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The Sunday Times UK - 15 October 2017

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October 15, 2017 · Issue no 10,075 · thesundaytimes.co.uk
£2.70 · only £2 to subscribers · Sunday Newspaper of the Year
BEST
PLACES
TO STAY
MARINA
O’LOUGHLIN
TRAVEL
OUR NEW
RESTAURANT
MAGAZINE
CRITIC MAGAZINE
‘Harvey Weinstein raped me in my
home,’ British actress tells police
MIKE MARSLAND
Charlotte Metcalf
The British actress Lysette
Anthony has told the Metropolitan
police that she was raped by
Harvey Weinstein in the late 1980s
when the Hollywood producer
turned up at her London home.
Anthony, 54, who is currently
appearing in the Channel 4 soap
Hollyoaks, described the alleged
assault to police last week after
years of attempting to forget what
she called a “pathetic, revolting”
attack that left her “disgusted and
embarrassed”.
In her account, published for the
first time today by The Sunday
Times, she claims that she became
friendly with Weinstein after meeting him in New York. But everything changed when she met him
for a drink at his rented home in
Chelsea a few years later. “The next
thing I knew he was half undressed
and he grabbed me,” she said.
“It was the last thing I expected
and I fled. That was when the
predatory stalking began.”
One day he turned up at her flat
at about 10am: “He pushed me
inside and rammed me up against
the coat rack . . . He was trying to
kiss me and shove inside me.” She
pushed him away but he was too
heavy: “Finally I just gave up.”
Lysette first met Weinstein in
1982 when she starred in Krull, a
science fiction film.
Police confirmed they were
investigating a claim of sexual
assault by Weinstein in London.
Weinstein, 65, has denied he ever
engaged in non-consensual sex.
Last night the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,
which awards the Oscars, stripped
Weinstein of his membership.
Full interview and reports on the
Hollywood scandal, pages 14-17
Over-16s to be asked about sexual orientation
Nicholas Hellen
and Caroline Wheeler
Lysette Anthony says the alleged rape took place after ‘predatory stalking’ by the Hollywood mogul
Hammond plots ‘big, bold’ budget
Tim Shipman
Political Editor
Philip Hammond is proposing a
“revolutionary”
budget
next
month that will make “a big offer to
the nation” on housing, tax and
borrowing to try to save his job and
prop up Theresa May after her
party conference disaster.
Plans for a “safety first” budget
have been abandoned after ministers concluded this was the “last
chance” this year to “reset” public
views of the government. The
chancellor has asked his cabinet
Doctors to quiz
all patients on
their sex lives
colleagues to come up with “bold”
solutions and is prepared to consider easing austerity to boost
housebuilding.
No 10 has asked for ideas to
tackle “intergenerational fairness”
after young people flocked to
Labour at the last election. That
has led Hammond to investigate
the possibility of offering lower tax
rates for young people, which
could be paid for by slashing
pension tax relief for better off,
usually older, workers.
Other policies under consideration include:
l Ditching
opposition to more
borrowing to boost investment
councils borrow more
to kickstart housebuilding
l Getting May to accept building
on the green belt
l Writing off student loans, an
idea being championed by David
Davis, the Brexit secretary.
A senior government source
said: “Philip has said that we have
to have a radical budget, something that is a big offer to the
nation. It means memorable stuff
that changes thinking and changes
Continued on page 2 →
l Letting
NEWMAN’S VIEW
NHS doctors and nurses in
England will be required to ask
every patient from the age of 16 to
declare their sexual orientation.
Anybody having a face-to-face
appointment will be asked about
whether they are heterosexual or
straight, gay or lesbian, bisexual or
other, including asexual.
NHS England says it needs to
record the sexual orientation of
adults to fulfil its legal duties to
provide equally for gay people.
However, some warned of a
backlash against intrusion into the
private lives of 45m people, with
one expert saying the state has “no
business in our bedrooms”.
Tim Loughton, a former children and families minister, said:
“It’s political correctness and
compliance with the Equality Act
gone bonkers.”
He said the NHS should concentrate on the quality of care: “That’s
not contingent on sexual orientation. Some might feel intimidated
into providing information which
is deeply private for them.”
Claire Fox, a panellist on BBC
Radio 4’s The Moral Maze, said the
“paternalistic” measures risked
eroding the freedoms won in the
sexual revolution under the guise
of an “evidence-based audit culture”. She said: “The state has
got no business in our bedrooms.
Tell a 16-year-old to define their
sexuality and it immediately forces
them into a box. The whole point
of the sexual revolution was to
remove the box.”
The question might also come as
an unwelcome surprise for older
patients.
While the NHS is set on monitoring our sexual orientation, the
authorities may no longer even
know how many men and women
live in the UK. This is because the
Office for National Statistics is proposing to drop the question about
gender in the next census in 2021.
According to the latest official
data, 2% of the UK population aged
16 and over identify themselves as
lesbian, gay or bisexual.
Guidelines slipped out earlier
this month by the NHS and the
LGBT Foundation said that half of
all health and social care bodies
would be monitoring patients’
sexual orientation by April next
year. They would all be expected to
do so by April 2019.
The official NHS England document states: “We recommend that
sexual orientation monitoring
occurs at every face-to-face contact with the patient, where no
record of the data already exists.”
It adds: “The patient will retain
the right not to disclose this
information, but this response will
become part of the record (similar
to that which is done with recording ethnicity).”
NHS England said: “We want to
make sure that we are being compliant with the [Equality] Act and
making sure where possible it’s
being asked.” But it added that it
“might not be relevant” when a
patient was in a casualty department needing urgent treatment.
A good practice guide for healthcare professionals produced by the
LGBT Foundation seeks to reassure them that they will encounter
overwhelming public support.
However, it cautioned: “It would
not be appropriate to ask someone’s sexual orientation out loud
in a busy reception area.” It maintains that it is “not a subject to be
embarrassed about” but concedes
that “some people will feel uncomfortable asking or being asked”.
The LGBT Foundation said
lesbian, gay and bisexual people
are seven times more likely to use
drugs, twice as likely to bingedrink and more likely to smoke
than the general population.
@nicholashellen
The state should not become a
sex pest, Editorial, page 20
Nation braced for hurricane
Jonathan Leake
Environment Editor
Thirty years ago to the day, Britain
was devastated by the “Great
Storm” — and now it faces another
battering by a hurricane, with up
to 90mph winds and 40ft waves
predicted around western coasts
tomorrow.
In 1987, the Met Office forecaster
Michael Fish reassured the nation
that there was no chance of being
hit by a hurricane — only to see
winds of 115mph hit the southeast, killing 18 people, destroying
15m trees and disrupting roads and
railways.
Now the approach of Hurricane
Ophelia has prompted the Met
Office to issue a series of storm and
flood alerts for Cornwall, Wales,
Northern Ireland, Scotland’s west
coast, and northern England for
tomorrow and Tuesday.
Even Fish, 73, now working for
an online forecaster, is worried. “I
had a little problem 30 years ago. I
said we don’t have hurricanes in
Britain. But Ophelia is heading our
way. Enjoy the weekend before the
trouble starts. It looks nasty.”
INDEX
Lottery
Weather
Letters
Sudoku
TV & Radio
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Culture
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The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
NEWS
In your Sunday Newspaper of the Year
BUSINESS & MONEY
STYLE
ROSIE
HUNTINGTONMY FLIGHT COSTS COULD
HAVE CAUSED A WIPEOUT WHITELEY
BUYING STUFF? THAT’S
SO LAST CENTURY
Why ownership could soon be a
thing of the past
World champion surfer Jordy
Smith is fearless in the water but
blanches at his travel bills
The historian Simon Sebag
Montefiore tells how his family
was at the heart of the struggle
to create a Jewish state
BRUCE DICKINSON
The singer in heavy metal giants
Iron Maiden is a man of many
talents, discovers Oliver Thring
MAGAZINE
THE TRUE COST
OF LIVING
Do you really know how much it
costs to run your home?
EDINBURGH’S FRINGE
BENEFITS
The suburb where house prices
have risen 24% in three months
THIS WEEK ON DIGITAL
BRITAIN’S
BEST
VIEWS
PHILIP PULLMAN
An interview with the
author as he publishes
his long-awaited
sequel to the
smash hit trilogy
His Dark Materials
LOTTERY
RESULTS
Caroline Wheeler
and Tim Shipman
HOME
YEARNING TO RETURN
ANY SECTIONS
MISSING?
The Brexit secretary
says writing off ‘bad’
debt would free young
people to contribute
more to the economy
The British model who has helped
d
sell 11m items of clothing for
Marks & Spencer talks celebrity
egos, selfies and having a shelf life
NEWS REVIEW
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The landscape
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Davis demands cull
of old student debt
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David Davis is pressing for a dramatic
U-turn on university tuition fees, urging
his party to slash historic student debt.
The Brexit secretary is privately calling
for some of the debt to be cancelled on
the grounds that if the student loan book
were an independent company it would
have billions of pounds of bad debts
written off.
In a move that could provoke a fresh
cabinet row, Davis has also signalled that
Conservative ministers should consider
the introduction of a graduate tax, which
he claims would stop some young people
living their entire lives in the red.
The news comes after the prime minis-
ter announced a wholesale review of the
tuition fees system that saddles students
with debts of up to £50,000.
Davis, who spent almost 20 years in
business, believes scrapping some of the
debt would allow young people to
contribute more to the economy, so the
loss to the Treasury would be minimal in
the long term.
A source familiar with Davis’s thinking
told The Sunday Times: “With such a low
repayment ratio, if the student loans
book were an independent company its
credit rating would be low and auditors
would insist you write down the debt.
“Doing so will help the younger generation get mortgages and would give them
more money to spend, which would raise
tax revenues for the Treasury. The
mythical debt depresses everything.
“He would urge the Treasury to start
with the answer and look at the financial
structures to see if there was a better way
for students that doesn’t leave the debt to
hang over their entire life.”
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has
calculated that it would cost £10bn to
wipe out the additional debts incurred by
students since the rise in fees to £9,000 in
2012, if the government were to act now.
Davis is one of a number of cabinet
ministers underwhelmed by the prime
minister’s conference announcement to
freeze tuition fees and raise the salary at
which graduates begin to pay back their
loans from £21,000 to £25,000.
Justine Greening, the education
secretary, also wants to see the Tories
take the fight to Labour, which has called
for tuition fees to be scrapped, and to be
more radical with their proposals.
A source close to Greening, who
favours the return of student maintenance grants for those from low-income
families, said she is frustrated that the
party is not doing more.
“She fears the government is not
moving fast enough on the issue and
thinks it’s time the Treasury considered
loosening the purse strings,” the source
said.
“She says that if it doesn’t the
arguments over university funding will
all be academic because Jeremy Corbyn
will be in power.”
@cazjwheeler
Killer drivers to face life in prison
Caroline Wheeler
Deputy Political Editor
Drivers who kill face life
sentences, the government
will announce today. The
Ministry of Justice is to
increase the maximum
sentence for causing death by
dangerous driving from 14
years to life.
Life sentences will also be
introduced for careless
drivers who kill while under
the influence of drink or
drugs. A new offence of
causing serious injury
through careless driving will
be created.
The move comes after
victims, bereaved families
and road safety experts gave
overwhelming support to the
proposals during a
government consultation that
ended in February.
The justice minister,
Dominic Raab, said: “We’ve
taken a long hard look at
driving sentences, and we
received 9,000 submissions
to our consultation.
“Based on the seriousness
of the worst cases, the
anguish of the victims’
families, and maximum
penalties for other serious
offences such as
manslaughter we intend to
introduce life sentences of
imprisonment for those who
wreck lives by driving
dangerously, drunk or high
on drugs.”
Ross Simons, 34, and his
wife Clare, 30, from Bristol,
were killed in 2013 when
their tandem bicycle was hit
by a Citroën Picasso driven
by Nicholas Lovell, 38, who
had 69 driving convictions
and was fleeing police at the
time.
He was sentenced to 10½
Ross Simons and wife Clare
were killed in a car crash
years and is due to be
released next year.
His victims’ relatives have
been campaigning for
tougher sentences for
persistent dangerous drivers.
Simons’s sister, Kelly
Woodruff, 35, said: “I am
thrilled that after all the years
of campaigning we are now
going to see action and that
something positive will come
out of something so
devastating for our family.”
In 2016, 157 people
were sentenced for causing
death by dangerous driving,
with 32 convicted of
causing death by careless
driving while under the
influence.
Legislation required for the
measures announced today is
expected to be brought
forward as soon as
parliamentary time allows.
@cazjwheeler
Both parents’ names on child passports
Hampstead and Kilburn.
“Azalea was crying.”
Now Siddiq and other
Labour MPs are launching a
campaign, backed by
celebrities, to include both
parents’ names on a child’s
passport. The change would
not require legislation but
only a change of regulations.
Since speaking about her
experience, Siddiq says she
has been overwhelmed by
emails from parents
describing the same thing
happening to them.
“The number of emails has
been extraordinary — from
celebrities, journalists,
professional women, gay
couples who have adopted . . .
One man tapped me on the
shoulder at the market. He
had surrogate children who
had a different surname and
he was going on holiday and
was worried. I told him to
carry their adoption papers
and birth certificates. I have
heard from mothers of
autistic children who have
been asked, ‘Who is this
woman?’ by border officials.
The children started crying.
Passport information should
reflect the changing world we
live in. Women are keeping
their maiden names.”
More than 600,000 British
children have been stopped
in the past five years by UK
border officials trying to
combat child trafficking.
About one in seven women
say they will keep their
maiden name after marriage.
Dawn Butler, shadow
secretary of state for women
and equalities, is backing the
campaign. She said it “would
stop situations where women
in particular have been
unnecessarily interrogated”.
The Home Office said names
of both parents could be
written by families in the
“emergency contact” section
of a child’s passport.
for taking an over-pessimistic
approach to Brexit. Other
ministers, however, are
concerned that Hammond’s
dearth of big ideas and
caution on public finances
are holding back colleagues
from pursuing the policies to
win the next election.
Sajid Javid, the
communities secretary, and
David Gauke, the work and
pensions secretary, are
among cabinet ministers
privately urging Hammond to
throw caution to the wind.
Javid, supported by May’s
chief of staff, Gavin Barwell —
a former housing minister —
has won the support of the
chancellor to “think big” to
solve Britain’s housing crisis.
Ideas that have been junked
from Javid’s housing white
paper this year have been
resubmitted. The plans are
popular with MPs in marginal
seats. But Barwell is more
bullish than the chief whip,
Gavin Williamson, who is
lobbied by Tories in leafy
southern seats less
supportive of development.
Hammond’s openness to
radical thinking will please
ministers, who blame him for
blocking their policy
proposals for months on the
grounds that they cannot be
afforded. May’s allies,
including her former chief of
staff Nick Timothy, have also
complained that the prime
minister’s domestic agenda
has been thwarted by
Treasury penny-pinching.
“I’m glad he’s seeing
sense,” said a ministerial aide.
“He’s been doing his best to
hold things up. We need the
chancellor to be imaginative
and creative. We can’t just be
messing about in the
margins.”
A cabinet source said:
“What we’ve done so far isn’t
going to cut it. Lots of
ministers are of the view that
housing is where we need to
be most radical and would be
most effective.
“Downing Street is focused
on the intergenerational
fairness issue. There are quite
headline-catching things that
can be done on that front.
Someone floated an idea
about having different tax
rates for younger people.
We’re going to have to go in at
that level and do even better
if we’re going to have a
radical budget.”
Hammond and May have
been confronted by aides
telling them that the domestic
agenda will be derailed unless
they are prepared to rethink
cherished views.
“The prime minister has to
rethink her views about the
green belt,” one said. “The
chancellor needs to rethink
borrowing to invest in
housing. Everyone’s got to
rethink their views right to
the very core. In its entirety
that could even mean more
national borrowing.
“If it’s going to make any
difference at all, everyone has
got to think how far they’re
willing to go on the one thing
that matters to them. People
have to dismantle their dearly
held principles and do what’s
best for the country.”
Hammond has also made
an appeal for ideas to the 1922
committee of backbenchers.
The chancellor now sees his
role as encouraging the rest
of the cabinet to come to him
with proposals so he can help
“make them work”.
The ministerial source
said: “We’ve got to reset and
the budget is the only thing
on offer where that can be
done. People are starting to
say ‘Corbyn is coming’. We’ve
got to seize the moment.”
Treasury insiders,
however, caution that
policies will have to get
through the Commons,
where the government has
only a slender working
majority.
Sian Griffiths
Education Editor
It is a headache no modern
parent wants: being stopped
at passport control with your
children and interrogated
because their passports do
not show your surname.
Tulip Siddiq knows how
upsetting it can be. On the
way back from France this
summer Siddiq — who kept
her maiden name after her
marriage — was stopped at
the UK border with her
18-month-old daughter
Azalea, who has her father’s
surname, and interrogated
for 45 minutes.
“I was asked for my
marriage and birth
certificate and questioned:
‘Who is this girl?’” said
Siddiq, the Labour MP for
‘Cabinet
must rip
up their
principles’
→ Continued from page 1
peoples’ futures. Preconference there was very
much a view that it had to be
a safety first budget. Now the
view has galvanised that this
budget has got to be big, it’s
got to be powerful, it’s got to
be revolutionary. Saying it’s
got to be brave is really
understating it. People are
very clear that this is basically
the last chance.”
Last night, after a week of
cabinet rows on Brexit,
Hammond faced fresh calls
for his sacking — this time
from “remain”-supporting
cabinet ministers. One
described him as “politically
inept” and another called for
him to be replaced by Michael
Gove, the environment
secretary.
The chancellor has been
under fire from Eurosceptics
Siddiq with husband Chris
Percy and daughter Azalea
Cabinet remainers join
calls for Hammond to go,
page 11
3
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
NEWS
Army interpreter lost three
limbs — but not his big heart
Compensation given to an
Afghan severely injured
by a bomb in Helmand is a
fraction of that awarded
to wounded Britons
Richard Kerbaj
Security Correspondent
With the dust still lingering from the
explosion, Qari Zmari Babrak, an Afghan
interpreter, could see that his legs were
ripped from just below the hips and his
left arm torn from his elbow.
His injuries during a patrol with the
1st Battalion, The Royal Regiment of
Scotland, in Sangin, Helmand province,
shocked him into silence. His colleagues
thought he was dead.
“At the time I was thinking this is some
kind of a dream — all these people are calling me dead but I was alive,” said Babrak,
30, in his first interview about the 2010
attack that cost him three limbs.
Babrak, also known by his other family
name of Ziaheer, was given £87,000 compensation by the Ministry of Defence,
compared with the maximum payout of
£570,000 given to severely injured British servicemen. It took the MoD six years
to move him to the UK despite repeated
threats from the Taliban, who murdered
six of his uncles as a punishment for his
work with the British Army, he said.
Now officials are showing signs that
they recognise the scale of his sacrifice. A
review has been launched by the MoD
into Babrak’s payout “as a priority”,
according to a letter he was sent on
September 5. “This payment was made in
recognition of the injuries you suffered in
the course of your employment as a result
of your service with the British Army,” the
letter says. “As you have now relocated to
the United Kingdom . . . the payment
needs to be reviewed to reflect the different conditions in the two countries.”
Babrak spent most of his payout on
accommodation and schooling for
orphans in Afghanistan, including 24 of
his cousins whose fathers had been killed
by the Taliban. “I felt a great responsibility to help these orphans who had no
other form of income or help,” he said.
The MoD, which has moved about
385 Afghan former staff and family
members to Britain, provided Babrak
with a two-bedroom rented flat in the
east of England when he arrived last year
with his wife, Sedra, and three-year-old
son Adnan Khan. Babrak’s brother,
Sanaullah, was also moved from Afghanistan and has become his primary carer.
The former interpreter has always
been self-reliant. At the age of six, Babrak
developed an interest in the English
language and was determined to teach
himself how to speak it. By 13, he had left
his family home in Laghman province,
in east Afghanistan, and travelled to
Peshawar in Pakistan to study English.
He juggled his studies with a part-time
job as shoe salesman to provide for his
nine siblings and unemployed parents.
He joined Nato forces in Kandahar as an
interpreter in 2006 before working with
British troops from 2008.
After surviving the explosion in May
2010, Babrak awoke from a 27-day
induced coma with a hazy understanding
of what had happened to him. “I forgot at
the time, truthfully, that I had no legs,” he
said. “I wanted to walk and I was trying to
sit up in bed but I wasn’t able to.”
Told that he would not walk again, he
expressed gratitude for his life in a way
that left friends and medical staff in
tears. “I said I have served my purpose. I
have done it for my family, for my
country and for all the Nato forces who
were in Afghanistan to help my nation,
my people. That’s what I wanted in my
life and I have achieved it.”
Babrak was moved to several medical
facilities and was given physiotherapy
and emotional support at the British high
commission in Delhi. His hope was to be
reinstated as an interpreter.
Iain Smailes, a former colonel who met
Babrak in late 2010, wanted to grant his
wish, even though MoD policy is against
hiring former staff who have been compensated. “The MoD was trying to prevent a precedent where people who were
badly injured and compensated could
expect to be re-employed,” a source said.
With the help of diplomatic colleagues, including Sir William Patey, then
British ambassador to Afghanistan, and
his deputy, Catherine Royle, Smailes
persuaded the MoD to let Babrak apply
for a job. He won an interpreting role at
the British embassy in Kabul.
“Qari is a remarkable man — all who
met him, British and Afghans alike, were
struck by his positive ‘can do’ attitude
and his lack of bitterness,” Smailes said.
“His story is possibly typical of many
interpreters who made considerable
sacrifices to support our work. We learn
of the sacrifices of British and other
troops, but seldom if ever the considerable sacrifices of the Afghans.”
For his part, Babrak credits Smailes
with convincing him to marry his fiancée.
“After the incident, I was thinking why
should I impart my problems on somebody else; they’re my problems,” Babrak
said. “But Iain said you should get
married, and when I got married to Sedra
my mother said the colonel was right.”
Babrak, who is in the UK on a five-year
visa, said he hoped to become a British
citizen and to work again one day. He
helps the MoD as an adviser, assessing
applications from Afghan interpreters
who ask to be moved here.
The MoD said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to brave, locally employed civilians
who played a pivotal role in helping our
troops.”
@richardkerbaj
AKIRA SUEMORI
Qari Zmari Babrak, who spent much of his payout on accommodation and schooling for Afghan orphans, with son Adnan Khan at their home in England
Oh boy! George may break royal
tradition of single-sex school
Sian Griffiths
Education Editor
He has only just started
primary school and is
focusing on making new
friends and learning to read.
But his parents are already
planning the next step — and
it may mark a significant
departure from royal
tradition: being educated
with girls in senior school.
If Prince George follows in
the footsteps of many of his
prep school classmates at
Thomas’s Battersea, in
southwest London, he will go
to a co-educational private
school.
According to figures
revealing the senior school
destinations of Thomas’s
leavers in 2017, more children
went to co-educational
schools than to boys-only
schools — reflecting a trend
among well-heeled parents to
want their daughters and
sons to be educated together.
“The word on the street is
that his parents [the Duke
and Duchess of Cambridge]
want co-education and
boarding when he leaves
prep school,” a source
confirmed.
The most popular
destination for Thomas’s
leavers heading for a
co-educational boarding
school this year is Brighton
College, with Marlborough —
where his mother went — also
prominent.
Five children went to
Brighton College, whose
former pupils include
Winston Churchill’s greatgranddaughter, Isabella,
daughter of the Tory MP
Nicholas Soames, a friend of
Prince Charles. Of the 47
children who left in the
summer, only two opted for
the boys-only Eton, where
George’s father and uncle,
William and Harry, boarded.
Richard Cairns, head
master of Brighton College,
said: “It would be
groundbreaking for the
royal family but is in tune
with the feelings of most
modern parents, who feel
increasingly strongly that
segregating their sons from
their daughters is unnatural
and not obvious preparation
for a world where women
and men are equal partners
at work.”
William and Kate broke
with tradition in choosing
Thomas’s — whose most
important rule is “Be kind” —
for George. Boys learn ballet
and pupils are discouraged
from picking a best friend in
case feelings are hurt.
Kensington Palace said an
official announcement would
be made in due course.
@siangriffiths6
Pullman sticks boot into
Winnie-the-Pooh creator
RICHARD POHLE
Bryan Appleyard
Prince George arrives for his
first day at school last month
He has long been counted
among Britain’s greatest
literary figures.
But AA Milne, the creator
of Winnie-the-Pooh, is one of
several early-20th-century
writers who peddle a “sickly
nostalgia” for childhood,
according to Philip Pullman,
author of the acclaimed
trilogy His Dark Materials.
“Milne — I can’t stand the
man,” Pullman tells The
Sunday Times Magazine
today. He argues that some of
the most popular classics in
children’s literature fail to
portray adolescence as a
preparation for adulthood.
“It always struck me as
blasphemous on the part of
the children’s writers of the
so-called golden age, this
sickly nostalgia that you see
in AA Milne, E Nesbit [The
Railway Children, 1906]
Kenneth Grahame [Wind in
the Willows, 1908], that
squad,” he says.
He recalls looking at
cartoons from Punch
magazine from that era. “A lot
of them are pictures of young
children, sometimes in a state
of undress — in the bath or
something — saying
something teeth-grittingly
cute with a fond parent or
nanny looking.
“It’s not paedophilia . . . but
Any more affairs, please? My bus rides were key to Pinter’s secret love
Richard Brooks
Arts Editor
The return trip on the No 24
and No 53 buses from Kentish
Town in northwest London to
Plumstead in the southeast
takes about three hours.
It was a journey the actor
and director Henry Woolf
took in the 1960s to vacate his
bedsit so that it could be used
by his best friend, Harold
Pinter, to conduct his affair
with Joan Bakewell.
In 1978 the relationship
was turned into Pinter’s play,
Betrayal, although it took
another two decades for the
real names to be revealed.
“God knows what these
two splendid creatures must
have thought of my grotty
place,” writes Woolf in his
memoirs, which will be
published by Greville Press
this week.
“After all, they both lived in
lovely houses in lovely parts
of London. The immediate
effect of their visits was that I
had to be out when they were
in, so I took long bus rides to
places like Plumstead.”
Woolf, now 87, who will
give a talk and appear in a
play about his early life with
Pinter at the British Library
tomorrow, said: “For more
than a year, about a couple of
times a month, I would get
these courteous calls asking if
I could leave the bedsit.
“Why Plumstead? Maybe
because it would take hours.”
Asked this weekend if she
knew where Woolf went
during her secret visits to his
bedsit, Bakewell said she had
no idea at the time that he
JOHN GOLDBLATT/EAMONN MCCABE
Henry Woolf, far right,
allowed Harold Pinter,
right, to use his bedsit for
assignations with Joan
Bakewell, above
was travelling to Plumstead
and back to give the pair
some privacy.
She said: “At the time I
simply assumed that Henry
was off rehearsing some play
somewhere. It was only
many years later that he told
me that he had to take bus
trips. I didn’t know about
Plumstead, though.”
Bakewell said she
remembers the bedsit as
“very grotty” with only a
“largish single bed”.
Initially Woolf did not tell
his new girlfriend, the actress
Susan Williamson, whom he
would later marry, the
identity of who was using his
room: “Just that there were
two people. Susan assumed
they were young lovers
escaping parents.”
After more than 12 months
of bus trips to Plumstead
and other places, Woolf was
eventually allowed to stop
when the lovers upgraded —
to another bedsit in the
same house.
“Harold and I used
Henry’s bedsit for more than
a year and then somehow we
got another room upstairs in
the same house, which I
suppose we must have
rented,” Bakewell said. “We
did it up and decorated it to
make it that bit smarter.”
Woolf met Pinter in 1946 at
Hackney Downs Grammar in
east London. After leaving
school Pinter was initially an
actor, novelist and poet but it
was Woolf who persuaded
him to become a playwright:
“It was January 1957 when
Harold told me he had this
idea for a play. I assured him
that as he had written a novel
and poems, he could do a
play.
“He wrote The Room in
two days and I put it on in an
abandoned squash court at
Bristol University, where I
was doing post-grad drama.”
The play was staged later
that year at The Sunday
Times student drama festival
where it was reviewed very
favourably by the paper’s
critic, Harold Hobson.
Woolf last saw Pinter just
before his death on Christmas
Eve, 2008, at the age of 78.
“He came out from hospital
for an hour or so, so we could
have dinner,” he said.
“His liver was shot with
cancer and yet he ordered
liver and onions — never ate
it, but [it was] a typically
macabre Pinteresque touch.”
there is a sense of ‘Let’s go
back to the nursery. Let’s take
nanny and tea and teddy
bears’ and all that stuff. Only
adults feel like that. Children
want to grow up.”
Pullman’s new book, La
Belle Sauvage, the first
volume of a trilogy entitled
The Book of Dust, is
published on Thursday.
Philip Pullman interview,
Magazine, pages 12-17
ST DIGITAL
Try our ultimate His Dark
Materials quiz. Go to
thesundaytimes.co.uk or
our phone or tablet apps
CULTURE
SHERIDAN
SMITH
‘I WAS FALLING APART’
4
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
NEWS
EasyJet in forced landing as ‘smell event’ overcomes co-pilot NEWS
IN BRIEF
Andrew Gilligan
An easyJet flight to London
with more than 100 people
on board made an emergency
landing after the co-pilot, a
stewardess and some
passengers were overcome by
what the airline described as
a “smell event”.
Flight EZY2278 from
Palma, Mallorca, to Luton on
October 3 was forced to divert
to Paris where paramedics
met the aircraft and the first
officer was taken away in an
ambulance. Asked if this was
an “aerotoxic incident”
caused by fumes, easyJet
said: “No, this was a smell
event and we do not
categorise any event as
aerotoxic. This is not a
classification easyJet uses.”
One passenger, a fashion
designer called Isabelle, said
less than an hour before the
flight was due in Luton the
captain “said we had to land
because too many people
were ill. He said his co-pilot
was really unwell, so we
needed to land and check
what was going on.”
Isabelle said that as soon as
the plane landed at Charles
de Gaulle airport at nearly
2am “six doctors or
paramedics came in. They
helped the pilot, then the
passengers. They came in
with oxygen and helped them
in the plane. A little boy in the
back was vomiting.”
An official with a
measuring device entered
the cabin to check the air
quality; after a short while the
remaining passengers were
ordered out, she added.
When Isabelle left the
aircraft she glanced into the
cockpit and saw “a huge
oxygen cylinder” standing on
the floor: “They had given
[the co-pilot] oxygen while
they were still flying.” She
herself had not felt unwell.
The flight, which had left
Palma at 11.45pm, is recorded
as “cancelled” by flight
tracking websites. The
aircraft used — an Airbus
A319, registration G-EZNC —
later flew without passengers
to London.
The airline said: “We can
confirm the captain took the
decision to divert to Paris due
to some passengers and crew
feeling unwell. He took the
decision as a precaution only
and the aircraft landed
routinely.”
Engineers found a “leakage
of hydraulic fluid” in the tail
section, “of which a very
small amount could trigger a
smell”, easyJet added.
The leaking component
was renewed and the aircraft
given a “technical clean”,
with all the cabin air
recirculation filters and seat
headrest covers replaced.
Campaigners claim
“aerotoxic syndrome” from
contaminated cabin air
accounts for the premature
retirement, ill-health and
even deaths of pilots and
crew. Frequent flyers and
young children can also be at
risk, it is claimed. Aircrew
unions are involved in about
100 civil court actions for
death and injury allegedly
caused by cabin air. All
airlines deny that fume
events have long-term effects.
