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The Observer 03 December 2017

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Sunday 3 December 2017 �00
PAGE 46 �
May?s social mobility tsar quits
with attack on ?fairness? failure
Momentum is
worst crisis
ever for Labour
says Hattersley
? ?PM?s rhetoric not matched by reality?
by Toby Helm and Michael Savage
? Milburn team angry over policy ?ops
by Michael Savage
Policy Editor
Theresa May was plunged into a new
crisis last night after the government?s
social mobility adviser revealed he and
his team were quitting, warning the
prime minister was failing over her
pledge to build a ?fairer Britain?.
In a major blow to No�, Alan Milburn, the former Labour cabinet minister who chairs the government?s social
mobility commission, said he and all
three of his fellow commissioners were
walking out.
ON OTHER PAGES
May?s closest ally is under siege. How did
the Tories end up at war with Met? 8-9
Observer Comment 34
The move will be seen as a direct challenge to May?s Downing Street vow to
place fairness and social justice at the
heart of her premiership. In his resignation letter, seen by the Observer, Milburn
warns that dealing with Brexit means
that the government ?does not seem to
have the necessary bandwidth to ensure
the rhetoric of healing social division is
matched with the reality.
?I have little hope of the current government making the progress I believe is
necessary to bring about a fairer Britain,?
he tells the prime minister. ?It seems
unable to commit to the future of the
Labour is facing the biggest crisis in its
history as the leftwing pressure group
Momentum tries to purge it of moderate MPs and councillors in a systematic
takeover of the party, former deputy
leader Roy Hattersley warns today.
His dramatic intervention comes
as details can be revealed of a vicious
power struggle between moderates and
leftwing forces in Momentum and the
Unite union that now threatens to split
the ruling national executive committee (NEC) and reopen party divisions.
The row, over the selection of
Labour?s parliamentary candidate in
the marginal seat of Watford, has led
local party officials to launch an official
complaint to the NEC after they were
ordered to place a Momentum-backed
commission as an independent body or
to give due priority to the social mobility
challenge facing our nation.?
The resignations come with the prime
minister already under pressure, as she
faces crunch Brexit talks and questions
over the future of her most senior minister, Damian Green.
Milburn warned that failing to deal
with the inequalities that fuelled the
Brexit vote would simply lead to a rise
of political extremes. In a devastating
assessment of the lack of progress, Milburn said: ?The worst position in politics is to set out a proposition that you?re
going to heal social divisions and then do
nothing about it. It?s almost better never
to say that you?ll do anything about it.
?It?s disappointing at least that the
government hasn?t got its shoulder to
the wheel in the way it should to deal
with these structural issues that lead to
social division and political alienation in
the country.
?In America for 30 years real average
earnings have remained ?at. Now here
the chancellor is predicting that will last
for 20 years. That has a consequence for
people, but a political consequence as
well. It means more anger, more resentment and creates a breeding ground
for爌opulism.?
It is understood that Gillian Shephard,
the former Tory education secretary and
deputy chair of the commission, will also
resign. She is said by friends to be ?absolutely livid? with the way in which the
Continued on page 9
ON OTHER PAGES
Hattersley: This is Labour?s greatest crisis
? time to ?ght back Comment, 36
senior official of Unite on their ?nal
selection shortlist, days after having
rejected him at interview.
In a letter leaked to the Observer,
members of the Watford party who sit
on the selection committee claim that
party democracy is being subverted.
Claims that Momentum is attempting to purge anyone who is insufficiently supportive of Jeremy Corbyn
in its strongholds across the country
intensi?ed last week after a string of
councillors in Haringey, north London,
were ousted in selection contests, or
Theresa May visits a florist?s in Twyford, Berkshire, yesterday to back Small Business
Saturday, as the fate of her ally Damian Green hangs in the balance. Reuters
Continued on page 11
INSIDE > WEATHER THIS SECTION PAGE 51 | CROSSWORDS SPEEDY, THIS SECTION PAGE 51; EVERYMAN PAGE 36 + AZED PAGE 37 IN THE NEW REVIEW
1 2 A
*
2 | NEWS
*
03.12.17
Workers at a shipbreaking yard in
Chittagong haul away a section
of a beached vessel. Photograph by
Sean Smith for the Observer
Dispatch Chittagong
?This is the world?s cheapest place to scrap
ships? ? but it?s people who pay the price
Thousands have been killed or injured in Asia?s
beach yards. Now one victim?s legal ?ght
could see global marine ?rms held to account
John
Vidal
Mohamed Edris?s life as he knew it in
the Bangladeshi ship recycling yards
ended on Saturday 11 April 2015. The
38-year-old metal cutter had been
working with 100 others on the 19,600tonne container ship Eurus London at
the Ferdous Steel Corporation shipyard
in Chittagong when catastrophe struck.
His task had been to cut away the
huge 40-tonne propeller with a blow
torch. Alarm bells rang, he said, when
he saw that a large metal platform had
been placed below the propeller to stop
it falling into the mud on the beach.
?I told the supervisor and two others
that it was dangerous because it could
bounce back when the propeller fell.
I told them I could not do it, but they
insisted that I did,? he said. He obeyed
and nearly died. The propeller broke
free, hit the metal plate and sprung
back as he predicted. It sliced off his
left leg below the knee, blinded him in
one eye and nearly broke his back.
The yard paid for his hospital treatment, gave him 125,000 Bangladeshi
taka (�142) compensation and 460
Bdt (�32) a week for nine months.
Now he, and the seven family members
he supported, rely on handouts from
friends. But in a legal test case Zodiac
Maritime, the London-based shipping company that managed the Eurus
London until it was sold for scrap,
could be held responsible.
In a case that could see British,
American and European shipowners
and managers being made liable for the
many deaths and accidents that take
place every year in Bangladeshi, Indian
and Pakistani shipbreaking yards, UK
law ?rm Leigh Day is suing Zodiac for
negligence on behalf of Edris. It claims
that Zodiac, which manages about 150
large ships, should have known how
dangerous the Chittagong breaking
yards were when the vessel was sold
for scrap to GMS, a US-based ?cash
buyer? or middle man.
?Zodiac knew, or ought to have
known, that there was a risk of physical
harm to workers when they allowed
their vessel to be sold to a Chittagong
yard through a cash buyer,? says
Martyn Day, a director of Leigh Day.
New legal action is needed, say
environmentalists and unions, because
of the steady number of deaths and
injuries to workers. On one level, shipbreaking is one of the world?s ?greenest? industries, with every nut, bolt and
sheet of metal on a ship being recycled.
It also employs hundreds of thousands
of people in some of the world?s poorest countries. But, say critics, owners
knowingly cause suffering to workers
by sending their ships to be recycled on
Asian beaches. British-based companies have sent 28 ships to be beached
in the past two years, including six to
Chittagong. Two vessels waiting to be
dismantled in that yard last week were
managed by Zodiac.
?Shipowners shield themselves from
responsibility through the use of cash
buyers,? says Ingvild Jenssen, director
of Shipbreaking Platform, a Brusselsbased coalition of environmental,
human rights and labour groups. ?All
ships that end up on the beaches of
Bangladesh, Pakistan or India pass
through cash buyers, and all sales to
cash buyers are clearly scrap deals
where the higher price paid indicates
that the vessel will be beached.?
More than 800 large ships are
broken up each year, the vast majority on Asian beaches. Owners can
earn an extra $1m to $4m (�0,000
to �96m) per ship when selling to
Asian yards via cash buyers, instead of
opting for recycling yards with higher
standards, says Jenssen. ?No one
forces the industry to send ships to be
dismantled there. They choose to send
them,? she says.
Edris, who came to Chittagong aged
14 and who, until his accident, worked
six 14-hour shifts a week, earning �20
a day, is one of thousands of workers
who have been injured in the yards
since they appeared in the 1960s. There
are no official statistics but labour
groups say that in the past 10 years
there have been more than 125 deaths.
Chittagong is now the world?s largest
shipbreaking centre, last year recycling
230 ships and generating 10m tonnes
of steel ? up to 60% of all the steel used
in Bangladesh. Most of the workers
?I told the supervisors
that it was too
dangerous, that I
could not do it.
They insisted I do it?
Mohamed Edris, injured worker
migrate from rural areas. Hired out in
gangs, they live in overcrowded shacks
close to the yards. The Ferdous yard
is like many others. Hidden behind
high metal gates, it slopes down to the
Bay of Bengal. It can take months for
young men, wielding only sledgehammers and metal cutters, to dismantle a
large爒essel.
?Chittagong is the cheapest place
to scrap ships but the price is suffering. Nine men have died here
this year,? says Muhammed Ali
Shahin, Bangladesh coordinator of
Shipbreaking Platform. The law offers
little protection, he says. ?EU laws stop
EU-?agged ships being broken up on
Asian beaches, but because owners can
?re?ag? ships it has little strength.?
Pressed by labour groups, the UN?s
International Maritime Organisation
passed the Hong Kong Convention
(HKC) in 2009. This demands that
ship owners and states do not pose a
risk to human health, safety and the
environment. But, says Shipbreaking
Platform, it does not stop the beaching
of vessels, which is blamed for most
accidents, and it is unlikely to come
into force for years because it requires
15 states, and 40% of world merchant
shipping, to have signed up.
?The industry is moving to adopt
Hong Kong standards,? says Nikos
Mikelis, a non-executive director of
GMS. ?There is a good likelihood of the
convention entering into force within
the next ?ve to seven years. Ratifying
and reaching the HKC targets will
not be too difficult.? He argues that
groups such as Shipbreaking Platform
are naive and, by demanding the end
of beaching, are endangering the
livelihoods of workers in some of the
world?s poorest countries.
He does see progress. ?Japan and
India are investing $100m in upgrades.
Forty-one yards out of 120 in Alang,
India, now meet HKC standards and
15 others are moving towards safer
and cleaner work. But in Bangladesh
only one yard [PHP Shipbreaking]
meets international standards.?
Mikelis says the major shipping
200 miles
INDIA
BANGLADESH
Dhaka
Kolkata
Chittagong
BAY OF BENGAL
MYANMAR
companies such as Maersk now have
arrangements with individual yards.
?The industry wants improvement but
it needs to invest to improve,? he says.
In the case of Zodiac, Martyn
Day argues that the company knew
the methods involved in dismantling vessels in Chittagong, yet it
sold the燛urus London on in the full
knowledge that it would be broken
up in unsafe conditions. ?They had a
duty not to sell vessels to Bangladesh
shipyards via their contractors or cash
buyers,? he says. ?Zodiac sold it to a
cash buyer in the knowledge it would
be dismantled in unsafe conditions.?
In a statement to the Observer,
Zodiac said the accident occurred
four months after the ship had been
sold. As a result, it said: ?We deny any
liability for the injuries suffered by Mr
Edris and we dispute the claim.?
It added: ?The yard where Mr
Edris was employed was not Zodiac?s
contractor and Zodiac did not select
the yard used to dismantle the vessel.
Zodiac has no control over the working
practices at shipbreaking yards. The
claim seeks to extend the law of negligence beyond any recognised boundaries. It is the law of Bangladesh which
applies to this case.?
The impact of an injury on workers?
families is immense. Edris said: ?I feel
like a dead man. I have no hope. I will
never be able to go back to work. I am
in constant pain.?
03.12.17
NEWS | 3
*
Look who?s back! Dennis the Menace wows
new generation of mischief-loving children
The Beano, the UK?s
longest-running
comic, is revitalised
by digital spin-o?s
promoting the joys
of youthful rebellion,
writes Rob Walker
Dennis the Menace, synonymous with
childhood mischief and rebellion for
more than half a century, is undergoing
a multimillion-pound makeover as the
Beano battles to stay relevant with the
click-and-swipe generation.
New viewing data, to be published
this week, will reveal that the cartoon
series Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed has
become the top show on the BBC?s children?s channel, CBBC, in its ?rst week,
and the 10th most-watched programme
in the country among children aged six
to 12, alongside The X Factor and Strictly
Come Dancing.
It is a lifeline for Britain?s longestrunning comic, founded in 1938, which
has seen weekly sales slide from 2m in
its 1950s heyday to around 35,000 today.
As well as a new website, app and TV
venture, there are plans for live shows,
merchandising, partnerships, even ?lms
and fashion tie-ups. If it all seems a million miles from the days when Biffo the
Bear and Lord Snooty ruled the comic?s
pages, then that?s because it is.
?It?s about recreating the characters
for the 21st century and getting into the
zeitgeist of children across the UK,? says
Emma Scott, chief executive of Beano
Studios, set up last year by the comic?s
publishers, Dundee-based DC Thomson,
to steer the brand into the digital era.
?What we?re trying to do is galvanise
the love and the affection, and the very
high trust levels that we have among parents,? says Scott.
There is much riding on the turnaround. The Beano is desperate to avoid
the fate of its DC Thomson stablemate
the Dandy, which ceased printing ?ve
years ago when weekly circulation sank
below the 10,000 mark. Scott says the
demise of the Dandy was before her
time, but it is likely that the shadow of
Desperate Dan looms large. The success
of a skateboarding, guitar-jamming Dennis the Menace, digitally enhanced in
movie-like quality, is a good start though.
The actor Freddie Fox, 28, who voices
the ?wildest boy in the world? in the
cartoon series is not surprised a new
generation have taken to the revamped
Dennis. ?He might have been around for
decades but his humour and spirit are
timeless,? says Fox. ?He?s the kid that
everybody wants to be.?
Children live vicariously through
Beano characters, believes Scott, who
Rocking with the new
CGI Dennis. Minnie the
Minx, below, is next
for a digital makeover.
Beano Studios
?I want to make sure
there?s a good strong
girl character
coming through on
to the screens?
Emma Scott, Beano
admits to being more Dandy than Beano
when she was growing up. ?That level of
escapism is incredibly important, especially in the world we live in,? she says.
To keep a ?nger on the pulse of the
playground, staff at Beano Studios interview a panel of young ?trend spotters?
once a week. Aged eight to 12, they talk
about what they are watching on YouTube and television, and what music
they like. The names that have come
up most in the past year are Donald
Trump, Ed Sheeran and Stormzy.
?Trump is their arch villain, their Darth
Vader ? and they don?t really understand
him,? says Scott.
It is that type of feedback
that now feeds into all Beano
content ? whether it?s for the
comic, the website, the app, television, even the upcoming live shows.�
To mark Halloween, for example, the
website released a video spoof of a sixyear-old boy trick-or-treating ? but not
as a witch, a vampire or a mummy but
as Donald Trump. The video went viral.
So did a mock-up of Trump wearing the
new children?s craze, huge JoJo Bows, in
his hair with the gag: ?There are some
people that even JoJo Bows can?t help.?
?It?s not a political gesture, it?s referencing something that?s getting brought
to us by our fans,? says Mike Stirling,
Beano?s editorial director. ?Making fun
of someone like Trump takes away some
of his apparent menace.?
Making light of the world ? and
parodying some of its most fearsome
elements ? is a nod to the Beano of old.
During the second world war, the comic
famously poked fun at Hitler (?Look,
Goering, I?m sick of this ? Half a sausage
between us?) ? leading to the then editor, George Moonie, landing himself on
Hitler?s most-wanted assassination list.
Stirling believes Beano is a different
digital proposition to Dandy, which
failed to move online. Dandy?s key characters were adults, he says, whereas
Beano is ?all about the kids?. DC Thomson has invested more heavily in its
Beano reinvention than it ever did with
the Dandy.
Next to get a makeover is Minnie
the Minx. ?I want to make sure there?s
a good strong girl character coming
through on to the screens,? says Scott.
Plans are being drawn up to bring Dennis and Minnie to the big screen as well
(The 1987 US ?lm Dennis the Menace,
was not connected to the comic). ?We
would love to take Dennis to America,?
says Scott, adding that the TV series has
been sold abroad, although she won?t say
where. Inevitably there are plans to cash
in with a whole line of Beano merchandise from Minnie the Minx T-shirts to
Dennis the Menace striped jerseys and
Bash Street kids sportswear. Indeed,
talks are in an advanced stage for the
Beano to partner with a leading fashion
name, rumoured to be Stella McCartney,
Paul Smith or Ted Baker.
McCartney and Smith are renowned
fans, but then Beano has no shortage of
celebrity supporters. Most famously,
perhaps, Princes William and Harry
were both members of the Dennis and
Gnasher fan club as children. Plenty of
new material for the comic there, then?
?Harry is actually the type of person that
Dennis would get on with quite well,?
says Stirling.
When Prince William and Kate Middleton were married, an edition of the
Beano saw Dennis gatecrashing the
wedding and causing his characteristic chaos. ?So I wouldn?t be surprised if
Harry actually invites Dennis to his wedding,? Stirling jokes.
Children with mental health problems to get more help - but not until the 2020s
Crisis response includes
maximum waiting limit
and therapists in school
by Denis Campbell Health Policy Editor
and Dulcie Lee
Children suffering from anxiety and
depression will be offered counselling at school under government plans
to tackle a widely reported crisis in
young people?s mental health. Pupils in
England will be able to attend sessions
with therapists at school or college in an
attempt to stop any psychological dif?culties deepening into lifelong issues.
Every school will also be required
to appoint a teacher to co-ordinate
improved support for the fast-growing
number of children who are struggling
mentally, many self-harming as a result
of bullying, exam stress, dissatisfaction
with their body shape, troubles at home
and other factors.
The plans are included in a government green paper to be launched today
by health secretary Jeremy Hunt and
education secretary Justine Greening.
A new guaranteed maximum fourweek waiting time for children with
more complex problems to access NHS
child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) will be phased in. That
is a response to concerns that many
vulnerable under-18s, including some
who may be suicidal, are being forced
to wait for care or even denied help
because Camhs care is overloaded.
?Around half of all mental illness
starts before the age of 14 so it is vital
that children get support as soon as
they need it ? in the classroom. If we
catch mental illness early we can treat
it and stop it turning into something
more serious,? said Hunt.
Sarah Brennan, chief executive of
the charity YoungMinds, welcomed
the plans. ?We are facing a crisis in our
classrooms and far too many children
are not getting the support they need.
Too often we hear from young people
who have started to self-harm, become
suicidal or dropped out of school while
waiting for the right help,? she said.
The improvements will begin in 2019
and be backed by what the government
says is �0m of new funding over
several years, which is on top of the
�35bn the coalition government allocated to children?s mental health up to
2020. Under-18s are currently enduring
waits of as long as 18 months, the NHS
regulator said recently.
Around �5m of the �0m will
Sarah Wollaston
MP, chair of the
health select
committee, said
she was keen to
see more details.
fund the creation of mental health support teams in schools. Ministers intend
that several thousand new ?children
and young people?s wellness practitioners?, therapists providing mainly cognitive behaviour therapy, will undertake
most of the work with pupils, but with
school nurses and educational psychologists also involved.
However, the initiatives will initially
be piloted to assess their effectiveness,
so the new forms of support envisaged
will not be available across England
until an unspeci?ed time in the 2020s.
The government?s ambition is only that
they have been put in place in a ?fth of
the country by 2022-23.
Dr Bernadka Dubicka, a children?s
psychiatrist who chairs the Royal
College of Psychiatrists? child and
adolescent faculty, said she was frustrated that more help would not be put
in place sooner. While welcoming the
four-week treatment pledge, she also
queried where the extra mental health
professionals would come from to
provide speedier Camhs care.
Official�gures show that the number of specialist children?s psychiatrists working in the NHS in England
has fallen since 2013.
Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston,
chair of the health select committee,
welcomed the announcement but said
she was keen to see more details. ?We
need to have a much greater focus on
early intervention and prevention. Any
money going into that is a good thing,?
she said.
She welcomed better coordination
between schools and the NHS, but said
that some schools were already working well with the health service and
others should learn the lessons from
those places.
Liberal Democrat MP Norman
Lamb, the coalition?s mental health
minister, said: ?We published the
Future in Mind report in March 2015. It
was a blueprint for modernising children and young people?s mental health
services. They have failed to drive the
implementation of that blueprint. Why
should we have any expectation that
this will be any different? They should
have just implemented it.?
Barbara Keeley, Labour?s shadow
cabinet minister for mental health, said
that the plans left ?many unanswered
questions?, including over funding and
whether every school would be able to
help every pupil who needed it.
?The Tories? record on children and
young people?s mental health has been
shocking, with a postcode lottery of
provision across child and adolescent
mental health services and many long
waits for treatment,? she said.
4 | NEWS
*
Thousands of pupils trapped
in ?zombie? academy schools
03.12.17
Sixty-four
academy schools
are waiting to find
a new sponsor
organisation.
Photograph by
Murdo MacLeod
Policy review urged as children left in limbo by failures of trust chains
by Frances Perraudin
The government has been urged to
review its policy on multi-academy
trusts after it was revealed that more
than 40,000 children were being educated in ?zombie schools? waiting to be
transferred to another academy chain.
Department for Education figures,
obtained through a freedom of information request, show 64 academy schools
are waiting to ?nd a new sponsor after
being abandoned by, or stripped from,
the trust originally managing them. A
calculation using the average number
of pupils in state-funded primary and
secondary schools in England suggests
the 64 schools would contain more than
40,000 students.
The government has encouraged
academies to join multi-academy trusts,
promoting them as a support for schools
that have left local authority control,
although some have been criticised for
financial mismanagement and a lack
of爋versight.
Half of the 64 ?zombie schools? are
waiting to be transferred from two
chains: the Education Fellowship Trust
and Wakefield City Academies Trust.
In March the former became the ?rst
trust in England to give up control of its
12 academies ? including a school in the
prime minister?s Maidenhead constituency ? following concerns about edu-
cational standards. In September the
Wake?eld trust said it would divest itself
of 21 schools across Yorkshire, as it could
not undertake the ?rapid improvement
our academies need?.
The DfE said it was in the process of
securing new academy chains for the
schools in both trusts.
Until a new multi-academy trust is
found, the schools remain in limbo, often
unable to make long-term planning decisions, hire new permanent members of
staff or organise pay rises. They do not
have the option to return to local authority control. Campaigners say that the
government is struggling to find new
chains willing and able to take on the
schools, many of which have been left in
a precarious ?nancial position by their
previous sponsor.
?The Tories? fragmented education
system is now creating ?zombie schools?
caught between academy chains who
are under no obligation to take them
on, and a government that won?t step
in to help them,? said Angela Rayner,
Labour?s shadow education secretary.
?Even in the prime minister?s own seat
it seems there are classrooms of children
not getting the education they deserve.?
The figures come after it was
announced on Thursday that Bright
Tribe academy trust would let go of
Whitehaven academy in Cumbria following complaints by teachers, parents
and pupils that the school was in a dilapidated state.
In October the issue of failed academy
chains received renewed focus when it
was revealed that the Wakefield trust
had transferred millions of pounds of its
schools? reserves to its own centralised
accounts before announcing, days into
the new term, that new sponsors would
need to be found.
In November 2016 a leaked draft of
a report by the DfE?s Education Funding Agency said the trust was in an
?In the PM?s own seat
there are classrooms
of children not getting
the education that
they deserve?
Angela Rayner, Labour MP
#/+ #5,. 4+ )+
/++7H !, .# #++#5R
�
?extremely vulnerable position as a
result of inadequate governance, leadership and overall ?nancial management?.
Rayner has called on the government to
say what it knew of the trust?s ?nancial
position before its collapse.
Last week Wakefield city council
backed a motion asking that the trust
be allowed to return to local authority
control, arguing that the police should
investigate the trust?s ?nances. Councillors said the trust should not be permitted to dissolve until an investigation had
taken place and the results made public.
?This scandal could happen again if
we don?t learn the lessons,? said Rayner.
?The Tories have abandoned proper
oversight of schools, and we now
have a system that is fragmented and
unaccountable.?
The Tories rejected Labour?s proposed amendments to the Education
Act in 2015 that would have given Ofsted
the power to conduct full inspections of
trusts as well as their schools.
The DfE said: ?Academy trusts operate under a strict system of oversight and
accountability, and in any instances of
underperformance we will not hesitate
to take swift action, including transferring schools to new trusts when necessary.? It said that, in 2016-17, 165 of 6,500
academies were ?rebrokered?.
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ISSN 0029-7712
03.12.17
Royal engagement | NEWS | 5
*
Time for ?Markle?s sparkle?: can Meghan
sprinkle stardust over ailing brand Britain?
Prince Harry and
Meghan Markle at
The World Aids
Day charity fair in
Nottingham on
Friday.
Photograph by
Karwai Tang/
WireImage
VIEW FROM BRITAIN
Hoteliers and tourism
chiefs ready to go into
overdrive as they
hope wedding will
burnish UK?s image
by Zoe Wood
Most marriages usually leave a gaping hole in the happy couple?s ?nances
but business leaders are predicting the
?Meghan Markle effect? will sprinkle
some stardust on ?brand Britain? in 2018.
The engagement of Prince Harry and
Meghan Markle has sent marketers into
overdrive with tourism chiefs, retailers and hoteliers optimistic that the
high-pro?le nuptials will be a boon for
the economy on what will be the eve of
Brexit.
Euan Venters, the chief executive of
Fortnum & Mason, the landmark London department store, said ?brand Britain? had been damaged by the uncertainty created by Brexit but the wedding
would help repair the country?s image
abroad, whilst encouraging Britons to
stage their own celebrations.
?My take is British citizens are feeling
a bit disheartened by the Brexit process,
so the royal wedding will be a reason to
puff our chests out and remember we are
a country of signi?cant note,? he said.
The royal wedding memorabilia
machine has already cranked into life,
with the Emma Bridgewater pottery
brand announcing, within minutes of
the engagement being con?rmed, that a
� commemorative mug had gone into
production. By the time spring comes, it
be will be wall-to-wall chintz with souvenir tea-towels, union jack biscuit tins
and wedding-themed paperweights ?lling retailers? shelves but the demand for
higher-end commemorative china can
be big business for Britain?s potters, if
they get it right.
?Commemorative ceramics pieces
with a ?made in the UK? back stamp
are particularly valued for cherished
items that hold pride of place in people?s homes in the UK and overseas,?
said Laura Cohen, chief executive of the
British Ceramic Confederation. ?These
can be a signi?cant proportion of sales,
particularly for some of our specialist,
smaller UK manufacturers.?
Dick Steele, chairman of Portmeirion,
said the marriage was likely to appeal to
customers in North America, which is
already the biggest market for the pottery group based in Stoke-on-Trent:
?Any joining of the US and the UK is a
good thing for us,? he said. ?The key with
celebrations is to make enough but not
too much.?
Meanwhile, fashion brands are closely
monitoring Markle?s style cues, given
ON OTHER
PAGES
Can Harry and
Meghan make
Britain whole
again?
Stewart Lee, New
Review, page 5
Meghan, here?s a
handy A-Z guide to
your new family
Catherine Bennett,
Comment, page 37
Production started on Harry and Meghan
mugs at Emma Bridgewater pottery
within minutes of the announcement.
the ?Meghan effect? is the natural successor of the ?Kate effect?, a term used
to describe the sales boost experienced
by British brands such as Whistles, Reiss
and LK Bennett when the Duchess of
Cambridge wore their clothes for highpro?le engagements in the media storm
that surrounded her marriage in 2011.
?It will be really interesting to see
what Meghan Markle?s approach is,?
says Lorna Hall, head of market intelligence at the trend forecaster WGSN.
?Kate?s approach to fashion, which
involved wearing both attainable high
street and designer brands, was incredibly astute.?
Markle?s ?rst public engagement in
Nottingham on Friday was a good omen
for the British high street as she matched
a coat from Canadian brand Mackage
with a skirt from Joseph and a pair of
suede boots from Kurt Geiger.
The tourist authority VisitBritain
says the pomp and pageantry associated with the royal family is part of the
country?s appeal to overseas visitors,
with the bride?s nationality an added
bonus because US visitors are our highest spending overseas group.
There is evidence that the wedding
is already proving a draw with Windsor hotels with castle views and rooms
overlooking the historic high street
?Any joining of the US
and UK is good for us
? the key is to make
enough but not too
much of celebrations?
Dick Steele, Portmeirion
reporting a surge in bookings in the days
since Kensington Palace announced the
couple would get married at St George?s
Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle
in May.
The biggest bene?ciaries of the feelgood factor around the royal wedding
boost are likely to be businesses based in
the south-east, with the New West End
Company, which represents 600 businesses in London, predicting a surge in
domestic and international visitors.
?We anticipate that 600,000 additional shoppers will give retailers a
�m royal wedding boost,? said Jace
Tyrrell, the group?s chief executive.
?There will be huge demand for wedding memorabilia in the run-up to the
big day and retailers, hotels and restaurants will be planning commemorative
products and special experiences for
their visitors,? he added.
?When I see her, I see the light of love?: black America hails its own princess
VIEW FROM AMERICA
Engagement unleashes
a torrent of celebration
across social media
by Amanda Holpuch
New York
Finding the Americans who are most
excited about the royal family can be
a competitive business. The former
colony?s citizens have been known to
get into a frenzy over British royals
ever since the future King Edward燰II
was met by fawning crowds during a
visit to North America in 1860.
But Prince Harry?s engagement
last week to Meghan Markle, whose
mother is black and father is white,
struck a chord with a part of the population that is perhaps less typically
associated with adoration of the royal
family: black American women.
The engagement news was celebrated on ?black Twitter?. It was
there that Tyler Young, who edits a
tech newsletter covering innovators
of colour, wrote that the wedding next
year would be her ?Super Bowl?, a
message shared more than 9,200 times.
Her tweet was part of a torrent of
celebrations and gifs from people who
explored what it meant that this ?black
American princess? was actually
mixed-race and the signi?cance of her
mother having dreadlocks.
?For centuries, our stories, particularly for African-American women,
have gone mute, silenced by systems of
oppression and hate,? Young, a writer
and producer, told the Observer.
The royal engagement promoted a
positive story about a woman of colour
who was accomplished well before she
met a prince, Young said. ?In my eyes,
I see a woman, one who grew up in a
country that often overlooks women of
colour, now on a world stage proving
that we have the right to be happy.
?We deserve love and new beginnings. When I see Meghan, I see a light
of love.? Markle joins the royal family
at a time when racial divisions in her
home country have come to the fore
under Donald Trump.
?Prince Harry?s future mother-inlaw is a black woman with dreadlocks,?
the British writer Samara Linton
tweeted. ?There are no words for this
kind of joy.? The US writer Ashley
Ford, said: ?I really wish
grandsh my grand
ee one of Diana?s
mother were alive to see
sons marry a black woman
man.?
Elisa Tamarkin, the author
ce,
of Anglophilia: Deference,
Devotion, and Antebellum
um
America, said American
n interest
scended
in the royal family transcend
class, race and religiouss divisions. ?There?s a way in
n
Nell Irvin Painter: ?It?s a
marker in history.?
which Americans can be more excited
than the English,? Tamarkin said.
?These are not our monarchs, they are
our former monarchs. There is a way
the royal family can remain this vital
object of attention, because in many
ways it?s of no importance [to] a nation
that can relinquish it.?
It took 77 years for some Americans
to curtail revolutionary frustrations
with British rule and embrace the royal
family. That?s when Queen Victoria?s
eldest son, the future King Edward燰II,
America for four months
visited North Am
in 1860. He was m
met by crowds of tens
of thousands, aand appeared on the
cover of Harper?s
magazine ?ve
Har
times in six weeks.
At the tim
time, the US was on
the brink of civil war ? fought
primarily o
over slavery ? and
prince?s visit presented
the princ
distraction
a glamorous
glam
from the boiling tensions.
?Even at a moment
?E
when no one could
w
agree on anything, this something that
was described as a universal feeling, this love for the English prince,?
Tamarkin said.
Markle previously wrote on her
website TheTig.com about her grandfather living through segregation in the
US, and her experience with race has
been predominantly in the US, where
her mother still lives.
?This is a marker in 21st-century
history,? said Nell Irvin Painter, professor emeritus of history at Princeton
University and the author of The
History of White People. ?This could
not have happened in a previous
generation, in a late-20th-century generation.? For now, attention is focused
on their May wedding. Young will be
watching in her living room, hosting a
party with her friends.
?I may cry a little,? she said. ?On the
royal wedding day, my assistant will be
instructed to hold all calls as I will be
glued to a TV while tweeting using the
hashtag #wegotusablackprincess.?
6 | NEWS
*
Special rights for Irish
citizens in UK ?at risk?
Report warns that
?patchwork? laws
threaten post-Brexit
residence and jobs
by Ben Quinn and Jamie Doward
Irish citizens in Britain could lose their
right to live, work and get NHS services
in the country after Brexit, according to
a new report that warns that the special
status enjoyed by thousands of Irish in
the UK is far from secure.
Laws governing their status are a
?patchwork? that could fall apart under
post-Brexit political and practical pressures, says the report, which comes
before tomorrow?s launch of a campaign
urging the UK government to pass legislation that would guarantee the longstanding rights of Irish citizens.
The document, drawn up by legal
experts on behalf of the Irish Traveller
Movement (ITM), concludes that many
of the rights currently enjoyed by Irish
nationals in the UK exist only because
they are EU citizens. It warns that the
Irish might be caught up in the so-called
?hostile environment? policy on migrants
that Theresa May originally created
when home secretary, and which critics
say is increasingly affecting a much wider
range of people. The report highlights a
range of scenarios that could arise if the
UK ends the special rights of EU citizens
without making new legal provision for
the Irish. These include exclusion from
free NHS treatment, cash bene?ts and
certain social welfare payments.
The lack of clarity on the status of
Irish nationals could also make the British citizenship of their children unclear,
warns the document.
?The British government has consistently promised that Brexit will not
weaken the situation of Irish citizens
in the UK, or the movement of Irish
citizens to and from the UK. Yet it has
not made public how it will deliver on
this promise,? said report author Simon
Cox, a leading migration lawyer and
barrister at Doughty Street Chambers.
?A close look at current British laws
shows a patchwork that may fall apart
under post-Brexit political and practical pressures.?
The ITM commissioned the research
following concerns about the impact of
Brexit on Irish travellers in Britain, a disLabour MP Conor
McGinn is calling for
an EU withdrawal
bill amendment to
secure Irish
citizens? rights.
tinct ethnic minority of about 100,000
people who already face significant
prejudice.
A fear among those representing this
group relates to an existing UK law that
allows the deportation of Irish citizens
who are not also British citizens. The
report asserts that this calls into question the UK government?s rhetoric that
Irish citizens and British citizens enjoy
reciprocal rights, when in fact only the
Irish government has renounced the
power to deport Britons.
Yvonne McNamara, ITM chief executive, said: ?There are certain groups,
such as Irish travellers, who are much
more vulnerable than others if laws are
unclear and left to the interpretation of
employers, landlords and officials.?
The document is released against the
background of increased concern about
the language used by some sections of
the media, as well as among Tory and
Ukip politicians who have sought to
blame Ireland for the current impasse
in the Brexit talks.
Conor McGinn, a Labour MP, said:
?I am very worried about this moment
in British and Irish relations. Outside
Northern Ireland no one has bene?ted
more from the good relations than the
Irish community in Britain, but now
people are growing very concerned at
some of the rhetoric coming from the
Tory backbenches and the rightwing
press, which does lend itself to hostility
to the Irish community. Increasingly bellicose statements about Ireland do have
an impact on that community.?
McGinn is leading an amendment to
the EU withdrawal bill, which is making
its way through parliament this week,
which he believes would secure the
rights of Irish citizens in Britain.
The move comes as data analysed by
the Institute for Public Policy Research
(IPPR) reveals considerable regional variations in EU migration to the UK. There
was a net annual increase of just 2,000
EU citizens to the south-west last year.
The north-west and Wales attracted just
4,000 more EU citizens, the north-east
just 3,000, while London attracted 22,000.
May told parliament in June that new
post-Brexit arrangements for EU citizens would not apply to Irish citizens.
She insisted that their rights would continue to be guaranteed under the common travel area, the ?open borders? area
comprising the UK, Ireland, the Isle of
Man and the Channel Islands.
03.12.17
CHRISTMAS STARTS EAR
An elfin competitor takes part in the 37th Great Christmas Pudding Race that was run in
Covent Garden, London, yesterday. The event raises funds for Cancer Research UK.
Photograph by Dinendra Haria/Rex/Shutterstock
03.12.17
NEWS | 7
*
Orthodox rabbis call for boycott of Jewish
arts centre in row over gay-themed events
Synagogues receive
letter saying JW3
?promoted way of life
contradictory to
Torah and Jewish law?
by Harriet Sherwood
Religion Correspondent
A group of ultra-Orthodox rabbis have
called on their congregations to boycott a Jewish cultural centre in London
because it held a gay-themed week of
events and provides a meeting space for
gay Jewish parents.
A notice signed by 25 rabbis has been
circulated to synagogues in north-west
London saying certain activities at JW3
?promote a way of life which is in total
contradiction to Orthodox Judaism and
halacha [Jewish law]?.
It adds: ?Members of our community
should distance themselves fully from
JW3, its activities and services, and
refrain from visiting JW3 even for recreational purposes only.?
JW3, which opened four years ago,
aims to ?transform the Jewish landscape
in London by helping to create a vibrant,
diverse and proud community, inspired
by and engaged in Jewish arts, culture
and community?.
Sarah Sigal?s play Agent of In?uence
and comedian David Baddiel dissecting
Jewish humour have been on stage this
week. A kosher restaurant, Zest, serves
contemporary Middle Eastern food.
By the end of the year, JW3 will have
hosted about 7,000 events and activities, including ?lm screenings, Hebrew
classes, book festivals, an ice rink, antenatal classes, exercise sessions and
youth groups.
In March, it hosted a week of events,
under the umbrella of GayW3, to mark
the 50th anniversary of the Sexual
Offences Act , which decriminalised gay
sex. At the time, a banner advertising
the GayW3 events, was defaced with the
word ?shame?.
In July, a group of ultra-Orthodox
rabbis called for a boycott of the centre
in protest at ?a programme of activities
that in our view promotes a way of life
which is in total contradiction to Orthodox Judaism?. Their letter cited a passage of the Torah: ?A man who lies with
The JW3 arts
centre, above, is
staging Agent of
Influence with
Rebecca Dunn, left.
The Jewish centre
has been criticised
in a letter signed by
25 Orthodox
rabbis, including
Aaron Bassous,
right. Alamy;
TorahActionLife
a male as one would with a woman, both
of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death;
their blood is upon themselves.?
Last week, the rabbis repeated their
call for a boycott in a second letter,
believed to be prompted by an event
to be held today by Imahot v?Avot, an
organisation for LGBT Jewish families.
The event is a celebration of the Jewish
festival of Hanukkah, which begins on
12 December, with music and crafts for
young children.
?JW3 is cross communal ? it reaches
every aspect of the Jewish community
and outside the Jewish community,?
said Raymond Simonson, JW3?s chief
executive. ?We work hard to build
relationships with diverse groups and
individuals. We?re trying to hold up a
Jewish lens to the 21st century, and in
particular a British-Jewish lens. And
also we?re holding a 21st-century lens to
Jewish life.? Members of Imahot v?Avot
?might be secular, Orthodox, Reform or
other Jews. Some are avid attendees of
synagogues; some don?t care for synagogue life. We?re providing a warm, safe
Jewish community space for them.?
Simonson said JW3 had resisted pressure to cancel the event, saying the rabbis who signed the letter ?represent just
a very small, speci?c bit of the Jewish
?It?s a changing world
and we want to be
open and inclusive
? we?re re?ecting
mainstream opinion?
Raymond Simonson, JW3 chief
community?. The centre had received
?over?owing support? from across the
Jewish community, including from some
Orthodox rabbis, he added.
?The vast majority of British-Jewish
communal leadership want to create
tolerant spaces for people of all different
backgrounds. It?s a changing world and
we want to be open and inclusive ? and
we believe we?re re?ecting mainstream
Jewish opinion.?
Simonson said he believed the
group of rabbis was trying to get JW3?s
kosher licence for Zest revoked by putting pressure on the Sephardi Kashrut
Authority, which aims to uphold Jewish
religious requirements.
Among the rabbis who signed the
letter is Aaron Bassous, who was at
the centre of a bitter row in the Orthodox Jewish community this year after
another rabbi, Joseph Dweck, ques-
tioned conservative attitudes towards
gay people, saying there should not be
witch-hunts and there were ?plenty of
skeletons in everybody?s closet?. Bassous described Dweck as ?dangerous?
and ?poisonous? and his comments
were ?corrupt from beginning to end?.
He declined to comment on the JW3 letter, as did two other signatories.
Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi, was
unavailable for comment, but after the
GayW3 poster was defaced in March, he
said homophobia was unacceptable and
?we must have zero tolerance for it?.
Laura Janner-Klausner, the senior
rabbi to Reform Judaism, said: ?The
Jewish community should be proud
that we are a welcoming and inclusive
place for LGBT individuals. The signatories of this latest letter do not appear
to represent the majority of mainstream
British Jewry.?
?Free? 30-hour childcare claim amended as watchdog backs father?s complaint
by Donna Ferguson
The government has been cowed into
clarifying the facts about its ?free?
childcare offer after a father complained to the advertising watchdog
that the Department for Education?s
description was misleading.
The complaint centred on the
government?s marketing of the scheme
as 30 hours of free childcare a week,
implying it is available all year round.
In fact the 30-hours entitlement is
available for just 38 weeks of the year,
a point the government only clari?ed
on its childcarechoices.gov.uk website after the Advertising Standards
Authority ?agged concerns over the
man?s three-year-old son.
The clari?cation matters because
children are only eligible for the
scheme if both parents work ? and
most working parents are not able to
take 14 weeks? holiday a year.
The DfE also amended the website
to clarify that nurseries and childminders are entitled to charge a fee for
meals, nappies and day trips. Many
providers have started levying these
and other charges since the introduction of the scheme, as they claim the
government?s funding is inadequate,
leaving them with a shortfall.
The father who made the complaint
to the ASA, who wished to remain
anonymous, said: ?As my three-yearold son hopefully will learn, there
are 52 weeks in a year. However, the
scheme assumes there are only 38.
When the hours are stretched over a
full year it only delivers about 22 hours
per week. What is the government
going to tell us next ? that its pledge to
deliver a seven-day NHS was limited to
the ?rst 38 weeks of the year??
He added that he thinks the government?s website is still misleading on
a wider point: ?The ?free childcare?
pledge is not being delivered. It?s galling that the government are still saying
it?s free. They are using taxpayers?
money to tell us lies.?
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the
Pre-school Learning Alliance, said: ?At
the root of this confusion is the govern-
ment?s unwillingness to admit that the
true cost of ?free? childcare can only be
met by asking parents to foot the bill.
Childcare providers are being forced
to ask parents to effectively subsidise
a service that has been advertised as
free ? often by charging for goods and
services previously offered for free ? or
risk facing closure.?
Some local authorities, such as
Suffolk and East Riding of Yorkshire,
have already removed the word ?free?
from their marketing and publicity
about the 30 hours of entitlement.
8 | NEWS
*
03.12.17
May?s closest ally is
besieged amid
porn ?witch-hunt?
claims. How did
Tories end up at
war with the Met?
Top Conservatives and senior police o?cers are escalating
the row over the Damian Green a?air on a daily basis.
Now the force is ?incandescent? ? and the government
faces a mounting crisis that could lead to more resignations
by Toby Helm, Mark Townsend
and Michael Savage
On her ?rst day as commissioner of the
Metropolitan police in April, Cressida
Dick attended the funeral of PC Keith
Palmer, who had been stabbed to death
in a terror attack near the Palace of
Westminster. Her initial public duty as
the ?rst woman to lead the Met was to
read WH Auden?s poem Funeral Blues
before her fallen colleague was laid to
rest. The home secretary Amber Rudd
and mayor of London Sadiq Khan were
in the congregation at Southwark
Cathedral.
That event brought politicians and
the police close together. This weekend,
however, the relationship between those
who run the country and those who seek
to maintain law and order is under the
severest strain. The Daily Mail?s frontpage headline declared: ?Tories at war
with the police?. Conflict had broken
out, the paper said, ?after former officers
tried to oust Theresa May?s deputy [the
?rst secretary of state, Damian Green]?.
Dick is under increasing pressure
from senior Tory politicians to make a
statement condemning the actions of
two former officers who have gone public in recent weeks to claim that large
quantities of pornography were found
on Green?s parliamentary computer during a raid on his office by police in 2008.
The raid was part of a police inquiry into
the leaking of material from the Home
Office when Green was in the shadow
Home Office team.
On Friday former Scotland Yard
detective Neil Lewis told the BBC he
was shocked at the volume of material
found. With his notes from the time in
front of him, Lewis told the BBC?s crime
correspondent Danny Shaw on the
Today programme he was in ?no doubt
whatsoever? the pornography had been
accessed by the man who is now second
in command to Theresa May.
The allegations echoed those made
by former Metropolitan police assistant
commissioner Bob Quick, who went
public last month with his account of the
material found nine years ago.
Green, who was furious at the way
the police conducted the raid at the
time, strongly denies all the claims and
friends say he believes he is the subject
of a police witch-hunt. The allegations
are the subject of an inquiry by Sue Gray,
the Cabinet Office?s head of propriety
and ethics, that is expected to conclude
before Christmas.
Also being examined are claims made
by a young Tory activist, Kate Maltby,
that Green behaved inappropriately
towards her and sent a suggestive text,
claims Green denies.
May has already lost two cabinet ministers since the Tory party conference in
October ? Michael Fallon as defence secretary over a string of allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards women,
and Priti Patel, the former international
development secretary for, in effect, running her own secret aid policy without
informing the Foreign Office. The prime
minister can ill-afford to shed a third,
her closest ally and oldest friend in the
cabinet, Green.
But that is what many Tories think the
former police officers, and some inside
the force at present, want ? Green?s scalp.
Senior Tories, keen to defend Green and
help May, who has enough troubles to
deal with, are outraged at the way in
which former officers have divulged
information about legal material that
was found during investigations into
an entirely separate matter. Suspecting other motives, they say Dick should
act to make clear that such behaviour is
unacceptable and that officers should be
bound in retirement by con?dentiality
clauses.
Former cabinet minister Andrew
Mitchell, who was involved in years of
bitter argument with police over the
Plebgate controversy, said: ?It is simply not acceptable in a free society that
police officers can behave in this way.
This is the first real test for Cressida
Dick?s leadership. Will she now stand
in s most senior police officer,
up, as Britain?s
and make clear that this sort of freelancing by rogue police officers is
completelyy unacceptable and
that she will stamp it out on
her watch????
Mitchelll called for an inquiry
ss-party home affairs
by the cross-party
mittee. ?I think
select committee.
mbers of parmany members
ith concerns
liament with
about civil liberty issues
would be pleased if the
committeee were to
decide to launch an
inquiry,? hee said.
mer cabiThe former
ter Nicky
net minister
Morgan said it
w a s ?c l e a r l y
time for existing
xisting
fficers
police officers
urther
to look further
into how former
ers are
police officers
behaving?, while
unt, a
Crispin Blunt,
Top Tories are
re keen to defend
elp
p Theresa May.
y
Green and help
former chairman of the foreign affairs
select committee, said police should be
bound for life to con?dentiality agreements. ?It now needs the Association of
Chief Police Officers to issue the clearest
possible guidance, and in the meantime
a statement from Britain?s most senior
police officer, Cressida Dick, would be
helpful,? he said. ?In the absence of this,
legislation would be required to make
this duty speci?c.?
Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory
leader, said Sir Peter Fahy, the ex-chief
constable of Manchester, had been correct when he said former officers should
not be making such statements about
behaviour that was not illegal, was heavily denied and was deeply damaging.
?This is a very bad development for the
police. This is a very bad development
in the course of justice. Everyone has to
have the right to answer charges.
?How does Damian Green answer
this? He can?t prove or disprove anything. I think there are some serious
questions to be asked.?
There is little sign of much give
within the Met. A senior Metropolitan
police source said yesterday the force
was incandescent with Green ? who has
accused Quick of being a discredited
former officer with an axe to grind ? and
other senior Tories, including Brexit secretary David Davis, who has gone out of
his way to defend Green, and Mitchell.
The source said: ?It should be no surprise that it should be Andrew Mitchell
helping Damian G
Green. Or that it should
be David Davis, th
the guy who appeared
with Mitchell
Mitchel at a hastily called
press confere
conference when he [Mitchth police liars [during
ell] called the
the Plebgate affair]. There?s a lot
going on here.
here.?
The Met sou
source said the Cabinet
Office inq
inquiry would be open
ridic
to ridicule
if it did not conclude Green had broken
the ministerial
code.
m
ju don?t believe that
?I just
C
the Cabinet
Office can
come up with a response
that Green hasn?t brot ministerial code
ken the
beca
because
this all happene when he wasn?t
pened
mi
a minister.
They?ll look
like a laughing stock if
they
they燿o.?
On Friday it emerged
that Gray had not spoken
L
to Lewis
in the course
he inquiry, which is
of her
nearl complete. The Met
nearly
sourc said this suggested
source
Cab
the Cabinet
Office inquiry
would clear Green: ?It doesn?t
Damian Green,
pictured leaving
his home on Friday.
Below, from left,
Cressida Dick, the
Met commissioner,
and former o?cers
Robert Quick and
Neil Lewis.
Main photograph by
Gareth Fuller/PA
seem entirely correct that the Cabinet
Office itself has not spoken to the officer.
What this means is that they are investigating his conduct as a minister, and as
he wasn?t a minister at the time they are
going to say this doesn?t count. There?s
just going to be public ridicule.?
The same Met source said Lewis had
been entirely justi?ed in going public to
correct Green?s claims that he had never
downloaded or looked at pornography
on his Commons computer. ?Lewis is
effectively acting as a whistleblower
about a cabinet minister who is telling
bare-faced lies. I don?t see him as dishonourable in this. If he was still serving he
would be investigated but the protocol
is that you don?t reveal that information. But it?s a protocol, nothing more
than爐hat.?
