The main stories… 2 NEWS What happened Bloodshed in Gaza What the editorials said There was a time when the world longed for the day the US opened an embassy in Jerusalem, said The New York Times – because this event was supposed to mark Gaza suffered its bloodiest day in years the end of hostilities between Israelis and on Monday, when Israeli troops opened Palestinians. For years, America had fire on mostly unarmed protesters massed withheld recognition of either side’s claim along the border fence between the to the city as a capital, pending a peace territory and Israel, killing at least 60 and treaty between the two. “But on Monday, wounding thousands more. The killings President Trump delivered the embassy prompted an international outcry, but as a gift without concession or condition Israel insisted it had acted in self-defence to the Israeli government of Benjamin to defend its border. It blamed the Netanyahu.” This would have inflamed violence on Hamas, the Islamist group tensions at any time, said the FT. That that runs Gaza, a view backed by the US. Trump did it “during the 48 hours when The bloodshed coincided with the opening A Palestinian protester near the Israeli border Israelis and Palestinians are most divided each year over their very different versions – on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s of history was little short of diplomatic arson”. founding – of the new US embassy in Jerusalem after its relocation from Tel Aviv. The move is highly contentious There was a horrible contrast between the sight of Netanyahu because the Palestinian authorities claim East Jerusalem as their capital. Monday’s protests were the culmination of seven beaming with Ivanka Trump in Jerusalem – “what a glorious weeks of border demonstrations by Gazans demanding a right day,” he declared – and the horrific scenes, fewer than 50 miles away, in Gaza, said The Times. This kind of “malign of return for Palestinians to areas that are now part of Israel. symbolism” is a gift to terrorist recruitment. You have only to Some two-thirds of Gaza’s population is descended from think of the Bloody Sunday shootings of 1972, in which refugees who fled or were driven from their homes at the 14 civilians died. A brother of one of the dead recalled that time of Israel’s creation, an event Palestinians refer to as the “there were queues to join the IRA after that day”. Nakba, or “Catastrophe”, and mark each year on 15 May. What happened Brexit deadlock Theresa May’s inner cabinet was still split this week over customs arrangements with the EU after Brexit. Cabinet Office minister David Lidington revealed that, at the last meeting of the “Brexit cabinet” on Tuesday, “serious criticisms” had been made of both the options on the table: the “customs partnership” model, whereby the UK would collect import tariffs on behalf of the EU; and “maximum facilitation”, which proposes using technology to police borders without obstructing trade. Labour said it was “deeply disturbing” that ministers could not agree “the most fundamental Brexit issues”. What the editorials said It “beggars belief” that, only weeks from the EU summit, the cabinet is still split on such an important question, said The Daily Telegraph. “It is hard to imagine how negotiations can be won when one’s own team is uncertain what it wants.” Both options have disadvantages. The max fac proposal, using CCTV and online customs declarations to police the border, is favoured by Brexiteers. But it seems unlikely to result in “frictionless trade” with the EU. It would also involve some infrastructure at or near the Irish border – breaking May’s pledge to avoid a hard border. The customs partnership is May’s preferred option, said The Economist. The Brexiteers, May: “perfectly clear” though, fear that it would be not only vastly complex – firms importing to the UK would Downing Street announced that a Brexit white paper would have to claim back tariffs if their goods didn’t travel on to the be published ahead of the key EU summit in late June, EU – but would inevitably evolve into a full customs union, setting out the Government’s positions. On Monday, David ending hopes of world trade deals and betraying “the spirit of Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nicky Morgan joined forces in a the referendum”. It is hard to see how the deadlock can be cross-party bid to prevent a hard Brexit – a campaign broken. “One of the many surreal features” of the row is that already well under way in the House of Lords. the EU has already “dismissed both options as unworkable”. It wasn’t all bad The bestselling writer Jojo Moyes has stepped in to save a major adult literacy scheme after its sponsors pulled out. Moyes’ £360,000 donation will enable the Quick Reads scheme to run for three more years while longer-term funding is sought. Since 2006, the UK scheme has distributed 4.8 million short novels to people with lower literacy levels. “Every now and then you have to make a decision about whether you’re going to make a difference,” Moyes said. Forty years after losing both of his feet to frostbite during an ascent of Everest, 69-year-old Chinese climber Xia Boyu has finally conquered the peak. He is only the second double amputee to climb Everest, and the first to do it from the Nepal side. He lost his feet after a climb in 1975, as a result of giving his sleeping bag to a sick friend during a storm. On the same day this week (when spring weather made the summit accessible), Steve Plain, from Australia, set a new record by climbing the highest peaks on all seven continents in 117 days – four years after breaking his neck in a surfing accident. The Australian Red Cross has paid tribute to “the man with the golden arm”: a retired railway worker whose blood donations have saved the lives of an estimated 2.4 million babies over the past 60 years. James Harrison, now 81, gave the last of his 1,173 donations last week in Sydney, on the advice of doctors. Probably as a result of a transfusion he had received aged 14, his blood contains a rare antibody that is used to make Anti-D – a lifesaving treatment required by about 17% of pregnant women in Australia. COVER CARTOON: HOWARD MCWILLIAM THE WEEK 19 May 2018 …and how they were covered NEWS 3 What the commentators said What next? Viewing reports of the “slaughter” at Gaza’s border, many will “understandably feel that the Israeli authorities grossly overreacted”, said Mark Almond in the Daily Mail. It has been a “public relations disaster” for Israel. It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that had the border fence actually been breached by thousands of Palestinians, it would have triggered far greater carnage. And it’s also the case that the central demand of the protests – to reclaim ancestral homes in what is now Israel – threatens the very existence of the state of Israel. Still, the use of live rounds was surely excessive, said Paul Goodman on ConservativeHome.com. The worry is that this was less a military decision than “a political one, driven by government ministers who have voters to satisfy. That doesn’t bode well for the liberal ethos in which Israel takes pride.” A regional peace initiative led by Trump’s adviser and sonin-law Jared Kushner has been shelved because of Palestinian anger over the new US embassy, reports The Washington Post. But US officials insist the Trump peace plan, which had originally been expected to be unveiled earlier this year, is not dead and will be presented “at the right time”. The real question, said Amos Harel in Haaretz, is why Israel allowed things to come to a head in this way. For months, security forces have been warning that conditions in Gaza, which is under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade, are becoming intolerable, leading to frustration and rage among its two million inhabitants. It has also long been known that Hamas is “under unprecedented strategic pressure” owing to its strained relations with the Saudis and Egypt, and its incompetent management of Gaza. It was obvious that Hamas would seek to exploit the border protests to foment a bloody clash to boost its own image. Yet Israel took no steps to head this confrontation off, barely lifting “a finger to ease the distress in the Strip”. Israel under Netanyahu’s Likud Party seems to think that if it ignores the Palestinian problem, it will just go away, said Stephen Daisley in The Spectator. That’s a dangerous attitude. Israelis insist they have no partner for peace, and they have a point: only this month, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, who counts as a “moderate”, reiterated his view that the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves. But sometimes peace “only needs one side. The next Israeli government – this one is beyond help – has to take charge and formulate a unilateral plan.” Because one thing is for sure: Israel “cannot afford many more days like Monday”. Theresa May has called for an independent inquiry into Israel’s “deeply troubling” use of live ammunition against Palestinian protesters. Labour MPs have also called for the Government to review arms sales to Israel and to cancel a UK visit by President Trump in July, in protest at his stoking of Middle East tensions. What the commentators said What next? “Theresa May usually avoids giving her own opinion in cabinet meetings,” said Rachel Sylvester in The Times. She tends to go around the table asking other ministers’ views, before even-handedly summing them up. But on this issue she has been perfectly clear: she thinks the customs partnership is the right policy. This “unprecedented display of clarity” makes it even more extraordinary that, within days, Boris Johnson had condemned his boss’s plan as “crazy” – “such a blatant act of insubordination that you have to assume the Foreign Secretary was trying to get fired”. “The mystery is why Leavers would choose to die in this particular ditch,” said Janan Ganesh in the FT. They have won: not just the referendum, but the interpretation of the result. Despite “the closeness of the vote and the ambiguity of its meaning”, Britain is leaving the EU, the single market and the customs union too. “Their dream is near. Why imperil it?” Under the customs partnership, Britain would have to collect tariffs for the EU, “but this seems a small nuisance next to the prize of exit”. The cynic in me suspects that the Brexiteers don’t actually want to take responsibility for the final EU deal. Disavowing it now will allow them to escape the blame later on “if economic life deteriorates after its implementation”. The PM has broken up the Brexit cabinet into teams of mixed Remainers and Leavers, to find a compromise, says Peter Foster in The Daily Telegraph. One may be to “delay the reckoning”: to stay in the customs union for some years, while max fac technology is developed. On the contrary, the customs partnership would be genuinely disastrous, said Nick Timothy in The Daily Telegraph. In practice, it would become “a customs union by another name”. Because of the complexity of tracking imported goods – to see which ones stay in the country and which ones travel on to the EU, so that tariff rebates could be claimed on the former – the UK would end up aligning itself very closely to EU regulations and bureaucracy. This would make it impossible to agree trade deals with other countries – surrendering one of the key gains of Brexit. Maximum facilitation is the only alternative. As for the Irish border, the EU must show flexibility. The responsibility “to find solutions is not only British but European too”. THE WEEK Is it racist to compare a white man to a slice of cured meat? That was the debate raging in the media this week, prompted by an article in The Times about the Left’s “weaponisation” of the word “gammon”. Apparently, if you’re middle-aged, white, male and angry – perhaps a tabloid-reading Brexiteer going red in the face about immigration – you’re a gammon, and a target for ridicule. It’s not entirely new. People used to say that David Cameron looked like a side of ham. On Twitter, it has been traced back further: in Nicholas Nickleby, one of the characters is told that he has a “gammon tendency” and wonders if it is because of his propensity to “grow a little too fervid... in extolling my native land”. But according to a DUP MP, Emma Little-Pengelly, to denigrate older white men as gammon is not merely rude, it’s a derogatory remark “based on skin colour and age”, and therefore “just wrong”. Naturally, left-wingers have been quick to rubbish this claim: no one has ever been deported for being an indignant white man with pink cheeks, they argue. They also point out that right-wingers deploy plenty of derogatory terms of their own (snowflake, cuck, libtard etc.). But like the use of “centrist dad” to belittle people who voted Labour in the 1990s, gammon does highlight a shift within the party – the shrinking of Tony Blair’s Big Tent. There are many white, middle-aged tabloidreading men, angry about one thing or another, who once thought that Caroline Law Labour was their home. They’re out in the rain now. Subscriptions: 0330-333 9494; firstname.lastname@example.org The Week is licensed to The Week Limited by Dennis Publishing Limited. The Week is a registered trademark of Felix Dennis. The 28-29 June European Council meeting is the next hurdle. British officials fear that if no consensus is reached by then, the EU will refuse to discuss the future relationship, or even withdraw the offer of a transition deal – forcing the UK to come to terms or crash out with no deal. 