Dr Susan Michaelis, a
former pilot who studies
“aerotoxic syndrome” as a
visiting researcher at Stirling
University, said: “This
incident is consistent with
toxic chemicals coming into
the air supply . . . Passengers
should know what they’ve
been exposed to so they can
seek medical support.”
@mragilligan
JASON ISLEY
ATTENBOROUGH
PLEA TO COMBAT
KILLER PLASTIC
Children’s chief
accuses NHS
The children’s commissioner,
Anne Longfield, has accused
the NHS of “ignoring” a crisis
in mental health care for
young people. Her criticism
came after the NHS chief
executive, Simon Stevens,
rubbished claims in a recent
report that said children with
mental health difficulties
faced a “postcode lottery”.
Failed ride strands
30 people 80ft up
Thirty people were left
stranded 80ft above the
ground for as long as
6½ hours after a fairground
ride broke down. Hull fair’s
Power Tower broke down at
6.30pm on Friday, leaving
riders aged between nine
and 60 stranded. The last
passenger was rescued
yesterday at 1am.
Jonathan Leake
Plastic pollution is wrecking
the world’s oceans, Sir David
Attenborough has warned.
Speaking ahead of the start of
BBC1’s Blue Planet II series on
October 29, he said plastics
were killing species from
turtles and seabirds to
plankton. “It’s one world and
it’s in our care,” he said. “We
could actually do something
about plastic right now. And I
just wish we would.”
Hogwarts Express
rescues family
A family of six was rescued by
the “Hogwarts Express”
steam train after their canoe
was swept away near
Lochaber in the Scottish
Highlands. Police arranged
for them to be picked up by
the train from the Harry Potter
movies after they faced a
long walk across boggy land.
Twiggy: stand up
to sexual predators
Twiggy hopes the Harvey
Weinstein scandal will help
young women stand up to
sexual predators. The model,
speaking at the Cheltenham
Literature Festival, said:
“Maybe it will give actresses
and models the right to
say, ‘Hang on a minute, you
can’t do this’.”
NHS pays £200 a night to put
up patients in luxury hotels
Health trusts are
spending hundreds of
thousands a year on
rooms for those who
have long journeys
and early appointments
Sarah-Kate Templeton Health Editor
NHS trusts are spending up to £900,000
a year putting patients up in hotels with
rooms costing as much as £209 a night.
Patients have been accommodated in
luxury hotels including the Hilton,
Millennium and Guoman chains. Bills for
one patient last year exceeded £7,000.
The Dutch chief executive of one trust
with high patient hotel bills has questioned the practice, saying that at his
large hospital in Amsterdam they “did
not spend a penny” on hotels.
Professor Marcel Levi, who in January
took over as chief executive of University
College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH), said: “We pay for hotel
accommodation for patients — patients
who have an early appointment next day;
patients who need to stay a bit longer.
Some of it is justified but some of it is not.”
Levi added: “I come from a similar hospital in Amsterdam. We did not spend a
penny on hotels. They slept with family.”
Professor Karol Sikora, a cancer consultant, said: “Accommodation should be
the responsibility of the patient and their
family, unless there is some special reason . . . British society, unlike other countries, expects the NHS to do everything.”
UCLH spent £774,161 on hotel bills in
2016-17, £693,288 in 2015-16 and £912,088
in 2014-15. Accommodation ranged from
the Cumberland hotel at Marble Arch in
central London to the Holiday Inn and
the Premier Inn. The average price the
trust paid per patient a night was £162.
Accommodation may be offered to
patients who have an early appointment
and travel a long way, as well as to those
who are being treated over several days,
such as cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, but do not need a hospital bed.
The average cost of a patient stay per
night at UCLH is £340. The trust said: “We
are looking for ways to use our resources
more effectively. We are currently reviewing our hotel policy as a result.”
In the last financial year, 2016-17, the
Royal Free London NHS Foundation
Trust spent £416,482 on hotels. Over
three years expenditure totalled £1.1m.
The Royal Free uses chains such as Best
Western, Premier Inn and Holiday Inn.
During the same period the hotel bills
for one patient attending the Royal Free
totalled £4,268. In 2014-15 accommodation bills for another patient were £6,058.
Its trust said: “There are strict eligibility criteria for this (including provision
only for patients who cannot reasonably
travel to and from the hospital each day
due to their limited capability resulting
from their conditions or the distance
they live from the hospital).
“Allowing patients who don’t need
overnight nursing care to stay in a hotel
benefits them and benefits the hospital.”
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation
Trust, a specialist cancer trust in west
London, has accommodated patients at
the Millennium and Copthorne hotels at
Chelsea football club, and the luxury
boutique Sydney House in Chelsea. The
trust said this freed up hospital beds.
Coal-mining fissure opens beneath ‘crazy’ HS2 train route
Mark Hookham
Transport Correspondent
Plans to build Britain’s HS2
rail line over a former mining
area in West Yorkshire were
this weekend branded
“crazy” after a 26ft-long crack
opened up in the ground
along the proposed route.
The fissure in a field
outside the village of Crofton
near Wakefield was a “ground
collapse” that was “coal
mining related”, according to
the Coal Authority, a
government agency. It said its
experts were in talks with
HS2 “about the impact of the
country’s coal mining legacy
on its plans and delivery for
its new rail routes”.
Last month its engineers
used 15 tons of stone to fill in
the crack on Windmill Hill
near Crofton after it was
discovered by Jonathan Pile, a
health and safety consultant,
while he was walking his dog.
The 4in-wide crack opened
where a section of HS2
linking Birmingham to Leeds
will be built, raising questions
about the route’s suitability.
Campaigners claim HS2
has severely underestimated
the costs of building a line for
225mph trains in an area
prone to subsidence. HS2
confirmed that it had not yet
conducted detailed ground
investigations.
“This is exactly on the line
of the route,” said Pile, a
spokesman for Yorkshire
against HS2 whose family
home is only 800ft from the
proposed high-speed line.
“The only decent bit of land
in Crofton to put a train line is
where the train line is at the
moment — the East Coast
railway. Every other bit has
been mined to extinction.”
The £56bn network
crosses former mining areas
near Mexborough in South
Yorkshire before passing
through Crofton, which was
heavily mined as part of the
nearby Nostell and Sharlston
collieries.
Pile first spotted that a hole
6½ft deep had opened up in
the field in August. After it
began to increase in size he
reported it to the Coal
Authority, which erected
safety barriers. “The dog had
a peer into it. I was tentative:
you’ve got to be careful . . .
some of these sinkholes are
old mine shafts.”
Engineers stripped back
the soil and discovered a
crack in the sandstone.
In a letter to Pile, the Coal
Authority said: “Recorded
deep mining has taken place
within the zone of influence
of the fissure and therefore
the Coal Authority accepts
liability in respect of this
ground collapse.”
Local families warn that
the land is notorious for
subsidence. Richard Howell,
54, a college lecturer whose
grandfather was a miner, said
he remembered a crack
several hundred feet long and
60ft deep opening up in the
same field on Windmill Hill in
the early 1970s.
Howell said building HS2
there was “utter stupidity”.
“The fact that they’re putting
it through the heart of the
Yorkshire coalfield is going to
be expensive. It’s crazy.”
An HS2 spokeswoman
said: “We are confident that
the historical mining features
in Crofton pose no major risk
to the construction
programme.” She added that
HS2 had conducted
assessments on the suitability
of the land using information
from the Coal Authority and
“will carry out a programme
of ground investigation works
prior to construction”.
“This will inform the
engineering measures we will
put in place to safely manage
the presence of historical coal
mining beneath the railway.”
@markhookham
Twiggy, left, with Emma
Freud at Cheltenham
Last day to spend
round £1 coins
Round £1 coins will cease to
be legal tender from
midnight tonight. New
12-sided coins were
introduced in March but
more than 450m of the old
coins are still in circulation.
Shops including Tesco will
accept the old coins for an
extra week.
‘Frisky flyers’
grounded by BA
A British Airways flight was
delayed for more than an
hour after a couple were
“more than frisky” in their
seats before take-off at
Heathrow. The flight to New
York this month was held up
for 75 minutes while the pair
and their bags were
removed from the plane.
5
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
NEWS
Christian
ducks out of
‘trans’ work
PAUL FELIX/REX/SWNS
Hair dye
in breast
cancer
warning
Sarah-Kate Templeton
Health Editor
A printer turned down business, saying the
diversity agenda is used against believers
Nicholas Hellen
Social Affairs Editor
A Christian printer has refused to produce the business cards of a transgender
diversity consultant because he did not
want to promote a cause that he felt
might harm fellow believers.
Nigel Williams, a married father of
three based in Southampton, turned
down the chance of working for Joanne
Lockwood’s consultancy, SEE Change
Happen, which offers advice on equality,
diversity and inclusion.
He wrote to her: “The new model of
diversity is used (or misused) to marginalise (or indeed discriminate against)
Christians in their workplaces and other
parts of society if they do not subscribe to
it. Although I’m quite sure you have no
intention of marginalising Christians it
would weigh heavily upon me if through
my own work I was to make pressure
worse for fellow Christians.”
Lockwood, 52, who has been living as a
trans woman since January and changed
her name in July, said she was “gobsmacked”, adding: “I was not expecting a
lecture. I disbelieved this could happen
in 2017. I have been distraught and cried
and my wife consoled me.”
Joanne Lockwood says the response
from Nigel Williams left her upset
Williams is being backed by the Christian Institute, a pressure group which
supported a Northern Ireland family
bakery found to have discriminated
against a gay customer by refusing to
decorate a cake with a slogan supporting
same-sex marriage.
It said the printing dispute was “chilling and unnecessary” and had similarities with the “gay cake” case: “It is a
fundamental tenet of free speech and
freedom of belief that people should not
be forced to help promote causes flatly
contrary to their own deeply held views.”
A human rights barrister who advised
on the cake case said at the time that if the
baker lost, Muslim printers could be
forced to produce cartoons of the
Prophet Muhammad. The institute also
said that a T-shirt company owned by
lesbians could be challenged if it refused
to print messages describing gay
marriage as an “abomination”.
Lockwood met Williams at a business
networking event in September and
emailed the printer three weeks later to
inquire if he was interested in producing
cards for her consultancy. Williams
declined, while making it clear that he
would be happy to print for Lockwood if
it was for other ventures.
Lockwood said she had got no reply
when she messaged to say that she was
also a trustee of a transgender events
group and was the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transsexual, queer/questioning
and others) officer for Portsmouth Conservatives. She said Williams could easily
have ignored her approach rather than
deliver “a lecture on someone else’s values which I did not ask for”.
She added: “I think a point of
principle is at stake. He wanted to make a
point to me deliberately for his own
motives. I have been the victim of some
discrimination.”
@nicholashellen
Cirencester Park has been home to the Bathursts since the early 18th century and contains an estimated £13m worth of treasures
Earl Barmy’s fortune splits heir and widow
Tony Allen-Mills
and Paul Keogh
It has all the elements of an
episode of Downton Abbey: a
dowager countess on the
warpath, a hapless earl who
has locked his 89-year-old
stepmother out of the family
seat and a disputed pile of
heirlooms that has landed the
lot of them in court. There is
even a hot-air balloon.
Yet this is no television
drama. A family row has
erupted over the assets of
Cirencester Park, a 15,000acre Gloucestershire estate
that has been home to the
earls of Bathurst since the
early 18th century. Six years
after the death of the 8th Earl
— known to his friends as
Henry “Barmy” Bathurst
— his son and widow are
locked in a court battle over
access to an estimated £13mworth of family treasures.
“It is a stepson and
stepmother,” Fenner Moeran
QC explained to the High
Court. “The relationship . . . is
not cordial.”
The main characters in a
wrangle over the 8th Earl’s
estate are his heir, Allen, 9th
Earl Bathurst, 56, and Gloria,
Dowager Countess Bathurst,
89, Barmy’s second wife. The
8th Earl died in 2011, aged 84.
The court heard that the
dowager countess has been
attempting to gain entry to
the Bathurst stately home —
now occupied by her stepson
— to make an inventory of its
collections. Gilead Cooper
QC, representing the family
fund, told Judge Simon
Barker that Lady Bathurst’s
request for an inspection was
a “flimsy pretext” to
get into a house
where she knew
she was not
welcome.
The dispute
centres on whether
or not the countess
has the right to the
“use and
Lord and Lady
Bathurst and, far
right, Prince
Charles and
Camilla Parker
Bowles at
Cirencester Park
in 1975
enjoyment” of paintings,
furniture and other objets
d’art, among them a £6m
portrait of the Duke of
Wellington on horseback, or
whether she should merely
be paid an income. The
family fears that a collection
said to be of “national and
historic importance” is in
danger of being split up.
It is the latest in a long line
of dramas at Cirencester
Park. The 9th Earl’s wife,
Sara, Countess Bathurst,
recently opened her
bathroom window to find a
hot-air balloon packed
with tourists hovering
nearby. The Virgin
Balloons sightseeing
flight had drifted to within
ogling distance. The countess
said she had accepted the
company’s apology and “I
don’t think they will pull a
stunt like this again”.
The estate is home to the
polo club where Prince
Charles broke his arm by
falling from his horse in 1990.
In 2003 the 8th Earl made
headlines by chasing “some
young yob” who was
breaking the 20mph speed
limit on his estate in a
“beaten-up car”. It turned
out to be Prince William, then
aged 20.
Judgment in the court case
has been reserved.
@taminuk
Women should dye their hair
only two to five times a year
and use products with more
natural ingredients, such as
beetroot, to reduce the risk of
cancer, a breast surgeon has
advised.
Professor Kefah Mokbel, a
breast cancer surgeon at the
Princess Grace Hospital in
central London, reviewed
studies of whether women
who dye their hair have a
greater risk of breast cancer.
He found a 14% rise.
His study concluded:
“Although further work is
required to confirm our
results, our findings suggest
that exposure to hair dyes
may contribute to breast
cancer risk.”
Mokbel suggests women
dye their hair less often and
switch to products with
natural ingredients. He said:
“What I find concerning is the
fact that the industry
recommends women should
dye their hair every four to
six weeks.” He said some dyes
used natural ingredients,
such as henna and rose hip.
Research in Finland also
found women who used hair
dye were more likely to
develop breast cancer. But
Sanna Heikkinen, of the
Finnish Cancer Registry, said
it had not been proven that
dye was causing the increase.
She said: “We did observe
a statistical association
between hair dye use and
risk of breast cancer in our
study. However, it is not
possible to confirm a true
causal connection. It might
be, for example, that women
who use hair dyes also use
other cosmetics more than
women who reported never
using hair dyes.”
The Cosmetic Toiletry and
Perfumery Association said
hair dyes were covered by
robust safety requirements.
6
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
NEWS
Memories of Rorke’s Drift at risk
The army’s plan to stop
funding 15 museums
threatens the collection
of the regiment that
fought the Zulus
Mark Hookham and Tim Ripley
It is the tattered Union Jack that symbolises the British Army’s defiance in the
face of overwhelming odds.
But defence cuts mean a regimental
museum in Brecon, south Wales, which
houses the flag that flew over Rorke’s
Drift, the battle immortalised by the 1964
film Zulu, is threatened with closure.
A leaked document seen by The
Sunday Times reveals how the army is
planning to axe funding for 15 of its
regimental museums.
Funding will be withdrawn from either
the Royal Welch Fusiliers Regimental
Museum in Caernarfon, north Wales, or
the Regimental Museum of the Royal
Welsh in Brecon, home to the flag and
other artefacts from the 1879 Zulu War,
including the Victoria Cross won by
Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, played
by Michael Caine in the film.
Richard Davies, curator of the Royal
Welsh museum, said the grant helps to
meet staffing costs and its withdrawal
would make it “difficult to open on a regular basis”.
Grants will be withdrawn from six of
the seven museums funded by the army
in Scotland and four out of five museums
of historic English regiments that are
antecedents of the Rifles, a modern
super-regiment formed in 2007.
Andy Manktelow, director of the
Cheshire Regiment’s museum, which
may be among others targeted and
houses one of the pens used at
the surrender of Japan in 1945,
said he feared museums
would be seen as “low-hanging
fruit” as the army cuts costs.
The cuts, which will save just
£1.8m a year, were due to be
made in 2030, but museum
sources believe they could be
brought forward to 2022.
Critics say the savings are
“peanuts” and warned that
museum closures would
cause “incalculable” damage by ending links between
communities and their historic local regiments.
But senior officers
claim “no stone is
being left unCaine:
portrays
winner
of VC
turned” in their quest to make savings in
the army’s stretched budget while retaining crucial kit. “If it’s a question of £1.8m
versus getting rid of some bit of kit we
need, you wouldn’t waste a heartbeat
thinking about it,” said a defence source.
Two years ago, the Ministry of Defence
pledged to spend £178bn on kit over 10
years, including on much needed new
warships, armoured vehicles and aircraft. The plan, however, is affordable
only if the MoD makes almost £10bn of
savings, which it is struggling to do. It
has also been hit by cost increases
linked to the falling value of the
pound. Overall, the equipment budget
is believed to be underfunded by more
than £20bn over 10 years.
Top military chiefs have
been ordered to list the
equipment and capabilities
they are determined to
retain — and those they are
prepared to sacrifice. This
weekend it emerged that
the RAF is considering
retiring its fleet of C-130J
Hercules transport aircraft,
despite warnings from SAS
commanders that it will
harm their ability to infiltrate
enemy territory.
Some of the aircraft are used
as workhorses to airlift troops
and supplies, and others have
been modified for covert
missions. Axeing the C-130Js “would
leave the RAF with no fleet of smaller
aircraft capable of deploying special
forces,” said Sir Gerald Howarth, a
former defence minister.
RAF bosses are also believed to be
considering scrapping plans to upgrade a
fleet of six E-3D Sentry aircraft, which
perform surveillance and “command and
control”. The upgrade was meant to
extend their life until 2035.
Defence sources claim there is tension
between Sir Michael Fallon, the defence
secretary, and naval chiefs over the way
their budget has been managed, after
details of plans to cut two amphibious
assault ships were leaked.
“The budget that has always been
overdrawn the most . . . has been the navy
budget,” said one source. “It’s almost
been a strategy to run everything hot and
run out of money, as if someone’s going
to come along and give them more.”
The MoD is due to submit a final set of
cost-cutting options to Mark Sedwill,
Theresa May’s national security adviser,
next month. “People are basically holding out, because why would anybody
want to offer their lambs up for sacrifice
before the sums have been done?” said
one Whitehall source.
The MoD said it was “looking at how
we best spend our rising defence budget
to protect our country. No decisions
have yet been made.”
@markhookham
TIME TO DECLARE ‘I DO’
ANDREW PARSONS
The England cricketer Ben Stokes, 26, marries Clare
Ratcliffe in East Brent, Somerset, yesterday. His hand was
still bandaged, right, after an alleged brawl that has led to
his suspension from the team and doubt over his Ashes tour
Mayday: Red Arrows
may have to fly
foreign-built jets
Caroline Wheeler
Deputy Political Editor
The Red Arrows’ Hawk jets
could soon be built overseas
at the cost of hundreds of
British jobs, MPs have
warned the prime minister.
In a letter signed by 142
MPs, Theresa May is being
urged to replace the aged
aircraft used by the RAF
aerobatics team to help save
jobs at BAE Systems, the
company which makes the
jets. The cross-party group of
MPs fears there will be
“virtually no possibility” of
Hawks being built in the UK
unless urgent action is taken.
The letter, signed by 120
Labour MPs, 21 Tories and
Jeffrey Donaldson, the
Democratic Unionist, was
written after BAE announced
last week that it is to cut
almost 2,000 British jobs.
The MPs write: “All Hawk
manufacturing at the Brough
[East Yorkshire] site will
cease at the end of 2019 [if
new contracts are not
signed]. If this were to
happen there would be
virtually no possibility to
build any future Hawk
aircraft in the UK.”
The MPs, who include Ed
Miliband, the former Labour
leader, say the age of the
team’s Hawk aircraft, which
entered service in the 1970s,
affects their “reliability”. This
has been seen at recent air
shows where the Red Arrows
have flown with a reduced
number of jets.
Downing Street said: “The
Ministry of Defence has a large
pool of Red Arrows Hawk
aircraft . . . [they] will keep
flying the flag for Britain.”
@cazjwheeler
ST DIGITAL
Video: 50 years of amazing
Red Arrows displays. Go to
thesundaytimes.co.uk or
our phone or tablet apps
OWEN HUMPHREYS
The Red Arrows performing at an air show in the summer
‘Middle-aged gapper’
falls to his death in
Indian temple
Tom Harper
A film executive who was
enjoying a “middle-aged gap
year” has fallen to his death
from the wall of an Indian
temple as his wife looked on.
Roger Stotesbury, 58, was
on a year-long world tour
with his wife, Hilary, 59,
when he fell from the second
floor of the Laxmi Narayan
temple in the town of Orchha.
Indian police said the
documentary-maker from
Oxford had been trying to
take a “selfie” at the 17thcentury temple on Friday
when the accident happened.
His family disputed this.
His wife’s cousin, Gina
Rozner, said the seriousness
of the fall was not
immediately apparent.
“Neither of them thought it
was a fatal accident,” she
said. “He went from being
badly injured with a broken
leg to dying.”
Stotesbury was rushed to
Raja Ram Hospital but died
later. It is believed he broke
his back. Prateek Kumar, a
senior police officer, said:
“We understand he was
trying to take a picture of
himself on the wall which is
only around 3ft wide.
“His wife Hilary was
standing just 3-4ft away from
him when the incident
happened. They were alone.
They did not have a guide.”
Stotesbury’s Linkedin page
states that he spent a “career
producing corporate and
charity films, TV advertising
and multimillion[-pound]
campaigns” before focusing
on documentaries.
The couple set out on their
tour last November,
The Stotesburys in India
recording the trip in a blog,
Our Middle Aged Gap Year.
On it they wrote: “Hilary’s
motto is ‘just do it’ whilst
Roger’s is ‘to die young as late
as possible’. We took the view
that on your deathbed you
never wish you’d spent more
time in the office.”
A family spokeswoman
said: “He was the nicest man
on the planet and they were
an incredibly happy and
devoted couple.”
7
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
NEWS
Skeletal girls use ‘bonespiration’ to beat online ban
Nicholas Hellen
Social Affairs Editor
First, they posted
photographs of themselves
looking dangerously
underweight, with the label
“thinspiration”.
After this hashtag was
banned, they found a way
round — “bonespiration” —
and the pictures that are
being shared on platforms
including Instagram and
Twitter are even worse.
Catherine Talbot, a
psychologist at Exeter
University Medical School,
whose findings have been
published in the Journal of
Eating Disorders, said the
photos were a form of “social
contagion”.
Although social media sites
banned the use of tags that
could promote eating
disorders in 2012, users of the
sites work around them by
varying the words. Last week,
Talbot said she had found
140,000 images on Instagram
linked to bonespiration.
After analysing more than
730 images posted by girls
and young women on social
media sites, she and her co-
authors found 26% of
bonespiration images show
protruding hip bones, 23%
ribs, 22% collarbones and 6%
spine. This is significantly
worse than images tagged
“thinspiration”.
Marjorie Wallace, the chief
executive of Sane, a mental
health charity, said the huge
rise in young girls with
depression and anxiety was
linked to the rise of
“addictive” social media.
She said: “This can play
upon the extreme loneliness
and secrecy of those suffering
from eating disorders,
particularly adolescent girls.
As one caller to our helpline
told us, ‘There’s a feeling that
one daren’t recover [and stop
posting images] because then
you’d no longer belong.’
“Anorexia and eating
disorders are the most fatal of
psychiatric disorders . . . and
these images are not showing
that thin is beautiful but
focusing on the skeletal side.”
Talbot said that ordering
the social media companies
to block the content would
not work because girls would
simply find new search terms
to avoid the blocks. She urged
My pillow
talk with
Jihadi Sally
schools to teach about
positive body image and to
help build pupils’ resilience.
However, Wallace said the
social media platforms
should remove the images,
just as they had removed
illegal pornography, adding:
“Building resilience is no way
of tackling a very serious
psychiatric illness.”
@nicholashellen
UmmHussainAlBritani
@UmmHussain101
Becoming a Muslim
changed my life I can’t
help but be militant when
all they do is kill us for
being Muslim :(
September 1, 2014 – 04:25am
You know they killed
1,220,550 innocent
Muslims in the illegal Iraq
war ... The US and UK
government it’s that wot
did it for me
September 1, 2014 – 04:26am
The feared British Isis recruiter revealed an
unexpected side in a late-night online chat
with the reporter who unmasked her
Dipesh Gadher
The ping on my phone came at 4am.
Bleary-eyed, I reached out of bed for my
mobile, wondering what kind of person
would message at such an ungodly hour.
From the glow of the screen I could
make out that someone with the Twitter
handle “@UmmHussain101”, and with a
profile picture of a veiled Muslim woman,
had liked one of my tweets.
Then it came back to me. A day earlier,
I had unmasked in an article in The
Sunday Times another Briton who had
travelled to Syria to join Isis. But this was
no ordinary British Muslim who had gone
overseas for jihad. Remarkably, it was a
white mother of two from Kent who at
one time was the singer and guitarist in
an all-girl punk rock band.
Her name was Sally Jones — and she
would haunt me for the next three years
as she became the world’s most wanted
female terrorist. Last week it emerged
that the 48-year-old Isis recruiter had
finally been killed in a Pentagon airstrike.
After publishing my first exposé about
her in August 2014, I had sent a message
to Jones on Twitter, more in hope than
expectation. I suspected she had taken
her 10-year-old son, Joe, nicknamed Jojo,
to Syria with her. “Salaam, can u please
follow me for DM [direct, or private,
messaging],” I wrote before turning in for
the night. “Need to ask u about jojo.”
Just after 4am, a second ping on my
phone — and then another. It was Jones.
Using her adopted Muslim “kunya”, or
alias, Umm Hussain al-Britani, she had
started following me on Twitter.
In a public reply to my tweet, she
pejoratively responded: “That was his
kuff [kuffar] name before he was Muslim
and before we got here. His name is now
Hamza Hussain al-Britani and he loves it.”
I was suddenly wide awake. Jones then
switched to private messaging. “Hello,”
she started off. A week earlier, the same
My little boy become a
Muslim too that very day ...
September 1, 2014 – 04:46am
That hurts to be honest ...
My children keep me
breathing; it makes me
wanna cry
September 1, 2014 – 08:05am
I can’t ever go back, they
will throw away the key
September 1, 2014 – 08:06am
Sally Jones, using a pseudonym, sent The Sunday Times a series of revealing tweets, right
woman had used Twitter to threaten to
behead Christians with a “blunt knife”.
But in an online conversation lasting
almost four hours, I saw a different
person from the woman who would later
urge Britons to bomb the Queen, and join
her Birmingham-born computer hacker
husband Junaid Hussain in publishing
“kill lists” of RAF pilots.
To me, she seemed confused,
irrational, lonely and, ultimately, a bit
childlike and vulnerable. At times, she
sounded like a bored housewife starved
of attention: “I’m only tweeting cos my
husband’s away for a month training.”
She was also full of contradictions:
“I’m not allowed to talk to men. This is a
shariah state.” Talking to a male journalist on Twitter in the middle of the night,
however, appeared to be fine.
Jones blamed Britain and America’s
invasion of Iraq for her conversion to
Islamist extremism. “Becoming a Muslim
changed my life,” she told me. “I can’t
help but be militant when all they do is
kill us for being Muslim :(”
Tweets in UK times
Quoting patently false statistics, she
added: “You know they killed 1,220,550
innocent Muslims in the illegal Iraq war
. . . The US and UK government it’s that
wot did it for me. It’s them that’s the
terrorists, not us.”
Reverting to teen-speak, Jones said she
married Hussain, 21, after she spent “24
hours” travelling to Syria from Britain in
2013. “Lol and we got married the very
day I got here,” she recalled. “My little
boy became a Muslim too that very day.”
As well as Jojo, Jones has an older son,
Photos: ‘social contagion’
Jonathan, from a previous relationship,
who remained in the UK.
She had clearly been following the coverage about herself and other Isis Britons
in the media over the internet from
Raqqa, and rejected any criticism of
being a bad mother. “That hurts to be
honest,” Jones told me. “My children
keep me breathing; it makes me wanna
cry . . . My heart is broken because I miss
my older son so much.”
She also insisted that Hussain, who
was killed in a US drone strike in 2015
after plotting attacks against the West,
was “a good role model for my children”.
My own relationship with “Mrs Jones”
continued for months. Each time I wrote
about her latest threat or terror plot, she
made a point of liking the tweet containing my story, in a somewhat perverse display of self-gratification or narcissism.
Sometimes when she was not pleased
with her coverage in the UK, she would
tag me into a tweet, including on one
occasion when she vehemently denied
that Jojo had appeared in an Isis killing
video featuring young western recruits.
On the night she first spoke to me, our
chat drew to an end more prosaically.
“My battery to my iPad is gonna run
out in a minute,” she wrote. “I’m off to
have breakfast now, I’ll be shutting this
[Twitter account] later. Been nice talking
to u.”
“Are you having a full English or cornflakes?” I joked, to try to keep her talking.
“No, I have Syrian cheese, bread,
tomato paste and olive oil,” she replied.
Such a mundane response. But it
seemed she knew even then her own fate
if she tried to return to Britain: “I can’t
ever go back, they will throw away the
key.”
It now appears the fate of an innocent
child, Jojo, who may have been killed in
the Pentagon strike that ended his
mother’s life, was also in her hands.
Just before going offline from Syria,
she told me: “Hey, if you write anything,
please be thoughtful of my son.”
@DipeshGadher
9
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
NEWS
Transgender
boys to board
with girls
LET CHILDREN BE IDLE, SAYS LAUREATE
MARK HARRISON
Sian Griffiths
A school is to allow male pupils to wear skirts
and make-up and to share female facilities
Sian Griffiths
Education Editor
A boarding school is to allow boys to wear
skirts, be known by gender-neutral
pronouns such as “zie” and sleep in a
girls’ boarding house if they question
their gender identity.
Gordon’s School in Woking, Surrey, is
drawing up guidance for pupils saying
they can ask to wear the uniform of the
opposite sex, be addressed by a different
name and/or pronouns, use gender-neutral lavatories, grow their hair long if they
are boys, change their accommodation
and wear make-up and jewellery.
Rob Pavis, the deputy head of the
school, which has 10 boarding houses,
five for boys and five for girls, said it had
allowed one boy to wear light make-up
and a dress to the prom and another to be
addressed by a girl’s name. Several pupils
have explored their gender identity.
“Parents of pupils were surprised by
how open-minded we have been. Most
schools are having these issues,” he said.
The school said it had acted because it
had “become aware of students who
would ‘come out’ after leaving the
school”. It wanted pupils to feel safe to do
so while still in their care.
Growing numbers of children are
questioning their gender identity. More
than 2,000 under-18s were referred to
the Gender Identity Clinic at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
in London last year, compared with
about 100 eight years ago.
The Boarding Schools’ Association has
issued guidance to schools saying that if a
boy intends to change gender he should
be offered the chance to sleep in the girls’
dormitory and vice versa.
Not all parents are happy about such
changes. On Friday, parents at Highgate,
a coeducational London private day
school, received a letter from the head
teacher, Adam Pettitt, apologising for the
introduction of gender-neutral lavatories. Some younger pupils, he admitted,
had felt “less comfortable and happy at
school” as a result.