The battlelines are drawn and both
sides are dug in. The threat to her deputy
and the row with the police would be a
serious enough worry for May and her
desperately weak government, were it
just another isolated problem. But it
isn?t. There is a risk that a Tories versus
the police row will have a domino effect
on her cabinet.
Davis has thrown a protective arm
around Green and made clear he will
considering quitting if the ?rst secretary of state is forced out because of the
police claims, while Gray has the tortuously difficult task of judging whether
Green has done anything wrong.
May heads to Brussels tomorrow for
crucial talks on Brexit, which she hopes
will convince Brussels to kickstart talks
on a UK-EU trade deal and a transition
period, with her deputy?s future in doubt
and her Brexit secretary threatening to
follow him out of the door if Green has
to quit.
It is hardly the most reassuring
background against which to chart the
UK?s future relationship with Europe
after燘rexit.
03.12.17
NEWS | 9
*
There?s a line between
exposing a crime and
merely shabby behaviour
COMMENTARY
Duncan Campbell
Almost every detective, like almost
every journalist, likes inside gossip. It is
part of the attraction of both jobs: that
ringside seat that allows police officers
or reporters to inform friends and colleagues what the ?real? story is, who?s
lying, from what cloth the emperor?s
new clothes are actually cut. No wonder the former detective, Neil Lewis,
in the current heated atmosphere of
sexually tinged accusation and hot
denial, felt the need to share his own
inside knowledge of Damian Green?s
computer activity.
The reasons that prompted the original investigation into Green?s computer
life do not re?ect particularly well on
either Green or the civil servant who
leaked him Home Office information
and was duly sacked for gross misconduct, as Alan Travis explained in
the Guardian. But that still does not
mean that everything uncovered in the
subsequent police investigation, which
Lewis suggests included the extensive
use of pornography by Green, should
necessarily now be used against him.
Back in 1973, the Metropolitan
police commissioner, Sir Robert Mark,
encouraged his officers to be as open
as possible to the media. In a famous
Its a strange time
when a Labour leader
and London mayor
have greater empathy
with the police than
a Tory government
memo, he announced that such an
approach involved ?risks, disappointments and anxieties? but he stressed
that ?officers who speak in good faith
may be assured of my support, even if
they make errors of judgment when
deciding what information to disclose?. Lewis may well have felt that
he was speaking in good faith as he
was backing up his former superior,
the former assistant commissioner
Bob Quick, and challenging Green?s
version of events. Lewis has duly
received both support and condemnation from his former colleagues.
Just as, in our distant past, no man
was a hero to his valet, not many
public ?gures whose lives have been
examined in detail by a detective will
emerge from scrutiny as the sweet and
cuddly souls they might see themselves to be. While covering crime for
the Guardian, I met detectives with
many amazing tales to tell but who
felt that there was usually a line that
could be drawn between behaviour
that was illegal and should be exposed
in the media, and behaviour that was
just shabby. We would be horri?ed if
a general practitioner felt impelled to
announce that, say, a cabinet minister
who pronounced on morality was
currently being treated for venereal
disease, or if a priest tumbled from his
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe: ?no improper
contact between police and media?.
confessional to a television studio to
report on the dismal philanderings of
one of his respectable ?ock. Peripheral
and disputed information from a police
inquiry might seem to come under the
same heading.
The government cannot be too surprised that they have made enemies of
the police service. They have wilfully
ignored police advice about the vast
personnel cuts that have been imposed
on the service which they seem to
regard with a patrician disdain. We
are in a strange time indeed when a
leftwing Labour leader and a Labour
London mayor seem to have a greater
empathy with the police and their concerns than a Tory-led government.
A month ago, I attended a gathering in Bristol of journalists, lawyers,
academics and journalism students
to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the trial of two reporters and a
former soldier charged in 1977 under
the Official Secrets Act, which became
known as the ABC case after the initials of the three defendants. The information that prompted the arrests and
trial was, indeed, in the public interest,
and it was heartening to hear speakers
stressing the importance of defending the whistleblower and the right to
shine a light into dark corners.
But the sad thing about the recent
events is that they may make both
serving and former officers even more
reluctant to come forward with information which should certainly be in the
public domain. In the wake of the illegal phone-hacking activities of a number of News of the World journalists, the
relationship between the police and
the media was dramatically changed.
?There should be no more improper
contact? between the police and the
media ? that which is of a sel?sh rather
than a public interest,? was the baleful
conclusion of the then Met commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, in
the wake of the Leveson inquiry. As a
result, the police have become nervous
of talking off the record to reporters on
subjects of genuine importance and we
are all the poorer for it.
Duncan Campbell worked for the
Guardian for more than 20 years as
crime correspondent and Los Angeles
correspondent. He has written seven
books, including The Underworld, a history of British crime from the 1930s to
the 1990s. He is former chairman of the
Crime Reporters? Association
New crisis for May as Alan Milburn leads walkout of social policy advisers
Continued from page 1
commission has been treated. The
social mobility commission, set up by
Nick Clegg under the coalition government, advises ministers on the issue
and monitors progress. Its most recent
report last week warned of a ?striking
geographical divide?, with London
and its surrounding areas pulling away
while many other parts of the country
are left behind.
In his resignation letter, Milburn
states that, while his term as chair had
now come to an end, he had decided to
walk away rather than reapply for the
role. He said that a repeated refusal to
properly resource and staff the commission, an obsession with Brexit and
an ?absence? of policy had led to his
decision. The other remaining commissioners ? Paul Gregg, director of
the centre for analysis of social policy
at the University of Bath, and David
Johnston, the chief executive of the
Social Mobility Foundation ? are also
understood to be quitting.
The dramatic resignations will sting
the prime minister, who used her ?rst
speech in Downing Street after taking
office to vow to tackle social injustice
and inequality. ?When it comes to
opportunity, we won?t entrench the
advantages of the fortunate few, we
will do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to
go as far as your talents will take you,?
she said.
Milburn?s letter states: ?I do not
doubt your personal belief in social
justice, but I see little evidence of
that being translated into meaningful
action. The need for political leadership in this area has never been more
pressing. Whole communities and
parts of Britain are being left behind
economically and hollowed out
socially. The growing sense that we
have become an ?us and them? society
is deeply corrosive of our cohesion
as燼爊ation.
Milburn: ?Little hope
of the government
making progress I
believe necessary
to bring about a
fairer Britain.?
?The 20th-century expectation that
each generation would do better than
the last is no longer being met. At a
time when more and more people are
feeling that Britain is becoming more
unfair rather than less, social mobility
matters more than ever.?
Milburn said that key posts on the
commission had gone un?lled for
years, while the number of commissioners had been allowed to dwindle
from 10 to four. Attempts to hire new
commissioners failed. He said ?protracted discussions? about the commission?s role, remit and resources
remained unresolved.
It re?ects wider concerns in
Whitehall that the size of the Brexit
policy challenge is preventing meaningful work on pressing domestic issues.
While Milburn?s resignation letter
praises Justine Greening, the education
secretary, for having ?shown a deep
commitment to the issue?, it adds: ?It
has become obvious the government as
a whole is unable to commit the same
level of support.? Milburn said that
last month?s budget had been a ?damp
squib?, adding that urgent action was
needed to help stagnant wages and
close the attainment gap in education.
Asked if his resignation was a political act to damage the Conservatives,
Milburn, a former ally of Tony Blair,
said: ?I?ve served Gordon Brown on
this, and he was hardly a political ally;
I?ve served David Cameron on this, and
he was hardly a political ally; and now
I?ve served Theresa May. The issue is
bigger than party politics.?
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03.12.17
NEWS | 11
*
Sir Robert
Worcester,
below, agreed,
a two-year
contract with
Trinidad and
Tobago.
Rex, Getty
The opinion poll guru, the islands in the
Caribbean and the $10m consultancy deal
Mori founder Robert Worcester says that
revelations of his ?rm?s deal with Trinidad and
Tobago government are politically motivated.
Jamie Doward and Josh Salisbury report
As the proud owner of a majestic castle
in Kent and a luxurious villa in Mustique, the founder of Mori, Sir Robert
Worcester, is a man who has clearly done
well out of the opinion poll燽usiness.
Not only have his skills earned him
a fortune, it has also seen him feted by
politicians around the world.
A staunch monarchist, the Kansasborn Worcester was knighted in 2005
for ?outstanding services rendered to
political, social and economic research
and for contribution to government
policy and programmes?.
The same year Mori was sold to the
French polling company Ipsos, a move
that netted him a reported �.
Some might have then been happy
to sit back and enjoy the spoils of
their labour. But Worcester continued
amassing a formidable range of fellowships, titles and charitable positions,
including the chair of the Magna Carta
Trust?s 800th anniversary commemoration committee, which recognised the
charter?s continued in?uence promoting the rule of law and social justice
around the world.
He also hired out his political acumen,
not least in Trinidad and Tobago where,
documents leaked to the Observer
reveal, the government agreed a $10m
budget for his company to provide it
with consultancy services between 2013
and 2015.
The huge sum ? equivalent to the
UK government?s 2015 wage bill for its
96爏pecial advisers ? is likely to raise
eyebrows on the tiny islands, which
have a population of just 1.3� million
and where the average wage is just
under牐12,000.
A letter to Worcester from Reynold
Cooper, permanent secretary to the
prime minister, dated 11 June 2013,
says: ?Please be informed that cabinet
has approved the fees and expenses for
the core consultancy, 13 sets of surveys
and seven sets of focus groups totalling US$9,793,475, plus your estimated
expenses of US$160,000 giving a total
sum of US$9,953,475.?
A copy of the contract between Government Information Services Limited
(GISL), the government?s communications service, and Mori Caribbean, a
separate ?rm that Worcester retained
after selling Mori, explains that the twoyear project, a continuation of earlier
work, was to improve the delivery of
public爏ervices. Worcester?s firm was
also offered a separate contract to help
the government develop its strategic
communications plan.
Worcester, a former president of the
Institute of Business Ethics, said that in
2010 he had been approached on behalf
of the newly elected prime minister,
Kamla Persad-Bissessar. She wanted
Mori Caribbean to continue the work it
had been doing for her predecessor, Patrick燤anning.
According to the contract, seen by
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the former
prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
the Observer and the Sunday Express
newspaper in Trinidad and Tobago,
GISL was charged with overseeing Mori
Caribbean?s projects and ensuring that
it was paid within 60 days of the company submitting its invoices. A considerable portion of the money went directly
to燱orcester.
On 5 February 2014 GISL instructed
the First Citizens Bank in the capital,
Port of Spain, to transfer $1,326,475.55
to Worcester?s private account in Kingstown on St Vincent, an island in the Caribbean where he has citizenship.
Worcester said that the money was
not paid directly to Mori Caribbean as
the company had been closed down
?because it was a burden for accounting
that we didn?t need and the project had
been completed?.
He added that some of the money he
received was shared with other consultants, including Mark Gill, formerly head
of political research at Ipsos Mori.
Sources in Trinidad have said that
GISL invoiced the government for further payments on behalf of Mori Caribbean the following year.
Worcester confirmed that the earlier payment of almost $10m was
approved, but insisted that Mori Caribbean received only around $3.2m in the
end. He said that, legally, the company
could have billed for the full amount
but chose not to because the ?rm had
not carried out the full range of services
agreed.
?It?s [still] a lot of money, I?m not disa-
greeing with that,? Worcester said. ?We
subcontracted ? about two-thirds of
everything we got went to outside contractors. We couldn?t do them because
we?re not native Trinnies [Trinidadians].
Of the $3.2m [we billed for] about $2.3m
was paid to local contractors.?
Documents seen by the Observer
indicate that one of the subcontractors
? Caribbean Market Research Limited ? was paid around $8,000 for carrying out seven focus groups on behalf
of Mori燙aribbean. Worcester said this
was just a fraction of what Mori Caribbeanhad paid out to all the subcontractors. The true amount that the company
received in 2015 is difficult to establish:
GISL is being wound up and many of its
?les and invoices have been燿estroyed.
However, documents seen by the
Observer show that the government
approved $1.35m worth of invoices
relating to Mori Caribbean in 2015.
A spokeswoman for the government of Trinidad and Tobago said she
was aware of the Observer?s requests
for comment but was not authorised
to respond. Persad-Bissessar, who left
office in 2015, did not return an emailed
request for comment.
Worcester said he and his firm had
been caught in ?the crosshairs? of a
politically motivated leak designed
to paint the previous government as
?spendthrifts? in the runup to the last
election.
?Mori Caribbean did nothing but good
down there,? he added.
Momentum?s purges threaten to wreck the Labour party, warns Hattersley
Continued from page 1
chose to stand down, in what has been
described as a coup attempt by Jeremy
Corbyn?s ?revolutionary guard?.
Last week, the award-winning novelist Linda Grant, who joined Labour
in 2010 and became a leading activist in
Haringey, resigned from the party, having become severely disillusioned.
The row in Watford adds a new
dimension to Labour?s widening split,
with claims that senior party officials
on the NEC, where Corbyn supporters
now have a majority, are trying to override democratic decisions taken locally
when they do not go their way. This,
they say, is happening at the same time
as Corbyn allies claim to be introducing more democracy at all levels of the
party to empower members.
Writing in today?s Observer,
Hattersley says Momentum now poses
a far more serious threat to Labour
than Militant did three decades ago.
He says that unless ?Real Labour?
challenges what he calls ?subversion?
by far-left forces, democratic socialism
could die a slow death.
?Thirty years ago, moderates won
the battle against Militant by taking the
campaign to the country and demonstrating that genuine democratic
socialism was worth ?ghting for. Now
Momentum is winning by default.?
The row in Watford erupted after
Mike Hedges ? the chair of Unite?s
London and East regional political
committee and the preferred candidate
of Momentum to stand in the seat ?
was interviewed by the local selection
committee last weekend but not placed
on the shortlist of four.
The committee judged he had performed less well than others.
But senior party sources and officials
in the Watford party say that Hedges
was then reinstated after an intervention by NEC member Jim Kennedy
(who is the political director of Unite
and therefore a colleague of Hedges).
Local party members were incensed at
being told by officials that the reason
was that Hedges?s candidacy had not
been properly considered in line with
the rules. All those present at the
relevant meetings con?rmed at the
time that proper procedure had been
followed to the letter.
Furious members of the selection
committee have now written to every
member of the NEC protesting in the
strongest terms.
Their letter states: ?We are writing in utmost protest concerning the
actions of some members of the NEC to
overturn the decision of the democratically elected Selection Committee for
shortlisted applicants for the PPC of
Roy Hattersley:
?Thirty years ago,
moderates won
the battle by taking
the campaign to
the country.?
Watford by the unilateral imposition
of an applicant, Mike Hedges from
Islington.
?Watford is a key marginal and any
perception that a candidate is being
imposed on local people by Labour
Party HQ or an affiliated union will end
up handing this seat to the Tories.?
NEC moderates are known to be
deeply concerned at the Hedges reinstatement and believe the NEC has no
power to act in such a way. One member of the Watford Labour party said
the actions of the NEC were ?more like
North Korea than a party that pretends
to want to become more democratic?.
Richard Angell, director of the centrist Labour pressure group Progress,
said: ?Momentum members will be
horri?ed that party democracy is being
cast aside by the Momentum leadership and their close friends in Unite.
Surely everyone can agree that in
Jeremy Corbyn?s Labour party it is the
members ? new and old ? that should
decide who stands for Labour, not cen-
trally imposed people with a carpet bag
in one hand and a damaged parachute
in the other.?
Momentum said: ?Mike Hedges is a
candidate with huge amounts of support from both affiliated unions and
local members. He has the nomination
of every single trade union affiliated
with the CLP ?
?He also has a signi?cant amount
of support among the local members,
many of whom signed a joint letter in
support of him when they found out
he was excluded from the shortlist. A
selection process which prevents local
members from nominating candidates
and ignores the unanimous preference
of every affiliated trade union can only
be described as undemocratic, and one
which makes a mockery of Labour?s
historic union link.?
A Labour spokesperson said: ?The
shortlist was decided in line with
Labour?s procedures and it is Labour?s
members in Watford who will choose
their candidate.?
12 | NEWS
*
Cornish coastline plan offers
new haven for rare seabirds
Terns, spoonbills and
visiting hoopoes will
be given protection
by Robin McKie
Science Editor
Little terns and black-throated divers
are among the seabirds that have been
given greater protection after a stretch
of coastline in Cornwall was awarded
special status to safeguard its wildlife.
The newly designated marine special
protected area (SPA), which stretches
for 24 miles between Falmouth Bay and
St Austell Bay, is home to more than
150,000 rare seabirds.
Great northern divers and Eurasian
spoonbills are also visitors along with
sandwich terns and common terns.
All are amber-listed by conservation
groups because they have suffered signi?cant losses of numbers and range in
the recent past.
The newly designated stretch of land
covers an area equivalent to 55,000
football pitches and has been set up to
help minimise disturbance to the birds
that feed there and who use the Cornish
coastal areas as a safe haven during winter. The region is considered to be a birdwatcher?s heaven because rare birds,
blown off course during their migration, also make occasional unscheduled
stops. These infrequent visitors include
the exotic-looking hoopoe, with its long
pinkish-brown crest, that every so often
gets diverted en route from Africa to
northern Europe.
The latest expansion of Britain?s
marine special protected areas will make
03.12.17
Little terns will
now be able to feed
undisturbed on a
greater area of the
UK coast when
they migrate to
this country to
breed. EPA
a signi?cant addition to the UK Blue Belt
programme, which already protects 23%
of UK waters, and which consists of
more than 300 sites across land.
Announcing the decision to set up the
new protected area, environment minis-
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ter Th閞鑣e Coffey cited BBC1?s popular
environmental series Blue Planet II as a
key in?uence in the ongoing efforts to
expand the nation?s Blue Belt. ?Like the
millions of others watching Blue Planet
II, I am only too aware of the importance
of protecting our precious marine environment, and the wildlife that relies on
healthy and productive seas.?
One of the key reasons for setting up
greater wildlife protection for the Falmouth-St Austell coast is to aid the great
northern diver, one of the most distinctive winged visitors to our coast. Around
2,500 birds arrive in the UK every winter, with Scotland hosting the largest
numbers. However, a small population
comes further south to Cornwall, where
individuals can be seen elegantly swimming offshore between bouts of diving
for ?sh and shell?sh.
In addition to the setting up of the
Cornish protected area, a further marine
SPA has also been announced in the Irish
Sea between the Isle of Man and Anglesey, home to the largest known aggregation of Manx shearwaters. These distinctive birds take their name from their
method of flying, in which they take
long glides on stiff, straight wings before
banking or ?shearing? over the water.
It is estimated that up to 12,000 Manx
shearwaters can be found in the area.
Natural England chairman Andrew
Sells said that extending the Blue Belt
was a vital measure to protect the UK?s
wildlife that would help them ?thrive
into the future?. ?Terns and Manx
shearwaters, with their dramatic aerial
displays, are a magni?cent sight above
our seas,? he said.
Far-right leader
?tried to stop sex
assault complaint?
by Mark Townsend
Home A?airs Editor
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Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the
far-right group whose posts were
retweeted by US president Donald
Trump last week, is accused of trying
to persuade the victim of an alleged
sexual assault from making an official
complaint, the Observer has learned.
The 31-year-old deputy leader of the
anti-Muslim group Britain First is said
to have tried to persuade the victim
not to complain after she alleged she
was sexually assaulted by the group?s
leader, Paul Golding, in July. The
alleged attack occurred after one of the
group?s demonstrations in Rochdale,
Greater Manchester, when members
congregated at a hotel after a rally
denouncing child sex abuse.
Former Britain First member
Graham Morris, in the hotel that night,
says he witnessed Fransen encouraging
the victim, who cannot be named for
legal reasons, to stay quiet. Morris said:
?Jayda was saying, ?I can give everything you need, a platform. I?ll do this
for you, that for you.? She was offering
her all sorts. I?m thinking this is sick,
but [the alleged victim] went along
with it. I was there and I saw exactly
how it went.? Fransen did not return
the Observer?s calls. Britain First did
not comment.
The alleged victim did eventually report Golding to police in
early September; Morris, 54, from
Leicestershire, revealed that he had
also contacted police about the claims
he makes about Fransen. Fransen,
who has ambitions to lead the party, is
awaiting trial for hate speech at a rally
in Belfast.
ON OTHER PAGES
How Trump?s Twitter habit got out of hand
In Focus, pages 26-27
03.12.17
NEWS | 13
*
The ?second-hand
dad? look ? why
hiking jackets
are on trend
High fashion and serious outdoor wearr
are now coming together in menswearr
by Rob Nowill
Fashion loves to ?nd something thumpingly banal and declare that it?s ?having
a moment? and, right now, this season?s
most in-demand menswear item is ... the
dog-walking jacket.
Welcome to the world of haute hiking
wear: the kind of thing you keep stashed
in the car boot, the sort of thing Theresa
May wears to walk over the Dolomites,
and which is ? like one North Face
Supreme X jacket ? now fetching up to
�500 on the resale market. It is a perfect storm of high, new fashion and serious technical wear.
Take, for example, North Face, whose
padded Nuptse jacket turns 25 this
month. Current collaborations with
designers Junya Watanabe, Sacai and
Supreme have long sold out and it has
just launched a new collaboration with
the cult Japanese brand Mastermind,
which should sell like hot
ot cakes.
Elsewhere, the Italian technical
brand Napapijri has a second
econd coler Martine
laboration with designer
Rose, who recently dressed
ssed singer
Frank Ocean, and the US outdoors
brand Columbia ? known
own for its
technical T-shirts and ?eeces ? has
launched a new collection
on of popcoloured anoraks with the
he hip New
York store Opening Ceremony
mony.
In September, GQ Style
le coined
the term ?secondhand dad? for
the look: an aesthetic it describes
escribes
as ?dressing like your dad,
d, going
for a walk in the woods,
s, some
time in the early 1990s?.
But why spend thousands
nds on
the designer version of a ttechechnical piece when it is probrobably equally or less effecective than a true outdoor
or
brand? ?You?re not goingg
to go and scale the Eiger
From left, fancier versions of outdoor classics, such as the Monashee anorak from US brand Columbia,
North Face?s bodywarmer and Patrik Ervell?s jackets are now on trend for the younger man. Rex
in this coat.
It?s made for
hanging
out
han
Do
in Dover
Street
Market,? says Richard Gray
Gra , senior
editor at 10 magawho bought
zine, wh
the Junya Watanabe
costs
jacket, which
wh
up to �895.
�895 For Gray,
one of these
owning on
about
pieces is equally
equ
the bragging rights that
comes with iit. ?It?s like
Top Trumps,?
Trumps he says.
something
?There?s so
about it.??
competitive ab
insiders, luxury
To insider
these coats
variants of th
come with a refinement that you won?t
get from a typical
outdoor
ou
u tdoo brand:
this season?s technical jackets by the US
designer Patrik Ervell are lined in silk
instead of synthetic fabric. Yet they are
still sturdier than a typical designer coat.
These come hot on the heels of the
rise of athleisure and sportswear, a market that has dominated menswear. If you
wear running gear to a party, why not a
hiking jacket? The US fashion press tried
to make the neologism ?gorpcore? happen this season (gorp is shorthand for
trail mix) but since ?gorp? doesn?t exist
in the UK as a term it never took off.
Hiking wear, however, sounds less
sexy but is actually happening. The
online retailer SSENSE reports rapid
sellouts of its Balenciaga ski jackets,
while matchesfashion.com has seen
a ?huge uplift? in styles from the likes
of Lanvin and Martine Rose. Damien
Paul, the site?s head of menswear, has
responded by introducing heritage technical brands, such as Helly Hansen, to the
site?s roster for this season.
Meanwhile, for years brands such as
Stone Island and Moncler have quietly
built multimillion-pound businesses
from elevated, functional garments
? but even these brands are seeing a
greater traction with younger, more
fashion-led consumers, who are looking to buy into the authentic outerwear
brands, instead of designer variations.
Napapijri?s hooded pullover jacket, originally designed for Arctic exploration, is
seeing a ?triple-digit? growth in sales.
Stone Island, in particular, has become
revered among younger consumers following successful collaborations with
Supreme and Nike. Tapping into a
younger, trendier market was a conscious
decision on the part of Carlo Rivetti,
Stone Island?s creative director. ?We?ve
been working to attract a new generation of fans,? he explains. ?But since our
inception we have looked at function and
performance fabrics. Fashion houses do
not have this kind of approach.?
14 | NEWS | Special Report
*
03.12.17
?Marcin was crying,
begging for help ?
the next day, we
found him hanged?
The crisis of EU
migrants in British
detention centres
The death of a Pole in Harmondsworth was one of three
suicides of detained migrants in a month. Now, with
EU nationals being removed from the UK in greater
ter
numbers, relatives say the Home O?ce is covering
ng
up cell deaths. Mark Townsend investigates
H
e was one of B-wing?s most
popular characters, although
recently other detainees had
noticed a sudden darkening in
his mood. A little before 5pm
on 3 September, two days before his
28th birthday, Marcin Gwozdzinski
made a ?nal plea for help. Addressing
officials inside the administrative
quarters of Harmondsworth
immigration removal centre, he told
them he could no longer cope.
?He was crying, begging for help
from the guards, telling them to call
an ambulance, that his mental health
was an emergency,? said another
detainee, Marcin Malicki, who sat
beside Gwozdzinski in the meeting.
?They told him he would get no help
and to stop calling for an ambulance,?
said Malicki, 37, who was there as a
translator. ?He broke down like a baby.
Still they did nothing.?
Shortly after 7pm, Gwozdzinski
asked if he could borrow a Qur?an, a
request Malicki thought was peculiar
from a devout Catholic, the latest clue,
perhaps, that his friend was losing his
mind. Other detainees wondered why
he was not on suicide watch, or at least
antidepressants.
At 2.05pm the next day Malicki
heard shrieking from inmates huddled
outside the door of room 10, B-wing
? Gwozdzinski?s cell. Malicki found
his friend hanging from the TV joist,
barely alive. Pulling him to the ground,
he tried to revive him. ?I still carry his
face in my head, all the time I see him,?
he recalls.
Gwozdzinski?s was one of three
deaths linked to the UK?s immigration
detention estate in the space of a
month. This year is the deadliest on
record ? 10 immigration detainees have
died, twice the previous high. News
of the latest emerged two weeks ago
? another suicide, a 27-year-old Iraqi
man inside Lincolnshire?s Morton Hall
detention facility. Few other details
have surfaced, but critics say such
secrecy is the norm.
Of the 10 deaths, three of their
names are not known. Occasionally,
the Home Office fails even to publicise
a death. One recent Freedom of
Information response found two
deaths of which campaigners had no
previous knowledge. In keeping with
such a clandestine climate, the Home
Office has not released Gwozdzinski?s
name, or even his age. Until now, who
he was or the circumstances of his
death were a mystery.
Gwozdzinski?s family claim they
are being kept in the dark, that his
death was preventable but that its
circumstances are being covered
up. Beyond dispute is that the
tragedy arrives during a particularly
contentious period for the UK?s
immigration detention estate,
speci?cally its ongoing role in the
detention and deportation of European
Union citizens from the UK following
the Brexit vote.
Home Office data released on
Thursday con?rmed 5,321 EU
nationals were forcibly removed in the
year until September, a 13% increase on
statistics already at their highest since
records began.
Celia Clarke, director of the
charity Bail for Immigration
Detainees believes Brexit has given
the Home Office the green light
to target Europeans in the UK, an
allegation corroborated by claims
that EU citizens are being detained
for relatively minor crimes, such
as driving offences. ?If you have a
government that unashamedly vows
to create a ?hostile environment?
then it is no surprise that people are
swept up, detained and removed,
with little regard to their rights,? said
Clarke. Her organisation is ?ghting
the deportation of 70 EU nationals ?
two thirds of whom have no criminal
record and whose average stay in the
UK is 11.4 years.
Also on Thursday, the former Tory
international development secretary
Andrew Mitchell became the latest
public ?gure to voice concern over the
purpose of the UK?s 11 immigration
centres, denouncing them as a
?dystopian stain on our democracy?.
Another dimension is unfolding
that is driving further disquiet: the
allegedly systematic clearance of
homeless EU nationals from British
streets. The numbers affected are
unclear ? despite FoI requests, the
Home Office refuses to publish
updated numbers ? but Clarke believes
the amount of Europeans targeted
under this policy may roll into the
thousands. A high court judge will
rule next month whether the policy is
lawful. Gwozdzinski and Malicki were
both homeless when detained. More
are being swept up all the time.
The edict has caused consternation
among diplomats. Vali Staicu, third
secretary at the Romanian embassy,
said her country had raised the issue
with the home secretary Amber Rudd
last month. ?We are very concerned,
we have cases where the Home Office
say it?s a voluntary return but when we
ask, the individual says, ?I don?t want
to go.??
The Slovak embassy was worried
about people being detained and
deported without ?legitimate reason?.
Sources at the Polish embassy, which
represents 831,000 Polish-born UK
residents, making Poles the largest
overseas-born group in the country,
would only con?rm ?cooperation? with
the Home Office on the issue.
B
orn in the remote town of Cib髍z,
near ?wiebodzinin west Poland,
Gwozdzinski ? the youngest of
seven brothers ? was an adventurous
child. As a boy he explored the
surrounding spruce forests, travelling
across Poland as a teenager, then
Europe, Ireland, eventually arriving
in the UK aged 23. Travel, he told his
family, helped ?keep his spirit free?.
His brother Grzegorz, 30, said: ?He
loved new countries, new people, and
although he was a hard worker he
enjoyed sleeping rough ? squats, empty
buildings, anywhere.?
In October last year and despite
working on a building site in Tooting,
south London, Gwozdzinski had
elected to sleep rough near Streatham
Common. He smoked cannabis to help
him sleep and one evening approached
dealers near Streatham?s St Leonard?s
Church to stock up on supplies.
Gwozdzinski was short-changed, a
scuffle broke out that was caught on
CCTV. The following morning, he was
arrested and taken to Harmondsworth.
Quick witted and gregarious, he was
quickly dubbed by B-wing as Siwy,
which translates as light blond in
Polish. He had no history of mental
illness and was generally happy. His
family had never contemplated that he
might one day try to kill himself.
Three months on and no official
account into the events around his
death has been issued. The Prisons
and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) is
investigating but will not comment,
while the Home Office says it is
?inappropriate? to share statements
on an ongoing PPO inquiry. Mitie, the
private ?rm that runs Harmondsworth
on behalf of the Home Office, declined
to answer questions. However,
corroborating witness statements
indicate that Gwozdzinski begged
for help repeatedly over a period of
time. Another Polish detainee on
B-wing, Robert Legut, 52, describes
Gwozdzinski telling staff on several
occasions that his mental health was
deteriorating profoundly.
?He was saying: ?Help me please, my
head is no good. I might do something,
suicidal.? He told guards ?ve days
beforehand, two or three times. They
ignored him.?
Speaking in the spartan, heavily
securitised meeting room inside
Harmondsworth, the rumble of ?ights
from nearby Heathrow airport in the
background, Legut said Gwozdzinski?s
death was avoidable. ?He went back to
get help but they laughed at him again.
He was desperate, why did they not
give him a psychologist? His death is
the Home Office?s fault.?
A written statement, signed
by 59 fellow detainees of various
nationalities, unequivocally blames
the death of their ?friend? on the
authorities. ?For a long time he
[Gwozdzinski] asked officers,
psychologists and doctors for help.
He was ignored,? states the carefully
handwritten letter. ?Many times he
asked for help. Therefore myself and
other detainees are very anxious and
depressed about the situation. It is a
disgrace that nobody has been [made]
03.12.17
Special Report | NEWS | 15
*
and they were very surprised. His heart
must have been so strong, but the brain
was too damaged,? said Jany.
Since then, the family allege
attempts to work out what happened
inside Harmondsworth have been
obstructed. After Gwozdzinski?s
death, key witnesses were deported.
Despite nearly 12 months in detention,
the prime witness Malicki was sent
to Poland within days. Weeks later,
when the Observer ?nally tracked him
down, he was in Iceland. Legut said
four witnesses had been deported or
?ghosted? to other centres. A month
after Gwozdzinski?s death, Legut
revealed how one witness was ?own
to Poland at 8am, two hours before a
case hearing. ?It was too fast a decision
to send them away; they are silenced,?
he said. Neither Malicki nor Legut
have been interviewed by investigators
charged with ?nding out what
happened.
There are also allegations that
the Home Office attempted to keep
Gwozdzinski?s suicide bid quiet.
Four hours after the attempt, at
6pm on Sunday, Jany and Grzegorz
were noti?ed he was in hospital.
Throughout the following day, the
Home Office refused to con?rm claims
that a detainee was on a life support
machine. That night the BBC aired a
damning documentary showing guards
at another removal centre mistreating
vulnerable people, including those who
were suicidal. Another four days would
pass before the Home Office con?rmed
something had happened. Detainees
were sent a note citing an ?incident?
involving a ?Polish detainee? who had
died. Legut was among those kept in
the dark. ?They didn?t even tell his
friends.?
The sense that the Home Office is
covering up the deaths of other EU
?The Home O?ce told
him he was free to go,
but they didn?t release
him. I think this broke
him down eventually?
Robert Legut, fellow detainee
A picture, provided by
his family, of Marcin
Gwozdzinski before his
arrest in south London.
He had no history of
mental illness, and had
pleaded for help. In
September he was found
hanging in his cell.
accountable for such poor care. We are
human beings not animals.?
In a letter written by Gwozdzinski
shortly before his death, he says: ?I
can?t be here. I want to be free ? there
is not much time left.?
The partner of Gwozdzinski?s
brother, Ewa Jany, says detainees
have described how Gwozdzinski?s
roommate would stand over him at
night, reciting Satanic verses. ?We
heard how his cellmate would stand
over Marcin at night talking about
witches and Satan. Marcin was having
terrible nightmares, it is no surprise.?
Days before Gwozdzinski tried
to kill himself, he asked the centre?s
authorities to be moved. But Jany
believes it was too late: the damage
had been done. ?He needed special
supervision, there are staff who follow
inmates with psychological problems.
They even follow them to the toilet.
Why did Marcin get no one??
Wider, structural issues may have
played a part. Britain remains the
only country in Europe with no time
limit on immigration detention. With
detainees? lives in limbo, psychologists
agree that the system affects mental
health. Two years ago MPs joined
campaigners in urging a 28-day limit
on immigration detention, and only
then as an ?absolute last resort?.
Legut, who says he was detained
for minor motoring offences, has
been held since January. Malicki
was held for nearly a year, the same
as Gwozdzinski. All three registered
mental health complaints, but
none was given antidepressants or
psychological assistance.
W
hen the Observer met Legut
inside Harmondsworth, his
arms were covered in a bloodencrusted latticework of self-in?icted
cuts. During our conversation, Legut,
who has lived in Scotland for 12 years,
ran a ?nger across his throat to mimic
a neighbouring detainee who had cut
his throat days earlier. Legut texted
twice during the following three weeks
with details of others who had selfharmed, and these were just among his
14 Polish friends.
Suicide attempts are rising across
the immigration detention estate.
According to data from campaigners,
132 attempts were recorded during
the ?rst quarter of this year, a rate that
could eclipse the record of 393 in 2015.
Legut believes the rise is bolstered by
the prevalence of the synthetic drug
spice, linked to psychotic episodes and
erratic behaviour.
Although spice?s ubiquity inside
prisons is widely chronicled, its
spread inside immigration centres
is not. Malicki says spice was easily
obtainable in Harmondsworth
and that Gwozdzinski was a user,
although its in?uence in his decline
is ambiguous. ?I asked staff why they
were letting so much Spice inside ?
people were going crazy ? but they
said, ?You stop one dealer and another
will take their place.??
Emma Ginn, coordinator of Medical
Justice, which works to improve
?
A statement, signed
by 59 fellow detainees,
blaming Gwozdzinski?s
death on authorities,
and expressing anxiety
about their own
situation.
the health of detainees, said her
organisation had frequently warned
the Home Office that conditions inside
would lead to further deaths if not
addressed. ?Clients call us, petri?ed
that they too might die,? she said.
?They say the authorities don?t care
whether they live or die. We can?t
console them.? Deborah Coles, director
of Inquest, said: ?Deaths and selfharm are the human consequences
of the UK?s dehumanising and unjust
detention system.?
Gwozdzinski?s seemingly swift
decline has been difficult for his family
to digest. He had been talking about
his future ? accepting that he might
need some stability according to his
brother Grzegorz ? but was also in
peak physical condition. When his
mother, who lost another son in a car
accident in Poland seven years earlier,
accepted medical advice and turned off
her youngest?s life support machine at
6.40pm on 7 September, Gwozdzinski?s
heart kept beating unaided for
25爉inutes. ?Two nurses were there
nationals is shared. Eight months after
Slovenian Branko Zdravkovic, 43,
killed himself in a Dorset immigration
detention centre, his partner, Nicola
Sanderson, says she is still waiting for
answers, but believes he was not given
the care he needed.
Zdravkovic, she says, was detained
following a sweep of east Europeans
drinking on a street in central
London. Once inside, his wellbeing
disintegrated. ?They didn?t contact me
at all, it?s disgraceful. My Branko was
born in a quiet village near Austria and
comes to this country, works for years,
and this is how he was treated,? said
Sanderson, from west London.
Other aspects of Gwozdzinski?s case
have prompted unease. Two days after
his suicide attempt, Jany received a call
from Harmondsworth informing her
that Gwozdzinski was to be released.
The official explained, says Jany, that
he was no longer considered a threat
to the community. ?I actually started
laughing, it was so ridiculous. Marcin
was brain-damaged in a coma.?
Another twist emerges with claims
that staff apparently told Gwozdzinski
that weeks before his death he was to
be released. ?The Home Office told
him he was free to go. But they didn?t
release him,? said Legut.
Jany said they were actually
preparing for his homecoming. ?What
was odd is that Marcin called and
asked for our address. He said the
Home Office would release him if he
could provide an address that they
could then check.?
For three weeks Gwozdzinski called
Jany daily, eagerly inquiring if the
Home Office had called. ?We were
ready for them to check our house
but nothing happened. I think this
eventually broke him down.?
Such episodes have left the
Gwozdzinskis asking if the death
of Siwy, a free spirit crushed by
detention, can be tied to Theresa
May?s ongoing ?hostile environment?
against those she believes should not
be in the country.
Jany said: ?The Home Office
behaves as if it is scared of Polish
people. We need to know why Marcin
was detained for so long, why he
hanged himself.?
In the UK and Republic of Ireland, the
Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123
03.12.17
| 17
*
Barbara Ellen
Sex-bots, do feel
free to replace
us if you want to
I
t feels as though I?m supposed to be
enraged about sex robots, sex-bots,
robosexuals, whatever, as viewed
on the recent Channel 4 The Sex
Robots Are Coming documentary. That
I should be unnerved about the likes of
new improved prototype Harmony and
her promise of brushed-plastic erotica.
Not that I judge Harmony ? what
human woman hasn?t shown off to a
man in a bar about her gifts for ?internal heating? and ?self-lubrication??
Hey ladeez, we all use what we?ve got,
right? Nor is it Harmony?s fault that
she exists. In fact, perhaps there are
other women like me, who (whisper it)
almost feel sorry for her.
It makes sense that women especially might be disturbed by sex-bots.
There are vastly more of the female
variety and it?s all a bit Stepford Men?s
Association: femme machines drafted
in to replace the ?faulty? (assertive,
rebellious, breathing) real versions. In
a certain vision of male utopia, instead
of real women and their buzzkill
notions about equality and self-will,
men would return home to ?nd
chick-bots such as Harmony clattering
around the kitchen, in the manner of
an eroticised C-3PO.
Perchance Harmony would proffer
a chicken ready-meal, purring electronically: ?You must maintain energy
so that, later, you are able to sexually
satisfy me with your unusually large
phallus.? And if Harmony accidentally
ingested a splash of gravy, her face
melted and her breasts started rotating
anti-clockwise, then she could always
be sent back to the workshop for an
upgrade. Or a service man could pop
around and ?x the boiler at the same
time.
However, let?s not get too ahead
of ourselves ? that?s the
he glorious
AI/porn crossover future.
ture. Right
now, the sex robots that
hat were
born out of pornography
phy seem
doomed to re?ect their
ir source
in all the usual derogatory,
atory,
dehumanising, misogynistic
ynistic
ways, while adding a few
more for good measure.
re.
It?s telling that thesee
robots only endeavourr
Poor Harmony, you
almost feel sorry for her.
to be ?realistic? when it comes to their
techno-squelchy sexual parts, while
remaining unrealistic in terms of
female beauty and everyday relationship interaction. Or maybe I?m wrong
and they?ll be programmed to say:
?Take me, big boy? and also take the
bins out.? It?s also tragic to think of
humans having sex, not with each
other, but with something that has
more in common with an interactive
(albeit very turned-on) Furby. Couldn?t
humankind, even at its loneliest, and
most damaged, do a bit better than
that?
Some might say, what about those
women who buy realistic baby dolls ?
isn?t that also satisfying a basic human
need? And what about women who
buy vibrators? However, from the looks
of it, women who buy baby dolls don?t
feel angry or controlling towards real
babies, nor rejected by them. Nor is
anyone claiming that vibrators replace
the whole man.
This may be the core difficulty with
sex-bots ? not that they replicate sex,
but that they represent how some men
want to replace and improve upon
real women and not just physically.
That they appeal to men who are only
interested in almost silent, but always
compliant, sexually available ?women?,
for whom self-will is always a microchip away.
Then again (silver lining!), what
woman would want to have sex with
the kind of men who would buy erotobots anyway? This mentality has long
existed in some shape or form and, if
now these men are going to be busy
playing with sex-bots, and no longer
bothering, boring, or unnerving real
women? well, hallelujah for that!
This is why, far
f from bridling at
being replaced,
replac some women
feel bizarrely, irramay just fe
sorry for Harmony
tionally so
and her porno-bot
sisters.
p
We know what?s coming, so
to speak.
speak Indeed, considering the ttypes of men who
would b
buy sex-bots, it
doesn?t
doesn seem too much of
a loss
lo for womankind;
if anything, it borders
on
o a boon. A case of:
?Great,
replace us, go
?
ahead!?
a
Cough up if you
want turkey and
all the trimmings
W
Gemma Andrews: ?Christmas doesn?t come cheap.? Photograph by S Meddle/ITV/Rex
�
?My
mother
saw I was
ripe for
bullying.
She said
if people
picked on
me, never
to react?
Graham
Norton
interview
pages16-22
D
ebbie McGee has been named
and shamed as the Strictly
Come Dancing contestant
whom Theresa May is rooting for. May revealed her support
for McGee while visiting the Middle
East (fair enough, there?s never much
going on in that part of the world; the
PM might as well gossip about a TV
ballroom dancing competition back in
Blighty).
And good choice: McGee is a hot
favourite and not only because she?s
an older woman who manages to do
the splits without having to be rushed
on a stretcher to A&E seconds later.
So, good for McGee. Or is it? Even in
showbiz terms, it has to be the kiss of
death to have May saying she supports
you. There are rumours of ministers
in Westminster hiding in cupboards,
and jumping off windowsills, to avoid
being ?supported? by May.
May went on to mention another
Strictly frontrunner, Alexandra Burke,
but then appeared to forget the names
of the other contestants.
This isn?t good enough. If May
is going to indulge in stilted fauxpopulist chat that errs dangerously
close to a critical scene in the 1980
?lm, The Elephant Man (?I (suck) am
(snort) a human being!?), then she
should at least know her stuff.
Genuine Strictly fans, watching, in
the sofa trenches, week after week,
don?t tend to say: ?Debbie McGee,
Alexandra Burke? and, erm, you
know, the other ones.? Nor do British
citizens pay their taxes for PMs to
have tragic meetings about what to
name-check in popular culture and
then forget half their brief.
Like knowing the price of a pint
of milk, knowing what?s going on in
Strictly has become a check on how
connected a politician truly is to
Middle England.
I?m not sure that May passed the
Strictly test.
Observer
Magazine
May makes a misstep on Strictly
ho could blame mother of
four Gemma Andrews for
charging family members
� for Christmas dinner
at her house? The answer seems to be:
everybody. Andrews says that, as well
as the expense, she?s had people not
showing up, leaving her with excess
food. Another year, she tried ?bring a
dish? but (lo!), dishes were forgotten.
Andrews made the point that she
doesn?t charge for children. Which is
obviously a mistake as children should
be charged double, what with the
tedium of having to ?nd batteries for
their toys and watching The Snowman
on a loop.
Personally, I wouldn?t eat Christmas
dinner if other people weren?t cooking it. So, even if I?m ?hosting?, they
should still be charging me. Other than
that, Andrews?s pragmatic approach
could be worse: turnstiles, frisks for
contraband at the door, card machines,
petty rows over ?extras? as guests leave
(?I saw you hogging the Heston from
Waitrose Edibaubles!?).
The real amusement of this story is
that it prods the secret bruise, the lurking resentment behind many a facade
of familial festive cheer. There?s potential for an inner Grinch in us all ? some
people are just more honest about it.
18 | NEWS
*
Fears for women?s health as
parents reject HPV vaccine
Three nations blame
social media for fall in
number of girls given
cervical cancer
jabs, reports
Robin McKie
Health officials have become increasingly alarmed at campaigns aimed at
blocking the take-up of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, which protects women against cervical cancer.
Three leading nations have now seen
major reductions in the take-up of the
vaccine and a growing number of doctors fear its use could be blocked elsewhere, despite its capacity to provide
protection against a condition that kills
hundreds of thousands of women a year.
Last week, doctors and health officials
gathered in Dublin ? centre of one of the
most vociferous anti-vaccine campaigns
? to discuss future tactics. Many believe
the use of social media has added new
impetus to anti-vaccine campaigners?
protests, and that this factor has been
closely involved in the success of the
attacks that have been made on immunisation programmes.
?Whenever a new vaccine is introduced, there is always a group of people
who say it is unsafe,? said Professor Margaret Stanley of Cambridge University.
?But the HPV vaccine seems to raise
extraordinary levels of hostility.?
Japan, Ireland and Denmark have
already witnessed sustained campaigns
03.12.17
Take-up of the
HPV vaccine in the
UK is still high, but
in Japan it has
fallen from more
than 70% to 1%.
Rex
that have seen take-up rates plummet.
(By contrast, UK take-up rates are high.)
In each case, the vaccine ? which scientists insist is safe ? has been linked to
alleged cases of seizures, walking problems, and neurological issues. Photographs have been exchanged and video
clips uploaded to YouTube.
?The vaccine is given at the age of 13
when young people are highly emotional
and react to events very strongly,? said
Stanley. ?In addition, some parents feel
they might be encouraging promiscuity by allowing their daughters to be
vaccinated against a virus that spreads
through sexual contact. Add to this the
use of social media and you have quite
an explosive mixture.?
The controversy surrounding opposition to the HPV vaccine was also raised
last week when doctor Riko Muranaka
? who has stood up to intimidation from
anti-vaccine groups in Japan ? was
awarded the international John Maddox
prize for promoting science in the public
interest. In Japan, parents have posted
videos of their children online, claiming that their symptoms of seizures and
walking problems were caused by the
HPV jab. The country?s health ministry
said it could ?nd no evidence that the
vaccine was to blame, but take-up rates
have since plunged from more than 70%
to less than 1%.
Muranaka remains unrepentant in
her defence of the vaccine. ?With this
vaccine we could prevent many deaths
from cervical cancer in Japan, but we are
not taking the opportunity,? she said.
At last week?s Dublin meeting, delegates outlined one possible solution that
has been adopted in Austria, where doctors now give the HPV vaccine to both
girls and boys (who will gain protection
against a form of throat cancer in later
life). Crucially, the jab is also given at an
earlier age: around nine years old.
?The apparent link with alleged promiscuity is not perceived to be so strong at
this age and the timing also comes when
?Whenever a new
vaccine is introduced,
there is always a
group of people who
say it is unsafe?
Professor Margaret Stanley
children tend to be less emotional,? said
Stanley. ?Giving the vaccine a few years
earlier than at present could be very
effective.?
Responding quickly to claims of links
between outbreaks of ill-health and
vaccination is also extremely important,
said Heidi Larson, of the London School
of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
?England reached 87% full-dose coverage in 2014, having averted a potential
public public-con?dence crisis in 2009
when a 14-year-old girl died after being
vaccinated. Health officials expressed
concern, promptly investigated the
girl?s death and found it unrelated to the
vaccine.?
For their part, scientists insist that
the HPV vaccine is safe and effective. It
protects against the two strains of the
human papilloma virus that are most
commonly linked to cervical cancer,
and which account for more than 80%
of cases.
?Globally there are around 528,000
new cases of cervical cancer and 266,000
deaths linked to human papilloma virus
a year,? said Larson. ?The HPV vaccine
has the potential to eradicate the vast
majority of these.?
This point was emphasised by Prof
Helen Bedford of University College
London, who said that although the
HPV vaccine had only been in use for
around a decade, its bene?t were already
being observed.
?Impressive data are already accumulating to show the impact of the vaccine
in reducing HPV infections and pre-cancerous cervical lesions,? she said.
In 20 years, that reduction should
be mirrored in a corresponding drop in
deaths from cervical cancer, added Stanley. ?Given that cervical cancer often
kills women who are relatively young
? sometimes in their 20s or 30s ? the
bene?ts of this vaccine are particularly
sharp.?