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Tel: 020-3890 3890. Editorial: The Week Ltd, 2nd Floor, 32 Queensway, London W2 3RX. Tel: 020-3890 3787. email: email@example.com 19 May 2018 THE WEEK Politics 4 NEWS Controversy of the week Leveson back and forth The rendition scandal “It was one of the most shaming, self-abasing apologies ever made in the House of Commons,” said Will Hutton in The Observer. In a letter read out to MPs last week, Theresa May acknowledged Britain’s complicity in what she described as the “appalling treatment” meted out to Libyan dissident Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his wife, Fatima Boudchar. In 2004, at the behest of the Libyan dictator, Colonel Gaddaﬁ, they were seized by CIA agents in Thailand and then – hooded and shackled – ﬂown back to Libya to be tortured in Gaddaﬁ’s jails. And it was MI6 who gave the tip-off as to their whereabouts. Boudchar – who, heavily pregnant, was forced to hear her husband’s screams under torture – was freed after four months. Belhaj was sentenced to death and remained in prison for another six years. Belhaj: “appalling treatment” I can understand why the CIA went after my husband, said Boudchar in an article in The New York Times: he was the leader of an Islamist group opposed to Gaddaﬁ. But why did they go after me? And why was my treatment at the CIA’s “black site” in Bangkok – which was run by Gina Haspel, Donald Trump’s nominee for CIA director (see page 6) – worse than anything I endured in Libya? Although pregnant, I was hit in the abdomen and bound to a stretcher from head to toe “like a mummy”. These are the questions I would like answered. She deserves an answer, said the Daily Mail, just as she deserved this week’s apology and the £500,000 payout that went with it. But it isn’t May who should have given that apology; it’s the leaders of the last Labour government, above all Tony Blair, who forsook the principles of civilised society in order to cosy up to the “murderous, oil-rich Gaddaﬁ regime”. Former foreign secretary Jack Straw also has some explaining to do, said Richard Norton-Taylor in The Guardian. A year after Belhaj’s abduction, he ﬂatly dismissed suggestions of British involvement in illegal renditions as “conspiracy theories”. But ofﬁcial ﬁles found in the bombed-out ruins of Tripoli after Gaddaﬁ was toppled told a different story. One letter from Sir Mark Allen, then head of counterterrorism at MI6, actually congratulated Libya’s intelligence chief for the “safe arrival” of Belhaj in Libya. It’s not the ﬁrst time the UK government has paid out to victims of rendition, said Dan Lomas on The Conversation. In 2012 it offered £2m to the family of a Libyan dissident who was forced onto a plane in Hong Kong and ﬂown to Tripoli. It has also compensated former detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Yet whereas in the US, the Senate has completed a major investigation into the CIA’s detention regime, in Britain there has been no such attempt to get at the truth. A judge-led inquiry set up by David Cameron has been shelved, and the Crown Prosecution Service dropped a legal case of ill treatment brought by Belhaj and a fellow detainee, citing “insufﬁcient evidence”. A public apology is all very well, but what we really need now is an ofﬁcial inquiry into rendition by Britain’s spies. Spirit of the age Madame Tussauds is moving with the times and replacing wax models with animatronic ones – in China, at least. Visitors to the Shanghai outpost will be able to meet an interactive robot version of the Chinese film star Jing Boran. While this is Tussauds’ first “intelligent figure”, the London branch recently introduced a model of actor Tom Hardy heated to 37°C, and with a heartbeat, for a more realistic cuddling experience. Rolls-Royce has launched the world’s most expensive SUV, marketing it as a “weekend car you can put the kids in”. The £250,000 Cullinan is aimed at “ultrahigh net-worth” millennials – thirtysomethings who got rich in tech, say, and who are a decade younger than the average Rolls buyer. THE WEEK 19 May 2018 Good week for: Daniel Craig, who was identified as one of the five highestpaid stars in Hollywood. The actor has negotiated an £18.5m fee for the new Bond film. He and his wife, Rachel Weisz, are estimated by The Sunday Times Rich List to be worth £125m. The Rich List also revealed that 94% of Britain’s 1,000 richest people are now self-made, up from 43% in 1989 (see page 48). Bad week for: Club 18-30, the tour operator known for shipping generations of young Brits to cheap Mediterranean resorts for a week of sun, sex and tequila – which may be coming to an end. Thomas Cook says the concept doesn’t appeal to millennials, and is reportedly putting the business up for sale. Donald Trump, who – on top of everything else going on this week – managed to enrage the Scots, by allowing his luxury golf resort in Ayrshire to ban Irn-Bru. Apparently, the management at Trump Turnberry are anxious that the bright orange fizzy drink may stain the resort’s expensive carpets. Royal Mail, which was criticised for advising businesses to exploit a loophole in new data protection laws. From 25 May, firms will in many cases need people’s consent before they can send them marketing material. Royal Mail suggests they get around this by sending the bumf out in unaddressed envelopes. The police, which was forced to admit that its facial-recognition software doesn’t work. It is often used at large events to detect people on a watch list – but according to figures released by the Metropolitan Police, 98% of the time its “matches” are wrong. MPs have once again voted against a new Leveson-style public inquiry into press regulation. The House of Commons rejected the proposal by 301 votes to 289 on Tuesday. The result came after the Government promised additional scrutiny of newspapers, including five-yearly reviews of their use of personal data and regular reviews of the system of press self-regulation. MPs had already narrowly voted with the Government to reject Leveson 2 last week, only for the Lords to support it. Peers could push it back to the Commons for a third time, but are unlikely to do so, not least because ditching the probe was a government manifesto commitment. Holyrood rejects Brexit The Scottish parliament on Tuesday rejected the EU Withdrawal Bill, the Government’s flagship Brexit legislation. MSPs voted 93 to 30 against the bill, which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called a “power grab”. Holyrood’s approval is not legally necessary for the bill to become law, but imposing it on Scotland without a deal would create “the biggest political rift between the two institutions since devolution,” said The Times. The Government has vowed to “push on”, but says there is still time for an agreement. Poll watch The Tories have a fivepoint lead over Labour: the parties are on 43% and 38% respectively, following a dip in Labour support since mid-April. Asked who’d make a better PM, 39% say Theresa May and 25% Jeremy Corbyn. YouGov/The Times In the US, the Republicans are experiencing a surge in support as they gear up for November’s midterms. In February the Democrats led by 16 points. Now they’re only three points ahead. CNN/The Daily Telegraph One in four parents have altered parts of classic fairy tales when reading them to their children because they think that they’re inappropriate or too scary. Little Red Riding Hood is the story most often changed. OnePoll/Daily Mail Europe at a glance Paris Terror attack: The suspected Islamist terrorist who stabbed a man to death in central Paris last Saturday has been identiﬁed as Khamzat Azimov, a 20-year-old Chechen-born French citizen who had been on an anti-terrorism watch list. France’s ﬁrst suspected terrorist of Chechen origin, Azimov (pictured) shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he launched his attack in the busy Opera district, killing his 29-year-old victim and injuring four others before being shot dead by police. There are around 30,000 people of Chechen origin in France, and it is estimated that 8% of French nationals involved in Syria-based jihadist groups are ethnic Chechens. The attack was claimed by Islamic State. NEWS 5 Budapest Soros to close ofﬁces: The Open Society Foundations – a philanthropic organisation funded by George Soros – announced on Tuesday that it is closing its ofﬁces in Hungary, citing the interference it is facing from the country’s right-wing government. It will move its operations from Budapest to Berlin. “The government has denigrated and misrepresented our work, and repressed civil society for the sake of political gain, using tactics unprecedented in the history of the EU,” said its president, Patrick Gaspard. Hungary’s PM Viktor Orbán was recently re-elected after campaigning under a “stop Soros” banner. In TV and billboard ads, he accused the Hungarian-born billionaire of supporting migration to Europe as a means of undermining nation states. His “stop Soros” legislation – likely to be passed in the coming weeks – will impose new restrictions on foreign-funded NGOs in Hungary. Kerch, Crimea Prestige project: Russia’s President Putin this week opened a new road and rail bridge linking Russia with the disputed Crimean peninsula. The Kerch Strait Bridge, also known as the Crimean Bridge, is 12 miles long – making it Europe’s longest. It is also a triumph of engineering: there have been several previous plans to build a bridge across this notoriously windy stretch of water, all of which failed. With up to 15,000 workers toiling on the bridge at any one time, it took only 27 months to complete. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, but the international community continues to regard it as legally part of Ukraine. Russia hopes the road link will strengthen Moscow’s grip on Crimea and boost its economy. Rome Closing the deal: Italy’s far-right League Party and the populist Five Star Movement were reported to be on the brink of forming a government this week, after two months of post-election negotiations. Neither the League’s leader, Matteo Salvini (pictured), nor Five Star’s Luigi Di Maio wants to be PM, but the question of who they do want in that role – and can agree on – seemed to be the main obstacle in their talks. In an editorial, the FT warned if they did form a government, it would be the “most unconventional, inexperienced government to rule a western European democracy” since the EU’s Treaty of Rome in 1957. Meta di Sorrento, Italy Gang rape of tourist: Five Italian men have been arrested on suspicion of gang-raping a British tourist in the southern resort of Meta di Sorrento, on the Gulf of Naples. The alleged attack happened at the Mar Hotel Alimuri in 2016, and all those arrested in dawn raids on Monday – after two years of painstaking police work – are current or former employees of the hotel. The woman, who was in her 50s, was given the drug benzodiazepine, allegedly by two barmen who took her to a pool area and sexually assaulted her. She was then taken to a room in the hotel, where at least ten men were waiting, and was allegedly raped. She went to the police on her return to the UK, and DNA evidence was obtained which Italian police say they have matched with the arrested men. They also say that they found images of the attack that had been shared on a WhatsApp group called “Bad Habits”. Paris Les Anglicismes: The word globish, meaning a basic, globally understood version of English, has entered the French dictionary this year, along with a bumper crop of other Anglicisms, in spite of language purists’ efforts to coin French alternatives, The Daily Telegraph reports. Words or phrases considered by Le Petit Robert dictionary to have entered common usage over the past year include le dark net (although the Académie française had proposed the term internet clandestin). Among the other words making their debut appearance in the latest edition of the dictionary are hoverboard, SUV, chatbot, e-sport, replay (a “watch again” service on TV), fashionista and queer (deﬁned as “a person whose orientation or sexual identity doesn’t correspond with dominant models”). Non-English words to have been adopted into French include teriyaki and pavlova. Barcelona A president at last: Catalonia’s parliament has this week sworn in a pro-independence hardliner, who was nominated by the ousted and exiled ex-president Carles Puigdemont, as the region’s new president. Catalan MPs voted Quim Torra in as president by 66 votes to 65, ending the ﬁve months of political stalemate that followed December’s inconclusive election. Torra, 55, has already pledged to continue the struggle for independence from Spain after last year’s referendum result. “Our president is Carles Puigdemont, and we will be faithful to the mandate of October... to build an independent state in the form of a republic,” he said. The region has been under direct rule from Madrid since Catalan separatists unilaterally declared independence. Spain’s PM Mariano Rajoy has offered to meet Torra for talks, though it is not yet clear whether Madrid will lift direct rule. Catch up with daily news at www.theweek.co.uk 19 May 2018 THE WEEK 6 NEWS The world at a glance Washington DC Insulting McCain: A White House aide has been forced to apologise for dismissing Senator John McCain’s objections to the appointment of Gina Haspel as director of the CIA, on the grounds that “it doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway”. In a statement, McCain – who has brain cancer – had said that while he did not doubt Haspel’s talents, the fact that she ran a “black site” in Thailand in 2002, where an “enhanced interrogation programme” was used, made her unﬁt to be the head of the agency. However, Haspel later told the Senate that she now believes that the programme had been a mistake. Senators are expected to conﬁrm her appointment next week. The aide has reportedly apologised to McCain’s daughter for her crass remark – but has so far resisted calls for a public apology. Menlo Park, California Facebook abuses: Facebook has released comprehensive details for the ﬁrst time about its attempts to police the site’s content – revealing in the process the scale of the problem. According to the report published this week, in the ﬁrst quarter of this year it tackled 837 million pieces of spam and took down 583 million fake accounts (and it estimates that 3-4% of its 2.2 billion active monthly users are currently fake). In the same period, it removed 3.4 million posts that contained graphic violence, 2.5 million that constituted hate speech and 1.9 million that it deemed terrorist propaganda. The company also revealed that it had suspended about 200 apps as part of its investigation into the misuse of personal data after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. New York Weinstein’s wife speaks out: In her ﬁrst interview since Harvey Weinstein’s downfall, the fashion designer Georgina Chapman has said that until the scandal broke, she never had suspicions about her estranged husband’s behaviour. “I had what I thought was a very happy marriage,” she told Vogue. The revelations had left her “so broken” that she had barely left the house, she said, adding that she was deeply worried for their two children (aged ﬁve and seven), who love their father. But “I don’t want to be viewed as a victim”, she said, “because I don’t think I am. I am a woman in a shit situation, but it’s not unique.” Washington DC Sports betting to become legal: The US Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for betting on sporting events to become legal across the US – a move that could revolutionise the gambling industry. Currently, Nevada is the only state fully exempted from a 1992 law that has made it illegal to bet on the results of sports matches. However, millions of Americans place illicit bets: the black market is worth an estimated £150bn a year, and casinos, bookmakers and gambling websites will be racing to grab a share of it. The case was brought by the state of New Jersey, which argued that the ban was unconstitutional. It will now be up to individual states to decide if they want to allow gambling. In London, shares in William Hill jumped 11% on the news. Mexico City Leftist front runner: A veteran left-winger who is a close friend of Jeremy Corbyn has emerged as the front runner in Mexico’s presidential election, due in July. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, 64, a former mayor of Mexico City, lost the 2006 election by less than a percentage point, prompting protests by supporters and claims of fraud. Now, he has a poll lead of 15-20% over his centre-right rival Ricardo Anaya Cortés. Corbyn and his Mexican wife, Laura, spent part of their Christmas holiday with López Obrador (pictured) in 2016. Managua Violent protests: Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans took part in fresh anti-government protests last week in the capital, Managua, and other cities, many of them holding aloft pictures of those killed in the recent unrest. In the past month, the crisis has cost the lives of about 50 people, the majority of them students. The protests were sparked in mid-April by proposed social security cuts. These have been abandoned – but the ﬁerceness of the crackdown on the demonstrations has incited more people to take to the streets and call for the resignation of President Ortega. The 72-year-old former leftist rebel has ruled Nicaragua for the past 11 years. Many younger Nicaraguans believe he has morphed into a dictator and that he is intent on being succeeded by his wife (and vice-president), Rosario Murillo. THE WEEK 19 May 2018 Caracas Water crisis: Venezuela’s capital is in the grip of a chronic water shortage caused by the effective collapse of Hidrocapital, the state-owned utility company. Although it is rainy season and the reservoirs are full, millions of people in Caracas have not had regular running water for a month. Over the years, billions have been invested in reservoirs and pumps to bring water to the city. But owing to the economic crisis – and hyperinﬂation – wages are so low that Hidrocapital’s maintenance staff are not turning up to work, and there is no money for spare parts. President Maduro has vowed to repair the economy if re-elected this weekend – a poll expected to be rigged and that the opposition is boycotting – but he has not said how he plans to do so. The world at a glance Golan Heights Fears grow of an Israel-Iran war: Israel and Iran edged closer to all-out war last Thursday, when Israeli positions in the Golan Heights – Syrian territory that Israel annexed after the 1967 Six Day War – were hit by a barrage of Iranian rockets. Iran, a key backer of Syria’s Assad regime and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, has deployed thousands of missiles in Syria: last week’s attack – two days after the US pulled out of the global agreement over Iran’s nuclear programme – marked the ﬁrst time it has launched a direct assault on Israeli forces. Israel responded with a reported 70 air strikes targeting Iranian forces across Syria, its biggest assault on targets in Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Israel’s defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman (pictured), said Israel had successfully destroyed “nearly all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria”. The day before the Israeli action, Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu met Russia’s President Putin, with whom he has a close relationship, to notify him in advance of the strikes. Russia and Iran both support the Assad regime, but Russia’s main concern is to secure its military bases in Syria: it probably has no wish to see the situation escalate. NEWS 7 Baghdad Sadr emerges as kingmaker: In a stunning result unforeseen by either Iraqi politicians or Western analysts, a coalition headed by Muqtada al-Sadr – the ﬁrebrand Shia cleric whose militias killed hundreds of Iraqi and US soldiers in the wars that followed the US-led invasion of 2003 – has taken the largest number of seats after the general election last Saturday. The party of the current PM, Haider al-Abadi, who oversaw the battle against Islamic State, came third. Under Iraq’s system, no party can easily dominate, and a coalition is likely to take months to build. Sadr, who has repositioned himself as an anticorruption reformer opposed to Iranian inﬂuence, did not stand for a seat himself and cannot head the new government. It remains possible that – as kingmaker – he could yet back Abadi for another term. Pyongyang Warning Trump: Pyongyang suddenly ratcheted up tensions with the US this week, by declaring that it is pulling out of talks with South Korea, owing to the latter’s joint military drills with the US. It also warned that Kim Jong Un will “reconsider” meeting Donald Trump on 12 June if the US insists it give up its nuclear weapons, and advised Trump not to listen to his “repugnant” adviser John Bolton, who recently proposed a Libya-style denuclearisation in North Korea. Solai, Kenya Dam deaths: At least 48 people were killed last week – about half of them children – when a dam collapsed on a sprawling farm in Kenya’s Rift Valley. The collapse of the earthen structure released a wave about 1.5 metres high and 500 metres wide, which destroyed everything in its path, including a primary school. According to Kenya’s water authority, the Patel dam had been built without the necessary permits, though the farm’s manager denies this. Police have opened a criminal investigation, and other illegal dams on the farm are being drained to avert another disaster. Torrential rains over the past two months, following a severe drought, have caused at least 132 deaths and the destruction of the homes of 220,000 people across Kenya. Kuala Lumpur Shock return: Fifteen years after stepping down, the former PM of Malaysia has won a surprise victory in the country’s general election: at 92, Mahathir Mohamad is now the world’s oldest elected leader. He came out of retirement and defected to the opposition to take on his former protégé, Najib Razak, who has long been mired in a corruption scandal. Although Mahathir (pictured) was himself known as an authoritarian strongman, his victory is being seen as a welcome boost for democratic values in southeast Asia (see page 17). He has hinted he may govern for only two years. Surabaya, Indonesia Terror attacks: Indonesia suffered its worst terrorist atrocities in more than a decade this week, when members of two apparently ordinary Muslim families carried out a series of suicide bomb attacks in the country’s second city, Surabaya. On Sunday, a mother and her two daughters, aged nine and 12, detonated their suicide vests inside an Indonesian Christian church; her two teenage sons detonated their explosives outside a Catholic church, while her husband blew himself up outside a Pentecostal building. Between them, the six, who all died, killed at least 13 people. The next day, a family of ﬁve, riding on two motorcycles, blew themselves up outside Surabaya’s police headquarters, injuring ten people. An eight-year-old girl, who had been wedged between her parents on the bike, survived. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for organising the attacks. 19 May 2018 THE WEEK People 8 NEWS Helping the orphans of Isis Zahar al-Atheel teaches the world’s least-wanted pupils, says Josie Ensor in The Daily Telegraph: the 65 orphaned and abandoned children at the Al-Zahour Centre in Mosul are all the sons and daughters of Islamic State ﬁghters. Exposed to a brutal jihadist ideology and extreme violence – rapes, beheadings, torture – they are not like other children. “They [aren’t] used to playing football or painting. Fun was banned by Daesh.” Some are so traumatised they’re unable to speak. Few are ready to face up to the truth about their pasts: “They all say [their parents] died in accidents or car crashes. The truth is most were killed in ﬁghting or by air strikes.” Many are deeply disturbed and in need of intense therapy. “All my friends ask me why I help these kids, when there’s so many more in need,” he says. “I tell them if we don’t change them today, they will become another Isis tomorrow.” The sadness of Fatboy Slim As DJ Fatboy Slim, Norman Cook has thrilled countless ravers, but latterly he’s not been so happy himself – which has given his work a different dimension. “Nowadays I feel the crowd provide a sort of therapy to me,” he told The Times’s Michael Odell. He is still reeling from the end of his marriage to Zoë Ball in 2016, and isn’t ready to date anyone new: “I’ve forgotten what the rules are... My heart is still wounded to be honest.” Cook, 54, was also deeply affected by the loss of his father-in-law and is now an ambassador for the hospice where he died. He’s amazed by the courage of the people he’s met there. They don’t just confront death, he says, “they dance with it. Let’s face it, few of us dare look the truth in the face. Certainly not a DJ whose job is hedonism and prolonging adolescence.” Castaway of the week This week’s edition of Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs featured entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter Lampl 1 She Loves You by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, performed by The Beatles 2 Prelude And The Sound Of Music by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, performed by Julie Andrews 3 Jumpin’ Jack Flash by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, performed by The Rolling Stones 4 Theme from New York, New York by Fred Ebb and John Kander, performed by Frank Sinatra 5 California Girls by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, performed by The Beach Boys 6 Swan Lake by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, performed by Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra 7* The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, conducted by Charles Mackerras with Bryn Terfel, Christine Rice and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra 8 Cecilia by Paul Simon, performed by Simon & Garfunkel Book: The complete works of Robert Frost * Choice if allowed only one record Luxury: two cases of champagne THE WEEK 19 May 2018 André Leon Talley was 15 when he set his heart on becoming a fashion editor, says Emma Brockes in The Guardian. It was a strange ambition for a grandson of sharecroppers in North Carolina, fuelled by reading old copies of Vogue he found in a local library. The magazine depicted a white, upper-class world, yet he felt included, “because there were people I wanted to be like – eccentric, original people who were artists, writers”. His entrée into this dream world came courtesy of Andy Warhol, who in 1974 gave him a job at Interview magazine. He loved working for Warhol. “He did not judge people; you could say or do anything. Drag queens were as important as Princess Caroline of Monaco.” A decade later he landed at Vogue itself, becoming its creative director and a close friend of its formidable editor, Anna Wintour: “One sees the glacial sunglasses and impeccable dresses. But she cares.” Not everyone in fashion has been as supportive – in Paris, he was dubbed “Queen Kong” by one PR. “That was the most racist thing I’d ever heard. It didn’t hurt me, I didn’t show it, but I never forgot.” Talley, 69, thinks his resilience comes from the grandmother who raised him and gave him unconditional love. “When I went home I wore maxi coats to the ﬂoor, with gold braid and buttons I bought in New York. She didn’t blink an eye: I could do no wrong.” Viewpoint: Lessons and learnings “Join me in a campaign against the new buzzword, ‘learnings’. We may have failed to stop ‘going forward’ go forward, and made no headway against the onward march of ‘challenges’, but by ridicule we could surely stop ‘learnings’ in its tracks. The term is part of the idiot speak of modern business communications – ‘And what learnings to do you take, Nikki, from your experience at Carillion?’ – and really means ‘lessons’, but manages to avoid any hint that someone might actually have made a mistake. Think positive! Nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl presented challenges to those affected by radiation, but we have taken useful learnings from the episode.” Matthew Parris in The Times Farewell Will Alsop, Stirling Prize-winning architect, died 12 May, aged 70. Bob Bura, pioneering animator known for the Trumptonshire trilogy, died 7 April, aged 93. Professor David Goodall, renowned botanist and ecologist, died 10 May, aged 104. Margot Kidder, actress who played Lois Lane in the Superman ﬁlms, died 13 May, aged 69. Tom Wolfe, author and journalist who wrote The Bonﬁre of the Vanities, died 14 May, aged 87. © JOSHUA BRIGHT/GUARDIAN NEWS & MEDIA In bed with rock’s greats Pamela Des Barres was the ultimate groupie, says Craig McLean in The Observer Magazine – and she believes she played a part in nurturing rock’s great talents. She hung out with The Doors and Jimi Hendrix, and her lovers included Jimmy Page and Mick Jagger – but she has a special place in her heart for Keith Moon. “He was such a needy soul… When he’d wake up screaming about being a murdering f*** [Moon had accidentally run over and killed his driver] I could calm him. It was my duty as a muse to take care of this brilliant genius.” She denies that fans like her were victims of sexual abuse – the 1960s and 1970s were “a whole other universe” – but admits her promiscuity was hard to square with her Christian faith. “I fought with it. Until I ﬁnally realised that the orgasm – la petite mort – is godly… so important, so connecting with the divine.” At 69, the memory of making love with Jagger still makes her wistful: “On his pillows in the middle of his living room, listening to Dylan – there was nothing better on Earth.” Celebrate their big day... Marry unmissable TV moments with your most cherished memories ...then remember yours When you turn it on, The Frame is a stylish 4K UHD Certified TV. And when it’s off, you can see your favourite photos on display in Art Mode. So whatever the big occasion, The Frame has a mode that’s the perfect match. Find out more about The Frame at Samsung.com Brieﬁng NEWS 11 May 1968 A student revolt that nearly brought down the French government ﬁfty years ago has become part of the nation’s political mythology © CAMERA PRESS/FRANK HERMANN Where did the protests begin? In Nanterre, a suburb of Paris, on a newly built campus of the University of Paris. The campus had witnessed a minor sexual revolution in 1967 – a series of protests against rules preventing male students from visiting female students in their dormitories. But on 22 March, led by a Franco-German anarchist, Daniel Cohn-Bendit (see box), 140 students occupied a building to demonstrate on a broad range of issues, from the arrest of anti-Vietnam student radicals and overcrowding on campus to class discrimination in French society. In early May, the dean of Nanterre shut down the campus, and the students moved their protests to the university’s main site at the Sorbonne, in Paris’s Latin Quarter. students and set out their own demands. By 16 May, workers had occupied some 50 factories across France – including those of the carmaker Renault and the aviation company Dassault. By 23 May, some ten million workers – two-thirds of the workforce – were on strike. Although often forgotten today, the workers’ revolt was seen as far more signiﬁcant than the students’ by de Gaulle’s government. What did the protesters want? The students’ demands were diffuse and utopian: as well as the release of those arrested, they wanted the decentralisation of economic and political power; freedom from bourgeois norms; the end of what they saw as US imperialism. Their slogans were playful and open-ended: “Be “Demand the impossible”: student rioters in Paris realistic: demand the impossible.” “It is forbidden to forbid.” The most famous – inspired by the sight of What were the underlying issues? sand under the cobblestones removed to ﬁght the police – was: Most Western nations experienced student revolts and outbreaks of anti-establishment violence in the late 1960s. Many, such as the “Sous les pavés, la plage” (“Under the cobblestones, the beach”). Across France, committees were formed to restructure univerGrosvenor Square protests in London, focused on the Vietnam sities, schools, the news media and the ﬁlm industry – the Cannes War: the Vietcong’s Tet Offensive had begun in January. From Film Festival ended after jury members resigned in support. The 1945, France had enjoyed unbroken prosperity and a baby boom: unions, for their part, had some concrete demands on pay and in the decade to 1968, the French student population had grown hours, but many workers were swept up in the idealistic fervour. from 175,000 to 500,000, bringing with it a thriving youth culture and left-wing political movements. Yet France – and its How did the events of May 1968 end? universities – remained traditional and quietly authoritarian, its On 29 May, de Gaulle disappeared from view. He had ﬂown by rigid hierarchies symbolised by the 77-year-old president, Charles helicopter to the headquarters of the French army in Germany, de Gaulle, who had been in power for a decade. In March 1968, to seek the support of its commander, General Jacques Massu. Le Monde columnist Pierre Viansson-Ponté declared that France On 30 May, half a million protesters marched through Paris, was facing a dangerous political problem: “boredom”. chanting: “Adieu, de Gaulle.” But that day, he returned to Paris and delivered a radio address in which he refused to resign, How did the May protests escalate? threatened to impose a state of emergency, dissolved the National On 3 May, the rector of the Sorbonne asked the police to clear Assembly and called new elections. There was also a large protest the main courtyard, which 300 or so students had occupied. by de Gaulle supporters on the Champs-Élysées. By early June, The arrests that followed, many made by the notorious CRS the strikes and protests had melted away. (The government had riot police, sparked violent resistance: police were pelted with negotiated a generous deal with the unions in late May, agreeing cobblestones. On 6 May, some 20,000 students marched on the to a 10% increase in wages.) On 16 June, the police retook the Sorbonne, demanding its reopening and the release of arrested Sorbonne, and later in the month the Gaullists won a historic students. Police forced the students back with tear gas and landslide, taking 353 of 486 seats. truncheons. The escalating cycle of violence built up to the “Night of the Dany le Rouge So the revolution failed? Barricades” on 10-11 May, when a Daniel Cohn-Bendit became the face of May 1968. Yes. As a result, some have dismissed bigger protest, also on the Left Bank, Known as “Dany le Rouge” because of both his red it as a meaningless convulsion. The was halted by police. The students hair and his politics, at the time he advocated a mixture of Marxism, sexual liberation and anarchism: philosopher Raymond Aron called began removing cobblestones, overhe advocated self-governing, stateless societies, it a “non-event”, a “psychodrama”, turning cars and building barricades. regarded elections as a “fool’s trap” and believed that in which students performed a At about 2am, the police attacked, sexual repression led to “fascist” politics. In fact, once farcical re-enactment of the great ﬁring tear gas and beating students the protests got under way, he did not play a big role: revolutionary episodes of French and bystanders. By dawn, nearly the son of German Jews who had fled to France in the history. However, many argue that, 500 students had been arrested and 1930s, he had a German passport and de Gaulle had in the words of one student leader, hundreds hospitalised (as well as him expelled on 22 May as a “seditious alien”. Alain Geismar, it succeeded “as a 250 police ofﬁcers). This perceived In the 1970s, Cohn-Bendit worked in an alternative aggression of the police turned much kindergarten in Frankfurt, before building a new career social revolution, not as a political one”: it brought about a less rigid of the public against the authorities. in Green politics: he led the Green group in the society, and heralded the birth of On 13 May, France’s biggest unions European Parliament between 2004 and 2014. His radical past occasionally troubled him: in the 1970s, he new political movements, from the called a strike in sympathy. had written describing “erotic” encounters with five“new Left” to feminism. It remains year-olds, accounts he later disowned as untrue and controversial today. In 2007, Nicolas How long did the strike last? merely “obnoxious provocation”. Cohn-Bendit came Sarkozy promised to “liquidate” The union leaders only called a to support not just democracy but the free market. “I the 1968 legacy of “intellectual one-day strike, but it developed into say forget May 1968,” he has explained. “It’s finished. and moral relativism”. This year, something much bigger. Indeﬁnite Society today bears no relationship with that of the wildcat (unofﬁcial) strikes followed, 1960s. When we called ourselves anti-authoritarian, we Emmanuel Macron – facing his own protests and strikes – decided not to as workers in their thousands poured were fighting against a very different society.” commemorate it ofﬁcially. onto the streets to support the 12 May 2018 THE WEEK EXPLORE the high flyer in you Time limited offer With us, you can be whoever you’d like to be in places you’ve always dreamed of. This ancient-meets-modern region is alive with possibility. 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Customers rate P&O Cruises Powered by Best articles: Britain British justice simply isn’t working Gaby Hinsliff The Guardian Why British maths teaching doesn’t add up Bobby Seagull Financial Times A Great Game that’s spreading to the Arctic Roger Boyes The Times How football taught us to accept reality Simon Kuper New Statesman There’s a strike going on that you’ve probably barely heard of, says Gaby Hinsliff. Yet “its implications are as grave as any that make the headlines”. It involves criminal barristers from about 100 chambers who are refusing to take on new taxpayer-funded cases. They’re in despair over sustained cuts to the criminal justice system that have been so severe, they’ve left many junior barristers struggling on less than the minimum wage... and many defendants without proper legal assistance. Owing to fresh restrictions on entitlement to legal aid – and now the barrister strike – more and more people, on charges ranging all the way up to murder, are trying to “represent themselves, often with only the vaguest idea of what they’re doing”. It has led to chaotic scenes in courts, with some defendants apparently freezing like rabbits in the headlights, and others interrupting constantly or going off on tangents. It’s no way to get at the facts and “the risk of miscarriages of justice is screamingly obvious”. Lawyers may not be as sympathetic ﬁgures as doctors or nurses, but their protest still deserves our attention. What’s the point of learning maths? For a maths teacher like me, says Bobby Seagull, it reveals the beauty of underlying patterns in the world. Did you know, for example, that cicadas emerge in prime number cycles in order to evade predators? But for most of us, the point of maths is to help deal with real-life problems – something maths teaching today signally fails to do. You bone up on trigonometry yet seldom encounter it again once you’ve left school. You can get a top grade at GCSE maths and still end up ﬁnancially illiterate. Indeed, it turns out that almost half of UK working-age adults have the numeracy skills of a primary school child. A teacher is meant to prepare young people to be responsible citizens, but if they don’t learn the basics of compound interest, how can they make informed decisions about, say, renting or buying a ﬂat? That’s why what I call “urban maths” should be central to the curriculum. Only if we stop asking questions of the “If Alice has three times as many sweets as Billy...” variety, and start asking pupils to compare the merits of bank accounts, will they be able to acquire the “survival skills” needed for adult life. “Climate change is shifting politics as surely as it is shifting ice,” says Roger Boyes. Take the case of Greenland, a remote territory mostly covered by ice that has always been of huge strategic signiﬁcance, given its proximity to both Russia and the US, but which is becoming even more of a hotspot as the Arctic warms, the ice melts and its minerals become easier to excavate. China, in particular, is now a very visible presence there, hoping not just to get hold of its rare earth metals, but to exploit the northern sea route that would allow it to ship goods quickly to Europe. A Chinese ﬁrm even put in a bid to buy the Cold War US naval base put up for sale by Denmark, which is still the island’s sovereign power. This spooked Copenhagen, which rapidly took it off the market. But Greenlanders may soon win independence, and if they do they’d be happy to “exchange the Danish yoke for a no-political-strings-attached commercial relationship with Beijing”. In this way China, and Russia, are extending their reach across the Arctic: a good deal for them, a clear threat to the West. There’s something about Gareth Southgate, the England manager, that embodies the modern idea of Englishness, says Simon Kuper. Modest, self-deprecating, “with a big nose” and an “open, naive face”, he became a national hero after his penalty was saved in the semi-ﬁnal shoot-out in Euro 1996. His subsequent admission that he was sure he’d score it, even though his mum reminded us he’d only taken one penalty before and missed that too, marked him out as a lovable loser. He personiﬁed a post-imperial England “comfortable with defeat”. It wasn’t always so. For a while, “the default mode was astonishment each time England didn’t win a World Cup”. We were the home of football, after all. And that belief in Britain’s innate superiority persists in politics, particularly among older people who grew up on “maps swathed in pink”. Not in football, though: it’s hard to preserve the illusion of being “great” when the scoreboard says otherwise. And football shapes people’s idea of a country even more than politics. So now every humiliation at a big tournament celebrates a fresh idea of England: “a land of unlucky heroes that no longer rules the world”. NEWS 13 IT MUST BE TRUE… I read it in the tabloids A retired Dorset couple have been convicted of attacking their pagan neighbour, a druid witch calling himself Bearheart, after losing patience with his full moon rituals. Mark and Anne Denyer became infuriated by the chanting and drumbeats coming from the garden of John Bennett’s bungalow during the monthly ceremonies, and stormed over on last November’s full moon, after a verbal altercation over the fence. Mrs Denyer hit Bennett with an umbrella, and Mr Denyer stabbed him with a kitchen knife. Luckily, Bennett’s 22st frame protected him and he was only superficially injured. A Spanish potato farmer has become a social media star because of her likeness to Donald Trump. Dolores Leis posed for an article about life on her farm in the local paper, La Voz de Galicia, and in short order achieved worldwide viral fame. She has since been asked to comment on pressing US policy and international issues. “My photo seems to have travelled far,” she remarked. “I say it is because of the colour of my hair.” A Russian woman who thought she was entering her PIN into the credit card machine at a Swiss café was in fact paying a tip. As a result, Olesja Schemjakowa paid 7,709.70 Swiss francs (£5,695) for a coffee and cake. The credit card company would not reverse her payment, because it was not considered fraudulent. The café owner later promised to repay her, but filed for bankruptcy before the money was returned. “That’s just not fair!” said Schemjakowa. 