Highgate brought in the lavatories “to
support gender-fluid pupils”, only for
parents to ask if the change was “proportionate” given how few such students
were at the school.
@siangriffiths6
“Idleness lessons” lasting up to 30 minutes in
primary schools could boost pupils’ creativity,
according to the children’s laureate, writes
Sian Griffiths. Lauren Child, creator of the
Charlie and Lola picture books, said: “Children
don’t have enough idle time to think on things.
There is too much frenzy, too much scheduled
activity. Ideas are only formed when you have
time to be idle, to think alone and be bored.
“If you are in a room with nothing — no iPad,
Diners find threat to
Raj relic hard to digest
FRANCESCO GUIDICINI
Dipesh Gadher
With its fading portraits of
Mahatma Gandhi, Formicatopped tables and £1 nan
bread, it is one of Britain’s
most idiosyncratic curry
houses, whose co-founders
include Jawaharlal Nehru,
India’s first prime minister.
But the India Club, in the
Strand, central London, is
threatened with closure —
and its legion of loyal
customers, including a long
list of celebrities, are not
happy.
Supporters include the
author Will Self, who
describes the institution as
“an integral part of my life”,
and a scion of Lord
Mountbatten, the last viceroy
of India.
The row began last month
when Marston Properties, the
freeholder of the eight-storey
block in which the India Club
is based, submitted plans to
Westminster council to
refurbish the building.
The club’s lounge bar is on
the first floor and the
restaurant on the second,
while an associated hotel, the
Strand Continental, takes up
the higher levels of the
building.
Marston claims the block,
especially the hotel floors,
which offer dormitory beds
for as little as £25 a night, are
urgently in need of
modernisation to meet health
and safety standards and to
provide disabled access.
However, Yadgar Marker,
Yadgar Marker, right, with his daughter, runs the club
67, who runs the hotel and
the India Club under a lease
due to expire in 2019, has
written to Historic England,
arguing the premises should
be granted listed status. A
petition to lobby Westminster
council has gained more than
13,000 names.
Among the “Save India
Club” signatories is Rowan
Brudenell, the greatgrandson of Lady
Mountbatten and a godson of
the Prince of Wales. “I believe
it would be deeply upsetting
to see it go,” he wrote.
Self, a professor of
contemporary thought at
Brunel University, is among a
string of prominent
individuals, including MPs,
peers and academics, who
have provided letters of
support.
“I often bring my students
and other interested visitors
to the India Club: a meal in
the restaurant teaches them
more about London, India
and the vexed relationship
between the two than several
days in a library.
“It seems particularly bad
that the establishment should
be threatened with
destruction during the 70th
anniversary of partition,” he
wrote.
Simon Marshall, a director
at Marston Properties, said
the firm had commissioned a
report on the historical
significance of the site. He
said a full refurbishment of
the building was only “one of
our options”.
“No final decision has been
made,” he added.
@dipeshgadher
Our new reviewer’s verdict: this
living museum must be saved
Marina O’Loughlin
When I wrote about the India
Club recently, I said it “has no
business existing in the
centre of one of the world’s
most rapacious cities”: the
capital has a tendency to
chew up restaurants that
don’t live by the boardroom
and spreadsheet, spitting
them out like so much paan.
London is not huge on
historical restaurants; only a
few survive — Sweetings,
Wiltons and the redoubtable
Rules — and many
(Veeraswamy, my beloved
Quality Chop House and Quo
Vadis, for instance) have had
to change dramatically in
order to do so. Even then, it’s
no guarantee of a continued
existence: poor old Kettner’s
had more cosmetic work
than a Kardashian and still bit
the dust.
So to hear the India Club is
under threat of closure is
immensely sad. It has
continued doing its
mournful subcontinental
thing virtually unchanged
since it first opened in the
1940s.
It has been a meeting place
for plotters and politicians,
thinkers and agitators, high
society and the working class.
The India Club, despite its
name, is nothing if not
democratic.
No contemporary
restaurateur would
contemplate the installation
of its liverish lino, Formicatopped tables and lugubrious
waiters in formal white
jackets that have seen better
days. It doesn’t look like an
establishment in a
contemporary western
capital but more like the sort
of canteen that would feed
middle management in Delhi
MARINA O’LOUGHLIN
IS THE NEW
SUNDAY TIMES
RESTAURANT CRITIC
MAGAZINE, PAGES 58-59
Students ‘fill gap’
with hired tutors
or Mumbai, a forgotten star of
the kind of film where lonely
bank clerks read billets-doux
from unknown women.
In a country where chicken
tikka masala is regularly
named as one of the national
dishes, the India Club not
only feeds you a decent
dinner (if not transcendent —
let’s be honest here) for about
15 quid but also operates as a
living, functioning museum
of our culinary past.
I have written a letter
protesting against the
closure, and I’ve signed and
disseminated the petition. If
it comes to chaining myself to
its scuffed stairwell in the face
of the wrecking balls, I might
be tempted to do that too.
no phone — you naturally begin to create. You
start to have thoughts; one might be brilliant.“
Child, who will give the annual Book Trust
lecture this month, also urged parents to set an
example by regularly sitting with “nothing in
their hands or laps”. Letting her daughter, 7, be
idle had led to her learning how to make glittery
staples and turn a cardigan into trousers.
Busy doing nothing, Editorial, page 20
Thousands of students are
hiring private tutors at up to
£250 an hour to help them
through degree courses —
amid calls for universities
with “inadequate teaching”
to pick up the bill.
Mary Curnock Cook, the
former chief executive of the
Universities and Colleges
Admissions Service — whose
son has co-founded a tutoring
company — said private
tutoring for undergraduates
was new and “universities
should be worried if it in any
way reflects inadequate
teaching”.
Curnock Cook, who will
speak to the Tutors’
Association conference this
month, said: “Universities
might also reflect on whether
tutoring is a good way to help
students with resits and to
reduce dropout rates.
Partnering with tuition
providers could help ensure
high standards.”
New tutoring companies
aimed at British
undergraduates charge up to
£250 an hour for help with
essays, statistics and revision.
One, The Profs, has 4,000
clients in universities
including Oxford, Cambridge
and University College
London.
The companies say they
are filling a void left by
universities that provide too
few tutorials and that
students being charged
thousands of pounds in fees
feel under immense pressure
to do well. Dropout and
failure rates have risen across
degree courses.
But Alan Smithers,
professor of education at
Buckingham University, said
a generation had grown up so
used to having private tutors
that they could not cope
without extra help.
“It is an indictment of our
schools,” Smithers said.
“Education does not go on for
ever. When it comes to the
workplace, will they cope
without someone holding
their hand?”
Richard Evans, 26,
founder of The Profs, said an
average of about £1,200 was
spent on private tutoring.
“The help can be lifechanging,” he said. “The
demand is not from pushy
parents any more. Getting a
2:1 instead of a 2:2 is worth
paying for . . . Research shows
that is worth more than
£130,000 extra income over
a lifetime.”
Bridget Serwinski, 32, who
tutors social science students,
said: “I am surprised that
undergraduates need this
support. They seem quite
anxious about their level of
performance, and what they
have been taught before
coming to university.”
@siangriffiths6
10
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
NEWS
100 elderly people a day badly hurt in care homes
As the watchdog reveals
a list of broken bones,
pressure sores and burns,
families call for better
protection for loved ones
Jon Ungoed-Thomas
and Shea Lawrence
More than 100 vulnerable and elderly
people are suffering serious injuries in
care homes every day, new figures reveal.
Reports of serious injuries collated by the
regulator, the Care Quality Commission
(CQC), show a rise of 40% in five years.
The injuries include broken bones,
infected pressure sores and burns.
Serious injury notifications for every
care home in England rose from 26,779 in
2012 to 38,676 in 2016. The CQC has
prosecuted homes with the most serious
failings, including a £190,000 fine for a
provider in West Yorkshire last year after
a resident broke his neck and died in a fall
from a shower chair, and a £24,600 fine
for a residential home last February after
a woman fell against an uncovered radiator and suffered serious burns.
Relatives of residents who have suf-
ALAMY
fered avoidable deaths or serious injury
called for care homes to protect people
properly, train staff to respond better to
emergencies, and to investigate quickly
when things go wrong.
Brian Wright, 81, who worked for the
BBC for more than 20 years, building sets
for shows such as Top of the Pops, died in
October 2015 after a fall from the third
floor of the Victoria Care Centre in Acton,
west London. The home agreed this year
to pay compensation to his family.
Staff knew that Wright, who suffered
from dementia, was at risk of trying to
jump from the building yet he was able to
open a restraining device on one of the
windows. He died five days later. A safeguarding report by the local council
found that he was the victim of neglect,
inadequate risk management and poor
communication among staff.
Robert Davidson, 79, who suffered
from Alzheimer’s, choked to death on a
plastic glove at Aran Court Care Home in
Birmingham in January 2016. Staff were
not trained to call an ambulance, and an
inquest heard that the carer involved did
not realise it was necessary to dial 9 for an
outside line — and had received no training on when to start cardiopulmonary
resuscitation.
Sharon Bysephipps, Davidson’s niece,
said: “I think he would have had a better
Care homes are accused of not
looking after the elderly properly.
Right, Robert Davidson choked to
death on a glove while in care
chance of survival if he had choked in the
street. The staff didn’t have the proper
training and they didn’t know what to do.
They were just panicking.”
One of the most shocking cases was the
death in 2015 of Norman Beard, 87, at the
Daisy Bank Nursing Home in Cheadle,
Staffordshire. He lost three stones during
a seven-week stay and died from infected
pressure sores, which were partly caused
by neglect. An inquest was told that the
home, which has since shut, had a shortage of staff, food and equipment.
Cold Springs Park care home in
Penrith, Cumbria, is one of the homes
with a high number of serious injury notifications: 40 in the first nine months of
this year. A CQC report in August said
care at the home was inadequate and
“people who used this service were
placed at risk of receiving unsafe care”.
Andrea Sutcliffe, the CQC’s chief
inspector of adult care, said: “People
living in care homes and their families
want to be reassured that those in charge
are doing everything they can to support
their health and wellbeing, including
making sure their services are as safe as
possible.
“I am glad that care home providers
are notifying us of serious injuries that
occur within their services, as this openness and transparency encourages their
own learning and drives improvement in
quality and safety.
“Our analysis continues to show that
most care homes in England are providing good, safe care and we are seeing
some improvements in quality. Good
care providers are those that learn from
and minimise the risk of serious injuries.
Safe, high-quality care is what everyone
living in a care home has every right to
expect.”
The CQC said it had encouraged care
homes to ensure accurate serious injury
notifications were filed, which was a key
factor in the rise.
The notifications cover injuries that
lead to damage likely to last more than 28
days, including to bones, any major
organ of the body, including the brain
and skin, and damage to muscles, tendons, joints or vessels. The data shared
with The Sunday Times show the number
of notifications for each home, but not
the specific injuries.
Avery Healthcare Group, operator of
the home where Davidson choked, said it
had acquired it shortly before his death
and acted swiftly to raise standards. The
CQC inspected the home in March 2016
and found risks were being identified and
management plans put in place.
Joan Elliott, general manager for Bupa
Care Homes, which operates Cold Spring
Park, said: “The vast majority of our
homes are rated ‘good’ by the CQC. When
we fall short of the high standards our
residents expect and deserve, we work
hard to make long-term improvements.”
The operator of Victoria Care Centre
care home did not respond. Daisy Bank
Nursing Home is no longer registered
with the CQC and the operator could not
be contacted for comment.
@JonUngoedThomas
The big sleep: hotels
keep guests happy
with monster beds
Martin Hemming
and Susan d’Arcy
Hotels appear to have
discovered the secret of a
good night’s sleep: lying as far
away as possible from the
person you are in bed with.
In a year-long trawl round
the country to compile
today’s Best Places to Stay
special issue of Travel,
reviewers from The Sunday
Times found that hotel beds
were getting bigger.
The traditional 4ft 6inwide double bed will no
longer do. Even the king-size
(5ft wide) is looking miserly.
This year’s top hotel has
installed 6ft superkings in all
its rooms.
Others have taken
“bedflation” even further,
upgrading to the “emperor”,
a 7ft by 7ft monster. “A
standard double is no longer
acceptable,” said Michael
Caines, the chef who set up
the Lympstone Manor hotel
in Devon. Others, such as the
Scottish golf hotel Gleneagles,
said the “minimum” for a bed
sleeping two should really be
6ft by 6ft 6in. CitizenM Tower
Bridge, in London, squeezes
6ft by 6ft beds into rooms
barely more than 6ft wide.
It is not just swish boutique
hotels. Travelodge has
upgraded all its 40,125 beds in
Britain to king-sizes by
Sleepeezee, which holds a
royal warrant from Prince
Charles. Premier Inn has also
gone 100% king-size, possibly
because Lenny Henry, the
6ft 2in comedian who stars in
its advertisements, would
have looked ridiculous in a
bog-standard double.
The bedmakers Hypnos
and Vispring both report
demand from hotels for their
superking-size models. John
Woolley, managing director
of Hypnos, said investing in a
bigger bed “could be the
difference between retaining
a customer’s business and
losing it”.
Olivia Byrne, owner of
Eccleston Square hotel, said:
“Sleep is such an important
part of people’s everyday
lives, so a hotel bed has to be
every bit as comfortable, if
not more, than their bed at
home.” The hotel in central
London has handmade
Hastens beds from Sweden in
BEST
PLACE TO
STAY 2017
A country pub with just
four bedrooms has won
The Sunday Times Hotel
of the Year. The Pointer, in
the Buckinghamshire
village of Brill, tops the list,
published today in Travel.
As well as serving meat
from the owners’ farm, it
has a barter scheme for
anglers and foragers. It
offers beer in exchange
for local produce such as
trout, mushrooms and
blackberries, which are
served in the restaurant.
each of its 39 rooms at a cost
of about £12,000 each.
One hotel to have installed
emperor-size beds is the
Talbot Inn in Somerset.
“Families often tell us that
both parents and two kids
have all slept in the bed
together,” said Daniel Barber,
the pub’s assistant general
manager — proof that a bigger
bed may mean a better
night’s sleep, but not
necessarily a more romantic
evening.
@spahaha
Creation of Einstein
wave ‘seen’ by scientists
Jonathan Leake
Science Editor
Astronomers studying
gravitational waves are
expected to announce a new
first: they have not only
detected one of the
explosively violent events
that produce them, but
“seen” it too.
Gravitational waves are
ripples in space caused by the
collisions of massive objects
such as black holes. Their
existence was predicted by
Albert Einstein a century ago,
but finding them took until
last year, when Ligo (Laser
Interferometer Gravitationalwave Observatory) detectors
in America picked up waves
from the collision of two
black holes. Waves from three
more such collisions have
been detected, but were
invisible to conventional
telescopes because black
holes do not give off light.
Two key announcements
are due this week. One is that
another burst seems to have
come from a different source,
probably the collision of two
neutron stars. These form
when giant stars die,
collapsing to leave a core 12
miles wide, but with twice the
sun’s mass. The other is that,
because neutron star
collisions produce a flash of
light, the event is understood
to have been detected by
optical telescopes, the first
time a gravitational wave
source has been “seen”.
The discovery, in August,
was to be a secret pending a
formal announcement, but
astronomer J Craig Wheeler,
of the University of Texas at
Austin, could not resist
tweeting: “New Ligo. Source
with optical counterpart.
Blow your sox off!”
DEATH SPIRAL
Colliding black
holes or neutron
stars produce
gravitational waves
11
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
NEWS
Cabinet remainers join
calls for Hammond to go
The chancellor’s Brexit
gaffes have led two
pro-EU ministers to
come out in favour of a
change at the Treasury
Tim Shipman and
Caroline Wheeler
Philip Hammond has lost the support of
senior ministers who backed “remain” in
the European referendum, adding to
pressure on Theresa May to fire her chancellor in the next cabinet reshuffle.
Two senior remainers in the cabinet
have joined prominent Brexiteers in
arguing that Hammond should be moved
when the prime minister changes her top
team.
They are angry that the chancellor’s
repeated gaffes are damaging their case
that Britain should not force a dramatic
rupture with Brussels. Their fury was
stoked by Hammond’s performance last
week, when he branded the EU “the
enemy” and was forced to retract his
comments within an hour.
One of the senior ministers told The
Sunday Times: “Philip is an inept political operator in quite a crowded field.”
The second senior “remain” cabinet
minister has privately recommended
that Hammond is replaced with Michael
Gove, the Brexit-backing environment
secretary. The minister suggested Hammond should be given a job helping to
sort out Brexit, where his attention to
detail would be of use.
“Remain” ministers think it would be
advantageous for a Brexiteer to run the
Treasury, since warnings about the perils
of Brexit would not then routinely be dismissed by “leave” supporters as a conspiracy to prevent the UK leaving the EU.
The minister thinks Gove could then
take responsibility for starting to deliver
on the promises of the Vote Leave campaign to spend more money on the NHS.
They added: “We need a chancellor who
is inventive and proactive.”
The intervention of the two senior
remainers means that — by some ministers’ estimates — half the cabinet would
be happy to see Hammond moved.
Downing Street sources say May is likely
to delay a reshuffle until after the budget
on November 22, so she can see how the
chancellor performs.
Big Ben to ring out
for Christmas
despite repairs
Caroline Wheeler
Deputy Political Editor
There will be fewer silent
nights this Christmas after the
House of Commons
authorities agreed to give Big
Ben back its bongs for the
festive season.
Since the announcement
in August that the chimes
would fall silent for the next
four years while essential
repairs to the Elizabeth
Tower were carried out, the
leader of the Commons,
Andrea Leadsom, has been
pushing for a rethink.
She has convinced the
Commons authorities to
allow the bell to ring out over
the Christmas season.
Originally it was decided
that the bell would chime
only for events such as the
stroke of midnight on New
Year’s Eve and at 11am on
Remembrance Sunday.
But after parliament
bowed to pressure to review
the plans, which would have
seen the bell silenced for the
longest period in its 158-year
history, it has now been
decided it will toll between
December 23 and New Year’s
Day.
Leadsom told The Sunday
Times: “Some people might
think this is a trivial matter —
but over the course of the
repairs, we have a duty to
uphold the huge appeal of Big
Ben to the millions of tourists
that visit it each year.
“I’m sure visitors to the
Eiffel Tower or Taj Mahal
would be incredibly
disappointed if they were
covered in scaffolding — the
same is true of Elizabeth
Tower.”
Leadsom pledged to push
for an assessment of more
opportunities, and is
determined that the Great
Bell will chime for other
extended public holidays,
such as Easter.
“I’m delighted that we’ve
made progress, and I will
continue to press for the bell
Estimated repair costs
have doubled to £61m
to ring again before 2021,”
Leadsom added.
A full assessment of the
amount of bell chimes that
can take place over the next
four years of repairs is still
under review, with the cost of
any potential period of
ringing likely to be at the
heart of any decision,
particularly given the
escalating cost of the work.
Last month, it was
revealed that the repair costs
for the Elizabeth Tower had
doubled to an estimated
£61m.
@cazjwheeler
Tricky questions put
brakes on Uber rollout
Andrew Gilligan
The taxi-hailing app giant
Uber has abandoned its plan
to expand into at least nine
cities and towns around
Britain.
The company is in danger
of losing its licence in another
big market, Brighton, when it
expires next month, after
breaking promises to use only
local drivers and vehicles.
The disclosures come as
Uber battles for survival in
the capital following the
decision by Transport for
London to refuse it a new
licence. The company
continues to accept bookings
pending an appeal, which it
lodged on Friday.
It can be revealed today
that Uber has withdrawn its
applications for operating
licences in Oxford, Hull,
Bournemouth, Gateshead,
North Tyneside, South
Tyneside and Sandwell in the
West Midlands.
The decision was made
after Uber was asked a series
of questions about its
business drawn up by the
Local Government
Association.
The questions are designed
to challenge the company’s
claim that it is merely an
agent that “does not provide
transportation services” and
simply operates an app
connecting “independent
contractors” with passengers.
The questions include: “If
Uber has no involvement in
the contract between the
customer and the driver of
the vehicle, who accepts the
booking? If Uber accepts the
booking, how does it have no
involvement in the contract
between the customer and
the driver?”
Oxford city council said
Uber’s application had lapsed
after it had failed to provide
“vital details” of how its
service would operate. The
other councils confirmed that
Uber had withdrawn.
The company has been
refused a licence in Reading
and told it will not be granted
one in Southend-on-Sea,
Essex. However, it continues
to serve some of the areas
using cars it sends in from
other places where it does
hold a licence.
The company said: “Uber
has been granted more than
80 licences by councils. Over
the last year a small number
of licence applications lapsed
while we focused on other
areas.
“On rare occasions we’ve
not pursued applications
as proposed conditions
didn’t fit with how our app
works.”
Gavin Barwell, May’s chief of staff, is
said to favour moving both Hammond
and Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary,
who has been tipped to take over a new
business “super department” while staying on key Brexit cabinet committees.
Gavin Williamson, the Conservative chief
whip, is said to be urging caution.
One ally claimed last week that Johnson would resign if he were moved, but a
minister who is close to the foreign secretary said: “I don’t think he’d walk.”
Brexiteer irritation with Hammond is
likely to increase, since it can also be
revealed that the chancellor believes
the government should offer more
money to Brussels in exchange for early
agreement on a transitional deal.
Hammond thinks the value of a deal
will decline rapidly in the new year
because businesses will start to prepare
for a “worst-case scenario”, moving staff
and offices to EU countries. Yet in conversations with Downing Street and his EU
counterparts, the chancellor has said the
“clouds” over the economy could be “dispelled overnight” if there were a deal.
A source familiar with Hammond’s
thinking said: “We are on a gentle slope
downwards at the moment, but I think
the slope tilts quite sharply downwards,
JACK TAYLOR
Philip Hammond is ‘an inept political operator in quite a crowded field’, according to one senior minister
and the value of transition falls off, at the
end of the first quarter next year.”
In a further headache for May, the first
minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, has
threatened to veto a trade deal with Australia and New Zealand, warning that
importing cheap lamb would put the key
Welsh industry out of business.
Jones told The Sunday Times: “I will
never support anything that would result
in Wales being worse off. I could not
agree to free-trade deals with Australia
and New Zealand that would decimate
our agricultural industry — our lamb
farmers would vanish overnight. Similarly, a free-trade deal with China could
be disastrous for our steel industry. We
have fought tooth and nail to forge a
sustainable future for Welsh steel, and
flooding the market with cheap Chinese
steel would do untold harm to the
industry.”
Dominic Lawson, page 20
13
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
COMMENT
Rod Liddle
May’s race report only goes skin deep –
just ask the tiger mums and badass boyz
T
here was a Chinese kid in my
northern comprehensive
school back in the 1970s. I don’t
know his real name, only that
he was known to everyone —
including the teachers —as Fu
Manchu. Or, later, “Fu” for
short. I assume that he was
vigorously bullied, being the only ethnic
minority kid out of 1,800, but I don’t
know for sure — he was in the year above
me. I do know that he aced his O-levels
and put everyone else to shame.
Why are Chinese kids so successful in
school? The answer is fairly obvious, if
anecdotal: Chinese parents value
education and are somewhat stringent
with their offspring in ensuring that this
state of mind is properly inculcated.
You may have read of the fearsome
Chinese tiger mums who have their
six-year-old brats up at five o’clock in the
morning to whip through a few Chopin
nocturnes on the piano before working
out, over a meagre breakfast, one or two
Lorenz equations. They are not all
exactly like that, I don’t suppose. But
let’s be honest, they are mostly a bit like
that. They think education is important
and that the job of a child is to learn. And
to do as he’s told and to respect
discipline, or whatever the hell passes
for discipline in our flaccid and
benighted state schools these days.
Indian parents are not terribly
different. Perhaps not quite so
relentlessly driven. But not far off. So,
too, African parents: work hard, behave
yourself, succeed. And so it should not
surprise us when the government
carries out a sociologically muddled
and slapdash racial audit of the
country, that the best-performing
poorer kids in schools are shown to be:
1) Chinese 2) Bangladeshi 3) Indian
4) African.
The success of these ethnic minority
students has made it difficult for the
purveyors of racial victimhood to claim
institutionalised discrimination against
— apologies for the horrible term — BME
(black and minority ethnic) children.
But they still do it, a bit.
So, British boys from a Caribbean
background do not do very well at
school (although girls from the same
background do just fine) and some
l I spent last Sunday at the
Cheltenham literary festival,
having been booked to
argue, croakily, with Alex
Renton. He has written a
book, Stiff Upper Lip, which
details his misery at boarding
school and brilliantly
deconstructs the myth of the
British stiff upper lip.
The organisers needed
someone to say “the stiff
upper lip is excellent — so
man up, you posh, whining,
snowflake”, and alighted
upon me. I often get asked by
broadcasters to put a socially
conservative view. When the
BBC needs someone to
advance these opinions, the
producers refer to it as “diala-c***”. Alex and I seemed to
agree that a stiff upper lip
had been at times useful but
was now problematic.
There is a good joke in his
book, too, nicked from John
Julius Norwich’s publicschool days. A boy commits
suicide; the housemaster
summons the kids and asks if
anybody can offer a reason.
Renton writes: “The young
David Ormsby-Gore put up
his hand and said: ’Could it
have been the food, sir?’”
Culture is the
main story.
Be born into
one where
education is
valued and
you’ll thrive
campaigners insist that this is because
teachers feel “threatened” by young
black British males. Oh, spare us — leave
those straws alone, they are too thin to
be grasped. Black British boyz from
those backgrounds do badly because of
the culture in which they are raised,
where it is more important for males to
be badass than educated.
And at the bottom of the heap come
the white working-class boys and girls.
They are truly useless at school — not as
useless as gypsy kids; in all the stats I’ve
seen they lag so far behind the rest that
you might give them up as a hopeless
case: the dogs may bark, but the
caravans do not move on. But, still,
very bad.
The rightwingers have started carping
that this is because white kids have been
ignored these past 20 years so that for
PC reasons the children with differentcoloured skins can be uplifted. No.
Again, let’s be honest. The government’s
audit took almost no account of social
class, and comparative poverty is a
reasonably good indicator of
educational achievement.
But even then — and I speak as a class
warrior — it is not the main story.
Culture is the main story. If your child is
born into a culture where education is
seen as important, he or she will thrive.
If not, he or she won’t. And for too many
of the feckless white working class,
education is an encumbrance to be
treated with hostility and scepticism.
Race, meanwhile, is of vanishing
importance. Sure, employers are
more likely to take on someone called
James than someone called Delroy,
and that is probably unconscious
racism at work. For most of the audit,
however, it is a case of culture and
common sense.
Black British men are more likely to
be stopped and searched by the police
than white British people? Yes, that’s
because black men are much more
likely, statistically, to be criminals.
Bangladeshi and Pakistani women less
than half as likely as the men to have a
job? Now I wonder why that might be!
Maybe it’s time that the government
did an audit on culture rather than race.
Because, except in the margins, race is
almost irrelevant.
Beauty and the Beast
It could be worse
— it could be
Harvey Weinstein
PHOTOBUBBLE: NICK NEWMAN
l I don’t usually like blue cheeses, on
account of the fact that they taste like
I would imagine a tramp’s underpants
might taste. But I am now a big fan of
Brexit Blue, described as “rich and
creamy” by its producers.
Its appearance in a cheese shop in
right-on Brighton caused wonderful
outrage on social media. Some local
woman said it was “inappropriate”
and that she definitely wouldn’t be
serving it. Another bloke weighed in
with fury: “Very apt, a mouldy smelly
blue cheese. Perfect for Brexit dinner
parties with mouldy old Brexiteers
moaning about ‘taking back control’
of their imaginary empire, or working
out how they are going to kick all the
foreigners out.”
It is great to know that our cheese
producers hate Brighton just as much
as the rest of us do. I wonder what a
remainer cheese would be like? Just
hard, I would imagine.
I’ll drive what she’s
driving, Riyadh
The backlash begins. No sooner had
Saudi Arabia decreed that women
would be allowed to drive cars than the
religious clerics hit back with a wholly
rational series of objections.
One, Saad al-Hajari, said women
possessed only half a brain. And that,
further, when they’ve been shopping,
the brain size is reduced to a quarter.
Would you allow a man to drive with
only a quarter of a brain? Good
question, Saad – do you have a licence?
Another cleric said women shouldn’t
drive because the vibrations of the car
brought them to a state of sexual
excitation, and that’s haram (forbidden).
This is indeed a problem that should
be addressed. I often witness my wife,
who does all the driving, imitating Meg
Ryan from When Harry Met Sally,
especially when she is approaching a
roundabout, or is entering a taxing
contraflow system. “Oh, oh, oh, yes!”
she groans, banging the steering wheel
with her palms and hyperventilating.
I thought that was simply the
consequence of my presence beside
her — but in this, as in everything else, I
bow to the wisdom of Islamic scholars.
Female shoppers’
brains: now 75% off
Mind you, the more I think about it, the
more I reckon the aforementioned Saad
al-Hajari has half a point. The bit about
women shopping. Whenever my wife
returns from a shopping expedition she
proudly announces she has saved the
Liddle family some exorbitant sum of
money. We are better off by £200, she
will aver, because of her expenditure.
How so? “You see, this handbag was
£300, but I got it for £175. So we’ve
saved £125 there, for a start. And these
shoes were originally £150, but I got
them half price, so . . .” Both Saad and I
know this is dubious reasoning, but only
he would have the guts to say so.
14
NEWS
HOLLYWOOD SCANDAL
REX/ANDREW SIMS/JIMI CELESTE/JAMES SHAW/YUI MOK/DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS
Among the actresses who have accused the producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault or harassment are, from left, Ashley Judd, Léa Seydoux and Kate Beckinsale. He is now reported to have checked himself into a sex addiction clinic
I answered the door.
Weinstein pushed me
inside and raped me
in my own hallway
The movie mogul stalked the Hollyoaks actress Lysette Anthony for years before
she went to the police last week. Here is her account of how the nightmare began
I
Charlotte Metcalf
t was about 15 years ago that my
close friend Lysette Anthony told
me that Harvey Weinstein had
raped her. She said she had told
only two other people about the
assault. It was an ugly secret hidden
inside her like a tumour. Last week,
summoning up her courage, she
reported the Hollywood producer
to the Metropolitan police.
The moment I first heard of the allegations being made about Weinstein’s
predatory sexual behaviour, I thought of
Lysette. As if telepathically, she rang me
from Liverpool where she stars in the
popular Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks.
She said she felt emotional and
conflicted about going to the police. A
few years ago she had been embroiled in
an ugly court case against her son’s father
and the case had been thrown out on a
procedural hitch because she had
muddled a key date.
By her own admission, dates are not
her strong point and she was afraid of
what she might be put through if she had
to endure another lengthy and harrowing legal process. Yet the conclusion she
came to was this: “I can’t stand by and see
all these brave women tell the truth and
not stand up alongside them.”
FROM FACE OF
THE EIGHTIES
TO HOLLYOAKS
MATRIARCH
With
Hugh
Grant
in 1989
Finally I
just gave
up. At
least I
was able
to stop
him
kissing
me
Lysette Anthony is well
known to fans of the longrunning Channel 4 soap
opera Hollyoaks for her
widely praised role as Marnie
Nightingale, the scheming
matriarch viewers love to
hate, writes Tony Allen-Mills.