03.12.17
NEWS | 19
*
Tofu turkey with all the trimmings? Britain
carves out its most meat-free Christmas yet
As more people go
??exitarian? and hit the
vegan aisle, food
retailers are changing
the menu this festive
season, reports
Rebecca Smithers
Forget about the Christmas nut roast ?
those who don?t eat meat are going to
be spoilt for choice on 25 December as
Britain?s supermarkets roll out their biggest range of festive vegan and vegetarian food to date.
Treats on offer include the ?rst mince
pies to be given the Vegan Society seal of
approval, a vegan version of the Christmas classic Baileys, turmeric-spiced
cauli?ower wellington and mountains
of new dairy-free cheeses.
As the popular ?flexitarian? trend
continues to sweep the UK, major retailers such as Tesco and Marks & Spencer
are hoping that even occasional carnivores might consider swapping their
traditional turkey for an exotic vegan or
vegetarian centrepiece.
Flexitarianism has been one of the
most striking food trends of 2017, with
one in three people trying to reduce their
meat intake. According to the Vegan
Society, more than half of UK adults are
now adopting ?vegan-buying behaviour?, while the number of full-time
vegans in the UK has grown four-fold in
the past 10 years.
Tesco has taken its commitment to
meat- and dairy-free produce particularly seriously. It has hired the American
chef and self-proclaimed ?plant pusher?
Derek Sarno ? the former global executive chef for Whole Foods Market ? as
its ?director of plant-based innovation?.
Sarno has overseen the supermarket?s biggest ever vegan and vegetarian
Christmas offering this year, which has
double the number of festive centrepieces compared with last year, including, for the ?rst time, two vegan dinners
? turmeric-spiced cauli?ower wellington and, for those who cannot let go of
their nut roast, a pecan and peanut roast
with maple-roasted carrot and parsnip.
As well as sprucing up Tesco?s Christmas food, Sarno is working with suppliers, farmers and chefs on developing
new plant-based foods that will go on
sale over the coming year.
?These are changing times and vegetable dishes have now become centre-
Tofu turkey, left,
and turmericspiced cauliflower
wellington, below,
are among the
vegan fare this
Christmas.
Photograph by
Jason Ondreicka/
Alamy
?Christmas veg no
longer needs to be
over-cooked carrots
and sprouts or a
tasteless nut roast?
piece heroes in their own right on dinner
tables up and down the country,? said
Sarno. ?This year, with the quality of
vegetarian and vegan food now so good,
there may even be squabbles across the
dinner table over who gets what.?
Marks & Spencer is showcasing
more meat-free Christmas dinner main
courses than meat-based ones, after
its vegetarian range sold out in record Helena Fleming, M&S
time last year. The M&S team has been
inspired by chefs such as Yotam Ottolenghi, Robin Gill and Deborah Madison,
an American cookery teacher and chef
who hails the use of pulses and beans.
The retailer says it saw its biggest year
for sales of vegetarian dishes last Christmas, while its Food to Order veggie dish
sales were up 40% on 2015, and its butternut and sweet potato rosti became its
bestselling vegetarian product ever.
?Christmas veg no longer needs
to be over-cooked carrots and
sprouts or a tasteless nut roast,?
said Helena Fleming, M&S vegetarian meals product devel-
Universities fear research funds will fall
futher as EU grants drop ahead of Brexit
Participation in Horizon
2020 project ?already
shows downward trend?
by Michael Savage
Policy Editor
Britain?s universities are already seeing
a fall in their share of a crucial pot of
European Union funding, with vicechancellors fearing that UK projects
are losing out even before Brexit has
taken place.
Millions of pounds to pay for crucial
research has been lost as a result of
a fall overall in Britain?s share of the
?agship Horizon 2020 project, a �bn
fund aimed at cutting-edge science.
Official ?gures reveal a downturn in
both UK participation in, and funding
from, the project. University sources
said that while there were sometimes
natural ?uctuations in which countries received money, there was now
a ?downward trend across several key
indicators over the past 18 months?.
There are concerns that Brussels is
reluctant to fund UK-based projects,
despite the government?s pledge to
underwrite scienti?c research funding
once Britain has officially left the bloc.
From February to September last
year, the proportion of UK participation in the project was 15% of the total,
while it took just under 16% of the
share of funding, according to government ?gures compiled by Universities
UK. Over the same period this year, UK
participation fell to 12% and funding
fell to 13%.
The impact is being felt most keenly
in the part of the programme that
funds projects looking at ?societal
challenges?. The UK?s share of funding
in that area is down more than three
percentage points in the last quarter.
Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of
Universities UK, said the downturn in
participation in the programme
mme
ghts
was concerning. ?It highlights
the urgent need for clarity
on the UK?s participation in
n
xit
Horizon 2020 beyond Brexit
and, while the UK is still a
member of the EU, the need
d
to communicate that the UK?s
universities and researchers
rs
are still eligible to participate and apply for funding
through EU research and
innovation programmes.?
Labour said that the UK?s share of
funding from Horizon 2020 had fallen
by more than �0m in the year to
September and that the party had been
contacted by vice-chancellors with
concerns. One said: ?It is so frustrating
watching the country head towards
a potential barren land for research.
There seems to be a lack of understanding that developing and securing
funding for research proposals can take
up to 18 months.?
Paul Blom?eld, shadow Brexit minister, said: ?Ministers need to recognise
the damage that their ?awed approach
to the Brexit negotiations is doing
and act quickly to secure our future in
European research programmes.?
A spokesperson for the Department
Energy and Industrial
for Business, E
Strategy said
said: ?The UK remains
participants
one of the strongest
s
in Horizon 2020. The European
commissio
commission has made it clear that
proposals ffrom, or including, UK
applicants must be treated in the
applicant
sa
same way while the UK is
a member of the EU.?
Blomfield: ?Ministers
need to recognise the
damage they are doing.?
oper. ?It?s now as important as the turkey
and pigs in blankets. The rise of the ?veggivore? and ??exitarian? means that, as a
country, we?re experimenting more with
new vegetables and we?re less afraid to
try something different.?
Asda is behind the ?rst Vegan Societyapproved mince pies and it predicts 18m
will be eaten this Christmas.
?Retailers have picked up on the fact
that labelling a product as vegan attracts
many other people, proving that it?s not
just vegans who love vegan food,? said a
spokeswoman for the Vegan Society.
?This year we have been impressed
by the increasing number of festive
products that are available to vegans.
Most major supermarkets have created
a selection of plant-based options, from
advent calendars to vegan roasts.?
Last year, online grocer Ocado
enjoyed a staggering 1,678% increase in
sales within its ?vegan? category on
the year before. With the meat-free
trend predicted to reach Christmas
dinner tables this year, it is intro-
ducing a range of vegetarian and vegan
centrepieces, including ?Tofurkey? roll,
vegetarian nut roast and Christmas butternut squash stuffed with luxurious
vegan mince.
Next month, Ocado will trumpet the
launch of the largest vegan food range of
any UK supermarket, listing more than
90 new products, including a vegan egg
replacer, soy-based tempeh, and jackfruit, a vegan substitute for pulled pork
when marinated.
Vegan cheeseboards include a Christmas platter from the Greek manufacturer Violife that is made up of three
vegan cheese blocks ? blu, cranberry
after dinner and mature. It is selling out
fast in Ocado and Sainsbury?s and will be
followed by a vegan feta next year.
Finally, for those who fancy a tipple,
the vegan version of Baileys Irish Cream,
called Baileys Almande and made with
almond milk, was recently launched in
the US and can now be snapped up in the
UK through Whole Foods Markets and
thegoodnessproject.co.uk.
Blair backs Labour?s ?land value
tax? to tackle UK housing crisis
by Michael Savage
Policy Editor
Tony Blair is backing one of the most
controversial measures raised in
Labour?s last manifesto, by supporting
a new ?land value tax? designed to help
solve the housing crisis.
The former prime minister said the
new tax, which sees the value of underlying land taxed rather than property,
should replace council tax and business rates to create a ?fairer and more
rational system of property taxation?.
His endorsement of the idea will
be seen by some as a shift to the
left. However, he said he wanted to
embrace a radical policy platform
that ?abandons the timidity of the
Conservative policy and avoids the
present regression of Labour policy?.
The measure is one of a series of policies designed to tackle the housing crisis
included in a new report by the Tony
Blair Institute for Global Change. It also
backs a new sovereign property fund,
to help councils build, and supports the
extension of minimum rental tenancies
of three years, with a cap on rent rises.
Blair said the ideas were ?radical
but practical; progressive but in a way
which aligns with the modern world
and is not in de?ance of it?.
A land value tax is an annual charge
levied on the value of land itself.
Supporters say it would stop developers from ?land banking? and get building. Labour?s last election manifesto
pledged to hold a review of the idea,
but critics dubbed it a ?garden tax?.
Successive governments, including
Blair?s, repeatedly avoided dealing with
the council tax system ? which is based
on wildly out-of-date house price
valuations ? because of the politically
explosive consequences of updating
it. Doing so could see some asset-rich
but cash-poor people, such as elderly
homeowners, hit with big bills.
In his foreword to the report, Blair
states that solving the housing crisis
will help ?resolve part of the underlying causes of political alienation and
dissatisfaction with democracy?.
It is the latest attempt by Blair
to re-engage with British politics.
Friends say he is more interested than
ever in domestic issues. However,
some believe the damage done to his
reputation by the Iraq invasion and his
money-making activities since leaving
office make it hard for him to receive a
hearing for his latest ideas.
20 | NEWS
*
03.12.17
Can Dylan Thomas?s ?ugly, lovely town? win
the right to wear Britain?s cultural crown?
Vanessa Thorpe visits
Swansea to see if,
after one failed bid,
it can succeed in
becoming the UK?s
City of Culture in 2021
This is a tense time for Swansea. Like its
four fellow shortlisted cities ? Coventry,
Paisley, Stoke and Sunderland ? it awaits
a crucial verdict on Thursday, when Britain ?nds out who is to wear the coveted
crown of UK City of Culture in 2021.
After months of campaigning, and
as Hull?s year in the limelight dims, the
competing teams are all nervous. But
for Swansea in particular this could
be about to get personal. For the city
was shortlisted last time around and is
understandably reluctant to accept the
bridesmaid?s role twice in a row.
?Of course we still want to win and
think we can but we also don?t want to
fall off a cliff if we don?t,? said Tracey
McNulty, who has co-ordinated Swansea?s strategy. ?We have all enjoyed
making it clear that culture is not just
something we think about once we have
taken care of ?the important stuff ?. We
put a lot of thought into what a culture
plan means.?
With one of Britain?s longest expanses
of sand and sea, dramatically backed, this
weekend at least, by dark hills in a wintry
sunlight , it is hard to see why Swansea?s
appeal has historically been neglected.
Age-old rivalries and prejudices come
into it, of course. Bristol has often looked
down on its Welsh competitor ports,
while Cardiff, as the Welsh capital, has
grabbed more attention. But the bigger
picture is the industrial decline and loss
of identity that Swansea has suffered.
?There is a strong sense of contrast
here between the run-down areas and
the pretty coastline,? said McNulty. ?We
have areas of great need here. Some
places that are only a mile or so apart
have a seven-year gap in life expectancy.?
Most of the boarding houses and
hotels that line the beachfront, leading
up to the quaintness of the Mumbles
and then on to the outstanding natural
beauty of the Gower peninsula, look
neither sweetly old-fashioned nor pleasantly modernised. Instead, a jumble of
mock-Tudor beams and 1970s glazing
present a motley face to the sea.
One of Swansea?s most famous
natives, the poet Dylan Thomas, once
wrote of his ?ugly, lovely town ? crawling, sprawling ? by the side of a long and
splendid curving shore?, and the city
faced a similarly mixed reaction when it
put itself forward again as a major cultural contender.
A string of foundries and a stream
of polluting waste on the banks of the
river Tawe were the legacy of the copper industry in the 19th century. But
Swansea has far from shaken off signs of
neglect. When universal credit gradually
replaces welfare benefits this month,
the council leader has warned that
thousands of residents ?will be plunged
into debt?.
The bid team were clear about the
scale of change required. ?It is right in
front of us: there are massive inequalities,? said McNulty. ?We want to improve
access to culture, access to jobs, even
access to transport and mobile phone
signals in some areas. We want to build
bridges, metaphorically and literally.?
And she does believe there is fresh
hope. Aside from the publicity created
by the City of Culture bid, the annual
international arts festival and the
growing draw of the local undergraduate scene, Swansea is now
the focus of several major redevelopment schemes.
?After the last bid we needed
to regroup and to learn,? said
McNulty, who is also head of
cultural services for the city
council. ?We knew we had
Tracey McNulty, head of
cultural services: ?After
the last bid we needed
to regroup and to learn.?
An architect?s
impression of the
visitor centre and
pools in the
planned tidal
lagoon in Swansea,
the city that was
home to the poet
Dylan Thomas, far
left, and whose
cultural treasures
include the
Brangwyn Hall
panels, left,
painted by Frank
Brangwyn for the
House of Lords in
the 1930s, but
rejected for being
too colourful and
spirited. Corbis;
Getty
The � grant would
be spent in the smart
maritime quarter,
where there?s already
a jaunty look to the
shops and restaurants
to demonstrate what has changed. Then
suddenly a whole load of large-scale initiatives came up, including the city centre regeneration and ongoing plans for
the world?s ?rst tidal lagoon.?
The lagoon, if it comes, will be formed
by a curved breakwater constructed out
at sea to house a bank of hydro turbines
that will generate electricity by harnessing the bay?s especially impressive tides.
There is also excitable talk of a hightech cable car system that would swing
visitors from one hill to another, while,
as many football fans will know, Swansea City?s Liberty stadium is home to
the only Premier League team in Wales.
Indeed, to show their support for the
bid, last week several of Swansea?s players indulged in a promotional game of
cultural charades for the cameras.
If the 2021 title does go to Swansea,
the � Heritage Lottery Fund grant
would be spent building on the work
done so far in the smart maritime quarter emerging around the Tawe basin,
where there is already a jaunty look to
the shops and restaurants. A new bar
called The Swigg, named after a buoy
out in the bay, even offers an unexpected
delicacy: Welsh tapas.
Behind the revamped wharfside
warehouses is the museum zone. The
modern National Waterfront Museum
sets out the Welsh seafaring story and
charts the rise and fall of the merchant
class in the surrounding city with map
displays, model boats and interactive
displays. But the newest jewel in the
city?s cultural offer is the Glynn Vivian
art gallery, which re-opened a year ago
after an expensive redesign.
The City of Culture judges sent to
Swansea by the Department for Digital,
Culture, Media and Sport last month
will no doubt also have followed in the
footsteps of cultural pilgrims to the city
CITY OF CULTURE SHORTLIST
Coventry The bookies? favourite. Former
heart of the motor industry. A bombing
raid in November 1940 destroyed much
of the city and killed 550. The ruined
cathedral remains next to Basil Spence?s
replacement. ?A once in a lifetime
opportunity for Coventry to tell its
story of reinvention, of resilience, of
peace and reconciliation,? said Laura
McMillan, bid team manager. 7/4 at
Ladbrokes. Swansea is 10/1
Stoke-on-Trent Ceramics are
still a tourist draw but the
city su?ers from the closure
of big potteries and mines.
?City of Culture is not just for
celebrating what you?ve got
now but asking how do you
build a credible future,? said
Susan Clarke, creative programme director
for the bid. Hashtag ?Stoke?s no joke?. 3/1
Paisley Weaving capital of the 18th and
19th centuries. According to Scottish
government ?gures the most deprived
area in the country is the city?s Ferguslie
Park estate. ?The bid is part of a wider plan
to transform the town?s fortunes using our
unique cultural and heritage story,? said
bid director Jean Cameron. 3/1
Paisley is home to some of the most
deprived people in Scotland.
Sunderland World?s shipbuilding capital
a century ago. Its last shipyard closed in
1988, but its Nissan plant builds ?more
cars than Italy?. Bid themes are ?light?,
?inventiveness? and ?friendship?. Bid
director Rebecca Ball said: ?A fantastic
opportunity to engage people about the
kind of cultural life they want.? 4/1
by paying their respects to its late, great
bard. Entry to the Dylan Thomas centre
includes a free exhibition called Love the
Words which features the voice of the
actor Richard Burton, as well as recordings of Thomas himself. There are also
displays that detail his schoolboy sporting prowess and some pages from his
teenage notebooks.
Across the green from the river basin
stands the museum with perhaps the
least pretensions and the most individuality. Swansea museum is the oldest in Wales and is a lucky dip of curios,
including an Egyptian mummy and a
17th-century Flemish masterpiece by
Jacob Jordaens, recently discovered in
the storeroom.
There is also an annex tramshed
which commemorates the street tram
that once ran along the edge of the bay
to Mumbles pier, while in the summer
months there are maritime exhibits in
the dock, including three boats.
Perversely, though, as McNulty?s team
recognised from the outset, it is not just
Swansea?s attractive achievements, but
the nature of its cultural lack which may
either clinch the City of Culture deal for
them this Thursday, or not.
?It is difficult. All of the cities on the
shortlist have a similar story to tell,?
she爏aid.
?We each have problematic relations
to a bigger city nearby, a manufacturing
past and several were heavily damaged
during the second world war. Swansea
had a three-night blitz that changed the
city?s nature completely.?
Competition for the UK title is likely
to grow after last week?s EU ruling that,
post-Brexit, British cities will no longer
qualify for European City of Culture status in 2023. But at this late stage, Swansea
and its rivals can only put their faith in
the judges ? and in the belief that, if they
fail, their bids have at least reminded the
rest of Britain of their existence.
03.12.17
NEWS | 23
*
World
Trump hails his
?rst legislative
victory as $1.5tn
tax cuts passed
Republicans in the Senate have been accused
of looting the public purse to help the wealthy
by Edward Helmore New York
and Emma Graham-Harrison
President Donald Trump has hailed the
passage of a sweeping tax reform bill
through the Senate in the early hours
of yesterday morning, calling it ?one of
the big nights?. But critics said it was a
shameless giveaway to lobbyists, corporations and the wealthy that would hurt
ordinary Americans and push up the
national debt.
After nine months of stumbles and
setbacks, the vote put Trump ? and the
Republican-controlled Congress ? on
the brink of their ?rst major legislative
victory since last year?s election.
The first substantial overhaul of
America?s tax code in more than 30
years, it paves the way for a $1.5 trillion
reduction in tax bills. It permanently
slashes the corporate tax rate by nearly
half, to 20% from 35%, and also offers
temporary cuts to individual tax rates.
US companies, which have an estimated $2tn in foreign earnings parked
abroad, could now be able to repatriate
the funds without triggering high rates
of tax, a key goal of Trump?s plan to
stimulate the US economy. Last week the
likelihood that tax reform would pass
the Senate helped push the Dow above
24,000, a historic record for the index.
Speaking to reporters yesterday on
his way to New York, Trump expressed
con?dence that two Republican tax bills,
one from each Republican-controlled
legislative body, would be successfully combined. ?Something beautiful
is going to come out of that mixer,? he
said. ?People are going to be very, very
happy. They?re going to get tremendous,
tremendous tax cuts and tax relief, and
that?s what this country needs.? Con-
gress?s own analysts say it will come at
a huge cost to the public purse, adding
around $1tn to the national de?cit, but
Republicans, who for years have pushed
hard for ?scal restraint, rejected those
numbers to push the bill through.
The New York Times was utterly
damning in an editorial, describing the
bill as a ?looting of the public purse by
corporations and the wealthy?, which
showed that ?Republican leaders? primary goal is to enrich the country?s elite
at the expense of everybody else, including future generations who will end up
bearing the cost?.
The bill also tacked on some controversial Republican goals, including
opening the Arctic national wildlife refuge to drilling for oil, and is widely seen
as a backdoor attack on Obamacare.
It ends one of the key provisions of the
Affordable Care Act, the personal mandate, which forces healthy people to buy
health insurance or face tax penalties.
Without it insurers face a pool of older,
more vulnerable customers, and the
resulting rise in premiums is expected to
mean 13 million Americans lose health
coverage within a decade.
The bill was hurried through the Senate in the early hours, without time for
opposition senators to read it, much less
for opposition analysts to cost out the
last-minute changes needed to secure
the slim majority to pass it.
?The Republicans have managed
to take a bad bill and make it worse,?
said Senate Democratic leader Chuck
Schumer. ?Under the cover of darkness
and with the aid of haste, a ?urry of lastminute changes will stuff even more
money into the pockets of the wealthy
and the biggest corporations.?
Some of the amendments had been
scrawled on to the 500-page draft by
A protest against the tax
changes in New York.
Photograph by Eduardo
Mu駉z/Reuters
?People are going to
get tremendous,
tremendous tax cuts,
and that?s what this
country needs?
President Trump
Donald Trump said the passing of the tax
reform bill was one of the ?big nights?.
hand, and several seemed to have little
to do with taxes. Adding to Democrats?
outrage, they got ?rst glimpse of many
changes via lobbyists, who had seen the
bill and forwarded on photographs. But
they were powerless to stop it, because
Republicans used a procedural rule that
meant they needed only a simple majority. Final-hour concessions brought
all but one of the Republican rebels on
board. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the lone
hold-out, voted against the bill because
of concerns about its impact on the
national debt. He described himself ruefully as a ?dinosaur on the ?scal issues?, a
relic from the days when his party made
de?cit reduction a core political goal.
Mid-term elections next year proved
a helpful spur for Republican leaders
trying to rally support for the reforms.
Donors have been calling for action on
one of Trump?s main campaign pledges,
to ?restore? American competitiveness.
Legislators are wary of going into
a campaign without a single major
achievement to show for over a year of
Republican control of Congress. And
most analysis of the bill suggests it will
provide a rapid boost to overall economic growth, likely to appeal to any
politician facing re-election.
The reform is not quite over its ?nal
hurdle. There are substantial differences with the bill passed by the House
of Representatives, ranging from Arctic
drilling to whether individual tax cuts
will expire, and the fate of tax credits for
student loans. A committee will be asked
to meld the two together, and the resulting bill will be presented to Trump.
ON OTHER PAGES
How Trump?s Twitter habit got out of hand
In Focus, pages 26-27
We are surely in a new political age
Kenan Malik, Comment, page 33
Forget the ?special relationship?
Observer Comment, page 34
Britain?s fragile place in the world
Andrew Rawnsley, Comment, page 35
With Flynn coming clean, the Russia investigation takes big step nearer to Trump
COMMENTARY
Simon Tisdall
First came the lie. Then came the
cover-up. It?s a classic Washington
two-step. And the news that Michael
Flynn, a former White House national
security adviser, has pleaded guilty
to perjury means Donald Trump
may soon be dancing to the tune of
the special counsel investigating
the accelerating Russian in?uencepeddling scandal.
Flynn?s guilty plea rained a cold
shower on Trump?s victory parade
celebrating a rare success in Congress.
After 10 months watching his
healthcare plan and other ill-conceived
policies being shot down in ?ames,
Trump ?nally managed to get his tax
cuts bill through the Senate late on
Friday night.
Little matter that the tax changes,
which will bene?t the richest
Americans and big corporations, betray
the blue-collar voters who put him in
office. Little matter they will add an
estimated $1.2 trillion to the already
bloated federal de?cit. A win?s a win in
Trump?s zero-sum book.
But the Flynn affair is a different
matter altogether. A former general
sacked by Barack Obama, Flynn was
best known, until now, for his ferocious
attacks on Hillary Clinton before last
year?s election. . Now it is Flynn who is
staring jail in the face.
By admitting he lied to the FBI
when he previously denied holding
secret talks last December with Sergey
Kislyak, then Russian ambassador in
Washington, to illegally subvert Obama
administration policy, Flynn has raised
the lid on a possible illegal conspiracy
reaching all the way to the top.
Jared Kushner, Trump?s son-in-law,
Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, and
several other campaign and transition
officials have all denied personal
contact, or knowledge of contacts, with
the Russians before Trump took office
in January. Yet Flynn?s sworn evidence
states he either discussed or took
orders about his meetings with senior
?gures in Trump?s team.
Kushner was reportedly one of those
senior ?gures. Others in the frame
include Donald Trump Jr (Trump?s
eldest son), Michael Cohen, a lawyer,
and Carter Page, a campaign adviser.
Another adviser, George Papadopoulos,
recently pleaded guilty to lying to
investigators. Trump himself has
publicly and repeatedly denied prior
knowledge of the contacts with the
Russians. The future of his presidency
now hinges on the veracity of those
statements.
Kushner, a close con?
n?dant
e, is plainly
inside the family circle,
in the sights of the special
cial
counsel, Robert Mueller
er. Trump
nior
named Kushner his senior
adviser on Middle Eastt policy
last January. Prosecutors
ors say
onth,
that, in the previous month,
Flynn was directed by a ?very
senior member? of the
Trump team to ask thee
Russians to help oppose
se
a UN resolution
Michael Flynn admitted
he had lied to the FBI.
unfavourable to Israel, contrary to
Obama?s policy at the time.
The unfriendly relationship
between Benjamin Netanyahu,
Israel?s rightwing prime minister, and
Obama is a matter of record. So, too,
are Kushner?s pro-Israel stance and
his links to Netanyahu, a close family
friend who once slept in Kushner?s
childhood bedroom in New Jersey.
Other people who now occupy
top posts in the administration have
questions to answer. The transition
team was
wa led by Mike Pence, the
vice-p
vice-president.
Trump
and Pence claimed in
Tru
February to have been misled
Febru
by Fly
Flynn about his contacts
with Kislyak concerning
Obama?s
Obam imposition of sanctions
on Mo
Moscow for election
meddling.
Yet court documents
meddl
relating to Flynn?s guilty plea
rela
sa multiple members of the
say
transition team coordinated
tr
with
w Flynn to ask Russia
not to retaliate.
In the event Vladimir
Putin, Russia?s president,
did not take retaliatory action, which
was in itself unusual. The day after
Flynn met Kislyak, Trump tweeted
from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida
that Putin was ?very smart? not to hit
back. The tweet was retweeted by the
Russian embassy.
Kislyak has since been recalled and
elevated to senatorial rank in Russia?s
upper house of parliament.
After Trump sacked Flynn in
February for supposedly misleading
him and Pence, he asked James Comey,
the FBI director, whether he could
?see your way clear to letting this go,
letting Flynn go?, according to Comey?s
testimony to Congress.
Comey refused. His subsequent
sacking by Trump led to the special
counsel?s appointment.
In addition to the alleged
Russia conspiracy, Mueller is now
investigating whether Trump?s ?ring
of Comey and Flynn was part of an
attempted cover-up to conceal the
original lie. That would constitute
obstruction of justice ? a charge of
sufficient gravity that, if proven, could
spell the end for Trump.
24 | NEWS | WORLD
*
03.12.17
Security clampdown in The Hague amid
fears of further suicides by war criminals
Dutch police open
investigation into
death by cyanide of
Bosnian Croat general
in the dock, reports
Chris Stephen
Investigators at the UN?s war crimes
court in The Hague are scrambling to
seal security breaches amid fears other
inmates will ?do a Praljak?, copying the
Bosnian Croat warlord who dramatically
killed himself with cyanide last week.
Slobodan Praljak?s suicide, carried
out in the dock and televised around the
world, threatens to make a mockery of
the court?s vaunted security procedures.
With Dutch police opening their own
investigation, the tribunal has appointed
Gambia?s chief justice Hassan Jallow to
?nd out how Praljak, 72, obtained the
bottle of potassium cyanide that Netherlands prosecutors said killed him.
The investigation is likely to start with
the most glaring breach ? the lack of any
guard placed close enough to Praljak to
snatch the cyanide from his grasp.
Mo s t Ha g u e t r i a l s h av e a
blue-uniformed guard in the dock beside
defendants: two were deployed to ?ank
the famously irascible Bosnian Serb
general Ratko Mladi? last month when
judges convicted him of genocide for
orchestrating the Srebrenica massacre.
Yet no guard was beside Praljak, who
was sentenced to 20 years for a litany of
crimes against Muslims during the Bosnian war, when he appeared in the dock
along with four fellow Bosnian Croat
defendants to hear appeals against hefty
sentences rejected.
Just two security staff bookended the
line of defendants in what was billed as
the ?nal act of the court before it closes
its doors at the end of this month, and
neither noticed the bottle Praljak held in
front of him in his meaty hands.
After hearing his 20-year sentence
pp jjudges,
g the bearded
con?rmed byy appeal
lared ?Slobodan Praljak
warlord declared
is not a war criminal, I reject
ent with conyour judgment
hrust the contempt,? and thrust
tents of the bottle into his
mouth.
en Praljak,
Only when
is eyes
tottering, his
mped
glazed, slumped
to his seat and
announced ?I
oihave taken poihe
son? did the
judges react.
ere
?There were
Slobodan Praljak
drinks the cyanide.
Below, Slobodan
Milosevi?. AP
normally two guards behind the accused
? not this time,? said a Croatian official,
who would not be named because they
are not authorised to talk to the media.
?The Croatian press says that perhaps
the last day of the Tribunal contributed
to the relaxing of rules.?
Investigators will want to know
j ggot the poison into
also how Praljak
the dock despite rules mandating strip searches and X-rays for
defendants entering
and leaving
ente
the court comp
complex. Given the
ev small doses
lethality of even
of cyanide, officials may count
themselves lucky
luck he used it only
on himself.
Of concern
con
to investigators is whether other
Former Serbian
president Slobodan
Milo?evi? is restrained at
the court in The Hague.
convicts still awaiting appeals verdicts,
by a successor court due to start work
next month, may be tempted to take
similar drastic action.
Suicide has long stalked the Hague
tribunal, a byproduct of hefty sentences
handed down for horri?c crimes in the
wars of Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.
Two Hague inmates, both Serbs,
have hanged themselves in the cells of
the court?s Scheveningen prison on the
Dutch coast. Slobodan Milo?evi?, Serbia?s former president and the Hague?s
most high-pro?le defendant, was apparently able to smuggle an antibiotic into
his jail cell to exacerbate a heart condition that killed him near the end of his
three-year trial in 2006.
Visitors to the Hague?s fortress-like
court building are subjected to X-ray
searches, and liquids are supposedly
banned, but judges have not introduced
more intrusive body-cavity searches,
fearing a public backlash.
?The Croatian press
says perhaps the last
day of the tribunal
contributed to the
relaxation of rules?
Croatian o?cial
?It?s like the airport security, it?s not
all that intense,? says Dr Eric Gordy, of
University College of London?s school
of Slavonic and eastern European studies. ?If the searches were more intense
everybody would complain.?
Some fear the suicide will tarnish
the successes of a court that has jailed
dozens of war criminals and achieved
a string of precedents in international
justice, convicting those responsible for
atrocities including ethnic cleansing,
mass rape and the siege of Sarajevo.
BBC in row over ?false claims? of cash
for Syrian police being paid to jihadists
Foreign O?ce accuses
Panorama of jumping
on anti-aid bandwagon
by Daniel Bo?ey
Brussels
The BBC is facing a backlash against
what are said to be false claims to be
aired by Panorama that British taxpayers? money intended for the unarmed
western-backed Free Syrian Police
force has ended up in the hands of
jihadis linked to extremist groups.
The report, Jihadis You Pay For, will
claim tomorrow that Foreign Office
money paid to the FSP reached people
with links to the extremist group
al-Nusra Front.
The allegations have been described
as ?entirely inaccurate and misleading?
by Adam Smith International (ASI),
which manages the British-funded
Access to Justice and Community
Security (Ajacs) scheme that supports
the FSP in rebel-held areas of Syria.
An internal review found that of
$20m in funds for the FSP, only $1,800
unwittingly fell into the hands of FSP
officers with links to extremist groups,
and the cash was not British taxpayers?
money but from other state donors.
ASI has called on the BBC to amend
the title of its programme, which has
been described on the corporation?s
website as an examination of ?how
some of the cash has ended up in
the hands of extremists and how an
organisation we are funding supports a
brutal justice system?.
Andrew Mitchell MP, the former
international development secretary,
said it was inevitable the FSP would
come into contact with extremist
groups and that complexity should not
deter the UK from involvement.
Mitchell warned against the BBC
jumping on an ?anti-aid bandwagon?
and not taking into account the risks
and difficulties faced in trying to offer
communities policing outside of the
control of the Assad regime.
?This is an extremely important
project devised with the aim of
strengthening the FSP in dangerous
areas where jihadi groups are in
operation,? Mitchell said. ?That is the
whole point. The people involved in
the project are extremely brave and
should be praised, not pilloried. The
BBC have been told that there is no
evidence of British taxpayers? money
going to jihadi groups.?
Panorama is expected to claim that
ASI failed to respond quickly enough
when links were discovered between
two FSP stations and courts run by
al-Nusra. It is claimed that two officers
were present at a stoning in 2014. ASI
says the incident cited by Panorama
occurred ?ve weeks after it started
working on the scheme in October
2014, and that the two men at the
stoning were not formal officers and
had not received any cash through
the爏cheme.
Support for the police stations in
the area was suspended the following
February because of the heavy
presence of extremist groups, ASI said.
Among Panorama?s other claims
Praljak, a theatre director who
became a key leader of Bosnian Croat
forces in the early 1990s, was convicted
for crimes including the bombardment
of the ancient town of Mostar and prisoner abuses. Yet the verdict has been
declared a ?deep moral injustice? by Croatian prime minister Andrej Plenkovi?,
believed to be the ?rst declaration by the
head of an EU government in support of
a convicted war criminal. ?This [suicide] will just cement what was already
public opinion about the tribunal,? says
Mina Vidakovi? of Sense news agency
which is archiving Hague trial material.
?In Serbia and Croatia the establishment
and the media are more concerned about
the accused than the victims.?
Others think the court?s legacy will
survive. ?I don?t think this strange and
bizarre event will distract from the bigger story of the accomplishments of the
tribunal,? said Balkans expert Tim Judah.
?Its successes outweigh its failures.?
TV programme claims
jihadist fighters received
money intended for the
Free Syrian Police.
are that stipends paid to officers have
continued even when they have died,
the money going to the men?s families
or relatives who replaced the officers.
ASI says that a review last year found
that this had happened in 14 cases.
General Adeeb al-Shallaf, founder
of the FSP, a force of 3,300 mostly
unarmed officers in the rebel-held
areas of Aleppo, Idlib and Daraa
provinces, accused Panorama of
irresponsible journalism.
Al-Shallaf, who once held a senior
position within Assad?s Syrian
government police force before
defecting when his superiors ordered
him to shoot at demonstrators during
the popular uprisings in the country,
said: ?We, the Free Syrian Police, are
present on the ground despite all the
challenges, be it the armed groups and
the daily shelling ? in the last shelling
they hit our police centre in Al-Atarib
and killed 13 police officers, in addition
to civilians.?
The Foreign Office, which funds the
Ajacs with ?ve other governments,
said the scheme was important
for Britain?s national security but
that it had suspended the funding
while investigations continued.
?These schemes, also supported by
international partners, are intended爐o
make communities in Syria safer
by providing basic civilian policing
services,? it said.
?We believe that such work in Syria
is important to protect our national
security interest but, of course, we
reach this judgment carefully, given
that in such a challenging environment
no activity is without risk.?
The BBC said it ?is con?dent in its
journalism and the investigation will
be broadcast in full?.
03.12.17
WORLD | NEWS | 25
*
How the story of
謙zi the iceman
could ?nally
solve a stone age
murder mystery
The 5,300-year-old human mummy intrigues
scientists and aids Tyrol tourism. A new ?lm
imagines his ?nal days. Kate Connolly reports
No corpse has ever been examined so
thoroughly, attracted so many admirers,
or spawned such an array of relics and
souvenirs. The mummified Neolithic
male known as 謙zi, whose shrivelled
body was discovered with his tools and
clothing in a glacier 26 years ago, is now
set to experience a further wave of popularity with the release of a biopic offering
a ?ctional account of his life.
謙zi?s remains were stumbled across
by a German couple, Erika and Helmut
Simon, during a summer hike in 1991
in the 謙ztal Alps in southern Tyrol. So
well preserved was the partially thawed
body, the couple initially thought the
corpse, nicknamed 謙zi after the valley
where it was found, to be relatively new.
But forensic tests soon established it to
be around 5,300-years-old, making 謙zi
the oldest known human mummy. The
corpse?s organs, even its skin ? covered
in 60 tattoos ? were intact, making it a
unique ?nd and one of the most prized
Souvenir shops in
Bolzano have been
stocking up on 謙zi
memorabilia ? mugs,
T-shirts, keyrings and
iceman jelly babies
archaeological discoveries of all time.
謙zi has long since become a cause c閘鑒re in the scienti?c world, with thousands of specialists examining everything from the contents of his stomach
to how he died.
But the Stone Age hunter ? who was
felled by an arrow that penetrated his
left shoulder, causing him to fall and hit
his head on a stone, after which he bled
to death ? has proved just as popular as
a tourist attraction. He draws around a
quarter of a million visitors every year
to the museum in the mountain town
of Bolzano, northern Italy, where he is
on display in a specially devised cold
chamber. He has proved such a lure over
the past two decades that the museum,
which can only house 300 people, is soon
to move to new premises to cope with
visitor demand.
Inspired by 謙zi?s cult status and
much of the rich information that sci-
entists have gathered about him and
the way in which he lived, German ?lmmaker Felix Randau has now turned
謙zi?s struggle for survival into a feature
?lm, which is out this month. Der Mann
aus dem Eis (Iceman), a collaboration
between Germany, Italy and Austria, was
shot in the rugged mountains of Bavaria,
South Tyrol and Carinthia.
?The ?gure of 謙zi, with his mythical
grandeur, allowed us to look into the past
to see what it tells us about the present,?
Randau said in an interview. ?It raises
the question as to whether humans have
really changed at all and developed over
5,000 years.? The ?lm speculates why
謙zi was murdered, the exact details
of which are a mystery, despite many
theories offered by archaeologists and
scientists.
Played by the German actor J黵gen
Vogel, 謙zi ? or Kelab, as he is known in
the ?lm ? speaks an early version of the
Rhaetic tongue, a language of the preRoman and Roman era in the eastern
Alps, for which no translation is given
in the ?lm. Kelab lives with goats and
pigs, wears animal furs for warmth, and
traverses a perilous snowy landscape as
he tries to protect himself and his family
from the elements and human enemies,
while rituals and hunting de?ne his life.
Critics have so far reserved most of
their praise for the cinematography.
?Spectacular locations and pure story
telling,? said Screen Daily?s ?lm critic,
while Der Spiegel magazine said the ?lm
had succeeded in underlining the universal fascination for 謙zi, who ?is our
bridge to the beginning of humanity?
and central to ?the search for the origins
of our own species?.
But scientists have been less complimentary. Spektrum der Wissenschaft, a
scientific magazine, said Randau had
missed an opportunity to celebrate ?the
cultural achievements that science has
discovered?, such as how 謙zi made his
bows and arrows, gathered his food and
made his leather garments.
But the South Tyrol archaeological
museum, which has attracted 4.6爉illion
visitors so far, and whose experts acted
as advisers to the ?lm-makers, is now
bracing itself for a fresh in?ux of tourists following the release of the ?lm in
the three countries, according to Angelika Fleckinger, director of the South
Tyrol Museum of Archaeology. ?People
J黵gen Vogel as
Kelab in the film
Der Mann aus dem
Eis (Iceman), a life
story of the
Neolithic male
known as 謙zi, left,
found in 1991 near
the Austria-Italy
border. Reuters
are fascinated by the man from the ice ?
they cannot get enough of him,? she said.
Souvenir shops in Bolzano have
reportedly been stocking up on new
items to add to the array of 謙zi
memorabilia, including 謙zi mugs,
T-shirts, key-rings and iceman mummy
jelly babies.
But a shadow hangs over the iceman?s
future, with the experts responsible
for keeping 謙zi in as pristine a state as
when he was discovered in 1991 issuing
a warning amid the euphoria. They suggest that the archaeological treasure?s
days may be numbered: he is in serious
danger of disintegrating because of overexposure to both public and scientists.
Those who closely monitor the amount
of moisture in his body say that, despite
their efforts to keep him properly
hydrated, 謙zi, who only weighs around
13kg, is losing around two grams a day as
he gradually dries out.
Every two months the body is sprayed
by forensic scientist Oliver Peschel with
a ?ne layer of water and cooled to form
a thin ice layer which covers the entire
body, including every fold in the skin.
But the hydrating process appears inadequate, as indicated by the weight loss.
In addition, there is a fear that microbes
might attack the tissue of 謙zi?s body,
despite the safety measures being taken.
?If we?re not extremely careful, 謙zi will
go bad on us,? Peschel said recently.
Albert Zink, head of Bolzano?s insti-
tute for mummy research, who has spent
considerable time examining 謙zi, says
scientists are in a dilemma. They want
to carry out far more research but also
to keep 謙zi accessible to the public ?
without irreparably damaging one of the
greatest archaeological ?nds. ?We are far
from being ?nished with him,? said the
anthropologist.
Extraordinary detail about 謙zi has
been revealed over the past quarter of a
century by researchers. They have established everything from 謙zi?s eye colour
(brown) to the fact that he would have
been around 45 when he died on a spring
day (after analysis of the pollen found in
his stomach).
Not only was he lactose intolerant,
but he had calci?ed arteries, whipworm
eggs in his intestines, and ?eas, as well
as tooth decay, inflamed gums, Lyme
disease, gallstones and probably suffered
from backache. And the fatal arrow that
hit his shoulder was fired from a distance of around 30 metres.
There is still a long list of researchers waiting to carry out experiments
on samples of the corpse ? one has even
requested tissue samples to establish
whether 謙zi experimented with natural hallucinators. But many requests
are declined, especially from people ?
mainly from the US ? trying to compare
their DNA with that of 謙zi.
Vaquita porpoise facing extinction after � captive breeding plan abandoned
by Robin McKie
Science Editor
A last-ditch attempt to save the world?s
most endangered marine mammal, the
vaquita, by taking them into human
care has been abandoned. The chances
that this rare species of porpoise will
become extinct are now extremely
high, researchers have warned.
They had hoped to catch a few of
the planet?s last 30 vaquitas ? which
are only found in one small area of the
Gulf of California ? and protect them
in a sanctuary where they could breed
safely. But last month, the $4m (�)
rescue plan by an international team
of more than 60 scientists and divers
ran into trouble after only a few days,
when the ?rst vaquita they caught had
to be released when it began to display
dangerous signs of stress.
Shortly after that, a second vaquita
was caught but died a few hours after
capture. The team then decided that
catching any more animals presented
too much risk to the species and
further attempts were suspended.
?This is a very, very serious
setback,? said project scientist Barbara
Taylor, of the US National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration.
?Taking vaquitas into human care
was always an extreme measure, but
it was virtually our only option. Now
even that has gone. The vaquita is now
facing extinction unless illegal ?shing
can be curtailed.?
The vaquita, Phocoena sinus, which
reaches a maximum length of only 5ft,
has suffered a major population crash
A vaquita calf is released into the Gulf of
California, its natural home. Getty
in recent years as a result of illegal
catching of the totoaba ?sh. Flesh from
the totoaba?s swim bladder can fetch
more than �,000 a kilo in China and
this has generated a vast illegal ?shing
industry.
Unfortunately, gill nets designed to
catch totoaba are also the perfect size
for trapping vaquitas, which become
tangled and drown. The Mexican
government has recently tightened
its laws against illegal ?shing but the
rewards for totoaba catches are so high
there has been little respite.
As a result, vaquita numbers
have plummeted from around 600
individuals 20 years ago to a few dozen
today, leaving the animal hovering at
the edge of extinction. ?Our last hope
was that we could capture enough
vaquitas to start a captive breeding
colony and restore numbers,? said
another of the project?s scientist,
Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho, of Mexico?s
National Institute of Ecology and
Climate Change.
?We had no experience in capturing
these animals and it now turns out they
respond badly to being taken in nets
and being kept in captivity. Really we
should have acted a decade ago when
we still had a few hundred vaquitas left
and the loss of one or two would not
have been so critical.?
There is only one hope, said Taylor.
?Saving the vaquita now rests with the
Mexican government, which might
somehow be able to end the illegal
?shing for the totoaba. And that is a
big ask. Otherwise, it is very unlikely
that we are going to have vaquitas in a
couple of years.?
* 03.12.17
In Focus
A fake video from
a British fascist group,
a retweet from the
president ? and
a massive blow to the
?special relationship?
HOW THE ANTI-MUSLIM TWEETS SPREAD
JAYDA
FRANSEN
On Tuesday/
Wednesday,
Fransen
(@JaydaBF)
of the racist
rightwing
political group,
Britain First,
tweets links to
three antiMuslim videos.
Trump?s wild Wednesday began on Twitter at 6.32am. By
the end of the day he had wreaked diplomatic havoc
and rebuked Theresa May. Can anyone get his ?nger
o? the send button? By David Smith in Washington
T
he former reality TV star
Omarosa Manigault, now
a political aide, snapped
pictures of the buffet and
greeted staff serving eggnog.
Sean Hannity, the talk show
host, held court with colleagues from
conservative Fox News. John Kelly,
chief of staff, chatted to journalists and
military veterans in the East Room. A
200lb gingerbread White House, with
20lb of icing, stood beneath a portrait of
Abraham Lincoln. A copy of Dickens?s
A Christmas Carol, which President
Franklin Roosevelt had read to his family, was displayed in the library.
At ?rst glance, Friday?s White
House Christmas reception was not
so different from those of years past.
But something was missing: the host.
Instead of greeting guests and posing for
souvenir pictures like his predecessors,
Donald Trump was upstairs in the
White House residence ? tweeting.
?The media has been speculating that
I ?red Rex Tillerson or that he would
be leaving soon,? he said at 3.12pm,
referring to reports that his secretary
of state would soon be axed. ?FAKE
NEWS!?
Eight minutes later, Trump and
the ?rst lady, Melania, descended
the red-carpeted staircase ? passing
Roosevelt?s portrait along the way ? to
the grand foyer of the White House,
where a marine band played amid
snowy trees adorned with miniature
crystal nutcrackers. The president
made brief remarks to ?my friends in
the media? and shook a few hands, but
left after ?ve minutes.
It was a good way to avoid some
awkward questions. That morning,
Trump?s former national security
adviser, Michael Flynn, had pleaded
guilty to lying to the FBI about his
contacts with Russian officials. The
previous day, there had been the
reports about Tillerson?s expected
demise. And prior to that, Trump
had delivered one of his wackiest
speeches yet (?I will tell you this in
a non-braggadocious way. There has
never been a 10-month president
that has accomplished what we have
accomplished?) while pushing a major
tax overhaul and used a ceremony
honouring native American war
heroes to mock a senator with the
nickname ?Pocahontas?.
?Something is unleashed with him
lately,? Maggie Haberman, White
House correspondent of the New York
Times, told CNN. ?I don?t know what is
causing it. I don?t know how to describe
it. I think the last couple of days? tweets
have been markedly accelerated in
terms of seeming a little unmoored.?
Haberman, who has known Trump
for years, added: ?People are constantly
saying, ?Don?t do things?. He?s also a
grown man. He?s the president. They
can?t handcuff him. They can?t break
his ?ngers to keep him from tweeting.
They do tell him: ?Please don?t do this.?
He does these things anyways.?
The tweetstorms ? that unrivalled
glimpse into Trump?s id ? raged
with particular violence last week,
triggering one of the worst diplomatic
ruptures with the UK since British
?He?s used social
media to detach facts
from truth and make
himself the arbiter of
what?s important?
Gwenda Blair, Trump biographer
troops torched the White House in
1814. It started when Trump shared
three anti-Muslim videos posted by
Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the
far-right group Britain First. Theresa
May?s office said he was wrong to do
so. Then Trump ?red back: ?Theresa
@theresamay, don?t focus on me, focus
on the destructive Radical Islamic
Terrorism that is taking place within
the United Kingdom. We are doing
just�ne!?
In fact the @theresamay belonged
to a different woman; Trump quickly
realised his mistake and corrected it to
@Theresa_May. The prime minister
stuck to her guns and reiterated that
Trump had been wrong to retweet
the incendiary and unveri?ed videos.
She was joined by the Labour leader,
Jeremy Corbyn, the archbishop of
Canterbury, the (Muslim) mayor of
London, Sadiq Khan and even Trump
cheerleaders Piers Morgan and Nigel
Farage. Yet the White House defended
Trump and the press secretary, Sarah
Sanders, saying she had come down
with a throat infection, ignored
shouted questions from British
reporters as she wound up a brie?ng.
As Prince Harry and Meghan
Markle were planning an AngloAmerican union, it seemed the
special relationship was heading for
divorce. There were demands for
May to withdraw the offer of a state
visit she had rashly made to Trump
when, hastening to Washington in
January, she became the ?rst foreign
leader to meet the new president. A
source close to the president told the
Observer he still intended to visit but
his next overseas trip would be to Latin
America in April and it would certainly
not be before then. The source said
Trump had spoken to May after recent
terrorist attacks and described their
relationship as positive.
The extraordinary spat refocused
attention on Trump?s Twitter habit and
its potential to wreak diplomatic havoc.
It is true that, long after the fact, letters
and telegrams revealed tensions in the
relationship between wartime leaders
Winston Churchill and Roosevelt,
and recordings demonstrated how
Ronald Reagan apologised to Margaret
Thatcher for invading the former
British colony of Grenada without her
approval. But Trump?s Twitter barbs
take place in real time and on full public
display. They forced May to respond
with sharp words and, some fear, they
could one day goad North Korea?s Kim
Jong-un to respond with a nuclear
missile.
Sir Christopher Meyer, a former
British ambassador to the US, said:
?I?ve never heard a British prime
minister have to publicly rebuke an
American president. John Major was
furious when Bill Clinton granted
[Sinn F閕n leader] Gerry Adams a visa
but he did not go public with it. I ?nd
that striking.?
