers,
tribes, each with its own language are
is excellent. And if youre lucky, you
rewarded by lush highland landscapes,
might be invited to a fire ceremony,
spectacular marine life, and the thrill
where men dance through flames
of flying by twin-prop plane.
accompanied by rhythmic drumming
The capital, Port Moresby, is blighted
and chanting. This is no colourful
by crime, and is best avoided. But 320
New Britain island: occupied by Japan in WWII
sing-song for tourists: its a primal
miles north, in the Western Highlands,
you can stay at Rondon Ridge, a mountain-top idyll with
gathering, and its mesmerising to witness. Participants spend
thatched roofs and views of the Wahgi Valley. Orchids grow wild
weeks preparing for the occasion, though what they imbibe to get
here and village life revolves around a colourful market. At Kaip,
themselves into the spirit is a closely guarded secret. Dive
an ornamental village, the jovial chief regales tourists with tales of Worldwide (01962-302087, www.diveworldwide.com) has 12
nights, staying at three resorts, from 5,495pp, based on two
tribal warfare, and locals give dancing demonstrations in full
sharing, including flights, accommodation, dives and excursions.
ceremonial dress, complete with necklaces signifying the number

Hotel of the week

Getting the flavour of


Crossing North England by canoe

Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar
A year after setting up in Londons
Shard, the Shangri-La hotel group
has a new gleaming glass tower
in Mongolia. And so far the
venture, in capital city Ulaanbaatar,
seems to be doing fine, says
Sophy Roberts in the Financial
Times. If its polished marble and
glass seems a little soulless to
outsiders, the locals have
embraced it so completely that
its restaurants and bars are
constantly buzzing with Mongol
families, businesspeople and
glamorous young women.
Service is enthusiastic, if
somewhat unpredictable, and,
although the rooms are a little
generic, a tad beige, many of
them have astonishing views.
Doubles from around 140 per
night. Visit www.shangri-la.com.

To canoe across the North of England is to


take a trip into our industrial past, says
Kevin Rushby in The Guardian. A new 150mile coast-to-coast route, which is still being
mapped, runs from the Liverpool docks to
the Humber Estuary, via the Leeds and
Liverpool Canal; several locks including the
spectacular lock staircase at Bingley; and a
stretch of the River Ouse. You paddle past
former cotton mills, through rolling pastoral
landscape and under gorgeous stonework
bridges. There are spectacular examples of
18th century navigational engineering, now
covered in brambles; moorhens nesting on
piles of rubbish; and low, dark tunnels,
where, centuries ago, leggers would lie on
the tops of narrow boats to propel the vessels
along with their feet. Visit www.
canalrivertrust.org.uk for more details.

Stockholm from on high


Most city tours take place at street level. In
Stockholm, however, you can strap on hard
hats and harnesses for a 75-minute rooftop
tour, 43 metres above the ground. This isnt
just for thrill-seekers, says Nick Boulos in
The Independent. The view of this islandcity, from the roof of its Old Parliament
Building, is really quite startling: to the east,
there is Lake Mlaren, and the shimmering
Baltic Sea, while to the south lies Sdermalm,
all vibrant and cosmopolitan. Peering

down, youre almost on top of the Old


Town: its pretty enough when seen from the
street, and even more remarkable when
viewed from above. After circling the roof,
you shuffle onto a metal walkway with steep
drops on either side. There are 360-degree
views from here, but no handrails, just to
make it extra exciting. Guided rooftop
tours with Takvandring (00 46 8 223 005,
www.takvandring.com) cost 47pp.

The Oregon Coasts Electric Byway


Portland regularly tops lists of the most
bikeable, sustainable and bohemian cities
in the US, says Aaron Millar in The Times.
And its progressive, green approach is
spreading. The entire state of Oregon is now
largely accessible by electric car thanks to
charging stations springing up like highvoltage daisies. The Oregon Coast Electric
Byway, with its misty headlands, hidden
coves and salty air, is one of the most
beautiful drives in America. Charging
stations along the route are about 60 miles
apart, and theres an app Plugshare that
pinpoints them. Even so, you have to take
care: speed and steep hills drain the battery;
air con is your enemy. You feel like an old
merchant sailor who must ration his supplies
until port, lest he find himself stranded.
Icelandair (www.icelandair.co.uk) flies from
London Gatwick to Portland (via Reykjavik)
from around 800 return.

Last-minute offers from top travel companies


Caribbean Christmas cruise
Book by 17 October for 5
nights in Miami, and a 9-night
cruise to Aruba and Bonaire on
the Celebrity Eclipse. Prices
from 1,199pp incl. flights.
0800-408 0758, www.cruise
nation.com. Depart 13 Dec.

4* highlights of Malaysia
Enjoy 3 nights in Kuala
Lumpur and 7 nights at the
Golden Sands Resort in Penang
from 719pp b&b incl. flights.
020-7001 4112, www.travel
bag.co.uk. Book by 30 October
for travel in March 2016.

Wildlife in Madagascar
The 12-day Land of Lemurs
guided trip includes rainforests
and national parks. Prices from
1,599pp b&b and transport
(excl. flights). 01962-737630,
www.adventureworldwide.co.
uk. Depart 7 November.

Autumnal Dorset
Stroll the South West Coast
Path while staying at The
Alexandra with 3 nights for
the price of 2 on Sun-Thur
stays. 3 nights b&b costs from
180pp. 01297-442010,
www.hotelalexandra.co.uk.
10 October 2015 THE WEEK