She was born in London in
1963 to a pair of
impoverished actors who
later divorced. Her mother,
Bernadette Milnes, took a
job in the china department
of Harrods to help make
ends meet. Anthony has
recalled that “we were
broke most of the
time”.
She made
her first acting
appearance at
the Cambridge
Theatre in London
aged 10, and four
years later performed
with the National
Youth Theatre.
At about 17
she started
On Thursday I accompanied Lysette to
a police station in central London for a
preliminary meeting before giving formal
video evidence. She was nervous but the
officers were sensitive and reassuring.
Afterwards I sat down with her and she
told me the full story which she has
agreed I should now make public.
Lysette met Weinstein in early 1982
after she was chosen for a leading role in
Krull, a swashbuckling science fiction
fantasy notable for early screen appearances by Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane. Columbia Pictures flew her to New
York to do publicity for the US release.
“I was so young and fresh out of a
convent,” she said.
“I was excited to be going to New York
first class. I arrived at a smart hotel and
the publicist told me I had to go out with a
record producer or promoter. I was only
about 19 and it never occurred to me not
to do what I was told. I was introduced to
Harvey Weinstein in the hotel lobby.”
They got into a tourist horse-drawn
carriage “to clip-clop along to a restaurant”, but Lysette started succumbing to
jetlag and begged to go back to her hotel.
“Apologetically I told him I needed to
get some sleep. Out of embarrassment for
not having dinner with him, I gave Harvey my phone number and told him to
call me in London some time,” she said.
That proved the start of a nightmare.
“I’ve buried this story for so long that
dredging it all up feels as if I’m piecing
together a jigsaw made up of smashed
shards of glass,’’ she told me.
“Everything I tell you is patched
together as more memories start to surface — I did say I was rubbish with dates.”
The next thing she remembers is
Harvey coming to a party in her flat in
Hammersmith, west London; then a
glitzy do at the Waldorf or the Ritz — she
can’t remember which — where she
ended up leaving alone and taking the
bus home in her evening gown.
Over the next few years she would
have lunch with Harvey from time to time
when he was in London. At that point she
experienced nothing untoward: “The
lunches were invariably in hotel suites
but I felt comfortable in Harvey’s
company. We had become friends.’
O
ne night she met Harvey for a drink
and ended up at his rented house in
Chelsea: “I’m so nosy about other
people’s houses and I was having a
good snoop round. The next thing I
knew he was half undressed and he
grabbed me. It was the last thing I
expected and I fled. I blamed it on myself
because I was tired, a bit drunk and
therefore so completely off my guard. He
several successful films in
the late 1980s and 1990s,
working with some of
Hollywood’s best-known
actors.
In 1988 she appeared with
Michael Caine and Ben
Kingsley in the British
In Husbands and Wives
es
otted
modelling and was spotted
avid
by the photographer David
er
Bailey, who declared her
the “face of the
Eighties”.
After an early
appearance in a 1982
television adaptation
of Sir Walter Scott’s
Ivanhoe, she was cast
as Princess Lyssa in
Krull, a 1983 BritishAmerican production
filmed at Pinewood
Studios near London.
She went on to appear in
At the Soap Awards in June
I was just
a body,
young
flesh. It
wouldn’t
take long
and no
one
knew
comedy Without a Clue, and
played Jack the Ripper’s final
victim in a television series
starring Caine as the
inspector hunting the serial
killer.
The followin
following year she
paired up with a youthful
Hugh Grant in T
The Lady and
the Highwaym
Highwayman, a
television film o
of a Barbara
Cartland novel.
novel
Grant, then beginning his
film career, pla
played Silver
Blade, En
England’s finest
sword
swordsman, who
en
ends up saving
A
Anthony’s
character
fr
from a
terrib
terrible fate.
She als
also appeared
in Switch, the 1991
Blake Edw
Edwards
comedy, and
alongsid
alongside John
Travolta in Look
Who’s T
Talking Now
(1993)
(1993). Woody Allen
picke
picked her for
was a so-called friend I’d known for years
and the clumsy fumble was the last thing I
saw coming.”
That was when the stalking began.
Once she was at home in the evening with
a friend when the doorbell rang. It was
Harvey, but her friend answered the door
and sent him away. Some time later, at
about 10 in the morning, there was
another ring on the doorbell. “I was in my
dressing gown and I answered the door to
find Harvey standing there,” Lysette said.
“He pushed me inside and rammed
me up against the coat rack in my tiny hall
and started fumbling at my gown. He was
trying to kiss me and shove inside me. It
was disgusting.”
She tried pushing him off but he was
too heavy. “Finally I just gave up. At least I
was able to stop him kissing me. As he
ground himself against me and shoved
inside me, I kept my eyes shut tight, held
my breath, just let him get on with it. He
came over my leg like a dog and then left.
It was pathetic, revolting. I remember
lying in the bath later and crying.”
Lysette told me it did not occur to her at
the time to call the police or even a friend:
“There hadn’t been a knife. He wasn’t a
stranger. I was disgusted and embarrassed, but I was at home. I thought I should
just forget the whole disgusting incident. I
blamed myself. I’d been an idiot to think
he and I were just friends.”
She did not see Weinstein again until
about a year later, when she was in Milan
doing publicity for a 1989 television
adaptation of Barbara Cartland’s novel
The Lady and the Highwayman, in which
Lysette had starred with Hugh Grant.
Weinstein contacted her and took her
out to dinner. She described him as
“perfectly charming” and he insisted on
buying her a coat on the way home.
“I thought it was his unspoken way of
apologising for what had happened,”
Lysette said. “I assumed that was that and
we went our separate ways.”
She went on to build a film career that
reached its peak in Woody Allen’s 1992
comedy Husbands and Wives.
By the time she heard from Weinstein
again he had become what she described
as the “superstar of indie cinema”.
Miramax, the company Weinstein
founded with his brother Bob in 1979,
was stacking up Oscar and Bafta
nominations with films such as Sex, Lies
and Videotape, The Crying Game and
Pulp Fiction.
“From this point on, if I ignored
Weinstein’s calls the assistants started
ringing and if I ignored them his
assistants called my agent to set up a
meeting,” Lysette said.
“What you have to understand is that
no one turned down an opportunity to
meet Harvey Weinstein. No one. I’d never
told my agent about the rape, so it was
As Princess Lyssa In Krull
an eye-catching role in
his 1992 comedy
Husbands and
Wives.
She continued to
perform on stage
and in television,
appearing as Miss Scarlett in
the third series of Cluedo on
ITV in 1992. Her more recent
British television credits
include appearances in
Casualty, Coronation Street
and Holby City.
impossible to explain why I didn’t want to
see him.
“The meetings would start with a chat
in a hotel suite. The assistants would disappear and then he’d disappear and
return in a robe demanding a massage.
By then I’d just given up. I knew I was
powerless and at least I wouldn’t have to
do much. I was just a body, young flesh. It
wouldn’t take long and no one knew.”
She said she never tried to exploit her
connection to Weinstein: “That was my
line in the sand, but whenever Harvey
summoned me how could I refuse? He
had the power to end my career. And I
had to work to survive.”
L
ysette was married twice in the
1990s but both marriages ended in
divorce. It was not until 2002 that
Weinstein “finally let go of me” and
she did not see him again until she
bumped into him at a film premiere in
2009. “He leant forward and stroked my
face. It was the first time he’d ever shown
me a hint of affection. As he walked away
I thought I heard him say, ‘I don’t do that
stuff any more.’”
Lysette joined Hollyoaks last year
playing the villainous matriarch Marnie
Nightingale. She was recently nominated
with Nicole Barber-Lane for best partnership in the 2017 Inside Soap awards.
Yet there has been no escape from her
memories. “Harvey Weinstein was the
career-changing kingmaker,” she told
me, beginning to cry.
“Can you imagine what it was like,
never knowing when he was going to
show up and putting up with that big
lumbering brute all those years?”
As Lysette was preparing to return to
Liverpool she received a text advising of
her of her latest award nomination and
started crying again. “I’m 54 and a
successful soap actress, working in a
world I’m fiercely proud of and adore. He
can’t hurt me any more,” she said. Yet she
was “petrified” of the possible consequences of speaking out.
She said she was determined to “stand
up for the truth”, not least to protect her
“greatest pride and my raison d’être” —
her son Jimi. “If I can’t show him that the
truth must always out, whatever the
personal cost, what sort of mother am I?
“The truth,” she sombrely concluded,
“is that Harvey Weinstein raped me — not
in a hotel suite with champagne and
caviar on tap, but up against a coat rack
on a grey morning in my own home.”
The Sunday Times forwarded Lysette’s
allegations to Weinstein’s representatives, who said: “Any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied
by Mr Weinstein.” The producer has previously denied ever having retaliated
against women who refused his sexual
advances.
15
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
The British acress
Lysette Anthony says
she was raped by
Weinstein after he
turned up at her door
one morning
Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, with Weinstein, say the Hollywood mogul, who has been removed from his company’s board, tried to assault them
An ugly silence maintained by fear,
ambition and a liberal media
Josh Glancy
New York
W
hen the
comedian Seth
MacFarlane
revealed the
five best
supporting
actress
nominations
for the 2013 Oscars he made a
revealing joke.
“Congratulations,” he said,
“you five ladies no longer
have to pretend to be
attracted to Harvey
Weinstein.”
Last week, amid the
torrent of revelations about
Weinstein’s sexual
misconduct, MacFarlane
admitted a friend of his, the
actress Jessica Barth, had told
him Weinstein demanded a
naked massage from her.
“I couldn’t resist the
opportunity to take a hard
swing in his direction,” said
MacFarlane. “Make no
mistake, this came from a
place of loathing and anger.”
MacFarlane knew
something yet he hid behind
a coded Oscars joke. Brad Pitt
and Gwyneth Paltrow also
knew. Angelina Jolie knew.
Weinstein’s brother and
business partner, Bob,
certainly knew. In fact as the
dam broke last week it
seemed that anyone who had
spent more than five minutes
in and around Hollywood had
a Weinstein horror story.
How did a man accused of
forcing women to give him
oral sex, of groping and even
rape, manage to keep it all
under wraps, or at least
within the confines of insider
gossip? And why did media
organisations that are
dancing on his corpse reject
previous opportunities to
expose him?
It was an extraordinary
exercise in power and
manipulation. “This story
reminds me of the old
expression, the emperor has
no clothes on, in every sense
of the word,” said Gloria
Allred, a prominent Los
Angeles lawyer. “Now women
are coming forward and
saying so.”
Allred has represented
numerous women in sexual
assault cases and is acting on
behalf of some of Weinstein’s
alleged victims.
Her daughter, Lisa Bloom,
also a lawyer widely known
for defending women, briefly
represented Weinstein
himself, urging him to
apologise after The New York
Times revealed 10 days ago
that he had made at least
eight settlements to women
accusing him of sexual
harassment and unwanted
physical contact.
More than 30 women have
now come forward, including
the model Cara Delevingne,
who said Weinstein had
attempted to coerce her into
a lesbian encounter in his
hotel room and had told her
that she would never make it
in Hollywood if she was gay.
On Tuesday the journalist
Ronan Farrow, who accused
his own father, Woody Allen,
of abusing his sister —
allegations Allen denies —
dropped a bombshell story
on The New Yorker’s website.
Three women, including
the Italian actress and
director Asia Argento, had
told Farrow that Weinstein
had raped them, forcing
them to perform or receive
oral or vaginal sex.
Suddenly the most
pressing question is not
whether Weinstein’s career
can survive the scandal, but
whether he will end up in
prison. The New York police
department, FBI and
Metropolitan police are all
looking into allegations.
As more and more
revelations emerged from
A-listers such as Jolie, Paltrow
and Kate Beckinsale, a
pattern of alleged abuse soon
became clear. Young women
— girls — attempting to find
their way in Hollywood were
repeatedly targeted.
Weinstein’s
Brobdingnagian appetites
were difficult to sate. If
spurned or faced down by a
woman, he would hit back
with characteristic force,
threatening to jeopardise the
career of any who dared to
deny him.
Weinstein
threatened to
jeopardise
the career of
any woman
who dared to
deny him
Delevingne:
Weinstein ‘tried
to coerce her
into lesbian
encounter’
has stood at the apex of the
US liberal establishment,
where Hollywood, media and
politics meet.
His film companies have
been Oscar factories and he
ran his world like one of the
Hollywood moguls of old. His
business partners, including
his brother Bob, accepted
what they knew about his
“peccadilloes” as the cost of
doing business.
Yesterday Bob Weinstein
called his sibling “sick and
depraved”, expressing a wish
that he be removed from the
Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences and “get
the justice that he deserves”.
Last night the organisation
that awarded Weinstein his
only Oscar, for co-producing
Shakespeare in Love, obliged,
its board voting “well in
excess of the required twothirds majority” to expel him.
Democratic politicians,
including the Clintons,
curried favour with him,
seeking his money and
connections to Hollywood
R
ebecca Traister, a
journalist who worked
for Talk magazine, set
up by Weinstein in
1999, recalls the mogul
“could spin — or suppress —
anything; there were so many
journalists on his payroll,
working as consultants on
movie projects, or as
screenwriters”.
And so an open secret was
kept for decades. Even those
lucky enough to dodge his
advances, those who went on
to become famous and
powerful in their own right,
still held their silence.
There is also something
very specific about Weinstein
and his position in American
life that shielded him. For
three decades the producer
T
ESTRANGED GEORGINA GETS
COMFORT FROM CLINTON AIDE
Harvey Weinstein’s
estranged wife, Georgina
Chapman, has sought the
support of a close Hillary
Clinton aide, whose
husband is a convicted sex
offender, as she struggles to
cope with revelations about
the father of her two
children, writes Matthew
Campbell.
Chapman got to know
Huma Abedin, Clinton’s top
aide, at Weinstein’s
numerous fund-raising
events for the failed
Democrat presidential
contender. Anthony Weiner,
Abedin’s husband, is about
to be jailed for 21 months for
sending an obscene
message to a minor.
“One of the people
billionaires. And in the
Clintons’ world, allegations of
sexual assault are survivable
if you have political clout.
Although The New York
Times now wears the halo,
conservatives have been
quick to point out that it has
been slow in the past to
investigate liberal political
philanderers such as John
Edwards, the presidential
candidate who had a child
with a campaign staffer while
his wife was dying of cancer.
It also might have nailed
Weinstein earlier. In 2004
Sharon Waxman, then an
investigative reporter with
the newspaper, put together a
story that accused Weinstein
of employing an executive
whose role was to procure
women for him.
Yet, she revealed last week,
after pressure from
Weinstein, a big advertiser
with The New York Times,
“the story was gutted . . .
stripped of any reference to
sexual favours or coercion”.
Others also faced
obstacles. When Farrow took
what became his New Yorker
story to editors at NBC, the
network where he is
employed, they said it was
not publishable and it was
shut down by executives.
The New York Times and
NBC said the stories
presented to them were not
“reportable”.
Chapman: split
with Weinstein
Georgina has reached out to
is Huma, who has been
through this kind of scandal
and media storm, and
survived with her dignity
intact,” a source close to
Chapman was quoted as
telling the New York Post.
“They are both mothers,
they have both been in a
situation where their
husbands turned out to be a
different person than the
man they thought they
knew.”
The Clintons have rented
a summer house next to
Weinstein’s estate in the
Hamptons, the fashionable
Long Island seaside resort.
Abedin is believed to have
attended a birthday party
for Chapman’s daughter.
he Weinstein story
reaches far beyond the
disgrace of one
Hollywood titan.
Coming as it does after
similar jaw-dropping
allegations in recent years
about “America’s dad”, Bill
Cosby, the late Fox News boss
Roger Ailes and its star
presenter Bill O’Reilly, there
is a strong sense that there
has been a sea change in
holding predatory and
powerful men accountable.
Revelations are spilling out
daily. No sooner had the actor
Ben Affleck condemned
Weinstein than he faced his
own accusation of groping
the actress Hilarie Burton, for
which he has apologised.
Democrats are scrambling
to dissociate themselves from
Weinstein, and Republicans
are challenging liberal
hypocrisy — but are mindful
that another big shot accused
of sexual misdemeanours is
sitting in the Oval Office.
“This a major teaching
moment for many people in
the entertainment business,”
said Allred. “I’m already
getting calls from women
about other high-level, wellknown men in the industry.”
As for Weinstein himself,
he is reported to have
checked into a sex addiction
clinic and said he is hoping
for a “second act”.
Allred is not convinced.
“This is not a movie. This is
real life and real people have
been hurt. If he wants a
second act, he is going to
need to do much more than
go to sex therapy. He is going
to need to face justice.”
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17
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
HOLLYWOOD SCANDAL
Women’s roar will
drown out this
mewling minotaur
ALBERTO PIZZOLI
Matthew Campbell
More scandals will come, says one who escaped Weinstein’s clutches
I
Liza Campbell
n The Sunday Times last week I
wrote about my experience of
Harvey Weinstein’s behaviour
towards women if he gets them
alone. As a freelance script editor
for Miramax 20 years ago, I had
been called to a business meeting at
the Savoy in London that spun
without warning into a situation in
which I felt in immediate danger of
sexual attack.
I was lucky. Despite finding that the
door to his hotel suite I had arrived
through was locked — as was a second
door — I managed to escape through a
third one near the bathroom where he
was stripping off. Harvey expected you to
kneel and kiss his crown jewels, as if he
were the Pope offering his papal ring. If
that image horrifies you, be horrified.
I didn’t make any secret of what Weinstein was like and would warn people
whenever his name came up. I wrote
about him in 2001 in a column in Harpers
& Queen, as did Ivana Lowell in her 2010
memoir Why Not Say What Happened?
Weinstein’s predatory ways have been
public knowledge for years; it’s just that
nobody took any notice. The important
point to add is that many of those being
open about him had fortunate escapes.
For those who suffered far worse at his
hands, it is much harder. We must salute,
protect and support those who have
stepped forward to file sexual
assault and rape charges.
As he was a hugely
powerful film producer, Weinstein’s act of
cruelty was this: he
turned women’s career
hopes against them and
physically violated them.
In the meantime we have
had to listen to his
pathetic mewlings that
these encounters were
“consensual”.
Let’s pause to follow
his thinking here. A
woman arrives for a
business meeting, he
makes an excuse to leave the room,
returns naked and from there she is
totally into him.
His other bleat is he “came of age in the
1960s and 1970s”, as if there was an era
when any of what he is accused of was
acceptable. It was peace, love and
women’s liberation back then, not
groping and rape. We are talking about a
dangerous not a misguided man.
What finally cracked this scandal open
were the leaked internal memos and legal
documents from Weinstein’s company,
some of which listed the payoffs handed
to several of his victims. At long last here
was evidence to corroborate the hearsay.
With this in place, a handful of women
with identical stories to mine were persuaded to speak out in The New York
Times. Having read that he was “lawyering up” against them, I was prompted to
write about him again.
After last week’s piece in this news–
paper, I was contacted by two people
whose emails illustrate the dilemma for
people affected by Weinstein. The first
was the boyfriend of an actress. She, like
me, had been called to a meeting in the
Savoy. He was in his car parked outside
when she reeled out white-faced. He was
stopped from racing in to confront Weinstein only by her begging him not to,
since she feared any retaliation would
jeopardise her career.
The second email was from a female
troll shaming me for not speaking out
sooner — she didn’t know I already had.
She had a lack of empathy for the internal
struggle many women have before they
dare to speak out about sexual assault.
One radio pundit, commenting on the
scandal, referred to the “tawdry accusations” as if the tawdriness belonged to the
women rather than the man in question.
If anyone is to be blamed other than
Weinstein it is his complicit assistants,
board members and others in his world
who were too greedy and self-serving to
blow the whistle.
When I heard that Lysette Anthony
was courageously accusing him of rape, it
gave me the chills. I always knew I had an
extremely lucky escape. Weinstein is a
lardy minotaur with an overbearing personality and a
psychopathic disregard for
what a woman might feel.
Would he stop at a massage or
a bath?
Weinstein, who must have
felt untouchable, now claims
to be a “sex addict”, as if he
were the victim of his own
vile behaviour. But in the
past week he has been
sacked from his company,
suspended by Bafta and
faces possible expulsion from
the Oscars as well as the prospect
of being stripped of his CBE.
He has inadvertently trashed
Marchesa, his wife Georgina
Chapman’s designer brand, and
watched her leave him. There
will be more scandals to come.
A handful of voices has turned
into a mighty roar.
JUSTIN SUTCLIFFE
Campbell: ‘I warned people
about Weinstein’
Down with soap!
What happened when one writer stopped washing.
Pick up your copy of The Times tomorrow.
Revenge
on Bond
girl who
said no
Eva Green says she was left ‘shocked and disgusted’ by Harvey Weinstein’s behaviour
Harvey Weinstein allegedly
threatened to destroy Eva
Green’s career after the Bond
girl rebuffed his advances in a
Parisian hotel suite.
“Eva was a victim of this
horrible man,” Marlene
Jobert, Green’s 76-year-old
mother, claimed on French
radio. “From the moment he
arrived in Paris, he would
start calling her,” said Jobert,
also an actress.
“He is tenacious,
insistent,” she added. “He
operated with her the exact
same way he acted with all
the others, under the pretext
of a professional meeting, of a
script that had to get to her
with a nice part into the
bargain.”
When the Casino Royale
star brushed him off “he
threatened to destroy her
professionally”, Jobert
alleged. “He stuck so many
sticks in her wheels,
because he was angry. If that
fat pig’s victims were able to
avoid him, for revenge, he
would ban directors from
choosing her.”
According to Jobert “it took
her time to recover. She
prefers not to talk about it, to
forget it”. She added: “It is
essential that this odious
person is prosecuted.”
In response to her
mother’s comments, Green
issued a statement: “I have
not discussed this before
because I wanted to maintain
my privacy but I understand
it is important to do so as I
hear about other women’s
experiences,” it said.
“I met him [Weinstein] for
a business meeting in Paris at
which he behaved
inappropriately and I had to
push him off. I got away
without it going further, but
the experience left me
shocked and disgusted.”
She continued: “I salute
the great bravery of the
women who have come
forward. We should recognise
that this sort of behaviour
exists everywhere and is not
unique to the entertainment
industry.”
18
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
WORLD NEWS
AFP
Dancers in Guangxi province, southern China, celebrate before the opening of the Communist Party’s 19th national congress in Beijing this week. The meeting is likely to offer clues about which way the political winds in China are blowing
China’s power parade may
crown Xi ‘emperor for life’
Mao: era has parallels with China today
Alec Ash Beijing
The centre of China’s capital has become
a fortress. Traffic is restricted, migrant
businesses have been cleared out, security is airtight, even central flats listed on
Airbnb have been forbidden from hosting guests until the end of the month.
It is all for a big political meeting
that starts on Wednesday, a carefully
orchestrated event held once every five
years, in which China’s Communist Party
chooses its leaders and, by extension,
who runs the country.
Xi Jinping is essentially guaranteed to
continue as party general secretary and
China’s president. This week may even
see his “coronation as emperor for life”,
according to Willy Lam, China scholar at
the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Xi, 64, is “the Mao Tse-tung of the
21st century”, said Lam. “He will emulate
Vladimir Putin [aged 65] by ruling for as
long as his health permits.”
Other positions in the party’s highest
The president is likely to cement his grip at the Communist Party’s 19th congress this week
Xi: plans to consolidate power
echelons are up for grabs in a power
reshuffle that will set the direction for the
nation’s political future. The only ones
who are not consulted are the people.
“It’s like an election that I can’t vote
in,” said Chen Lingxi, a student in Beijing,
“I can only wait for them to tell me what
the result is.”
The event is the 19th national congress
of the Communist Party of China since it
was founded in 1921. Nicknamed “the Big
19th”, it will last for a week of closed-door
sessions in the opulent Great Hall of the
People on Tiananmen Square.
“The party is in the driver’s seat and it
has never been stronger, with more
assets at its disposal, or played a larger
role in Chinese society,” said Jude Blanchette, who analyses Chinese politics at the
Conference Board, a global research
organisation. The congress, he added, is
“one of the few events that pulls back
the curtain, given the black-box nature
of the government”.
The congress offers vital clues about
It is in part that disengagement with
politics — whether out of trust, despair or
apathy — that gives Xi free rein to tighten
the party’s control over all aspects of life
in China, if he can negotiate the constant
party infighting.
In the run-up to the congress, one
high-profile party official has already
been purged — Sun Zhengcai, party chief
of the city of Chongqing, in an echo of the
ousting five years ago of Bo Xilai, who
held the same post. Bo was found guilty
of corruption and was jailed for life.
Meanwhile, Tiananmen Square and
the Great Hall of the People will be tightly
guarded and thronged with the media
waiting to find out which personalities
and policies will shape the next halfdecade. It is a cause for patriotism and
renewed national confidence for many,
but for those less happy with Xi’s direction — such as the self-exiled Qiao Mu —
they will be glad to miss the party.
“When China is a democracy,” he told
me, “Qiao Mu will return home.”
which way the political winds are blowing in China. Out of the seven-man
standing committee of the politburo,
China’s ruling body, five are due to retire
— in a further opportunity for Xi to
consolidate his power.
Last year the party added “core
leader” to Xi’s other titles. Speculation
that he intends to stay on past the 10-year
term that he is halfway through would be
fuelled if the congress enshrines “Xi Jinping Thought”, an honour previously
reserved for Mao. The party constitution
is already expected to be amended to recognise Xi’s guiding ideology.
Other indications might be if Xi’s
enforcer-in-chief, Wang Qishan, who has
spearheaded Xi’s widely feared anticorruption campaign, remains on the
politburo despite reaching retirement
age or if no apparent successor to the
president is anointed.
The direction in which Xi is taking
China — on top of his long-term goal of
establishing it as a dominant superpower
— is by all indications a more illiberal and
authoritarian path.
Among the first ambitions he stated,
when he came to power in 2012, was “the
great rejuvenation of the Chinese
nation”, better known as the “China
dream”. Already China is more assertive
on the world stage, extending its clout
overseas with investments from the
Greek port of Piraeus to Hinkley Point in
Somerset.
Between that, and Xi’s campaign to
sweep corruption from all ranks of the
party, he is hugely popular at home with
92% of the nation saying China is on the
right track, according to a poll last month
from Ipsos Mori.
For others the China dream has been a
nightmare. Crackdowns on the media,
social media and non-governmental
organisations have suffocated civil
society. In July 2015 the authorities
rounded up hundreds of human rights
lawyers and activists for questioning.
Several were imprisoned and in July this
year the prominent critic Liu Xiaobo died
in custody of liver cancer.
China today “doesn’t resemble the
period of reform and opening up over the
last 30 years, as much as it does the era of
Mao,” said Qiao Mu, a former journalism
professor at Beijing Foreign Studies
University who resigned under pressure
and has left China to live in America.
“The liberals certainly don’t like it, but
the nationalists and the Maoists do.”
Some see the party congress as a cause
for patriotism. “The party has guided us
to becoming a strong nation in the
world,” said Liu Zhiming, a retired
engineer, at the Tiananmen Square dawn
flag-raising ceremony on October 1,
marking 68 years since Mao founded the
People’s Republic. “I trust them.”
For the majority of citizens, like Liu,
politics at the top does not figure on their
radar. “That’s their concern,” he said,
echoing a familiar refrain, when I asked
about the ins and outs of who might rise
and fall in the congress.
Madrid fears Catalan separatists are
plotting to establish ‘digital’ state
Matthew Campbell
Catalan separatist leaders
have been accused of turning
to Estonia for help in creating
a “digital” government to
run their region after
independence from Spain.
Documents seized from
Barcelona offices and then
leaked to the Madrid press
indicate that Catalan officials
had travelled regularly to the
Baltic nation earlier this year
for advice on setting up a
post-independence online
administration, according to
El Pais, the Spanish
newspaper.
Spain is on tenterhooks
this weekend with Carles
Puigdemont, the Catalan
president, facing a deadline
tomorrow to choose between
his continuing defiance of
Madrid and dropping the
independence plans that he
claims were approved by a
majority of voters in a
referendum two weeks ago.
If he does not back down
tomorrow, the government in
Madrid has given him until
Thursday to reconsider
before it unleashes an article
of the constitution allowing it
to remove him from office and
call elections in Catalonia.
As the battle has
intensified, the Madrid press
has gleefully fed suspicion of
Barcelona. The documents
about an Estonia-style
“digital” state were found in
raids by police trying to stop
the referendum.
For El Pais they were
evidence that the plans for
Catalan statehood were more
advanced than had been
suspected.
“The Catalan government
is ready to substitute the
Spanish state with an
integrally digital
administration on which it
has been working for two
years,” the newspaper said.
Another Madrid
newspaper, El Mundo, has
leaked legal documents
accusing the family of Jordi
Pujol, Catalonia’s president
from 1980 to 2003, of hiding
millions in bank accounts
in Andorra.
El Mundo reported that the
Pujols did so under the name
of the “Sacred Family”, an
invented religious order in
which Pujol’s wife was listed
as “mother superior”.
Fears are growing in
Madrid that Puigdemont may
choose martyrdom to keep
his political career alive,
announcing a break with
Spain regardless of the
consequences.
In a speech last Tuesday
that disappointed supporters,
he claimed the right to
proclaim statehood but
“suspended” the proclamation
to leave the door open for
international mediation.
Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s
conservative prime minister,
ruled this out, saying it was an
internal dispute.
Puigdemont
may choose
martyrdom
to keep alive
his political
career
A rally for a united Spain
“It’s turned somewhat
farcical,” said Javier Facal, an
academic at a prestigious
Madrid research institute.
“But it’s also tragic when
you consider the damage
these separatists are doing,”
he added, referring to an
exodus of companies from
Barcelona and the
re-emergence of dangerous
social fissures.
Spanish nationalists have
burnt Catalan flags in the
street and fought pitched
battles with “separatistas”.
In the hope of breaking the
deadlock, Spain’s Socialist
party proposed a discussion
of constitutional reform
allowing Catalonia more
autonomy. But Barcelona’s
pro-independence politicians
were scornful, insisting on
the region’s “right to decide”
its own future.
“We’ve had a referendum
and there was a result,” said
Alfred Bosch, a prominent
separatist politician.
“Spain has slammed the
door in our face. We have a
mandate to declare
independence and now we
have to push it through.”
If that happens Rajoy,
although reluctant to make
Puigdemont a separatist
martyr, may succumb to
pressure from his party’s
hardliners to deploy article
155 of the constitution to the
full, arresting Puigdemont
and imposing direct rule.
After the heavy-handed
police effort to stop voting,
that would be sure to reignite
Catalan fury while darkening
Spain’s reputation abroad.
It may be exactly what
Puigdemont is intending.
@Mcinparis
19
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
WORLD NEWS
Republicans
look ahead
to life after
Trump
Even his natural allies
say their distrust of the
‘incredible shrinking
president’ has left the
party all at sea
Toby Harnden
Washington
On election night last November, a group
of senior Republicans from Congress
gathered at the oak-panelled Capital
Grille steakhouse, a long-time favourite
haunt for Washington conservatives.
They expected to be holding a wake.
Sitting at the back of the dimly lit
restaurant, which is decorated with
stuffed animal heads and a giant wooden
eagle, they turned off their phones,
ordered bottles of merlot and glumly
discussed how they might deal with the
new Hillary Clinton administration.
Some time close to 11pm, hearing
cheers from the bar area, one of them
switched on his phone. More than a
dozen texts popped up with astonishing
news: “Trump has won.”
The Republicans grabbed their jackets
and headed out into the night, elated to
the point of giddiness by a victory that
had seemed impossible.