There had been numerous
disagreements between the US and
Britain, Meyer noted, including ones
over the Suez Crisis and the prime
minister Harold Wilson?s refusal to
send troops to Vietnam. ?We?ve had
passages of disagreement but most of
it has been beneath the surface and
private. This is all in public and that?s
unprecedented.?
Thomas Countryman, a US diplomat
for 35 years, said: ?The UK and the US
have had disputes in the past, but I am
not sure I have ever seen such a sharp
dispute over such a non-substantive
issue and it cannot possibly help the
special relationship.?
Trump joined Twitter in March
2009, when it was three years old.
He has since posted 36,500 tweets
(not all written by him) and has 43.8
million followers (Katy Perry has 107
million; Barack Obama 97.4 million).
He is following 45 accounts comprising
mainly his family, White House staff,
his golf clubs, Fox News journalists ?
and Morgan. He weaponised tweeting
during the bitter election campaign
and has carried on using it divisively
as president. In January the New
York Times observed: ?While that
habit generated conversation and
consternation when Mr Trump was a
candidate, he now serves as commander
in chief and his 140-character
pronouncements carry the power of an
Olympian lightning bolt.?
Trump?s ?rst tweet, in May 2009,
promoted a forthcoming appearance
on a late night TV show. It was the
work of Peter Costanzo, who worked in
marketing for the publisher of Trump?s
book Think Like a Champion and was
thinking of new ways to promote it.
He spotted that there was an
imposter already using Trump?s
name on Facebook and Twitter. He
contacted Facebook and got the
200,000 followers transferred to a new,
authentic Facebook account.
Costanzo went to Trump Tower in
New York to propose a new Twitter
identity for the billionaire businessman
and host of The Apprentice. ?I said, let?s
call it ?@realDonaldTrump?. He really
seemed to like the idea. He liked the
sound of it. I set up the account and
uploaded the photo you still see today.
I started tweeting benignly. It got
followers very quickly.?
Costanzo ran the account for about
eight months . He has since watched
@realDonaldTrump ?take on a life of
its own?. Asked if he had inadvertently
created a Frankenstein?s monster,
Costanzo replied: ?Whatever way
Donald Trump has chosen to use
Twitter is obviously his responsibility.
It?s proven to be his number one
choice for communicating the
topics on his mind. I recognise that I
started something but one can?t make
predictions what way it?s going to go.
It?s been a wild ride.?
On his wild Wednesday, Trump
began tweeting at 6.32am with a
familiar plug for the Fox News show
Fox and Friends, which he watches
in the residence. The ?rst retweet
of Britain First ? ?VIDEO: Muslim
migrant beats up Dutch boy on
crutches!? ? followed minutes later,
eventually earning a correction from
the Dutch embassy, which noted
the perpetrator was not a migrant.
Idiosyncratic tweets followed
throughout the day as Trump travelled
to Missouri ? he is known to tweet
from cars and planes ? then the swipe
at May arrived at 8.02pm. He rounded
off the day with another old trope, a dig
at Barack Obama, at 9.23pm.
03.12.17
| 27
*
JEZ HE CAN
CONQUER TV?
The playwright Jez
Butterworth talks about
his series Britannia 29
THERESA MAY
The prime minister, on a visit
to the Middle
East, rebukes
Trump, telling
reporters in
Jordan: ?I am
very clear that
retweeting
from Britain
First was the
wrong thing
to do.?
THE WRONG
THERESA MAY
Trump hits back,
but tweets the
wrong
Theresa May:
@theresamay
is not the British
prime minister:
she is Theresa
May Scrivener,
from Bognor
Regis? Twenty
e
minutes later, he
reaches the rightt
woman.
DONALD
TRUMP
ANN COULTER
The rightwing
American
commentator
(@AnnCoulter)
retweets one
of the three
videos, ?Muslim
migrant beats
up Dutch boy
on crutches!?
The president
(@realDonaldTrump), who
follows only
45 people on
Twitter, including Ann Coulter, retweets
Coulter?s
retweets of the
three videos,
triggering outrage in Britain.
WHITE HOUSE
Sarah Sanders
press secretary, says
of Trump?s
retweets:
?What he?s
done is elevate
the conversation to talk
about a real
issue and a real
threat? and
that?s extreme
terrorism.?
Costanzo, who now produces and
markets books for the Associated Press,
added: ?This is the point of Twitter: the
immediacy. You can get something out
there whenever you want. It bypasses
traditional media channels and allows
people to share whatever they share.?
But even some of Trump?s
con?dants believe he went too far with
the in?ammatory Britain First tweets.
Christopher Ruddy, chief executive
of Newsmax Media, who spent part
of Thanksgiving weekend with the
president at his Mar-a-Lago club in
Florida, said: ?I think it was mistake to
send out the anti-Muslim videos. I have
personally and publicly encouraged
him to do a review process. I think the
tweets are hurting him in the polls.?
Ruddy?s pleas have fallen on deaf
ears so far. ?I think he feels cornered
by the media and this is his outlet,?
he said. ?His attack on Theresa May
was pretty gentle, pretty mild when
compared to others.?
Not every tweet is Trump?s own
work. Kelly takes little interest but the
White House?s director of social media,
Dan Scavino, has a hand in some. The
men ?rst met when Scavino caddied
for Trump at a golf club in Westchester,
New York. The Politico website
reported: ?He has said that he often
taps out tweets for the president?s
account as Trump dictates them and
he has a knack for mimicking his boss
on Twitter. ?Scavino channels Trump,
not the other way around,? said a senior
White House aide.??
Trump?s unapologetic embrace
of Twitter makes perfect sense to
his biographer, Gwenda Blair. ?He?s
a salesman and a salesman?s No 1
technique is to keep the attention on
him and frame what the conversation
is and control what is being discussed,?
she said. ?Twitter is perfect: it allows
him to get out ahead of the news
agenda.?
The speed of Twitter enabled Trump
to outrun fact-checkers, she said.
?There?s often speculation that various
officials at the White House have tried
to rein him in and calm him down, get
his ?nger off the send button. Perhaps.
I think that?s in part wishful thinking
because it?s like his magic wand. Why
would they want to take it away? He?s
used it to undermine the media, detach
facts from truth, makes himself the
arbiter of what?s important and cement
that ?politics of grievance? bond.?
Under any other president, the clash
with Britain would have dominated
the week; in Trump?s world, it was
quickly buried under an avalanche
of fresh dramas. Joe Scarborough,
a former Republican congressman
turned TV host, suggested that the
president is now ?completely detached
from reality?. He said on the MSNBC
channel: ?You have somebody inside
the White House that the New York
Daily News says is mentally un?t. That
people close to him say is mentally
un?t, that people close to him during
the campaign told me had early stages
of dementia.?
But another explanation for the
president?s boisterous behaviour,
seemingly emboldened regardless of
consequences, may have been that
he sensed a legislative victory ?nally
in his grasp. In the early hours of
yesterday, Senate Republicans passed
a $1.5 trillion tax bill that would
deliver massive gains to corporate
America and the wealthy. True to form,
Trump responded on Twitter: ?Look
forward to signing a ?nal bill before
Christmas!? The message was posted
at 2.49am.
Britain First: ?an extremist, heavy-drinking
rabble that plots anti-Muslim violence?
The former boyfriend of
Jayda Fransen explains to
Mark Townsend why he left
the feuding far-right group
B
ritain First may have been thrust
into the epicentre of global politics by Donald Trump, but those
familiar with the inner workings
of the far-right political group portray a
factionalised rabble, riven by jealously
and petty in?ghting.
People who have mixed with the
group?s senior echelons also describe
mammoth drinking sessions, threats of
violence and boasts of inciting con?ict
with Britain?s Muslim community.
Speaking publicly for the ?rst time,
Graham Morris, a former boyfriend
of Britain First?s deputy leader, Jayda
Fransen ? whose anti-Muslim videos
were retweeted by Trump last week
? said he had left the group because
it ?was out of control? and some
members advocated violence.
Morris revealed tensions between
the group?s leader, Paul Golding, 35,
whom he described as a ?narcissist?
and who was extremely jealous of
his relationship with Fransen, 31.
Morris, 54, who lives near Hinckley,
Leicestershire, and left Britain First
several months ago, also revealed
how members would plot large-scale
anti-Muslim attacks, describing one
such plan hatched after a Britain First
demonstration in Birmingham in June.
?They were talking about damaging
mosques up and down the country,
targeting them at the same time. I?ve
got a young child, I didn?t want to be
part of any mosque attacks,? he said.
He also described how the group?s
security guards would be told to ?kick
people?s doors in?, and that despite
the group claiming officially to reject
?racial hatred in all forms? some
members were openly racist.
Experts who have followed the rise
of Britain First insist that President
Trump?s extraordinary intervention
will ultimately fail to have an electoral
impact. Despite having 1.9m Facebook
likes and 27,000 Twitter followers,
the group is believed to have attracted
fewer than 1,000 members.
Matthew Collins, of the anti-fascist
group Hope Not Hate, said: ?It has
internal difficulties and ongoing
legal cases that have very little to do
with politics and more to do with the
culture of the party, which is one of
jealousy, drinking and intimidation.
There?ll be no political gain and they
won?t be standing in more elections,
they?ll just intimidate more people and
beg for more money.?
Collins said that, despite last
week?s massive publicity, the party
was unlikely to avert what he called a
gradual decline.
?The nature of Britain First is that
during the last six to 12 months it
has become more and more extreme,
returning to its British National party
roots and the relationship between
its senior members is unlikely to
be爎epaired.?
Morris, who said he became
involved with Britain First earlier
this year because of his concerns over
sharia law, said he quickly became
disillusioned with its racist and
violent tendencies. On Friday Fransen
threatened New York Times reporters
who sought to interview her with
?home visits of their own?.
Morris?s misgivings ?rst began
during the Britain First protest in
Birmingham in June when Fransen
invited his 10-year-old son on to
the爏tage.
?She was asking me to bring my son
to the demonstration and then she took
him on stage, then there was a picture
of my son on stage, used in a publicity
stunt, like some sort of poster boy. I
wasn?t very happy with that and we
started falling out,? added Morris, who
said that he had contacted the police
regarding harassment since he had left
the group.
IN COMMENT
When crude tweets set the global agenda
we are surely in a new age of politics
Kenan Malik, page 33
US and UK interests are now highly
divergent. Forget the ?special relationship?
Observer Comment, page 34
Trump?s contempt illuminates Britain?s
fragile place in the world
Andrew Rawnsley, page 35
28 | IN FOCUS
*
Transport
03.12.17
?After seven goes, I get a bike.? Is our
cycle sharing on a road to nowhere?
In theory, more than
3,000 bikes are
available in London
under three separate
hiring schemes. So
how easy is it for
Rebecca Nicholson
to get home?
U
sing my phone as a divining rod, I walked towards
a bouncing yellow dot and
turned down a quiet side
street. The road came to a
dead end, but tucked away
in the corner I found an alleyway. At the
end of the alleyway, it split into another
alleyway, where I came face to face
with a stocky bull terrier, sitting alone,
whose expression seemed to calmly
say, ?Turn back now, and nobody will
get hurt.? I did a quiet runner. My ?rst
attempt to track down a dockless bike
in London was not going well.
This year, four dockless bike hire
schemes have appeared in the capital,
following similar launches in cities
including Bristol, Manchester, Oxford
and Cambridge. In London, three are
still in operation and, while it is tricky
to con?rm an exact number, there
are estimated to be more than 3,000
dockless bikes on the streets. Urbo
has acid green and silver bikes in the
borough of Waltham Forest; the neon
orange Mobikes started out with a trial
in Ealing and has just expanded to
Islington; Ofo, notable for its New York
cab-yellow frames, expanded from its
Hackney base in September. OBike,
the ?rst company to launch in London
last July, is on a temporary hiatus while
it irons out some kinks with the local
authorities. (In August, Wandsworth
council gloatingly tweeted a picture of
all the oBikes it had impounded.)
I use my own bike in London for
the most part, but when I lock it up
I inevitably steel myself for it not to
be there when I get back (more than
2,000 bikes were reported stolen in
London in September alone). The
Santander bikes of Transport for
London (TfL) are handy for shorter,
unexpected journeys ? but at �for 30
minutes they are now more expensive
than a bus and it can be hard to ?nd a
free dock.
So the concept of a cheaper, dockless
bike is promising and the next few
months should give some indication
as to whether such schemes can work
on the mean roads of London, where
cycling can resemble a Hunger Games
on wheels.
In theory, you can pick up a bike as
easily as you would order a cab or a
takeaway, then drop it off at the end of
your journey, wherever that may be.
Because of their convenience and cost
? for 30 minutes, you?ll pay a quarter
of what you would pay for the dockedbike Santander scheme ? the idea is
that London could become a haven of
sustainable, eco-friendly transport.
When the mayor, Sadiq Khan,
announced the arrival of a new ?eet
of upgraded Santander cycles in
October, he expressed his continuing
support for cycling in the city. ?Tens of
thousands of Londoners and tourists
enjoy using the bikes to get around
every single day, so by making them
more comfortable and manoeuvrable
we?re hoping they?ll be even more
popular. That?s good for our health, our
air quality and for tackling congestion.?
I love health, air quality and tackling
congestion, so I thought I?d try to get
an Ofo home from lunch, since its app
showed a couple of bikes close to where
I had been in north London. That is
when I met the canine guardian. But
the lack of a bike where promised
had a strange effect. I suddenly felt
determined to ?nd one, as if it was
the summer of 2016 and the app was
Pok閙on Go.
Rebecca Nicholson finally takes to the road on a dockless Mobike in Islington, north London, before ditching it outside Tesco. Photograph by Andy Hall for the Observer
Thousands of discarded bicycles have
been left on the streets of Nanjing,
China, after bike share company Bluegogo
went bankrupt. Rex
The ?rst lesson in
?nding a dockless
bike seems to be if the
map doesn?t show it
on a road, it?s probably
in someone?s shed
I got a bus to where the next bike
was marked, which brought me to
the front of a big, locked, gated garage
underneath a block of ?ats. I started
to feel as if Ofo was a creepy old troll
beckoning me to follow him under
a bridge, and it seemed increasingly
gung-ho to wave my phone around,
looking confused, when commonsense
says keep it in your pocket unless you
want it to get swiped by a kid on a
passing moped. I kept going, got to a
third bike, felt as if I had found Pikachu,
quickly discovered it was faulty and
would not budge, was charged anyway,
then got the bus home, 90 minutes after
I had set off.
Eventually I started to learn the
ropes, and the ?rst crucial lesson
seemed to be that if the map doesn?t
show it on a road, it is probably in
someone?s shed, or, as I tried to ?nd my
?fth bike, having walked past rows and
rows of now beautiful-looking docks,
in a locked office car park, just waiting
for the person who originally hired it to
ride home.
These ?rst few attempts were
disheartening and made it seem as if
we are simply incapable of sharing.
Haroon Khan is the head of oBikes in
the UK, and says he does not believe
that is the case.
?I honestly think people can share.
There was a lot of scepticism when
Airbnb happened ? Are people going
to want to rent their homes out?
Will people trash them? ? But we
don?t really see that happening,? he
says, pointing to the scale of Airbnb
compared with the number of
complaints. He is hoping that, after
discussions with local councils and
authorities aimed at agreeing a code of
conduct, oBikes will return to London
early next year.
One of the incentives aimed at
getting people to play nicely with
bikes is a points system ? park in a
designated area and you gain points,
park it outside one and you lose them.
Lose enough points and you will be
barred from access. But learning to
share is a complicated business.
Birgitta Gatersleben, a reader in
environmental psychology at the
University of Surrey, suggests there
could be lessons to learn from an
American study of towel re-use in
hotels. ?They found that towel re-use
signi?cantly increased when the
normal towel re-use message (save
water and energy) included a line
stating that most of the guests who had
stayed in that room re-used their towel.
We are very social beings, so knowing
what other people do and think can
have quite an impact on us.?
My second day searching for dockless
bikes was more promising. Urbo
is already established in Waltham
Forest and it seems to lack some of the
problems of its competitors. I found
the bikes easily, because it is strongly
suggested that you leave them in a
designated parking zone. And yet
something about these marked-off
spaces seemed familiar. They were,
essentially, docks.
If I wanted more freedom I would
need to ?nd an Ofo or a Mobike. I
pinched and zoomed the map to ?nd
an area where Ofos were dense, and
hit upon Islington, London?s dockless
bike nirvana. The place was teeming
with them. I tried a Mobike ? easy to
ride, but the lack of gears made it a
real grind to get up a hill of any size, so
halfway up a particularly steep incline
I ditched it outside Tesco.
Then, ?nally, an Ofo, the seventh I
had tried to get hold of. It made up for
its earlier coquettishness by being a
relatively sturdy if inelegant ride, with
three gears making the hills slightly
easier. Still, riding one feels as if you
are being wheeled around a car park
in a shopping trolley; they are built for
brevity, not endurance.
Dockless bikes have been a bumpy
addition to many cities. In China,
Bluegogo, the third biggest bike share
company (after Ofo and Mobike,
also Chinese-owned) has just gone
bankrupt and there are stunning
photographs of its remains: thousands
of discarded bikes in eerie piles. In
Australia, authorities in Sydney and
Melbourne have cracked down on the
?urban clutter? of dockless bikes, and
there have been complaints in various
US cities, from Washington to Seattle,
about clutter and vandalism.
Haroon Khan says that one of the
lessons learned by oBike, from both its
London problems and its success in
Oxford, where it launched in October
after a six-week trial, is to have enough
people on the ground managing the
?eet. ?The key to a good model is to
make sure you have a good rebalancing
and redistribution scheme throughout
the day,? he says.
Could these bikeshare schemes
ultimately threaten the Santander
cycles? Michael Hurwitz, Director of
Transport Innovation at TfL, isn?t too
worried, and points out that they?ve
just had their best November ? with
791,961 hires.
?We are working hard to improve
opportunities for cycling across
London and welcome new ideas that
have the potential to make cycling
easier and more accessible,? he says.
?This is particularly the case in
outer London, where there are fewer
cycle hire options available. However,
it is vital that dockless operators
work closely with boroughs and TfL
to ensure the bike hire schemes are
responsibly managed.?
03.12.17
INTERVIEW | 29
*
Kelly Reilly as the Celtic warrior princess Kerra in Britannia. The first television series written by acclaimed playwright Jez Butterworth, it will screen on Sky Atlantic next month. Photograph by Stanislav Honzik/Sky UK
?I?m broadcasting on a frequency some
people won?t get ? I?m ?ne with that?
Jez Butterworth?s TV debut Britannia delves
e
into the mists of Celtic myth. And, the
playwright tells Sarah Hughes, we
shouldn?t expect historical accuracy
J
ez Butterworth is explaining his ideal audience for
his forthcoming television
series Britannia, an epic and
epically strange tale of warring Celtic tribes and Roman
invasion that airs in January. ?Who do I
imagine watching it? I?d like to see sitting on the sofa Nick Cave, John Lydon,
[folk singer and actor] Johnny Flynn,
Polly Harvey, my daughters? ?
Sounds as though it could be a tough
crowd. Butterworth laughs. ?I feel like,
with this show, if you?re into this sort
of thing then you?ll spot it a mile off ?
we?re broadcasting on a frequency that
some people clearly won?t get and I?m
?ne with that. Totally.?
We?re sitting in the study of the
central London home Butterworth
shares with his partner Laura Donnelly
and their baby daughter (his third).
Where the rest of the house is bright
and airy, all white walls, striking
framed images and the standard
detritus ? child car seats, plastic toys,
stray bottles ? that comes with having
a small child in the house, this room is
more of a hideaway, dark, cosy, ?lled
with plants and pictures of everything
from Bob Dylan to Roman busts.
The overall effect is both warm and
occasionally disconcerting, much like
Butterworth himself.
A bear of a man with a salt-andpepper beard and a relaxed, slightly
dishevelled demeanour, Butterworth
comes across as the sort of person who
would be wonderful to share a drink
with ? this should be no surprise, as he
admits that his ?fth play, the acclaimed
Jerusalem ?couldn?t have been written
if I didn?t know ?rst-hand what it
felt like to get drunk while enjoying
the day? ? but there?s an interesting
combative streak there too.
At 48 and with seven mostly
critically adored plays, including
his current hit The Ferryman (the
fastest selling play in the Royal Court
Theatre?s history and now performing
to sellout crowds in the West End)
behind him, and a successful side
career as a script doctor in Hollywood,
he knows the value of his writing.
When he says of Britannia ?it?s not that
interesting to me if it gets good reviews
or does well?, you believe him.
Instead, what Butterworth wanted
to do with his ?rst TV series, to be
screened by Sky Atlantic, was to
?try to create something tricksterish
and unreliable that doesn?t wear its
research on its sleeve and is more
interested in character than in
de?nable historical events. I?ve not
watched a ton of telly in the last 10
years, though the shows I did catch ?
Deadwood, The Wire, most of The West
Wing ? I?ve really enjoyed.?
Whether it?s the minimal
television habit or Butterworth?s own
varied obsessions, or, most likely, a
combination of the two, Britannia ?
co-written with his eldest brother,
Tom ? is de?antly unlike other
historical dramas. Forget early and
inevitable comparisons to Game of
Thrones (another show Butterworth
has never seen: ?I?d probably get into
it if I did watch it, but I wouldn?t
want to write it?) this is a mad and
brilliant witch?s brew of a series, more
Withnail & I than I, Claudius, in which
gods and demons could be real, the
hallucinogen-swallowing druids led
by a cadaverous Mackenzie Crook
might have genuine powers, and Zo�
Wanamaker?s feather-cloaked warrior
queen appears to have wandered in
from the nearest Thunderdome.
Butterworth is cheerfully
unrepentant about the fact it will
almost certainly enrage sticklers for
accuracy. ?I actually hope it does?
My attitude is I came at it as honestly
as I possibly could and if that works,
great, and if it doesn?t then I?m not
that燽othered.?
He is similarly pugnacious
about criticisms of The Ferryman,
including a detailed takedown in this
newspaper accusing Butterworth
of ?paddywhackery? and ?cultural
stereotyping?. ?I feel like there?s no
story in ?Englishman writes brilliantly
authentic Irish play? but there?s an
instant story to he?s fucked up,? he says.
Butterworth sits forward in his
chair. ?It does just feel frustrating to be
called offside for a lack of authenticity.
My ?rst play, Mojo, was set in 1958 in
Soho, another place I didn?t grow up
in; Jerusalem is about a place I spent 12
months in; I?ve written 10 ?lms in the
American vernacular. So, you know,
it?s something I?ve attempted many
GREATEST HITS
Mojo (1995)
The play that made Butterworth?s name,
a raucous take on Soho gangsters in the
1950s that won that year?s Lawrence
Olivier award for best new comedy.
Jerusalem (2009)
His masterpiece, a glorious cacophony
of language, symbolism and imagery that
nods to William Blake in its celebration
of all that is wild and magical and mad
about England.
The River (2012)
Described in the Guardian as
?strange, eerie, tense and,
on a single viewing, slightly
unfathomable?, Butterworth?s
follow-up to Jerusalem was an
intimate chamber piece.
The Ferryman (2017)
An intense tale of betrayals
and lies set in Northern
Ireland during the
Troubles, it is
now playing to
rapt audiences
in the West
End.
times and I feel like the idea that I am
English and therefore shouldn?t write
a play on this subject is a problem.?
There?s a pause, then he laughs, almost
at himself, then continues. ?You
know, what?s really interesting is that
19 of the 23 actors in The Ferryman
come from Northern Ireland and
so in rehearsal we had something
almost like a knife amnesty where we
asked is there anything in this you?re
uncomfortable with or that doesn?t
feel authentic, and those answers
sharpened the play in certain areas.
?But what I also found was that
everyone had different experiences
and if something didn?t correlate
with their particular Northern Irish
experience then it was considered
to be bogus, and that?s just not the
case. You can tell so many different
stories about so many different
families around where I grew up and
I wouldn?t call someone or something
offside just because their story didn?t
directly correlate to my own.?
Donnelly, who is from Northern
Ireland, plays Caitlin in The Ferryman.
She and Butterworth met during the
staging of The River, his sixth play,
and Donnelly, who also has a part in
Britannia, is clearly a huge source of
inspiration. It was her story of an uncle,
Eugene Simons, who became one of
the ?disappeared? that sparked The
Ferryman and he rhapsodises about
working with her.
?She?s got something as an actor that
I ?nd absolutely fascinating. I think it?s
to do with dignity,? he says. ?To start
with I just wanted to go out
with her and I didn?t have
any big plans beyond that, so
working together has been
fantastic fun. It means that
we?ve got something at the
end of this in common and
I?ve not had that experience
before [Butterworth?s former
wife, Gilly Richardson, was
a ?lm editor] because
Jez Butterworth:
?It feels frustrating
to be called offside
for a lack of
authenticity.?
I?m here looking after our baby and she
comes home from work and the work
she?s coming home from is the play I?ve
written.?
Butterworth has a few ideas
percolating for a new play but it?s at
an early stage. ?If all goes well I?ll have
something out and on the table that
I can look at before long. I wish they
came along more often, you know ? but
they don?t.?
And sometimes the themes return
when he least expects them too. After
Jerusalem, for example, he thought
he had said everything he could about
this rainy island. ?The 15 years leading
up to writing Jerusalem and ?nishing
it in 2009 was like a kind of rolling
experience of feeling this land get
louder and louder in my ears,? he says.
?There was a point where even a
train journey was like a kaleidoscope
of different sensory and recalled
memory experiences coming together
in a way that was both wondrous and
unbearable. Then I ?nished it and in
the aftermath all that just stopped
and I couldn?t see England any more.
I thought that?s it, I?m done with this
subject. I saw Britannia as a story about
the clash between gods, so my whole
plan was to really feed the hunger for
that ? then suddenly it just starts to
come back in with the writing.?
He is already planning the second
series ? ?I?m going to hole up in
Cornwall with Tom and write it? ? but
admits that for all the fun of television
?like drinking from a ?rehose which
keeps coming at you? the plays are the
real outpourings of his hopes, dreams
and fears.
?I can?t hold anything back with the
plays ? I have to drain the well and hope
it re?lls,? he says. ?I do feel they have to
be the distillation of everything that?s
bothering me at the time. I wrote The
River when my sister was dying and I
was getting divorced, there was all kinds
of stuff going on in my life. Jerusalem
was the most spectacular midlife crisis
? it?s like you go through these crises but
at the end of it there?s a play as well. It?s
a bit terrible but there you go. I?m sorry.?
All episodes of Britannia will be
available on 18 January on Sky Atlantic
and the streaming service Now TV
30 | IN FOCUS
*
Society
03.12.17
?The persecution
gay people endure in
Russia is terrible. As
my plane lands, I feel
a rumble of fear...?
Russia is in the midst of an HIV epidemic, with an estimated
.5 million cases. Matt Cain, editor-in-chief of Attitude
magazine, travels to Moscow to see how the LGBT
T
community is battling bigotry and anti-western
feeling to prevent the further spread of the virus
?C
ondoms can?t protect you
from HIV,? says Vladislav
Ivanov, a 34-year-old hotel
worker from Rostov-onDon. He is one of an estimated 1.5 million people
in Russia living with HIV. And because
he is not receiving treatment, he is at a
high risk of passing on the virus.
Does this worry him? ?Yes, but I still
don?t wear condoms because I don?t
like them. Most people in Russia think
condoms can?t protect you from HIV.
People think of them only in terms of
contraception.?
Ivanov?s story is chilling. Diagnosed
HIV positive in March, he says he
was calm when he heard the news as
he was not convinced HIV existed.
Because of this, he had had unprotected sex with a man who had told
him he was HIV positive. ?I didn?t
worry about it because I?d seen a TV
programme that denied the existence
of HIV.?
Ivanov says that since his diagnosis he has spent his time researching
the virus and now feels ?in a state of
confusion?. One thing he is sure of is
the need to hide his HIV status from
society; when his last employer found
out, he lost his job.
According to ?gures just released
by the World Health Organisation and
UNAids, more than 103,000 new cases
of HIV were reported in Russia in 2016,
an increase of 5% over the previous
year, and it is estimated that there are
another 500,000 undiagnosed cases.
Eastern Europe and Central Asia is
the only region in the world where
HIV infections are rising, with Russia
accounting for eight out of every 10
new infections.
I want to ?nd out why. But as a gay
man, I have heard terrible stories about
the persecution gay people endure in
Russia. As my plane lands, I feel a rumble of fear. I am later joined in my hotel
by a group of LGBT activists. Evgeny
Pisemskiy is director of Phoenix Plus,
an HIV charity that is the only Russian
organisation to focus on the needs of
men who have sex with men. Maya
Demidova is a transgender woman
who works for the organisation as a
coordinator for the Moscow region.
And Yury Maximov is our interpreter.
We set off for the Moscow LGBT
centre but on the Metro I notice that
we stand out from everyone and
attract stares. Sometimes these are
looks of disapproval, sometimes even
disgust. A sense of threat hangs in the
air. Demidova tells me that once she
was beaten up on a rush-hour train by
a man who had spotted that she was
trans. I try not to worry but cannot help
feeling afraid when we leave the Metro
and pass a bakery that has a sign saying
?No Faggots Allowed? in the window.
Pisemskiy tells me there are several of
these around the city.
We arrive at the centre, which is in
effect one room in an unmarked residential block in an inconspicuous suburb. I am told its existence is a secret
known only by those who need it.
One of these is Alexander Zhelezkin,
a 30-year-old social worker from a
small village in the Urals. He has been
openly gay since the age of 25. I ask
what reactions he had when he came
out. ?Some people disowned me, some
said they hated me but mostly they
said, ?You?ve chosen a hard life.? My
mum says she hopes I?ll change and
become normal.?
Although Zhelezkin says he is
often verbally insulted because of his
sexuality, he has not encountered any
violence but this might be because
he does not use hook-up apps such as
Grindr. Several of his friends who do
have not been so lucky. ?A lot of my
friends go to meet someone and walk
into a trap. I know one rich guy who
went to a hook-up in an apartment and
there was a mob of 10 people with dogs
who started being violent with him.
He had to give them 50,000 roubles to
get out.?
I remark on how calm he is as he
recounts such horrors. ?It?s because it?s
every day,? he explains. ?It?s usual for
me.? Zhelezkin is HIV negative but is
taking PEP, a course of HIV prevention
drugs that is taken for 30 days after
exposure to risk. He explains that there
is very little information about PEP in
Russia and limited access.
?Once I was arrested
and spent hours in a
police station. I heard
so many insulting
things. The police hate
people like me?
Maya Demidova
PEP is only one of the several tools
being used to combat HIV around
the world. Perhaps the most effective
weapon is the anti-retroviral treatment
given to those diagnosed as positive;
in most cases, this diminishes their
viral load to undetectable levels, which
means it is impossible for them to pass
on the virus. But for this to happen,
?rst they have to get tested.
I meet Alexander Shumilov, from an HIV
support group, La Sky. He tells me that
gay men in Russia are reluctant to be
tested, not only because of the ignorance about HIV but also because of the
huge stigma around the virus. Coupled
with the culture of homophobia, this
acts as a powerful deterrent.
?When a man goes to a clinic to get
tested and is diagnosed HIV positive,
the ?rst person he sees is an epidemiologist who asks him how he contracted
the virus,? says Alexander. If he admits
to having contracted it through sex
with a man, his case is registered under
what is known as a Code 103 ? information that is accessible by the police
and the ministry of internal affairs.
According to official statistics, only
2% of people with HIV in Russia register as Code 103. If we compare these
?gures with others recorded around
the world, the suggestion is that gay
men are not being honest about their
sexuality. Alexander explains that this
only helps perpetuate the problem; if
the government can say so few people
with HIV are men who have sex with
men, they can get away with doing
nothing to help them.
In the meantime, gay men with
HIV continue to go undiagnosed and
untreated. I am told stories of people falling ill in a way that no longer
happens in the west. According to the
latest ?gures from WHO and UNAids,
between January and June this year,
14,631 Aids deaths were recorded in
Russia, a 13.5% increase over the previous six months.
Evegeny
Pisemskiy set
up Phoenix Plus
in 2006 to help
gay men who
are HIV positive.
Photographs by
Irina Minina/
Attitude
That evening, the activists take me out
on to the gay scene. I am nervous as
everyone has told me there is no such
thing as a safe space for gay people
in Russia. I have heard stories about
people being attacked or robbed as they
leave gay venues, and have even heard
about grenades being thrown through
the window of a club in St Petersburg.
But as so few of those affected are
willing to go to the police there are no
official statistics to re?ect the problem.
Demidova tells me that she was
raped by a stranger she met in a club,
who she believes spiked her drink. I
ask if she reported the incident to the
police and she scoffs: ?Are you kidding?
If I went to the police station they?d
laugh in my face and they wouldn?t
do anything. Once I was arrested and
spent a few hours in a police station
and I heard so many insulting things
about transgender people. The police
hate people like me.?
Her story preys on my mind as I
visit the stylish Mono Bar and the busy
Central Station club. Inside they look
like any other European gay venues,
but the difference is they are hidden
away like a dirty secret. Their exteriors are not draped with rainbow ?ags
and to enter you have to pass through
heavy, unmarked doors and an airportstyle security check. It is hard to relax.
I have no idea how much danger I am
in but I do not stay late.
The next day I interview Pisemskiy.
He set up Phoenix Plus in 2006 to
help men who have sex with men who
are HIV positive by arranging peerto-peer support, distributing lea?ets
with information about anti-retroviral
therapy and running the oldest website
in Russia devoted to HIV. The organisation is supported by the Elton John
Aids Foundation, which cannot have
its own direct presence in Russia. ?Any
work the foundation did directly would
be interpreted as trying to destroy our
own institutions,? says Pisemskiy. ?In
Russia, HIV infection and HIV are seen
as western imports and diseases.?
One of Phoenix Plus?s priorities is
distributing self-testing kits to men
who are too nervous to be tested for
HIV in a clinic. I spend a day accompanying the group?s staff as they
distribute the kits. I go with them to
one of the few pharmacies willing to
take part in the programme, where
our interpreter shows me how simple
it is to collect a pack. We move on to
a cruising ground in Chinatown Park,
where men sit on benches and pick up
other men to take home for anonymous
sex. It is cold and depressing and the
men approached do not want to engage
in conversation about testing for HIV.
This is a place of deep shame.
Instead, we go to Voda, a gay sauna
where men meet for casual sexual
encounters. I discover Voda is like any
western sauna, with a steam room,
sauna and Jacuzzi as well as a labyrinth
of private cubicles. But there is one
major difference; unlike in most western saunas, condoms and lubricant
are not handed out on entry. In fact, I
cannot see them anywhere.
I accompany Ilya, a 21-year-old
Phoenix Plus volunteer, as he circulates the bar area engaging men in
conversation and offering them HIV
self-testing kits. He is adept at breaking through their resistance but I am
shocked at how many initially refuse
to take a test as they believe HIV does
not exist, with many of them calling it a
03.12.17
VIEWPOINT | 31
*
The digital hippies want
to integrate life and work
? but not in a good way
Data ?rms are moving into
real estate and hope to blur
the line between home and
e
o?ce. That won?t be
ys
any help to sta?, says
Evgeny Morozov
T
Transgender
activist Maya
Demidova, left;
and, above,
police push
away gay pride
marchers to
prevent a clash
with protesters
in St Petersburg
in 2013.
Photograph
by Anatoly
Maltsev/Epa
conspiracy of western drug companies.
To ?nd out why there is so much
misunderstanding around HIV, I chat
to Boris Konakov, 29, a former journalist who was born in western Siberia.
He came out as gay and HIV positive
on World Aids Day in 2016. Since then,
he has not been able to secure work.
He tells me there is no gay press in
Russia, very little representation of
gay people in the mainstream media
and President Vladimir Putin?s gay
propaganda law of 2013 has forbidden journalists from doing anything to
?promote? homosexuality.
?We need friendly journalists to
get material out there,? he says, ?but
they?re afraid to write about gay issues.
The problem is that the law is so vague
that you could be accused of violating it
just by giving information. It promotes
complete silence on this issue.?
Because of this, Konakov believes
the HIV epidemic among gay men
remains invisible. His use of the word
reminds me of something Pisemskiy
said earlier that day: ?To halt the epidemic in Russia, doctors say we need
drugs, treatment and condoms, but I
say these aren?t the main things. We
can stop the epidemic only when we
eradicate stigma around gay people.?
As I approach the end of my trip, it
strikes me how simple it is; we already
have the tools to eradicate HIV but
they amount to nothing in the face of
moral prejudice. If we can eradicate
homophobia, we can eradicate HIV
among gay men. If we can wipe out
the stigma around HIV in general, we
have the chance of wiping out the virus
completely. I only hope that one day
this message gets through in Russia.
This is an edited extract of an article to
be published in Attitude on 7 December
he digital turn of contemporary capitalism,
with its promise of instantaneous, constant
communication, has done little to rid us of
alienation. Our interlocutors are many, our
entertainment is in?nite, our pornography loads
fast and arrives in high-de?nition ? and yet our
yearnings for authenticity and belonging, however
misguided, do not seem to subside.
Beyond the easy ?xes to our alienation ? more
Buddhism, mindfulness and internet detox camps
? those in the digital avant-garde of capitalism
have toyed with two solutions. Let?s call them
the John Ruskin option and the De Tocqueville
option. The former extended the philosophy of
the Arts and Crafts movement, with its celebration
of craftsmanship and romantic, artisanal labour
by Ruskin, William Morris and their associates,
into the realm of 3D printers, laser cutters and
computerised milling machines.
Makerspaces and fablabs were to be a refuge
from the office, with workers ?nally seizing the
means of production. ?There is something unique
about making physical things. These things are like
little pieces of us and seem to embody portions of
our souls,? mused Mark Hatch, CEO of TechShop,
a chain of mostly US makerspaces, in The Maker
Movement Manifesto in 2014.
The De Tocqueville option hailed the use of
digital tools to facilitate gatherings in the real world
in order to reverse the trends described by Robert
Putnam in his bestselling Bowling Alone. The idea
was that, thanks to social networks, people would
be able to ?nd like-minded enthusiasts, creating a
vibrant civil society � la De Tocqueville.
Meetup.com, started in the early 2000s to
facilitate ?face to face, peer to peer? meetings,
pioneered the model. ?We subvert hierarchy,? said
its founders, declaring that members of formal
organisations should not need permission to get
together and talk. Inspired by Bowling Alone, their
platform played an important role in mobilising
Howard Dean?s grassroots campaign in the 2004
US presidential elections; it also helped launch the
Five Star Movement in Italy, now a political party
but a decade ago just a crowd of angry citizens in
search for easy tools of social mobilisation.
How did these two options fare? The John
Ruskin option has faced a major challenge
today, the distinction between artisanship and
gentri?cation is blurry. Makerspaces had their
reinvigorating uses for cognitive workers who were
exhausted by mind-numbing office jobs but they
also angered those not lucky enough to have mindnumbing office jobs in the ?rst place.
Look at La Casemate, a fablab in Grenoble
in France, which was vandalised and burnt on
last month. Anarchists claimed responsibility
and issued a statement, decrying city managers
who cared only about attracting ?money-hungry
startups? and geeks. The maker revolution
predicted by Hatch is already devouring its own
children: on 15 November, Techshop ?led for
bankruptcy.
What then of the De Tocqueville option? Here, it
is more complex. At the end of November, Meetup.
com was acquired by WeWork, a $20bn startup
that blends big data and real estate to offer (in
its own words) ?space as a service? ? the latest
variation on ?software as a service?, the staple of
the modern technology industry.
Boasting investors from Goldman Sachs to
Japan?s SoftBank ? in August, it poured in $4.4bn
? WeWork is more than a network of 170 buildings
across 56 cities in 17 countries. Its valuation exceeds
that of the largest publicly traded commercial real
estate company ? Boston Properties ? and is several
times higher than that of real estate groups with far
greater square footage under management.
WeWork?s pitch is simple: as a technology
company, its main asset is its data, not its properties
and its rapidly expanding size allows it to extract
and analyse data related to their use and under-use
(?buildings are giant computers?, says its blog).
Armed with the data, it can then offer tenants
?exibility on space, furniture and leasing.
Its high valuation assumes that it can dominate
the business of services related to space in general
? for example, by using data to help clients redesign
and manage their own offices. Its bet is that
managing space and real estate will follow the path
of cloud computing and become a service offered by
just a handful of data-intensive platforms.
Buoyed by new cash, WeWork is expanding in
many directions. It has launched living spaces,
where members can rent ?ats above their
workplace. It has launched a wellness centre. It
has acquired a coding school, where its future
members might learn to code. It has announced
an elementary school that will treat students
as ?natural entrepreneurs?, thus allowing their
busy parents to see more of their kids ? at work.
Its main innovation, however, is in branding.
Rare is a Silicon Valley company that does
not claim humanitarian intentions. WeWork,
however, is beyond competition. Its selfproclaimed mission is to ?create a world where
people work to make a life, not just a living ?.
?Our valuation and size today are much more
based on our energy and spirituality than on
a multiple of revenue,? its co-founder, Adam
Neumann, told Forbes. Neumann, who grew
up partly on a kibbutz in Israel, is building
something extraordinary: a hi-tech kibbutz
but without the pesky, socialism-infused
egalitarianism (?We are making a capitalist
kibbutz,? he told the Israeli paper Haaretz).
WeWork?s utopian ambition is to leverage big
data ? not the egalitarianism of the kibbutz ? to
resolve the problems of the workplace and of
modern life alike. Alienation, on this reading, is
not an omnipresent feature of capitalism, but
an easily correctable ? by data of course ? bug.
And what better way to ?x it than by having
the non-working lives of workers dissolve into
their working lives; the data-hungry capitalist
kibbutz will then take care to greet you by name
and wish you a happy birthday.
Eugen Miropolski, a WeWork executive,
says that, whereas in the past, ?the residents
of urban areas were brought together in part
through town halls, gatherings in taverns, cafes
and open spaces to hash out the subjects of
the day,? WeWork aspires to be ?a place where
people can come together, talk, discuss new
ideas, and innovate in a collaborative way?.
WeWork says its mission is ?to create a world
where people work to make a life, not just a living?.
Thus, he concludes, ?real estate is just the
platform for our community?. Everything else,
from kindergartens to yoga salons, arrives on
top, optimised by WeWork?s data geniuses in
what amounts to the 21st-century equivalent
of the company town, albeit with much subtler
forms of social engineering. In WeWork?s
future, the hastily privatised public space is
returned to citizens. However, it comes back
as a commercial service provided by a lavishly
funded data company, not as a right. Meetup?s
civil society will keep on talking, inside
WeWork?s buildings. But the struggle against
alienation will now consist of applying even
more data analytics and nudging to the tortured
souls of overworked cognitive workers, who, in
escaping alienated workplaces in the comfort
of makerspaces and face-to-face meetings, have
discovered that the workplaces have colonised
their non-work lives instead.
The pioneer of scienti?c management,
Frederick Winslow Taylor, had to design
elaborate ways of extracting the knowhow
from factory workers; WeWork relies on
ubiquitous, permanent and mostly invisible
data extractivism that makes no distinction
between work and non-work. While in the late
1960s some leftwing intellectuals warned of
the emergence of the ?social factory?, where
Taylorist production ?rst comes to transform
and dominate the life beyond the factory but
eventually falters as the work becomes cognitive,
the WeWork model points to a different future:
society is brought back inside today?s factory ?
the modern office ? but on terms that reinforce
rather than undermine many elements of the
Taylorist paradigm.
That all of this is couched in the language
of the hippy movement does not make the
underlying processes any less Taylorist. With
the takeover of Meetup by WeWork, the
struggle against alienation, thus, moves into a
new stage: the De Tocqueville option is out, the
Hippy Taylorism option is in.
*
32 | THE OBSERVER PROFILE
03.12.17
Viagra
The little blue pill
that revolutionised
our sex lives
The virility drug, now to be available over the
counter, is a phenomenal success story,
despite being the butt of many jokes. In 25
years, it?s also changed how we talk about
male impotence, writes Andrew Anthony
I
t all began 25 years ago in Britain.
The UK division of the American
pharmaceutical giant P?zer was
running trials on a new drug for
the treatment of angina. It was
called UK-92480 and it wasn?t
pulling up any trees.
But if UK-92480 failed with the
heart, the symbolic home of love, it
made a big impact on another organ,
one with a rather more prosaic association with romance. Male participants
in the trials reported a pronounced
side-effect: erections. A lot of trees, and
other things, were about to be pulled
up.
Six years later, on 27 March
1998, the American Food and Drug
Administration approved the sale of
Viagra and the rest is hysteria. Or at
least it was at ?rst. The drug was a phenomenon. It registered sales of $1bn
in its ?rst year. And it seemed to drive
some people just a little mad.
A chef was arrested in France after
serving his customers a dish entitled
?beef piccata in Viagra sauce with ?g
vinegar and ?ne herbs?. In Taiwan,
a prostitute was arrested for killing a
74-year-old client who forced himself
on her having already had sex once.
And in Israel it was said that four
Viagra pills had gone missing during a
meeting of a ?ve-member science committee in the Knesset.
Until the arrival of Viagra, the treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED)
involved penile pumps or injections,
neither of which, perhaps unsurprisingly, ever captured the male imagination. And probably did little for the
female imagination either.
Now, suddenly, here was a drug for
the problem-solving era, a drug that
?tted the impatient acceleration of
time in the personal computer age, a
drug that, as the joke went, turned your
?oppy disc into a hard drive.
The research that underpinned the
creation of Viagra stemmed from the
work by three American scientists who
would go on to win the Nobel prize for
medicine in, coincidentally enough,
1998, the year of Viagra?s birth. The
scientists discovered that the body
uses nitric oxide to make blood vessels
widen. Sildena?l citrate, the compound
of which Viagra is the trademark, helps
bind nitric oxide to receptors that
enable relaxation of the helicine arteries, which, in turn, increases blood ?ow
into the soft tissue of the penis, and
results ? as long as no one spoils the
mood ? in an erection.
Last week, it was announced that
Britain would become the ?rst country
to make Viagra available over the
counter. The move was initiated by
the Medicines & Healthcare Products
Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the
hope that it would prevent men using
unregulated websites, where drugs for
ED form a large and lucrative black
market.
The legitimate market is already,
as it were, huge and growing.
Prescriptions have trebled over the
past decade to almost 3m. But the
sales of unlicensed ED drugs remain a
pro?table and unscrupulous business:
among the �m worth of counterfeit
Viagra and other similar drugs seized
over the past ?ve years in Britain, some
have been found to contain plaster of
Paris, printer ink and even arsenic.
Two reasons have accounted for
the illegal market. First, the high price
Viagra was originally sold at. That
dropped signi?cantly in 2013, when
P?zer?s 15-year exclusive patent ran
out. The other reason why men have
preferred the sometimes dubious
anonymity of the internet to the prescriptive dependability of a GP is that if
Viagra increases blood ?ow to the very
core of male identity, it?s also a matter
that brings blood to the facial cheeks.
Despite the apparent ubiquity of
the small blue, diamond-shaped pill,
the issue it addresses ? impotency
? remains a subject of no little embarrassment.
And where there is embarrassment,
humour is seldom far behind. When
Viagra launched almost 20 years ago,
some of the ?rst bene?ciaries were
comedians and chatshow hosts. Not
necessarily because they were users of
it, but because it formed the punchline
to so many of their jokes: ?Did you hear
about the ?rst Viagra overdose? A guy
took 12 pills and his wife died.?
B
y all accounts, P?zer was
a little downhearted that
its star turn had become a
laughing matter. After all,
it had used the conservative ?gure of Bob Dole,
former Republican leader of the Senate, to front its very sober advertising
campaign.
But the truth is that while ED
is undoubtedly a serious issue, the
vulnerability of the penis remains an
inescapably comic idea ? manhood
reduced to the unreliable dimensions
of a ?ckle extremity.
Even celebrity endorsements could
not shift the image of Viagra. Hugh
Hefner referred to the drug as ?God?s
little helper?, but then, given that the
dressing-gowned one was dating young
Barbie-style twins at the time, his
approval was never likely to normalise
the drug or render it as unnoteworthy
as, say, aspirin or indigestion tablets.
David Bailey (79) recently said that
he had no problem getting old because
Jack Nicholson had introduced him to
Viagra. Michael Douglas has also lent
his support, calling Viagra a ?wonderful enhancement? that can make us all
feel younger?. Disinterested observers might note that his wife Catherine
Zeta-Jones is 25 years his junior, just
as Bailey?s spouse, Catherine Dyer, is 23
years younger than the photographer.
For all their promotional bene?ts,
such testaments ultimately serve to
highlight an imbalance: namely that a
The ?rst bene?ciaries
were comedians. Not
because they used it
but because it became
the punchline to jokes
much younger female partner necessitates a certain chemical help. And yet
there are reports of young men taking
Viagra to improve sexual performance
or to counteract the effects of overexposure to pornography. In both cases,
it seems that the effects are perhaps
more psychological than physiological.
P?zer has long insisted that the drug
has no effect on those who don?t suffer
from ED, just as taking an aspirin will
have no noticeable effect on someone
without a headache.
Anecdotal evidence contradicts
this view, but P?zer points out the
increased placebo effect of ED drugs.
One executive said that in studies 20%
of the men taking a sugar pill placebo
reported ?rip-snorting erections?. The
mind can play tricks, especially on the
penis, arguably the most gullible part
of a man.