46

Obituaries

The political bruiser who served as chancellor in the 1970s


the foreign secretary job he craved, and
Denis Healey Denis Healey, who
for which he had a wealth of experience,
1917-2015 has died aged 98, was
said The Independent. Instead, Wilson
often described as one
handed him something of a poisoned
of the best prime ministers Britain never
chalice in the shape of the defence brief
had. A towering figure in Labour
at a time when the defence budget was
politics, he combined a formidable
being cut to the bone, Britain was being
intellect with a popular touch, said The
shorn of its colonies, and there were
Daily Telegraph. No other politician of
calls in the party for disarmament.
his era could have held their own playing
Healey spent almost six years as defence
a pub piano in a Christmas television
secretary, during which time he
special, yet no one doubted his
withdrew British troops from all their
seriousness in government. His failure
bases east of Suez, and cancelled
to reach Downing Street was mainly
numerous procurement contracts, but
down to two things: unlucky timing
managed to maintain a good working
his best opportunity to lead his party
relationship with the Pentagon despite
came after Margaret Thatchers 1979
his opposition to the Vietnam war.
victory cast Labour into opposition for
18 years; and his steadfast refusal to
Two years after Labours 1970 election
suffer fools gladly, if at all. While the
defeat, he became shadow chancellor
public knew him as an avuncular figure,
and managed to placate the Left with the
with his bushy eyebrows and Silly
Healey: an avuncular figure with a popular touch
promise to tax the rich until the pips
Billy catchphrase (gifted to him by the
squeak (in fact, he may never have used those exact words; what
impersonator Mike Yarwood), his colleagues reeled from the
he did say was that Labours top tax rate would bring forth
force of his cutting wit and furious outbursts. As he once
howls of anguish from the rich). But on becoming chancellor,
admitted, he could be a bad-tempered old Denis and that
in 1974, he found himself contending with economic mayhem,
earned him powerful enemies on his own side.
industrial strife and soaring inflation. Conflicts with the Left of
the party became inevitable, as he sought to keep down wages
Denis Winston Healey was born in Kent in 1917, the son of an
and spending. Then, in 1976, he was forced to go cap in hand
engineer (and Churchill admirer) who became the head of a
to the IMF for a $3.9bn loan to stop the pound collapsing
technical college in Keighley, Yorkshire. Prodigiously bright, the
which meant further cuts and wage curbs.
young Healey won scholarships to Bradford Grammar, and then
Balliol College, Oxford: there, he threw himself into student
Slowly, the medicine began to work, said The Times yet in his
politics he briefly joined the Communist Party because of its
April 1978 budget, Healey proclaimed another strict pay policy,
opposition to Hitler and during the holidays, went on cycling
prompting a union revolt. The ensuing winter of discontent led
trips across Europe, where he developed what hed later refer to
to Labours defeat the following
as his hinterland of artistic
year. At that point, Healey was
accomplishments. Having
He beat Tony Benn by less than 1% of the James Callaghans presumed
achieved a double first in 1940,
heir, but the Left punished him
he joined the Royal Engineers.
vote by a hair of my eyebrow
by electing Michael Foot (aided,
His military career began
it was said, by SDP defectors
ingloriously, said The
Guardian, checking travel documents at Swindon station, but his who wanted to make Labour unelectable). The following year,
expertise in logistics saw him given the job of beachmaster at
Healey had to fight Tony Benn to remain the partys deputy.
Anzio, south of Rome, in the Allied invasion. He was mentioned
Howled down wherever he went by supporters of the Militant
in dispatches, promoted to major and appointed MBE. His
Tendency group and other extremists, he described the campaign
wartime service along with his academic brilliance gave him
as the least agreeable period of his life but said hed felt he
confidence, and also coloured his outlook. Once asked why hed
had to run to save Labour from complete lunacy. In the event, he
chosen a career in politics, he said his main reason had been to
won by less than 1% of the vote by a hair of my eyebrow.
stop a third world war.
After Labours trouncing in 1983, he
In 1945, Healey gave a fiery speech, in A caustic tongue and a cultured mind served as shadow foreign secretary as
uniform, at the Labour conference, in
Neil Kinnock fought to modernise the
Attila the Hen, The Great She-elephant and
which he denounced Europes upper
party. Slowly, Healey emerged as a
Rhoda the Rhino were just some of the names
classes as selfish and decadent,
revered elder statesman, one of the
Denis Healey used to describe Margaret Thatcher.
and warned them that the socialist
last survivors of the Atlee/Gaitskell
However, even he had to admit to having gone too
far when, after the Falklands war, he accused her of
revolution was coming. Yet he failed
era. He stood down as an MP in
glorifying in slaughter: he claimed that hed meant
to win a seat at that years election,
1992, but remained in the public eye
to say glorifying in conflict.
and instead became Labours
by among other things appearing
He famously likened a Commons attack by Geoffrey
international secretary. In this role, he
in a TV ad for Sainsburys. He was
Howe to being savaged by a dead sheep. Yet the
made important political contacts,
married to his wife, Edna, from
two men were actually good friends, and he could be
and having seen the way it
1945 until her death in 2010; they
equally rude about his former Labour colleagues. Of
destroyed socialism in Eastern Europe
had three children. Politics is bound
David Owen, he wrote: The good fairies gave the
became fiercely opposed to Soviet
to bring frustrations and disappointyoung doctor almost everything: thick dark locks,
communism, and a firm believer in
ments, which may ruin a mans
matinee idol features, a lightning intelligence
Nato. It wasnt until 1952 that he
happiness unless he can live in other
unfortunately, the bad fairy made him a shit. Healey
became an MP, for Leeds South East.
worlds as well, he once wrote. I
was known for his use of four-letter words: he used
He established himself as a powerful
have been able to escape to nature
one to describe Stalin. But he was also highly
cultured: a linguist, an opera buff, a pianist, a writer
voice in the party, but when Labour
and the artsbut the main anchor
and a very talented amateur photographer.
returned to power in 1964, Harold
of my equilibrium has been my love
Wilson (never an ally) didnt give him
for my family.
THE WEEK 10 October 2015