The GOP (Grand Old Party, as the
Republicans are known) had won the
White House, Senate and House of Representatives for only the second time since
1929. In addition, it had secured 34 governorships and cemented its dominance of
state legislatures. “It was our dream
scenario,” said one veteran Republican
lobbyist. “Suddenly, we had it all.”
Fast-forward to last Friday, and the
same Republican lobbyist reflected on
the state of his party after nine months of
an “erratic and bizarre” president. “It’s
impossible,” he said, staring miserably at
his filet mignon.
He reflected that he was on the
conservative wing of the party and
agreed with many of Trump’s policies,
yet he was deeply troubled.
“I’m not willing to say it would have
been preferable to have had a President
Hillary Clinton, but it would have been
better for the GOP if any of the other 16
Republican primary candidates had
won. The Republican party is completely
at sea. With Trump, we can’t get anything
done. There is no trust; no strategy. In
terms of our foreign policy, America is at
its lowest ebb. Allies can’t rely on us; no
one knows where we stand. We’re in a
dark cellar. It’s hard to think of a more
dangerous moment.”
Trump was elected as the foe of a
complacent and impotent political establishment. The Capital Grille represents
“the swamp” he has vowed to drain.
For many there on Friday, nonetheless, it was business as usual. In the
private dining room, Republican banking
lobbyists were holding a meeting about
tax reform. A prominent Republican
congressman from Oklahoma was hosting a lunch for donors — the type of event
that costs $1,000 a head.
What struck the lobbyist as remarkable was how Trump seemed irrelevant to
all this. In the bar area the president’s
much-heralded speech on a new Iran
policy was being aired live, but no one
seemed to care or even notice.
“With Republicans and Trump, it’s
similar to what happens at the end of a
bad relationship,” he said. “After all the
shouting and gnashing of teeth there’s
just silence and mutual contempt.”
There is little doubt relations are at
rock bottom. Yet to enact any kind of
change, the lobbyist argued, Trump had
to work with his own party. He lamented:
“We’re going to have to learn how to deal
with this incredible shrinking president.”
Can they? Trump has publicly lambasted top Republicans such as John
McCain, the party’s 2008 presidential
nominee, and Bob Corker, chairman of
the Senate foreign relations committee.
Last weekend, Corker described the
White House as “an adult daycare
centre”, charging that Trump conducted
his presidency like “a reality show” and
was reckless enough to put America “on
the path to world war three”. Trump hit
back by calling him “Liddle Bob Corker”
(the senator is 5ft 7in tall) and “a fool”.
The problem for Trump is that to fulfil
his ambition of replacing the 2015 deal
freezing Iran’s nuclear programme, he
City in shock as
court relives
anti-semitic
child murders
First commercial flight
lands in St Helena
The remote British island of St Helena
has welcomed its first scheduled
commercial flight, which touched
down yesterday carrying 78
passengers from South Africa. The 47
square mile island in the South Atlantic
has an airport dubbed “the world’s
most useless”. Built at a cost of £286m
and due to open in 2016, it was deemed
unusable due to dangerous wind shear.
Truck bombs kill at least
32 in Somali capital
At least 30 people were killed
yesterday in a truck bomb attack in the
Somali capital, Mogadishu. A lorry
packed with explosives detonated near
the entrance of a hotel, leaving dozens
wounded. A second bomb attack in
another area of the city killed two more.
Police said it was not known who had
carried out the attacks.
Austrian voters may pick
world’s youngest leader
Austria’s conservative People’s Party
(PP) are considered frontrunners in
today’s general election. If it wins,
Vienna will have the world’s youngest
head of government, Sebastian Kurz,
31. He has been foreign minister since
2013, two years after he left university.
Analysts predict a possible PP coalition
with the anti-migrant Freedom Party.
Iraq gives Kurds deadline
to leave disputed city
Donald Trump leaves the White House with wife Melania on Friday after saying he wants to cancel the Iran nuclear deal
needs the help of figures such as Corker
and Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, whom he has accused of using
“ridiculous” and “failed” tactics.
Trump is also engaged in a behind-thescenes feud with his secretary of state,
Rex Tillerson, who has the difficult task of
managing Washington’s relationship
with the rest of the world — friends
and foes alike — under this presidency.
After Tillerson pointedly declined to
deny a report that he had characterised
Trump as “a moron”, the president told
PHILIPPE DESMAZES
It was the festival of Sukkot, a
time of joy, but all last week
the Jewish community in
Toulouse relived the horror
that has led more than 300
families to leave for Israel.
Day after day, they heard
graphic testimony from a
high-security court in Paris,
where a trial is reliving the
rampage of Mohamed Merah,
who murdered three Jewish
children, a rabbi and three
soldiers before he was shot
dead in 2012.
His brother, Abdelkader
Merah, 35, is accused of
complicity, along with
another man who allegedly
supplied a submachinegun
and a bulletproof vest to the
killer. Both deny the charges.
For Jean-Michel Cohen, a
dentist, Merah’s murderous
spree crystallised a powerful
sense that it was time to leave
France. He had already
experienced“little incivilities,
like being called ‘a dirty
Jew’,” as he practised in
deprived areas of the city.
Among his many Muslim
patients was Abdelkader
Merah, a coincidence that
testifies to the terrible
intimacy of the crime.
Cohen had recognised
Mohamed Merah loitering in
the street outside the Ozar
Hatorah school a few days
before the murders.
On the morning of March
19, 2012, Merah drove up on a
stolen scooter and opened
fire. Rabbi Jonathan Sandler,
30, was killed trying to shield
his sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel,
4, who were also murdered,
along with Myriam
Monsonego, 7, daughter of
the head of the school.
“I was among the first to
arrive at the scene,” Cohen
said by phone last week from
his new home in Tel Aviv.
“The security situation for us
had already started to
deteriorate and afterwards
my wife and I decided to
emigrate to Israel.”
Cohen chose not to follow
every word of the trial, but
for those in court in Paris it
was a painful experience.
There was a hush as Dovan
Mimouni, 20, a chubby young
man wearing a kippa, a dark
waistcoat and a white shirt,
walked to the witness stand.
In halting tones he
described the two boys and
“the little one”, Myriam, lying
in pools of blood. His
shoulders began to heave and
he took deep breaths before
he could continue.
“I took her in my arms, but
what could I do? I didn’t
know what to do. I was 15. I
was a child,” he said.
Marc Fridman, a
spokesman for Jewish
organisations in Toulouse,
said: “It has been very, very
difficult to listen to the
witnesses reminding us of a
day that was unimaginable.
“There has been a rise in
anti-semitism in France, but
we never thought it would
come to the cold-blooded
slaughter of children in front
of their school.”
Fridman’s own two sons
were at the school that day.
“My eldest, who was 16,
called me and said, ‘Dad,
Forbes magazine: “I think it’s fake news,
but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to
compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who
is going to win.”
According to Vanity Fair, Trump’s
former chief strategist, Steve Bannon,
has told him that the greatest threat to his
presidency is the US constitution’s 25th
amendment, a provision by which a
cabinet majority can vote to remove him.
Impeachment is also seen as a distinct
possibility should the Democrats seize
back control of Congress in next year’s
Josh Glancy
New York
there’s shooting here; don’t
come’, but of course I went as
fast as I could,” he said.
Toulouse, a city of 1.3m, is
home to 10,000-12,000 Jews.
Fridman said that since the
tragedy more than 300
families had emigrated to
Israel and others had moved
to Britain, Canada and
America.
The exodus has caused
anguish in one of France’s
most successful cities — a
sunny, prosperous centre of
aerospace, biotech and digital
businesses. The office of the
mayor, Jean-Luc Moudenc,
said: “To see people leave
Toulouse because they do not
feel safe for religious reasons
is intolerable. It is an
unprecedented step
backwards, which the
authorities must fight with
the greatest resolution.”
Fridman pointed out that
the first Jews settled in the
area in ancient Roman times.
Their numbers grew with the
expulsion of Jews from
medieval Spain and later
I took her in
my arms, but
what could I
do? I was a
child
mid-term elections. Yet Bannon has
promised to encourage candidates from
the populist right to challenge every
incumbent Republican senator bar one
in the mid-terms. McConnell and Paul
Ryan, the Speaker, the most senior
Republican in the House of Representatives, fear internecine warfare would
make victory for the Democrats all the
more likely.
Fetch the purple toga: Emperor
Trump is here, Niall Ferguson, page 21
Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq said
last night that Baghdad had given them
hours to move out of military facilities
and oil fields around the disputed city
of Kirkuk. Iraqi forces had advanced
several miles into territory claimed by
the Kurds, who say British and US
soldiers have been stationed in Kirkuk’s
military airbase to help fight Isis.
Vatican hospital ex-chief
diverted £375,000 funds
A Vatican court convicted the former
head of the Pope’s children’s hospital of
diverting donations of £375,000 to
renovate a cardinal’s luxury flat. He was
given a one-year suspended sentence.
Freed hostage says Taliban killed
baby daughter and raped wife
A funeral procession after the Toulouse murders in 2012
Michael Sheridan
Toulouse
WORLD
NEWS
IN BRIEF
KEVIN LAMARQUE
persecution in Russia. After
the independence of France’s
north African colonies in the
1950s and 1960s, Toulouse
drew in many immigrants to
the drab suburbs encircling
its historic rose-brick centre.
Among them were the
Merah family — but also the
families of the soldiers
Mohamed Merah killed.
Master Sergeant Imad Ibn
Ziaten, 30, Corporal Abel
Chennouf, 25, and Private
Mohamed Legouad, 23,
were all of north African
origin.
Abdelkader Merah has
declared his “sadness, shame
and regret” for his brother’s
deeds and denied any
foreknowledge of the plan.
In court — the grand,
wood-panelled Salle Voltaire
in the Paris Palais de Justice —
he and his alleged accomplice
sat behind thick panels of
glass with six guards. Above
them a vast fresco depicted
rows of nobility in ermine
and ranks of bishops clad in
scarlet robes and birettas, all
symbols of a historic France
that is barely recognisable in
the age of Islamist terrorism.
According to Fridman, the
more recent wave of terrorist
attacks in France since 2015 —
most aimed at secular targets
— has had the paradoxical
effect of making Jews feel less
isolated and exposed.
Official Israeli figures show
that immigration from France
peaked in 2015, at about
7,800 people, and has since
dropped to about half that.
Yearning to return,
News Review, page 23
They were held captive for
five years by terrorists in
Afghanistan and narrowly
escaped alive from an allguns-blazing rescue. Now,
Joshua Boyle, 34, and his
wife, Caitlin Coleman, 31, say
a baby daughter was
murdered by their captors,
while Coleman was raped.
Coleman, an American,
was heavily pregnant when
she and Boyle, a Canadian,
were kidnapped as they
backpacked in Wardak
province, west of Kabul, on
their honeymoon in 2012. Her
father condemned Boyle’s
decision to take Coleman
there when she was pregnant
as “unconscionable”.
The couple have three
surviving children, all born in
captivity: sons aged four and
two and a daughter of two
months. All were freed when
their captors were ambushed
in northwestern Pakistan on
Wednesday.
After the family landed in
Toronto on Friday night,
Boyle read out a statement
denouncing the kidnappers —
members of the Haqqani
network, a group linked to
the Taliban.
Boyle said he and Coleman
had been seized while trying
to deliver aid to villagers in a
Taliban-controlled area that
“no NGO, no aid worker and
no government” could reach.
He said: “The stupidity and
the evil of the Haqqani
network in the kidnapping of
a pilgrim . . . was eclipsed only
by the stupidity and evil of
authorising the murder of my
infant daughter and the
stupidity and evil of the
subsequent rape of my wife.”
He referred to his dead
daughter as “Martyr Boyle”,
and said Coleman had been
raped as “retaliation for my
repeated refusal” to accept an
offer made to him by the
network. He did not
elaborate.
Boyle said both crimes had
been investigated and
“conceded” by the Taliban
and demanded that they
provide justice.
In a video released
yesterday by the Pakistani
military, whose special forces
carried out the rescue, Boyle
described his captors as “not
On the flight
home, he
expressed
disdain for
US foreign
policy
Joshua Boyle,
wife Caitlin
Coleman and two
of their children
in a hostage
video
good Muslims. They were not
even bad Muslims. They were
pagan.” He told his parents
that five of his captors had
been killed in the ambush but
later said some of the
kidnappers had escaped.
The family’s release is a
victory for officials from the
US state department and FBI,
who worked on the case for
years. Negotiations had long
stalled, as the Haqqani
network’s demand for the
release of one of its leaders,
Anas Haqqani, from an
Afghan prison was refused.
The Taliban still hold two
Americans.
Revelations about Boyle’s
past have added an unusual
flavour to the family’s release.
He acted briefly as a
spokesman for Omar Khadr,
a Canadian who pleaded
guilty to the murder of a US
army sergeant when he was
15 and spent 10 years in
Guantanamo Bay. He was
repatriated to Canada in 2010
and released on bail in 2015.
The Canadian government
paid C$10.5m (£6m) to Khadr
this summer after the
country’s Supreme Court
ruled that he had been
interrogated under
“oppressive circumstances”.
Boyle was briefly married
to Khadr’s older sister,
Zaynab, after introducing
himself on the internet to
“offer support” to the family.
American and Canadian
officials have said they do not
believe there is any link
between Boyle’s connection
to Khadr and the kidnapping.
On the flight home, Boyle
gave an Associated Press
reporter a handwritten note
expressing his disdain for
American foreign policy and
the “deliberate and organised
injustice in the world”. He
then indicated a state
department official
accompanying him and said:
“Their interests are not my
interests.”
20
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
COMMENT
ESTABLISHED 1822
Don’t soak the rich or we
will all catch a cold
I
nequality is back as the name of the
political game. As the agenda on
the left in this country shifted to
inequality, so Jeremy Corbyn’s star
began to rise. The same popular
discontent, perhaps perversely,
helped to propel a property billionaire into the White House. Now the
International Monetary Fund, bastion of
economic orthodoxy, has used its annual
meetings in Washington to push forward
ideas about tackling inequality.
The IMF in its fiscal monitor notes big
falls in top income tax rates in all the
advanced economies, including Britain,
since the early 1980s. The top 10% hold,
on average, 50% of wealth. And, it claims,
there is little evidence that raising taxes
on higher earners reduces economic
growth. Its arguments could be read
either as a shot across the bows for Donald
Trump’s proposed tax cuts — if they ever
see the light of day — or support for Mr
Corbyn’s agenda. And if the IMF is
suggesting that soaking the rich is a policy
without adverse consequences, what is to
hold a left-wing government back?
Britain, in fact, has a good story to tell
on inequality — one that a Tory government should tell louder. When the IMF
looked at what the optimal top personal
income tax rate was, it came up with a
figure of 44%. That is, of course, slightly
lower than Britain’s top rate of 45%.
This explains why George Osborne
could cut the top rate from 50% to 45% five
years ago, backed up by analysis from HM
Revenue & Customs which showed there
would be no adverse effect on revenues. It
remains the case that if you tax the rich
too much it will hit the public finances
while also encouraging the wealthiest to
take their fortunes elsewhere.
Calculations by the Office for National
Statistics show inequality as measured
either by the Gini coefficient, the relationship between the richest and poorest 20%
of the population, or that between the
90th and 10th percentile, is lower now
than it was at the end of the 1980s. The tax
system does its job in redistributing
income between rich and poor.
Since the financial crisis households
on low incomes have fared better than
those on high incomes, because of the
squeeze on earnings among the higher
paid and because of policy changes. The
Resolution Foundation think tank noted
last week that Mr Osborne’s introduction
of the national living wage had resulted
in the biggest drop in the number of
low-paid workers for 40 years.
Britain also does well on health
inequality, the IMF report shows, with a
smaller gap in longevity between rich and
poor than in most countries. The challenge, as we have emphasised repeatedly,
is to improve the survival rates for cancer
and other diseases for everyone. Equality
in misery is hardly desirable.
We can and should raise our game. It is
no accident that concerns over inequality
have grown in a period when living
standards have struggled. Before the
crisis most people could agree with Lord
Mandelson that they were “intensely
relaxed” about people getting “filthy rich”
as long as they paid their taxes. In an era of
stagnant or falling real wages and an
absence of productivity growth, a rising
tide is no longer lifting all boats.
Intergenerational inequality has risen
up the agenda too. Theresa May’s policy
initiatives aimed at young people fell flat
at the Tory conference, but expect to hear
more. Inequality has fallen among
pensioners, who have been protected
from cuts in public spending, while the
young have fared badly.
The ball is in Philip Hammond’s court
with the chancellor’s November 22 budget
taking on the flavour of a relaunch for
both him and the government. There is
talk of lower tax rates for the young, paid
for by reining back further on pension tax
relief, although that sounds gimmicky.
If Mr Hammond doggedly pursues a
dull course, however, this will do nothing
for an economy suffering from torpor or
for the Tories. Nothing would worry those
that the chancellor briefly called “the
enemy” on Friday more than the sight of
Britain’s economy getting back its mojo.
We have consistently argued for a bold,
open and enterprise-friendly agenda but
so far it is nowhere to be seen. We have a
good story to tell on inequality. It is in
danger of getting lost amid the gloom.
The state should not
become a sex pest
A visit to the doctor will never be routine
again. As we report today, NHS doctors
and nurses in England will be required at
every face-to-face meeting to ask patients
aged 16 and over about their sexual
orientation. Younger patients may find
this embarrassing and difficult. Older
people, brought up in a different era, may
find it bemusing. Many will see it as an
invasion of their privacy, the state elbowing its way into the bedroom.
This is sensitive territory. Last week we
reported that the Office for National
Statistics was finding it difficult to come
up with a question on gender for the next
national census that did not result in
discrimination protests from transgender
and other non-binary groups. The gender
question, vital for long-term planning,
may be voluntary in the next census.
Yet on a face-to-face basis people are to
be asked by NHS professionals about their
sexual orientation. If this suggests some
confusion in official circles, that is
probably the right conclusion to draw.
There are good reasons for the NHS
to have better knowledge about the
population’s sexual orientation. The
LGBT Foundation, which has been working with the NHS, says only 8% of LGB
(lesbian, gay, bisexual; the T is for transgender) people in Greater Manchester
have never experienced a mental health
problem. LGB people are twice as likely to
commit suicide, seven times as likely to
use drugs, twice as likely to binge-drink
and have higher levels of substance
dependency as heterosexual peers. The
foundation says: “To put it simply, if we’re
not counted, we don’t count.” Official
figures for LGB people, 2% of the population, could be an understatement.
Even so, the NHS is exposing itself to
criticism with this initiative. The information it will get may be of only limited
statistical use, given that the majority of
people do not have face-to-face contact
with NHS professionals in a given year.
The problems identified by the LGBT
Foundation and their link to sexual orientation may be better uncovered by health
professionals in more subtle ways than
the blunt questioning of every patient.
Sensitivity should be the watchword.
Busy doing nothing
“What is this life if, full of care / We have
no time to stand and stare,” wrote the poet
WH Davies, who knew a thing or two
about doing nothing in particular because
he spent much of his life as a tramp. Now
his theme has been taken up by the children’s laureate, Lauren Child, who thinks
modern children are under too much
pressure and should be taught idleness in
school for up to 30 minutes at a time.
But what form should this idleness
take? Should it be taught in a traditional
fashion, with a teacher idling about in the
front of the class and the children learning
by rote? Or should we take a more modern
approach, perhaps with hammocks, so
children can develop their own ideas
about the avoidance of hard work? And
what happens to children who simply
refuse to be idle?
The idea raises many interesting
questions, but answering them would,
under the circumstances, be far too
much effort.
Dominic Lawson
Flip-flop Phil gets his
spreadsheets in a twist
The chancellor is no dull ‘safe pair of hands’. He’s thrillingly inconsistent
P
hilip Hammond has a most
undeserved reputation as a dull
politician — unless it is possible to be
both dull and unpredictable. On
Friday the chancellor told the BBC
that those on the other side of the
Brexit negotiating table from us —
the EU — are “the enemy, the
opponents”. Hours later he offered a
reconsidered description: they are “our friends
and partners in the EU”.
This is merely a speeded-up version of the
oscillations of Hammond on Brexit.
In 2013, the year David Cameron pledged a
“leave” or “remain” referendum on our EU
membership, the then defence secretary,
before almost all his colleagues, said he would
be minded to vote to leave. A year later, giving
his first television interview as foreign
secretary, Hammond told the BBC’s Andrew
Marr: “I haven’t changed my mind.” He went
on to argue that the status quo was “not in
Britain’s interest”, so unless there were “a
repatriation of powers to the nation states”, he
was for Brexit.
No such repatriation of powers was achieved
by Cameron in his negotiations with Brussels
before the referendum. Yet not only did
Hammond side with “remain”, but he has now
become the most dedicated advocate in the
cabinet of a deal with the EU that mimics the
status quo he previously held to be not in
Britain’s interest.
This seems based on an almost morbid fear
that if the UK does not agree to mirror faithfully
the acquis communautaire — that is, the entire
body of EU laws and obligations — there will be
no trade deal worth having with the EU, and as
a nation we will be, to use a technical term,
stuffed. Here, too, Hammond has been in
abject retreat — from himself. In January he
gave an interview to Germany’s Welt am
Sonntag newspaper in which he said that if
Britain did not get a good free trade deal with
the EU, “we will change our [economic] model
to regain competitiveness” — presumably by
reducing tax levels on business to encourage
inward investment. But by July Hammond had
said the complete opposite to the French paper
Le Monde, promising its readers that, come
what might, the UK would continue to be “right
in the middle of the [European] pack” in our
taxation policies.
We hear complaints from Brussels that it’s
difficult for its negotiators to assess London’s
intentions when the British cabinet members
do not seem to be able to agree among
themselves. It must be even more confusing
when the prime minister’s next-door
neighbour has been publicly disagreeing with
himself — and still more so when, as last week,
he does so on the same day.
To be fair to the chancellor, he has now
settled on a position, which is, as I say, that we
must be in an unchanging orbital relationship
with the EU, as dependent on it for our
wellbeing as the Earth is on the sun. This is
actually quite odd, since just 12% of our GDP
consists of trade with the EU. And even if there
were a complete breakdown in talks and we
were to fall back on the rules laid down by the
World Trade Organisation, that 12% would not
shrink to zero, or anything close. I know during
the referendum campaign the then business
minister Anna Soubry said this trade would be
wiped out if Britain left the EU, but that was
part of her role as Cassandra in the so-called
Project Fear, masterminded by Hammond’s
predecessor as chancellor, George Osborne.
Hammond has not merely inherited
Osborne’s job: he has inherited the Treasury’s
institutional moroseness over the idea of
Brexit. It is almost as if, having had its dismal
forecasts spectacularly refuted by the
performance of the British economy, with
record levels of employment and output since
June last year (it had predicted that
“immediately following a vote to leave the EU”
there would be a recession and the loss of
between 500,000 and 800,000 jobs), the
Treasury has persuaded a new chancellor into
thinking it was right all along.
The Treasury, in fact, has an almost
unblemished record of dud forecasts, nearly
always predicated on the idea that disaster is
the inevitable consequence of not following the
policies favoured by its senior officials. As
Norman Lamont lamented: “When I came to
the Treasury, they predicted to me that I would
become the most unpopular man in Britain.
This was the only correct forecast that the
Treasury made in the several years that I was
chancellor.” Lamont was chancellor when we
abandoned our membership of the EU’s
exchange rate mechanism — which the
It has found someone
it can absolutely
rely on to be the
perfect Eeyore
Treasury’s officials insisted would send
inflation and interest rates soaring and result in
a deep recession. The actual consequences of
Black Wednesday were precisely the opposite.
An earlier chancellor, Denis Healey, never
forgave his officials for having “got the bloody
figures wrong”, which led him to call in the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) for
emergency support: the Treasury had forecast
that the public sector borrowing requirement
for 1976 would rise to more than £12bn,
whereas it actually fell to about £8bn, even
before the public expenditure cuts mandated
by the IMF came into effect.
It is understandable that the Treasury
should be a house of institutional pessimists. It
is in perpetual struggle against all the other
departments of state, each of which is
dedicated to spending money. The Treasury
alone fights the battle to keep public
expenditure under control. So the role of
Jeremiah is natural. This explains why, as one
former chancellor told me, his permanent
secretary at the Treasury would say to
him: “Things are never so bad that they
couldn’t get worse.”
In Hammond the Treasury has found
someone it can absolutely rely on to be the
perfect Eeyore. He might almost have been
genetically engineered for this purpose. But no
cabinet minister should be the creature of his
(or her) officials. There is no clearer example of
this than Hammond’s decision in his first
budget in March to increase national insurance
contributions for the self-employed. This had
to be hastily abandoned days after he declared
it from the dispatch box when it was pointed
out by the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg (apparently
to the chancellor’s surprise) that the 2015
Conservative manifesto had pledged to do no
such thing.
Such an electoral commitment would have
meant nothing to Treasury mandarins — as any
aficionado of Yes Minister would know — and
Hammond, living up to his nickname of
“Spreadsheet Phil”, could not see further than
the balance sheet provided by his officials.
There are only five weeks to go before the
next budget, and the prime minister has little
time left to decide on a replacement (if she has
the will). So here’s a suggestion: promote the
health secretary, Jeremy Hunt. He and the
medical profession have delighted each other
for long enough. And last week he was able to
say what Theresa May could not: that, though a
former remainer, he now thinks Brexit is in
Britain’s interests.
It would be good to have at least someone in
Downing Street who believes that.
dominic.lawson@sunday-times.co.uk
Sarah Baxter
Human wanted, to give
Tories some warmth
The PM and cabinet may not brim with empathy, but they could at least pretend
I
once had a fledgling career as a current
affairs presenter but was a little wooden
on screen, having never even acted in a
school nativity play. At my audition the
Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow
breezed past. “Give it more welly!” he
urged. I was such an ingénue I had to
ask what “welly” meant. I got the job
anyway because I knew a thing or two about
politics, but my producer continued to fret.
“Imagine you’re on the sofa talking to your
mother,” he suggested.
Clearly he had never met my mother, my
fiercest television critic, or he wouldn’t have
made such a ridiculous proposal. But the one
thing my TV bosses were adamant about was
that voice training to improve my performance
was a waste of time. “It’s sink or swim,” they
said cheerily as they bunged me live on air.
“You’ve either got it or you haven’t.”
I didn’t believe it then and I don’t believe it
now, which is why I would like to drag Theresa
May and most of her cabinet off for emergency
empathy lessons. From my own experience I
know it’s not easy, but they desperately need to
stop sounding like speak-your-weight
machines. Are they human? Do they know
what compassion means? If they really are as
heartless as they sound, couldn’t they at least
pretend? As Groucho Marx supposedly said, if
you can fake sincerity you’ve got it made.
Jeremy Corbyn, I’m told, has been receiving
media training to sound more authoritative,
the quality he badly lacks, so why can’t May
have a sympathy coach? The prime minister
would doubtless bristle at the suggestion that
she has been faking her concern over the
“burning injustices” of society — her abiding
passion in politics, as announced on the steps
of Downing Street in her first address to the
nation as prime minister. Yet her response to
questions about the Grenfell Tower fire was
spirit-crushingly leaden on Radio 4’s Today
programme during the Tories’ party
conference week.
Asked whether the burnt-out tower was a
“monument to inequality”, she sputtered for
an eternity about how the public inquiry would
examine whether the fire regulations were at
fault. After all the “Maybot” jibes, surely she
could be reprogrammed to perform better, if
nothing else.
Then came the publication last week of
May’s long-promised racial disparity audit,
designed to show how black and ethnic
minority Britons get a raw deal in society. Not
only did the PM talk too much about BMEs, a
term nobody uses IRL — in real life, that is — but
Damian Green, the cabinet minister charged
with delivering improvements, muddled up
two Asian Labour MPs in the House of
Commons. Awkward! The whole report was so
bungled that the takeaway news was that white
working-class pupils are the most educationally
disadvantaged — true, but not the whole story,
particularly regarding future employment.
Last but not least is the disastrous roll-out of
universal credit, a genuinely promising
simplification of our horribly complicated
benefits system that has been turned into a
public relations disaster by ministers with the
sensitivity of Mr Gradgrind, the facts-obsessed
utilitarian in Charles Dickens’s Hard Times.
There is a strong case to be made that
universal credit can help people avoid the
Jeremy Hunt said
GPs felt ‘knackered’.
See? That didn’t hurt
too much, did it?
poverty trap by flexibly adjusting benefits to
earnings and assigning face-to-face case
workers who can provide practical help,
including advance payments, to the most
needy. But even the scheme’s pioneer, Iain
Duncan Smith, is dismayed that most claimants
have to wait six weeks for their first payments.
The work and pensions minister, David
Gauke, has largely been kept away from the
airwaves, probably because he managed to tick
us all off in his previous job as Treasury
minister by saying it was morally wrong to pay
tradesmen in cash (who hasn’t?). But Liz Truss,
his replacement at the Treasury, revealed her
own tin ear when she struggled to explain on
television why the poor need to pay premium
mobile phone rates of up to 55p a minute for
advice on the benefit. Couldn’t she at least say
it seemed harsh and she’d look into it while
encouraging people to seek emergency
payments at the jobcentre?
Oddly, the only minister to speak human last
week was Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary,
who has promised to increase the number of
NHS doctors. Although he has clashed in the
past with striking junior doctors, he has largely
been respectful about their profession.
Addressing the GPs’ conference, he said too
many doctors felt “knackered” and on a
“hamster wheel”, with “neverending” streams
of 10-minute appointments. See? That didn’t
hurt too much, did it?
Perhaps his cabinet colleagues can’t mount a
decent argument about benefits reform, racial
discrimination or social justice because they
just don’t feel it. But if the six-week delay to
payments sticks, universal credit will become a
millstone for this administration just as surely
as the “bedroom tax” dogged the last one.
It’s not all about presentation; the policies
themselves have to convince. But the Tories
could at least try to show some heart. If it’s
simply a case of “you’ve either got it or you
haven’t”, this government is sunk.
@sarahbaxterSTM
21
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
COMMENT
ATTICUS
ROLAND WHITE
Welcome to Ukip.
Go kill a badger
Henry Bolton, Ukip’s new leader, has
boasted that he can kill a badger with
his bare hands. “I reckon I could do
that,” said the former soldier in a
bizarre interview with the Russianowned RT television station. However,
he denied that hunting badgers on
Dartmoor was part of an initiation
ceremony for Ukip leaders.
He also denied that eating a St
George flag and arm-wrestling former
England footballer Terry Butcher were
Ukip initiation rites, and dismissed the
suggestion that oral sex had been
involved in his journey to Ukip from
the Liberal Democrats. Then, if all that
weren’t odd enough, he drank cold
Bovril — posing as British champagne —
from a gold cup marked “poison
chalice”.
RT’s interview technique wouldn’t
half liven up Newsnight.
Garter ruled Gyles’s
Swinging Sixties
QUOTES
OF THE WEEK
“Genetically, we are
behind”
Scotland’s footballers are too small to win
anything, says the team’s 5ft 6in manager,
Gordon Strachan — before being sacked
“The White House has
become an adult day-care
centre”
Officials are constantly trying to contain
President Donald Trump, says the Republican
senator Bob Corker
“Boys will always fight
and butt heads”
Gordon Ramsay on his feud with fellow
chef Jamie Oliver
“For many people, my
career — and its end —
is still defined by eggs”
But Edwina Currie, former Tory health
minister, says she was right to highlight
problems with salmonella
“I’m the first lady, OK?”