Another aspect of Viagra?s pulsating
success story is its name. Rhyming ?
almost ? with Niagara, it manages to
conjure up an image of something vital
and potent. But originally the brand
name, which came out of P?zer?s
?name bank? (made up of invented
words that have no meaning in any
major language) was assigned to a
drug for shrinking swollen prostate glands. It was only because the
marketing people didn?t like it for that
product that it was returned to the
name bank ready for its adoption by
sildena?l citrate.
Apparently, another option was
?Alond?. A rose by any other name
may smell as sweet, but it?s fair to
say that that rule does not apply to
erectile dysfunction pharmaceutical
THE VIAGRA FILE
Born April 1998 in the US, although
conceived six years earlier in the UK.
Best of times It?s been an almost
unrelenting success story, although the
?rst year stands out for its billion-dollar
arrival - almost unheralded in a new drug.
Worst of times In the early days, 130
people in the US were reported to have
died after taking Viagra. Eventually,
no causal link was found, but the scare
threatened to derail a stunning campaign.
What they say ?People are strange when
it comes to sex.? David Brinkley, former
head of P?zer?s Team Viagra.
What others say ?I like to date a nice range
of women each year, but I only use Viagra
when I am with more than one.?
Jack Nicholson
treatments. Alond is just, well, limp.
However, some names you can?t make
up, and one of them is Ringaskiddy, the
village in County Cork, where Viagra
is produced at the chemical plant.
Nicknamed Viagra Falls, the village is
rumoured to have love, or at least sex,
in the air.
Across the water in Britain, the
quality of aphrodisiacal air is open to
debate, but the distribution of Viagra
users is not. Figures show that men in
Bradford are more likely to be prescribed the drug, or similar alternatives, than are those from anywhere
else in the country. Blackpool comes
second. The lowest prescription rates
are in Richmond and Kingston upon
Thames.
One explanation is a north-south
class divide ? that health accompanies
wealth and the southern middle classes
are in a better physical shape and
therefore less susceptible to the various complaints that cause ED.
Another is that there is a higher
premium on having a good time in the
north and that, as the Royal College
of General Practitioners has found,
an ageing population still expects an
active sex life ? and just possibly the
citizens of Bradford and Backpool are
a little less inhibited about asking for it
than their countrymen down south.
As they say in the pharmaceutical
business, more research is needed.
Until then, the only way for the drug
formerly known as UK-92480 is up.
03.12.17
| 33
*
Comment
CATHERINE
BENNETT
Meghan, here?s my
handy A-Z guide to
your new family Page 37
When crude tweets set the global agenda
we are surely in a new age of politics
Donald Trump?s purpose is to outrage, but healthy democracy is threatened when others mimic his vacuity
Kenan
Malik
@kenanmalik
T
he most powerful leader in the world tweets
like a teenage Nazi on 4chan whose sole
aim is to create outrage. Three retweets of
anti-Muslim hatred ?rst tweeted by the
deputy leader of a British neo-Nazi group cause
global outrage. British politics becomes consumed
by the issue. Parliament even holds a special session
to allow MPs to denounce the tweeter. And a tiny
British far-right organisation, barely known even
to most British people, but whose whole existence
is rooted in generating outrage, achieves what
it wants and on a global scale. ?Donald Trump
himself has retweeted these videos ? God bless you
Trump!? it gleefully tweets.
Welcome to politics 2017-style.
It is astonishing that the president of the United
States should retweet obnoxious videos, the principal aim of which was to whip up hostility towards
Muslims; equally so that he should blithely ignore
not just their provenance but also that at least one
was not what it purported to be.
But if the video was fake, there was also something concocted about the controversy. One side
wanted to provoke outrage. The other side duly
obliged and expressed outrage. And on both sides,
the signalling ? ?Look at me, I?m saying the right
things? ? seemed to matter more than the content. From Trump?s original tweets to newspaper
headlines that Trump was ?not wanted? in Britain,
much of the controversy had the feel less of a
political debate than of online trolling.
In her new book Kill All Normies, the writer
Angela Nagle tracks the rise of the online ?altright?. A new culture has developed, she argues,
on internet forums such as 4chan and Reddit,
which sees the transgression of mainstream liberal
norms as a good in itself, irrespective of the content and consequences of such transgression. This
helped forge a new anti-establishment politics,
a kind of counter-culture rooted in the embrace
of reactionary, bigoted, racist and misogynistic
attitudes in which the ability to create outrage
became the principal currency.
This reactionary counter-culture has spilled into
the offline world and right into the White House.
Donald Trump appropriated the essence, if not the
tone, of the online alt-right transgressors, perfecting a mixture of narcissism, self-aggrandisement
and the elicitation of liberal outrage that helped
intoxicate many disaffected voters. It turned rage
about the political elite into hostility against the
supposed symbols of elite politics ? Muslims,
migrants, the marginalised. Trumpism is the prod-
uct of the evacuation of politics from the political
sphere, the replacement of policies and ideas with
symbols and signalling. Trump?s policies are, of
course, deeply political and have grave real-life
consequences for everyone from Muslims to poor
Americans on Obamacare, from African Americans
to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.
Yet, from the Mexican wall to the visa restrictions on Muslim majority countries, the public
pronouncements are less about practical policies
than expressing the right attitude and of being
contemptuous of liberal norms. Symbolism has
always been part of politics. In the age of Trump, it
is politics. Yet the fact that a single series of tweets
should so dominate British politics suggests that,
just as Trump and his supporters de?ne themselves through eliciting outrage, so many of his
critics do so by expressing it. In a special parliamentary session, MPs lined up to pour opprobrium
over the US president. The press was equally selfrighteous; Trump should be banned from visiting
?Britain?s multicultural nation until he learns some
manners?, as the Independent put it. This was as
much signalling as were Trump?s tweets.
T
he one clear winner is Britain First. The
thrusting of an odious fringe group into the
global spotlight has led to a debate about
how such a story should be reported. The
media, many protest, should not be giving a hate
group so much publicity. It is true that the media
often make insigni?cant ?gures appear important
because they ?t a particular narrative. For years,
Anjem Choudary, founder of the Islamist group
al-Muhajiroun, which only ever possessed a handful of members, was forever to be found on our TV
screens, as if he was an important voice within the
?Muslim community?, rather than an obnoxious
clown with good televisual skills.
In the case of Britain First, the president put it in
the public eye. The question the media need to ask
themselves is not if they should give publicity to a
fringe group, but why they became obsessed with
Trump?s tweets. At the same time, it is important
that the media do not censor debates or refuse to
cover hate groups simply because their views are
unsavoury. In Kill All Normies, Nagle argues that
the restrictions of ?political correctness? and of
liberal ?call-out culture? helped create a backlash
that turned into the transgressive alt-right.
Some have made a similar argument about
Britain First. ?Britain ?rst [sic] is what you get
when you reject legitimate concerns about Islam
and uncontrolled immigration,? tweeted former
Ukip and Leave EU funder Arron Banks.
It is true that in recent years there has developed
a culture of censorship in discussion of Islam;
from art to social policy, the fear of giving offence,
or of appearing racist, has often curtailed debate.
I have long pushed back against this censorious
culture. Last month, I wrote a chapter in the new
Runnymede Trust report on Islamophobia, ques-
The one
clear winner
is Britain
First, an
odious
fringe group
tioning the very use of the term because it con?ates
bigotry against Muslims with criticisms of Islam.
Too often, I argued in the report, criticism of Islam
is deemed illegitimate because it is judged to be
?Islamophobic?. Nothing should be unsayable simply because someone ?nds it offensive or because it
is culturally or religiously sensitive.
At the same time, I observed, those who promote
hatred against Muslims often dismiss condemnation of that hatred as stemming from an illegitimate desire to avoid criticism of Islam. For this is
the other side of contemporary culture: a hostility
to Muslims that leads many to rail against Muslim
immigration and to regard Islam as an existential
threat to the west. Not just the far-right but many
liberals, too, have helped stoke such fears.
Britain First is not the creation of constraints
on speech. It is a product of a bigoted view of
Muslims. It is a violent group that considers all
Muslim elected officials as ?occupiers? and promised ?direct action? against London?s mayor, Sadiq
Khan, and Tory cabinet minister Sajid Javid. These
are the views and actions of racists, not of those
frustrated with restrictions on free speech.
It is morally incumbent on those who argue
for free speech and for an open debate on sensitive issues to challenge such bigotry wherever it
may manifest itself. In today?s polarised culture,
in which signalling one?s virtue or vice is regarded
as more important than thinking deeply about an
issue, the willingness both to defend free speech
and challenge bigotry is too often in short supply.
Illustration by
Dominic McKenzie.
Finally, the suburbs might have a starring role
Rowan
Moore
@RowanMoore
S
uburbia, depending how you
measure it, is where most people
live. It is the most pervasive
urban invention of modern
times, one in which Britain played a
leading role.
Often, it stays under the radar of
urban theorists and policymakers. But
it is emerging as a major untapped
resource and, therefore, a battleground
in the struggle to ?nd somewhere,
anywhere, to put new housing. Last
week, the mayor, Sadiq Khan, revealed
his draft for the new London Plan, the
document that will guide the planning
decisions of the city?s boroughs. He
wants ? and who wouldn?t? ? more
housing, more of it affordable, well
designed and energy-efficient,
complete with spaces that encourage
walking, cycling and the use of public
transport. He has limited powers ? he
can?t, for example, ordain the largescale public housing programmes
that even the estate agents Savills
now thinks are necessary ? but he can
manipulate the planning system to
promote some kinds of development
over others.
His eyes alighted on the suburbs.
Between the First and Second World
Wars, while London?s population
increased by 17%, its land area doubled, a re?ection of its rapid suburban
expansion at a much lower density
than its historic centre. In theory,
this means that if suburban densities
could be nudged up, very many more
homes could be accommodated within
London?s boundaries. As Professor
Tony Travers, of the London School
of Economics, says, Greater London
could house 20 million people if it
was all built to the same density as the
inner borough of Islington.
So Khan wants to encourage, within
800 metres of transport links, developments that provide more housing in
the same space. In doing so, he hopes
to encourage smaller-scale developers
and lower-cost housing, in contrast to
the luxury towers promoted by his pre-
decessor, Boris Johnson, in the name
of meeting housing needs. This might
mean building on gardens or building
at four storeys instead of two.
H
e has, say Tory opponents,
?declared war on the suburbs?
and will make them ?overcrowded and harder to get
around?. Yet making suburbs denser
could make them better. In principle,
having more inhabitants means more
life in town centres and high streets,
which makes shops and businesses
more viable and makes it easier to sustain such things as local bus services.
As the architects HTA suggested
with proposals called ?Supurbia?, it
could make for more pleasant and safer
streets than the sparsely populated,
car-dominated thoroughfares that
tend to occur in suburbs. It?s a reasonable fear that suburbs might lose their
essential greenness, but a look at the
maps in the draft plan shows that the
great majority of outer London would
fall outside Khan?s 800-metre circles.
In principle, making some parts of
suburbs a little more like Islington,
whose desirability is re?ected in astronomic property prices, shouldn?t be a
bad thing. It depends completely on
how it?s done and here we have to hope
that Khan?s promises on design, affordability and enhanced public spaces
come true. Because the enhancement
of the suburbs could be good for pretty
much everyone and it?s too good an
opportunity to waste.
34 | COMMENT
*
03.12.17
Established in 1791
Issue No 11,793
Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Telephone: 020 3353 2000 Fax: 020 3353 3189
email: editor@observer.co.uk
DIPLOMACY
US and UK interests are now highly
divergent. Forget the ?special relationship?
E
ven for Donald Trump, a man whose
tawdry personal conduct has frequently placed him beyond the pale,
last week?s crass and odious behaviour
marks a new low. By retweeting doctored
propaganda videos posted by a British farright fringe group, Trump gave the White
House seal of approval to incitement to
hatred and violence against racial and religious minorities. The villain of Charlottesville proved, beyond any doubt, that he is
the president of hate. Trump is a disgrace to
the United States. The sooner the American
people turn him out of office, the better it will
be for them and the world at large. This being
Trump, of course, the story does not end there.
When Theresa May summoned the courage
to deliver a mild public rebuke, saying the
retweeting was wrong, the notoriously thinskinned president hit back. In effect, he told
Britain?s prime minister, again via Twitter, to
mind her own business and concentrate on
catching terrorists. This was an extraordinary
way to treat the leader of a close ally whom he
had feted in Washington only in January.
Trump?s personal rudeness to May is every
bit as inexcusable as his ill-disguised racism
and bigotry. Condemnation has rightly rained
down on his head across the entire British
political spectrum. Vince Cable, leader of the
Liberal Democrats, spoke the truth when he
said Trump was guilty of an ?open, deliberate, calculated insult to the prime minister?.
The US leader was not wanted in Britain,
Cable said. His invitation to make a state visit
should be withdrawn. With this, we heartily
concur. The government?s dilemma over the
visit and the wider implications of the row
for the US-UK alliance are only too painfully
evident. May?s rash offer, an attempt to curry
favour when both leaders were relatively new
to office, has undoubtedly made a rod for her
government?s back. But Trump would be a
big problem for Britain even if he were not
intent on gorging his ego on royal audiences,
banquets and gaudy parades in the Mall. As
we have said before, Trump is not a ?t and
proper person to occupy the Oval Office. At
a basic level, he does not understand how
international ? or personal ? relationships
work. His refusal to apologise to his country?s
most steadfast ally for an egregious blunder, coupled with a refusal to take down the
offending tweets or heed a formal complaint
by Britain?s ambassador, is indicative of a
contempt for long-established diplomatic conventions. Trump?s nationalistic, xenophobic
?America First? outlook has no time for equal
and balanced relationships between states,
no thought for consensus or compromise. In
Trump?s sad, blinkered world, you either win
or you lose. He has a pathological need to get
the better of everybody, be they friends like
Britain, foes like North Korea, or hapless golf
partners. With him, there is no middle ground.
In such a toxic context, the ?special relationship? with Britain was unlikely to prosper. The
fact that Brexit Britain needs the US more than
at any time, perhaps, since 1940 is doubly unfortunate. May?s idea that, by befriending Trump,
she could navigate her way towards a favourable bilateral trade deal was always delusional.
American investors, businesses and exporters are not charitable concerns. It is already
plain, whether the product is chlorine-rinsed
chicken, banned by the EU, or new aircraft ?
just look at the Department of Commerce?s
harsh treatment of Belfast-based Bombardier
? that big US companies will seek the toughest,
most advantageous terms possible. In this aim,
they have the full backing of ?zero sum? Trump,
whatever he may have told May.
The US-Britain relationship is about a lot
more than trade and jobs, although they are
very important. At its heart is defence, security
and intelligence collaboration. In a bid to calm
the storm, Amber Rudd, the home secretary,
urged angry MPs to remember this bigger
picture. ?The importance of the relationship
between our countries and the unparalleled
sharing of intelligence between our countries
is vital. It has undoubtedly saved British lives,?
Rudd said last week. In the now seemingly
halcyon pre-Trump era, such bald assertions
were broadly accepted. But in the iconoclastic
age of Trumpism, this is no longer so selfevidently the case.
T
he usefulness and funding of Nato,
the lynchpin of Britain?s defence, is
openly questioned by the White House
incumbent. Trump seems uninterested
in the security of Europe or, for that matter,
the stability of its near neighbours in the Middle East. Why else would he tacitly encourage
the illegal settlement policy of Israel?s rightwing government? Why else would he abdicate any serious US role in ending the Syrian
war or bringing to justice its chief perpetrator,
the alleged war criminal, Bashar al-Assad?
Why else would he be so irrationally intent
on tearing up one of the great multilateral
diplomatic achievements of recent years ? the
UN-endorsed 2015 nuclear treaty with Iran?
Trump?s approach to all these vital international issues is at odds with, or directly
opposed to, British policy and interests. It is
not merely a matter of emphasis. These are
fundamental differences. And the list is not
?nished. If Trump recklessly launches a war to
destroy North Korea?s regime, as he repeatedly
threatens to do, will Britain seriously want to
support him? Or what about climate change?
Successive British governments have committed themselves to international efforts to
reduce greenhouse gases and mitigate harmful
environmental impacts arising from human
activity. Trump, in his in?nite ignorance and
denial, rubbished the Paris climate change
agreement, snubbed allies like Britain and
withdrew the US from the pact.
Trump?s fawning attitude to Vladimir Putin,
Russia?s predatory president, is the most glaring example of how he actively works against
British interests. May recently accused Putin
of ?weaponising information? through cyber
attacks, computer hacks, trolls, bots, fake
news and other ?active measures? designed to
destabilise western democracies. It is not only
Trump?s victory over Hillary Clinton that now
appears tainted by covert Russian meddling.
So, too, do recent elections in France and
Germany. Even last year?s Brexit referendum
may have been compromised. No one can be
certain about that, although Britain?s intelligence agencies probably know more than they
are letting on. By overt and devious means,
Putin?s Russia systemically and deliberately
threatens the independence of the Baltic states
and Ukraine, democracy in eastern Europe,
the integrity of the EU and the future power
balance in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
Yet Putin is the same man Trump refuses
to criticise, terms a trustworthy partner and
whose word he prefers to that of his own spy
chiefs. Trump may ultimately pay a heavy
price for this idiocy. Last week?s charging of
Michael Flynn, a former senior adviser, suggests the scandal over illegal Russian collusion
is closing in on the White House. As Rudd
said, counter-terrorism intelligence-sharing
with the US is important. But the ?ght against
Islamic State aside, there is little else left, in
policy terms, of the ?special relationship?.
Last week was a wake-up call for May and
the Tories. Britain cannot rely on Trump?s
America. Before she burns our bridges
to Europe, May should consider this: the
president of hate is a menace to our inclusive
values, our national interests and to all our
people. Trump is not Britain?s friend.
SOCIAL MOBILITY
For all May?s talk of meritocracy, she does nothing but
reinforce privilege over opportunity
T
he government lacks ?the necessary bandwidth to ensure that the rhetoric of healing
social division is matched with reality?.
That?s the ? rightly ? damning verdict
from Alan Milburn, who has chaired the government?s Social Mobility Commission since 2011,
and whose resignation, alongside all the other
commissioners, we reveal today. It is a huge blow
to a prime minister who has hinged her whole
domestic agenda around improving opportunity.
Social mobility captures a basic essence of fairness: effort and talent should count for more than
someone?s circumstances of birth. It is obviously
not all that matters; Michael Young?s The Rise of
Meritocracy serves as a satirical warning of the
dangers of taking it too far. But Britain in 2017,
much like Britain 30 or 60 years ago, is a society in
which to whom you are born matters more than
raw potential.
Improving social mobility is partly about skills.
Children born to highly-educated parents have
a head start long before they reach the school
gate, but the education system can go some way
towards levelling the playing ?eld. However, skills
are only one piece of the jigsaw. Social mobility is
also a product of economic and social structures.
Are there decent jobs available nearby? To what
extent does getting one of those jobs rely on social
networks and word of mouth or being able to
work for no pay to get your foot in the door?
If anything, these social and economic structures have become more hostile to social mobility.
The deindustrialisation of the last 30 years has
robbed entire communities of private sector jobs
and their cultural identities. The growing gap
between the baby boomer and millennial generations only serves to make the in?uence of class, via
the bank of Mum and Dad, even more entrenched.
Not all of this can be laid at the door of this
government. But wherever you look, the government is making things worse. There is perhaps
no greater emblem of its callous antipathy to
improving opportunity than the record levels that
child poverty is forecast to reach on its watch; the
inevitable product of cuts in support for lowincome working families by up to thousands of
pounds a year, which are paying for tax cuts that
bene?t the more affluent. Growing up in poverty
has a lifelong depressive impact on life chances ?
it?s much harder to do your homework hungry in
overcrowded housing with no peace and quiet.
At every stage of the education system, the government is failing to produce the reforms needed
to make it an engine of social mobility rather than
a replicator of privilege. The government has
jeopardised access to the quality nursery education that is so critical for toddlers from poor backgrounds, by expanding free nursery provision
without attaching sufficient funding. Huge effort
has been expended on structural reforms to the
school system that have achieved little and plans
to pilot grammars that will do nothing to improve
opportunities for poor children; in Kent?s grammar school system, poor children do worse than
in other areas of the country.
M
eanwhile, children from the richest
backgrounds are twice as likely to go
to a good or outstanding state school
than those from the poorest, an outrageously unequal state of affairs, and there are
huge geographical disparities in school quality.
There remains no decent vocational route for
young people; indeed, the number of apprenticeships fell by 59% in the last year. And while more
working-class students are going to university
they remain disproportionately locked out of the
most academically elite institutions.
The structural issues in our labour market are
perhaps even more intractable. But the govern-
ment has made no attempt to address them. Its
industrial strategy had nothing to say about raising
job quality ? and hence productivity ? in low-skill,
low-paid service sectors such as care and retail. Far
from learning from the deindustrialisation of the
past, there is an utter lack of thinking about how
to reskill those who may lose their jobs as a result
of automation in the next two decades; indeed, the
government has slashed funding for adult learning.
What goes up must come down. Done properly, improving social mobility is more of a zero
sum game than our political leaders would like
to admit. More places for working-class children
at the best universities mean fewer for less able
young people coached at elite private schools.
More equitable routes into the professions mean
fewer top jobs for those with family connections.
Giving poor children an equal shot at getting
into a good secondary school means fewer places
reserved for the middle classes by dint of high
house prices. Better-paid jobs in retail and care
mean more expensive services for everyone else.
Alan Milburn is right. The rhetoric of opportunity ? Theresa May?s British dream ? ?ows so
easily off the tongue. But without a commitment
to loosen the top?s grasp on privilege, it?s nothing
more than a dishonest sham.
03.12.17
COMMENT | 35
*
RIDDELL?S VIEW
Trump?s contempt illuminates
Britain?s fragile place in the world
We are rupturing the relationship with Europe just as our traditional ally across the Atlantic has gone rogue
Andrew
ew
nsley
Rawnsley
@andrewrawnsley
awnsley
R
emember the Taming of the Trump? When
his election stunned the planet, there were
quite a lot of cool voices on both sides of
the Atlantic who contended that the 45th
president of the United States would be tempered
by power. Appearing to mistake him for a ?ne wine,
they argued that he could be ?matured?. Encumbered by the great responsibilities of the office, contained by the institutions of the United States and
modulated by the American diplomatic establishment, he would evolve into a president traditional
allies of the United States could handle. It wouldn?t
be easy ? few were foolish enough to believe that ?
but it would be manageable.
That view was especially prevalent in the upper
reaches of the British government this time last
year. While much of the world reacted to him with
fear and foreboding, sanguinity ?owed through
the blood of much of London SW1. Whenever I
expressed scepticism about this taming thesis,
members of the government told me to hang on
to the idea that he was a businessman. ?Always
remember that,? said one phlegmatist in the cabinet. ?He likes to cut a deal.?
Number 10 gambled that Theresa May could
keep the relationship special, even with a president
as reckless as he was narcissistic, as inconstant as
he was in?ammatory and as contemptuous of the
established norms of international diplomacy as he
was of the conventional decencies of democratic
politics. Mrs May made a dash across the Atlantic
to call at the White House in his ?rst week in
residence. There was little in common between a
prime minister brought up in an Oxfordshire rectory and Donald ?grab them by the pussy? Trump.
The vicar?s daughter tried to gloss it as best she
could by claiming that ?opposites attract?.
The ticket price for that audience was far
too high. She ?attered his vanities by issuing an
invitation to pay a state visit to Britain, an honour
accorded to very few previous presidents and
never so early. ?Pimping out the Queen?, as I rather
rudely called it, was controversial enough when the
invitation was ?rst issued and has since become a
hideous albatross around Mrs May?s neck. Another
cost of supping with too short a spoon was to her
dignity and her country?s reputation.
The apologists had an answer to all that. Britain
has to have a relationship with the United States,
whoever is in the White House. ?Hug them close?
has been the lodestar of British foreign policy since
the Second World War. The perceived imperative
to cleave tight to Washington was increased by
Brexit. When Britain was separating itself from
one historic partnership, it could not afford to
break with the president of the United States at the
same time. Yet that is happening anyway. Britain is
confronted with the simultaneous fracturing of its
two most important relationships, on the one side
because of choices Britain has made and, on the
other, because of choices America has made.
Even before the extraordinary rupture of the
past few days, Anglo-American relations were in
a bad way. It is true that co-operation has continued at an institutional level. I don?t doubt it when
Amber Rudd, the home secretary, says that intelligence-sharing about terrorism has saved British
lives. At a political level, Mrs May?s misjudged
sycophancy has been reciprocated with nothing
but grief. Donald Trump has torn up America?s
commitment to treaties tackling climate change,
a subject into which Britain has put a lot of effort
under successive prime ministers since Margaret
Thatcher became convinced that global warming was a threat. He has threatened to unravel the
nuclear deal with Iran, another issue on which
Britain has expended considerable diplomatic
energy. This has been accompanied by a series of
rows over trade that ought to have exploded the
notion that Britain will be rewarded for leaving the
EU with a generous deal from the United States.
This crisis in Anglo-American relations has
been brought into sharp focus by the president?s
endorsement of anti-Muslim hate videos manufactured by a far-right splinter of the racist British
National party. When his retweet ampli?ed
attention for their vile output, you had to suspect
that he had no, or little, idea who they were. That
makes it even less excusable. Mrs May was right to
call Britain First a ?hateful organisation?. Saying:
?It is wrong for the president to have done this?
was the most diplomatic form of rebuke that she
could have mustered in the circumstances. It was
then a typically Trumpian choice to escalate with
contemptuous personal abuse of the prime minister ? after he?d ?rst mistakenly directed the attack
on a self-described ?mum from Bognor? who has
a similar Twitter handle to that of the prime min-
ister. This takes us into unvisited territory. There
have been plenty of rocky stretches in the AngloAmerican relationship, but never before has there
been such a vividly public breach between the
occupants of the Oval Office and Downing Street.
I cannot recall a precedent for the British ambassador in Washington formally complaining to the
White House about the behaviour of the president.
Demands for him to make an apology are highly
unlikely to be satis?ed. He doesn?t do sorry. The
Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi has sent a letter, volunteering to take Donald Trump on a guided tour of
British cities to ?see how our Muslim communities
live peaceably alongside others, enrich their local
areas and contribute so much to society?. That?s a
sweet idea, but I can?t see it happening. Labour?s
Paul Flynn proposes that the president should be
arrested for inciting racial hatred. This will be a
popular idea, but it is not a terribly realistic one.
The Tory Peter Bone voices the hope that Mrs
Mrs May?s misjudged
sycophancy towards
Donald Trump has
been reciprocated
with nothing but grief
May can persuade Donald Trump to terminate his
Twitter account. Good luck with that.
The only practical sanction available to Britain
is to cancel the invitation to a state visit, which
would win Mrs May plenty of plaudits here, at the
cost of intensifying the con?ict with the White
House. The chances of the state visit happening
were anyway receding towards zero. Number 10
does not deny that it could be delayed until 2019,
which sounds like a euphemism for never. There is
now also a cloud of doubt over whether a ?working
visit? to open the new US embassy in London in
the new year will happen.
If there is anything positive to be said about all
this, it is that it ought to burn away some of the
residual illusions about where Britain is going to
be left once it has quit the European Union. One of
the arguments advanced by the Brexiters was that
we could risk a detached relationship with the EU
because there was always America to fall back on,
a better friend anyway, in their world view. Loosed
from its moorings to Europe, Britain would take to
the global high seas and thrive as a member of the
?Anglosphere?. Barack Obama, when he was leader
of the ?Anglosphere?, tried to puncture that myth.
He came here during the referendum campaign
to warn that a Brexit Britain could not expect
any special deals on trade from the United States,
which would always look to its own interests ?rst.
This caution did not have the effect on public
opinion that was hoped for by Remain campaigners, perhaps because people felt he was only saying
it to try to do a favour for David Cameron. It has
taken Mr Obama?s brutish successor to give a raw
lesson to Britain about the realities of the so-called
special relationship.
A
merica is a very powerful country, with
strong historical bonds and contemporary links with Britain, but it is not on the
planet to be our patron. It has its ambitions and priorities; we have ours. Sometimes, those
ambitions and priorities elide; sometimes, they are
in tension. Sometimes, America will have a president most Britons will like; sometimes, it will have a
president who appals most Britons, although it has
never before had a president who has united MPs
of all complexions in such vigorous condemnation.
I used to think Britain had handled its retreat
from empire and decline from great power status as
well as could be reasonably expected. Post-imperial
Britain cleverly leveraged additional in?uence
through its alliances with the United States and
the EU. We gained traction with each through the
relationship with the other and had more weight
with the rest of the world from our connections to
both. That intricate and subtle matrix, built up over
decades of alliance building, has been imperilled in
barely over a year. It was not Britain?s choice to have
the Oval Office occupied by Donald Trump and his
presidency would be a nightmare to navigate for
any prime minister. It was Britain?s narrow choice
to leave the EU. And it was the May government?s
decision to pursue one of the harder ? in all senses
of the word ? versions of Brexit.
This is Britain?s self-in?icted snare: to be rupturing its relationship with its traditional partners on
its own continent, just as its traditional ally across
the Atlantic has gone rogue.
Think of this as the latest lesson in the nation?s
continuing and expensive education about how
lonely life can be for a prosperous, middleweight
country without reliable friends in a tempestuous
world. The water in the mid-Atlantic is deep and
the sea temperature is icy cold.
36 | COMMENT
*
03.12.17
How a simple plan to give dignity to
dementia patients is changing society
In just three years, John?s Campaign, launched in this paper, has turned from an idea into a nationwide movement
home). There are many people who have had better ends to their life because of our campaign; there
are people who would have died alone who have
died surrounded by their family.
Because John?s Campaign depends on dedicated people implementing it, its reach is patchy.
This inequality is painfully frustrating because
we know that where it is properly implemented
it has radical, transformative effects. Healthcare
staff endorse it and so do carers. Wards are happier, safer places when they open themselves up.
There?s robust evidence that where carers are welcomed, there are fewer falls, less malnutrition and
dehydration, shorter hospital stays, less likelihood
of readmission and, above all, less chance of drastically reduced cognitive impairment. Cost-free,
effective and kind. It?s win-win, Jeremy Hunt.
Nicci
Gerrard
@JohnCampaign
T
here?s a happy-making little ?lm on YouTube of a man dancing by himself at a music
festival. Some people sitting on the grass
nearby look on, curious and amused. Most
ignore him or don?t notice him. Then after a minute
or so, another person gets up and joins in, grinning
and a bit self-conscious, but with him nevertheless.
Now there are two people dancing. Another stands
up, hesitates and then starts to dance. Now there
are three: three makes it a group. And soon a whole
?eld of people is dancing. It?s become a movement.
The people who started it don?t matter any more.
John?s Campaign turned three last Thursday. It
was launched in this paper on 30燦ovember, 2014,
with an article I wrote about the catastrophic effect
of hospital upon the health and selfhood of my
father, after whom the campaign is named. When
he went into hospital, he was living with dementia, happy and beloved and linked to his world by
a thousand invisible threads. Restricted visiting
and a lockdown of his ward because of norovirus
meant that, one by one, those delicate threads were
cut. When he came out ?ve weeks later, he was no
longer living with dementia but dying with it: a
radically slowed-down death and a harrowing way
to say goodbye.
People with dementia are precarious; hospitals, places of cure and rescue, can destroy them.
John?s Campaign insists that there should be no
restrictions on family carers supporting those with
dementia in hospital (or, indeed, in any area of the
health and care system). Instead, carers should be
welcomed and valued: the patient?s memory, their
voice, their safe place and their way home.
When we started the campaign, we thought that
what we were advocating was so obvious, such a
simple matter of common sense and pragmatic
kindness, that people ? I?m not sure who I meant
by people: Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for
health, and Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England,
for a start ? would simply say yes and change
would happen overnight. A key in a lock and the
door that had been closed would swing open.
People mostly did say yes, but change didn?t happen overnight because what we are arguing for,
though ostensibly simple and single issue, essentially amounts to a transformation in the culture
of care. However, transformative change has
happened: bit by bit, carer by carer, nurse by nurse,
S
There are
people
who would
have died
alone who
have died
surrounded
by their
family
doctor by doctor, ward by ward, hospital by hospital, up and down the country, John?s Campaign
has been adopted. More than a thousand days after
the Observer gave a voice to the voiceless and often
invisible, there is a majority acceptance of it in hospitals in every part of the country (although other
areas of the health and care system still lag behind).
More than 1,150 institutions have signed up.
In Wales and Scotland, a welcome to carers is
to be underpinned by government policy. All four
chief nursing officers support the campaign, as do
major charities, such as Age UK, Carers UK and
the Alzheimer?s Society. Bodies including the Royal
College of Nursing, the Royal College of Psychiatry,
the British Geriatrics Society, the Faculty for
Psychologists for Older People and the Royal
College of General Practitioners have declared
their support. The Carers Welcome list on this
paper?s website shows just how far we have come.
We have ambassadors across the country,
friends in almost every hospital. On ward doors,
there are John?s Campaign posters. At nurses? work
stations, there are John?s Campaign passports and
lea?ets. Life ?ows in, a sense of possibility. There?s
a growing acceptance, inside institutions and out,
that the carer is a precious resource and should be
cherished and that hospitals are no longer simply
places of heroic intervention and cure, but of care.
Dementia is a terminal illness. Thirty per cent of
the over-60s die with or from dementia and most
die in hospital or in a care setting (only 8% die at
In October, NHS
Lanarkshire hosted the
first national John?s
Campaign conference to
promote the campaign
and help improve care
for people with dementia
across Britain.
NHS Lanarkshire/
Facebook
ometimes, at a conference, people will come
up and say: ?Oh, you?re John?s Campaign?,
as if that?s my name. Or the phone will
ring and a voice will say: ?Have I reached
John?s Campaign?? ? like it?s a destination. Once
or twice, someone has asked to be put through to
my PA. John?s Campaign is run by two women in
their spare time (myself and Julia Jones), with a
volunteer website manager (Julia?s son). We don?t
have an office, a PA, business cards, a bank account,
funding and we don?t get paid (though sometimes
organisations will cover our travel expenses). One
reason the campaign has ?ourished is precisely
because we?re not an organisation or a bureaucracy
or a business or even a charity ? we?re a movement.
Movements belong to everyone and our campaign has depended from the outset on people
taking it up and making it their own, implementing
it in their own way, passing it on. As in that ?eld
full of dancers, individuals can step aside and they
won?t be missed; others will take their place. Julia
and I are eager to be redundant, able to tend to our
blisters ? and now, on this anniversary, we believe
that after three amazing years, John?s Campaign is
close to achieving all it can in its original incarnation. It ? and the people who support it and those
who will bene?t from it ? need dynamic action
from top management, established networks and
policy makers. Why on earth wouldn?t they do this?
Over the slog of these three years, I?ve often tried
to come up with objections to the campaign and
haven?t been able think of a single one.
By next summer, Julia and I feel we will have
done all we can. Next summer, our beleaguered,
precious NHS turns 70. A commitment from the
government and senior policymakers to implement a campaign that costs nothing but that seeks
to transform care for the nearly a million people
living with dementia and dying with it would be a
very good birthday present indeed.
This is Labour?s greatest crisis. Time to ?ght back
Former deputy leader Roy Hattersley
ersley
warns that the party risks making
ng
itself unelectable if the far left
is allowed to seize control
T
he Labour party faces the greatest crisis in its history. Momentum ? a party within the party
which is dedicated to moving
Labour to the far left of the political
spectrum ? is on the point of winning
control of Labour?s policy, programme
and constitution. Momentum members and supporters ? 844 of the 1,135
delegates ? dominated this year?s annual
conference and it seems likely that elections, now taking place, will provide a
clear Momentum majority on Labour?s
national executive.
Momentum does not disguise how it
will use the power which domination
of the party machine guarantees. The
shift to the left will begin with a revision of Labour rules and continue with
the replacement of moderate MPs and
councillors with Momentum nominees.
The threat to Labour?s future is real
and obvious. Yet, not one of those who
resigned from the shadow cabinet in
protest against Jeremy Corbyn?s leadership, has publicly condemned what
amounts to a takeover.
In almost every constituency Labour
party, there are men and women who
stand ready to challenge the subversion.
Indeed, many of them are already ?ghting lonely battles. They need politicians
of principle to defend their aims and
values and make plain that moderate
democratic socialists have a clear vision
of the better Britain which they hope
to build. Thirty years ago, moderates
won the battle against Militant by taking the campaign to the country and
demonstrating that genuine democratic
socialism was worth ?ghting for. Now
Momentum is winning by default. ?Real
Labour? needs a better response to the
prospect of a far-left takeover than glum
opposition to Len McCluskey and all his
works ? understandable though that is.
Politicians have a duty to defend
their beliefs. Democratic socialism will
not succeed, and may even not survive,
unless it protects its ideological frontiers. The doctrine ?no enemies to the
left? is a prescription for Labour?s transformation into a different party. What
amounts to an invasion should have
been resisted from the moment that
Corbyn signalled that what was once
called in?ltration had become recruitment. And there is the more immediate
problem of the next general election.
Labour cannot win while it is associated
with extremism. If the extremists begin
to deselect moderate MPs, others ? who
are, or believe themselves to be, under
threat ? will split the party and keep
Labour out of office for a generation.
I want Labour to form the next government but Jeremy Corbyn reduces
the chance of victory by welcoming, as
bona ?de party members, politically disreputable opportunists. Fears about victory for the far-left helps to hold down
Labour?s opinion poll lead to 4-5% at a
time when the government?s incompetence should put him 20 points ahead.
Some of Jeremy Corbyn?s advisers may
be careless about his election prospects,
because they do not believe in parliamentary government. But whatever
its origins, if he will not remove the
millstone from round his neck, the party
must do it for him.
The cull of councillors has already
begun. The assault is most violent in the
London boroughs in which Momentum
thrives. Last month, it moved though
Haringey, ward by ward, claiming to
be Corbyn?s revolutionary guard ?
although his leadership is no longer in
question ? and pretending that it stands
for democracy when it really seeks
Labour?s domination by a narrow clique.
The Haringey meetings were
swamped by recent recruits. Many of
them came to selection conferences
with the intention of sacking the sitting
councillors. The same hostility poisoned
the atmosphere at the annual meeting of the Wavertree constituency in
Liverpool, where Momentum won nine
out of 10 of the in?uential offices. Longstanding party members described the
atmosphere as ?intimidating?. Several
aggressive newcomers were identi?ed
as recent pamphleteers for the far left.
M
omentum?s success varies
from place to place. In
Manchester and Sheffield,
moderate councillors have
been deselected or have chosen to
resign rather that face the humiliation
of rejection. In Liverpool, the old gang
is back. All that has changed is that the
Militants now travel to meetings with
bus passes. In fact, the Labour party is
in far more danger than it was in the
1970s. Militant was better organised
than Momentum but commanded less
support and was active in fewer constituencies. Most important, Militant
had no trade union backing. Momentum has Unite and its voluble general
secretary, Len McCluskey. In consequence, an afternoon of telephone calls
identi?ed six members of parliament
who anticipate de-selection. One forecast ?a bloodbath?.
Perhaps the ?ghtback has not begun
because the one-time champions of
Real Labour fear they cannot win. But,
while they will certainly lose if they
keep their heads below the parapet,
Momentum can be beaten. It was
beaten in Lewisham East, where Heidi
Alexander MP reclaimed her local party
by dint of personality and hard work. It
was beaten in the battle over Sheffield?s
local authority budget by Julie Dore,
the council leader, who challenged the
claim that political purity demanded
refusal to implement government cuts
and the surrender of services to direct
Whitehall control. Labour First ? Real
Labour?s only lasting attempt to keep
like-minded socialists in touch with
each other ? continues to identify the
true allegiance of candidates for party
office. But a national campaign to rescue
Labour from extremism requires leadership ? loud, persistent and unafraid.
The shadow cabinet rebels of 2015
can only provide it if they make the
admission that they were wrong to say,
as I did, that Jeremy Corbyn could not
lead Labour to victory. Then they can
express the pleasure with which they
acknowledge their mistake. After that,
they can spend their evenings in cold
halls, speaking to small audiences about
Real Labour?s true values. They will
be accused of harbouring the intolerant hope of excluding from the party
everyone with whom they disagree ? a
strange allegation to be made by people
who are actually managing a purge.
It will be neither as comfortable nor
as glamorous an occupation as asking clever questions in the House of
Commons or appearing on television
?but it might just save British social
democracy from extinction.
03.12.17
COMMENT | 37
*
Meghan, here?s my
handy A-Z guide to
your new family
at his ?Maison de Bang Bang?, Ibiza. Recently
described as a ?nasty drunk? by a judge who
?ned him �000 for knocking out the fourth Mrs
Goldsmith.
Margaret, Princess (d 2002) Harry?s great-aunt.
Divorced. Unemployed throughout her lifetime.
Lover of Roddy Llewellyn, 17 years her junior.
Rude, lazy, cruel. Informally agreed to be the most
disagreeable royal since Charles I.
Middletons, the Harry?s brother?s parents-in-law.
Party accessory magnates. Son James understood
to be an aspiring marshmallow entrepreneur.
Mother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen (d 2002).
Never not economically inactive. A revered royal
?gure until her death, aged 101. Immense longevity
sometimes attributed to prodigious consumption
of gin and Dubonnet. Left debts totalling �.
Much attention has been paid to the Markle background
but what aboutthe rum lot that make up Harry?s kin?
Philip, Prince, Duke of Edinburgh Harry?s grandfather. Family name: Schleswig-HolsteinSonderburg-Gl點ksburg. Recently, in consideration of peerless loyalty, advanced age and his
representation by Matt Smith in Net?ix?s The
Crown, a history of racist provocations has been
largely set aside.
including with a billionaire who, for reasons still
unexplained, bought Andrew?s former home,
Sunninghill Park in Berkshire, for � above the
�m asking price.
Catherine
Bennett
@Bennett_C_
A
fter the Meghan-Harry engagement
various media outlets composed Markle
family trees featuring key facts about
the ancestors and living relations who
are believed, whether due to humble birth or
marital breakdown, careless talk or overt upward
mobility, to tell us something signi?cant about the
prince?s ?ancee.
To date, in the absence of any evidence of scandal or wrongdoing, pressing questions include:
how did descendants of Mattie Turnipseed,
Markle?s great-great-great-grandmother, rise,
within 150 years, from slavery to royal duties? Does
Markle?s half-sister, Samantha, regret saying mean
things? And just who, it?s being asked, is Thomas
Markle Junior, Markle?s half-brother, who allegedly (charges were never pressed) held a gun to his
girlfriend?s head?
In the event that Thomas and Samantha, and
any non-initiates, are similarly curious about
Prince Harry?s lineage, particularly on the ways
in which members of his extended family have
adapted to lives of total economic dependency,
here, in a spirit of reciprocity, is a brief introduction. Key family members and associates, living
and otherwise, are presented in alphabetical
order.
Andrew, Prince Harry?s uncle. Nicknamed, given
routinely astronomical expenses, ?Airmiles
Andy?. Divorced. Economically inactive. A neveradvertised post as ?roving ambassador? ended
in 2011 after exposure of his close friendship
with a convicted US sex offender and billionaire,
Jeffrey Epstein, who has been described as a
?terri?c guy? by Donald Trump: ?It is even said
that he likes beautiful women as much as I do and
many of them are on the younger side.? Prince
Andrew also enjoys warm relations with senior
?gures in Kazakhstan, the effective dictatorship,
Anne, Princess Harry?s aunt. Divorced.
Economically inactive. Last year?s hardest working royal, with 114 engagements. State-funded via
her mother. Acquired a criminal record in 2002,
pleading guilty to an offence under the Dangerous
Dogs Act, after her English bull terrier attacked
two children. The same dangerous dog went on, in
2003, to kill one of the Queen?s corgis.
Beatrice, Princess Harry?s cousin. A long-time
Neet (not in employment, education or training).
State-dependent for both income and accommodation ? in St James?s Palace, pending upgrade to the
Kensington estate already housing Princes William
and Harry. Accidentally cut open the face of the
singer Ed Sheeran with a sword.
Cambridge, Kate, Duchess of Harry?s sister-in-law.
Long-term economically inactive. Worked ?eetingly, it is believed, via connections of her parents;
now dependent for income and housing on the
state; sporadic royal engagements.
Charles, Prince of Wales Harry?s father. Heir to
throne. Divorced. Temper: alleged to have once
pulled a sink off a wall. Former close friend of
Jimmy Savile. Campaigning environmentalist.
Has acquired seven, possibly more, properties.
Proposed, age 31, to Diana, aged 19. Later told
her, Diana said: ?I refuse to be the only Prince of
Wales who never had a mistress.? Lives, with the
help of 161.1 full-time staff, on funds generated by
his inherited national estate, the �6m Duchy of
Cornwall, created by Edward III in 1337. Regularly
breaks records for most pointless use of the royal
train.
Cornwall, Camilla, Duchess of Harry?s stepmother.
Divorced. Never not economically inactive.
Nicknamed ?the rottweiler? by Harry?s mother,
Diana. In return, the older duchess reportedly
referred to Diana as ?that mad cow?. Effectively
state-maintained and housed since marriage
to Charles. Assured by Charles: ?Your greatest
achievement is to love me?.
Peter Phillips Harry?s cousin. His sports and
entertainment company?s clients include his
grandmother and his sister, Zara. Made �0,000
organising a celebratory lunch for the Queen?s 90th
birthday.
Meghan Markle in Nottingham for her first official
public engagement with fiance, Prince Harry. Getty
Diana, Princess (d 1997) Harry?s mother. Divorced
child of divorced parents, she worked brie?y
before being acquired by the royal family.
Gaslighted by her new in-laws. Escaped in 1992
and was stripped of the title HRH prior to her
death in a car crash.
Edward VII, King (d�10) Harry?s great-great-greatgrandfather. AKA ?Tum-tum?. Reckless philanderer, user of prostitutes, gambler. On a positive
note: he also pioneered the Norfolk jacket.
Edward VIII, King (abdicated; d 1972 ) Harry?s greatgreat-uncle. Husband of Wallis Simpson. Nazi
sympathiser. Said Hitler was ?not a bad chap?.
Edward, Prince Harry?s uncle. Reputation never
fully recovered from It?s a Royal Knockout!, 1987.
Production company liquidated in 2009 with
assets of �.27. Economically inactive since then.
State-housed and maintained with dependent wife
and children.
Eugenie, Princess Harry?s cousin. Fits her job
around a 25-days-every-10-weeks holiday habit .
Free accommodation with her sister, Beatrice, at St
James?s Palace.
George VI, King (d 1952) Harry?s great-grandfather.
Sympathetic, according to The King?s Speech.
Goldsmith, Gary Harry?s sister-in-law?s uncle.
Multiply divorced. Used to host William and Kate
Pippa Matthews, nee Middleton Harry?s brother?s
sister-in-law. Royal bridesmaid turned lifestyle
authority. Hints in her book, Celebrate, included:
?Don?t forget to remove the price tag from the
gift?. Believed now economically inactive following (estimated) �0,000 wedding to a hedge fund
manager, featuring a ?ypast and eye-catching glass
marquee.
Queen, HM the Harry?s grandmother. Became heir
following the abdication, therefore possibly the
closest family comparator, in terms of upward
mobility, to Markle?s Mattie Turnipseed. Revered
to a degree possibly unhelpful for successors.
Income recently soared thanks to the sovereign
grant formula.
Sarah, Duchess of York, AKA ?Fergie?. Harry?s aunt.
Divorced. Unemployed. Former Weight Watchers
ambassador. Self-described as ?continually on the
verge of bankruptcy?. Bene?ts include social housing: the Royal Lodge, Windsor, shared with her
ex-husband.
Spencer, Charles, Earl. Harry?s avenging uncle,
Diana?s brother. Twice divorced. First best man,
Darius Guppy, later sentenced to ?ve years in
prison for insurance fraud.
Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor (d 1986).
Harry?s great-great-(approx)-aunt-in-law. Twice
divorced. Nazi sympathiser.
William, Prince, Duke of Cambridge Harry?s brother.
Second in line to the throne. AKA ?Work-shy Will?.
Zara Tindall, nee Phillips Harry?s cousin. Equestrian,
available for promotional work, brand ambassador
for Land Rover.
What a moment to cut ourselves o? from friends in Europe
Nick
Cohen
@NickCohen4
T
heresa May is reviled for her
weakness. But, as so often,
cliches deceive. No British prime
minister has found the strength
to condemn an American president as
she condemned Donald Trump since
the Anglo-American alliance began in
the Second World War. Anthony Eden
maintained a public silence as Eisenhower destroyed his premiership, and
Britain?s imperial pretensions, when he
stopped the Suez adventure of 1956.
Harold Wilson ignored Lyndon
Johnson?s pleas to send British troops to
Vietnam. But he infuriated the radicals
of the 1968 generation by diplomatically
refusing to speak out against the war.
Thatcher and Reagan, Major and
Clinton had their private arguments
about Grenada and the IRA. Nothing
they said matches the forcefulness of
May?s out, loud and proud denunciation
of Trump for sharing the ?hateful
narratives? of British fascists.
It has been comic to watch the shock
with which politicians greeted Trump?s
endorsement of Britain First. They must
have known he has spent his life in the
grey zone between the right and the far
right. If they didn?t, we have a Foreign
Office paid to set them straight. Only last
week, Trump reminded us where his
fanatic?s mind lingers when he revived
the bitter, broken fantasy that America?s
?rst black president was an illegitimate
African interloper. There is no racist lie
he will ever reject or disown.
Britain?s leaders will not see it. May?s
criticism was unprecedented but it
remained a wholly inadequate response
to an unprecedented US president.