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A view from America

Advertisement feature

In association with American Airlines

HOLACRACY AND OTHER FLATTER EARTH THEORIES


In the fourth dispatch examining the human stories behind the business and financial trends shaping America,
we home in on employee empowerment. Is it just a utopian dream?
new system or leave, almost
210 of its 1500 workforce
opted to take paid
redundancy. Its kind of
deliciously ironic, noted
Jeffrey Pfeffer, that selfmanagement is being decreed
from above. But Holacracys
supporters see no
contradiction in that.
Imagine a country thats
going to move from a
dictatorship to a democracy,
counters Holacracy founder
Brian Robertson. The easiest
possible path is for the
dictator to autocratically
decree that this is now our
constitution. Rather than
focusing on the 14% of Zappos
The Holacracy system replaces hierarchies with self-managing circles.
refusniks who couldnt
stomach what one described
Ditch the boss!
Converts to Holacracys ditch the boss and distribute power as bothersome social experiments, we should consider that
86% of company employees remain committed believers.
ethos claim the system is no less than a revolution in how
companies are managed and structured. Instead of travelling
Something better change
in one direction up accountability travels along many
Clearly, the jury is still out on whether Zappos experiment in
different paths across and through the company, making
Holacracy will bear fruit even Robertson admits theyre in
specific job titles obsolete. One of the root attractions of
for a multi-year journey. But while Holacracy might be
Holacracy is that, unlike conventional management structures,
considered an extreme example of the move towards flatter,
its grounded in modern technological reality. The system
more democratic management, theres no doubt thats where
builds on the sort of workflow software that first emerged in
the zeitgeist is headed. A good thing, too, say those who believe
the late 1990s. As such, Holacracy is sometimes claimed to
that management reform of hidebound organisations is long
be a way of formalising the informal way in which modern
overdue. As Stefan Stern, a visiting professor at Cass Business
companies already actually operate.
School in London, observes: A board that sees itself operating
Proponents argue that by encouraging employees to act
not at the heart of a strict hierarchy but rather embedded at
more like entrepreneurs, Holacracy makes companies more
the heart of a living organisation is likely to provide better
flexible to changing situations and therefore more resilient
leadership and ask better questions of employees,
long term. Among other benefits touted are the elimination of
communicating with them eye-to-eye.
arrogant executives, more efficient meetings, and even the
Some will always believe in the inherent benefits of
abolition of office politics. Whats not to like?
rigid organisation. As Jeffrey Pfeffer outlines: hierarchy
Some 300 US companies are reported to have embraced the
makes complexity possible and may actually fuel, rather
system, including Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, who is
than hinder, creativity. Certainly, there are countless
trying it out in his new publishing start-up, Medium. But
examples of creative pioneers Apples Steve Jobs springs
perhaps the most advanced of these testbeds is the Amazonto mind who were never exactly renowned for their
owned online shoe retailer Zappos a billion-dollar company
democratic leadership.
that began implementing Holacracy in 2013. We want
Ultimately, outside forces may have a role to play in how
Zappos to function more like a city and less like a top-down
companies evolve. In 1928, when John Spedan Lewis, architect
bureaucratic organisation, CEO Tony Hsieh told Quartz.
of Middle Englands favourite department store chain, John
Companies tend to die, cities dont.
Lewis, formed a Partnership giving employees part-ownership
of the firm and a share in how its run, the move was as much
Gurus gone wild?
pragmatic as principled. Lewis had been spooked by the
Yet its fair to say that Holacracy has attracted its fair share of
Russian Revolution and the ongoing march of socialism, and
opprobrium. Memorably described by Forbes magazine as an
reckoned that a company grounded in fairness had a better
example of gurus gone wild, critics slam the system as
chance of survival. It will be interesting to see if the current
unworkable and a recipe for organisational chaos. Some have
even remarked on its disturbingly cultish tendencies. Leading political drift leftwards has a similar impact on todays
corporate pragmatists.
the charge is Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanfords Graduate
School of Business, who describes himself as a realist.
Holacracy, he maintains, runs counter to everything we know
Get views from across the pond, updated daily at:
about the human psyche and its instinct to create pecking
www.theweek.co.uk/transatlantic-report
orders. Whatever the proclaimed merits of self-managing,
leaderless systems, hierarchy is here to stay. To argue
otherwise is to deny reality.
No surprise then that the Schadenfreudists were out in force
this summer when reports emerged of a staff insurrection at
Zappos. When given an ultimatum by Hsieh to embrace the
Management fashions come
and go, but one that has
attracted a good deal of
attention this year is
Holacracy a system
devised and trademarked by
consultant Brian Robertson,
which replaces formal
company hierarchies with a
flatter structure consisting
of self-managing circles.
So far, so apparently
uncontroversial: institutions
like the Harvard Business
Review have been extolling
the benefits of flatter
organisations for years. But
theres something about
Holacracy that stirs up
unusually strong emotions.

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

CITY
Companies in the news
...and how they were assessed

CITY 51

Alliance Trust: Katherine the Great dethroned


Everyone in business has ups and downs, noted Alliance Trust chief Katherine GarrettCox as she celebrated winning the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award in
May. But its hard to see last weeks events as anything but a down for the former City
darling, said Patrick Hosking in The Times. She has been kicked off the board and
demoted to head its fund management arm, the culmination of the slow-motion
defenestration that began in March when US hedge fund Elliott Advisors began
agitating for reform at the Dundee-based investment group. I have little sympathy with
Garrett-Cox, who was paid 1.4m last year for a lacklustre performance, said Alex
Brummer in the Daily Mail. But it is acutely disappointing to see one of the countrys
most prominent businesswomen moved to the back benches by outside investors who
are largely acting through short-term motives. During the recent upheavals, Elliotts
interests have been broadly aligned with those of a legion of small shareholders who
have deserved better, said James Moore in The Independent. But now that the job of
shaking up governance has been done, those interests may not remain so in sync: the
hedge fund will want to exit with a handsome return in its coffers. Its up to Alliances
chair, Karin Forseke, to ensure that doesnt happen to the detriment of the majority.

PwC/Deloitte: crown claimed


PwC has regained the coveted title of biggest accounting firm in the world, having
outsted Deloitte after posting double-digit growth in 2014/15, said Kevin Reed in
Accountancy Age. But what really drove PwCs top performance which saw gross
revenues jump 10% to $35.4bn wasnt its audit business, but its booming advisory
services, where revenues leaped by 18%. Much of the rapid expansion at PwCs
consulting arm dates from its acquisition of Booz & Company last year, said Kadhim
Shubber in the Financial Times. But there are concerns among regulators that this engine
of growth could cause conflicts of interest. The growing importance of consulting to
the Big Four has raised concerns that the desire to win lucrative additional contracts
could influence the auditing side of the business. PwC certainly doesnt want any more
trouble in that department. Last years stellar performance was marred by the profit misstatement scandal at one of its main audit clients, Tesco (PwC signed off the accounts just
before a 250m hole was revealed). The UK accountancy watchdog has also launched
a probe into another audit client, Barclays. As Sir Mike Rake, former chairman of rival
KPMG, recently observed: There are dangers in being all things to all people.

Astley Baker Davies/Entertainment One: pepped up


When Peppa Pig debuted on Channel 5 in 2004, few suspected what a gold mine the
childrens cartoon character would become. A decade on, no ones in any doubt, said
Mark Sweney in The Guardian. The distributor Entertainment One has just paid 140m
to take a 70% stake in Astley Baker Davies, the creator of the hit show, in a move that
will increase its control of the rights to the franchise to 85%. That looks like good value,
given that the franchise, which has exploded internationally, brought in $1bn in sales
last year. Entertainment One expects that to double to $2bn in five years. As CFO Giles
Willits concludes: Peppa Pig is too big an asset to not control it completely.

Seven days in the


Square Mile
IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned that
global growth would be tepid through
2016, led by a slowdown in emerging
economies. Chinas troubles, slowing
global trade, and plunging commodity
prices are all contributing to a troubled
climate. A worse-than-expected US jobs
report added to the uncertainty. The
FTSE 100 shrugged off the concerns to
rally strongly earlier this week. The
OECD said that Britain was on course
to be the fastest-growing advanced
economy for a third year in a row; the
ONS reported that productivity is 0.5%
better than its pre-crisis peak in 2008.
Hedge funds suffered their biggest
monthly monetary loss since 2008 in
August, as market turbulence battered
portfolios, according to Citi research.
The sector as a whole lost $78bn, the
worst monthly absolute fall in assets
since October 2008, the month after
Lehman Brothers collapsed.
The worlds largest brewer, AnheuserBusch InBev, tabled a third offer of
65bn, or 42.15/share, for its Londonlisted rival SABMiller; two previous bids
of 38 and 40 had both been rejected.
SABMillers largest shareholder, Altria,
urged the board to accept it. Autonomy
founder Mike Lynch, who is being sued
by Hewlett-Packard for alleged
accounting mispresentations, hit back
with a $150m counterclaim. Shares in
Volkswagen rallied after an update from
new CEO Matthias Mller, who said it
would begin recalling vehicles in January
and complete repairs by the end of 2016.