Ivana Trump, first wife of the American
president, claims she, and not Melania Trump,
is the true “first lady”
Niall Ferguson
Fetch the purple toga:
Emperor Trump is here
Were the students of the 1960s as
radical and politically committed as
they liked to think?
“At Oxford I remember being
preoccupied with the question of
which of our generation would be the
first to join the Order of the Garter,”
writes the entertainer and former Tory
MP Gyles Brandreth in The Oldie.
He thought William Waldegrave, a
future cabinet minister, might do it,
but instead the honour went to Eliza
Manningham-Buller, the former head
of MI5. Brandreth says: “I must have
been an odd young man.”
As in Rome’s republic, the power of one man has corroded the nation
W
ildfires ravage the vineyards. A
hurricane lays waste to an
island colony. A great port is
submerged by flood water.
Meanwhile, in the capital the
most powerful citizen of the
republic behaves ever more
erratically. He picks quarrels
with athletes. He threatens to tear up
treaties. He relies excessively on family
members. He throws tantrums at his staff.
In the Senate and the courts, the old
constitutional forms continue to be
observed, to be sure. But the plebeians sense
that the elites are losing their grip. How
could it be otherwise? Every week brings a
new revelation about the hypocrisy of those
elites. They preach civic virtue; they stand
accused of sexual depravity.
And, even as the actresses belatedly bring
their charges against the debauched
impresario, hard-bitten legions continue
their wars in distant deserts and mountain
ranges. Increasingly, the soldiers wonder
what they are seeking to achieve in these
far-flung places. They hear with disgust of
the shabby treatment meted out to returning
veterans back home. But they console
themselves that at least there are generals —
men like them, seasoned by battle — in the
corridors of power.
Five days a week, on average, I reassure
myself that everything that has happened in
the United States in the past 10 years is well
within the range of normal American
history. Two days a week, however, I fear I
am living through the republic’s final years.
The cast of characters was especially
Roman last week. Think of Harvey
Weinstein, the predator whose behaviour
was for years an “open secret” among
precisely the Hollywood types who were so
shrill last year in their condemnation of
Donald Trump for his boasts about
“grabbing” women by the genitals.
“Women should never be talked about in
that way,” declared the actor Ben Affleck a
year ago, after the release of Trump’s “locker
room” exchange with Access Hollywood host
Billy Bush in 2005. However, Affleck became
“angry and saddened” about his mentor
Weinstein’s record of assaulting and
harassing women only after it was splashed
all over The New Yorker. This was too much
for Rose McGowan, apparently one of
Weinstein’s many victims, who told Affleck
to “f*** off” — whereupon other actresses
claimed Affleck himself had groped them.
In my experience few things enrage
ordinary Americans more than the
hypocrisy of the liberal elites. No doubt
Trump too could attribute his sexism to the
fact that, in Weinstein’s words, “he came of
age in the 1960s and 1970s when all the rules
about behaviour and workplaces were
different”. But at least Trump does not
pretend to be a feminist. Weinstein raised
hundreds of thousands of dollars for Hillary
Clinton’s campaign. In January he joined the
anti-Trump Women’s March in Park City,
Utah. In May he sat next to Clinton at a
fundraiser for Planned Parenthood,
America’s biggest provider of birth control
products and procedures, including
abortion.
“In Rome,” writes the brilliant Tom
Holland in his book Rubicon: The Triumph
and Tragedy of the Roman Republic,
“censoriousness was the mirror image of a
drooling appetite for lurid fantasy.” Yes, that
does sound familiar.
No historian of my generation has done
more to rekindle interest in ancient Rome
than Holland, whose books have given me
more pleasure than anything else I have read
this year. In his telling, the republic dies too
imperceptibly to be mourned. Superficially
its decline was the result of recurrent civil
war. But the underlying causes were the
self-indulgence and social isolation of the
Roman elite, the alienation of the plebeian
masses, the political ascendancy of the
generals and the opportunities all these
trends created for demagogues. Reading
Holland’s description of the libidinous orgies
and extravagant cuisine of Baiae, the fabled
Roman resort on the Gulf of Naples, it is
impossible not to be reminded of presentday La La Land.
The founding fathers knew very well that
the independent nation they proclaimed in
1776 might ultimately find itself in the Roman
predicament. In particular, they feared the
advent of a populist demagogue. As
Alexander Hamilton warned in the first of
The Federalist Papers, a “dangerous
ambition . . . often lurks behind the specious
mask of zeal for the rights of the people . . . Of
those men who have overturned the liberties
of republics, the greatest number have
begun their career by paying an obsequious
court to the people; commencing
demagogues and ending tyrants.”
Few things enrage
Americans more
than the hypocrisy
of liberal elites
It was a theme Hamilton returned to in
1795. “It is only to consult the history of
nations,” he wrote, “to perceive that every
country, at all times, is cursed by the
existence of men who, actuated by an
irregular ambition, scruple nothing which
they imagine will contribute to their own
advancement and importance . . . in
republics, fawning or turbulent
demagogues, worshipping still the idol —
power wherever placed . . . and trafficking
in the weaknesses, vices, frailties or
prejudices” of the people.
And Hamilton was, of all the founders, the
one willing to give the office of the president
the most power.
Last month, at a conference organised by
the former secretary of state George Shultz,
the historian David Kennedy presented a
magisterial paper on the history of the
presidency that left me more pessimistic
than I have felt in a long time. As Kennedy
pointed out, the presidency has over time
become a lot more powerful and
“plebiscitary” than was intended by the
framers of the 1787 constitution, with its
ingenious system of checks and balances.
Congress was meant to be the dominant
branch of government. But from 1832
candidates were chosen by the nominating
conventions of parties. From the 1880s
progressives pressed for reform of what
Woodrow Wilson disparagingly called
“congressional government”. The 1900s saw
the first presidential programmes — the
Square Deal, the New Deal, the Fair Deal —
sold to the public through newspapers and
later radio and television. The 1960s brought
presidential primaries and caucuses. With
the advent of the internet the system took a
further step down the road to direct
plebiscitary presidential rule. The result was
President Trump, king of the Twitter trolls.
Imperceptibly, the foundations of the
republic have corroded. In Rome no one
quite noticed that Octavian — or Augustus as
he was renamed in 27BC — was becoming an
emperor, for the outward forms of
republican governance endured. Yet the
symptoms of corrosion were all around, not
least in the decadence of the Roman elite.
I have never been persuaded by those
who fear an American fascism in the style of
Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here. None
of the protagonists in today’s American
drama would look well in a brown shirt,
jackboots and tight breeches. But togas?
I can’t imagine a garment better suited to
Weinstein and the president-emperor he
both reviles and resembles.
Niall Ferguson’s The Square and the Tower:
Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for
Global Power is published by Allen Lane
l Former health minister Edwina
Currie’s insistence last week that she
was right all along about salmonella
and eggs won’t have impressed
another formidable Tory, Baroness
Trumpington.
The former agriculture minister,
who has announced that she’ll retire
from the Lords on her 95th birthday,
once said of Mrs Currie: “What a bitch!
She’s so pleased with herself. I thought
she was dreadful. The eggs! I was
always having to pick up her pieces.”
Aren’t they supposed to be on the
same side?
l Is Sir Vince Cable making the impact
he hoped for as leader of the Liberal
Democrats? It’s true that he has
108,000 Twitter followers, but Lord
Buckethead — who campaigns, as the
name suggests, with a bucket on his
head — has 119,000.
l Former Tory party chairman Grant
Shapps has been advertising for a
researcher. Candidates for the job are
expected to have “common sense” and
“sound judgment”. More common
sense, anyway, than to try to
overthrow a sitting prime minister
with the support of just 30 MPs.
l Looking for something combustible
for bonfire night? A mischievous
Sheffield company is offering JeanClaude Juncker masks for Guy Fawkes
parties, which is hardly in the spirit of
reconciliation and partnership. The
masks are £3.50 on eBay, or you could
probably negotiate directly with the
EU to get one for £60bn.
l LBC presenter Iain Dale’s interview
with the prime minister, in which she
refused to say how she would vote in a
new Brexit referendum, was widely
reported. But a listener has threatened
to report Dale to Ofcom, saying: “The
last time I recall voting I understand
that voting intentions remain a strictly
private matter, so your question to the
PM was totally out of order and an
intrusion of privacy.” Ofcom says it has
received no complaints.
22
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
COMMENT
Adam Boulton
By rejecting the orator’s art, our
leaders have left us in the dark
L
aunching his new book on
speeches that changed the
world, Philip Collins, former
chief speechwriter to Tony Blair,
attempted to demonstrate the
principles of classical oratory in
fewer words than Lincoln’s
Gettysburg Address. “Knock,
knock.” “Who’s there?” “Europe.”
“Europe who?” “No, you’re a poo!”
There they were in five brief phrases:
introduction, statement of what’s being
discussed, elaboration, rejection of
counter-arguments and conclusion — or
exordium, narratio, confimatio,
refutatio and peroratio, as the Romans
put it. All this plus audience
participation, which, Collins claims, was
a 20th-century addition to the political
orator’s arsenal imported by Martin
Luther King from the Baptist church.
As a writer for The Times, Collins has
developed a technique of analysing
speeches point by point. He believes this
is an important task because great
speeches can provide the hope and
inspiration that is the essence of politics.
Perhaps the general absence of inspiring
rhetoric explains the angry, depressed
tone of so much debate today.
Politicians blame the electronic media
for reducing their fine thoughts to
soundbites. Yet we now have access to
more long-play material than ever before
through rolling news channels and
websites such as YouTube. There is just
not much appetite for the political
speeches on offer there. The online
viewing figures for this year’s party
conference speeches were dire.
Only 105,000 people have watched
the prime minister’s speech in full, livestreamed or subsequently, in spite of its
attention-grabbing mishaps. Jeremy
Corbyn scores 95,000, Boris Johnson
65,000. Nicola Sturgeon and Vince
Cable, look away now — you are each
below 4,000. The 85,000 online viewers
for Mrs May’s Florence speech on
Europe can congratulate themselves on
their sense of civic responsibility.
No one has been able to guarantee a
stampede of listeners to the Commons
chamber since Enoch Powell and
Michael Foot stopped appearing. They
were mavericks, and any recent
speeches that are cherished in the
memory also lie outside the mainstream.
Hilary Benn’s support for engagement in
Syria was simultaneously the act of a
man quitting the fight for the Labour
leadership. There was an elegiac
quality, too, about the most recent
winners of The Spectator’s award for
speech of the year: Rachel Reeves on her
murdered friend Jo Cox, and the former
army officer Johnny Mercer on the plight
of veterans.
Speechmaking comes naturally to
Dennis Skinner, Boris Johnson, Jacob
Rees-Mogg and William Hague. They
have wind power and, unlike some of
their more earnest colleagues, they’re
funny. To a fault, they are comic
performers rather than sources of
inspiration. For example, Skinner’s
greatest hits are mostly ad libs when
Black Rod comes to summon MPs at the
state opening of parliament.
What matters for Boris and Jacob is
not what they say but the anachronistic
way they say it. Johnson has the better
PG Wodehouse-style jokes, and like the
master he is prone to recycle them. ReesMogg is proud of fathering both the
longest word and the longest filibuster in
the pages of Hansard. Michael Gove is
another practitioner of exaggeratedly
polite verbosity. I once saw him attempt
it on Henry Kissinger; the doctor merely
croaked: “I disagree. Next question.”
The Tory boys use their parodic style
to disarm: they imply but never say that
they are not completely serious.
At least they write their own material.
Authenticity is the essential ingredient of
a great speech, and it helps if the speaker
has had a hand in choosing the words
that come out of their mouth.
Blair worked for weeks on his big
moments with aides such as Collins and
Alastair Campbell, but each draft came
back to be revised in his own
handwriting, sometimes not long before
he walked to the podium.
No one has been
able to guarantee
a stampede of
listeners to the
Commons
chamber since
Enoch Powell and
Michael Foot
Blair’s best speeches mattered. At the
TUC and Labour conferences
immediately after the 9/11 attacks, he
produced a clearer analysis than any
other leader of their kaleidoscopic
implications. Alas, his remedies were
more questionable. The manner of his
leaving became him as he confessed he
had “no reverse gear” and won a
standing ovation from MPs while
admitting he had never been a
Commons man.
LETTERS
TO THE EDITOR
May needs to
lead from front
Theresa May might find that
Conservatives rallied behind
her if she would clearly lead
(“Mrs May’s message is the
problem, not the delivery”,
Editorial, last week). Trying
to outbid Labour on promises
is pointless, but a solid record
of achievement could be an
election winner. Break the
logjam on Brexit with a
Norway, Switzerland or
Canada-style model; institute
a root-and-branch reform of
student finances; and take
practical steps to get NHS
waiting lists down and cancer
Organ donation
under spotlight
In “Ex-transplant chief: My
doubts about new donor
plans”, News, last week)
Professor Chris Rudge said
changing the system of organ
donation would undermine
the concept of donation as a
“gift” and might take away
people’s faith and trust in the
system. Organ donation
remains an act of altruism,
whether someone registers as
a donor under the current
law or takes no action to
remove themselves from the
donor list, as outlined in the
proposed system.
A poll commissioned by
the BMA found that although
two-thirds of the public
support opt-out and want to
donate some or all of their
organs, only a third are on the
donor register. A change in
Looking after No 1
You report that more than
190 people, including
former police officers, were
interviewed but none had
seen or heard anything that
raised suspicion about
Heath’s behaviour (“Fresh
doubts over evidence rock
Heath sex inquiry”, News,
last week).
That is hardly surprising:
if any of those people had
admitted that they were
aware that Heath was
sexually abusing children
and had done nothing
about it, they would bring not
only opprobrium upon
themselves, but possibly
criminal charges.
James Thom, Aberdeen
Disputed claim
Tax authorities are usually
quick to reclaim underpaid
duties, so why was “Nick”,
who prompted the Operation
survival rates up. If May
wants to stay in office, she
should do something.
Mark Franklin
Bromyard, Herefordshire
Action plan
Strength in adversity is a
laudable quality, but May
needs to triumph over hers to
survive politically. One way to
produce tangible evidence of
this would be to revise her
domestic housebuilding
target upwards to signal
resolve rather than mere
intention. An improvement in
domestic performance will
strengthen her bargaining
position in Europe.
Bernard Kingston, by email
the law would save lives by
making it as easy as possible
for those who want to donate
organs to do so, while
protecting the rights of those
who want to opt out.
Despite the enormous
improvements in the organ
donation system, three
people a day still die
awaiting a transplant. We
should all ensure that we
make our wishes about
organ donation known.
Dr John Chisholm, chairman
BMA medical ethics committee
Give and take
The quotes that allude to the
state having ownership of
your organs risk polarising
the debate on organ donation
just as we are about to
embark on a comprehensive
consultation on the issue.
Under the suggested new
system, you would have the
right to opt out and your
avoids personal attacks on his
opponents and seldom names them. He
is the antithesis of a wily orator, and his
anti-oratory goes down well with the
mostly friendly audiences he addresses.
Donald Trump has little use for
eloquence. His inauguration address can
be summed up in four words: “American
carnage” and “America first”. The title of
Collins’s book is When They Go Low, We
Go High, words spoken by Michelle
Obama in support of Hillary Clinton at
the 2016 Democratic convention. That
speech didn’t work: Clinton lost. Trump
stayed low, stringing together
questionable assertions at his rallies and
on Twitter. Crude but authentic.
Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Blair
would not have won repeatedly without
their gift of the gab. Nor would Neil
Kinnock have started the reform of
Labour without his passionate advocacy.
Their articulacy was a necessary
condition of success, the means by
which they laid out and attracted
support for their plans.
Today on both sides of the Atlantic
there is plenty of emotion and not much
of a plan. Amid the bitter divisions of
post-referendum Britain — Sack
Hammond! Sack Boris! — Philip Collins’s
Euro-poo joke is a reminder that none of
our political leaders is finding the words
to inspire the nation.
@AdamBoultonSky
The Sunday Times, 1 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9GF
Email: letters@sunday-times.co.uk Fax: 020 7782 5454
Chopping Operation Conifer down to size
Dominic Lawson must be
congratulated on his
comprehensive demolition of
the Wiltshire police
investigation of allegations
against Sir Edward Heath
(“This inquiry is dead. It has
ceased to be”, Comment, last
week). Rarely has a report on
the findings of a police
investigation disintegrated
before our eyes as rapidly as
that on Operation Conifer.
And seldom has the
reputation of a constabulary
been so damaged by the
conduct of its senior officers.
It is imperative that the
home secretary agrees to the
appointment of a judge to
review the operation, not
least because it was largely
funded by the Home Office.
Otherwise it will stand as a
travesty of justice, in which
the victim is Heath himself.
David Woodhead
Leatherhead, Surrey
David Cameron’s inheritance from
Blair included the ability to exploit fully
the talents of those around him, though
he drew from a shallower pool. He owed
much of his ascent to his mastery of the
“walkie-talkie”: the fad for strolling
about the stage without a script or
prompter to read from.
In hindsight Blair and Cameron are
judged too smooth by half, and their
successors deliberately define
themselves against them. Big speeches
now contain few flourishes and are not
memorable, except for all the wrong
reasons in the case of Theresa May’s
recent performance in Manchester.
When May has gone off script and
attempted to break out boldly — as with
the cat owner who could not be
deported and “citizens of nowhere” —
she has sometimes misfired. These days
she muffles any argument in ambiguity
and caution, as in her refusal to say how
she would vote in another EU
referendum.
Corbyn spent decades opening his
heart to small audiences of fellow
thinkers. Now he’s hit the big time he has
his words written for him and sticks to
them carefully. His defence mechanism
is to shut down when an attempt is made
to push him off script. He empathises
with the plight of many people hit by
“cuts” and he can cite examples by
name. He hardly ever gets emotional. He
PAUL POPPER
BIRTHDAYS
POINTS
Richard Carpenter,
musician, 71
Emma Chichester Clark,
children’s illustrator and
author, 62
Andrew Cole, footballer, 46
Chris de Burgh, singer, 69
Didier Deschamps,
footballer, 49
Anthony Joshua, boxer,
28
Stephen Tompkinson,
actor, 52
Lord (David) Trimble, first
minister of Northern Ireland
(1998-2002) and joint Nobel
peace prize winner, 73
Dominic West, actor, 48
Sarah, Duchess of York, 58
World-beating NHS
Niall Ferguson’s column
“Guns are America’s blind
spot. The NHS is ours”
(Comment, last week) used,
by his own admission, data
more than 10 years old on UK
cancer survival rates. In July
the Commonwealth Fund, an
independent health policy
foundation based in New
York, published its latest
report comparing healthcare
systems in 11 developed
economies. The UK ranked
first in performance overall
and America came last.
Survival rates in the UK
after a cancer diagnosis have
never been higher, and we
have just invested £130m in
radiotherapy technology and
£100m in the earlier and
faster diagnosis of patients,
key to further improving
prospects. It is vital patients
know of the progress made in
Britain so they continue to
have confidence in the NHS.
Cally Palmer, national cancer
director, NHS England
Sir Edward Heath, then prime minister, with the crew of his yacht Morning Cloud in 1971
Midland inquiry into the
alleged Westminster
paedophile ring, allowed to
keep his £50,000
compensation after his
claims were disproved?
Valerie Pitt, London SE3
Insult to injury
There needs to be a
questioning of the purpose
of the Criminal Injuries
Compensation Authority and
its role in possibly motivating
some individuals to make
Disaster recovery
You are absolutely right about
the need for Britain to have a
Brexit strategy independent
of the EU negotiations.
Nothing is more likely to
induce Brussels to negotiate
properly with Britain about
trade and money than the
prospect of losing unfettered
access to what will be, when
Britain leaves the EU, its
largest export market.
In 1940 it took a looming
catastrophe before Neville
Chamberlain was replaced by
Winston Churchill. May needs
to go now before another
disaster overtakes us.
Emeritus Professor Stephen
Bush, Manchester University
Finding a fix for
housing crisis
family would still have the
right to override this (as is
the case under the Welsh
opt-out system and in
legislation under way in
Scotland). This is why it is
so important to talk about
your wishes and to make sure
your family knows them.
We recognise that for
some people there are
moral, religious or ethical
reasons not to donate, but
under our current system a
decision on donating is just
something people will get
round to “at some point”,
according to NHS Blood and
Transplant.
Whether you are in
favour of the opt-out or not,
we urge your readers to have
their say in the public
consultation the Department
of Health is launching later
this year.
Paddy Tabor, chief executive
Kidney Care UK
Fearless Liddle is
a big selling point
Congratulations on a
sensible, practical appraisal
of our broken housing market
(“Home front”, Home, last
week). Why cannot the
government see how crazy
its approach has been?
“Affordable housing” is not so
for tens of thousands, and
there are few alternatives.
While planning has in
theory been relaxed, in
practice many attempts at
single housebuilding on
small plots are stymied by
inspectors either not up to
speed with modern building
Apparently certain readers
wonder why The Sunday
Times uses Rod Liddle
(“Liddle on sticky wicket”,
Letters, last week). I for one
would not buy your
newspaper were he not a
contributor. His is the first
column I read for some
common sense from
someone brave enough to say
what I suspect huge numbers
of us are thinking.
Val Malcolm, Edinburgh
Thanks for the mammary
As a fully paid-up member of
the mammary militia, I really
should be vilifying Liddle for
his remarks on breastfeeding
in public, but they made me
laugh (“Fret no more about
breastfeeding, ladies”,
Comment, last week).
spurious claims for financial
reward.
It also needs be debated
whether the state should be
paying money to victims of
crime from the public purse.
Norma Postin, Rugby
techniques or simply stuck
in the mud. Where is the
joined-up thinking?
Bronwen Warner
Halesworth, Suffolk
Less is more
I strongly disagree with your
ideas on housing. I voted to
leave the EU because we need
fewer people, not more
houses. If we continue to
build on green-belt land, a
farming crisis gets ever closer.
The same with roads: if you
increase capacity, more users
follow. If firms and their staff
were to move to Europe, it
would solve problems.
Neil Davies
Llandovery, Carmarthenshire
I was reminded of the time
I was discreetly breastfeeding
my young son in a cafe when
an elderly lady announced:
“Ah, would you look at that
lassie feeding her baby and
you wouldn’t even notice.” At
that point, everyone did.
Carol McEachran
Campbeltown, Argyll and Bute
Home thoughts
While it is true that caring for
older people varies according
to cultural tradition, where is
the evidence to support the
assertion that couples both in
work selfishly place elderly
parents in homes (“Grandma,
we love you; but we don’t
care”, Comment, last week)?
Liddle’s notion of the
“cheapest nursing home” is
an oxymoron, and using one
for an extended period is sure
to deplete any inheritance.
David Chambers
Knutsford, Cheshire
Anthony Joshua is 28 today
ANNIVERSARIES
70BC
Birth of Virgil, Roman poet
1582
First day of Gregorian
calendar, introduced by
Pope Gregory XIII to align
the calendar and solar
years
1815
Napoleon Bonaparte begins
exile on St Helena after
defeat at Waterloo
1880
Birth of Marie Stopes,
women’s rights campaigner
and family planning
pioneer
1881
Novelist PG Wodehouse
born
1917
Mata Hari, a Dutch dancer,
is shot by the French after
being convicted of spying
for Germany during the
First World War
1920
Novelist Mario Puzo born
1997
Andy Green, an RAF fighter
pilot, sets world land speed
record of 763mph in
ThrustSSC
Medical bill
If ever anyone demonstrated
the perfect case for student
fees, it was Simon Brodkin,
who handed Theresa May a
fake P45 at the Conservative
Party conference (“Taxpayer
bill for students soars”, News,
last week). He qualified as a
doctor in 2001 but went on to
make his living as a comedian
and prankster. Tuition fees
were introduced in 1998, so
taxpayers will have footed the
bill for part, if not all, of his
expensive medical training.
He should be made to repay
every penny and to hand it to
May personally.
Pam Prange, Liverpool
Off stage
Hugh Canning wrote in his
review of Aida that it was
commissioned by me and the
English National Opera (ENO)
planning team (“Splendid
isolation”, Culture, last
week). Although this is what
he was told by the ENO, it
would have been more
accurate to use the word
“scheduled”, for in the case
of Aida the director, designer,
cast and conductor have all
changed since I departed in
July 2015. Canning also stated
that the ENO’s chief
executive, Cressida Pollock,
has mainly kept my planning
(for the 2017-18 season)
artistically intact. The only
new production solely
commissioned by myself is
the upcoming world
premiere of Marnie by Nico
Muhly, and I played no part in
the choice of revivals or
indeed the new musical,
which I presume will be
announced this autumn.
John Berry, ENO artistic
director 2005-15
Unfavourable odds
How is it that successive
governments have permitted
unrestricted gambling to be
rife in our high streets and
online (“The odds should be
stacked against children
gambling”, Editorial, and
“Peter Pan and friends hook
children on online
gambling”, News, last week)?
Notwithstanding the jobs that
this pernicious industry
provides, it should be cut
back now to prevent the
untold misery that it causes.
Kevin Platt, Walsall
Victory in defeat
Full marks to your new chess
correspondent, David
Howell, for featuring a game
he lost to a 12-year-old (Chess,
Puzzles, last week). I suspect
most of our other leading
players would have kept very
quiet about such a defeat.
Anthony Roberts
Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex
Old-fashioned values
It is a delight to learn that
some people are revisiting
the sophisticated pleasures of
manual typewriters, vinyl
albums and printed books
(“Hanks book taps into love of
typewriters”, News, and
“Reverting to type”,
Editorial, last week). I have
yet to find another
experience that compares to
the richness, depth and
texture that comes with
opening a book and
inscribing it with my name,
the place and the year.
Technology is an
indispensable boon, but it has
yet to surpass the evocative
potential of paper.
Neil Sewell-Rutter, Oxford
CORRECTIONS & CLARIFICATIONS
Professor Alison Wolf is not
leading the inquiry into
tuition fees, as stated in
the article “Taxpayer bill
for students soars” (News,
last week). We apologise
for the error.
Complaints about
inaccuracies in all sections of
The Sunday Times should be
addressed to complaints@
sunday-times.co.uk or
Complaints, The Sunday
Times, 1 London Bridge Street,
London SE1 9GF. In addition,
the Independent Press
Standards Organisation (Ipso)
will examine formal
complaints about the editorial
content of UK newspapers and
magazines. Please go to our
website for full details of how
to lodge a complaint.
23
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
NEWS REVIEW
DMITRI KESSEL
YEARNING TO
RETURN
Jewish refugees
arrive in Haifa
holding an Israeli
flag shortly before
the state’s creation
in 1948
The Jews battled through centuries of oppression to create a homeland. A key moment occurred 100 years ago with
Britain’s Balfour Declaration — and the family of the historian Simon Sebag Montefiore was at the heart of the story
O
n October 31, 1917, Sir Mark
Sykes MP, the playful Middle
Eastern expert for the British government, bounded
out of the Cabinet Office and
spotted the elegant Zionist
leader Chaim Weizmann sitting in the anteroom. “Dr
Weizmann,” he cried out.
“It’s a boy!”
Sykes had been ordered by David
Lloyd George, the prime minister, and
Arthur Balfour, the foreign secretary, to
negotiate a British declaration in favour
of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and the
wording of the document had just been
agreed by the prime minister.
Timing is everything: Britain was
exhausted by the world war — America
had just joined the allies; Russia, gov-
erned by Alexander Kerensky, was
scarcely holding on. America and Russia
had the two largest Jewish populations in
the world and the cabinet was convinced
that the Jews there possessed almost
mystical influence.
In Palestine the British Army under
General Edmund Allenby had taken
Beersheba and was advancing towards
Jerusalem. Allenby was accompanied by
the forces of Hussein, King of Hejaz, who
with Lawrence of Arabia hoped to take
possession of a vast Arab empire that
would include Palestine, Syria, Iraq and
Arabia. Yet these territories had also
been divided between the allies — Britain,
France and Russia. And there was a further complication that none of them yet
knew about. In the Russian capital
Petrograd, Vladimir Lenin, the Bolshevik
leader, was secretly ordering his men to
storm the Winter Palace.
Of course, Zionism was not invented in
the modern era but started with the millennia of Jewish life in the Holy Land from
King David to AD70 when Titus crushed
the Jewish revolt, destroying Jerusalem
and its temple, and AD135 when Hadrian
annihilated the Jews after the rebellion
led by Simon Bar-Kochba, and renamed
Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina and Judaea
as Palestina — after the Jews’ biblical enemies, the Philistines.
Few defeated, dispersed peoples ever
manage to return to lost homelands but
the poor Jews of Jerusalem continued to
pray around the walls while powerless
European Jews prayed and dreamt of
Return to Zion.
During the 17th century Protestant
Who are the 20 most
influential figures in
British education?
The
SeldonList
exclusive to The Sunday Times 8 October
Christians known as “Hebraists” (who included Puritans such as Oliver Cromwell
who invited the Jews back to Britain)
returned to biblical prophecies that cited
Return to Zion as a precondition for the
second coming of Christ.
In the 19th century new freedoms for
Jews across the West meant that European Jews could worship freely and
assimilate, thriving in the professions,
arts and business.
For centuries Jews had craved the
Return. At times their longing was religious, spiritual, messianic, nationalistic,
but the fire never flickered. Yet since 1517
Palestine and most of the Arab world had
been ruled by Ottoman sultans.
In the mid-19th century the idea was
backed by Victorian evangelicals such as
Lord Shaftesbury and their secular sup-
porters such as Lord Palmerston, the
prime minister, and the Anglo-Jewish
millionaire Sir Moses Montefiore (my
great-great-great-uncle), who first visited
a desolate Jerusalem in 1827. He became
an influential believer, visiting Jerusalem
six times and trying to buy swathes of
Palestine. In the 1860s he founded the
first Jewish suburb outside the Old City
— his Montefiore Windmill still stands
— just as the wealthy Palestinian families
started to build their own suburbs
around the walls.
Yet as nationalism thrived, the bacillus
of religious anti-semitism mutated into a
racial strain. The Jews were blamed for all
the ills of capitalist modernity even in
sophisticated France and Germany. In
Tsarist Russia the repression of 6m
impoverished Jews became a fetish for
the Romanov emperors. In 1862 Moses
Hess, a German Marxist fearing this racial
anti-semitism, proposed the creation of a
socialist Jewish society in Palestine.
Immigration started slowly.
In the spring of 1881 the assassination
of Tsar Alexander II was blamed on Jews;
brutal pogroms ravaged them while new
laws by the rabid Jew-hater Alexander III
blamed them for their own persecution.
Russian pogroms inspired modern
Zionism: Leo Pinsker of Odessa wrote
the pamphlet Auto-Emancipation and
founded The Lovers of Zion, who created
new Jewish villages in Palestine.
By 1896, of the 45,300 inhabitants of
Jerusalem 28,000 were Jews, but in the
rest of Palestine they were a tiny minority. The new anti-semitism thrived in
Continued on page 24 →
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Battersea Park
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24
NEWS REVIEW
→ Continued from page 23
Vienna, whipped up by demagogue such
as the mayor Karl Lueger (who inspired
the young Hitler), and in France’s Dreyfus Affair where an innocent Jewish
officer was framed as a Prussian spy.
A Jewish Viennese journalist, Theodor
Herzl, described as “faultlessly handsome”, bearded like an Assyrian, his
“almond-shaped eyes with heavy black
melancholy lashes”, was convinced that
Jews could only be safe in their own
country. In February 1896 Herzl published The Jewish State: “Palestine is our
ever-memorable historic home . . . The
Maccabeans will rise again. We shall live
at last as free men on our own soil and die
peacefully in our own homes.”