19 May 2018 THE WEEK 14 NEWS Best articles: Europe Will it be war? The seething tension between two old foes They may be Nato allies, but Greece said Piero Castellano on the Turkish and Turkey have seldom got on well, website AhvalNews.com. But with said Yiannis Baboulias in Foreign no navy, Atatürk couldn’t capture the Policy (Washington). They went to offshore islands – even though many war with each other several times in are so close Turks can hear cockerels the 19th and 20th centuries, and now crowing there – and in the Treaty of they’re on the brink again. Turkish Lausanne of 1923 they remained Greek nationalists have been agitating for territory. Since then, Ankara has laid the return of the Greek islands that claim to practically every barren rock lie just off the coast of Turkey, and not mentioned in the treaty: in 1996, to humour them in the run-up to next it almost went to war with Athens over month’s election, President Erdogan the Imia islets – still fiercely contested. is demanding the maritime border be renegotiated. And it’s not just aggresThe land border with Greece, 150 miles sive rhetoric he’s indulging in. This from Istanbul, is also a flashpoint, said Kammenos and Tsipris: fighting provocation month, a Turkish cargo ship rammed a Savvas Kalèndéridès on Voltairenet.org Greek patrol boat off the island of Lesbos. An accident, said the (Hong Kong). Villagers from both countries sometimes stray Turkish authorities, but the Greeks saw it as deliberate provoacross the border, and at worst are usually fined. But when two cation. Greek public opinion was equally enraged last month, Greek soldiers mistakenly crossed the line in March, they were when a Greek pilot died after his plane crashed during a mission charged with spying. Erdogan freely admits he is holding them to intercept Turkish jets that had entered disputed airspace. as bargaining chips for the return of eight Turkish coup plotters Greece’s PM, Alexis Tsipras, has tried to keep a lid on things, who fled to Greece and whom the Greek courts refuse to extrabut the reckless nationalist rhetoric of his junior coalition partdite. The situation is now so volatile, said Boris Kálnoky in Die ner, Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, makes that very hard. Welt (Berlin), that conflict could be ignited by accident rather than by design. And that’s alarming when you bear in mind Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s expulsion of more than a million that Greece and Turkey together own more tanks and artillery Greeks from their homelands in Turkey in the early 1920s is vehicles than the rest of Europe combined. If there’s a war, part of the foundation story of the modern Turkish republic, “this arsenal could do a lot of damage in a very short time”. SWEDEN Why so much fuss over a call to prayer? Aftonbladet (Stockholm) GERMANY The heavy cost of Merkel’s bleeding heart Cicero (Berlin) ITALY The appalling degradation of life in Rome La Repubblica (Rome) THE WEEK 19 May 2018 The call to prayer blaring from minarets is common in Muslim countries, but many Swedes think it shouldn’t be heard in Europe, says Ingvar Persson. In the city of Växjö, conservative politicians are kicking up a stink over the request by a mosque for a three-minute call to prayer to be sent out at noon on Fridays. With elections looming in September, it’s become a hot topic, variously presented as “a threat to the Swedish nation” or a crucial test of religious freedom. But is it worth getting so steamed up about? True, we don’t want to hear it ﬁve times a day, but one prayer call a week will hardly disrupt Swedish culture or values. As for the noise, we’ve plenty already to put up with from emergency vehicle sirens and “stereo systems blaring hip-hop”. In the event, the police have ignored the controversy and permitted it on the basis of local public order regulations; they merely require that the speakers are pointed in the right direction and the volume is below 45 decibels as heard from the inside, “slightly less than the sound of a modern dishwasher”. Quite right too. Such decisions are best made on old-fashioned bureaucratic principles that have nothing to do with religion. The blowback from Angela Merkel’s policy of welcoming refugees is really starting to bite, says Wolfgang Bok. Some 370,000 asylum cases are pending in the courts, a backlog that will take years to clear. Only one in ﬁve wins permission to stay – often on the basis of documents ofﬁcials have no way of verifying and may well be faked. They frankly admit they may give the nod for fear of being called racist. Applicants from countries like Pakistan and Nigeria that are not war-torn have virtually no hope, yet lawyers encourage them to apply regardless, putting an intolerable strain on the legal system. Even when deportation orders are made, they can be near impossible to execute. Ofﬁcials who tried to deport a Togolese man from a refugee centre back to Italy (his point of entry to the EU) were practically set upon by other migrants. It took hundreds of police to extract him, and further appeals were launched. Meanwhile, other applicants continue to receive generous beneﬁts – which is precisely why even rejected asylum seekers stubbornly resist deportation. A conservative politician who recently spoke of an “anti-deportation industry” at work was howled down by left-wingers. But most people agree things just can’t go on like this. “How much naivety can a country afford?” In most European cities a bus in ﬂames would be taken for a terrorist bombing, says Sergio Rizzo. Not in Rome. There, people have grown so used to the sight they barely take a second glance. They know it’s because the buses aren’t being looked after properly. More than 150 have caught ﬁre in three years, two on the same morning last week. One was in a busy shopping street; the passengers escaped, but the ﬁre damaged a nearby clothes shop. The other was a school bus, which mercifully was empty apart from the driver. The municipally owned transport company, Atac, is s1.3bn in debt, and last year suppliers stopped providing spare parts: its buses run without sufﬁcient coolant; their worn electrical cables lie inches from pistons soaked in oil. A stray spark and in minutes a bus is on ﬁre. It’s another example of the appalling degradation of Rome. Its streets have an estimated 50,000 potholes and it can no longer pay for other regions to take its rubbish, which keeps piling up. The authorities are losing control; some districts are effectively being run by criminal outﬁts. Yet Virginia Raggi, the Five Star Movement mayor, persists in the ﬁction that things are not that bad. Let us hope the shame of exploding buses will ﬁnally force the politicians to put things to rights. Best articles: International NEWS 17 Michael Cohen: the “fixer” who could bring down Trump Michael Cohen has long served as owned, the firm effectively serves as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and an investment vehicle for the Russian “fixer”, said Karen Tumulty in The oligarch Viktor Vekselberg and his Washington Post. But it seems those family (Columbus Nova’s CEO is titles barely do him justice. New Vekselberg’s cousin). The idea that revelations last week suggest Cohen – this high-level firm would hire Cohen a former personal-injury lawyer with a for real-estate advice is ridiculous. It taxi business on the side – is a veritable would be “like McDonald’s calling the “all-purpose tool”. Consider the array proprietor of a local diner and asking of companies that have apparently how to run a restaurant”. So what was called on his unique mix of expertise. the payment all about? The Swiss drug giant Novartis paid Cohen $1.2m for his advice on This is what a “smoking gun might healthcare policy. A Korean defence look like”, said Jed Shugerman on Slate. company paid him $150,000 to This Russia-linked payment isn’t just Cohen: an “all-purpose tool” advise it on accounting practices. The a possible breach of campaign finance telecommunications firm AT&T paid him $600,000 to laws. Given that we’re talking of an oligarch with connections provide “insights into understanding the new administration”. to Vladimir Putin funnelling cash to Trump’s personal lawyer – Altogether, Cohen appears to have raked in more than $2m through a shell company that was also used to pay hush money from this consulting work. “It remains to be seen whether any to the porn actress Stormy Daniels, and possibly other women – of this is illegal or merely unseemly.” But it certainly mocks the it could be a step towards “establishing quid pro quo bribery idea that Trump has cleaned up Washington. “The swamp is and conspiracy against the United States”. Proving it would be never drained; it just gets taken over by different reptiles.” very difficult. But Cohen, who is reportedly under investigation for bank fraud and election law violations, is under a lot of One of the payments to Cohen raises particular questions, said pressure to cooperate with prosecutors. If he and other alleged Adam Davidson in The New Yorker: the $500,000 from New co-conspirators flip, they may yet “help a jury, the public and York investment firm Columbus Nova. Although Americanperhaps Congress find proof beyond a reasonable doubt”. MALAYSIA Is the world’s oldest PM a force for good? Quartz (New York) EAST AFRICA In Africa the state polices the culture... The Washington Post UNITED STATES ... in America, it’s the Twitter brigade The Atlantic (Washington DC) It’s the end of an era in Malaysia, says Isabella Steger. Last week, in a stunning political upset, the country had its ﬁrst change of government since it gained independence from Britain in 1957. The 60-year rule of the Barisan Nasional coalition ended when an opposition alliance led by Malaysia’s former premier, Mahathir Mohamad, won a surprise majority in parliament, ousting Prime Minister Najib Razak, who had been embroiled in a massive corruption scandal. It’s a “seismic event” not just for Malaysia, but for the broader region, where it’s “almost unheard of for voters to overturn governments”. Indeed, over recent years a “renewed wave of strongman rule” has gripped neighbouring countries such as Cambodia and Thailand. The 92-year-old Mahathir, now the world’s oldest political leader, “is himself no progressive reformer”. As Najib’s one-time mentor, he ruled Malaysia with an iron grip, jailing his opponent Anwar Ibrahim on cooked-up sodomy charges. This time, though, Mahathir has vowed to tackle corruption and to cede power to Anwar once the latter, having now been pardoned and released, has won re-election as an MP. “If Mahathir keeps to his word, Malaysia could break the unsettling pattern of rising authoritarianism in southeast Asia.” “Imagine paying more than $900 to a government agency just to be allowed to blog,” says Larry Madowo. That’s the latest idea from the government of Tanzania: it thinks all online content providers should have to pay a fee and submit documents to gain a licence. On the other side of Lake Victoria, Uganda wants to impose a tax on users of social media. Rights groups have complained, but that won’t bother President Museveni: he famously shut down social media during the 2016 election. Neighbouring Kenya has shown a similar contempt for free speech: it closed three TV stations for a week earlier this year. Together, these countries are “presiding over a systematic shrinking of the democratic space in East Africa”. And “cultural censorship” is a big part of the process. Kenya has just banned the movie Raﬁki on the grounds that it “promotes” homosexuality; in Tanzania, pop star Diamond Platnumz was recently forced to apologise for posting a video of himself kissing a girl on Instagram; Uganda, meanwhile, has created a task force dedicated to rooting out pornography – as if the nation didn’t have more pressing problems. “East Africans’ freedoms are fading fast. It is a dangerous time to be someone with an opinion in the region.” The “cultural appropriation police” have struck again, says David Frum. The latest target of their wrath is an 18-year-old girl from Utah who dared to post a picture of herself on social media wearing a Chinese-style dress, a cheongsam, to her high school dance. “My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress,” raged one Twitter user, Jeremy Lam. Like many of these silly controversies about “people of one background adopting and adapting the artefacts of another”, this one was petty, coercive and infantilising – but it also exhibited a particular historical ignorance. The style of dress worn by the student was conceived in China after the overthrow of the Qing dynasty in 1912, when Chinese women found themselves free for the ﬁrst time in 250 years to dress as they liked. The new garment, the cheongsam, is seen by some as “a fusion of old and new, East and West”. It used Chinese fabrics, but its shape and purpose – to allow easy movement, unlike previous, highly restrictive clothes – was consciously appropriated from European fashion. America’s “wouldbe culture police”, in other words, were attacking a Western girl for wearing a “dress designed precisely so that Chinese girls could live more like Western girls”. 