Tesco: City fears grow over turnaround plan


Just over a year after shocking the City with
a quarter-of-a-billion-pound black hole in its
finances, all eyes were on Tesco this week as
it revealed its first-half results, said Lynsey
Barber in City AM. How is CEO Dave Lewiss
turnaround of the supermarket actually going?
With market share still slipping, could Tescos
sales decline be stemmed? It seems not. The
supermarket reported that underlying profits
for the first half had tumbled to 354m 55%
down on the same period last year.

Q1. Analysts had been expecting a much


steeper 1.5% fall.

A year after his arrival from Unilever, the


honeymoon is over for Dave Lewis, said
Oliver Shah in The Sunday Times. His
assured early performances won plaudits
from analysts. But fears have been growing
about his turnaround plan. The sell-off of the
crown jewel of the international business,
South Korea, has reduced Tescos 20bn debt
by about a fifth. But the auction of the
Lewis has certainly stabilised Tescos stock,
Dunnhumby data arm has been shelved, and
said Simon Goodley in The Observer: under
Lewis appears to have missed the opportunity
his control, shares have maintained their
for raising cash through a rights issue. For
Lewis: the honeymoon is over
status of being at their lowest level since
many in the City, the significant omission is
2003. This weeks underwhelming package of figures is
Lewiss refusal to spell out his strategy in detail (though he
unlikely to change that. But there may be a glimmer of hope,
did say this week that further disposals were unlikely). After a
said Jonathan Guthrie on FT.com. The retailers second-quarter
25% fall in shares in six months, its no wonder that analysts
sales figures fell by just 1.1%, compared with a 1.3% decline in
and fund managers are craving illumination.

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

52 CITY
The TTP and
the populist
backlash
John Stepek
MoneyWeek.com

Warning
light on
car loans
Editorial
The Economist

Clean up
Aims Chinese
laundry
Dominic OConnell
The Sunday Times

The governor
and climate
change
Editorial
The Observer

THE WEEK 10 October 2015

Commentators
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), signed this week, is the
biggest trade deal the world has seen in decades, says John
Stepek. It has taken the 12 Pacific Rim nations fully five years to
hammer out no surprise, given that tariffs and trade barriers
exist because groups of special interests want to protect their
privileged positions. The main benefit of globalisation is that it
makes the overall economic pie bigger, by increasing opportunities
for trade. But it is by no means a win-win development. It
means more competition, and some industries and individuals will
lose out. A refusal to acknowledge that on the behalf of our
elites is partly what has driven populist political anger across the
globe. And it might yet scupper this deal, which must be signed
off by the 12 respective governments. In the US, some Democrats
(including Bernie Sanders), and Republicans (including Donald
Trump) are opposed to it. If the TTP does get through, therell be
large and positive implications for global growth in the long
term. But there will also be losers. The world isnt that flat.
Volkswagen doesnt just make cars, says The Economist. Like
other carmakers, it also has an enormous lending arm which
helps customers pay for them. The finance arms of the worlds top
carmakers have almost $900bn of assets on their books, and four
diesel-focused European firms VW, BMW, Daimler and Renault
account for half of the $350bn of debt on the consolidated
balance sheets of carmakers that needs to be refinanced this year.
Loans to motorists are a relatively low risk: theyre short term,
and cars can always be repossessed. But carmakers are highly
dependent on using finance deals to drive sales, and the risk now
is that worries about the cost of cleaning up the emissions
scandal trigger a cash squeeze. In the absence of any penalties,
compensation or recall, all would be fine at VW. But as the
investigations and lawsuits multiply, the risk of a significant
financing gap is growing. The firms cost base is designed around
the economies that come from producing ten million vehicles a
year. If a financing squeeze means it cannot finance the sales of
a million or two of those, its situation could turn ugly.
Londons junior market, Aim, has always been a colourful,
boom-and-bust place, says Dominic OConnell. But in recent
months, four Chinese companies Naibu, Camkids, Geong and
China Chaintek have had their shares suspended in odd
circumstances involving missing accounts or assets. The London
Stock Exchanges considered view appears to be that this is all
part of the rough and tumble of Aim. I doubt many shareholders
would agree. They understand when a punt on an oil well goes
wrong because the well turns out to be dry. Its something else
when a firm cant file accounts, or loses control over its assets.
Part of the problem lies with Aims system of brokers or
nomads nominated advisors who guide a company to market
and vet its suitability for public ownership. Currently, when a
nomad resigns (as in the recent Chinese cases) they dont have to
reveal why. That kind of disclosure should be a bare minimum
requirement for an exchange that claims to be properly
regulated. A shrug and a simple caveat emptor is not enough.
The Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has been castigated
for offering doom-laden prognostications about global
warmings potential impact on financial markets, in a speech to
London insurers, says The Observer. Some in the City believe that
the spirit of buccaneering free enterprise will in time meet the
challenges of climate change head on, and the Bank has no
business straying into territory more commonly occupied by the
Green Party. Yet climate change could indeed present a major
threat to financial stability if it catches investors unawares. It is
the ultimate example of what Carney calls the Tragedy of the
Horizon: the chronic inability of business and political leaders to
tackle challenges more than a few years ahead. It presents an
existential threat to the status quo, yet barely features in day-today calculations. Its too big, too scary and, most of all, too
distant to start planning for. The governor is quite right to raise
the issue. If anything, his modest proposal a disclosure task
force to encourage companies to make public their potential
vulnerability to climate change does not go far enough.

City profiles
Li Ka-shing
Hong Kongs richest man
used to be a paragon of
devotion to his motherland,
at ease with communists and
capitalists, says Michael
Sheridan in The Sunday
Times. So how has it all
gone so wrong for the
octogenarian property and
telecoms tycoon? Last week
the Communist Party-owned
Global Times unleashed
a scornful attack urging
readers to stop treating this
profit-driven businessman
like a god. The officially
sanctioned tirade centred
on claims, which Li denies,
that he is withdrawing cash
from China in a brazen
abandonment of the nation
as it hits hard times. Another
article reminded him that
the ultimate source of his
wealth is government
help. The attack came as
a bombshell, remarked one
Chinese journalist, who said
that it reminded him of the
Cultural Revolution.
Ralph Lauren

Ralph Laurens life has a


mythic quality like that of Jay
Gatsby, another self-made
tycoon with a mansion on
Long Island, says John
Gapper in the FT. Born in
the Bronx, Lauren built a
$10bn fashion business by
constantly finding new ways
to evoke the American
dream. However, things
have not been so easy of late
for Lauren, who started out
in 1967 selling ties out of a
drawer in the Empire State
Building. Having watched
the companys share price
fall 44% this year, he stood
down as CEO last week to
focus on design; ceding
operational control to
Swede Stefan Larsson an
expert in fast fashion, who
previously revived the Gap
chains Old Navy brand.
The cut of the blazer is not
sufficient anymore; you also
need a sharp supply chain.