The idea was not new but the word
Zionism was coined in 1890 and Herzl
became its first modern organiser with
energy and ingenuity. In August 1897 he
presided over the first Zionist Congress in
Basel, writing in his diary: “L’état, c’est
moi . . . At Basel, I founded the Jewish
state. If I said this out loud today, I would
be greeted by universal laughter. Perhaps
in five years and certainly in 50, everyone
will know it . . .”
Herzl decided that his Jewish state
should be German-speaking. The unbalanced German Kaiser Wilhelm II (the
Donald Trump of his era) was planning
an Oriental tour to meet Sultan Abdul
Hamid II, then proceed to Jerusalem.
Herzl saw an opportunity to create a
Jewish state in this Ottoman province but
under the kaiser’s protection.
When Wilhelm heard about Zionism,
he wrote: “I’m very much in favour of the
Jews were blamed
for all the ills of
modernity, even in
sophisticated
France and
Germany
Mauschels going to Palestine, the sooner
they clear off the better!”
While he often met Jewish industrialists, Wilhelm was an anti-semite who
ranted against the poisonous hydra of
Jewish capital “twisting and corrupting”
Germany — but he hoped that a Jewish
state might become a German satellite
( just as Stalin later hoped Israel would
be a Soviet one).
In Istanbul in October 1898 Herzl met
Wilhelm. The kaiser proposed the Zionist
project to Abdul Hamid, who rejected it
firmly — the Islamic caliph could not promote Jewish immigration in Al-Quds,
Islamic Jerusalem. When Herzl met Wilhelm again in Jerusalem, the kaiser had
lost interest while Herzl, the modernist,
was appalled by reeking, impoverished
Jerusalem.
But the dream gained support. The
intermarried Jewish banking families of
London, known as the Cousinhood, who
included Rothschilds, Sassoons, Samuels
and Montefiores, were important because most of the Jews involved in Zionism were so poor.
At first these potentates were sceptical
Simon Sebag
Montefiore: his
family were
key figures
in the
Return
of Herzl’s movement. The first of them to
embrace it was Sir Francis Montefiore,
Moses’s nephew, who was mocked at
Zionist congresses for wearing white
gloves and a frock coat. But in 1903 Lord
Rothschild backed the idea and introduced Herzl to Joseph Chamberlain, the
colonial secretary.
Herzl proposed a homeland in Cyprus
or El Arish in Egypt. Chamberlain ruled
out Cyprus but promised to consider El
Arish in British-dominated but independent Egypt. Herzl hired a Welsh lawyer to
draft a Charter for the Jewish Settlement:
David Lloyd George, the very man whose
decisions would later influence Israel
more than anyone since Emperor Constantine. However, the Egyptian government rejected the idea just as pogroms
again started to kill Jews across Russia.
The prime minister, Arthur Balfour,
had just pushed through his Aliens Bill to
diminish the immigration of Russian Jews
but now he decided to offer Herzl a
Jewish homeland . . . in Uganda.
Effete, cynical, clever, Balfour was the
personification of the Edwardian statesman with his Old Etonian mix of Scottish
mercantile wealth and English aristocracy. His mother was the sister of Robert
Cecil, Lord Salisbury, whom he succeeded as prime minister — which is
believed to be the source of the expression “Bob’s your uncle”.
Balfour, like many of the British ruling
class, was sympathetic to the justice of
the cause, the secular heir to Victorian
evangelists and 17th-century Puritans.
His philo-semitism combined sympathy
for the Jewish plight and admiration for
Jewish culture with a conviction that the
Jews possessed mystical power.
Herzl, desperate and ailing, accepted
Uganda. Most Zionists rejected “Ugandaism” and Herzl died heartbroken. But
Russian pogroms in 1903-5 encouraged
more Jewish immigration. Herzl was succeeded by Chaim Weizmann, who had
been born in Pinsk in Belarus, escaping
Russia to study science in Germany and
Switzerland, settling in England in 1904.
During the 1906 election Weizmann
met the former prime minister Balfour.
Weizmann joked that if Moses had been
offered Uganda, he would have smashed
the tablets. Would Balfour exchange
London for Paris?
“But Dr Weizmann, we have London,”
replied Balfour.
“We had Jerusalem when London was
a marsh.”
“Are there many Jews who think like
you?” asked Balfour.
“I speak the mind of millions of Jews.”
“Curious, the Jews I meet are quite
different,” Balfour mused.
Until 1914 the British and the Germans
kept contact with their own pet Zionists —
the official Zionist HQ was in Germany.
But when the war started Winston
Churchill, the first lord of the Admiralty,
called in Weizmann to advise on the
manufacture of explosives.
Weizmann’s best contact was CP Scott,
editor of The Manchester Guardian, who
introduced him to another minister —
Lloyd George, raffish orator and Welsh
Wizard, a blue-eyed Baptist schoolmaster’s son who said: “I was taught
more in school about the history of the
Jews than about my own land.”
Now Lloyd George listened. “When Dr
Weizmann was talking of Palestine he
kept bringing up place names more familiar to me than those on the western
front,” he recalled. Lloyd George, by now
munitions secretary, was advised on explosives by Weizmann, whom he reintroduced to Balfour.
The prime minister Herbert Asquith
asked his cold, analytical postmastergeneral Herbert Samuel (a Jewish banking scion related to Rothschilds and
Montefiores) to report on Zionism.
Samuel was sympathetic, at which
Asquith sneered snootily: “What an
attractive community that would
make.” But Lloyd George supported it.
Meanwhile the British, who were
attracted to idealised images of both Jews
and Arabs, were seeking any way to break
the stalemate on the western front. It is
now fashionable to laugh at Britain’s
plans for the Middle East, to mock oldfashioned statesmen in top hats and to
exaggerate the tolerant wonders of the
Ottoman empire. But the shambolic,
spasmodically vicious Ottomans had
reduced Jerusalem to a half-empty shell,
and looted and impoverished both
Palestine and Arab provinces, a
state from which they have still
not recovered.
Faced with Ottoman decline, no one then knew
how to reorganise the
provinces of this colossal empire; and neither
OUTFOXED BRITAIN F
CAN STILL WIN AT
THE BREXIT TALKS
The EU smells weakness and is running
rings round UK negotiators. Irwin Stelzer
has some tips on how to turn the tables
GETTY IMAGES/RAFAEL BEN-ARI/BBC
It is fashionable
now to laugh at
Britain’s plans for
the Middle East,
to mock statesmen
in top hats
modern Arab leaders nor western statesmen, nor the diplomats of the United
Nations, have proved much better.
In 1915 Hussein, the Sherif of Mecca, a
Hashemite descended from Muhammad,
and Sir Henry McMahon, the dim British
high commissioner in Egypt, negotiated
the price of an Arab revolt against the
Ottomans, who were planning to crush
Arab resistance. Hussein, who commanded scarcely more than a few thousand Arabian warriors, demanded that
Britain promise him today’s Saudi
Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Palestine.
In return he would deliver the Arab
world, aided by the secret Arab nationalist societies al-Fatat and al-Ahd. None of
this was true: much of Arabia was con-
trolled by rival chieftains while the societies had just 80 members between them.
Simultaneously Hussein, through his
son Faisal, was negotiating with the
Ottomans against the British, asking for
hereditary possession of Arabia.
In October 1915 McMahon vaguely
agreed to Hussein’s demands, provided
they excluded a fuzzy area west of the
major Syrian cities, possibly meaning
most of Syria and Palestine.
On June 5, 1916, after he realised the
Ottomans had ordered his arrest,
Hussein launched his Arab revolt as
“King of all the Arabs”, a title that had to
be downgraded to “King of Hejaz”.
He was advised by TE Lawrence, a
brilliant Arabist and intelligence officer.
Part fantasist, part swashbuckler, part
self-promoter, Lawrence thought Hussein a corrupt old crook but almost fell in
love with the slim, soulful Prince Faisal,
gushing homoerotically that he was “tall,
graceful, vigorous, clear skinned . . . a
popular idol, an absolute ripper!”
Meanwhile, Sir Mark Sykes MP was
negotiating with Russia and France to
carve up the Ottoman empire. His SykesPicot-Sazonov treaty, signed in late 1916,
promised Russia Istanbul plus swathes
of modern Turkey. France got Lebanon
and Syria; Britain, Palestine and Iraq;
Jerusalem would be shared by Russia,
Britain and France. Despite the outrage
provoked by the treaty today, it was never
actually implemented.
KEY FIGURES
ON THE
PATH TO
STATEHOOD
orgive an American for
sticking his nose into the
Brexit controversy. I
know that because of
various personal and
policy failings our president
is not popular in your
country, and that has made
all of us less liked in Britain.
That’s a bit unfair, but so is
life. As one who spent a good
part of a few decades living
among you, enjoying all that
Britain has to offer, and who
is indebted to your country
for standing alone so many
years ago while we dithered,
it pains me to watch the
beating Britain is taking at the
hands of the superior
negotiators atop the Brussels
bureaucracy.
European Union
negotiators Michel Barnier,
Jean-Claude Juncker and
company, know four things
that Britain’s team doesn’t
seem to grasp.
One is that markets abhor
uncertainty. The longer they
can make you dwell in the
land of “we can’t talk to you
Theodor Herzl (1860-1904)
Became convinced that
Jews could only be safe in
their own country and was
a leading advocate of
modern political Zionism
yet about future relations”,
the longer will the pound fall,
financial firms hesitate to
expand, house prices tumble
and Britain lag behind in the
economic-growth tables.
That’s why Juncker
responded to Theresa May’s
Florence speech in the same
way that he responded to
offers of generous treatment
for EU citizens resident in the
UK: he is not ready to talk
trade terms just yet. Some
day. Maybe. If May decides to
pay the divorce fee. Not until
then. Or even then.
The second thing they
seem to know is that it is a
great negotiating tactic to
make the person on the other
side of the table negotiate
with herself. The prime
minister makes an offer. The
boys from Brussels say it’s not
good enough, but they make
no counter-offer. So the
British team goes back to the
drawing board to see if it can
come up with a more
attractive offer. Which it
can’t. Of course not.
Sherif Hussein (c1853-1931)
With British backing, he
proclaimed the Arab Revolt
against their Ottoman
rulers and became King of
Hejaz
Arthur Balfour (1848-1930)
As foreign secretary in Lloyd
George’s government, he
signed the 1917 declaration
backing a home for the
Jewish people in Palestine
Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952)
The first president of Israel.
In 1917 Arthur Balfour told
him: “When the guns fall
silent, you may get your
Jerusalem”
25
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
LOOK OUT, WORLD,
I’M WALKING TALL
IN BIG KNICKERS
Sales of granny pants are rising as more
women realise they can rid themselves of
the thong tyranny — and feel sexier too
UNIVERSAL PICTURES
Balfour’s Declaration, sent to Rothschild
In December 1916 Lloyd George became prime minister with Balfour as foreign secretary in a new government dedicated to the pursuit of victory.
Lloyd George and Balfour had both
been raised on the Bible. Apart from
America, “Bible reading and Bible
thinking England,” noted one of Lloyd
George’s aides, “was the only country
where the desire of the Jews to return
to their ancient homeland” was regarded
“as a natural aspiration not to be denied”.
Weizmann to his amazement realised
that “Britain was a biblical nation”.
Weizmann and Balfour dined together
and walked around Westminster, discussing the overlapping interests of Britain
and Zion. “When the guns fall silent, you
may get your Jerusalem,” Balfour said.
In the spring of 1917 America had
entered the war and Russia was still
fighting (if only just). Surely American and Russian Jews would keep these
allies in the war?
The British also learnt that Germans
and even Ottomans were toying with
their own pro-Zionist declaration. “With
Great Jewry against us,” Sykes said,
“there’s no possibility of getting the thing
[victory] through.”
It is often stated by anti-Zionists today
that the claims of Sherif Hussein and the
Arabs were agreed justly, then betrayed
by Britain. But the grandiose demands of
one family were hardly representative of
the Arab peoples and lacked any depth of
support. Both promises to Arabs and
Jews would never have happened at any
other time.
As Allenby marched north from Egypt,
Balfour declared: “I am a Zionist.” Lloyd
George and Churchill agreed with him.
Why should the EU team
negotiate with Britain when
Britain is prepared to
negotiate with itself, offering
better and better terms in a
forlorn effort to induce the
other side to make a counteroffer and begin serious
negotiations.
The third thing Britain’s
negotiators don’t seem to get
is that Brussels bureaucrats
are paying no heed to the
interests of the nations they
are supposed to represent,
instead representing the
interests of the EU
bureaucracy.
That interest is in
preserving jobs for the boys,
Brussels über alles. They have
no interest in a mutually
advantageous trade
relationship with Britain if
that leaves a Brexited UK in
good financial shape.
Were Britain to prosper
outside the EU, who knows
what other nations, under the
heels of a currency that is far
undervalued for Germany
and an innovation-stifling
There was much opposition: George
Curzon, the lord president of the council,
and Edwin Montagu, the India secretary
(who was Jewish; a cousin of Rothschilds
and Samuels), warned against the
dangers of Jewish immigration threatening the rights of Arabs.
The row raged in drawing rooms and
cabinet rooms. Many Rothschilds were
against Zionism, as was Claude Goldsmith Montefiore and the cabinet
minister Montagu. In cabinet Lloyd
George and Balfour won the argument,
providing any declaration contained
language to protect the Arab majority (10
times the Jewish population).
“I have asked Ld Rothschild and Professor Weizmann to submit a formula,”
minuted Balfour. France and America
approved.
The night before publication of the
Balfour Declaration, Lenin seized power.
Had he done so a few days earlier, it is
often claimed that the declaration would
have been withdrawn. Actually, British
grandees were convinced that the
Bolshevik leaders were all Jewish, so that
winning over the powerful Russian Jews
would have been even more urgent.
On November 9, 1917 (backdated to
November 2, its official date), Balfour
issued this declaration addressed to
Rothschild: “HM government views with
favour the establishment in Palestine of a
national home for the Jewish people . . . it
being clearly understood that nothing
shall be done which may prejudice the
civil and religious rights of existing
non-Jewish communities . . .”
It should really be called the Lloyd
George not the Balfour Declaration.
Lloyd George was determined to seize
the Holy Land, “Oh we must grab that”,
ordering Allenby to capture “the most
famous city in the world” as a Christmas
present for the British people.
Britain received a mandate over Palestine. The Hashemites became kings of
Hejaz, Syria, Iraq and Jordan, but these
unrepresentative British allies ultimately
lost all — except Jordan, which is to
this day ruled by the Hashemite King
Abdullah II.
As the number of migrants soared after
the rise of the Nazis, Britain became
alarmed by Arab discontent, withdrew
support for Jewish immigration to Palestine in the late 1930s and did its best to foil
Zionism — one reason why it is wrong to
see it as the fruit of imperialism.
It took illegal Jewish immigration, the
tragedy of the Second World War, an
Arab then a Jewish revolt to force the
British out and win a UN resolution
in favour of the partition of Palestine between Jews and
Arabs, and then a brutal
full-scale war against all
neighbouring Arab states
to create the state of Israel —
30 years after the Balfour
Declaration.
The declaration recognised the historical rights of Jews to return and the rights
of Palestinians who lived there already
and also possessed an ancient history in
the same land.
There was always a danger of conflict
between the two but it was not inevitable;
there was always the risk that a state,
even a democratic one, would become as
disappointing as other states; and there
was a likelihood that two peoples
coarsened by 70 years of war would
careen towards brutal extremes of
nationalism and fundamentalism.
The tragedy is that the land could
have been shared or partitioned with a
degree of tolerance on both sides — and it
still can be.
The Wailing Wall
in 1894, above,
and the
Montefiore
Windmill, a
Jerusalem
landmark
bureaucracy, would decide
to do?
The fourth thing Juncker
knows, and has learnt to his
astonishment, is that British
negotiators seem hesitant to
use the powerful negotiating
tools they do have.
May has repeatedly
assured the EU that no matter
how much damage its
representatives inflict on the
British economy, Britain
will continue to put its
superior security and
Barnier: allowing Britain
to negotiate with itself
Simon Sebag Montefiore is the author of
Jerusalem: the Biography and is speaking
at the Cliveden Literary Festival today
military resources at the
disposal of Europe. Why? In
the end these are related: no
nation can maintain
significant security assets
without a successful
economy.
Vladimir Putin is not going
to slice off a piece of Britain:
his interest is in Russia’s nearabroad.
Surely a Britain that has
been excluded from the
advantages of decent
financial arrangements with
Europe should not be bound
to a strategy that puts the
defence of that Europe, most
nations of which don’t meet
their obligations to Nato as
Britain does, high on its list of
priorities.
Also, it is astonishing that
Britain does not attempt to
explain to the countries the
Brussels crowd is pretending
to represent that they are not
being well served by their socalled representatives.
If suitable trade
arrangements cannot be
made, it should be clear that
Britain seems
hesitant to use the
powerful
negotiating tools it
does have
French wine and Portuguese
port; German cars; Polish
workers; the young people
for whom Europe cannot find
jobs; all those and many more
would find Britain a less
welcoming market.
Just as the Europeans are
playing on the fears of the
remainers, to put pressure on
Britain’s negotiators to cede
more and more ground, so
should Britain put pressure
on Juncker, Barnier and
others by explaining to EU
member countries just
what they have to lose from a
hard Brexit.
If you’re not prepared to
walk away from a negotiating
table, don’t take a seat at it.
The other side can smell
weakness and desperation.
And the Eurocrats are acting
as if they have got more than
a whiff of it.
BUSINESS & MONEY
Irwin Stelzer
American Account,
page 4
Bridget Jones, founding member of the Big Pants Brigade
LAURA
PULLMAN
A
fter a week of
disintegrating nuclear
deals and allegations of
sexual predation by a
pudding-faced
producer, it’s important not
to overlook the serious stuff:
big pants are back. Although
I’m not entirely convinced
that big pants ever went
away, this is still heartening
news. Sales of proper pants,
as I shall call them, increased
25% last year at John Lewis.
Meanwhile, push-up bra sales
plunged by almost 50% and
thongs, bless bottoms
everywhere, have been
strung up, too.
Other items on the wane,
according to John Lewis’s
rather riveting retail report,
include sat navs, ebook
readers and women’s power
suits. The Hillary Clinton
effect, perhaps?
Cummerbunds are also dying
out, which is sad simply
because cummerbund is such
a wonderful word.
The downward spiral of
the spiraliser (sales have
dropped by 40% since the
clean-eating heyday) is much
more cheering. “Courgetti is
just like spaghetti, only more
delicious,” said swishy-haired
food vloggers. What utter
bolognese. Although we’re
not out of the woods yet:
“fat-free frying pans”,
“avocado tools” (eh?) and
“egg gadgets” are on the rise.
Back to more pressing
matters: pants. I joined
Bridget Jones’s Big Pants
Brigade (unfortunately not
an actual organisation) by
happy accident a few years
ago. On a romantic weekend
away to the back end of
Nowheresville, which I’d
highly recommend, I forgot to
pack any undies. The only
shop nearby was a Tesco
superstore hangar, where I
treated myself to a five-pack
of size 12 undies.
Tesco’s size 12, I soon
discovered, is somewhat
different from Topshop’s
size 12. You could picnic on
these pants. Pulled right up to
my belly button, they were
life-changingly comfortable.
Indeed, I’ve never looked
back. Or, until now,
questioned what my
preference of pants means on
a deeper level.
Thankfully, a cursory
google reveals what your
knicker choice “says about
you”. Sammi Cole, a
lawn-jer-ray expert, told a
tabloid website earlier this
year that a full-briefs-wearing
woman is independent and
“doesn’t let anyone dictate
how she lives her life”. Cole
continued: “She’s completely
comfortable in her own skin
and woe betide anyone who
ever tries to make her feel
anything less than fabulous.”
I was on board until I read
Cole’s interpretation of the
thong-wearing woman —
“rarely seen without a smile,
she’s almost always upbeat” —
and realised she was mad as a
box of frogs. Or perhaps she
can’t differentiate between a
smile and a grimace.
Talking to my fellow
Big Pants Bridgets, I’ve found
our undergarment choice
isn’t solely based on comfort.
It’s also about not giving a fig
what any men in our lives
might make of our no-frills
knickers. Most of us spent
our teenage years in
garish G-strings (the thong’s
sluttier sister), our skin
trussed up like chicken flesh.
Thanks to the all-consuming
need to be fanciable, those
synthetic string undies
“accidentally” peeked above
our waistbands while our
bee-sting boobs were cajoled
chinwards in uncomfortable
push-up bras.
Years later the bra-burning
feminists made a lot more
sense. We added our boypleasing pants to the pyre and
followed our mums to Marks
& Spencer. Oh, the joy of M&S
Cotton Rich High Rise Full
Briefs.
Last year Anna Murphy,
The Times’s fashion director,
was left stunned by the
crushing corsetry shown at
the V&A’s exhibition
Undressed: A Brief History of
Underwear. In a brilliant
review Murphy wrote:
“Undressed serves as a
reminder that any woman
who doesn’t call herself a
feminist should take a deep
breath in, and then out. Why?
Because, unlike her
great-grandmother, even her
grandmother, she can. Being
able to breathe fully, to move
unencumbered, is a recent
privilege.”
I appreciate that an 1890
corset designed to deliver the
wearer an 18in waist is not the
same as the G-strings and
It’s about not
giving a fig
what any men
in our lives
might make of
our knickers
boob-hoiking bras that
women endure today. But
“endure” is still the right
verb.
Big pants, like chunky
shoes and wide-legged
culottes, hail from the
“man-repeller” wardrobe.
Here’s where you’ll find
fashion picked out solely for
the female wearer’s pleasure.
The New York Times
mused recently whether “the
same kind of contrarianism
that helped elevate
Birkenstocks” is what’s
encouraging young women to
opt for granny pants. That
sounds about right. And, yes,
I also own Birkenstocks — or
“Jesus sandals”, as my
boyfriend cruelly calls them.
In a world where women
can become famous for
posting “belfies” — for the
blissfully uninitiated, that’s a
selfie of your bottom — on
Instagram in their barely
there knicks, I’m all the more
proud of my proper pants. No
pictures necessary.
None of this is to say that
ample-sized undies can’t be
sexy. As I learnt from a
Swindon-based stripper
called Darren. This is nearly
over — bear with me. At a hen
party last year Darren turned
up, on instruction, to be fair,
at our Sawday’s holiday rental
cottage. He was knocking on
50 and, honest to goodness,
was being driven around by
his mum. After a limp
performance, mum and
Magic-less Mike drove off.
To cheer up the bride-to-be
and save a dying party, one of
our pals did an impromptu,
ludicrous striptease to Lady
Marmalade. We cried with
laughter as she pranced
around in her gigantic grey
granny pants. But her
don’t-give-a-damn confidence
was far sexier than anything
from Agent Provocateur.
26
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
NEWS REVIEW
A MAN-CHILD
IN SATAN’S
SWEET SHOP
JON SUPER
The irrepressible Bruce Dickinson —
airline pilot, fencer, entrepreneur, novelist,
brewer and singer in the metal colossus
Iron Maiden — reveals all to Oliver Thring
O
n the dust jacket of his new
autobiography, the Iron
Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson is billed, without irony,
as “truly one of the most
unique and interesting men
in the world”. Marvellously
arrogant it may sound — but,
after reading the book, you
almost wonder if it could be
true. Not only has Dickinson’s squalling
tenor led one of rock music’s most successful bands for decades — Iron Maiden
have sold more than 100m records across
16 studio albums and even more live ones
— but Dickinson also flies jumbo jets,
including the Boeing 747 used by the
group last year for their world tour and
nicknamed “Ed Force One”, after Eddie,
the group’s skeleton-zombie mascot.
In 1989 he was ranked the seventh-best
fencer in Britain and represented the
country. He has published two novels.
And he is an enthusiastic if somewhat
whimsical entrepreneur.
When I arrive at Robinson’s brewery in
Stockport — this so he can plug the various beers his band licenses — he leads me
on a long tour, enthusing in exhausting
detail about the brewing process, the relative merits of British and Belgian yeasts
and the function of every piece of gleaming kit. (He cracks the inevitable “piss-up
in a brewery” joke less than five seconds
after we shake hands.)
In the on-site bar, half a dozen drinkers
wearing Maiden T-shirts instantly spot
him; fans apparently come here on pil-
grimages. They sidle up, asking for selfies
and autographs. Dickinson poses while
chatting about the beers: his sales patter
never stops.
In his world he is almost unimaginably
famous. I get an autograph for an overjoyed relative, who tells me: “You have
interviewed God.” But heavy metal
divides: most people can name either
dozens of Maiden songs or none at all.
We sit in a private room and Dickinson
takes a good slug of beer. “This one is 6%
— but, worryingly, doesn’t taste like it,” he
cackles. Three hours later, empty glasses
strewn around us, my questioning skills
have been severely diminished and he is
hoarse from laughing at his own stories.
His reflective and at times very funny
memoir, handwritten in his local pub,
seems to have been prompted in part by
his 2014 cancer diagnosis. Dickinson had
been recording when doctors discovered
a golf-ball-sized tumour at the back of his
tongue and a smaller one on a lymph
node.
The cancer treatment — he has now
been given the all-clear — has robbed him
of his ability to taste sweetness. “It makes
this bitter all the better,” he grins. For a
59-year-old he has an almost hyperactive
intensity, the naive vitality of a teenager —
one of his favourite foods is a crisps-andketchup sandwich.
Until he was five he was raised by his
grandparents in Worksop, while his parents toured Britain in a theatrical dog
show. It was not a happy childhood, he
says; merely efficient: “I was fed and
Dickinson: his sales patter never stops
Iron Maiden’s
behaviour is timid
compared with
that of a typical
rugby club
clothed, but that was it. I lived in a basement.” Gradually his parents made
money, and by the time Dickinson was 13
they could afford to send him to private
school at Oundle.
He hated it and compares it to a prison
camp. He was bullied, physically abused
and eventually thrown out. Is he furious
about it all? “I’m more sad. The whole
regime was counterproductive, dog-eatdog competition, like Lord of the Flies.
There was no space for non-conformity.”
I think he is more than sad: his voice
trembles with rage as he describes the
place. “I didn’t fit in at all,” he says. “I was
beaten every day, mostly by the other
kids: it was rampant abuse.”
Were pupils being molested by teachers? He says that “everyone” thought it
was going on and there were rumours of
“lewd remarks” over tea and crumpets.
Was Dickinson a victim of sexual abuse?
“Luckily, no. I wasn’t pretty enough.”
He would come home in the holidays
and burst into tears, but felt he could
never tell his parents how dreadful it was.
“They thought they were doing something wonderful for me.”
Dickinson finished his A-levels at
grammar school and, after a brief stint in
what was then the Territorial Army, went
to university in London. Music soon
began to take over.
He was invited to join Maiden in 1981,
by which time they had released two
albums. The group’s iconography embraces the occult and hints at satanism:
songs have titles such as The Number of
the Beast and Bring Your Daughter . . . to
the Slaughter, and evangelical Christians
have symbolically burnt their records.
But the reality is more prosaic. Dickinson
rightly calls them a “professional outfit”:
tthey are a group of dedicated musicians
making a fantastic amount of money.
He claims their behaviour is timid
compared with that of a typical rugby
club, but he does recall an episode in
Florence. The band had witnessed a man
groping a young woman. A rugby-playing
member of the crew, a New Zealander,
took exception and broke the man’s jaw.
Then they learnt he was a local mafia
boss.
“The next night in Naples this guy
shows up in a huge black limo with all
these heavies with bulges in their suit
pockets,” says Dickinson. “He goes,
‘Where’s the Australian? I kill him!’ We
said he was so frightened of him he’d run
away — but we’d hidden him in the bay of
the bus.”
Do they ever smash up hotel rooms?
“Nearly. Somewhere in America we
bought air rifles and shot up cans of fizzy
drinks in the hotel corridor like The
Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It was a stupid thing to do, but it’s not exactly driving
a Rolls-Royce into a swimming pool.”
In 1993 he left Maiden to focus on a
solo career and flying, often for a now
defunct airline called Astraeus. He would
never tell passengers who he was. “I’ve
flown troops home from Afghanistan to
their families — I was blubbing as we
landed,” he has said.
Dickinson rejoined the band in 1999,
and these days he spends four months a
year touring with Maiden, which he
regards as his holiday. “We can do it willingly now,” he says. “In the past we were
harnessed to this unstoppable beast.”
The rest of the time he lives quietly in
Chiswick, west London — “Waitrose is as
far as we venture” — with his second wife,
Paddy Bowden. They have three children
in their twenties.
What are his luxuries? “I don’t have
any. A nice house. A Jaguar I’ve owned
since 2005. A 20-year-old Land Rover the
kids grew up in.”
I read online you’re worth £100m, I
say. “Bollocks,” he replies. “Divide that
by 10.” Still, at least you don’t need to
worry too much about money. “I do, ironically, because I keep investing it in
bloody stupid engineering projects.”
I’m not sure his fencing supplies, his
airship venture or any of his other
schemes has turned a profit. When I ask
the question directly, he replies: “I’ve
done things because I love them.”
He is fascinating and quite lovely: a
Tory-voting anti-establishment figure, an
effervescent man-child and, yes, unique
and interesting. For someone in his position he could not be less jaded by life.
I ask him to sign his book. “To Oliver,”
he scrawls. He thinks for a second and
adds, in perhaps the most rock’n’roll
moment of the day: “Publish and be
damned.”
@oliverthring
What Does This Button Do?, by Bruce
Dickinson, is published on Thursday by
HarperCollins at £20
27
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
NEWS REVIEW
OUR BEHAVIOUR IS EASY TO
PREDICT ONCE YOU KNOW
WE’RE MESSY AND FLAWED
PAUL BEATY
Richard Thaler has won a Nobel prize for his work in
economics. Rohan Silva recalls how he and the US academic
improved British lives while working for David Cameron
T
he taxman had a
problem: not
enough Brits were
paying their taxes
on time. This was
one of those issues
that tax collectors
have grappled
with for decades,
and HM Revenue
& Customs had spent years
doing what the authorities
usually do — hitting people
with fines, using expensive
advertising campaigns and
posting out information
packs. None of it made a
difference.
A few years ago the British
government tried something
new. Letters arrived at homes
across the country containing
one simple message: the
majority of your neighbours
have already paid the
taxman, and you should too.
The results were
staggering. There was an
immediate upturn in tax
payments, with more than
£200m of income tax
revenues brought forward
since the letters were first
sent out.
Strange though it may
seem, classical economic
theory can’t explain this
change in behaviour, because
it doesn’t take into account
the fact that humans are
social animals, powerfully
influenced by those around
us. Neither does it reflect the
reality that we don’t always
act rationally or in our own
self-interest — we often eat
too much, save too little and
fail to pay our taxes on time.
Step forward Richard
Thaler, the Chicago University
professor who inspired the
new approach to collecting
taxes in the UK, co-authored
the bestselling book Nudge
and scooped the Nobel prize
in economic sciences last
week for helping to create the
emerging field of behavioural
economics.
We respond
much better
to incentives
than to
punishments
Thaler’s work combines
psychology and economics to
come up with more realistic
models of human behaviour
than those derived from
traditional economics, which
is based on comically
simplistic assumptions such
as the premise that we’re all
rational and self-interested.