Britain and America are still allies, the
PM said, as she tried to repair a shattered relationship. Trump may be a
?buffoon? but he is still Britain?s ?best
friend?, the rightwing press told its readers. Theirs was the authentic voice of the
politically left behind, who will never
accept the world has changed until it
blows up in their faces.
Allies stand by their friends when
they are in trouble. Trump turned
on Sadiq Khan, London?s Muslim
mayor, when the capital was being
attacked by Islamists, for reasons
that are too transparent to waste time
on. Intelligence sharing between
GCHQ and the US National Security
Agency is the one clear bene?t of the
otherwise hazy ?special relationship?.
When he needed a fresh lie to feed
to his credulous supporters, Trump
was happy to trash it by conjuring
the fantasy from the pit of his dark
imagination that GCHQ had helped the
Obama administration tap his phone.
Imagine that a US president had
retweeted and then defended the
Islamist equivalent of Britain First and
refused to apologise or retract. I爐hink
the reaction of the Tory party and
press would not have been so mild. Yet
the distinction between neo-fascism
and Islamo-fascism is a distinction
without a difference. Both share the
fundamental conviction that Muslims
and non-Muslims cannot live together.
Both are violent. (Indeed, in the US,
rightwing extremists plotted or carried
out nearly twice as many terrorist
attacks as Islamist extremists.) And the
threat from both has moved online.
The ?it couldn?t happen here? school
of commentary, so powerful in what
passes for the ?national conversation?,
was quick to say that, while Britain
First has 1.7m Facebook likes, it barely
musters a handful of militants to
invade halal butchers. If you wanted
to match their complacency, you
could add IS is merely a web-based
movement now Raqqa has fallen. That
is hardly a soothing thought, however,
when radicalisation is increasingly an
online phenomenon. Thomas Mair
was not a member of Britain First.
He still shouted ?Britain ?rst? when
There is no racist lie
Donald Trump will
ever reject or
disown. Britain?s
leaders will not see it
he murdered Jo Cox because he was
indoctrinated on far-right websites to
hate race traitors as thoroughly as IS
indoctrinates recruits who have never
left the UK to hate the kuffar.
The leader of the free world has not
only legitimised Britain First as he has
legitimised so many other violently
unhinged movements and ideologies.
He has driven traffic and attention to
its sites. One day, a ?lone wolf? who has
stared too long and hard at the light from
his ?ickering screen may make us pay.
?A
lly? is a strange word to
describe a country whose
leader delights in threatening
your security. Stranger still
when Trump has looked for himself in
others when seeking foreign friends
and preferred kleptomaniac autocrats
over democratic leaders. On climate
change, the Iranian nuclear deal and the
Muslim travel ban, Britain is not ?allied?
with Trump?s America but on the other
side. We have expressed exactly the
same objections as the other leading
EU countries, but there?s the rub. For
a generation, the European Union has
been the British right?s ?other?. It has
de?ned itself against the EU and based
its utopian dream of a revived greatness
on freeing Britain from Brussels.
It is not only a nostalgia for 20thcentury alliances that stops conservatives from understanding how far away
Britain is from Trump?s concerns, but
their forlorn hope that the US will save
it from the folly of cutting itself off from
our true friends in the world?s largest
free trade area. The notion that Trump
will compensate Britain by offering a
generous trade deal does not survive
contact with reality. Before he advertised his admiration for Britain First,
Trump announced himself a believer in
?America First?, a slogan coined by US
appeasers of Nazi Germany, as he must
know. He does not grant trade deals, he
destroys them. He has pulled the US
out of the Trans-Paci?c Partnership
and may walk away from the North
American Free Trade燗greement.
Were they not lost in magical
thinking, Conservatives, diplomats
and generals would be hugging our
European allies close. Even if they were
determined to go ahead with Brexit
whatever the cost, they would recognise
that the US could not be depended
upon and be proposing new systems
of European defence co-operation.
They would not engage in the wishful
thinking that Trump will be out by
2020. They would not keep muttering
that falsest of consolations that we
will ?return to normal? and all will be
well. They would have the intellectual
strength to accept the possibility that
?normal? may never return.
?To name things wrongly is to add to
the misfortune of the world,? said Albert
Camus. When Britain names America as
its ally, it only heaps more misery on its
already considerable misfortune.
38 | COMMENT
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Letters to the Editor in subject ?eld). For conditions go to http://gu.com/letters-terms
THE BIG ISSUE BREXIT
Immigration: one rule for Dover
and another for Irish border?
Britain would be better o? if
MPs voted with their beliefs
The key phrase in Rachel Cooke?s
interview with Anna Soubry (?Who?d be
a Brexit rebel??, New Review, last week)
was ?picture [her] crossing the ?oor of
the House of Commons?. Therein lies
the basic reason why UK politics is in
such an unholy mess: the idea that if
you?re not with us you?re against us, the
whole adversarial principle that keeps
the parliamentary process stuck at the
level of a public school debate.
When Margaret Thatcher struck
down the GLC and thus emptied County
Hall, a golden opportunity for reform
was lost. The council chamber, with its
rows of benches in a horseshoe, could
have been adapted to produce a debating
chamber like those of more grownup
nations, each seat equipped with a
screen and voting terminal, enabling
individual MPs to do what, by Soubry?s
account, they are too scared to do: vote
according to their beliefs and those of
their constituents.
It might even, in the long term, have
undermined the whole idea of government v opposition and enabled ad hoc
alliances to be formed when a realistic
alternative to government policy can be
developed ? such as now.
Our judicial system is similarly
blighted: as Keir Starmer once
observed,爐he idea that the truth can
emerge from a process in which two
barristers present opposing arguments
and expect 12 civilians to make the decision doesn?t make a lot of sense when
you think about it. But neither institution is likely to change while the lawyers
remain in燾harge.
Jim Trimmer
Kingston
Rachel Cooke?s
interview with
Anna Soubry last
week.
I am writing to condemn the death
threats made against my constituency
opponent Anna Soubry. Broxtowe?s MP
has the right to express her views without ?elding such disgusting responses.
I also share deep concern over the
impasse regarding the UK?s withdrawal
from the EU. But I disagree with her
identi?cation of the politicians ?history
will condemn? in relation to this issue.
The person responsible for this debacle
is David Cameron, in whose cabinet
Ms Soubry served and with whom she
agreed the timetable for the 2016 referendum that has left the country deeply
divided and facing an uncertain future.
Cameron?s chaotic cabinet?s failings
were compounded by their decision
to then allow him to lead the Remain
efforts and overshadow more established and credible campaigners.
Greg Marshall
Labour prospective parliamentary
candidate for Broxtowe
for revealing that she is opposed to the
EU withdrawal bill. The government,
apparently, has not expressed condemnation of this behaviour. There is also
silence from the many MPs who know
that leaving the EU will be disastrous
for the UK and who seem to be voting
against their consciences.
Theresa May is said to be in thrall to
hard Brexiters. My guess is that she is
in fear of losing votes and thus her role
as prime minister. But consider whose
votes she would be losing: those who
use social media to silence opposition by
threatening rape and murder, and those
who remain silent about such abuse.
I believe that large numbers of the
population now see that restoring fairness and equality in this country is the
business of the government and will not
be achieved by leaving the EU. Your editorial of 12 November said ?Enough of
this shambles?; let?s have the courage to
halt the process and manage the fallout.
Anna Soubry describes feeling emotionally wobbly after receiving death threats
Pat Brandwood
Broadstone
Dorset
FOR THE RECORD
Contrary to a quote in ?Why the North
Atlantic?s greatest survivors are again
facing extinction? (News, last week,
page 14) not all of the 16 right whales
found dead this year had become entangled in heavy ?shing gear. Some had
died after being struck by shipping.
TOP 10 ONLINE LAST WEEK
nights at the Royal Albert Hall (a return
to their farewell venue) in May 2005
and went on to appear for three nights
at the last US venue they played in 1968,
New York?s Madison Square Garden.
We said the wind turbine blade placed
earlier this year in Queen Victoria
Square, Hull, was a ?28ft rotor blade?.
We meant 28-tonne. It is actually
246ft (75 metres) long. (?We look at
the city with new eyes?, New Review,
19燦ovember, page 13).
A piece on exhibitions celebrating
the androgynous glamour of Marlene
Dietrich said her 1930 ?lm The Blue
Angel ?became notorious for a scene
in which a tailcoated Dietrich suddenly kisses a woman in her audience?.
We meant another 1930 Dietrich ?lm,
Morocco (?Still modern after all these
years?? In Focus, last week, page 26).
While technically Cream played their
last gig in 1968 (On this Day quiz,
New Review, last week, page 40), they
reformed 37 years later to play four
Write to Stephen Pritchard, Readers?
Editor, the Observer, York Way, London
N1 9GU, email observer.readers@
observer.co.uk tel 0203 353 4656
03.12.17
Read them at observer.co.uk
1. Irish warn Theresa May: change
course or risk Brexit chaos
2. Should I report sexual harassment if I
then slept with the man? Dear Mariella
3. Robert Mugabe to get $10m payo?
and immunity for his family
4. Ashes 2017-18: Australia v England
5. Labour sta? member dies suddenly
amid inquiry
6. House for sale: only problem is the
neighbours own half your bedroom
7. There?s only one sick country in
Europe and it?s not Germany Will Hutton
8. Anna Soubry on Brexit: interview
9. My futile attempt to sell satire to the
Daily Mail Stewart Lee
10. How ?pop-up? brothels transformed
Britain?s suburban sex industry
Fintan O?Toole?s excellent piece on
the Irish border issue (?The hardwon kinship between Britain and
Ireland is threatened by Brexit idiocy?,
Comment, last week) was followed
up by an editorial (?No foresight, no
planning ? the Irish border farce sums
up Brexit?) , which, as last week?s
correspondent J Peter Greaves pointed
out about another of your Brexit
editorials (Letters), ended up giving the
government wriggle room by stating
that ministers ?point out, reasonably?
that no solution is possible until the
conclusion of trade negotiations.
This is the excuse for stalling invoked
by Liam Fox, but is it reasonable? You
suggest there might be a ?high-access,
low-friction deal?, what Theresa May
optimistically calls ?deep and special?.
That would minimise the need for
customs checks, but the government
also promises a restrictive immigration
regime, which will necessitate passport
controls. The EU has made it clear that
if the UK insists on rejecting the single
market and the customs union, the best
deal on offer will be a Canada-style one.
They might be bluffing, but probably
not, so why does the government not
make proposals on that basis, or even
proposals for avoiding the ?return to
the borders of the past?? They could
also explain how they plan to square
tough immigration controls at Dover
and Heathrow with a wide-open land
border stretching from Newry to Derry.
Stephen Butcher
Ballymena
County Antrim
Helping chefs help themselves
Mental ill-health in the hospitality
industry is not a new problem,
especially among chefs (Observer Food
Monthly, last week). Research by the
mental health charity Mind shows
51% of chefs suffer depression due to
overwork ? and this re?ects a trend
we?ve seen at Hospitality Action. On
our website, views of anxiety, addiction,
stress and depression factsheets made
up 58% of the top 20 factsheet views in
the past three months.
It was refreshing to see Jay Rayner
address the situation in his article and
to highlight chefs such as Andrew
Clarke, of Brunswick House restaurant,
who has overcome his challenges and
is helping others via his social media
campaign, The Pilot Light. Problems
such as these have affected the industry
throughout the 180 years Hospitality
Action has existed. What has changed is
how much more open we are to talking
about the challenges. Our employee
assistance programme also offers
support to those suffering stress-related
symptoms. It is important that chefs
know at their darkest time that they?re
not alone and that employers offer the
support their staff need.
Mark Lewis
CEO, Hospitality Action
London, EC1
Upward mobility in Bath
Bath has also come under the
microscope of the Higher Education
Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
(?Why Bath?s gracious terraces are
echoing to the sound of student fury?,
last week). It has revealed that in terms
of the participation of young people
in higher education Bath is the most
unequal city in the country. In the
wealthy area of Lansdown (where the
vice-chancellor of Bath University
resides), 100% of young people go on to
higher education. However, in Twerton
just 12.1% do so.
Bath University has some of the
?nest sports facilities in Britain. I recall
a conversation on our prefab estate in
Twerton. One said: ?Wouldn?t it be great
if we had a tennis court here?? That
was in the 1950s. Waiting for the Tennis
Court Godot continues there to this day.
Ivor Morgan
Lincoln
Carers must use the law
I read your editorial (?The great
looming disaster that was ignored in
the budget ? the social care crisis?,
Comment, last week) with concern.
Not because I am one of the ageing
population, but because the word
?disabled? appeared in line six and
was not mentioned thereafter. I am
the father of a 61-year-old man on
the autistic spectrum. If by the word
?disabled? you also included the legions
of the ageing without legal capacity,
then the incapable have their own
issues, the burden of which falls on
sometimes old parents, but also on their
siblings and carers.
Because the group I am concerned
for has no legal capacity to intervene
on matters of professional support,
it has become more important for
their carers to become ?nancial and
welfare deputies under the wellintended provisions of the 2005 Mental
Capacity Act. You use ?toxic stasis? to
describe where we are. To combat that
pernicious status, I urge every parent
and sibling to make use of the provisions
of the Act. It need not be too costly
(but it is); it need not be too slow (but
it is). However, the powers are there.
One hopes charities and other agencies
will come together and examine
the legislation and see how it can be
improved, so that if governments cannot
be brave, parents and siblings can.
Michael Baron
London W2
Young at heart and in play
My husband and I were amused to ?nd
that, as mid-sixties grandparents, we are
?Older Children? in your gift categories
as we have just bought ourselves a
Nintendo Switch as a joint Christmas
present to entertain ourselves at
home and away in our motor home.
We may, of course, also challenge the
grandchildren occasionally.
Anni Gell
Nottingham
Sneering at miners re?ects a deeper malaise in our universities
Meg
y
Kneafsey
@MegKneafsey
L
ast week, Durham University?s
Trevelyan College rugby team
cancelled a miners? strikethemed party after receiving
almost universal condemnation. The
event, which encouraged students to
don ??at caps [and] ?lth? in an attempt
to depict the Thatcher government?s
confrontation in 1984, was derided by
the Durham Miners? Association for
trivialising the strike and referring to
the miners in derogatory terms.
The university, to its credit, joined
in, promptly condemning the rugby
team. Yet, as a recent graduate of
Durham, I can tell you it isn?t the ?rst,
and certainly won?t be the last, instance
of cultural elitism on campus. One of
the great aspects of Durham University
is its student-led approach. Students
are encouraged to organise everything,
from freshers? week to university
balls to college ?nance. However, this
laissez-faire attitude has its downsides.
The university allows plenty of
appalling behaviour to go unchecked.
The underlying problems are not just
about ?ippant students; they go much
deeper and re?ect a wider issue of the
social background of the student body.
Typically for an elite university,
Durham has a low intake of students
from state schools. This October, only
42.8% of new UK arrivals were from
state schools. The collegiate system,
for all its obvious bene?ts, mirrors a
boarding school, where you live and eat
among your peers, sing tribal college
songs and have inter-college rivalry.
Within its walls, Durham?s colleges
are palaces of decadence: grade-listed
accommodation, black tie formal
dinners, balls and annual skiing trips.
All of this helps to foster an exclusive
culture. For the socially privileged,
it is business as usual. They have no
problem settling in to a culture they are
already familiar with. Poorer students,
by contrast, are often struck by the
difference to their own experience.
Additionally, even if they wanted to
embrace much of what?s on offer, they
couldn?t necessarily afford to do so. For
example, balls can cost around �0 a
ticket; the skiing trip is at least �9; a
compulsory gown to wear at formals
costs �. Of course, students can
choose not to go to these events, but
this simply means that only those from
wealthy backgrounds can participate
in the popular social events and
networking opportunities.
The university also has a habit
of raising accommodation fees.
In 2011, the university increased
accommodation fees by 13.4%.
Although it has since agreed to only
raise accommodation in line with
in?ation, the recent 3.5% increase for
2018 means that a term-time catered
room is now �422 a year. (Many of the
colleges are exclusively catered and
freshers are required to live in college
in their ?rst year.)
At the same time, involvement with
the community is limited to outreach
programmes and the occasional
interaction with the catering staff (who
are, incidentally, not paid the living
wage). This is not a problem con?ned to
Durham, but is so much more obvious
when the disconnect between the
student body and local people is acute.
U
niversities are supposed to
be melting pots of ideas and
disciplines, bringing together
people from all backgrounds
in the shared pursuit of intellect and
progress. They offer a chance for people to widen their perspective and learn
about others. Instead, Durham creates
a bubble where the student body is
monolithic, re?ecting that of its most
privileged students. Consequently, the
privileged move seamlessly from one
echo chamber to the next, never having
their world view truly challenged.
Young people make mistakes
and everyone deserves a second
chance. However, while ill-informed
events such as Trevelyan?s rugby
social might appear trivial now, they
are a worrying sign for the future.
People from privileged backgrounds
continue to dominate top professions
disproportionately, from business to the
judiciary to the government, and they
have often attended top institutions
such as Durham.
Yet these people are surrounded only
by others like themselves for their entire
lives, leading to a lack of sensitivity
towards those outside their social
clique and, perhaps more alarmingly, a
narrower intellectual perspective. Until
our top universities commit to diversity
in education, another generation of
privileged graduates will continue to
live and rule according to own limited
world view.
03.12.17
*
Contact us Email financial@theguardian.com
Phone 020 3353 4791 Fax 020 3353 3196
| 39
Business
Agenda Waiting for a verdict
MAKING THE NEWS
Tax havens to learn if
they?ve fallen foul of EU
Which jurisdictions will be on the
EU blacklist of tax havens? This week
the composition of the list will be
revealed, but the ?nal number is not
yet clear. Finance ministers will decide
on Tuesday about the initiative, which
was begun earlier this year following
multiple disclosures of offshore tax
avoidance schemes by companies and
wealthy individuals.
The idea behind listing tax havens
is to discourage the setting-up of
shell structures abroad which are
themselves in many cases legal but
could hide illicit activities. There
are some 20 jurisdictions on the list,
according to reports, but this number
could be reduced for political reasons.
Reuters said last week that
after almost a year of screening
92 jurisdictions, EU experts have
prepared a draft blacklist of those
falling short of EU standards on tax
transparency and cooperation. The
?gure of 20 could drop, however, as
EU爂overnments may oppose the
inclusion of some jurisdictions.
There has been renewed public
pressure surrounding tax avoidance
following the publication of the Paradise
Papers, which detailed offshore
investment by wealthy individuals.
Brussels wrote to 41 countries at the
end of October informing them that
they would be blacklisted unless they
promised to change their tax rules.
Feature, page 40
Vijay Mallya: facing extradition hearing.
Courts catch up with
?good-time? boy Mallya
Self-proclaimed ?king of the good
times? Vijay Mallya is due in court
this week amid allegations that he
supported his Force India Formula
One team with money-laundered cash.
An extradition hearing is due to
begin on Monday in Westminster
magistrates? court, after the Indian
B SHANE
BY
H
HICKEY
MULBERRY BLOSSOMS AGAIN
government accused the ?amboyant
61-year-old of ?eeing to the UK to
avoid arrest in relation to �n of
unpaid debts.
He was ?rst arrested in April
following the Indian?s government
request for his extradition to stand trial
over an alleged debt of 94bn rupees
(�n) owed to state-owned banks
after the collapse of King?sher Airlines
in 2012. Another charge surrounds
allegations that some of the money
ended up with the Formula One team.
Mallya has denied these allegations
and that he has eluded any燾ourt.
Once known as the ?Branson of
Bangalore? for his business and sports
empire, which included beer and
spirits concerns and an airline, Mallya
has been seen being driven around
London in a silver Maybach with the
initials VJM on the registration plate.
The extradition hearing is expected to
last for eight days.
It doesn?t look too bad
for (retired) millennials
Hold on to your hats ? it?s pension
week. Several chunky pension reports
are expected to be released in the
coming days, according to investment
advisers Hargreaves Lansdown.
First will be the Pension Protection
Fund?s 2017 edition of its Purple Book,
which details the health of ?nalsalary schemes. Next up is Pensions
at a Glance from the Institute for
Fiscal Studies and the Organisation
for Economic Cooperation and
Development, which will look at how
the UK compares to other countries
in pension ?exibility. Finally, the
Department for Work and Pensions is
expected to publish a review of autoenrolment to gauge its success so far.
Elsewhere, the pessimism about
future ?nancial prospects for millennials was rejected by analysis that said
young adults would have retirement
incomes similar to today?s pensioners.
The study, by the Resolution Foundation, found men in their 40s would
suffer a fall in their retirement incomes
compared with today?s pensioners, but
the generation behind them would see
incomes recover. It said the average
pension for a man would be about �0
a week in 2020, taking into account
state and private pensions. This falls
to about �5 in the mid-2040s, in real
terms, ?before building again to about
�0 a week by the end of the 2050s?.
Mulberry will reveal whether its turnaround
plan has continued to bear fruit on Wednesday when it reports interim results.
The British brand reported strong sales
and profits last summer as the company
went into a second year of growth following
a disastrous move upmarket. It has since
targeted foreign markets and in July struck
VITAL STATISTIC
IHS Markit / CIPS Manufacturing PMI
60
50
30
2000
Average since Jan 1992
2005
2010
is dubbed ?affordable luxury?, selling bags
for hundreds rather than thousands of
pounds. The firm ousted its former chief
executive, Bruno Guillon, in March 2014
after his attempt to propel the brand into
the elite sector alongside Prada and Gucci,
by selling bags that cost more than �000,
alienated its core customers in the UK.
PEOPLE
UK MANUFACTURING
40
a deal to sell its bags and leather goods in
Japan, strengthening its Asian position following similar moves in China.
Chief executive Thierry Andretta, who
joined from C閘ine in 2015, has looked to
international customers as part of his
expansion plans for the brand. The Frenchman has sought to return Mulberry to what
2015
UK factories are seeing the best conditions
in more than four years as strong demand
boosts orders, production and jobs,
according to IHS Markit and the Chartered
Institute of Procurement and Supply.
Quote of the week goes to Labour leader
Jeremy Corbyn, who told Morgan Stanley
it was correct to regard him with concern:
?They?re right. We?re a threat to a damaging
and failed system that?s rigged for the few.?
A good week for Paul
and Nikki Turner. The
couple who spent 10
years investigating
a multimillion-pound fraud at HBOS have
settled their claim for compensation with
Lloyds Banking Group, which took over the
bank at the height of the ?nancial crisis.
Lloyds apologised for the ?signi?cant
personal distress? faced by the Turners,
who raised the alarm about fraud inside
the Reading branch of HBOS, for which six
people were jailed earlier this year.
A bad week for Gautam
Adani, chairman of
the Adani Group. The
company is again
likely to have to answer allegations that
it siphoned more than $600m (�5m)
into overseas tax havens, after Indian
?nancial commissioners recommended
that the authorities should appeal against a
judgment that cleared the mining giant.
Postscript Price problems
COMPANIES
More branches fall as
RBS wields axe again
Goldmans boss won?t
be banking on bitcoin
Another week of wild hype and volatility
over bitcoin. The cryptocurrency
plunged by 20% in one 24-hour period
after reaching record highs this week ?
while high-pro?le critics continued to
ring alarm bells. Having topped $11,000
to reach a new record of $11,395 on
Wednesday, it fell to a low of $9,000 on
Thursday, before going on to pick up
slightly later in the day.
?Something that moves 20%
[overnight] does not feel like a
currency. It is a vehicle to perpetrate
fraud,? said Lloyd Blankfein, the chief
executive of Goldman Sachs. ?Bitcoin
is not for me. A lot of things that
have not been for me in the past 20
years have worked out, but I am not
Fake news: Blankfein on cryptocurrency.
guessing that this will work out.?
He is the latest boss of a major bank
to voice scepticism about bitcoin, after
JP Morgan?s chief executive, Jamie
Dimon, described it as fraud that
would ultimately blow up and said it
was only ?t for use by drug dealers,
murderers and people living in places
such as North Korea.
Comment, page 43
Another blow was struck to high
street banking when Royal Bank
of Scotland announced it was to
close 259燽ranches, as customers
increasingly turn to online banking.
The bailed-out lender said 62 Royal
Bank of Scotland and 197 NatWest
branches would shut. While the Unite
union said 1,000 jobs faced the axe,
the bank, which is 71% owned by the
taxpayer, said there would be 680
redundancies after redeployments.
In March, when RBS last announced
a branch closure programme, the
consumer group Which? calculated
that high street banks had closed
more than 1,000 branches in the UK
between January 2015 and January
2017, with HSBC axing the most over
this period.
COMPETITION LAW
How to make a Belgian?s blood boil?
Tell them they have been paying over
the odds for their favourite tipples
for the last few years. AB InBev, the
world?s biggest brewing company, has
been accused by the European commission of charging less for its popular
Jupiler and Leffe beers in France and
the Netherlands than in Belgium, and
How much are Belgians charged for beer?
using its dominant position in the
Belgian market to get away with it.
?Our preliminary ?nding is that AB
InBev may have deliberately prevented
cheaper beer imports out of France
and the Netherlands from reaching
consumers in Belgium. Such practices
would breach EU competition rules,
because they deny consumers the bene?ts of the EU single market ? choice
and lower prices,? said Margrethe
Vestager, the commissioner in charge
of competition policy.
After a year-long investigation, the
commission said it believed there
was evidence that AB InBev had been
pursuing ?a deliberate strategy? for
at least eight years to prevent supermarkets and wholesalers from buying
Jupiler and Leffe at lower prices in the
Netherlands and France and importing
them into Belgium. AB InBev would
not comment except to say that it was
working constructively with the commission on the complaints.
*
40 | BUSINESS
03.12.17
From paradise to blacklist: EU?s
On Tuesday, Europe?s leaders intend
to name a series of ?non-cooperative
jurisdictions?. But debate is raging
about the inclusion of some
devastated Caribbean islands ? and
the suggestion that no EU state will
be included. Juliette Garside reports
W
hen Europe?s ?nance
ministers sit down to
a working breakfast
in Brussels on Tuesday, after deciding
whether to order the
continental or the full English, the British delegation will be faced with an even
tougher decision.
Chancellor Philip Hammond and his
counterparts will be asked to approve a
list of those countries, island states and
former colonies which the European
Union has deemed to be ?non-cooperative jurisdictions?. Put more plainly,
the EU will be announcing a blacklist of
tax havens.
Coming as it does less than a month
after the publication of the Paradise
Papers ? an investigation by the Guardian and 95 partners worldwide into a
leak of 13.4 million ?les from two offshore service providers ? the announcement is hotly anticipated. Campaigners,
lobbyists and politicians on both sides of
the offshore debate are on tenterhooks.
For the kind of small island economies
whose GDP depends on selling secrecy
and tax breaks, a blacklisting could be
devastating, particularly if Brussels follows up with a series of sanctions for
doing business in these countries.
Speculation about who will be placed
on the EU?s naughty step has reached
fever pitch. The latest draft, according
to reports last week, contains 20 names,
down from a possible 92 at the beginning
of the year. That number could be further whittled down ? the horse-trading
is continuing up to the wire. So ?erce is
the debate that some believe publication
might be postponed.
?The ?nance ministers of the member
states must not let political considerations cloud their judgment when agreeing their ?nal list next week,? says the
in?uential tax reform campaigner and
German MEP Sven Giegold.
One of the big questions is how many,
if any, members of the UK?s sprawling
offshore network will be named.
Any decision taken by ministers on
Tuesday will have to be unanimous. Britain may be exiting Europe, but it retains
its veto until 2019 and Theresa May?s
government has been pulling every lever
to protect its dependencies. Whitehall
sources have con?rmed that those Car-
ibbean territories which suffered the
most damage during this year?s devastating hurricanes will be given extra time to
get their house in order.
It has been reported that seven jurisdictions, not all of them British, have
been given a temporary reprieve in order
to recover from the damage. This is likely
to mean the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and the Turks & Caicos Islands ?
all of which are UK territories that took a
battering from hurricanes Harvey, Irma
and Maria ? are safe for now.
They are likely to be included on a
?grey? list. This second register will
name jurisdictions currently acting as
tax havens that have told the EU they
intend to improve their transparency,
information sharing and tax rules. The
grey list could be made public, or ministers may decide it should remain unpublished for now.
Leading the project is Frenchman
Pierre Moscovici, in his role as ?nance
commissioner. He has been working on
it for two years. ?I hope that next week
this blacklist will be decided and made
public,? he said. ?There must be no delay
and no compromise.?
In January this year, 92 countries
received a screening letter. They
included some of the world?s biggest
states, including China, the US and
Japan; small European countries such
as Monaco and Andorra; and tiny developing nations such as Niue in the Paci?c.
They were informed that they would be
assessed against three broad criteria: tax
transparency; fair taxation; and commitment to implementing measures agreed
by the OECD intended to stop countries
stealing each others? tax bases.
The commission has published speci?c measures by which countries can
earn the brownie points needed to stay
off the list. These include signing up to
the common reporting standard, which
sees countries commit to sharing information on bank accounts held by individuals who are not their own citizens.
The names of bank account holders are
handed once a year to the tax authorities
of those individuals? home countries.
A corporation tax rate of zero is not
by itself a black mark, but the country
should not facilitate offshore structures
or give tax breaks to companies with no
real presence in their jurisdiction.
In October, the commission wrote to
41 countries warning they had failed the
test and were likely to be blacklisted,
unless they promised to change their
ways. None were British territories ?
under pressure from Westminster, Brussels had agreed to hold back. Then the
ground shifted once more.
Stories began appearing in the press
that a major new offshore leak was about
to be published by the team behind last
year?s Panama Papers. The Isle of Man
called in the Treasury to review $1bn
(�0m) of VAT refunds it had issued
to private jet owners. Five days before
?The EU should use
Brexit to blacklist UK
overseas territories
and force government
to end their poisonous
tax secrecy?
Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP
the publication of the Paradise Papers,
Jeremy Corbyn picked up the cudgels,
marvelling at how 957 private jet owners had chosen to register their aircraft
on one small island.
?When it comes to paying taxes,? Corbyn told May, ?there?s one rule for the
super-rich and another for the rest of us.?
A day or two later, Britain relented.
The commission ?red off letters to a further 12 tax havens, including the Isle of
Man, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
Since then, May?s government
appears to have regained some sway.
Sources close to the process say UK
Drugs ?rms join ?ght against
painkiller deaths epidemic
by Julia Kollewe
The numbers in the US alone are
astonishing: more than 53,000 people
over 12 months; an average of 146 a
day. This is the death toll from opioid
overdoses last year, many of them from
widely prescribed painkillers, such as
tramadol, codeine and oxycodone.
Donald Trump has declared
America?s opioid problem a ?public
health emergency? as it spiralled into
the deadliest drug epidemic in US history. Now the pharmaceutical industry,
which has been heavily criticised for its
role in the crisis, is seeking to address a
disaster it helped create. Two companies are offering new monthly treatments for those hooked on powerful
painkillers, with one approved by the
US regulator last week.
London-listed Indivior, which was
spun out of Reckitt Benckiser in 2014,
has developed a medication that is
injected into the belly fat once a month
? the world?s ?rst monthly treat-
ment for opioid addiction. Sublocade
contains buprenorphine, which was
developed by Reckitt in Hull and takes
away cravings without giving a high.
The new medication, which is set
to hit the US market early next year, is
designed to create a steady state in the
patient without withdrawal symptoms
(nausea, itching, the shakes), thereby
reducing the chance of relapse while
receiving counselling and support.
Indivior is also in talks with regulators in the UK, Australia, Canada,
Sweden and Germany about having
Sublocade approved. Paul Cuddon,
analyst at stockbroker Numis, said:
?Sadly, it is not a perfect cure, but
does appear to signi?cantly increase
the abstinence rate in hard-to-treat
patients.?
Elsewhere in the industry, another
injectable treatment that can be given
weekly or monthly has been developed
by Swedish ?rm Camurus and licensed
to private-equity-owned Braeburn
Pharmaceuticals of the US. The advisory panel for the US Food and Drug
Administration has recommended
approval for some of the proposed
doses, asking for more data on the
higher doses. The regulator?s decision
is due in mid-January.
Indivior and Braeburn are trying to
tackle a massive problem. Almost 12爉illion adults misused opioids in the US
last year and more than 2.5 million were
diagnosed with opioid-use disorder; yet
only 1.1 million received treatment. In
England, the number of patients admitted to hospital for overdosing on opioid
painkillers doubled in the past decade,
to 11,660 last year. Opioid prescriptions
doubled to 24 million in 2016, according
to NHS Digital ?gures.
03.12.17
BUSINESS | 41
*
net starts to close on tax havens
PM is standing foursquare
behind UK dependencies
COMMENTARY
Hamilton, Bermuda: the
Bermudan law firm Appleby
was at the heart of the
recent Paradise Papers.
leak. Photograph by Drew
Angerer/Getty
dependencies are likely to feature on the
grey list if they are named at all.
Moscovici wants the grey list made
public, and has offered to act as a monitor, ensuring the promised improvements are delivered. He claims transparency is the best weapon against tax
evasion, telling MEP?s last week: ?Those
who practice ?scal optimisation are a bit
like vampires. They fear the light.?
In a draft dated 21 November and seen
by Bloomberg, the 36 countries named
included Panama, Tunisia, Serbia,
Armenia, the Cook Islands and the Marshall Islands. There has been talk of add-
ing Turkey. The US, despite being the
location of secrecy states like Delaware
and Wyoming, where companies can
be set up without declaring who owns
them, is de?nitely not on the list. Neither
is Switzerland. Most controversially, no
EU country will be named.
?Hypocrisy on this front tends to
turn against the blacklisting power,? the
campaign group Tax Justice Network
warned last week as it published its own
blacklist.
Using the EU criteria, it singles out 41
countries, six of which are EU member
states with a mixture of low tax rates,
poor transparency, and generous deals
on offer to multinationals. They are
Cyprus, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta,
Netherlands ? and the United Kingdom.
The Green MEP Molly Scott Cato also
believes that, after Brexit, Europe may
have the power to force through more
change.
?The EU should use the opportunity
of Brexit to blacklist the UK overseas territories and force the government to end
their poisonous tax secrecy,? says Scott
Cato. ?The EU needs to be clear that it
will not sign a free trade agreement with
the UK until its cleans up its act on tax.?
Fentanyl, which
was originally
developed for
cancer patients,
has become one of
the biggest killers
? it was the drug
that killed US
singer Prince.
sports injuries. Aside from the human
cost, the cost to the US economy was
estimated at $504bn in 2015, and since
then the crisis has worsened.
Shaun Thaxter, Indivior?s chief
executive, said: ?This is not the stereotyped image of an injecting heroin
user living on the street ? we are
talking about people from all levels
of爏ociety.?
More than 34,000 people died in
the US in 2016 after overdosing on
synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and
tramadol (almost 20,000 deaths), or
natural and semi-synthetic painkillers including morphine, codeine and
oxycodone (over 14,500 deaths). There
were also more than 15,500 heroin and
3,400 methadone deaths, according to
provisional government ?gures.
Fentanyl, a painkiller developed as a
patch for cancer patients that is nearly
100 times stronger than morphine, has
become one of the biggest killers. It is
the drug that killed singer Prince; it is
easy to make illicitly and cheap to buy
on the street. Street heroin is increasingly laced with fentanyl. Shipped
over from China, the synthetic opioid?s
apt street names are Drop Dead and
Murder 8 ? a single pill can kill.
In Britain, at least 88 deaths have
been linked to fentanyl since last
December, up from 58 in 2016 and 34
in 2015. Victims include 18-year-old
skateboarder Robert Fraser from Kent,
who died last November. His mother
said she had never heard of fentanyl
until she read the toxicology report.
Harry Shapiro, director of UK charity DrugWise, has been calling on the
UK government to set up a helpline. He
said: ?It?s a public health issue hidden
in plain sight. It?s got to run into hundreds of thousands of people.?
However, cost could also be an issue.
Sublocade will cost $1,580 per monthly
dose. But the new medication is still
expected to become a blockbuster; analysts at Jefferies are forecasting peak
sales of $1.3bn by 2025.
America?s opioid crisis dates back
to the 1990s, when healthcare organisations encouraged doctors to treat
post-operative pain more aggressively. But then drug companies,
led by Purdue Pharma, the maker of
OxyContin, embarked on an aggressive push of opioid painkillers for all
kinds of chronic pain, enticing doctors with freebies and all-expensespaid trips. Opioid pills were soon
sold in vast quantities through barely
regulated treatment centres, known
as ?pill mills?.
Many more pharma companies will
need to follow Indivior?s example if the
industry is to silence its critics.
The Indivior and Braeburn drugs
are an opportunity for the drug industry to atone for its aggressive push of
opioids as the go-to medication for
pain. It is facing a wave of litigation:
a county in New York state has sued
Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson,
Teva and Endo over their marketing
of opioids.
Opioid overdoses have become the
leading cause of death in Americans
under 50 ? four people are dying from
them every hour. At the root of the
crisis are overprescriptions of opioid
painkillers ? drugs derived directly
from the opium poppy or made synthetically ? for anything from cancer to
Shortly before triggering article 50,
Theresa May and Philip Hammond
invoked the tax-haven threat.
Should Britain not get its way in the
negotiations for a post-Brexit trading
relationship with Europe, the chancellor explained that Britain could be
forced to abandon its ?European-style
taxation?. A spokesman con?rmed that
the prime minister stood ready to do so.
Could Britain become a fully ?edged
tax haven? Eleven months and several
offshore scandals later, the question
still hangs in the air.
From Jacob Rees-Mogg to Arron
Banks, to the many hedge-fund bosses
who contributed to Leave campaign
coffers, the donors and politicians
pushing for a hard Brexit have extensive offshore dealings.
The prime minister?s own husband,
Philip May, is employed to market a Los
Angeles investment fund called Capital
Group. It appears extensively in the
?les of the offshore law ?rm Appleby,
whose data was at the centre of the
recent Paradise Papers revelations.
Her response to that scandal has
shown beyond question that May?s
government is standing foursquare
behind Britain?s network of
tax爃avens.
David Cameron was consistent
in arguing for more transparency,
and he used last year?s Panama
Papers to push through
reforms, making the
names of shell company
owners easier to access
for law authorities, if
not the general public.
May, by contrast,
is ?ghting tooth
and nail to protect
the jurisdictions
that conceal the
?nancial secrets of
multinationals and the
global super-rich. She has
refused to heed calls for more offshore
transparency, by forcing overseas territories to publish registers of the bene?cial owners of companies and trusts.
Now Britain is blocking attempts by
the European commission to blacklist
its燿ependencies.
While it remains within Europe,
the UK is using its remaining political
capital to block reform. Its departure in
2019 will remove an important protection for those tax havens that recognise
the Queen as their head of state.
Pierre Moscovici (pictured), the
Brussels commissioner leading the
blacklist push, wants to follow up with
an agreement on sanctions for those
jurisdictions singled out as tax havens.
Some have suggested the aid tap
could be turned off for developing
nations that resort to tax havenry. The
most stringent measure put forward is a
withholding duty on transfers of funds
into tax havens. There are precedents.
When America wanted to force banks
in Switzerland and elsewhere to disclose US account holders to the tax service, it threatened those who failed to
share the information with a 30% levy
on transfers out of American accounts.
Rather than pay, most complied.
Tax Justice Network chief executive
Alex Cobham says Europe could take
similar action if provoked. British
banks could be denied the passporting rights that allow them to
trade in Europe. For this reason,
he believes the regulation free,
low-tax paradise that some Brexiters dream of is a receding
prospect. ?Withholding passporting rights
would be a relatively
light sanction and
easy to agree but the
impact for the UK
would be enormous,?
says Cobham. ?This
is probably the last
time that the UK
can play the role of
major燽locker.?
Juliette Garside
WHO WILL BE ON THE LIST?
In a recent report, Blacklist or Whitewash?,
Oxfam applied the criteria the EU is using
to draw up the blacklist to 92 countries
screened by the union and its 28 member
states. The criteria exclude EU member
states, but if they did not, Oxfam
concluded that four countries should be
blacklisted: Ireland; Luxembourg; The
Netherlands; Malta.
It also concluded that 35 non-EU
states should be on the list: Albania;
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba;
Bahamas; Bahrain; Bermuda; Bosnia and
Herzegovina; British Virgin Islands; Cook
Islands; Cayman Islands; Cura鏰o; Faroe
Islands; Macedonia; Gibraltar; Greenland;
Guam; Hong Kong; Jersey; Marshall
Islands; Mauritius; Montenegro; Nauru;
New Caledonia; Niue; Oman; Palau; Serbia;
Singapore; Switzerland; Taiwan; Trinidad
and Tobago; UAE; US Virgin Islands;
Vanuatu.
03.12.17
Analysis
*
BUSINESS | 43
Ill-prepared investors hoping to mine bitcoin
billions may end up with a sack of fool?s gold
Grayling mustn?t
shunt true cost
of rail network
into the sidings
BUSINESS LEADER
A
S
ifting the Yukon river for
gold was a waste of time for
most of the 100,000 prospectors seeking to make
themselves rich in the 1890s.
The same can be said of the
bitcoin miners who dream of striking it
rich by getting their hands on some of
the extremely lucrative and painfully
elusive electronic currency.
Relatively few people have managed to decipher the codes needed
to extract bitcoins from the 21 million locked inside the mathematical problems set by its creator, the
software engineer whose true identity
is unknown but who goes by the name
Satoshi燦akamoto.
Those who have employed enough
computer power and code-cracking
know-how can consider themselves
rich now that the value of one bitcoin
has soared from $753 last December
to around $10,000. The rest have
deployed huge amounts of energy and
time for no return.
Should anyone be worried about this
turn of events? Or will it go down as a
moment in history when an asset was
mined, some people got rich and ... that
was it?
The ambitions of the bitcoin community mean the creation of a new
currency must be taken more seriously. Its stellar rise in the last 18
months is likely to have sucked in
thousands of speculators, many of
them ordinary爄nvestors.
And with mainstream ?nancial
exchanges looking to host bitcoin as
a tradeable asset, or list derivatives of
bitcoin on their trading boards, thousands more will be sucked in over the
next 18 months.
Where ordinary investors, hunting in large numbers, seek a return on
their savings in a high-risk environment, governments are usually minded
to爎egulate.
The idea behind bitcoin was that
it should be like any commodity that,
once discovered, became increasingly
difficult to extract. Like gold, it would
become a store of value and make those
Bitcoin cannot be manipulated by central banks, which has made it attractive to certain types of investors. Alamy
clever enough to ?nd it and believe in
it very rich.
The distributed ledger designed
to make each bitcoin account secure
and accountable without the need for
third parties, like banks, to be involved
became for many participants a
potential template for all future deposit
saving and trading.
To that end, it was also viewed as
a replacement currency to the dollar,
euro or pound ? one that could not be
manipulated by central banks, which
are only too keen to print extra notes,
and thereby devalue the currency, in
times of trouble. It is a seductive package that has led many in the banking
industry ? those most under threat ?
to call it a fraud.
Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein
said so last week, adding his voice to JP
Morgan?s Jamie Dimon.
Dimon described it as fraud that
would ultimately blow up and said the
desire to hide funds from regulators
and the police meant it was only ?t for
use by drug dealers, murderers and
people living in places such as North
Korea. Blankfein was more concerned
that its volatile price, which dropped
20% in less than 24 hours after topping
$11,000 last week, disquali?ed it from
being a sensible currency.
Sir Jon Cunliffe, a deputy governor
of the Bank of England, summed up the
view of many in the City when he said
calmly that bitcoin was a sideshow and
too small to pose a systemic threat to
the global economy.
To cover his ?ank against accusa-
tions that the Bank, which is the UK?s
chief ?nancial regulator, was too dismissive of the issue, he also cautioned
that bitcoin investors needed ?to do
their homework?.
No doubt all bitcoin investors think
they have done their homework. And
regulators probably think they have
enough work to do. But while it is easy
to say that a fool and their money are
soon parted, anyone who interacts
with the ?nancial services industry
is a potential victim. And, with this in
mind, regulators should be ready to
impose all the usual tools of misselling
rules and compensation schemes on
this freshly minted industry.
At the moment, bitcoin is having a
free ride. The tipping point is close.
Regulators should be prepared.
No, Jeremy Corbyn ? banker baiting is bad for business
P
icking a ?ght with a banker
is still a good sport, 10 years
after Northern Rock collapsed.
Jeremy Corbyn knows it will
provoke his supporters to chant his
name to the tune of the White Stripes
song Seven Nation Army once again.
So there is probably little shock
value in his response to Morgan
Stanley last week after the US bank?s
analysis that a Corbyn government
would be bad for its clients and
investors. However, a prime-ministerin-waiting might want to be more
circumspect about revolutionising
an industry that accounts for more
than 10% of GDP and makes a huge
contribution to improving the UK?s
balance of payments.
It?s an uncomfortable truth that
Britain would ?nd life difficult
without the foreign banks in the
Square Mile. Careful reforms are
needed, not knee-jerk reactions.
nother private operator on the
east coast mainline, another
bailout. History is repeating
itself ? again ? and Chris Grayling is in the middle of the farce.
The transport secretary?s efforts
to drum up a narrative of reversing
Beeching cuts could not conceal the
small print in his rail strategy: a shabby
face-saving deal with Stagecoach and
Virgin, two ?rms who have richly profited from privatisation. Their Virgin
Trains East Coast joint venture is to be
curtailed, meaning that billions promised to the taxpayer by private-sector
?rms have again proved to be notional.
The government was in an invidious position: a delay to infrastructure
work by Network Rail, and the shaky
entry into service of Hitachi trains
commissioned by the Department for
Transport, certainly gave the operators
cause for complaint. Yet it will appear
once again that private ?rms expect the
downside to lie with the taxpayer.
Stagecoach/Virgin has a rich history
of getting its way with the DfT, notably
during the 2012 west coast franchise
debacle, where it wrested back control
of the contract from First Group. Since
then, soul-searching reports have concluded that franchising does, indeed,
work ? but evidence has also accumulated to the contrary.
Competition has all but vanished:
both parties in that west coast ?asco
have been allowed to hang on to large
franchises. The Thameslink megafranchise has turned Govia, which previously ran Southern services without
much mishap, into a basket case.
What franchising does offer the
government is the ?g-leaf of privately
owned railways, even as it effectively
dictates whether guards stay on trains,
and by how much fares should rise.
Taking the ?ak directly, from commuters or unions, would not be for
the fainthearted: Labour?s pledge to
renationalise, slowly, is pragmatic. Yet
an honest conversation about the true
costs of the rail network, and who does
and should invest, is long overdue.
Grayling?s latest sleight of hand shows
it is unlikely to be forthcoming soon.
The Brexit ?patriots? care little for British history or in?uence
IN MY VIEW
EW
W
William
Keegan
P
hilip Hammond?s recent budget
? are you old enough to remember it? ? was completely overshadowed by the gloomy analysis
of our economy, present and future,
presented by the Office for Budget
Responsibility on the same day.
Politically, the chancellor was
constrained by the knowledge that the
minority of deranged Brexiters who
seem to be running this government
were out for his blood. However,
he managed, with limited room for
manoeuvre, to ward off the hyenas for
the time being. Why, the prime minister
? who had earlier contemplated
sacking him ? even turned up for the
Treasury?s post-budget drinks.
One of those out for his blood, a
certain Michael Gove, is on record as
not believing in expertise ? except,
presumably, his own. Gove was not one
of the Brexiters who publicly urged
the chancellor to massage the official
forecasts to produce a favourable
outcome for Brexit: that dubious
honour lies with John Redwood and
Jacob Rees-Mogg. However, I expect
that, privately, Gove was with them in
spirit ? or perhaps devilry.
At all events, Gove evidently
conspired with the egregious Boris
Johnson to tell Theresa May to ?re
the non-believers in her cabinet, and
strengthen the cabal that wants to
crash out of the EU and pursue a lowtax, minimum-regulation programme
that could make the present austerity
policy look like a vicarage tea party.
Meanwhile, people should not
be deceived by reports of possible
breakthroughs in our negotiations
with the other 27 members of the EU
? a union in which I, and a growing
number of the public I meet, hope we
shall remain. The fact is that it is still
the policy of this supine government to
abandon our privileged position within
the customs union and the single
market, and take a leap in the dark.
One sometimes wonders: do the
extreme Brexiters, and their fellow
travellers, ever ask themselves, as most
ordinary citizens do from an early age,
about the company they keep? Has it
not occurred to them that our friends
overseas think that, by heading for
Brexit, Britain seems to be having a
collective nervous breakdown?
Have they not noticed that our
enemies thoroughly approve of Brexit?
Messrs Gove and Johnson presumably
paid attention occasionally to their
history teachers. They must be aware
of the British tradition of trying to
maintain the balance of power in
Europe. Quite apart from the economic
considerations, can they sleep at night
when considering that President Putin
sees Brexit as a full-frontal attack on
Nato and the cohesion of Europe?
And what about my old friend David
Davis? His resistance to full disclosure
of the government?s honest assessment
of the economic consequences of
Brexit sits ill with his decades-long
campaign for more open government.
As the economic damage of even
the prospect of Brexit becomes more
apparent by the week, does Davis ever
People should not be
deceived by reports
of breakthroughs in
our negotiations with
the 27 EU members
look back to the wise words he uttered
in the Commons on 26 November
2002? ?Referendums should be held
when the electorate are in the best
possible position to make a judgment.
They should be held when people
can view all the arguments for and
against and when those arguments
have been rigorously tested. In short,
referendums should be held when
people know exactly what they are
getting ? we should not ask people to
vote on a blank sheet of paper and tell
them to trust us to ?ll in the details
afterwards.? He added: ?Referendums
need to be treated as an addition to
the parliamentary process, not as a
substitute for it.?