We strive
to explore
further.
Aberdeen Investment Trusts
ISA and Share Plan
At Aberdeen, we believe theres no substitute for
getting to know your investments face-to-face. Thats
why we make it our goal to visit companies wherever
they are before we invest in their shares and while we
hold them.
With a wide range of investment companies investing
around the world thats an awfully big commitment.
But its just one of the ways we aim to seek out the
best investment opportunities on your behalf.
Please remember, the value of shares and the income
from them can go down as well as up and you may get
back less than the amount invested. No recommendation
is made, positive or otherwise, regarding the ISA and
Share Plan.
The value of tax benefits depends on individual
circumstances and the favourable tax treatment for
ISAs may not be maintained. We recommend you seek
financial advice prior to making an investment decision.

Request a brochure: 0500 00 40 00


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Please quote G TW 19

Talking points

CITY 55

Issue of the week: offloading Lloyds


George Osborne hopes to revitalise Britain as a shareholding democracy. Will a retail sale of Lloyds shares do the trick?
afterthought: the Government has
In his conference speech in Manchester
already trimmed its stake to below 12%
this week, George Osborne pledged to
through sales to City investors. This is a
build the share-owning democracy this
grubby business, said Nils Pratley in
party has always believed in. As proof
The Guardian: offering a 200-a-head
of his conviction, said Nick Goodway in
bung to private investors to own 2,000The Independent, he fired the starting
worth of stock for 12 months. The
gun on the largest privatisation share sale
basic principle is indefensible. Why
since Margaret Thatchers sell-offs in the
should some citizens with a grand or
1980s: some 2bn of shares in Lloyds
Banking Group will be sold to retail
two in cash and an appetite for filling in
investors next spring. The offer is being
forms receive a discount at the expense
pitched at small investors (those applying
of other taxpayers? Proceeds from the
for less than 1,000-worth of shares will
sale will go to pay down the national
be given priority), who are promised a
debt. But, when the country owes
5% discount to the stock market price.
1.5trn, the priority should be securing
Anyone who holds their shares for a year
the highest price possible, not messing
Osborne: Tell Sid or Tell Squid?
around with discounts, loyalty bonuses
will also receive a bonus share for every
and advertising campaigns.
ten held, capped at 200 per investor.
The sell-off is likely to prove a bonanza for private investment
Thirty years ago, Mrs Thatcher set out her aspiration for a
firms, who made a killing on the Royal Mail sale. A huge
Britain where owning shares is as common as having a car,
advertising push is planned, reminiscent of the Tell Sid
said Philip Aldrick in The Times. It hasnt quite turned out as
campaign for British Gas shares in 1986.
planned. Today, only 19% of British adults own shares directly.
The privatisation of the Governments stake in Lloyds, which
The Tories today are paying little more than lip service to her
once stood at 43%, has so far been more a case of Tell Squid
vision this Lloyds sale is thin gruel. Last year, Twitter topped
than Tell Sid, said Jonathan Guthrie in the Financial Times.
up the salaries of its 126 UK staff with 14m in shares. But unless
many more companies come to the Chancellors rescue by
Institutional capital, of the kind mustered by Goldman Sachs
following Twitters lead, there is little to suggest that he will have
(once dubbed the vampire squid), has done better than the
any more success with popular capitalism than Mrs Thatcher.
likes of Mr Smith at No. 33. This retail offering is an

PPI closure: what the pundits think


scoffed at Jeremy Corbyns
idea for Peoples QE, but
PPI has proved a worthy
variant channelling
20bn from the coffers of
the banks into the pockets
of ten million people. The
car industry has admitted
to enjoying a boost from
the payments; other sectors
have doubtless benefited
too. This is a form of QE
that has come straight
from the financial sector
and very much left its
mark on the economy.

Claims-chasing
ghouls
The Financial Conduct
Authority announced last
week that it planned to set
a deadline, of spring 2018,
for any payment protection
insurance claims against
banks. Its about time the
curtain was brought down
on this farce, said Alex
Brummer in the Daily
Mail. Even a harsh critic
of banking turpitude such
as myself cannot complain,
after 20bn of payouts,
PPI calls: excessive
and billions of calls and
messages from claims-chasing ghouls.
Is it really over?
Agreed, said Patrick Jenkins in the FT. The Were likely to see a flurry of activity
PPI affair has been a shameful and
as genuine claimants move to beat the
embarrassing indictment of the excesses of
deadline, said Rupert Jones in The
banking yet the compensation culture
Guardian. If youre one, dont use a
it helped breed is excessive too. The plan
claims firm. Complain directly to the
for a cut-off fits with the Chancellors
institution concerned and then to the
new conciliatory tone towards the City.
ombudsman if you are not happy. The
It will also make it easier to sell the last
banks must hope that the end is now in
chunk of state-owned shares in Lloyds to
sight. But we may be heading for a fresh
the public: PPI still costs Lloyds nearly
round of payouts totalling billions more,
3bn a year. But curtailing the payments
following a Supreme Court ruling last
November that if a PPI seller failed to
now is justified. Anyone who was
disclose to a customer that it had received
genuinely mistreated has had ample
a large commission from the product
chance to say so.
provider, the sale was unfair. Crucially,
customers who have already received
Peoples QE?
compensation for PPI mis-selling will not
The PPI mis-selling scandal has had its
be able to claim again.
uses, said The Observer. Many have

Robo-advisers
If you are stuck in the advice gap
not willing to pay a substantial fee for
financial advice, but not willing to go it
alone youre a target market for
robo-advisers, says The Times.
These online management services
establish a customers investment
goals and appetite for risk, and then put
their algorithms to work to produce a
ready-made portfolio.
Nutmeg: the first UK digital DIY
investment service, Nutmeg runs ten
different portfolios, allocated into a
range of tracker funds and other
investments such as multi-asset funds.
Charges start at 1% of your savings,
but reduce with volume.
True Potential: allows you to pick from
five different risk profiles, each with
between two and eight multi-asset fund
options. A popular feature is the
Impulse Saver app, which helps you
top up your savings with loose
change whenever you like.
Wealth Horizon: the twist offered by
Wealth Horizon is that theres also an
advisor on the end of the phone if you
need one. A good hybrid service for
less confident investors.
Tilney Bestinvest: although the annual
charges (ranging from 1.47% to 1.59%)
look expensive, this is a nice, simple
site, with a good range of decent
brands, offering value to those
needing a bit more help.

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

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THE WEEK 10 October 2015

Shares

CITY 57

Whos tipping what


The weeks best buys

Directors dealings

James Halstead
The Daily Telegraph
Halstead makes low-cost,
hard-wearing vinyl oors
which are used across the
world in ofces, shops,
restaurants, schools and
hospitals. A quality operator
with rising prots and
revenues. Buy. 398p.