I came across Thaler’s
research in 2008 when I was
working as a policy adviser to
David Cameron. I invited the
American academic to our
offices in parliament to see
how he might be able to help
us make government more
effective.
It was immediately clear
that Thaler’s work could
make a big difference — after
all, so much public policy is
about trying to change
people’s behaviour, whether
it’s reducing energy
consumption or promoting
healthy eating.
However, Westminster can
be a hostile place for new
ideas. The Labour Party
mercilessly attacked the
“nudge agenda” for being too
laissez-faire, and David
Miliband described an article
I’d written for George
Osborne as the “silliest thing”
he’d ever read. (Osborne’s
calm response was that I’d
definitely written worse.)
Thaler had a tough time of
his own. When I asked him
how he had overcome the
hostility of the economics
establishment, he explained
that the new approach had
made headway in university
departments only “one death
at a time”.
Here in the UK it was
Gordon Brown who
(inadvertently) showed us
why behavioural economics
mattered so much. As
chancellor, Brown had
created a fiendishly
complicated system of tax
credits, all based on the
assumption that people
would promptly tell the
authorities whenever their
income changed.
If you believe that human
behaviour is quintessentially
rational and that people will
make perfect decisions based
on perfect information, as
traditional economists do,
then this assumption is
perfectly sound. But of
course people don’t behave
like numbers on a Treasury
spreadsheet. They didn’t
notify the authorities about
their income changes — and
billions of pounds were lost
as a result.
When we looked closely,
we saw this wasn’t an isolated
example — politicians and
civil servants were
developing policies based on
old-fashioned economic
models that didn’t take into
account the messy reality of
human behaviour.
In the words of John
Maynard Keynes: “Practical
men who believe themselves
to be quite exempt from any
intellectual influence are
usually the slaves of some
defunct economist.”
Thaler soon signed on as
an adviser to Cameron and
we started developing
policies together based on
empirical evidence about
how people really behave.
My favourite early
example was something we
set up with Windsor and
Maidenhead council in 2009.
At the time the Labour
government was trying to
boost recycling rates by fining
people if they didn’t comply
with the rules.
This wasn’t working — and
behavioural economics
helped to explain why. It
turned out that the way a
decision is framed matters
and people respond much
better to incentives than
punishments.
So we started paying
households to recycle, using
money saved from the
council’s landfill bills. Within
weeks, recycling rates in
Windsor had shot up by 20%
— with no additional
government spending.
When Cameron became
prime minister in 2010, we
wanted to put more of these
ideas into action, so we set up
a behavioural insights team,
dubbed the “nudge unit”.
We were lucky that Gus
O’Donnell, the cabinet
secretary, was passionately
in favour of behavioural
economics, because most
of Whitehall was implacably
hostile.
Fortunately, the results
quickly spoke for themselves.
In education, for example,
Thaler’s insights led to the
families of university
students being sent text
messages about what the
student was working on and
how they could help. (By
encouraging them to study
for an exam that week, for
example.) This led to a
marked improvement in
attendance and exam results
— for next to no cost.
These days insights from
behavioural economics are
used across Whitehall, and
Thaler — once an outsider — is
a Nobel laureate. “The
heresies of one age give way,
as they always do, to the
orthodoxies of the next,” as
Margaret Thatcher once
wryly observed.
For me, though, the true
importance of Thaler’s
research goes far beyond
government policies: it’s
about understanding that
human behaviour is often
complicated, messy and
flawed, which is why
centralised power and
utopian schemes don’t work.
There’s no hope of
erasing these human
imperfections. As Immanuel
Kant put it: “Out of the
crooked timber of humanity,
no straight thing was ever
made.” But Thaler’s work
shows that if we embrace
our limitations and
irrationalities and go with the
grain of human nature, good
things happen.
When you think about it,
that’s actually pretty rational.
Rohan Silva was policy adviser
to David Cameron, 2006-13
Richard Thaler won a Nobel
prize last week for his
economic theories, though
his work at No 10 was met
with derision by Labour
Connected families Sandwich generation
Promoted content
ADVERTISING FEATURE
Juggling act
It can feel pressurised when you’re balancing your own life while looking after children and elderly parents.
But there are many simple steps you can take to help you keep all the balls in the air
F
or the UK’s sandwich generation,
life increasingly resembles a
tricky, financially and emotionally
pressured juggling act – and
one to which more balls are
constantly being added. Members of this
generation are people who have dependent
children (either at home or university) and
elderly parents, who they also need to care
for. They are typically in their forties or
fifties and are working to support not one,
but two generations. According to a Carers
UK report, they now number 2.4 million.
“Too often, this sandwich generation
of carers find themselves pulled in every
direction,” says Lynda Thomas, of
Macmillan Cancer Support, an organisation
that is well acquainted with the issues
faced by those required to care for both
children and parents. She adds: “This
can cause finances to come under
pressure, working lives to suffer and
their own health to bear the brunt.”
How UK families got here is a story
that’s been a long time in the making. In
1995, the average British adult could expect
to live 76.84 years. Now, we live almost
five years longer – and those extra years
often have financial implications.
We’re also having children later. Between
1995 and 2015, the number of UK mothers
who gave birth to their first child aged
35 or older doubled, while the number who
were under 25 fell sharply. More people
are raising children in their fifties, when
their own parents may begin to need
care. Education has also become more
expensive, especially at university.
Finally, there are the UK’s property
prices. These mean that home ownership
among younger people has fallen sharply.
In 1995, 2.7 million young people (aged
20-34) lived with their parents. In 2016,
the figure was 3.3 million.
Thus, a typical couple in the sandwich
generation might be saving to help their
eldest child (who still lives at home) with
a house deposit, while funding their
second child through university and paying
for their youngest’s day-to-day needs.
In tandem with this, they could also
be looking after two sets of elderly
parents. Here, the costs can be just as
varied as they are for children.
Parents’ pensions may have failed to
deliver fully. They might need to move
house (and have discovered that the
property they want is beyond
their reach). They may
need to make significant
modifications to their
of people report
own house. And finally, if
they do need residential
that caring
care, the resulting costs
affects their
can be daunting.
Fortunately, there are
working lives
steps that people in this
sandwich generation can take.
A good starting point is for people
to make a thorough review of their
outgoings. There may be better deals on
everything from mortgages to mobile
providers to car repayments to credit cards.
Because people tend to forget about their
regular outgoings (and because they are
often individually small), there are often
considerable savings that can be made.
People in this generation also need to
look after their own futures. This means
paying into their own pensions, ISAs and
savings pots, if at all possible. Here, realism
is important. Most people’s earnings peak
at around 40, so for those already in
their forties, it can be a mistake to spend
everything they earn in the present,
thinking that they’ll be able to make
up pension shortfalls with an increased
salary at some later point.
A recent Brewin Dolphin/CEBR
family wealth report noted: “Even modest
savings, such as cutting back on a daily
takeaway coffee, can help individuals
contribute much more to a pension.”
Finally, a full and frank discussion
with dependants can be very helpful.
People are often very reticent when it
comes to talking about money – and
what is more, they may not even have
a clear picture of their own financial
position. People in the sandwich
generation are unlikely to discover
that their children or parents are secret
millionaires. But it is quite possible
that dependent parents may not be
aware of the full value of their assets.
None of, this means donning a
hairshirt and living like a monk. But
there is a balance to be struck. By fully
understanding the financial position
of all family members, those caught
in the middle can trim excess expenditure
and focus on what matters, while
ensuring that they still spend enough
Balancing act: working to support dependant children and elderly relatives can leave people feeling pressured
money to fully enjoy their own lives.
43 per cent
Comment
Planning makes perfect
Anticipating the financial challenges ahead means fewer surprises
when you’re balancing looking after generations of family, says
Clare Francis, Savings and Investment Director, Barclays
When it comes to ensuring you
have enough money to pay for
significant outgoings, such
as a child’s education, a little
bit of planning will pay big
dividends. So what can you
do to make life more comfortable when
the financial pressures start mounting?
1. Remove financial pressure as much
as possible. Highlight pressure points. Be
clear about what you need your money for
and try to be as organised as possible.
Perhaps set up regular payments into savings
and investments accounts.
2. Communicate with your parents. You
might not necessarily be in a position
where you need to act now, but having those
conversations early can eliminate the stress
when the time comes. Understand your
parents’ plans for retirement: do they have
any thoughts on moving at any point? Ask if
they wish to share where they keep their
household info (insurance, bank accounts,
etc) with you, and remind everyone in the
family that the more organised you can be
now, the easier it should be in the long run.
3. Look at your monthly outgoings.
According to recent Barclays research,
a quarter of people in the UK don’t think
that they have enough money to invest
in their children’s education and are
unrealistic about the costs involved,
with 30 per cent believing that saving
£50-£100 a month is enough.
4. Review your biggest costs and put key
dates in your diary. For example, your
mortgage term and when you will need
to remortgage, annual car insurance,
home insurance, etc. Unexpected bill
increases can have a huge impact
on your monthly budget – it’s always
better to factor in slightly more so you
don’t get caught short .
5. Remember to look after your own
financial aims and aspirations. Review
your life goals, taking into account the big
things - such as moving house, home
improvements, family holidays, etc
– and work out the best ways to save
towards achieving them.
Search ‘Barclays guide to saving’ for
information on how we can help you
provide for your financial future
The cost of caring
across generations
1 in 5
£231,843
people aged
50-64 are
carers1
Average cost
of raising a
child2
£700
3.3 million
Average weekly
cost of a selffunded care home
(without nursing)3
young adults
(20-34) live with
their parents
(one in four)4
SOURCE:
1 CARERS UK, 2015
2 CEBR, 2016
3 LAINGBUISSON (HEALTHCARE ANALYSTS), 2017
4 ONS, 2016
Barclays Bank PLC. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register number: 122702). Barclays Bank PLC subscribes to the Lending Code which is monitored and enforced by the Lending Standards Board. Further details can be found at www.lendingstandardsboard.org.uk
28
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
NEWS REVIEW
PICTURE OF THE WEEK
TEOVEL IRADON
Missed a bit: a window cleaner 124 floors up the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, finds his view of Dubai blocked by the fog
RED-TOPS
PEOPLE-WATCHING
PROFILE
MISHAL
HUSAIN
There was good news and bad news for
the broadcaster Mishal Husain last
week. The good news is that she’s
reported to be getting a big pay rise that
will take her a little closer to the
dizzying salaries banked by her male
co-hosts on the Today programme, John
Humphrys and Nick Robinson.
And the bad news? That pay rise —
fellow presenter Sarah Montague is also
getting one, according to the Daily Mail
— will reportedly take a large chunk
from the show’s budget. So whenever
an item is cancelled through lack of
funds in future, Husain and Montague
will cop the blame.
The Today programme will mark its
60th anniversary in 13 days’ time but
can hardly be in celebratory mood.
There have been complaints that the
new editor, Sarah Sands, has turned the
Radio 4 show into a magazine
rather than a news programme.
And then there’s the pay gap,
which was exposed by the
BBC’s pay review earlier this
year.
Husain earns up to
£250,000 for working on
Today, BBC1 and BBC
World News. However,
Robinson gets up to
£300,000, while
Humphrys, who also
presents
Mastermind,
gets up to
£650,000.
There
was great
fanfare
when Husain arrived at Today, partly
because she was the first Asian to
present the show but mainly because
she was a woman. The show had
previously been rather man-heavy: a
2011 survey by The Guardian found that
83.5% of contributors were male.
An anonymous colleague said at the
time: “She is one of those very rare
people in television who you never hear
a bad word about.”
But you can’t expect to please
everybody in the political bear pit that
is Today, and so it has proved. During
the election the Daily Mail said she was
a “spokeswoman for Jeremy Corbyn”
after an interview with Boris Johnson
(she had asked the foreign secretary to
“stop talking” for a moment because
she wanted to ask him another
question).
And after a robust television
interview with Aung San Suu Kyi, which
partly explored attitudes to Muslims in
Burma, the Burmese leader muttered:
“No one told me I was going to be
interviewed by a Muslim.”
As it happens, Husain knows a thing
or two about religious intolerance. She
was born in Northampton to Pakistani
parents but moved to Abu Dhabi when
her father, a doctor, was offered a job
there. He was later posted to Saudi
Arabia, but moved back to the UK
because he didn’t want his children to
grow up in such a conservative
atmosphere. Young Mishal was forced
to wear an abaya, a long black cloak. “It
was . . . not enjoyable,” she says. Which
is about as controversial an opinion as
you ever hear from her.
LOLA
OGUNYEMI
TOMMY
BANKS
ELLE
MACPHERSON
JOHN
TYLOR
The star of Dove soap’s latest advertising
campaign has defended it against claims
of racism.
“I am not just some silent victim of a
mistaken beauty campaign,” said the
model Lola Ogunyemi, who is seen
pulling off a top in the advert to reveal a
white woman underneath.
“All of the women in the shoot
understood the concept and
overarching objective — to use our
differences to highlight the fact that all
skin deserves gentleness.”
Wouldn’t it be safer in future for Dove
to forget high-minded concepts and just
tell it like it is? “Dove soap — it keeps you
quite clean.”
Fancy a pub lunch? Then you officially
won’t do better than the Black Swan at
Oldstead, North Yorkshire, which was
named last week as the world’s best
restaurant. The pub, which the head
chef, Tommy Banks, and his brother
James took over running from their
parents when they were just 17 and 19,
last week topped the TripAdvisor
Travellers’ Choice Awards.
Tommy has had no formal training
(apart from a week’s work experience at
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons) and started
cooking only when the pub couldn’t find
enough kitchen staff.
Every chef in Paris must be feeling
rather small right now.
Good news, everybody! You can give
up soup cleansing and stop steamcleaning your uterus: there’s another
celebrity fad to take up. Elle
Macpherson has revealed that she
removes water from her food with a
dehydrator. The device takes
moisture from food at low
temperature, because
“cooking food can
strip it of its
nutrients”.
Warning: this
might, of course,
be complete
nonsense. Two
years ago Elle
had to deny
claims she
kept a
urine
testing
kit in
her handbag
to measure her pH on
the go, so to speak.
“I’m not neurotic,”
she said. We’ll be the
judge of that.
Leading polo figure who was as handy
with a terse phrase as a mallet
John Tylor, who has died aged 75, was,
according to one friend, the rudest man
in England. Considered one of the best
amateur polo players of his day, he
certainly wasn’t afraid to tell someone if
their play was completely abominable —
and he was usually right.
Between 1991 and 1995 he was the
chairman of the Hurlingham Polo
Association, the sport’s governing body
in the UK. When the association
investigated a serious incident at a
match he was refereeing, Tylor was
asked what he could remember. “I can’t
tell you a bloody thing,” he barked. “I
was talking to the Queen.”
The Times
Life in brief
Born: February 11, 1973,
Northampton
Education: British School, Abu
Dhabi; Cobham Hall, Kent; studied
law at New Hall, Cambridge,
and European University
Institute, Florence
Career: producer and
presenter, Bloomberg
Television, 1996-98;
joined the BBC in
1998 as producer and
presenter BBC World
News; joined Today
programme in 2013
OXFORD COARSE:
ELITE STUDENTS
RAISE TOPS AND
EYEBROWS
In the old days reporters had to fly out to
the holiday resorts of the Mediterranean
in search of young people stripping off
and getting drunk. Now this service is
offered a little closer to home — at our
most prestigious universities.
“Posh students flashed the flesh at a
notorious Oxford University party that
got so wild bouncers had to be drafted
in,” chuckled Tuesday’s Sun. “Male
undergraduates went topless while
females stripped down to their bras.”
The party was a freshers’ week
celebration at Christ Church. A “source”
told The Sun: “People in the past
have been taken to hospital,
sprayed fire extinguishers and
engaged in ‘jelly wrestling’.”
Remember it’s just youthful
high spirits — some of those
wrestling jellies will probably go
on to get a first.
Phew! What a mild spell
“Britain is set for a
sizzling heatwave,”
reported Thursday’s
Daily Star online,
which predicted that
temperatures would
reach a “scorching
Poetic injustice:
Jacob ReesMogg
25C”. That’s what somebody in, say,
southern Italy might describe as “a bit
chilly”. As the Met Office put it: “There’s
going to be a spell of quite warm
weather.”
To be fair to the Star, “Britain is set for
a spell of quite warm weather” doesn’t
quite grip the imagination.
Bumpy start on royal baby
The Duchess of Cambridge appeared in
public for the first time since the start of
her latest pregnancy and, as the Daily
Mail reported excitedly on Wednesday,
“showed a hint of a baby bump”. The
news, of course, was reported under the
headline that always accompanies
pictures of pregnant women: “Swell to
see you.” They are just sticklers for
tradition, aren’t they?
Poet Brown goes to town
on the Tories’ vainglories
Do you look at the modern Conservative
party and find poetic inspiration? The
Daily Mail columnist Craig Brown does.
On Tuesday he produced a series of
Tory leadership clerihews. This was
bad news for the chancellor: “Philip
Hammond/Says: “Damn and/Blast!/
My time has passed!”
Better news, though, for the chief
secretary to the treasury: “Liz
Truss/Thinks, “If Theresa
falls under a bus/It might
just be me/Who’ll be the
next leader but three.”
And is Jacob ReesMogg still in with a
chance? “When
Jacob Rees-Mogg/
Goes out for a jog/
The leisurewear he
sports/Includes a
top hat and pinstripe shorts.”
LAST WORDS
Personal life:
married lawyer
Meekal Hashmi in
2003. They have
three sons
NORMA
SYKES
Britain’s ‘first sex symbol’, who
insured her breasts for £100,000
Norma Sykes, who has died aged 80,
claimed to be Britain’s first sex symbol.
She achieved unprecedented fame in the
1950s, under the name Sabrina, as a
glamour model with a 41in bust, which
she insured for £100,000.
As Britain’s first post-austerity media
construct, Stockport-born Sabrina was
suddenly famous for being famous. She
landed a part as Arthur Askey’s sidekick
in Before Your Very Eyes. Endearingly
unprofessional, she was chosen,
according to Askey, because “she had a
lovely face and figure but could not act,
sing, dance or even walk properly”.
Asked in later life about her fame, she
said: “It made me a sex symbol, which
I’m not. And it made me a household
name, like Tide [a laundry detergent],
which I am — a clean girl from the sticks.”
The Daily Telegraph
29
The Sunday Times October 15, 2017
NEWS REVIEW
Martin Hemming
I simply can’t make up my mind about
whether I like being spoilt for choice
W
e’ve just had the
decorators in to paint the
spare room blue. I say
blue, but there’s no such
thing as blue. There’s
Oxford Blue and Atlantic
Blue and Blissful Blue and
Quintessential Blue.
There’s Blue Babe and Nordic Sky and
Delft China and Striking Cyan. There’s
Sapphire Salute and Frosted Lake and
Woad Walk and Bermuda Cocktail 4.
There are a lot of blues, and by the
time we’d slapped patches of most them
on the wall, we’d spent £50 on tester
pots and the spare room looked like the
set from a late 1960s episode of Top of
the Pops. In the end, I decided I didn’t
really like any of the blues, considered
shifting to grey or yellow, got a bit
sweary, then made my wife decide. She
went for Blue Reflection (Dulux Easycare
Washable & Tough Matt; five litres for
£47.24). It actually looks pretty nice.
All this for a room that I’ll mostly only
go in to hang my pants up to dry. It’s the
tyranny of choice. It’s upsetting. And it’s
wasting my time and yours.
Take the pub, which used to be fun,
and sold lager or bitter. You might order
a cider if you were 14 or a member of
Pentangle. These days, to walk into a
pub is to be confronted by a frightening
array of gleaming beer taps. The labels
on them, designed by a local graffiti
artist, talk of quadruple-hopped this or
Pacific-style that, all brewed by a bicycleriding opportunist in a lock-up garage.
Some of these drinks will be OK. Most
will be horrid.
Shouldn’t the pub be helping me out
here? Couldn’t it have whittled its drinks
down to the most non-horrid ones,
rather than increasing the risk of my
paying £6 for a pint of something
undrinkable? On Monday night, I had a
can of Stella Artois from my fridge (left
behind after a barbecue, you
understand). And do you know what? It
was excellent. In no way interesting or
challenging or sophisticated, but cold,
refreshing, alcoholic.
KitKats, a colleague informed me in
exasperation last week, now come in
New York Cheesecake flavour. There’s
also a dark mint one, I’ve since learnt,
and a peanut butter one — and there’s a
cookies and cream flavour. That’s a
biscuit designed to taste like a different
sort of biscuit. Frankly, the KitKat
Chunky was a mutation too far.
Hotels now offer pillow menus. Who
can possibly have slept on enough
different pillows to have developed
informed opinions on them? And who
hasn’t had a long-planned sexy night in
ruined by bickering not over what film to
watch but whether to search for that film
on Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes or
iPlayer?
It won’t surprise you to learn that
restaurant menus listing more than two
main courses make me nervous, and
that, in sixth form, I was a staunch
campaigner against a proposed move to
allow us to wear our own clothes to
school. For me, a polyester blazer and
tie didn’t symbolise an authoritarian
institution clamping down on free
expression; they set me free.
I’m not advocating we go back to a
time when all that’s on a menu is
powdered egg and a bit of tripe. It’s great
that what we watch on telly on a
Saturday night doesn’t have to be Noel’s
House Party.
I like choice, when that choice is
beneficial. Sure, I’d order a Cambodian
for supper. It can be nice to wear jeans
one day, then go crazy and wear
corduroy the next. As you get older,
however, you can start totting up the
seconds, minutes, hours wasted making
decisions that in the end don’t matter,
I’m not advocating
going back to a time
when all that’s on a
menu is powdered
egg and a bit of tripe
that have very little bearing on one’s life
satisfaction. I don’t want to die deciding
whether I want chocolate on top.
My problem is a two-headed beast.
About many things, I’m really not that
fussed. I’d eat a KitKat. I’d eat a packet of
Rolos. Totally happy either way. But I
can also be cripplingly indecisive. I have
few habits. I have settled on few castiron, irreversible preferences.
Sometimes it’s lager, sometimes it’s
bitter. Call me wild and unpredictable.
There’s a really good bit of radio
during Danny Baker’s Saturday morning
BBC show. It’s called the “sausage
sandwich game” and it’s surprisingly
gripping. It’s only slightly more
complicated than two members of the
public phoning in to guess what that
week’s celebrity has on their sausage
sandwich: red sauce or brown sauce.
The best answer came from the
rotund former Liverpool player John
Barnes, who said he’d ask for a second
sausage sandwich. The occasional guest,
recently the triathlete Alistair Brownlee,
will confess to preferring no sauce at all
— which is of course weird, but you don’t
get to be double Olympic champion by
wasting time fannying about deciding to
what to have for breakfast.
I had breakfast at a posh hotel the
other week. The waiter, having set my
locally sourced fry-up down before me,
asked me the Danny Baker question.
Would I like any tomato ketchup or
brown sauce? On this particular
morning, after an admirably brief period
of vacillation, I went for brown.
“Excellent choice, sir. Quite agree. I’m
in the same boat. We’re like peas in a
pod, you and I, sir. I love a bit of brown.
Cut me open and you’ll find HP surging
through my veins. But that Tommy K?
Gosh, sir. Why, it’s the work of the devil!”
That was the gist, anyhow.
I wanted to explain that I like them
both. Both red and brown have their
place. I’ve been known to dollop on
some wholegrain mustard. To be honest,
I’d have preferred some baked beans
instead of a grilled tomato.
But no. I of course just smiled and
agreed. What choice did I have?
@martin_hemming
Jeremy Clarkson is away
NEWMAN’S WEEK
“A stuntwoman does all my Harvey Weinstein meetings”
“At least in the future they’re not still banging on about Brexit”
Buy prints or signed copies of Nick Newman’s cartoons from our Print Gallery at timescartoons.co.uk
WEATHER
AROUND THE WORLD
THE UK
Amsterdam
21°C f
London
17°C f
Athens
23 s
Los Angeles
35 s
Auckland
17 sh
Madrid
27 s
Bangkok
35 th
Mexico City
24 f
Barcelona
23 f
Miami
31 th
Beijing
20 f
Moscow
6 sh
Belgrade
19 f
Nairobi
26 f
Berlin
17 c
New Delhi
39 s
Bogota
19 f
New Orleans
31 th
Boston
26 f
New York
28 f
Brussels
22 s
Oslo
12 c
Budapest
20 f
Panama
30 th
Buenos Aires
25 s
Paris
24 s
Cairo
28 s
Prague
20 s
Calgary
13 f
Rio de Janeiro
23 r
Cape Town
17 sh
Rome
25 f
Caracas
28 th
San Francisco
25 f
Casablanca
34 f
Santiago
28 s
Chicago
16 f
Seoul
22 f
Dubai
35 s
Seychelles
28 f
Dublin
19 f
Singapore
31 f
Geneva
19 s
Stockholm
12 f
Gibraltar
24 f
Sydney
21 f
Guatemala
27 f
Tel Aviv
26 s
Helsinki
10 f
Tenerife
29 c
Hong Kong
26 sh
Tokyo
18 r
Istanbul
18 f
Toronto
22 sh
Jersey
19 f
Trinidad
30 th
Johannesburg
30 s
Tunis
26 f
La Paz
11 sh
Venice
19 s
Lagos
29 f
Vienna
21 f
Lima
21 f
Warsaw
16 f
Lisbon
32 f
Washington DC
29 s
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
EUROPE
13
15
13
23
20
24
24
20
23
2
23
13
32
23
¬ It will be a hot and mainly
dry day across Portugal and
southwestern Spain, with
sunny spells
¬ Staying largely dry with
sunny spells and patchy
cloud. Feeling warm across
central and southern France,
northeastern Spain, Italy and
the Mediterranean islands
¬ Rather cloudy with the
chance of some showery rain
across northern France later
25
¬ High pressure will bring
a dry day with a mixture
of sunny spells and patchy
cloud across much of central
and southeastern Europe
including the Balkans, Greece
and western Turkey
¬ Rather cloudy with the
chance of showery rain
across much of Scandinavia,
western Russia and Ukraine.
Staying drier across the Baltic
states and Finland
TODAY’S WEATHER
SUN, STREET LIGHTS & MOON
UK forecast
A dry, breezy day across much of
England and Wales with sunny spells.
Very warm temperatures for the time of
year are expected across the south and
east by the afternoon. It will be cloudier
and windy in places across northern
England and Scotland with spells of
rain spreading in from the southwest.
The wettest areas will be across western
Scotland and Cumbria, but drier in
eastern parts of Scotland
19
Aberdeen
Belfast
Birmingham
Bristol
Cardiff
Cork
Dublin
Glasgow
London
Manchester
Newcastle
Norwich
Plymouth
13
rough
14
25
REGIONAL FORECASTS
moderate
London, SE England
A dry, warm and breezy day with sunny
spells. Moderate southerly winds.
Max 22C. Tonight, dry and mild. Min 14C
Midlands, E Anglia, E England
Staying dry, breezy and warm with
sunny spells. Moderate southerly winds.
Max 23C. Tonight, dry and mild. Min 12C
Channel Is, SW and
Cent S England, S Wales
Mainly dry, but blustery and rather
cloudy. Fresh southerly winds. Max 21C.
Tonight, isolated showers. Min 12C
N Wales, NW England, Isle of Man
Mostly cloudy and windy, with the
chance of showers. Fresh to strong
southerly winds. Max 19C. Tonight,
cloudy with showers. Min 13C
Cent N and NE England
Mainly dry with sunny spells, but rather
cloudy at times. Moderate southwesterly
winds. Max 20C. Tonight, the chance of
showers. Min 11C
Scotland
Showery rain in the west, drier and
brighter in the east. Variable winds.
Max 17C. Tonight, patchy rain. Min 4C
N Ireland, Republic of Ireland
Rain spreading southeastwards. Variable
winds. Max 18C. Tonight, showery rain,
very windy in the south later. Min 8C
25
18
15
23
moderate
Monday
Very warm in the
south, gales and
rain in Ireland.
Max 25C
Tuesday
Dry in the south,
windy with some
rain in Scotland.
Max 18C
18:05
18:25
18:13
18:17
18:19
18:40
18:29
18:16
18:07
18:12
18:07
18:00
18:25
07:44
07:55
07:35
07:36
07:38
08:00
07:54
07:50
07:26
07:38
07:38
07:22
07:41
01:52
02:17
02:07
02:12
02:15
02:36
02:23
02:06
02:02
02:05
01:58
01:53
02:22
17:02
17:11
16:49
16:50
16:52
17:15
17:09
17:07
16:40
16:53
16:54
16:37
16:54
Saturn is the brightest object low in the
SW as night falls. Vega in Lyra is high
above it as Arcturus in Bootes sinks in
the W and the Plough stands in the NW.
Venus, the brilliant morning star in the
E before dawn, is below and left of the
much fainter Mars. Catch the
impressively earthlit waning Moon just
above Mars on Tuesday and below-left of
Venus on Wednesday. Alan Pickup
Isobel Lang
slight
THE UK LAST WEEK
Warmest by day
Cranwell,
Lincolnshire
(Friday) 21.5C
Coldest by night
Cairngorm,
Inverness-shire
(Tuesday) -0.7C
42
15
21
07:42
07:53
07:33
07:34
07:37
07:58
07:52
07:48
07:25
07:36
07:36
07:21
07:39
19
14
Wettest
Capel Curig,
Gwynedd
(Friday) 79.6mm
6
Sunniest
East Malling,
Kent
(Thursday) 8.3hr
Wednesday
Spells of rain
spreading
eastwards.
Max 19C
40
10
15
17
25
Moon
sets
Warm seas keep
Ophelia full of puff
22
13
14
Moon
rises
Moon phase
21
13
21
Lights
off
18
16
51
13
Sun sets/
lights on
THE SKY
AT NIGHT
17
THE WEEK AHEAD
15
Sun
rises
12
11
12
12
17
18
29
32
Thursday
Rather cloudy and
blustery, with rain
and showers.
Max 18C
14
12
13
15
13
Friday
Rain and showers
in the north, drier
in the south.
Max 15C
17
18
25
Saturday
Rain and blustery
winds will sweep
eastwards.
Max 18C
Is there a hurricane on the
way? This is not a reference to
today’s anniversary of the
Great Storm of 1987 but to the
category 2 Hurricane
Ophelia, heading our way.
On Friday Ophelia’s mean
wind speed in the eastern
Atlantic was about 105mph.
The hurricane took a swipe at
the Azores yesterday and has
been speeding north towards
us. It won’t be a hurricane by
the time it reaches the British
Isles, but it is maintaining
more strength than we would
usually expect due to high sea
surface temperatures.
Ahead of this storm, warm
air from the south has kept
temperatures much
higher than average. We
would expect 12C-15C at
this time of year, but
many areas will record
highs in the twenties
today and
tomorrow, perhaps
even the mid-
twenties, which would be
exceptional.
There should be some
sunshine, although as we
head through Tuesday
temperatures will drop as
what’s left of Ophelia clears
from Scotland.
After a wet week, there are
concerns about how much
rain the storm may unleash.
Cumbria, for example, had
prolonged rainfall last
Wednesday. Friday was wet
too, and the remnants of
Ophelia may top up rainfall
there, as well as in Northern
Ireland and western and
central Scotland.
Once the diminished
Ophelia leaves on Tuesday,
we are set for a mild but
unsettled week.
Northwestern areas
are most at risk of
rain and there will be
sunshine and dry
days across the south.
Isobel Lang is a Sky
News forecaster
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The Sunday Times, newspaper
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