19 May 2018 THE WEEK Find out more about the projects powered by Foresight at www.foresightgroup.eu Investing for a smarter future It takes Foresight RENEWABLE ENERGY | INFRASTRUCTURE | PRIVATE EQUITY Foresight Group LLP is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. Capital is at risk. Health & Science NEWS 19 What the scientists are saying… Tolerating cold is in our DNA Early humans successfully migrated to freezing northern climates thanks to a genetic mutation that made them better able to withstand the cold – but which also made them more prone to headaches, new research suggests. In the human body, there is only one known receptor that controls how we respond to the sensation of cold. A team led by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology has now discovered that a variant in the DNA upstream of the TRPM8 gene that codes this receptor is far more prevalent at northern latitudes. The further north you go, the more widely the variant is found: only 5% of people with Nigerian ancestry carry it, but 88% of Finns do. As previous studies have found that some mammals that live in cold conditions have adapted different versions of TRPM8, the scientists speculate that the variant also makes humans more tolerant of cold. The new research suggests that when Homo sapiens began migrating from Africa to Europe 50,000 years ago, those with the variant were more likely to prosper in the freezing north and thus it spread. Intriguingly, the variant is also strongly associated with migraines. Why it should have this side effect is not clear, but it could help explain why the headaches are most commonly reported in people of European descent. Do saunas prevent stroke? If you’re one of the few people in Britain who have a sauna, do be sure to use it regularly: it may stop you having a stroke. Researchers from the University of Bristol tracked 1,628 Finnish people with an average age of 63. They found that over a 15-year period, the people who had four to seven saunas a week were about 60% less likely to suffer a stroke than those who Inuits: adapted to the cold had just one sauna a week. The differences were similar even after the researchers adjusted for factors such as smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol – suggesting that they weren’t only down to sauna junkies having better overall health. “Saunas appear to have a blood pressure lowering effect, which may underlie the beneﬁcial effect on stroke risk,” said Dr Setor Kunutsor, who co-wrote the study in Neurology. However, clinical trials would need to prove that saunas reduce stroke risk – and in any case, they are not for everyone: Finns use saunas from childhood, so their bodies are used to them. Older sauna novices should be cautious and talk to a doctor ﬁrst if in poor health. The Sun will have a dazzling death Astronomers have long agreed that our sun will die in ﬁve billion or so years from now. But they were less certain as to the manner of its going. Using new data © EWAN EDWARDS Birds flock back after rodent cull The island of South Georgia, in the South Atlantic, was this week officially declared rodent-free after a massive cull. Rats arrived in the 19th century on whaling vessels, and as their numbers grew to several million, they gnawed their way through the eggs and chicks of millions of ground-nesting birds, devastating their populations. In 2011, conservationists launched a project to kill the rodents by dropping poisonous pellets from the air across the 100-mile-long island. Their efforts have worked. To check the rats had been eradicated, the South Georgia Heritage Trust employed three terriers from New Zealand to traverse the island sniffing out rodents. It also deployed more than 4,600 rodent-detecting devices, such as The albatross: flourishing chew sticks and small tracking tunnels to record footprints. Not a single rat or mouse was found. By contrast, there has been “an explosion” in the number of native pipits and pintails, and a resurgence in the albatross population, according to Professor Mike Richardson, chair of the trust’s steering committee. But he stressed that vigilance was still needed: “We only need one pregnant rat to get back onto South Georgia and we could restart the whole cycle.” modelling, however, a Nature Astronomy study has detailed a clearer picture. It now seems that when the Sun’s core runs out of hydrogen, its centre will collapse, setting off nuclear reactions at its periphery. These will cause it to swell into a red giant, about 250 times its present size, which will engulf Mercury and Venus, and destroy Earth. As its outer layers are blown off, the core will heat up, radiating ultraviolet light that will turn the vast quantities of gas and dust ejected by the dying star into a glowing ring of plasma that will shine for 10,000 years – which would be a ﬁne sight, were anyone left to see it. Most large stars die in this way, forming a planetary nebula, but there had been doubts as to whether the Sun had sufﬁcient mass to do so. “They are the prettiest objects in the sky and even though the Sun will only become a faint one, it will be visible from neighbouring galaxies,” said study co-author Albert Zijlstra, professor of astrophysics at the University of Manchester. Too many under-fives are dying Children under ﬁve in Britain have a signiﬁcantly higher mortality rate than their counterparts in Sweden, despite the countries having similar levels of economic development and universal healthcare, according to a study in The Lancet. Researchers examined data on children born between 2003 and 2012, and found that the mortality rate in Britain was 29 per 10,000 – one of the highest in western Europe; in Sweden, it was 19. Deaths in the ﬁrst year of life were the main driver of the difference. More UK babies were born underweight, preterm or with congenital anomalies. The researchers said that poorer maternal health in Britain was a major factor, and that this could be down to more unequal wealth distribution. NHS “crisis” revealed Britain has fewer doctors and nurses per head of population than most developed countries, new research has found. Researchers from the King’s Fund health think tank compared data from 21 OECD countries. Britain was ranked 19th for the number of doctors per capita, 16th for nurses per capita and 18th for hospital beds. Britain has only 2.8 doctors per 1,000 people, barely half the number in Austria, which has the most, at 5.1 per 1,000. Britain has fewer than 8 nurses per 1,000, whereas Switzerland has 18. On hospital beds, Britain has 2.6 per 1,000; Germany, the best performer, has 8.1. The analysis also revealed that Britain has fewer MRI and CT scanners per capita than any of the other nations on the list. Yet as a proportion of GDP, UK spending on healthcare isn’t notably lower than that of other nations: 9.7% of its GDP is spent on health; the average across the 21 countries was 9.6%. 19 May 2018 THE WEEK 20 NEWS Talking points Donald Trump: unravelling the world order Shia inﬂuence in the region, funding He always said that he’d put America terrorism and military incursions in ﬁrst. It now seems that for President Yemen (where Iran is ﬁghting a proxy Trump, that means America alone. Since war with Saudi Arabia), Syria (where coming to power last year, Trump has Israel claims 80,000 Shia ﬁghters are gone out of his way to isolate the US from under Iranian control), Lebanon (where its traditional allies and undermine the Israel’s foe, the Iran-backed Shia group fragile world order, said Barbara Slavin Hezbollah, is a major political force) and on The Hill. In 2017, he deﬁed his critics Iraq. In short, said The Daily Telegraph, by withdrawing the US from the Paris Trump’s decision to quit the deal makes climate accord. The great disrupter has more sense the closer one lives to Iran. also pulled out of the 12-nation TransPaciﬁc Partnership free-trade agreement; But what does he expect to happen now? kept up a regular stream of criticism of In Europe, the three Ms – Macron, May Nato; threatened new trade tariffs that and Merkel – are still hoping to salvage would affect European manufacturers; The president: turning his back on Europe the deal, said Edward Luce in the FT. undermined the Middle East peace process Iran’s President Rouhani says that if they by relocating the US’s embassy in Israel to can ﬁnd a way of keeping trade going, he will stick with it. But Jerusalem; and pulled the US out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. that “fork leads to a deepening Western split”: the US would In the days before that announcement last week, President levy sanctions on European entities, and Europe (which has long Macron of France and Germany’s Angela Merkel had both chafed against the US’s use of secondary sanctions) would be travelled to Washington to plead with the president to change forced to retaliate. Of course, the deal’s other signatories, China his mind – to no avail. and Russia, would also continue to trade with Iran and would retaliate against any US ﬁnancial penalties. That would have a We shouldn’t have been surprised, said The Independent. knock-on effect on Trump’s trade talks with China and on hopes Trump was, yet again, only fulﬁlling a promise made during of Beijing sustaining its pressure on North Korea to abandon its his “maverick” election campaign and carrying on his “childish” nuclear weapons. mission to “undo – just for the sake of undoing – everything that his predecessor achieved in ofﬁce”. But the “The US leaving the Iran deal marks It’s not clear how, by reneging on this exit from the Iran deal is of a different the biggest rupture in transatlantic deal, Trump hopes to persuade Kim Jong Un to trust him when it comes to order from the rest, said Philip Stephens relations since the Cold War ended” North Korea, said the FT. But emboldin the FT: it “marks the biggest rupture ened by his apparent success with Kim, in transatlantic relations since the end of Trump is conﬁdent that he can get a better deal out of Iran in the the Cold War”. Trump has effectively turned his back on Europe 90 to 180 days before sanctions are reimposed. It’s a high-risk to join an unlikely alliance between Saudi Arabia and Israel, both strategy. What if hardliners in Iran – who never liked the 2015 of which are banging “the drums for war” with Iran. deal – use the Great Satan’s betrayal to strengthen their hand? Rather than return to the negotiating table, they may force their But Trump was right about one thing: the Iran deal was not a people to withstand the pain of sanctions, and restart the nuclear good one, said Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph. Sure, it programme, potentially triggering a Middle East arms race. suited the Europeans to be able to do business with Iran – France Trump is prepared for that outcome, said Christopher de and Germany have done very nicely out of it, and are aghast that Bellaigue in The Spectator. He is surrounded by anti-Iranians, the reimposition of US sanctions could put a stop to trade worth including John Bolton, his national security adviser, who has long billions. But the deal didn’t ask enough of Iran in return: it kept called for regime change in Iran. If there’s no North Korea-style its long-range ballistic missiles; its military bases were not subject capitulation, we may be looking at war. Iran is a malign power, to inspections; and it was only asked to suspend, not end, its said The Washington Post. But it is also an ancient civilisation, nuclear programme. Barack Obama’s optimistic idea was that during this ten to 15-year pause, Iran’s economy would boom and with complex ties of inﬂuence in the region, that has withstood US pressure and sanctions for decades. Even if we could topple young, pro-Western moderates would prosper, weakening the grip of the Shia theocracy. But Tehran didn’t use the extra income the regime, do we want to? Surely, after the past 20 years, we know better than to risk opening that Pandora’s box. to improve people’s lives. Instead, it used it to bolster an arc of His older daughter Samantha (Meghan’s half-sister, who is not on the guest list) took the blame for the episode, saying that she had encouraged him to cooperate with the photo agency, to help “recast” his image. If Thomas Markle (pictured, with Meghan) does not come, it is likely that the bride will be walked down the aisle by her mother, LA-based social worker Doria Ragland. Pick of the week’s Gossip With days to go before the royal wedding, Meghan Markle’s father Thomas (one of only a handful of her relatives to be invited to the occasion, and due to walk her down the aisle), was reported to have pulled out of the proceedings. The former lighting director, who lives quietly in a small city in Mexico, was said to have been upset and embarrassed by reports that he had helped THE WEEK 19 May 2018 stage what had appeared to be paparazzi photographs of him preparing for the big day. George Osborne has learnt that he is Jewish. The discovery was made by the former chancellor’s brother after he got engaged to his American girlfriend – who is from an orthodox Jewish family. He’d been willing to convert to Judaism, in order to marry her in an orthodox ceremony, but as that process can take several years, he thought he might as well investigate his maternal grandmother, a Hungarian émigré who moved to Britain in the 1930s and died in 2004. While she never mentioned being Jewish, paperwork was uncovered that proved she and her family had been members of a synagogue in Budapest. A rabbinical court ruled that Theo Osborne, 33, was therefore Jewish already and had no need to convert. Talking points Gang violence: “check the scoreboard” “Hey, Londoners – been stabbed of little more than a “hunch” or or shot yet this week?” asked the youth’s taste in music. These Rod Liddle in The Spectator. “uncorroborated assumptions” If not, count yourself lucky. are then allegedly shared with The capital’s murder rate has other authorities such as housing overtaken New York’s in recent associations, schools and job months and is “approaching centres, causing individuals Detroit’s”. So far this year, there lasting harm. The report found have been 63 suspected murders that 78% of people on the in the city. Had the victims been matrix are black, although only “nice little old white ladies called 27% of those prosecuted for Betty, this carnage would have serious youth violence are black. captured a bit more of our The youngest person on the attention”. But almost