Mitie Group
The Times
Concerns about the impact of
the rising living wage and the
low-margin home services
division are overdone. The
outsourcer has won two
London borough contracts and
is condent that it can pass on
higher wage costs. Buy. 294p.

Harvey Nash Group


The Times
This recruiter provides
specialist short-term IT staff
to the UK nancial services
sector, and is beneting from
the switch to contactless and
mobile payments: prots are
up 6%. Its expanding in the
US, too. Buy. 98p.

Johnson Matthey
The Times
The company provides
catalytic converters to the car
industry and has been hit by
the Volkswagen scandal. But
shares have fallen too far:
JM will gain from greater
emissions control and a switch
to petrol vehicles. Buy. 24.68.

Revolution Bars Group


Shares
Shares in the bar and casual
dining chain have fallen since
its March oat. But sales and
prots are rising and there are
ve new Revolucin de Cuba
bars in the pipeline. Debt free,
expanding, and yields 2.5%.
Buy. 186p.

Poundland Group
340

320

300

280

4 directors
buy 34,340

260

May

Jun

Jimmy Choo
Investors Chronicle
Shares in the luxury shoe
retailer have gained by a fth
since otation a year ago.
But it is worryingly over-reliant
on Asia and suffering
disruption from store
refurbishments. Theres also
the prospect of a large
shareholder selling. Sell. 146p.

Aug

Sep

Oct

Shares in the value retailer


breached new lows in
September after a fall in
rst-half prots, prompting
non-executive director Tea
Colaianni to double her stake
with a 50,000 investment. This
blazed a trail for three other
colleagues to buy for the rst
time the following day.

and some to sell


Darty
The Times
An all-share bid for the
electrical retailer from French
retailer Fnac Group would
shift shareholders to the Paris
market. The price is good and
the offer may not be struck:
take prots. Sell. 96.5p.

Jul

Form guide

Origin Enterprises
Investors Chronicle
The Irish agri-services, crop
and feed rm has been
squeezed by falling sales in its
higher-margin agronomy
services (crop production to
soil management). A weaker
backdrop means this might
not be the oor. Sell. s6.55.

Shanks Group
Investors Chronicle
Weak oil prices continue to
hold back Shankss hazardous
waste division. Theres been
a modest recovery in the
construction market, but
trading in Belgium remains
challenging. Self-help measures
need to work. Sell. 91.75p.

Saga
The Daily Telegraph
Prots are up at the over-50s
group. But most of this is in
insurance, which is tough, low
growth and highly competitive.
Given the proportion of
growth from acquisitions and
high debt, shares look
overvalued. Sell. 205.5p.

Wolseley
The Daily Telegraph
Shares in the plumber are
priced in for growth. But
UK prots are down 6%
and theres a slowdown in
US industrial markets owing
to the slump in activity
from oil and gas customers.
Sell. 36.58.

Shares tipped 12 weeks ago


Best tip
Cohort
Shares
up 28.43% to 376.95p
Worst tip
Northgate
The Times
down 21.95% to 448.8p

Market view
Central banks are trapped
into additional stimulus
measures... They cant afford
to allow the plates to crash
now, having spun them so
aggressively for so long.
Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank.
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

6 Oct 2015
6326.16
3469.82
16767.78
4720.83
18186.10
21831.62
1147.50
51.72
3.83%
1.80
2.04
0.0% (Aug)
1.1% (Aug)
+8.6% (Sep)

$1.529 g1.360 183.454

Best
shares
Best and
and worst performing shares
Week before
5909.24
3260.46
16049.13
4517.32
16930.84
20556.60
1132.10
47.96
4.10%
1.76
2.07
0.1% (Jul)
1.0% (Jul)
+9.0% (Aug)

Change (%)
7.06%
6.42%
4.48%
4.51%
7.41%
6.20%
1.36%
7.84%

WEEKS CHANGE, FTSE 100 STOCKS


RISES
Price
% change
117.85
+46.85
Glencore
272.40
+18.80
Sainsbury (J)
378.10
+15.91
BP
1766.50
+14.48
Royal Dutch Shell B
714.10
+14.42
Standard Chartered
FALLS
SABMiller

Following the Footsie


7,500

7,000

6,500

3622.00

2.11

(There was just one faller in the FTSE 100


this week.)

6,000

BEST AND WORST UK STOCKS OVERALL


11.75
+122.75
Serica Energy
37.50
41.41
Koovs

5,500

Source: Datastream (not adjusted for dividends). Prices on 6 Oct (pm)

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

6-month movement in the FTSE 100 index

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

SOURCE: INVESTORS CHRONICLE

CVS Group
Investors Chronicle
CVS has veterinary practices,
laboratories, crematoria and
an online retail site for pet
medicines. Sales are rising
and acquisitions are
boosting numbers. Peel
Hunt has raised prot
expectations. Buy. 679p.

The last word

58

How the Blitz reshaped Britain


The horror of the Blitz didnt just bring people together, says Joshua Levine: it also created madness and misrule.
But, ultimately, German bombs may have paved the way for a better Britain
Ida Rodway was an ordinary,
law-abiding woman in her late 60s
from east London. In early
October 1940, she went to fetch
her blind husband, Joseph, his
morning cup of tea. But as the
water boiled, Ida changed her
mind. She picked up an axe and a
carving knife instead. Returning to
her husband, she attacked him
with the axe.

These reforms can be seen as the


early stirrings of the welfare state,
an acknowledgment that the
vulnerable were to be protected,
rather than judged. With suffering
now shared among the population,
a sense of collective responsibility
began to emerge. And while the
Blitz was certainly a time of terror
and misery (nearly 100,000 were
killed or seriously injured during
eight-and-a-half months of enemy
action), the rarely acknowledged
fact is that modern Britain owes a
great debt to the period. Much that
we take for granted today emerged
like a phoenix from the ames.