As Observer reader David Crawford
wrote last week: the referendum
ballot paper ?made no mention of
the single market? and the guidance,
probably not read by most people,
merely warned of the risks of losing
?full? access to the single market, not of
crashing out altogether.
The government is trying to make
the best of a bad job by recognising
the need for an industrial strategy
? anathema to Mrs Thatcher?s
governments ? with the emphasis on
the advanced technology in which it
believes the UK has a comparative
advantage. But as the veteran British
industrialist Tom Brown points out
in his book Tragedy and Challenge,
an enthralling account of Britain?s
industrial decline, the best market for
our advanced exports is the EU, from
which the Brexiters wish to depart, not
the distant, and much smaller, markets
on which they waste their fantasies.
Brown?s book constitutes a
stark reminder of how successive
governments have wasted so much
time in the search for the Holy Grail.
After monetarism and the ERM, they
saw salvation in the pursuit of in?ation
targets. In a seminal lecture last week
on the mishandling of our relationship
with the rest of the EU by both Tony
Blair and David Cameron, Sir Ivan
Rogers, formerly our ambassador to
the EU, noted the connection between
that obsession with in?ation and the
referendum disaster.
In his previous capacity as principal
private secretary to the prime minister,
Rogers witnessed what proved to
be a fatal misjudgment. While other
countries were phasing in entry from
eastern Europe into their labour
forces, Tony Blair was urged by Bank
of England governor Mervyn King
?to open the labour market without
transition on the grounds that it would
help lower wage growth and in?ation?.
And here we are ?
44 | BUSINESS
*
Media
Sadly, Time did
too little and
waited too long
PRESS AND
BROADCASTING
Peter
Preston
F
or many decades, Time was
the world?s biggest, most
in?uential news magazine.
A name to conjure with. Its
person of the year edition still
makes US presidents drool
(though only if they?re called Trump).
But see how such strength drains
away as Meredith ? a more mundane
company from Des Moines, Iowa, much
assisted by a $650m investment from
the Koch brothers, the rightest of the
right ? steps in to acquire it. See how
the mighty are falling.
There?s a residual package here
worth a $2.8bn deal, to be sure. Some
of the US titles ? Sports Illustrated,
People ? remain top of their respective
shops. Time itself may be slipping from
4.5爉illion copies week down towards
the 3 million mark, but it?s still a force
to be reckoned with. And the empire?s
British wing ? Horse & Hound, Woman?s Own, Ideal Home, Angler?s Mail et
al ? seems suitably eclectic.
What?s gone wrong then? Why is
Time Inc passing into the midwestern
maw, far from the metropolitan bustle
and glamour of the Big Apple? And
what happens next?
Two great failures of the last few
years loom insistently. One, summed
up by Rick Stengel, once a respected
editorial team leader, has a familiar
ring. ?Every year for seven years when
I was editor, I asked for money for
investment in digital and new media
and every year I was turned down. We
never missed an opportunity to miss
an爋pportunity.?
Another is the context that magazines of Time?s type have to work in.
When Henry Luce founded Time in
1923, there was, of course, no TV, no
digital, no expanded coverage via satellite printing. America was a big country
studded with big-city newspapers that
dominated their states and regions.
Therefore a news magazine that served
the whole country (and key capitals
abroad) had a powerful pull. Time, once
a week, gave you politics, science and
the arts on a designer plate. It put the
United States together.
That formula doesn?t really work
any longer in an era of instant digital news. Time has to become more
re?ective and informative. But there,
at the top end, lies Economist territory,
a success story of transition from print
to web; and Time hasn?t quite made
the leap yet. Does it peddle news, or
analysis? Does it ooze expertise, or
let gossip and personalities take their
turn? Does燽eing American, re?ecting
American attitudes and policies, confer
instant authority?
You can see attempts to answer
some of those difficult questions
through the slipping sales and diminishing revenues ? six slithering quarters in succession currently ? that have
made Time vulnerable to a takeover.
Print advertising is 19% down yearon-year, newsstand sales down 20%.
You can also see the tragedy behind
Stengel?s燾riticisms.
Digital meant huge investment and
a complete reassessment of Time?s
place in the publishing world ( just like
People?s place in a clamorous celebrity
market, with TV channels abounding).
No one stumped up for such visions
of profound change. Time?s managers
squeezed and trimmed ? and let inertia
underpin decline.
What?s next from Meredith? Probably more of the same as, one by one,
titles are sold off or merged. There?s
always a certain amount of cash to be
made on slippery slopes, as costs are
carved back and overheads combined.
There?s always the lure for very rich
men of seeming to wield editorial
power. Just watch the Kochs.
New hope and new beginnings don?t
come this way, though. Who?s the new
man of the year for front-cover treatment? Not, alas, Rich Battista, president
of the board as Time ran out.
03.12.17
Will Burns be up
to handling hot
Ofcom issues?
L
ord (Terry) Burns of Pitshanger is
the new chairman of Ofcom. He is
also, or has been, permanent secretary at the Treasury, chairman of
Glas Cymru, Santander UK, the National
Lottery, Abbey National, the Royal
Academy of Music, the Monteverdi
Orchestra, Welsh Water, the NIESR,
and M&S. He?s inevitably Lord Ubiquity
on the non-exec directorial front, plus
a senior fellow (or equivalent) of every
economics cabal in town, including the
oversight board at the Office for Budget
Responsibility. He used to be a director
of Queens Park Rangers.
In short, he?s served almost everywhere and done almost everything.
Does that make him a suitable overall boss of UK media regulation (on
�0,000 a year)? Only if you believe
that ex-Treasury polymaths ? superintending chief Sharon White, another
former Treasury mandarin ? are the
obvious answer for Ofcom as a digital
revolution sweeps on. Only, in the curiously closed world of media policing, if
you assume that good old Baron Burns
is the perfect, safe choice for any HMG
plum job going. Plus 鏰 change, plus
c?est le m阭e Terry.
The royal engagement has pushed some other important news down the agenda. Rex
Markle helps Mail dodge Brexit bill
W
hen Theresa May pays
homage at Paul Dacre?s big
25-years-ruling-the-Mail
party, it?s assumed that
he?s calling the tune. But consider. The
Mail has reputedly paid six ?gures for
20-year-old pictures of a teenage Miss
Markle. It?s produced a special supplement to celebrate Harry?s impending
nuptials. And where is the smoking gun
as May lumps an extra �bn-�bn on
top of her Brexit offer?
?We?ve got a deal? says the headline
on page nine. ?Sterling jumps? and all
that jazz. Fury and retribution mysteriously swallowed in a trice. I?ve heard
of retreating under cover of darkness,
but retreating under cover of Markle??
Just pass the confetti and smile, darn
you, smile.
Ipso must be UK?s de facto regulator
O
nce upon a time, a couple of
years ago, the massed ranks
of newspapers great or small
condemned Leveson?s plans for
low-cost arbitration on reader complaints. But then Impress, the soonto-be-sancti?ed Leveson regulator,
produced its own scheme (which might
have been more successful if Impress
had any weighty members to operate
it) and the House of Commons select
committee grew restive.
The squeeze, with no Tory overall
election majority, was on.
So it was, last week, that Ipso, the big
but unrecognised regulator, produced
its own scenario for cheap arbitration,
and its former fulminations died away.
One question. If walls of fear can disintegrate so fast, why doesn?t Ipso bid
for regulatory recognition, surely ?nishing off Impress, which stumbles along
as its members and directors put tweets
where prudent silence should be?
Thanks for your
help, Donald
T
he ?rst doleful report for 2017
(from Index on Censorship)
reports 259 journalists jailed this
year around the world, and 79
killed. The war on drugs in the Philippines, Mexico and Honduras claimed
many victims; the Erdo?an regime in
Turkey saw 152 journalists in prison,
170 news operations forcibly closed
and 2,500 editorial hands out of a job.
?Global media freedom is at its lowest
level since the start of the century,?
the爎eport said.
And so to that other presidential
tweet of the week. ?@FoxNews is
MUCH more important in the United
States than CNN, but outside of the
US, CNN International is still a major
source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very
poorly. The outside world does not see
the truth from them!?
Doesn?t Donald Trump ? even
Donald Trump ? realise that he invites
more persecution this way? That?s he?s
a malignant pustule on the scarred face
of democracy?
03.12.17
*
Acting editor: Shane Hickey cash@observer.co.uk
Personal ?nance
CASH | 45
Save the world the millennial way ? donate
10% of your earnings and still live it up
A wave of ?e?ective
altruists? is ?nding
they can continue to
live in comfort while
doing serious good
for those in need,
says Suzanne Bearne
Emily Dally
overcame her
moral conflict
when she took a
high paying job by
making substantial
donations to the
Against Malaria
Foundation.
W
My parents were
shocked. Their initial
reaction was, ?That?s
a lot, I hope you can
still manage?
Emily Dally
� in the developing world could cure
a blind person with trachoma, an infectious eye disease. ?You could provide
one guide dog for one blind American
or you could cure between 400 and
2,000 people of blindness,? he said. ?I
think it?s clear what?s the better thing
to do.?
The Centre of Effective Altruism,
based in Oxford, estimates there are
between 500 and 1,000 people who
identify with the practice in the UK and
it is also becoming popular in California.
Singer says many millennials have
become interested and want their
donations of time and money to have
the most impact possible. After leaving Oxford University in 1971, Singer
started to donate 10% of his income.
As his earnings increased, so did his
level of donations, and today he and
his wife, a writer, give away 40%. He
?THE RIGHT THING TO DO?
Kat Steiner, 27, lives in Oxford and is
an assistant librarian at the Bodleian
Education Library. She earns �,000
per year and receives around �,000
a year from investments (made by her
parents on her behalf). It was while
studying at Oxford that Steiner was
introduced to the ideas of thinking
critically about giving to charity and
potentially donating a signi?cant portion
of your income.
?Studying philosophy meant that
we often talked about things in terms
of abstract ideas, but this was a more
practical discussion of whether it was
the right thing to do and the possible
consequences,? she says. At ?rst, Steiner
resisted signing up to Giving What We
Can, a body in which members pledge
to give at least 10% of their earnings to
charity until they retire.
?I was concerned about making such
a big decision before I?d even had a fulltime job.? However, with many of her
friends taking the pledge and Steiner
Kat Steiner is happy she?s still saving.
road testing the idea by donating 10% of
her income as a trial run for a year, she
decided to sign up in 2014.
While the librarian says she doesn?t
have very ?expensive taste or hobbies?,
she?s aware that the decision may
result in less ?nancial security. ?I was
concerned that if something very
expensive happened, I wouldn?t be able to
cope. But I?m pretty happy that I?m saving
enough, and my family is ?nancially
secure as a whole.?
recommends 10% as an amount many
people could afford. ?I think it?s an
amount that most middle-class people can comfortably afford,? he says.
?It depends on how much people are
earning and how happy they are to live
modestly.? Singer says he leads a happy
yet modest life. ?I probably holiday less,
and in terms of house purchases we live
in a one-bedroom apartment [in New
York]. We would have perhaps bought
a larger apartment if I hadn?t been giving it away but it?s a nice apartment in
a good area.?
Emily Dally, 27, earns �,000 a year
as a lawyer for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and
has given away 10% of her salary since
she signed the Giving What We Can
Pledge three years ago.
?I?d just ?nished law school and was
taking a job in the city and feeling a bit
funny about it. I was morally con?icted
about whether it was the right thing to
do, and I saw this as a good way of carrying on [with her career],? she says. Over
the past three years, she has donated
about �,000 to the Against Malaria
Foundation.
The amount she gives away has not
hugely affected her quality of her life ?
she and her boyfriend, Sam, who also
gives away 10% of his income, were still
able to put a deposit down on a ?at in
Hackney, east London, last year.
?I might have spent more on holidays
or gifts for people, and I suppose I?d be
saving more,? she says. ?I might question
whether I should get that last drink or go
to that fancy restaurant, but I still have
plenty of money.
?My parents were shocked. Their
initial response was, ?God, that?s a lot. I
hope you can still manage.? They were
worried that when Sam and I ever start
a family that it might be problematic.?
As a result of the donations from effective altruists, organisations ranked by
charity evaluator GiveWell are reporting
a jump in donations.
?We?ve seen a very signi?cant increase
in donations that we can directly attribute to the growth of the effective altruist community,? says Rob Mather of the
Against Malaria Foundation, which saw
donations rise 280% to �27m in 2012
when it was ranked the most effective
charity by GiveWell.
Some of the ideas of the effective
altruism movement have drawn criticism. Eric Posner, a law professor at the
University of Chicago, is sceptical that
its focus on giving to developing nations
can ever have broad appeal. ?For most
people, charitable giving is, and will
remain, a more emotional and instinctive activity, often grounded in religious
commitments, local connections, or personal experiences,? he says. ?It might
make more sense? to give money closer
to home where you can observe how it
is used, and may feel stronger emotional
rewards than are offered by the rather
abstract process of sending money off
to a foreign country and never seeing
the爎esults.?
Posner is also vocal about a view
raised in the effective altruism movement that it can be more effective to
choose a career in a higher-paid job in
order to donate more to charity. ?Many
�
Cash on
the web
For all the
latest
mortgages
and savings
best buys
go online
theguardian.com/money
ith a six-figure salary from a London
private equity firm,
it could be expected
that Grayden ReeceSmith would be living
it up on eye-wateringly expensive holidays or driving a suitably ?ash sports car
around south London, where he lives.
Instead, the 28-year-old lives a very different existence to his peers and gives
away everything he earns over �,000
? a ?gure he calculated he could comfortably live on.
Over the past ?ve years, Reece-Smith
has handed over more than �0,000 to
organisations such as International Care
Ministries, which helps poverty stricken
families in the Philippines, and the
Against Malaria Foundation. He is part
of a growing number of young professionals described as ?effective altruists?
who claim to use evidence and analysis
to accomplish good.
Influenced by his protestant faith,
Reece-Smith was tempted to work in the
charity sector after graduating but calculated he could make a bigger difference
by donating a signi?cant chunk of his
salary. He had volunteered as a teacher
at a school in Tanzania but believed that
earning and giving would be more effective. ?I realised that the cost of my ?ights
there could have paid the salaries of two
teachers for an entire year.? Instead, he
says, he could ?stay at home, living a very
nice life and still make a huge difference
in the world?.
?�,000 is more than enough to live
on and still save,? he says. ?I still ?ll my
Isa every year.? He is not frugal ? last
year he holidayed in Cuba and spent a
few grand on a new sofa ? but his lifestyle certainly isn?t as luxurious as his
colleagues. ?I tend to buy branded food
products, and I don?t own a car. Other
people [on my salary] might have a bigger house. We only bought what we
needed ? a two-bedroom ?at; some of my
colleagues have four-bedroom houses.?
Effective altruists typically donate
regularly to a charity they think will have
the most impact rather than a cause that
pulls at their heart-strings. Some switch
careers to generate more money which
can then be given away.
Advocates tend to believe people
should explore giving money abroad.
The Australian moral philosopher and
author Peter Singer, who supports the
movement, once pointed out that it
costs thousands of pounds to train a
guide dog and its user, while less than
of the highest-paying jobs ? say, in
finance ? will seem reprehensible to
the sort of person who is altruistically
inclined. I think most people won?t be
able to sustain a double life in which they
do things they are ashamed of even if it
does much good for others.?
Singer is slightly optimistic about
the growth of the movement, pointing
to a wave of effective altruism groups
spreading across university campuses.
?Some people suggest there might be a
limit, as not everyone will be interested
in living more altruistically or thinking
about effectiveness, but even if we got
10% of affluent people involved, it could
make a big difference.?
46 | CASH
Personal
Your
problems
?nance
MORTGAGES
Anna Tims
Council lets me
buy a parking
permit, but won?t
enforce the rules
I believe my local council has acted
dishonestly by continuing to take
money for parking permits when it is
not enforcing parking restrictions.
I only found out when I contacted
it over an increase in vehicles being
parked without permits in my road,
meaning that sometimes it is impossible to ?nd a space.
I was told that the council is
currently unable to carry out any
parking enforcement and the head of
parking services suggested that this
has been the case since 2015.
This has never been announced
to residents, who have continued to
receive reminders to renew their
permits before they expire.
I requested a backdated refund of
�0 for two years, but all I have been
offered is a refund on the amount
unused if I return my permit.
TB, Winchester
Councils collected �6bn from motorists in ?nes and permit charges in the
last year, according to a survey released
by the RAC Foundation this month.
That left them with a record �6m
pro?t after costs were deducted. Small
wonder then, that Winchester City
Council didn?t tell you that permits
were no longer needed.
The council explains that the problem lies with the road markings, which
are the responsibility of Hampshire
County Council.
?Unfortunately the lines in one
particular area are not clear enough to
meet the standards which we know the
national parking adjudicator requires
for ?fair? enforcement,? says a spokesperson.
?Had we publicly given notice to
remove this particular road from the
scheme, the result could have been a
?free for all? with residents and commuters competing for very limited on
street parking. A valid resident parking
permit means residents have been able
to park in any of the 10 streets in this
zone which have been continuously
enforced.?
In short, you have paid �0 for the
privilege of parking several streets
away from your house.
Hampshire County Council insists
the lines in your road are visible, but
after I got in touch it decided repainting would begin within a fortnight.
Credit rating was sullied after
fraudster took out a loan
Someone took out a payday loan in
my name with Lending Stream.
They combined my name, address
and date of birth with their own bank
account, mobile number and email
address to get hold of �0 and then
defaulted on repayment.
The amount due for repayment has
now doubled. The ?rst I knew was
via a letter informing me of the debt.
It took ?ve days to get through to
Lending Stream?s fraud department.
I was promised callbacks that
never came, got hung up on and lost
in their telephone system.
I have now ?lled in an ID theft affidavit form and they have told me my
credit report should return to normal
within 45 days.
I still just can?t get over how easy
03.12.17
*
it was for somebody to commit fraud
with such basic personal information. They advertise that loans can be
set up in just 10 minutes and the initial paperwork is emailed, not posted
out. The only precaution appears to
be the credit check which was run
against my name and address.
VT, Wrabtree, Essex
You were lucky in one respect: you did
eventually get to speak to someone at
Lending Stream.
When I called for a comment on
your case I was told that names and
numbers could not be given out and I
could not be put through. Two emails
to the customer services address I was
allowed have gone unanswered.
So we can?t know how the company
which describes itself as a ?responsible lender? might justify doling out a
three-?gure sum to an imposter.
Its website advertises a representative 1,325% APR for a short-term loan
and promises ?instant? decisions on
applications so that it can start earning.
Complaints against payday lenders
tripled in the year to June 2017, according to the Financial Ombudsman
service.
Forty-?ve days is a long time to suffer a sullied credit rating, but you can
take steps yourself to remedy this by
contacting the three main credit reference agencies and raising a dispute
over the default notice.
Experian says it has helped more
than 12,500 people untangle the mess
fraud typically creates on victims?
credit reports in the past 12 months.
If you need help email Anna Tims at
your.problems@observer.co.uk or write
to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings
Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU.
Include an address and phone number.
Lender
Type
Rate %
Term
Max
LTV %
Fee �
Contact
Sainsbury?s Bank
?xed
1.19
31/3/2020
60
745
0345 111 8010
Sainsbury?s Bank
?xed
1.34
31/3/2020
75
745
0345 111 8010
Sainsbury?s Bank
?xed
1.74
31/3/2020
85
0
0345 111 8010
TSB
?xed
1.74
31/1/2023
60
995
0800 0561088
Sainsbury?s Bank
?xed
1.91
31/3/2023
75
745
0345 111 8010
Sainsbury?s Bank
?xed
2.14
31/3/2023
85
995
0345 111 8010
Bath Building Society
?xed
3.29
3 years
95
800
01225 475724
HSBC
bbr tracker + 0.74%
1.24
2 years
60
999
0800 030 4640
HSBC
bbr tracker + 0.84%
1.34
2 years
75
999
0800 030 4640
HSBC
bbr tracker + 0.99%
1.49
2 years
85
999
0800 030 4640
Barclays
o?set bbr tracker + 1.34%
1.84
2 years
75
999
0845 070 5090
Yorkshire Building Society
o?set ?xed
1.79
28/2/2021
75
995
0345 1200 874
SAVINGS
Provider
Account
NatWest
Savings Builder
Santander
123 Current Account
Min �
Gross
AER %
Notice
Notes
Contact
1.50
1.50 &
1 �per
month
easy access
BATI
0800 255 200
easy access
AICD
0800 218 2352
bmsavings.co.uk
1
BM Savings
Internet Saver
RCI Bank
Freedom Savings Account
Secure Trust Bank
120 Day Notice Account
1
1.45
easy access
IE
100
1.30
easy access
I
rcibank.co.uk
1,000
1.56
120 days
notice
I
securetrustbank.com
AR
03451 22 00 22
Kent Reliance
Regular Savings Account 3
25
3.00
easy access
Charter Savings Bank
1 Year Fixed Rate Bond
1,000
1.81
1 year
Secure Trust Bank
2 Year Fixed Rate Bond
1,000
2.06
2 years
IF
securetrustbank.com
The Access Bank UK
Sensible Savings 3 Year Bond
5,000
2.25
3 years
PIF
sensiblesavings.co.uk
Ikano Bank
Fixed 4 Year Saver
1,000
2.26
4 years
IF
www.ikano.co.uk
Secure Trust Bank
5 Year Fixed Rate Bond
1,000
2.51
5 years
IF
securetrustbank.com
AP
01225 423 271
Bath Invest & Building Society Cash ISA
Charter Savings Bank
2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA
NS&I
Direct ISA
3 Year Investment Gtee
Growth Bond
NS&I
IF chartersavingsbank.co.uk
1
1.30
easy access
1,000
1.72
2 years
1
1.00
easy access
TI
nsandi.com
100
2.20
3 years
IF
nsandi.com
IF chartersavingsbank.co.uk
NS& I
Junior ISA
1
2.25 No wdls until
I
nsandi.com
18 yrs old
A branch opening; B rate includes bonus; C monthly fee applies; D based on �0 monthly spend; F ?xed rate; I internet
opening; P postal opening; T telephone opening; E rate for 12 mths only; R save �to �0 every month. Please check rates
before investing.
CREDIT CARDS
Provider card name
0% O?ers
Type
Sainsbury?s Bank Nectar
Purchase
31 mths Purchases
Purchase
Tesco Bank Clubcard
30 mths Purchases
Purchase
39 mths balance
transfer
Barclaycard Platinum With 38 mths balance
Balance Transfer
transfer
American Express Platinum
None
Cashback
American Express Platinum
None
Cashback Everyday
Santander All in One
Balance
transfer
Balance
transfer
Transfer
fee %
Repr
APR
Cashback
Contact
na
18.9
Not Available
sainsburysbank.co.uk
na
18.9
Not Available
tescobank.com
0.00
21.7
Not Available
santander.co.uk
Not Available
www.barclaycard.co.uk
1.0% standard
+ intro bonus
0.5% standard
22.9 + intro bonus
americanexpress.com
1.40
19.9
Cashback
na
28.2
Cashback
na
americanexpress.com
Table compiled 1/12/17. In case of late changes, always check rates and terms before transacting.
All above ?gures from independent ?nancial research company Defaqto (defaqto.com)
03.12.17
TRAVEL | 47
Five of the best Spas, baths and hammams in Europe
1. L醶n? na lodi Prague
1
4
An alternative spa experience in the
heart of Prague, L醶n? na lodi is a sauna
on a boat designed by local architecture
practice H3T. The sauna ? at the lively
N醦lavka embankment ? has space for
16 people, who can sweat it out while
enjoying views across the river to
Prague castle. Afterwards, there?s the
chance to cool off by leaping into the
Vltava river.
�50 for 30 minutes, laznenalodi.cz
The Hungarian capital is a dream destination when it comes to bath culture
and there are plenty of pools to choose
from, catering for every taste: from
pool party raves (Sparty) at Schienzy
to the low-key relaxation of the ancient
Rudas baths. The ?rst choice for those
on a winter city break, however, has
to be Gellert baths, which offers the
experience of soaking in hot water in a
stunning art nouveau mansion. As well
as a swimming pool, there?s a range of
small pools with water rich in minerals
from the hills behind the building. And
while many baths in Budapest still have
separate sessions or areas for men and
woman, since 2013 Gellert baths has
been fully mixed.
Adult from �, gellertfurdo.hu
2. Banya No 1 London
This banya ? touted among many of
London party people as the perfect
hangover cure ? is not exactly the most
mellow experience, but after a session
being whipped with twigs (a Russian
venik massage) and drenched with
buckets of frozen water, while being
served beetroot juice and vodka, you?ll
be ready to hit the commute come
Monday morning.
� for a two-hour session, � for
three-hour session and venik massage,
gobanya.co.uk
2
5. Laugardalslaug Reykjavik
5
3. Sanduny banya Moscow
As grand and palatial as they come,
Sanduny is the oldest bath house in
the country, founded in 1808. With
Moscow temperatures dropping to
well below zero in winter, this is the
perfect place to come in from the cold
and enjoy the hot baths, pools, steam
rooms and hot tubs, and admire the
pillars, statues and marble interiors.
Tourists can also take a walking tour
of the site (every Tuesday at 4pm), to
learn more about the history of Russian baths before, presumably, taking
the plunge.
From �, sanduny.ru
TRAVEL CLASSIFIED
4. Gellert Baths Budapest
3
The Blue Lagoon will, of course, be
high on the list for most visitors to
Iceland, but for those looking for a soak
without leaving the capital, Laugardalslaug is a great (and affordable) thermal
pool ? the largest in the city. As well as
a thermal steam bath, it has hot tubs
and, for those who want to splash out
on some extra treatments, is connected
to the Laugar Spa. Another option, on
the outskirts of the city in Mosfellsb鎟,
is L醙afellslaug, which has an outdoor
pool, hot tubs and saunas.
Adult �90, child � reykjavik.is
Will Coldwell
To see the full list of baths, saunas
and hammams, and thousands
more tops on everything from the
world?s best restaurants and
hotels to walks and beaches, visit
theguardian.com/travel
3.12.17
48 | OBSERVER CLASSIFIED
Alison at Home is a selection of offers supplied to The Observer, bringing
you the best that money can buy for not much money at all.
Follow @alisonathomeuk on Twitter or @alisoncork_home on Instagram
or visit our website alisonathome.com
Order 24/7 at alisonathome.com or over the phone on 020 7087 2900
ST U NNI N G DAY B E D
ILLUMINATE YOUR HOME WITH FESTIVE FIR
Practical and stylish, the gorgeous Torino day bed will ensure your friends and family have
somewhere to sleep during Christmas. Traditionally crafted with decorative castings and an
elegant matt ?nish in cream or black, the Torino is available for just �9 (RRP: �9),
including two sumptuous D20cm pocket sprung mattresses. A sofa by day and guest bed by
night, the trundle bed slides perfectly for use as a twin bed, or they can be sat together as a
comfortable double bed.
Add some elegant sparkle to
an entrance hall, sitting room,
dining room or porch with this
gorgeous 60cm pre-lit festive ?r
with urn. Beautifully presented
in a white resin period-style
urn, this highly realistic shrub
features 50 warm white LEDs
and decorative pine cones. It
comes with a 1.8 metre cable
and plug, ready to use.
To order, visit alisonathome.com/marketplace or call 020 7087 2900. Get free delivery on
all marketplace items when you quote OB312 before 9 December. Product code: TORDB. �
Reduced from �0 to �0,
visit alisonathome.com/
marketplace or call 020 7087
2900 and quote OB312 by
9 December for free
pre-Christmas delivery.
Product code: CF05550.
LU X U R I O U S M AT T R E S S W I T H
E X P R E S S D E L I V E RY
Sleep soundly with the supremely
comfortable Relyon Natural Elite 1050,
1150 and 1350 mattresses. The 1050 has
a ?rmer feel with wool ?llings, the 1150
presents a more luxurious offering, with
higher spring count and silk ?llings, while
the premium 1350 includes sumptuous
cashmere.
Available in single, double, king and
super king, 1050 prices range from
�9 to �9, 1150 ranges from �9
to �9, and 1350 ranges from �9 to
�9. Quote OB312 before 9 December
for free pre-Christmas delivery. Visit
alisonathome.com/marketplace or call
020 7087 2900 to order.
PER F E C T B E N CH FO R T WO
LI V I N G C H R I ST M AS T R E E
This Charles Taylor classic two-seater wooden bench is
made from sustainably sourced Scandinavian redwood
and is expertly made in the UK. The attractive curved
design provides optimum comfort and is treated to
withstand the elements, making it the ideal all-yearround choice. Perfect for enjoying the last few weeks
of warmth this autumn, it?s currently priced at �9
(RRP: �9.99) and comes fully assembled in an ideal
size of W120cm x H100cm. A waterproof seat cushion
is also available in green or burgundy
Shopping for a Christmas tree need no
longer be an annual inconvenience with this
gorgeous Living Christmas tree. Grown in
a pot and measuring between 100-120cm
high, this evergreen maintenance-free
Norway Spruce will crown your living room
in Christmas glory and can then decorate
your garden until next year. You won?t have
to buy a new tree for at least ?ve years while
keeping your ?oor clear from needle drop.
Quote OB312 before 9 December to get
free pre-Christmas delivery. Available for
�.99 (RRP: �.99) from alisonathome.
com/marketplace or call 020 7087 2900.
Product code: 170020.
Free white glove UK Mainland delivery when you
quote OB312 before 9 December at alisonathome.
com/marketplace or call 020 7087 2900.
Product code: CT2SGB.
GIVE THE GIFT OF TARTAN
STUNNING GARDEN MIRROR
Make your home warm and cosy this Christmas with
the Celtic Weavers red tweed set from Alison at Home.
Perfect as a gift, this stylish set includes a 127x152cm
soft reverse blanket (�.95), 42cm sumptuous cushion
(�.95) and a lovable Dog door stopper (�.95)
generously ?lled with sand. Each piece is available
separately or you can pick up the set for �.95,
saving �.90.
Get free preChristmas delivery
when you quote
OB312 before
9 December at
alisonathome.com/
marketplace or call
020 7087 2900.
Give your garden a new
lease of life with this
H112 x W61cm Capulet
rustic garden mirror from
Alison at Home. Priced
at just �.99 (RRP:
�6.51), this gorgeous
mirror has been carefully
crafted and features a
frost-protected ?nish,
making it suitable for all
weather types. Fixtures
not included.
Readers are offered
free pre-Christmas
delivery ? quote OB312
before 9 December to
claim. To place an order,
search for GMA006
at alisonathome.com/
marketplace or call 020
7087 2900.
5 0 -Y E A R G UA R A N T E E O N
C U T L E RY
The premium
Everyday Old
English 44-piece
cutlery gift box
set by Sheffieldbased Arthur
Price is one of
the company?s
?nest cutlery
ranges and is
available for just
�9.50 (RRP:
�9). Designed
for everyday use, this stylish set is made from dishwashersafe high grade 18/10 stainless steel and includes six place
settings, comprising table knives and forks, dessert knives,
forks and spoons, soup spoons, tea spoons and two
serving spoons.
Readers are offered free pre-Christmas delivery ? use
code OB312 before 9 December at alisonathome.com/
marketplace or call 020 7087 2900 to claim.�
3.12.17
OBSERVER CLASSIFIED| 49
50 | OBSERVER CLASSIFIED
3.12.17
03.12.17
*
9AM TODAY
1024
(30.24)
3PM TODAY
1020
(30.12)
SIX-DAY FORECAST
1024
(30.24)
Mon
17
17
Orkney
6
7
(42F)
MODERATE
(45F)
MODERATE
1028
(30.36)
1032
(30.47)
Glasgow
MODERATE
6
21
(43F)
14
1032
(30.47)
Edinburgh
Glasgow
MODERATE
5
8
(41F)
(47F)
8
9
MODERATE
Newcastle
(47F)
15
Edinburgh
9 Cloudy
8 Rain
3 Showers
3 Fair
3 Rain
8 Cloudy
10 Rain
5 Showers
3 Rain
5 Fair
Birmingham 10 Fair
8 Cloudy
11 Showers 10 Rain
3 Fair
5 Fair
Bristol
9 Fair
8 Cloudy
10 Showers 12 Rain
2 Rain
5 Fair
Cardiff
10 Fair
9 Cloudy
12 Showers 11 Rain
4 Showers
7 Fair
9 Fair
9 Cloudy
11 Rain
3 Snow
5 Fair
10 Fair
10 Cloudy
11 Rain
5 Showers
4 Cloudy
5 Sunny
9 Fair
8 Cloudy
11 Showers
9 Rain
3 Rain
4 Rain
Liverpool
10 Fair
9 Cloudy
12 Showers
9 Rain
4 Rain
7 Rain
London
10 Fair
8 Cloudy
11 Showers 12 Rain
4 Fair
6 Cloudy
Manchester 10 Fair
8 Cloudy
11 Showers
9 Rain
3 Showers
5 Rain
Newcastle
8 Fair
8 Cloudy
11 Showers
7 Rain
3 Rain
5 Sunny
6 Showers
MODERATE
Belfast
7
7
(45F) Hull
MODERATE
Manchester
7
8 Fair
8 Cloudy
10 Showers 10 Rain
4 Rain
10 Fair
8 Cloudy
11 Showers 13 Rain
3 Cloudy
4 Fair
Plymouth
11 Fair
10 Cloudy
12 Showers 11 Rain
5 Cloudy
8 Fair
Swansea
10 Fair
10 Cloudy
12 Showers 12 Rain
4 Rain
6 Rain
9 Fair
9 Cloudy
11 Showers
4 Rain
5 Rain
Manchester
9
7
(45F)
(46F)
Norwich
Norwich
Birmingham
Birmingham
8
(46F)
16
Cardi?
10
(49F)
Gloucester
Bristol
15
8
Gloucester
Bristol
(46F)
SLIGHT
SLIGHT
London
7
Cardi?
9
(48F)
London
Brighton
10
Plymouth
(45F)
Brighton
Plymouth
(50F)
19
SLIGHT
SLIGHT
17
UK TODAY
1008
(29.77)
992
(29.29)
OCCLUDED FRONT
Helsinki
TROUGH
L
H
Paris
L
1008
(29.77)
Rome
2
3
4
8
6
Madrid
Athens
7
11
13
14
SOLUTION NO. 1,156
15
19
16
17
18
20
C A
M
I B
I
H E
N
S C
E
P
B E
R
V I
21
M P A N O L O
O
O
A
I S
S E D I
I
E
E
P T A G O N A
A
U R R Y
V A
E
E
C O N T R A
R
A
B
F U D D L E
I
I
N
C T O R I A C
F
87?104
26?30?
80?86
Newcastle
6
f
Belfast
8
sh
Norwich
6
Birmingham 7
r
Nairobi
26
Bangkok
32
f
New York
10
f
sh
Beijing
9
s
Perth
35
s
10 sh
Nottingham 7
r
Beirut
24
s
Rio de Jan
28
r
Oxford
6
c
Cairo
26
s
Riyadh
19
f
f
Bournem?th 7
f
Plymouth
9
sh
Harare
30
f
San Fran
15
c
Brighton
6
f
Ronaldsway 9
sh
Hong Kong 23
f
Santiago
25
f
Bristol
9
sh
S?hampton 6
f
Istanbul
20
f
Sao Paulo
23 st
Cardiff
9
f
Scarbr?gh
7
sh
Jeddah
32
s
Seychelles
30
f
Carlisle
6
c
Southport
9
sh
Jerusalem
20
s
Singapore
31
f
Edinburgh
8
f
Stornoway 10
r
Jo?burg
24 st
Sydney
26 st
Exeter
9
sh
Swanage
Glasgow
10
Inverness
Jersey
Liverpool
10 sh
7
f
Karachi
30
f
Taipei
21
r
f
Teignmouth 8
f
L Angeles
23
f
Tenerife
17
f
9
r
Tenby
8
sh
Manila
34
f
Toronto
6
f
8
f
Torquay
8
sh
Miami
28
f
Vancouver
7
sh
Weymouth 7
sh
Mombasa
32
s
Washington 12
G I S T
Y
E
M E N T
S
D
L
I
G
P O U R
I
B A N D
O
N
WR E N
E
S
R O S S
ACROSS
DOWN
1 Makes an unpleasant or painful experience
more palatable (6,3,4)
8 Achieve, make (7)
9 Minor prophet and book of the Old
Testament (5)
10 Matter of debate (5)
11 Alfalfa (7)
12 Make (something) possible (4,3,4,2)
15 European currency replaced by the euro
in 2002 (7)
17 Of superior grade (5)
19 Purposeful surveillance to guard or
observe (5)
20 Wild marjoram (7)
21 Loosen a grip; release (5,4,4)
1 Stretch of water between the North Sea and
English Channel (6,2,5)
2 Slang word meaning both marijuana and
informant (5)
3 Especially ?ne or decorative clothing (7)
4 Movie of the same name starring Jean Simmons
(1949) and Brooke Shields (1980) (3,4,6)
5 Set of principles (5)
6 Underwriter, risk taker (7)
7 Fails to interest or excite (6,3,4)
13 Name applied to any of the four main
Gospels (7)
14 Crush, subjugate (7)
16 Structure consisting of something wound in a
continuous series of loops (5)
18 Adult insect (5)
Stuck? For help call 0906 200 83 83. Calls cost �10 per minute, plus your phone company?s access charge. Service supplied by ATS.
Call 0330 333 6946 for customer service (charged at standard rate).
Ankara
1622
Full Moon
3 Dec
0%
2
2
2
2
Low
Low
Low
Low
f
50%
100%
WEATHER VIEW
Glasgow
London
Manchester
Newcastle
2
2
2
2
Low
Low
Low
Low
Plymouth
Aberdeen
Leeds
Oxford
2
2
2
2
Low
Low
Low
Low
Mon
Amsterdam
9 c
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
9 c
9 c
9 r
6 r
6 r
Athens
18 f
14 sh
11 s
14 s
15 s
17 s
Barcelona
13 s
12 s
12 s
15 f
12 r
12 f
Berlin
5 c
7 c
7 sh
8 f
6 c
4 c
Copenhagen
5 f
7 f
8 sh
6 sh
6 r
4 r
Geneva
5 c
6 f
7 f
8 sh
5 r
3 f
11 s
11 s
10 i
9 c
21?25?
69?79
16?20?
60?68
Madrid
11 s
11?15?
51?59
Oslo
-1 f
4 f
6 sh
0 sn
0 i
6?10?
42?50
Paris
8 c
8 c
6 f
9 r
5 r
6 r
Prague
3 ?
4 sh
4 c
5 s
5 r
3 ?
L
1016
(30.00)
9
10
12
5
C
31?40?
Warsaw
Belgrade
1024
(30.24)
sh
r
癈 Wthr (Maximum temperature and overall condition)
Moscow
Berlin
London
1032
(30.47)
9
13
sh
EUROPE SIX-DAY FORECAST
1016
(30.00)
Pressure in millibars,
(inches in brackets)
SPEEDY CROSSWORD NO. 1,157
1
Belfast
Birmingham
Bristol
Cardiff
WARM
Stockholm
1016
(30.00)
Anglesey
癈
Algiers
Manchester 7
AIR POLLUTION
COLD
1000
(29.53)
1016
(30.00)
Reykjavik
r
Moon rises
KEY
1024
(30.24)
An area of low pressure in Romania
will be slowly moving to the northeast today with snow from the
interior Balkans into western Ukraine.
Some places will receive upwards of
10-20cm (4-8in), especially in the
mountains. A cold front will be working
eastward across the Baltic States into
Germany today, with scattered showers with snow falling across Poland
and central Germany. Upwards of 8cm
(3in) of snow is likely to accumulate
in the highest locations. This front
will bring the odd shower to southern
England and Wales today. Showers
will linger across central and southern
Italy. Showers will be across central
France into northern coastal Spain.
Snow will fall in the colder locations.
The rest of Spain and Portugal will be
generally dry.
9
6
r
N Orleans 22 f
York
7
f
Wellington 20 w
NE England, SE Scotland, SW Scotland, NE Scotland: Generally dry today with London
bright spells. A light to moderate west to north-westerly wind. Max 2-9C (36- Key: c=cloud, dr=drizzle, ds=dust storm, f=fair, fg=fog, g=gales, h=hail, m=mist, r=rain,
sh=showers, sl=sleet, sn=snow, s=sun, th=thunder, w=windy. Forecast/readings for noon
48F). Staying largely dry tonight with broken cloud and clear spells. A light to
moderate westerly wind. Min -2 to 3C (30-37F).
SUNSET TO SUNRISE
WEATHER STATISTICS
W Isles, N Isles, NW Scotland: Broken cloud and sunny periods today with the
Birmingham
15.56
to
07.59
Weather last week
Weather this week
odd shower, mainly at the coast; snow in the hills. A moderate north-westerly
Bristol
16.05
to
07.58
Warmest by day: Isles of
London
Chance of rain
wind. Max 1-10C (34-50F). Clear intervals tonight with a few showers; snow in Dublin
16.09
to
08.22
Scilly, Cornwall (Monday)
Glasgow
15.48
to
08.29
13.0C
the hills. Min -5 to 5C (23-41F).
Glasgow
Leeds
15.48
to
08.06
Coldest by night: Aonach,
Northern Ireland, Ireland: Broken cloud and sunny spells today with the odd
Highland (Weds) -9.0C
London
15.55
to
07.49
Wettest: Sennybridge City,
shower, mainly in the east. A light to moderate north-westerly wind. Max
Manchester
15.53
to
08.06
Dublin
Powys (Monday) 52mm
15.42
to
08.13
0-11C (32-52F). Broken cloud and clear spells tonight with the odd shower. Min Newcastle
Sunniest: Yeovilton,
Sun rises
0748
Moon sets 0659
-2 to 6C (28-43F).
Somerset (Friday) 7.1hrs.
Channel Is, Cent S England, SW England, W Midlands, Wales: Broken cloud and
sunny spells today with isolated showers. A light to moderate north-westerly
wind. Max 8-12C (46-54F). Broken cloud and clear spells tonight with the odd
shower. A moderate north-westerly wind. Min 3-7C (37-45F).
SE England, London, E Anglia, E Midlands: Broken cloud and sunny intervals today with the odd shower south of London. A light to moderate north-westerly
wind. Max 8-11C (46-52F). Generally dry tonight with clear periods. A light
north-westerly wind. Min 0-5C (32-41F).
Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, NW England: Broken cloud and sunny spells today
with the odd shower. A moderate north-westerly wind. Max 6-10C (43-50F).
Broken cloud and clear spells tonight with the odd shower, mainly at the coast.
Min 1-8C (34-46F).
EUROPE TODAY
癈
癈
Aberdeen
Blackpool
9 Rain
ABROAD YESTERDAY
癈
8
(48F)
(45F)
HOME YESTERDAY
(45F) Hull
MODERATE
Dublin
5 Showers
Oxford
York
Dublin
Sat
8 Fair
Norwich
Newcastle
(47F)
Belfast
Fri
8 Fair
Leeds
3
Thu
Belfast
Glasgow
(38F)
Wed
Aberdeen
Edinburgh
15
Tue
癈 Weather (Maximum temperature and overall daytime weather conditions)
Orkney
1028
(30.36)
TRAVEL | 51
WEATHER
Your forecast for the week ahead
1?5?
33?41
-20?0?
-4?32
10 f
-1 sn
Rome
11 s
13 s
13 f
14 f
15 f
14 r
Venice
5 f
7 s
7 f
7 f
10 r
9 r
The Black Forest high road near Achern turned
white as a big freeze gripped Germany.
Forecasts and graphics provided
by AccuWeather, Inc �17
US market early next year, is
designed to create a steady state in the
patient without withdrawal symptoms
(nausea, itching, the shakes), thereby
reducing the chance of relapse while
receiving counselling and support.
Indivior is also in talks with regulators in the UK, Australia, Canada,
Sweden and Germany about having
Sublocade approved. Paul Cuddon,
analyst at stockbroker Numis, said:
?Sadly, it is not a perfect cure, but
does appear to signi?cantly increase
the abstinence rate in hard-to-treat
patients.?
Elsewhere in the industry, another
injectable treatment that can be given
weekly or monthly has been developed
by Swedish ?rm Camurus and licensed
to private-equity-owned Braeburn
Pharmaceuticals of the US. The advisory panel for the US Food and Drug
Administration has recommended
approval for some of the proposed
doses, asking for more data on the
higher doses. The regulator?s decision
is due in mid-January.
Indivior and Braeburn are trying to
tackle a massive problem. Almost 12爉illion adults misused opioids in the US
last year and more than 2.5 million were
diagnosed with opioid-use disorder; yet
only 1.1 million received treatment. In
England, the number of patients admitted to hospital for overdosing on opioid
painkillers doubled in the past decade,
to 11,660 last year. Opioid prescriptions
doubled to 24 million in 2016, according
to NHS Digital ?gures.
03.12.17
BUSINESS | 41
*
net starts to close on tax havens
PM is standing foursquare
behind UK dependencies
COMMENTARY
Hamilton, Bermuda: the
Bermudan law firm Appleby
was at the heart of the
recent Paradise Papers.
leak. Photograph by Drew
Angerer/Getty
dependencies are likely to feature on the
grey list if they are named at all.
Moscovici wants the grey list made
public, and has offered to act as a monitor, ensuring the promised improvements are delivered. He claims transparency is the best weapon against tax
evasion, telling MEP?s last week: ?Those
who practice ?scal optimisation are a bit
like vampires. They fear the light.?
In a draft dated 21 November and seen
by Bloomberg, the 36 countries named
included Panama, Tunisia, Serbia,
Armenia, the Cook Islands and the Marshall Islands. There has been talk of add-
ing Turkey. The US, despite being the
location of secrecy states like Delaware
and Wyoming, where companies can
be set up without declaring who owns
them, is de?nitely not on the list. Neither
is Switzerland. Most controversially, no
EU country will be named.
?Hypocrisy on this front tends to
turn against the blacklisting power,? the
campaign group Tax Justice Network
warned last week as it published its own
blacklist.
Using the EU criteria, it singles out 41
countries, six of which are EU member
states with a mixture of low tax rates,
poor transparency, and generous deals
on offer to multinationals. They are
Cyprus, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta,
Netherlands ? and the United Kingdom.
The Green MEP Molly Scott Cato also
believes that, after Brexit, Europe may
have the power to force through more
change.
?The EU should use the opportunity
of Brexit to blacklist the UK overseas territories and force the government to end
their poisonous tax secrecy,? says Scott
Cato. ?The EU needs to be clear that it
will not sign a free trade agreement with
the UK until its cleans up its act on tax.?
Fentanyl, which
was originally
developed for
cancer patients,
has become one of
the biggest killers
? it was the drug
that killed US
singer Prince.
sports injuries. Aside from the human
cost, the cost to the US economy was
estimated at $504bn in 2015, and since
then the crisis has worsened.
Shaun Thaxter, Indivior?s chief
executive, said: ?This is not the stereotyped image of an injecting heroin
user living on the street ? we are
talking about people from all levels
of爏ociety.?
More than 34,000 people died in
the US in 2016 after overdosing on
synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and
tramadol (almost 20,000 deaths), or
natural and semi-synthetic painkillers including morphine, codeine and
oxycodone (over 14,500 deaths). There
were also more than 15,500 heroin and
3,400 methadone deaths, according to
provisional government ?gures.
Fentanyl, a painkiller developed as a
patch for cancer patients that is nearly
100 times stronger than morphine, has
become one of the biggest killers. It is
the drug that killed singer Prince; it is
easy to make illicitly and cheap to buy
on the street. Street heroin is increasingly laced with fentanyl. Shipped
over from China, the synthetic opioid?s
apt street names are Drop Dead and
Murder 8 ? a single pill can kill.
In Britain, at least 88 deaths have
been linked to fentanyl since last
December, up from 58 in 2016 and 34
in 2015. Victims include 18-year-old
skateboarder Robert Fraser from Kent,
who died last November. His mother
said she had never heard of fentanyl
until she read the toxicology report.
Harry Shapiro, director of UK charity DrugWise, has been calling on the
UK government to set up a helpline. He
said: ?It?s a public health issue hidden
in plain sight. It?s got to run into hundreds of thousands of people.?
However, cost could also be an issue.
Sublocade will cost $1,580 per monthly
dose. But the new medication is still
expected to become a blockbuster; analysts at Jefferies are forecasting peak
sales of $1.3bn by 2025.
America?s opioid crisis dates back
to the 1990s, when healthcare organisations encouraged doctors to treat
post-operative pain more aggressively. But then drug companies,
led by Purdue Pharma, the maker of
OxyContin, embarked on an aggressive push of opioid painkillers for all
kinds of chronic pain, enticing doctors with freebies and all-expensespaid trips. Opioid pills were soon
sold in vast quantities through barely
regulated treatment centres, known
as ?pill mills?.
Many more pharma companies will
need to follow Indivior?s example if the
industry is to silence its critics.
The Indivior and Braeburn drugs
are an opportunity for the drug industry to atone for its aggressive push of
opioids as the go-to medication for
pain. It is facing a wave of litigation:
a county in New York state has sued
Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson,
Teva and Endo over their marketing
of opioids.
Opioid overdoses have become the
leading cause of death in Americans
under 50 ? four people are dying from
them every hour. At the root of the
crisis are overprescriptions of opioid
painkillers ? drugs derived directly
from the opium poppy or made synthetically ? for anything from cancer to
Shortly before triggering article 50,
Theresa May and Philip Hammond
invoked the tax-haven threat.