all these matrix is 12 years old. killings have involved young men from ethnic minorities, There are clearly problems with both as victims and perpetrators. how this data is retained and To point out this demographic Ainsworth Barton: the latest victim shared with other agencies, said reality, though, is to risk being Janice Turner in The Times. The “cast as a racist”. Liberal critics are bizarre. fact remains, though, that we can’t tackle the They argue – “correctly, in my opinion – that scourge of shootings and stabbings in London we are doing little to stop the crimes because without addressing gang culture. Police believe we don’t care enough about black people killing social media and nihilistic “drill” music are each other”. Yet at the same time, they refuse fuelling the violence by glamourising it and to acknowledge that there is anything unique, “supercharging” gang disputes. That would culturally speaking, about these murders. certainly appear to be the case in the recent killing of 17-year-old Rhyhiem Ainsworth There are dangers in dwelling on the cultural Barton. Described in the press as an aspiring dimension, said Becky Clarke in The Guardian. architect, he was also reportedly part of a drill Once the narrative becomes all about gangs, rap crew, Moscow17, based in Kennington, it has a distorting effect on policing – as which is at war with a rival gang, Zone 2, in highlighted by Amnesty International’s scathing Peckham. Shortly before he was shot dead, report last week on the Metropolitan Police’s Rhyhiem’s crew posted a goading video in which database of suspects, known as the “Gangs they told Zone 2 to “check the scoreboard”. Of Matrix”. The report claims that ofﬁcers often course, we mustn’t stigmatise black youths. But label young men as gang suspects on the basis “gang culture itself needs stamping on hard”. Grammar schools: back from the dead? Grammar schools are “the zombie policy that won’t die”, said Fiona Millar in The Observer. By rights, the idea of bringing them back should have been killed off long ago. Grammars are a middle-class racket. It is well established that they “do little for social mobility”; the majority of their students “come from better-off homes”. A recent long-term study of exam data revealed that they “add barely any value. Their stellar results simply reﬂect the higher prior attainment of their pupils.” Even so, before the last election, Theresa May promised to create a new generation of grammar schools across Britain. The plan was, thankfully, “seen off” when she lost her majority. But now, at a time when the education budget is under massive pressure, the Government has set aside £50m for grammar school expansion. Grammar schools in England will be able to create thousands of extra places. And though new grammars are banned, existing schools will be allowed to create annexes on different sites – essentially, new schools. “This is an inherently unjust measure,” said Jason Beattie in The Mirror. England’s 163 grammar schools are predominantly in wealthy parts of Kent, Lincolnshire and Buckinghamshire. “This is a bung to schools in Tory-voting middle-class areas.” Hardly, said the London Evening Standard. The money for expansion will be dependent on accepting a higher proportion of poor pupils. But in truth the whole policy is a mere gesture, to pacify diehard Tory grammar school supporters: £50m represents only 0.1% of the education budget. It’s a “distraction”, to conceal “a major political U-turn” – the fact that May’s plan for grammar school expansion has been axed, because too many Tory MPs would have voted it down. Education Secretary Damian Hinds should be congratulated for getting his boss “out of the hole she dug for herself”. We are left, though, with a fairly pointless policy, said David Butterﬁeld on his Spectator blog. It’s widely believed that grammar schools do nothing to help social mobility. This is certainly true today, when grammars are restricted to a few well-off parts of the country. But it wasn’t the case when there were 1,300 grammars across England and Wales. In 1959, almost half of their pupils were the children of manual workers. Since then, this ladder of opportunity has been withdrawn in the parts of the country that need it most. The ten most deprived education authorities have no grammar schools at all; of the 50 most deprived, only ﬁve have grammars. So restricting expansion to the areas where grammars already exist makes little sense. Geography dictates that they will remain “bastions of the better-heeled middle classes”. NEWS 21 Wit & Wisdom “I am glad not to have been a revolutionary when I was young, because it prevented me from becoming a reactionary bore in old age.” Robert Lowell, quoted in the London Review of Books “I doubt alcohol kills more people than it creates.” Author John LeFevre, quoted on The Browser “Without Mozart we still have a great deal of great music. We have Bach and Beethoven and Handel and Schumann etc. But with Mozart, we can dance to heaven.” Pianist Menahem Pressler on BBC Radio 3 “Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle “Your guilty conscience may move you to vote Democratic, but deep down you long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalise criminals and rule you like a king.” The Simpsons’ Sideshow Bob, quoted in The Mail on Sunday “I can tell how intelligent a man is by how stupid he thinks I am.” Cormac McCarthy, quoted in the LA Times “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Mike Tyson, quoted in The Daily Telegraph Statistics of the week The cost of clearing up flytipped rubbish in England rose to £57.7m over the past year, up 13%. In 2016-17, there were 492,139 incidents in which enough waste to fill a small van was dumped. LGA/The Independent In the first four months of this year, motorists lodged 4,200 insurance claims related to pothole damage – more than in the whole of 2017. AA/The Times 19 May 2018 THE WEEK Sport 22 NEWS Rugby union: Leinster’s European triumph Irish rugby’s remarkable year shows “absolutely no sign of ending”, said Robert Kitson in The Observer. In March, Ireland won the Six Nations with a clean sweep. And in Bilbao, Spain, last Saturday, Dublin’s Leinster beat Paris’s Racing 92 15-12 to win the Champions Cup, the top club tournament in European rugby, for a joint-record fourth time. Remarkably, they won the title with a 100% win record, a feat that has been achieved just once before in this competition. All season, Leinster have been the best team in Europe, said Gerry Thornley in The Irish Times. In the group stage, they faced Exeter, Montpellier and Glasgow – the leading teams in their domestic leagues. Yet Leinster comfortably beat all three, home and away, before disposing of Saracens, the back-toback European champions, in the quarter-finals. But as number two, working under head coach Leo Cullen, he can focus on what he does best: hands-on coaching, rather than the “baggage” that comes with managing a national side. Now, Leinster are “unbelievably difficult to break down”, said Will Greenwood in The Daily Telegraph. With “power and bludgeon”, they “swallow up” free-scoring sides such as Saracens. Yet this is not just a group of “street fighters”: they are also deadly in attack. Leinster have a big advantage over their English rivals, said Owen Slot in The Times. Their domestic league, the Pro14, is far less competitive than England’s Premiership, so they can afford to rest their best players in the easier matches. Take James Ryan: man of the match James Ryan, the 21-year-old Irish lock who was man of the match on Saturday. He has played in all nine of Leinster’s Champions Cup games this season and just Between 2009 and 2012, Leinster dominated European rugby, four of their 21 Pro14 ties. Ryan boasts an astonishing record, winning three titles in four years, said Chris Jones on BBC Sport said David Kelly in The Irish Independent. He has played 21 online. They then went into decline, and by the 2015-16 season matches for club and country – and won every single one of they finished bottom of their pool in the Champions Cup group them. Locks aren’t supposed to peak until their mid-20s, but stage. Since then, however, this side has been transformed. And Ryan already looks like one of the greats. He is just one of it’s ex-England head coach Stuart Lancaster who deserves much the club’s bright young things: Dan Leavy, Garry Ringrose and of the credit. When he became Leinster’s senior coach, in 2016, Robbie Henshaw are all under 25, and already mainstays of the his reputation was “in pieces”: he had been sacked as England’s national side. Leinster – and Ireland – are just getting started. head coach after the first-round exit from the 2015 World Cup. Vasyl Lomachenko: one of the all-time greats won all but one of his 397 fights; as a professional, he has lost only once. Yet those numbers still don’t “do justice” to Lomachenko’s talent. His movement and punch variety are simply “incredible”. And whereas most quick boxers concentrate on defence, he “constantly boxes on the front foot, staying in range and pressuring his opponents”. With his latest triumph, he has marked himself out as more than just the best boxer in the world: he is now an “alltime great”. As a fighter, Lomachenko combines the ancient and the modern, said Steve Bunce in The Independent. There are times when he moves like the masters from the 1920s and 1930s, “his Ripping up the rule book shifting feet gliding by fractions, his fists flowing like a matador wielding the final dagger”. At other moments, he “cracks away with thoroughly modern punches, angled in from wide”, making the most of his “sickening power”. The Ukrainian’s statistics are remarkable, said Ron Lewis in A truly unique boxer, Lomachenko is ripping up the rule book. The Times. As an amateur boxer he lifted two Olympic golds and Boxing has had “brawlers and maulers”, said Tris Dixon on Boxing Scene. It has had artists and warriors. But it has never had “anything like Vasyl Lomachenko”. Last Saturday in New York, “the little genius from Ukraine” stopped Jorge Linares in the tenth round to claim the WBA lightweight world title. Just 12 fights into his professional career, the 30-year-old has won world titles in three weight classes: his previous belts came at featherweight and super-featherweight. On this occasion, he weighed 9st 9lb – almost a stone less than his Venezuelan opponent, who had put on 15lb since the weigh-in. But you would never have known that Lomachenko was at a disadvantage: he operated “like a defensive master with the attacking prowess of a hungry lion”. A record-breaking Premier League season Sporting headlines Truth be told, this wasn’t the teams play only 38 games most exciting of Premier League a season). Highest win seasons, said Martin Samuel in percentage in history (84.2%), the Daily Mail. As early as last largest number of wins (32) – October, it was clear that the records just kept tumbling. Manchester City were going City weren’t the only ones to run away with the title. who ended up in the record What is staggering, though, is books, said Jim White in the number of records that the The Daily Telegraph. Mohamed champions broke along the way. Salah finished his debut season By beating Southampton 1-0 on at Liverpool with 32 goals – Manchester City: triumphant Sunday, thanks to a last-minute more than anyone else has goal by Gabriel Jesus, they finished with scored in a 38-game Premier League season. 100 points – the highest tally in the history That would be an extraordinary return for “the of English top-flight football. They ended the most seasoned poacher”, let alone a winger like season 19 points ahead of second-placed Salah. Playing in a forward line that perfectly Manchester United, giving them the largest title“complements his talents”, the Egyptian has winning margin; with 106 goals, they were “the scored 44 goals in all competitions: whenever most prolific goalscorers” since 1962-63, when Liverpool have needed something this season, Tottenham scored 111 in 42 matches (today, “he has come up with the goods”. Formula One Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, giving him a 17-point world championship lead over Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas came second. Cricket In Ireland’s first ever Test, they lost to Pakistan by five wickets. Golf American golfer Webb Simpson won the Players Championship by four shots. Rugby union Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani signed for Gloucester. Wasps flanker James Haskell joined Northampton. THE WEEK 19 May 2018 LETTERS Pick of the week’s correspondence Blame the parents To The Sunday Times Justine Greening talks of the need for more help in white working-class homes, but I do not agree with her that “overwhelmingly parents want to do their best for their children”. I have seen many parents from poorer backgrounds who have no interest in their children’s education, and we need to be honest enough to admit this. Some of my daughter’s friends received not the slightest support from their parents when they took their GCSEs. They coped with serial new partners in their parents’ lives, received no help with exam preparation and faced total indifference at sixth-form information events. All this resulted in these young people having no academic success and no ambition beyond low-skilled work. We must call parents out on this and stop blaming the Government. The state provides free, good-quality education. You alone are responsible for raising your children. Nargis Walker, St Albans Data disaster To The Daily Telegraph Peter Mellor is correct in his letter about the colossal waste of resources expended by small organisations to comply with the confusing minefield of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). I am the honorary secretary of a local yacht club and have spent much time on our compliance with the regulations. I believe that virtually all processing of data by membership-based organisations can be done on the basis of “legitimate interests” or “proper performance of the contract with the data subject”, both expressly permitted by the GDPR. No extra “consent” is necessary unless a member’s data is used in a manner they