Ida was a devoted wife. Josephs


brother never remembered the
couple sharing a harsh word. But
they were as much victims of the
Blitz as anybody killed by an aerial
mine or a high explosive bomb. In
September, they had been bombed
The Blitz changed the attitudes and
out of their Hackney home and,
expectations of the nations citizens.
after several days in hospital, had
Lives were lived in the shadow of
begun sleeping on Idas sisters
death and invasion. People did not
oor. Josephs mental state was
know how or whether they would
deteriorating and he rarely knew
cope, and they surprised themselves
where he was. They were about to
with their actions. They pulled
lose their labour money and Ida
together and helped strangers. They
had no idea how or where they
spoke to each other for the rst
were going to live, or what to do
time. They found common ground
about the bombed house that still
amidst the chaos where none had
contained all their possessions.
existed before.
Hopeless, helpless and
overwhelmed, she did what she
Joan Varley was a young woman
Bomb damage in front of the Royal Exchange
considered to be the kindest thing
who spent her evenings studying at
for her husband. Charged with murder, she was found unt to
the London School of Economics. One night she boarded a bus,
climbed to the top deck and sat at the back. There was only one
plead at the Old Bailey, and committed to Broadmoor, where
she died a few years later.
other person up there, a man sitting at the front. As the bus drove
through Westminster, Joan heard a bomb falling. Evidently, the
Ida Rodways story offers a dark window onto the Blitz, a period
bus driver heard it, too: he made a sharp right turn. He weaved
as shocking to the authorities as it was to the ordinary people
through unscheduled streets, and the bomb exploded elsewhere.
who found themselves on the front line. As the bombing began,
But as it descended, the man at the front had walked down the
the Government was unable to
bus, sat next to Joan and taken
cope with the chaos and misery
her hand. Neither of us spoke
A cat burglar by trade, he scaled the wall
caused. It had anticipated
a word, she remembers, and
hundreds of thousands of deaths
once we were through the bomb
of the bombed-out office to reach a young
but this nightmare had not
area, he moved back to the front
girl trapped in an upper window
materialised. Instead, it was
seat without a word being said.
faced with large numbers of
homeless people with nowhere to stay, no money, clothes or
But just as the Blitz brought people together, so it caused them
possessions, and no idea about what to do about any of these
to break rules and exploit each other: and sometimes it did both
things. In their suffering, the Rodways were not alone.
all at the same time. Wally Thompson was a career criminal who
described the Blitz as a golden time for lawbreakers. Thompson
The Governments reaction, in October, was to appoint a
became an air raid warden mainly in order to wear the uniform
long-forgotten hero named Henry Willink a Conservative MP
(as an ARP, or Air Raid Precautions, man, he could move around
to overhaul the structure of London along progressive lines.
London carrying large items without suspicion). One night,
Willink, a Great War artillery ofcer who understood the concept
during a heavy raid, he parked a stolen van outside a warehouse
of a front line, started to make replacement housing available. He
in London Bridge. With him was his gang of three accomplices
Batesey, Bob and Spider and together, they planned to steal
organised large-scale repairs. He removed the poor law stigma
that was making claimants feel more like Dickensian beggars than a safe from the ofce.
victims of strategic bombing. He introduced benets and
At the appointed time, they broke in, and had begun manhandling
information centres where the dispossessed could receive
the safe through the front door when a bomb fell nearby. The
assistance in a single, well-publicised location. With the help of
ground heaved towards us like an uppercut, remembers
swiftly trained social workers, these measures were effectively
Thompson. Choked and blinded by dust, the burglars were
introduced and, while they came too late to help Ida and Joseph
thrown into the air, but all were unharmed, and three of them
Rodway, they transformed the experience of countless others and
began to run. Spider, however, had other ideas. A cat burglar by
brought an end to Londons crisis.
THE WEEK 10 October 2015

The last word

59

Blitzs social and political changes continue to


inuence us today. It was a formative period in
which danger, misery and the breaking down of
certainties caused people to behave both well and
badly; to interact meaningfully; to see the world
from other viewpoints. And as expectations
changed, so the ght against Nazism became
entwined with the ght for a better future.

trade, he was adept at scaling walls. Spotting a


young girl trapped in an upper window, he
struggled up the wall to reach her. By the time he
had her in his arms, a re engine had arrived to
bring them both down safely. A policeman was so
impressed by Spiders courage that he asked him
for his name and address, saying he wanted to
recommend him for an award. Spider declined
and left the scene quickly. The last thing he
needed was public recognition.

This reaction can be seen in the response to


Coventrys destruction by the Luftwaffe in
November 1940. Within weeks, the citys misery
This story is a useful metaphor for the strangeness
was being viewed as an opportunity for progress.
of the Blitz: in the ash of a bomb, a criminal
A contemporary BBC radio programme recorded
went from stealing a safe to saving a life. Many
ordinary, law-abiding citizens were turned into
Willink: protected the vulnerable the hopes of local people. They wanted clean,
modern houses with indoor toilets, built-in
outlaws by the myriad new regulations that made
cupboards and gardens. They wanted decent schools, shopping
everyday activities (turning on lights, driving a light-coloured car,
centres and opportunities for adult education. But above all, they
making prots) into punishable crimes. And even when danger
wanted an indication that society cared about them.
was not immediately present, the nations temperature was raised
by the periods steady brutality.
Henry Willinks re-ordering of London can be seen as the rst
signal, in the midst of war, that the future might be different from
Take the case of George Hobbs, a 43-year-old mortuary assistant
the past. As the months passed, other progressive seeds were
found guilty of stealing items from the bodies of air raid victims.
sown. In February 1941, the Ministry of Health began drawing
The sentencing judge described these actions as horrible and
up plans for a postwar National Health Service. Shortly
disgusting, and while it is difcult to disagree, Hobbss plea in
afterwards, the president of the Board of Education, Rab Butler,
mitigation is revealing. Nobody, he protested, could possibly
laid the groundwork for his education reforms, which would
imagine the sight of bodies recovered from bombed premises.
make free secondary schooling available to all. At the heart of
Combined with the ever-present dread that the same would
these shifts in thinking were the horror and shared values that
happen to him, Hobbs said his mind and behaviour had been
resulted from the Blitz.
turned. It is customary in the legal profession to treat pleas in
mitigation with scepticism but here was a rst-time offender
This was not a time for ideology or party politics, but one when
whose world had twisted out of all recognition. Blitz Spirit is
necessity and pragmatism guided the country. Willink and Butler
often (rightly) celebrated. Actions such as Hobbss are rarely
were both Conservative politicians as were most members of the
admitted. Yet they stand together as twin symptoms with a
cabinets War Aims Committee which, in 1940, advocated an end
common cause.
to a society based on privilege. In future, argued these old Tories,
a reasonable standard of life would have to be secured for the
And as the Blitz was pushing citizens towards extreme behaviour,
whole population.
it was having the same effect on the country itself. Great Britain,
constant in her traditions and practices, was forced to take risks
and nd new ways of existing. It is barely remembered nowadays, Ordinary men and women built armaments, they served in the
forces and they bore the bombing patiently. The Blitz may have
but Sherwood Forest was turned into the hub of an inshore oil
industry that provided British aircraft with the high-grade crude
been a time of misery for many, but it was also a time when the
they needed to resist the Luftwaffe. To the amazement of experts,
sacrices made by British people began to tilt the balance of
the oil proved to be of higher quality than Iranian crude, but
society in their favour. Compensations would be offered, and the
Britain lacked the equipment and men to drill for it effectively.
Peoples War would become the Peoples Peace. Yet today, many
And so a band of rough-and-ready drillers from Oklahoma and
of the measures and institutions that arose out of the Blitz appear
Texas was shipped across the Atlantic to tackle the problem.
under threat. It will be very sad if the true legacies of Blitz Spirit
are allowed to erode because we fail to remember how hard
This story demonstrates more than just international cooperation.
they were won.
It represents an extraordinary shift in the nations conduct and
expectations. The oileld would never have been attempted at any A longer version of this article rst appeared in The Independent.
other time. It would be a mistake, however, to think of the Blitz
The Secret History of the Blitz by Joshua Levine is out now,
as a brutal anomaly in Britains story; a time apart from ordinary
published by Simon & Schuster at 16.99. To buy from The
life. The oilelds persisted into the 1960s and were only nally
Week bookshop for 14.99, call 0843-060 0020 or visit
made redundant by the discovery of North Sea gas and oil. The
www.theweek.co.uk/bookshop.