Should Britain not get its way in the
negotiations for a post-Brexit trading
relationship with Europe, the chancellor explained that Britain could be
forced to abandon its ?European-style
taxation?. A spokesman con?rmed that
the prime minister stood ready to do so.
Could Britain become a fully ?edged
tax haven? Eleven months and several
offshore scandals later, the question
still hangs in the air.
From Jacob Rees-Mogg to Arron
Banks, to the many hedge-fund bosses
who contributed to Leave campaign
coffers, the donors and politicians
pushing for a hard Brexit have extensive offshore dealings.
The prime minister?s own husband,
Philip May, is employed to market a Los
Angeles investment fund called Capital
Group. It appears extensively in the
?les of the offshore law ?rm Appleby,
whose data was at the centre of the
recent Paradise Papers revelations.
Her response to that scandal has
shown beyond question that May?s
government is standing foursquare
behind Britain?s network of
tax爃avens.
David Cameron was consistent
in arguing for more transparency,
and he used last year?s Panama
Papers to push through
reforms, making the
names of shell company
owners easier to access
for law authorities, if
not the general public.
May, by contrast,
is ?ghting tooth
and nail to protect
the jurisdictions
that conceal the
?nancial secrets of
multinationals and the
global super-rich. She has
refused to heed calls for more offshore
transparency, by forcing overseas territories to publish registers of the bene?cial owners of companies and trusts.
Now Britain is blocking attempts by
the European commission to blacklist
its燿ependencies.
While it remains within Europe,
the UK is using its remaining political
capital to block reform. Its departure in
2019 will remove an important protection for those tax havens that recognise
the Queen as their head of state.
Pierre Moscovici (pictured), the
Brussels commissioner leading the
blacklist push, wants to follow up with
an agreement on sanctions for those
jurisdictions singled out as tax havens.
Some have suggested the aid tap
could be turned off for developing
nations that resort to tax havenry. The
most stringent measure put forward is a
withholding duty on transfers of funds
into tax havens. There are precedents.
When America wanted to force banks
in Switzerland and elsewhere to disclose US account holders to the tax service, it threatened those who failed to
share the information with a 30% levy
on transfers out of American accounts.
Rather than pay, most complied.
Tax Justice Network chief executive
Alex Cobham says Europe could take
similar action if provoked. British
banks could be denied the passporting rights that allow them to
trade in Europe. For this reason,
he believes the regulation free,
low-tax paradise that some Brexiters dream of is a receding
prospect. ?Withholding passporting rights
would be a relatively
light sanction and
easy to agree but the
impact for the UK
would be enormous,?
says Cobham. ?This
is probably the last
time that the UK
can play the role of
major燽locker.?
Juliette Garside
WHO WILL BE ON THE LIST?
In a recent report, Blacklist or Whitewash?,
Oxfam applied the criteria the EU is using
to draw up the blacklist to 92 countries
screened by the union and its 28 member
states. The criteria exclude EU member
states, but if they did not, Oxfam
concluded that four countries should be
blacklisted: Ireland; Luxembourg; The
Netherlands; Malta.
It also concluded that 35 non-EU
states should be on the list: Albania;
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba;
Bahamas; Bahrain; Bermuda; Bosnia and
Herzegovina; British Virgin Islands; Cook
Islands; Cayman Islands; Cura鏰o; Faroe
Islands; Macedonia; Gibraltar; Greenland;
Guam; Hong Kong; Jersey; Marshall
Islands; Mauritius; Montenegro; Nauru;
New Caledonia; Niue; Oman; Palau; Serbia;
Singapore; Switzerland; Taiwan; Trinidad
and Tobago; UAE; US Virgin Islands;
Vanuatu.
03.12.17
Analysis
*
BUSINESS | 43
Ill-prepared investors hoping to mine bitcoin
billions may end up with a sack of fool?s gold
Grayling mustn?t
shunt true cost
of rail network
into the sidings
BUSINESS LEADER
A
S
ifting the Yukon river for
gold was a waste of time for
most of the 100,000 prospectors seeking to make
themselves rich in the 1890s.
The same can be said of the
bitcoin miners who dream of striking it
rich by getting their hands on some of
the extremely lucrative and painfully
elusive electronic currency.
Relatively few people have managed to decipher the codes needed
to extract bitcoins from the 21 million locked inside the mathematical problems set by its creator, the
software engineer whose true identity
is unknown but who goes by the name
Satoshi燦akamoto.
Those who have employed enough
computer power and code-cracking
know-how can consider themselves
rich now that the value of one bitcoin
has soared from $753 last December
to around $10,000. The rest have
deployed huge amounts of energy and
time for no return.
Should anyone be worried about this
turn of events? Or will it go down as a
moment in history when an asset was
mined, some people got rich and ... that
was it?
The ambitions of the bitcoin community mean the creation of a new
currency must be taken more seriously. Its stellar rise in the last 18
months is likely to have sucked in
thousands of speculators, many of
them ordinary爄nvestors.
And with mainstream ?nancial
exchanges looking to host bitcoin as
a tradeable asset, or list derivatives of
bitcoin on their trading boards, thousands more will be sucked in over the
next 18 months.
Where ordinary investors, hunting in large numbers, seek a return on
their savings in a high-risk environment, governments are usually minded
to爎egulate.
The idea behind bitcoin was that
it should be like any commodity that,
once discovered, became increasingly
difficult to extract. Like gold, it would
become a store of value and make those
Bitcoin cannot be manipulated by central banks, which has made it attractive to certain types of investors. Alamy
clever enough to ?nd it and believe in
it very rich.
The distributed ledger designed
to make each bitcoin account secure
and accountable without the need for
third parties, like banks, to be involved
became for many participants a
potential template for all future deposit
saving and trading.
To that end, it was also viewed as
a replacement currency to the dollar,
euro or pound ? one that could not be
manipulated by central banks, which
are only too keen to print extra notes,
and thereby devalue the currency, in
times of trouble. It is a seductive package that has led many in the banking
industry ? those most under threat ?
to call it a fraud.
Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein
said so last week, adding his voice to JP
Morgan?s Jamie Dimon.
Dimon described it as fraud that
would ultimately blow up and said the
desire to hide funds from regulators
and the police meant it was only ?t for
use by drug dealers, murderers and
people living in places such as North
Korea. Blankfein was more concerned
that its volatile price, which dropped
20% in less than 24 hours after topping
$11,000 last week, disquali?ed it from
being a sensible currency.
Sir Jon Cunliffe, a deputy governor
of the Bank of England, summed up the
view of many in the City when he said
calmly that bitcoin was a sideshow and
too small to pose a systemic threat to
the global economy.
To cover his ?ank against accusa-
tions that the Bank, which is the UK?s
chief ?nancial regulator, was too dismissive of the issue, he also cautioned
that bitcoin investors needed ?to do
their homework?.
No doubt all bitcoin investors think
they have done their homework. And
regulators probably think they have
enough work to do. But while it is easy
to say that a fool and their money are
soon parted, anyone who interacts
with the ?nancial services industry
is a potential victim. And, with this in
mind, regulators should be ready to
impose all the usual tools of misselling
rules and compensation schemes on
this freshly minted industry.
At the moment, bitcoin is having a
free ride. The tipping point is close.
Regulators should be prepared.
No, Jeremy Corbyn ? banker baiting is bad for business
P
icking a ?ght with a banker
is still a good sport, 10 years
after Northern Rock collapsed.
Jeremy Corbyn knows it will
provoke his supporters to chant his
name to the tune of the White Stripes
song Seven Nation Army once again.
So there is probably little shock
value in his response to Morgan
Stanley last week after the US bank?s
analysis that a Corbyn government
would be bad for its clients and
investors. However, a prime-ministerin-waiting might want to be more
circumspect about revolutionising
an industry that accounts for more
than 10% of GDP and makes a huge
contribution to improving the UK?s
balance of payments.
It?s an uncomfortable truth that
Britain would ?nd life difficult
without the foreign banks in the
Square Mile. Careful reforms are
needed, not knee-jerk reactions.
nother private operator on the
east coast mainline, another
bailout. History is repeating
itself ? again ? and Chris Grayling is in the middle of the farce.
The transport secretary?s efforts
to drum up a narrative of reversing
Beeching cuts could not conceal the
small print in his rail strategy: a shabby
face-saving deal with Stagecoach and
Virgin, two ?rms who have richly profited from privatisation. Their Virgin
Trains East Coast joint venture is to be
curtailed, meaning that billions promised to the taxpayer by private-sector
?rms have again proved to be notional.
The government was in an invidious position: a delay to infrastructure
work by Network Rail, and the shaky
entry into service of Hitachi trains
commissioned by the Department for
Transport, certainly gave the operators
cause for complaint. Yet it will appear
once again that private ?rms expect the
downside to lie with the taxpayer.
Stagecoach/Virgin has a rich history
of getting its way with the DfT, notably
during the 2012 west coast franchise
debacle, where it wrested back control
of the contract from First Group. Since
then, soul-searching reports have concluded that franchising does, indeed,
work ? but evidence has also accumulated to the contrary.
Competition has all but vanished:
both parties in that west coast ?asco
have been allowed to hang on to large
franchises. The Thameslink megafranchise has turned Govia, which previously ran Southern services without
much mishap, into a basket case.
What franchising does offer the
government is the ?g-leaf of privately
owned railways, even as it effectively
dictates whether guards stay on trains,
and by how much fares should rise.
Taking the ?ak directly, from commuters or unions, would not be for
the fainthearted: Labour?s pledge to
renationalise, slowly, is pragmatic. Yet
an honest conversation about the true
costs of the rail network, and who does
and should invest, is long overdue.
Grayling?s latest sleight of hand shows
it is unlikely to be forthcoming soon.
The Brexit ?patriots? care little for British history or in?uence
IN MY VIEW
EW
W
William
Keegan
P
hilip Hammond?s recent budget
? are you old enough to remember it? ? was completely overshadowed by the gloomy analysis
of our economy, present and future,
presented by the Office for Budget
Responsibility on the same day.
Politically, the chancellor was
constrained by the knowledge that the
minority of deranged Brexiters who
seem to be running this government
were out for his blood. However,
he managed, with limited room for
manoeuvre, to ward off the hyenas for
the time being. Why, the prime minister
? who had earlier contemplated
sacking him ? even turned up for the
Treasury?s post-budget drinks.
One of those out for his blood, a
certain Michael Gove, is on record as
not believing in expertise ? except,
presumably, his own. Gove was not one
of the Brexiters who publicly urged
the chancellor to massage the official
forecasts to produce a favourable
outcome for Brexit: that dubious
honour lies with John Redwood and
Jacob Rees-Mogg. However, I expect
that, privately, Gove was with them in
spirit ? or perhaps devilry.
At all events, Gove evidently
conspired with the egregious Boris
Johnson to tell Theresa May to ?re
the non-believers in her cabinet, and
strengthen the cabal that wants to
crash out of the EU and pursue a lowtax, minimum-regulation programme
that could make the present austerity
policy look like a vicarage tea party.
Meanwhile, people should not
be deceived by reports of possible
breakthroughs in our negotiations
with the other 27 members of the EU
? a union in which I, and a growing
number of the public I meet, hope we
shall remain. The fact is that it is still
the policy of this supine government to
abandon our privileged position within
the customs union and the single
market, and take a leap in the dark.
One sometimes wonders: do the
extreme Brexiters, and their fellow
travellers, ever ask themselves, as most
ordinary citizens do from an early age,
about the company they keep? Has it
not occurred to them that our friends
overseas think that, by heading for
Brexit, Britain seems to be having a
collective nervous breakdown?
Have they not noticed that our
enemies thoroughly approve of Brexit?
Messrs Gove and Johnson presumably
paid attention occasionally to their
history teachers. They must be aware
of the British tradition of trying to
maintain the balance of power in
Europe. Quite apart from the economic
considerations, can they sleep at night
when considering that President Putin
sees Brexit as a full-frontal attack on
Nato and the cohesion of Europe?
And what about my old friend David
Davis? His resistance to full disclosure
of the government?s honest assessment
of the economic consequences of
Brexit sits ill with his decades-long
campaign for more open government.
As the economic damage of even
the prospect of Brexit becomes more
apparent by the week, does Davis ever
People should not be
deceived by reports
of breakthroughs in
our negotiations with
the 27 EU members
look back to the wise words he uttered
in the Commons on 26 November
2002? ?Referendums should be held
when the electorate are in the best
possible position to make a judgment.
They should be held when people
can view all the arguments for and
against and when those arguments
have been rigorously tested. In short,
referendums should be held when
people know exactly what they are
getting ? we should not ask people to
vote on a blank sheet of paper and tell
them to trust us to ?ll in the details
afterwards.? He added: ?Referendums
need to be treated as an addition to
the parliamentary process, not as a
substitute for it.?
As Observer reader David Crawford
wrote last week: the referendum
ballot paper ?made no mention of
the single market? and the guidance,
probably not read by most people,
merely warned of the risks of losing
?full? access to the single market, not of
crashing out altogether.
The government is trying to make
the best of a bad job by recognising
the need for an industrial strategy
? anathema to Mrs Thatcher?s
governments ? with the emphasis on
the advanced technology in which it
believes the UK has a comparative
advantage. But as the veteran British
industrialist Tom Brown points out
in his book Tragedy and Challenge,
an enthralling account of Britain?s
industrial decline, the best market for
our advanced exports is the EU, from
which the Brexiters wish to depart, not
the distant, and much smaller, markets
on which they waste their fantasies.
Brown?s book constitutes a
stark reminder of how successive
governments have wasted so much
time in the search for the Holy Grail.
After monetarism and the ERM, they
saw salvation in the pursuit of in?ation
targets. In a seminal lecture last week
on the mishandling of our relationship
with the rest of the EU by both Tony
Blair and David Cameron, Sir Ivan
Rogers, formerly our ambassador to
the EU, noted the connection between
that obsession with in?ation and the
referendum disaster.
In his previous capacity as principal
private secretary to the prime minister,
Rogers witnessed what proved to
be a fatal misjudgment. While other
countries were phasing in entry from
eastern Europe into their labour
forces, Tony Blair was urged by Bank
of England governor Mervyn King
?to open the labour market without
transition on the grounds that it would
help lower wage growth and in?ation?.
And here we are ?
44 | BUSINESS
*
Media
Sadly, Time did
too little and
waited too long
PRESS AND
BROADCASTING
Peter
Preston
F
or many decades, Time was
the world?s biggest, most
in?uential news magazine.
A name to conjure with. Its
person of the year edition still
makes US presidents drool
(though only if they?re called Trump).
But see how such strength drains
away as Meredith ? a more mundane
company from Des Moines, Iowa, much
assisted by a $650m investment from
the Koch brothers, the rightest of the
right ? steps in to acquire it. See how
the mighty are falling.
There?s a residual package here
worth a $2.8bn deal, to be sure. Some
of the US titles ? Sports Illustrated,
People ? remain top of their respective
shops. Time itself may be slipping from
4.5爉illion copies week down towards
the 3 million mark, but it?s still a force
to be reckoned with. And the empire?s
British wing ? Horse & Hound, Woman?s Own, Ideal Home, Angler?s Mail et
al ? seems suitably eclectic.
What?s gone wrong then? Why is
Time Inc passing into the midwestern
maw, far from the metropolitan bustle
and glamour of the Big Apple? And
what happens next?
Two great failures of the last few
years loom insistently. One, summed
up by Rick Stengel, once a respected
editorial team leader, has a familiar
ring. ?Every year for seven years when
I was editor, I asked for money for
investment in digital and new media
and every year I was turned down. We
never missed an opportunity to miss
an爋pportunity.?
Another is the context that magazines of Time?s type have to work in.
When Henry Luce founded Time in
1923, there was, of course, no TV, no
digital, no expanded coverage via satellite printing. America was a big country
studded with big-city newspapers that
dominated their states and regions.
Therefore a news magazine that served
the whole country (and key capitals
abroad) had a powerful pull. Time, once
a week, gave you politics, science and
the arts on a designer plate. It put the
United States together.
That formula doesn?t really work
any longer in an era of instant digital news. Time has to become more
re?ective and informative. But there,
at the top end, lies Economist territory,
a success story of transition from print
to web; and Time hasn?t quite made
the leap yet. Does it peddle news, or
analysis? Does it ooze expertise, or
let gossip and personalities take their
turn? Does燽eing American, re?ecting
American attitudes and policies, confer
instant authority?
You can see attempts to answer
some of those difficult questions
through the slipping sales and diminishing revenues ? six slithering quarters in succession currently ? that have
made Time vulnerable to a takeover.
Print advertising is 19% down yearon-year, newsstand sales down 20%.
You can also see the tragedy behind
Stengel?s燾riticisms.
Digital meant huge investment and
a complete reassessment of Time?s
place in the publishing world ( just like
People?s place in a clamorous celebrity
market, with TV channels abounding).
No one stumped up for such visions
of profound change. Time?s managers
squeezed and trimmed ? and let inertia
underpin decline.
What?s next from Meredith? Probably more of the same as, one by one,
titles are sold off or merged. There?s
always a certain amount of cash to be
made on slippery slopes, as costs are
carved back and overheads combined.
There?s always the lure for very rich
men of seeming to wield editorial
power. Just watch the Kochs.
New hope and new beginnings don?t
come this way, though. Who?s the new
man of the year for front-cover treatment? Not, alas, Rich Battista, president
of the board as Time ran out.
03.12.17
Will Burns be up
to handling hot
Ofcom issues?
L
ord (Terry) Burns of Pitshanger is
the new chairman of Ofcom. He is
also, or has been, permanent secretary at the Treasury, chairman of
Glas Cymru, Santander UK, the National
Lottery, Abbey National, the Royal
Academy of Music, the Monteverdi
Orchestra, Welsh Water, the NIESR,
and M&S. He?s inevitably Lord Ubiquity
on the non-exec directorial front, plus
a senior fellow (or equivalent) of every
economics cabal in town, including the
oversight board at the Office for Budget
Responsibility. He used to be a director
of Queens Park Rangers.
In short, he?s served almost everywhere and done almost everything.
Does that make him a suitable overall boss of UK media regulation (on
�0,000 a year)? Only if you believe
that ex-Treasury polymaths ? superintending chief Sharon White, another
former Treasury mandarin ? are the
obvious answer for Ofcom as a digital
revolution sweeps on. Only, in the curiously closed world of media policing, if
you assume that good old Baron Burns
is the perfect, safe choice for any HMG
plum job going. Plus 鏰 change, plus
c?est le m阭e Terry.
The royal engagement has pushed some other important news down the agenda. Rex
Markle helps Mail dodge Brexit bill
W
hen Theresa May pays
homage at Paul Dacre?s big
25-years-ruling-the-Mail
party, it?s assumed that
he?s calling the tune. But consider. The
Mail has reputedly paid six ?gures for
20-year-old pictures of a teenage Miss
Markle. It?s produced a special supplement to celebrate Harry?s impending
nuptials. And where is the smoking gun
as May lumps an extra �bn-�bn on
top of her Brexit offer?
?We?ve got a deal? says the headline
on page nine. ?Sterling jumps? and all
that jazz. Fury and retribution mysteriously swallowed in a trice. I?ve heard
of retreating under cover of darkness,
but retreating under cover of Markle??
Just pass the confetti and smile, darn
you, smile.
Ipso must be UK?s de facto regulator
O
nce upon a time, a couple of
years ago, the massed ranks
of newspapers great or small
condemned Leveson?s plans for
low-cost arbitration on reader complaints. But then Impress, the soonto-be-sancti?ed Leveson regulator,
produced its own scheme (which might
have been more successful if Impress
had any weighty members to operate
it) and the House of Commons select
committee grew restive.
The squeeze, with no Tory overall
election majority, was on.
So it was, last week, that Ipso, the big
but unrecognised regulator, produced
its own scenario for cheap arbitration,
and its former fulminations died away.
One question. If walls of fear can disintegrate so fast, why doesn?t Ipso bid
for regulatory recognition, surely ?nishing off Impress, which stumbles along
as its members and directors put tweets
where prudent silence should be?
Thanks for your
help, Donald
T
he ?rst doleful report for 2017
(from Index on Censorship)
reports 259 journalists jailed this
year around the world, and 79
killed. The war on drugs in the Philippines, Mexico and Honduras claimed
many victims; the Erdo?an regime in
Turkey saw 152 journalists in prison,
170 news operations forcibly closed
and 2,500 editorial hands out of a job.
?Global media freedom is at its lowest
level since the start of the century,?
the爎eport said.
And so to that other presidential
tweet of the week. ?@FoxNews is
MUCH more important in the United
States than CNN, but outside of the
US, CNN International is still a major
source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very
poorly. The outside world does not see
the truth from them!?
Doesn?t Donald Trump ? even
Donald Trump ? realise that he invites
more persecution this way? That?s he?s
a malignant pustule on the scarred face
of democracy?
03.12.17
*
Acting editor: Shane Hickey cash@observer.co.uk
Personal ?nance
CASH | 45
Save the world the millennial way ? donate
10% of your earnings and still live it up
A wave of ?e?ective
altruists? is ?nding
they can continue to
live in comfort while
doing serious good
for those in need,
says Suzanne Bearne
Emily Dally
overcame her
moral conflict
when she took a
high paying job by
making substantial
donations to the
Against Malaria
Foundation.
W
My parents were
shocked. Their initial
reaction was, ?That?s
a lot, I hope you can
still manage?
Emily Dally
� in the developing world could cure
a blind person with trachoma, an infectious eye disease. ?You could provide
one guide dog for one blind American
or you could cure between 400 and
2,000 people of blindness,? he said. ?I
think it?s clear what?s the better thing
to do.?
The Centre of Effective Altruism,
based in Oxford, estimates there are
between 500 and 1,000 people who
identify with the practice in the UK and
it is also becoming popular in California.
Singer says many millennials have
become interested and want their
donations of time and money to have
the most impact possible. After leaving Oxford University in 1971, Singer
started to donate 10% of his income.
As his earnings increased, so did his
level of donations, and today he and
his wife, a writer, give away 40%. He
?THE RIGHT THING TO DO?
Kat Steiner, 27, lives in Oxford and is
an assistant librarian at the Bodleian
Education Library. She earns �,000
per year and receives around �,000
a year from investments (made by her
parents on her behalf). It was while
studying at Oxford that Steiner was
introduced to the ideas of thinking
critically about giving to charity and
potentially donating a signi?cant portion
of your income.
?Studying philosophy meant that
we often talked about things in terms
of abstract ideas, but this was a more
practical discussion of whether it was
the right thing to do and the possible
consequences,? she says. At ?rst, Steiner
resisted signing up to Giving What We
Can, a body in which members pledge
to give at least 10% of their earnings to
charity until they retire.
?I was concerned about making such
a big decision before I?d even had a fulltime job.? However, with many of her
friends taking the pledge and Steiner
Kat Steiner is happy she?s still saving.
road testing the idea by donating 10% of
her income as a trial run for a year, she
decided to sign up in 2014.
While the librarian says she doesn?t
have very ?expensive taste or hobbies?,
she?s aware that the decision may
result in less ?nancial security. ?I was
concerned that if something very
expensive happened, I wouldn?t be able to
cope. But I?m pretty happy that I?m saving
enough, and my family is ?nancially
secure as a whole.?
recommends 10% as an amount many
people could afford. ?I think it?s an
amount that most middle-class people can comfortably afford,? he says.
?It depends on how much people are
earning and how happy they are to live
modestly.? Singer says he leads a happy
yet modest life. ?I probably holiday less,
and in terms of house purchases we live
in a one-bedroom apartment [in New
York]. We would have perhaps bought
a larger apartment if I hadn?t been giving it away but it?s a nice apartment in
a good area.?
Emily Dally, 27, earns �,000 a year
as a lawyer for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and
has given away 10% of her salary since
she signed the Giving What We Can
Pledge three years ago.
?I?d just ?nished law school and was
taking a job in the city and feeling a bit
funny about it. I was morally con?icted
about whether it was the right thing to
do, and I saw this as a good way of carrying on [with her career],? she says. Over
the past three years, she has donated
about �,000 to the Against Malaria
Foundation.
The amount she gives away has not
hugely affected her quality of her life ?
she and her boyfriend, Sam, who also
gives away 10% of his income, were still
able to put a deposit down on a ?at in
Hackney, east London, last year.
?I might have spent more on holidays
or gifts for people, and I suppose I?d be
saving more,? she says. ?I might question
whether I should get that last drink or go
to that fancy restaurant, but I still have
plenty of money.
?My parents were shocked. Their
initial response was, ?God, that?s a lot. I
hope you can still manage.? They were
worried that when Sam and I ever start
a family that it might be problematic.?
As a result of the donations from effective altruists, organisations ranked by
charity evaluator GiveWell are reporting
a jump in donations.
?We?ve seen a very signi?cant increase
in donations that we can directly attribute to the growth of the effective altruist community,? says Rob Mather of the
Against Malaria Foundation, which saw
donations rise 280% to �27m in 2012
when it was ranked the most effective
charity by GiveWell.
Some of the ideas of the effective
altruism movement have drawn criticism. Eric Posner, a law professor at the
University of Chicago, is sceptical that
its focus on giving to developing nations
can ever have broad appeal. ?For most
people, charitable giving is, and will
remain, a more emotional and instinctive activity, often grounded in religious
commitments, local connections, or personal experiences,? he says. ?It might
make more sense? to give money closer
to home where you can observe how it
is used, and may feel stronger emotional
rewards than are offered by the rather
abstract process of sending money off
to a foreign country and never seeing
the爎esults.?
Posner is also vocal about a view
raised in the effective altruism movement that it can be more effective to
choose a career in a higher-paid job in
order to donate more to charity. ?Many
�
Cash on
the web
For all the
latest
mortgages
and savings
best buys
go online
theguardian.com/money
ith a six-figure salary from a London
private equity firm,
it could be expected
that Grayden ReeceSmith would be living
it up on eye-wateringly expensive holidays or driving a suitably ?ash sports car
around south London, where he lives.
Instead, the 28-year-old lives a very different existence to his peers and gives
away everything he earns over �,000
? a ?gure he calculated he could comfortably live on.
Over the past ?ve years, Reece-Smith
has handed over more than �0,000 to
organisations such as International Care
Ministries, which helps poverty stricken
families in the Philippines, and the
Against Malaria Foundation. He is part
of a growing number of young professionals described as ?effective altruists?
who claim to use evidence and analysis
to accomplish good.
Influenced by his protestant faith,
Reece-Smith was tempted to work in the
charity sector after graduating but calculated he could make a bigger difference
by donating a signi?cant chunk of his
salary. He had volunteered as a teacher
at a school in Tanzania but believed that
earning and giving would be more effective. ?I realised that the cost of my ?ights
there could have paid the salaries of two
teachers for an entire year.? Instead, he
says, he could ?stay at home, living a very
nice life and still make a huge difference
in the world?.
?�,000 is more than enough to live
on and still save,? he says. ?I still ?ll my
Isa every year.? He is not frugal ? last
year he holidayed in Cuba and spent a
few grand on a new sofa ? but his lifestyle certainly isn?t as luxurious as his
colleagues. ?I tend to buy branded food
products, and I don?t own a car. Other
people [on my salary] might have a bigger house. We only bought what we
needed ? a two-bedroom ?at; some of my
colleagues have four-bedroom houses.?
Effective altruists typically donate
regularly to a charity they think will have
the most impact rather than a cause that
pulls at their heart-strings. Some switch
careers to generate more money which
can then be given away.
Advocates tend to believe people
should explore giving money abroad.
The Australian moral philosopher and
author Peter Singer, who supports the
movement, once pointed out that it
costs thousands of pounds to train a
guide dog and its user, while less than
of the highest-paying jobs ? say, in
finance ? will seem reprehensible to
the sort of person who is altruistically
inclined. I think most people won?t be
able to sustain a double life in which they
do things they are ashamed of even if it
does much good for others.?
Singer is slightly optimistic about
the growth of the movement, pointing
to a wave of effective altruism groups
spreading across university campuses.
?Some people suggest there might be a
limit, as not everyone will be interested
in living more altruistically or thinking
about effectiveness, but even if we got
10% of affluent people involved, it could
make a big difference.?
46 | CASH
Personal
Your
problems
?nance
MORTGAGES
Anna Tims
Council lets me
buy a parking
permit, but won?t
enforce the rules
I believe my local council has acted
dishonestly by continuing to take
money for parking permits when it is
not enforcing parking restrictions.
I only found out when I contacted
it over an increase in vehicles being
parked without permits in my road,
meaning that sometimes it is impossible to ?nd a space.
I was told that the council is
currently unable to carry out any
parking enforcement and the head of
parking services suggested that this
has been the case since 2015.
This has never been announced
to residents, who have continued to
receive reminders to renew their
permits before they expire.
I requested a backdated refund of
�0 for two years, but all I have been
offered is a refund on the amount
unused if I return my permit.
TB, Winchester
Councils collected �6bn from motorists in ?nes and permit charges in the
last year, according to a survey released
by the RAC Foundation this month.
That left them with a record �6m
pro?t after costs were deducted. Small
wonder then, that Winchester City
Council didn?t tell you that permits
were no longer needed.
The council explains that the problem lies with the road markings, which
are the responsibility of Hampshire
County Council.
?Unfortunately the lines in one
particular area are not clear enough to
meet the standards which we know the
national parking adjudicator requires
for ?fair? enforcement,? says a spokesperson.
?Had we publicly given notice to
remove this particular road from the
scheme, the result could have been a
?free for all? with residents and commuters competing for very limited on
street parking. A valid resident parking
permit means residents have been able
to park in any of the 10 streets in this
zone which have been continuously
enforced.?
In short, you have paid �0 for the
privilege of parking several streets
away from your house.
Hampshire County Council insists
the lines in your road are visible, but
after I got in touch it decided repainting would begin within a fortnight.
Credit rating was sullied after
fraudster took out a loan
Someone took out a payday loan in
my name with Lending Stream.
They combined my name, address
and date of birth with their own bank
account, mobile number and email
address to get hold of �0 and then
defaulted on repayment.
The amount due for repayment has
now doubled. The ?rst I knew was
via a letter informing me of the debt.
It took ?ve days to get through to
Lending Stream?s fraud department.
I was promised callbacks that
never came, got hung up on and lost
in their telephone system.
I have now ?lled in an ID theft affidavit form and they have told me my
credit report should return to normal
within 45 days.
I still just can?t get over how easy
03.12.17
*
it was for somebody to commit fraud
with such basic personal information. They advertise that loans can be
set up in just 10 minutes and the initial paperwork is emailed, not posted
out. The only precaution appears to
be the credit check which was run
against my name and address.
VT, Wrabtree, Essex
You were lucky in one respect: you did
eventually get to speak to someone at
Lending Stream.
When I called for a comment on
your case I was told that names and
numbers could not be given out and I
could not be put through. Two emails
to the customer services address I was
allowed have gone unanswered.
So we can?t know how the company
which describes itself as a ?responsible lender? might justify doling out a
three-?gure sum to an imposter.
Its website advertises a representative 1,325% APR for a short-term loan
and promises ?instant? decisions on
applications so that it can start earning.
Complaints against payday lenders
tripled in the year to June 2017, according to the Financial Ombudsman
service.
Forty-?ve days is a long time to suffer a sullied credit rating, but you can
take steps yourself to remedy this by
contacting the three main credit reference agencies and raising a dispute
over the default notice.
Experian says it has helped more
than 12,500 people untangle the mess
fraud typically creates on victims?
credit reports in the past 12 months.
If you need help email Anna Tims at
your.problems@observer.co.uk or write
to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings
Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU.
Include an address and phone number.
Lender
Type
Rate %
Term
Max
LTV %
Fee �
Contact
Sainsbury?s Bank
?xed
1.19
31/3/2020
60
745
0345 111 8010
Sainsbury?s Bank
?xed
1.34
31/3/2020
75
745
0345 111 8010
Sainsbury?s Bank
?xed
1.74
31/3/2020
85
0
0345 111 8010
TSB
?xed
1.74
31/1/2023
60
995
0800 0561088
Sainsbury?s Bank
?xed
1.91
31/3/2023
75
745
0345 111 8010
Sainsbury?s Bank
?xed
2.14
31/3/2023
85
995
0345 111 8010
Bath Building Society
?xed
3.29
3 years
95
800
01225 475724
HSBC
bbr tracker + 0.74%
1.24
2 years
60
999
0800 030 4640
HSBC
bbr tracker + 0.84%
1.34
2 years
75
999
0800 030 4640
HSBC
bbr tracker + 0.99%
1.49
2 years
85
999
0800 030 4640
Barclays
o?set bbr tracker + 1.34%
1.84
2 years
75
999
0845 070 5090
Yorkshire Building Society
o?set ?xed
1.79
28/2/2021
75
995
0345 1200 874
SAVINGS
Provider
Account
NatWest
Savings Builder
Santander
123 Current Account
Min �
Gross
AER %
Notice
Notes
Contact
1.50
1.50 &
1 �per
month
easy access
BATI
0800 255 200
easy access
AICD
0800 218 2352
bmsavings.co.uk
1
BM Savings
Internet Saver
RCI Bank
Freedom Savings Account
Secure Trust Bank
120 Day Notice Account
1
1.45
easy access
IE
100
1.30
easy access
I
rcibank.co.uk
1,000
1.56
120 days
notice
I
securetrustbank.com
AR
03451 22 00 22
Kent Reliance
Regular Savings Account 3
25
3.00
easy access
Charter Savings Bank
1 Year Fixed Rate Bond
1,000
1.81
1 year
Secure Trust Bank
2 Year Fixed Rate Bond
1,000
2.06
2 years
IF
securetrustbank.com
The Access Bank UK
Sensible Savings 3 Year Bond
5,000
2.25
3 years
PIF
sensiblesavings.co.uk
Ikano Bank
Fixed 4 Year Saver
1,000
2.26
4 years
IF
www.ikano.co.uk
Secure Trust Bank
5 Year Fixed Rate Bond
1,000
2.51
5 years
IF
securetrustbank.com
AP
01225 423 271
Bath Invest & Building Society Cash ISA
Charter Savings Bank
2 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA
NS&I
Direct ISA
3 Year Investment Gtee
Growth Bond
NS&I
IF chartersavingsbank.co.uk
1
1.30
easy access
1,000
1.72
2 years
1
1.00
easy access
TI
nsandi.com
100
2.20
3 years
IF
nsandi.com
IF chartersavingsbank.co.uk
NS& I
Junior ISA
1
2.25 No wdls until
I
nsandi.com
18 yrs old
A branch opening; B rate includes bonus; C monthly fee applies; D based on �0 monthly spend; F ?xed rate; I internet
opening; P postal opening; T telephone opening; E rate for 12 mths only; R save �to �0 every month. Please check rates
before investing.
CREDIT CARDS
Provider card name
0% O?ers
Type
Sainsbury?s Bank Nectar
Purchase
31 mths Purchases
Purchase
Tesco Bank Clubcard
30 mths Purchases
Purchase
39 mths balance
transfer
Barclaycard Platinum With 38 mths balance
Balance Transfer
transfer
American Express Platinum
None
Cashback
American Express Platinum
None
Cashback Everyday
Santander All in One
Balance
transfer
Balance
transfer
Transfer
fee %
Repr
APR
Cashback
Contact
na
18.9
Not Available
sainsburysbank.co.uk
na
18.9
Not Available
tescobank.com
0.00
21.7
Not Available
santander.co.uk
Not Available
www.barclaycard.co.uk
1.0% standard
+ intro bonus
0.5% standard
22.9 + intro bonus
americanexpress.com
1.40
19.9
Cashback
na
28.2
Cashback
na
americanexpress.com
Table compiled 1/12/17. In case of late changes, always check rates and terms before transacting.
All above ?gures from independent ?nancial research company Defaqto (defaqto.com)
03.12.17
TRAVEL | 47
Five of the best Spas, baths and hammams in Europe
1. L醶n? na lodi Prague
1
4
An alternative spa experience in the
heart of Prague, L醶n? na lodi is a sauna
on a boat designed by local architecture
practice H3T. The sauna ? at the lively
N醦lavka embankment ? has space for
16 people, who can sweat it out while
enjoying views across the river to
Prague castle. Afterwards, there?s the
chance to cool off by leaping into the
Vltava river.
�50 for 30 minutes, laznenalodi.cz
The Hungarian capital is a dream destination when it comes to bath culture
and there are plenty of pools to choose
from, catering for every taste: from
pool party raves (Sparty) at Schienzy
to the low-key relaxation of the ancient
Rudas baths. The ?rst choice for those
on a winter city break, however, has
to be Gellert baths, which offers the
experience of soaking in hot water in a
stunning art nouveau mansion. As well
as a swimming pool, there?s a range of
small pools with water rich in minerals
from the hills behind the building. And
while many baths in Budapest still have
separate sessions or areas for men and
woman, since 2013 Gellert baths has
been fully mixed.
Adult from �, gellertfurdo.hu
2. Banya No 1 London
This banya ? touted among many of
London party people as the perfect
hangover cure ? is not exactly the most
mellow experience, but after a session
being whipped with twigs (a Russian
venik massage) and drenched with
buckets of frozen water, while being
served beetroot juice and vodka, you?ll
be ready to hit the commute come
Monday morning.
� for a two-hour session, � for
three-hour session and venik massage,
gobanya.co.uk
2
5. Laugardalslaug Reykjavik
5
3. Sanduny banya Moscow
As grand and palatial as they come,
Sanduny is the oldest bath house in
the country, founded in 1808. With
Moscow temperatures dropping to
well below zero in winter, this is the
perfect place to come in from the cold
and enjoy the hot baths, pools, steam
rooms and hot tubs, and admire the
pillars, statues and marble interiors.
Tourists can also take a walking tour
of the site (every Tuesday at 4pm), to
learn more about the history of Russian baths before, presumably, taking
the plunge.
From �, sanduny.ru
TRAVEL CLASSIFIED
4. Gellert Baths Budapest
3
The Blue Lagoon will, of course, be
high on the list for most visitors to
Iceland, but for those looking for a soak
without leaving the capital, Laugardalslaug is a great (and affordable) thermal
pool ? the largest in the city. As well as
a thermal steam bath, it has hot tubs
and, for those who want to splash out
on some extra treatments, is connected
to the Laugar Spa. Another option, on
the outskirts of the city in Mosfellsb鎟,
is L醙afellslaug, which has an outdoor
pool, hot tubs and saunas.
Adult �90, child � reykjavik.is
Will Coldwell
To see the full list of baths, saunas
and hammams, and thousands
more tops on everything from the
world?s best restaurants and
hotels to walks and beaches, visit
theguardian.com/travel
3.12.17
48 | OBSERVER CLASSIFIED
Alison at Home is a selection of offers supplied to The Observer, bringing
you the best that money can buy for not much money at all.
Follow @alisonathomeuk on Twitter or @alisoncork_home on Instagram
or visit our website alisonathome.com
Order 24/7 at alisonathome.com or over the phone on 020 7087 2900
ST U NNI N G DAY B E D
ILLUMINATE YOUR HOME WITH FESTIVE FIR
Practical and stylish, the gorgeous Torino day bed will ensure your friends and family have
somewhere to sleep during Christmas. Traditionally crafted with decorative castings and an
elegant matt ?nish in cream or black, the Torino is available for just �9 (RRP: �9),
including two sumptuous D20cm pocket sprung mattresses. A sofa by day and guest bed by
night, the trundle bed slides perfectly for use as a twin bed, or they can be sat together as a
comfortable double bed.
Add some elegant sparkle to
an entrance hall, sitting room,
dining room or porch with this
gorgeous 60cm pre-lit festive ?r
with urn. Beautifully presented
in a white resin period-style
urn, this highly realistic shrub
features 50 warm white LEDs
and decorative pine cones. It
comes with a 1.8 metre cable
and plug, ready to use.
To order, visit alisonathome.com/marketplace or call 020 7087 2900. Get free delivery on
all marketplace items when you quote OB312 before 9 December. Product code: TORDB. �
Reduced from �0 to �0,
visit alisonathome.com/
marketplace or call 020 7087
2900 and quote OB312 by
9 December for free
pre-Christmas delivery.
Product code: CF05550.
LU X U R I O U S M AT T R E S S W I T H
E X P R E S S D E L I V E RY
Sleep soundly with the supremely
comfortable Relyon Natural Elite 1050,
1150 and 1350 mattresses. The 1050 has
a ?rmer feel with wool ?llings, the 1150
presents a more luxurious offering, with
higher spring count and silk ?llings, while
the premium 1350 includes sumptuous
cashmere.
Available in single, double, king and
super king, 1050 prices range from
�9 to �9, 1150 ranges from �9
to �9, and 1350 ranges from �9 to
�9. Quote OB312 before 9 December
for free pre-Christmas delivery. Visit
alisonathome.com/marketplace or call
020 7087 2900 to order.
PER F E C T B E N CH FO R T WO
LI V I N G C H R I ST M AS T R E E
This Charles Taylor classic two-seater wooden bench is
made from sustainably sourced Scandinavian redwood
and is expertly made in the UK. The attractive curved
design provides optimum comfort and is treated to
withstand the elements, making it the ideal all-yearround choice. Perfect for enjoying the last few weeks
of warmth this autumn, it?s currently priced at �9
(RRP: �9.99) and comes fully assembled in an ideal
size of W120cm x H100cm. A waterproof seat cushion
is also available in green or burgundy
Shopping for a Christmas tree need no
longer be an annual inconvenience with this
gorgeous Living Christmas tree. Grown in
a pot and measuring between 100-120cm
high, this evergreen maintenance-free
Norway Spruce will crown your living room
in Christmas glory and can then decorate
your garden until next year. You won?t have
to buy a new tree for at least ?ve years while
keeping your ?oor clear from needle drop.
Quote OB312 before 9 December to get
free pre-Christmas delivery. Available for
�.99 (RRP: �.99) from alisonathome.
com/marketplace or call 020 7087 2900.
Product code: 170020.
Free white glove UK Mainland delivery when you
quote OB312 before 9 December at alisonathome.
com/marketplace or call 020 7087 2900.
Product code: CT2SGB.
GIVE THE GIFT OF TARTAN
STUNNING GARDEN MIRROR
Make your home warm and cosy this Christmas with
the Celtic Weavers red tweed set from Alison at Home.
Perfect as a gift, this stylish set includes a 127x152cm
soft reverse blanket (�.95), 42cm sumptuous cushion
(�.95) and a lovable Dog door stopper (�.95)
generously ?lled with sand. Each piece is available
separately or you can pick up the set for �.95,
saving �.90.
Get free preChristmas delivery
when you quote
OB312 before
9 December at
alisonathome.com/
marketplace or call
020 7087 2900.
Give your garden a new
lease of life with this
H112 x W61cm Capulet
rustic garden mirror from
Alison at Home. Priced
at just �.99 (RRP:
�6.51), this gorgeous
mirror has been carefully
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frost-protected ?nish,
making it suitable for all
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not included.
Readers are offered
free pre-Christmas
delivery ? quote OB312
before 9 December to
claim. To place an order,
search for GMA006
at alisonathome.com/
marketplace or call 020
7087 2900.
5 0 -Y E A R G UA R A N T E E O N
C U T L E RY
The premium
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English 44-piece
cutlery gift box
set by Sheffieldbased Arthur
Price is one of
the company?s
?nest cutlery
ranges and is
available for just
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�9). Designed
for everyday use, this stylish set is made from dishwashersafe high grade 18/10 stainless steel and includes six place
settings, comprising table knives and forks, dessert knives,
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Readers are offered free pre-Christmas delivery ? use
code OB312 before 9 December at alisonathome.com/
marketplace or call 020 7087 2900 to claim.�
3.12.17
OBSERVER CLASSIFIED| 49
50 | OBSERVER CLASSIFIED
3.12.17
03.12.17
*
9AM TODAY
1024
(30.24)
3PM TODAY
1020
(30.12)
SIX-DAY FORECAST
1024
(30.24)
Mon
17
17
Orkney
6
7
(42F)
MODERATE
(45F)
MODERATE
1028
(30.36)
1032
(30.47)
Glasgow
MODERATE
6
21
(43F)
14
1032
(30.47)
Edinburgh
Glasgow
MODERATE
5
8
(41F)
(47F)
8
9
MODERATE
Newcastle
(47F)
15
Edinburgh
9 Cloudy
8 Rain
3 Showers
3 Fair
3 Rain
8 Cloudy
10 Rain
5 Showers
3 Rain
5 Fair
Birmingham 10 Fair
8 Cloudy
11 Showers 10 Rain
3 Fair
5 Fair
Bristol
9 Fair
8 Cloudy
10 Showers 12 Rain
2 Rain
5 Fair
Cardiff
10 Fair
9 Cloudy
12 Showers 11 Rain
4 Showers
7 Fair
9 Fair
9 Cloudy
11 Rain
3 Snow
5 Fair
10 Fair
10 Cloudy
11 Rain
5 Showers
4 Cloudy
5 Sunny
9 Fair
8 Cloudy
11 Showers
9 Rain
3 Rain
4 Rain
Liverpool
10 Fair
9 Cloudy
12 Showers
9 Rain
4 Rain
7 Rain
London
10 Fair
8 Cloudy
11 Showers 12 Rain
4 Fair
6 Cloudy
Manchester 10 Fair
8 Cloudy
11 Showers
9 Rain
3 Showers
5 Rain
Newcastle
8 Fair
8 Cloudy
11 Showers
7 Rain
3 Rain
5 Sunny
6 Showers
MODERATE
Belfast
7
7
(45F) Hull
MODERATE
Manchester
7
8 Fair
8 Cloudy
10 Showers 10 Rain
4 Rain
10 Fair
8 Cloudy
11 Showers 13 Rain
3 Cloudy
4 Fair
Plymouth
11 Fair
10 Cloudy
12 Showers 11 Rain
5 Cloudy
8 Fair
Swansea
10 Fair
10 Cloudy
12 Showers 12 Rain
4 Rain
6 Rain
9 Fair
9 Cloudy
11 Showers
4 Rain
5 Rain
Manchester
9
7
(45F)
(46F)
Norwich
Norwich
Birmingham
Birmingham
8
(46F)
16
Cardi?
10
(49F)
Gloucester
Bristol
15
8
Gloucester
Bristol
(46F)
SLIGHT
SLIGHT
London
7
Cardi?
9
(48F)
London
Brighton
10
Plymouth
(45F)
Brighton
Plymouth
(50F)
19
SLIGHT
SLIGHT
17
UK TODAY
1008
(29.77)
992
(29.29)
OCCLUDED FRONT
Helsinki
TROUGH
L
H
Paris
L
1008
(29.77)
Rome
2
3
4
8
6
Madrid
Athens
7
11
13
14
SOLUTION NO. 1,156
15
19
16
17
18
20
C A
M
I B
I
H E
N
S C
E
P
B E
R
V I
21
M P A N O L O
O
O
A
I S
S E D I
I
E
E
P T A G O N A
A
U R R Y
V A
E
E
C O N T R A
R
A
B
F U D D L E
I
I
N
C T O R I A C
F
87?104
26?30?
80?86
Newcastle
6
f
Belfast
8
sh
Norwich
6
Birmingham 7
r
Nairobi
26
Bangkok
32
f
New York
10
f
sh
Beijing
9
s
Perth
35
s
10 sh
Nottingham 7
r
Beirut
24
s
Rio de Jan
28
r
Oxford
6
c
Cairo
26
s
Riyadh
19
f
f
Bournem?th 7
f
Plymouth
9
sh
Harare
30
f
San Fran
15
c
Brighton
6
f
Ronaldsway 9
sh
Hong Kong 23
f
Santiago
25
f
Bristol
9
sh
S?hampton 6
f
Istanbul
20
f
Sao Paulo
23 st
Cardiff
9
f
Scarbr?gh
7
sh
Jeddah
32
s
Seychelles
30
f
Carlisle
6
c
Southport
9
sh
Jerusalem
20
s
Singapore
31
f
Edinburgh
8
f
Stornoway 10
r
Jo?burg
24 st
Sydney
26 st
Exeter
9
sh
Swanage
Glasgow
10
Inverness
Jersey
Liverpool
10 sh
7
f
Karachi
30
f
Taipei
21
r
f
Teignmouth 8
f
L Angeles
23
f
Tenerife
17
f
9
r
Tenby
8
sh
Manila
34
f
Toronto
6
f
8
f
Torquay
8
sh
Miami
28
f
Vancouver
7
sh
Weymouth 7
sh
Mombasa
32
s
Washington 12
G I S T
Y
E
M E N T
S
D
L
I
G
P O U R
I
B A N D
O
N
WR E N
E
S
R O S S
ACROSS
DOWN
1 Makes an unpleasant or painful experience
more palatable (6,3,4)
8 Achieve, make (7)
9 Minor prophet and book of the Old
Testament (5)
10 Matter of debate (5)
11 Alfalfa (7)
12 Make (something) possible (4,3,4,2)
15 European currency replaced by the euro
in 2002 (7)
17 Of superior grade (5)
19 Purposeful surveillance to guard or
observe (5)
20 Wild marjoram (7)
21 Loosen a grip; release (5,4,4)
1 Stretch of water between the North Sea and
English Channel (6,2,5)
2 Slang word meaning both marijuana and
informant (5)
3 Especially ?ne or decorative clothing (7)
4 Movie of the same name starring Jean Simmons
(1949) and Brooke Shields (1980) (3,4,6)
5 Set of principles (5)
6 Underwriter, risk taker (7)
7 Fails to interest or excite (6,3,4)
13 Name applied to any of the four main
Gospels (7)
14 Crush, subjugate (7)
16 Structure consisting of something wound in a
continuous series of loops (5)
18 Adult insect (5)
Stuck? For help call 0906 200 83 83. Calls cost �10 per minute, plus y
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