WEATHER

Coldest:
-2C (29F) at
Shap (Cumbria),
Thur 1st

Warmest:
21C (69F)
at Hawarden
(Flintshire),
Mon 5th

Driest:
0.6mm of rain
fell at Aviemore
(Highlands) in the
week to Tue 6th

Wettest:
15mm (0.59in) at
St Helier (Jersey),
Sun 4th
Sunniest:
11.0h at Jersey
Airport (Channel
Is), Fri 2nd

For the week that was:


The warmest place this week was Hawarden in Flintshire with a
maximum of 20.6C on Mon, but it was wet on Mon and Tue nationwide,
with 15mm of rain at St Helier in the Channel Islands on Sun. The highest
minimum was at Stonyhurst (Lancs), with 16.6C recorded in the early
hours of Tue morning. It became windy this Mon/Tue, with sustained
easterly winds of 30-35mph and gusts to 54mph at Culdrose (Cornwall)
on Sun and Capel Curig (Gwynedd) on Mon.
The temperature climbed to 42C at Imperial County Airport, California,
on Wed, and fell to -17C at Edwards Air Force Base, also California on
Thur. Hurricane Joaquin posted 683mm of rain at Cainhoy, South
Carolina, over three days, and, soon to be an ex-hurricane, it will
target the Bay of Biscay next. Nine dams have been breached or failed
completely, according to South Carolina Emergency Management.
Another was intentionally breached to alleviate building pressure.

10 October 2015 THE WEEK

Crossword

62
THE WEEK CROSSWORD 974

This weeks crossword winner


will receive an Ettinger (www.
ettinger.co.uk) Brogue Collection
coin purse in black, which retails
at 150, 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 19 October.
Send it to: The Week Crossword 974, 2nd floor, 32 Queensway, London W2 3RX, or email
the answers to crossword@theweek.co.uk. Set by Tim Moorey (www.timmoorey.info)
1

ACROSS
1 See Aga on is struggling with right
temperature? Try this instead (7,7)
9 Wines from Paddy returned (5)
10 Bare all in dancing? I wouldnt
do that! (9)
11 Hearing sounds around square
reverberating (7)
12 I defy you to give drunkard
present (2,5)
13 Low in humour? Take a day
off (3)
14 Togas undone by flasher on an
old Roman road? (5)
16 Quick attack capturing pawn (5)
18 County ties spoken of (5)
20 Patience, for example is whats
expected of the Met (5)
22 Americans behind Jenny (3)
23 Pets you have when anxious? (7)
25 Aerosol sprays for rash (7)
26 Listed subject in working with
new university (2,3,4)
27 Eat a large amount of
Cheddar? (5)
28 Calm down and dont remove
any locks (4,4,4,2)

DOWN
2 Debate party not in office (6,3)
3 Harsh slant given to news in
tabloid (7)
4 Chatter about West African
republic (5)
5 What a surprise when the new
Popes announced! (4,5)
6 One gamblers assistant? (7)
7 Organic stuff some claim in
expenses (5)
8 Wine given to seaside drunk
leads to serious complaint (6,7)
9 Party game that follows Pass the
Parcel? (8,5)
15 Kit for the imminent match? (9)
17 Pakistani state airline, not
Brazilian state gives work for a
small number (5,4)
19 Set new screen on before end
of play (7)
21 Spear made from wood say,
used in very Italian cover (7)
24 Handle new litter right away (5)
25 According to the audience,
Elizabethan neckwear is lacking
refinement (5)

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

Name
Address
Clue of the week: Swingers bar supplying gin and drugs, reportedly (7, last
letter E) Independent, DAC

Tel no
Clue of the week answer:

Solution to Crossword 972


ACROSS: 1 Timpani 5 Let-up 9 Keep off the grass 10 Opera 11 Candidate
12 Tripoli 14 Emends 15 Owl 17 Caftan 19 Offence 22 Shivering 24 Rotas
26 Take it on the chin 27 Scent 28 Sisters
DOWN: 1 Take-outs 2 My eye 3 Avocado 4 Infection 5 Leg side
6 Tea garden 7 Passed 8 Shin 13 In a pickle 14 Elongates 16 Sea songs
18 T.S. Eliot 20 Forceps 21 As it is 23 Iron 25 Tahoe
Clue of the week: Skin and cook frozen duck (4)
Solution: ZERO

The winner of 972 is Mr W.E. Green from Sheffield


The Week is available on CD and via the e-text service from National
Talking Newspapers on 01435-866102; www.tnauk.org.uk

3
7
6

9
2

7
6

2
5

2
9

Sudoku 518 (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 517
228
Solution
1

Puzzle supplied by

Puzzle supplied by

Charity of the week


Medecins Sans Frontires/Doctors Without
Borders (MSF) operates in some of the
worlds most dangerous and remote
locations, providing medical aid wherever
its needed most. Currently, MSF is one of
very few international organisations working in Yemen, where conflict has
resulted in a humanitarian crisis. MSF medical teams have treated more than
13,378 war-wounded patients since 19 March. MSF is also working on the
Mediterranean Sea; its search and rescue operations at sea have saved more
than 16,350 people. MSF also has medical staff in places such as Greece,
Italy and Serbia, assisting people as they travel across Europe. In addition,
MSF provides medical support in countries where many of the refugees are
coming from, such as Lebanon, Jordan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. MSF
currently operates in more than 60 countries. www.msf.org.uk.

THE WEEK 10 October 2015

P1043B
P1043P
SOURCES: A complete list of publications cited in
The Week can be found at www.theweek.co.uk/sources

For binders to hold 26 copies of The Week at 8.95 (www.modernbookbinders.com)

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AIR CON

Air quality around Heathrow currently breaches EU law. And yet the Airports
Commission Report suggests that, after a third runway is built, it will be
within legal limits. So millions more car journeys to the airport are going to
mean less pollution. Really?
Air quality at Gatwick has never breached EU limits and we still wont even
with a second runway. So best to get on with it, choose the option that can
actually be built and make sure Britain gets the benefits. Obviously.

gatwickobviously.com and @LGWobviously