would not reasonably have expected from the club. Yet one cannot blame club secretaries for taking the “safe option” of obtaining consent, as the regulations are so impenetrably written that only a lawyer’s mind could begin to understand them. Online, there is a virtual feeding frenzy of Exchange of the week The Empire’s place in history To The Times Why does it apparently require a bold scholar – in this case Bruce Gilley – prepared to brave the social media storm even to suggest that “colonialism” may have had positive aspects? An advantage of being a historian of much earlier periods is that one views the repetitions of history from a far distance. A hunt for blame then gathers pace in the fashionable terms of a later age. Dante argued in his De Monarchia that it had all gone wrong for Europe when imperial power lost its grip. In his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon thought the Roman Empire’s syncretism had been a better bet than a tyrannical new Christianity. Alexis de Tocqueville saw the rise of democracy in colonial America as a dangerous despotism. Some present “goods” in our Western orthodoxy of opinion are ecological soundness, sustainability, fostering human diversity and being non-elitist. The enthusiast for these fashions needs something to blame for failures to achieve them, and “colonialism” seems to be just the thing at the moment. G.R. Evans, emeritus professor of medieval theology and intellectual history, University of Cambridge To The Times No history of the British Empire is complete without the history of the people of the Empire in Britain. What causes offence is not what Professor Gilley continues to write about colonialism, but the lack of any mention of the contributions of the people of the Empire to the British way of life. Even the support given to the British war effort – men, money and munitions in the First and Second World Wars – is merely a footnote to the history of the two wars. The perfect example of that humiliation is the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, when there is never any tribute paid to the soldiers of the Empire who died for a country that was not theirs. Watching the programme, one could be forgiven for thinking that Britain won the wars single-handed. And that hurts more than it offends. This is not to deny Professor Gilley the right to express his views on the influence of the Empire, but he and other historians are guilty of telling a one-sided history of the relationship between Britain and the people of the Empire. Britain may have ruled the colonies, but it has no right to edit history in its favour. Dr Kusoom Vadgama, author, India in Britain 1852-1947 lawyers and consultants trying to frighten the unwary into using their high-priced services. There has been a dire shortage of advice from the Information Commissioner’s Office to help those small organisations currently being left to flounder. Tim Wood, Wivenhoe, Essex Don’t fear missing lynx To The Times Your article suggesting that bringing back lynxes “will scare off tourists” made me smile. I am an expat and live in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California. My neighbourhood is visited by mountain lions that would consider a lynx a tasty morsel. My other home, in South Lake Tahoe, has bears 25 Junk mail’s purpose To The Daily Telegraph Of course the Royal Mail encourages junk mail. After the ill-thought-out decision forcing the end of its monopoly in 2006, it lost to cherry pickers its profitable parcel post and mass mailings. The financial stability of a reliable, cheap postal service was wrecked. Instead of parcel profits being ploughed back into letter post, they went to specialist companies. Letter post is still struggling. What should Royal Mail do but try to survive against the odds? Monopolies do need a watchful eye, but they are not always wrong. Mik Shaw, Goring-by-Sea, West Sussex Cheer up, republicans To The Guardian Whatever your views on the monarchy, it would be a bad idea for republicans to hold protests near the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Royal events such as weddings draw public interest, and have the support of much of the nation, because they’re usually seen as a heartening stream of colour in an otherwise drab and sometimes gloom-laden world. When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge married in 2011, it attracted an estimated global audience of more than two billion. Fourteen US TV channels broadcast the nuptials and yet America is a republic, so obviously many viewers wouldn’t have even been monarchists, they just wanted to watch a happy event. Those standing near the royal ceremony carrying placards or banners simply risk making themselves look like spoilsports. Emilie Lamplough, Trowbridge, Wiltshire that sleep under the stairs at my front door. People here in the US hike in the hills and forests just to catch a glimpse of such wonders. Northumberland National Park Authority needs some perspective. Even though the bobcat – our lynx – is prevalent across the US, attacks on humans are rare, unlike attacks on humans by domestic dogs, which number three to five million. How many dogs does the UK have, and how many attacks are “Not to lecture, but the skull of your fallen there on humans? enemy is reusable and much less wasteful” Stephen J. Allen, United States © AVI STEINBERG/NEW YORKER/CARTOON BANK ● Letters have been edited 19 May 2018 THE WEEK MONSOON DEFENCE APPEAL Humaira and her children have already lost so much. Now they stand to lose even more. This is a race against time. Please help Rohingya refugees like Humaira protect their children and homes from the monsoon. £75 COULD PROVIDE A MONSOON DEFENCE KIT. EACH KIT CONTAINS BAMBOO, TARPAULINS AND SANDBAGS TO REINFORCE AND ANCHOR PEOPLE’S SHELTERS AND HYGIENE KITS TO DEFEND AGAINST DISEASES Give online at: unhcr.org/uk/tw/rohingya or call us on 020 3761 9525 Or post urgently to: UNHCR, York house, Wetherby Road, Long Marston, York. YO26 7NH Please accept my gift of: £75 £150 Please debit my: £375 Visa Other £ Last name MasterCard Address Card no. Expiry date / Signature__________________ Date See how your donation makes a difference to the lives of refugees. Please tell us if you are happy to hear more about UNHCR’s work: By email By phone Postcode / I enclose a cheque or postal order made payable to UNHCR By post First name Email Phone Your donation will support UNHCR’s emergency work in Bangladesh and where refugees and internally displaced people are in need. WEEPRABD18 ✁ © UNHCR/Paula Bronstein With the start of the monsoon season, Humaira and her children’s lives and home could be washed away in an instant by ﬂoods and mudslides. If they survive, they will be at risk of deadly waterborne diseases like cholera and diphtheria. ARTS Review of reviews: Books Book of the week Seven Types of Atheism by John Gray Allen Lane 176pp £17.99 The Week bookshop £15.99 In this fascinating, highly readable book, the philosopher John Gray identifies a “fault line” that runs through atheism, said Richard Harries in The Observer. Atheists, he argues, profess to reject religion, but actually do nothing of the kind. Instead, they take over religion’s thought patterns and assumptions, substituting abstractions such as “progress” and “humanity” for faith in God. Gray’s “seven types of atheism” (the title is borrowed from William Empson’s Seven Types of Ambiguity) include most forms of unbelief that have existed over the past two centuries. He targets the “secular humanism” that unites John Stuart Mill and Ayn Rand, among many others; the political millenarianism of the Jacobins, communists and Nazis; and the “new atheism” of Richard Dawkins et al. What almost all forms of atheism have in common, he points out, is the eschatological idea that human history has an “ultimate purpose”. Gray is much more favourably disposed to the form of atheism he attributes to Joseph Conrad, which rejects the “assumption that human beings can be changed for the better”. For someone who is a “professed atheist” himself, Gray doesn’t present an “attractive bunch” of specimens, said John Carey in The Sunday Times. “His selection includes several inveterate misanthropes and one criminal lunatic, the Marquis de Sade.” But then Gray’s own views are “unflinchingly bleak”. He believes that history has no meaning, that “humanity” has no objective existence and that “the notion that everyone should obey the same morality is absurd”. Gray’s intellect and brilliance, combined with his negative take on life, makes his book “one of the most depressing I have read”. Gray may be right about most atheism being a form of repressed religion, said Jonathan Rée in the Literary Review, but so what? Given that religion is “built into the brickwork of practically every society in history”, it would be odd if our ideas didn’t bear “residues of religiosity”. Even if we could “purify our minds” of the beliefs of our ancestors, we would still be left with the same “intractable” questions. Am I my brother’s keeper? What do parents owe to children, or children to parents? Do we have obligations to the dead? In the end, Seven Types of Atheism seems “more like a series of amuse-bouches than a square meal”. Rather than following “complex lines of thought”, Gray seems “like a high-end version of the muck-raking journalist, fearlessly exposing the guilty secrets of the intellectual classes”. Novel of the week Our Place Kudos by Mark Cocker Jonathan Cape 336pp £18.99 by Rachel Cusk Faber 240pp £16.99 The Week bookshop £16.99 The Week bookshop £15.99 © SIEMON SCAMELL-KATZ 27 “In 2014, Rachel Cusk’s career took one of the more unusual turns in recent literary history,” said Edmund Gordon in The Sunday Times. Previously the author of six “conventionally well-made novels of domestic life”, as well as three “brutally revealing” (and widely criticised) memoirs, Cusk (pictured) embarked on a fictional trilogy unlike anything she’d written before. Outline (2014), Transit (2016) and now Kudos are all narrated by a writer called Faye and structured around a series of conversations. Gone is the “baroque style” that was Cusk’s trademark; the prose is “pared down, lucid and propulsive”. The books interrogate the “purposes and practices of storytelling” and have been rightly hailed as “radical departures”. And this final instalment, I’m glad to say, is another “triumph”, said Katie Law in the London Evening Standard. This time we follow Faye travelling to a literary festival in southern Europe (possibly in Portugal) and having conversations mainly with other writers (though she also talks to a businessman on a plane). Her sentences are “perfectly honed”. Some of her put-downs, especially of “self-regarding journalists”, are “beautifully savage”. It’s a work that “puts most contemporary fiction to shame”. I disagree, said Kate Clanchy in The Guardian. The trilogy is a “vast achievement”, but I was sorry it ended here. In Outline and Transit, Faye rarely talked back to her interlocutors; she listened to others talking and presented their monologues. Here, by contrast, she continually talks back – at length, and in a voice, moreover, that sounds very like that of Rachel Cusk. This results in a “riddling, hall-of-mirrors” quality that’s the opposite of the “radical humility” of the earlier books. We British think of ourselves as nature-lovers, but we actually “live in one of the most denatured and wildlife-impoverished countries on Earth”, said Christopher Hart in The Sunday Times. Mark Cocker’s “magniﬁcent” book explores this disconnection. Using “rigorous” science, he paints a picture of wildlife “in free fall” – of 44 million pairs of breeding birds lost in the past 50 years, of “an eerie absence of moths on a summer night on your windscreen”. Meanwhile, we enthusiastically visit national parks, where we experience “landscape beauty almost devoid of biodiversity”. Cocker contends that in fact the British aren’t nature-lovers: we’re a nation of “fatally tidy-minded” gardeners. This book contains some exquisite writing about nature, but it is always powerfully and insistently grounded in “its cause”, said Alex Preston in The Observer. Cocker is especially good on environmental politics, writing of the “diminution of the National Trust” from a “visionary organisation” to a “stuffy pillar of the heritage industry”. A radical polemic in the tradition of Hazlitt and Cobbett, Our Place is a “seriously great book, important and urgent”. To order these titles or any other book in print, visit www.theweek.co.uk/bookshop or speak to a bookseller on 020-3176 3835 Opening times: Mon to Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-5.30pm and Sun 10am-2pm 19 May 2018 THE WEEK Theatre An Ideal Husband Playwright: Oscar Wilde Director: Jonathan Church Vaudeville Theatre, Strand, London WC2 (0330-333 4814). Until 14 July Running time: 2hrs 45mins (including interval) ★★★ Opera Lessons in Love and Violence Composer: George Benjamin Libretto: Martin Crimp Director: Katie Mitchell Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London WC2 (020-7304 4000). Until 26 May, then touring internationally until 2021 Running time: 1hr 40mins (no interval) ★★★ Drama from being incredibly funny – An Ideal Husband was first often by the most minimal, staged 123 years ago, said impassive means – to winningly Caroline McGinn in Time Out, serious”. Never declaiming, he and I’ve no doubt West End “makes century-old aphorisms audiences will be enjoying fresh-minted”. revivals of Oscar Wilde’s brilliant It’s a superb performance, society comedy for at least mischievous and sprightly, another 150 years. This tale of agreed Sarah Hemming in the an upright politician with a dark FT. And Fox is wonderfully secret, as well as his witty but complemented by his real-life frivolous friend and a dastardly father, Edward Fox, who, as female blackmailer, is “light yet Lord Goring’s “curmudgeonly indestructible”. And when it’s old stick of a pater, wanders played, as here, with “dapper through the action in a state of footwork, faultless patter and perplexed apoplexy”. Frances emotional, moral depth, it Barber plays the blackmailer blooms as brightly as a dandy’s Mrs Cheveley in “full-on Bond buttonhole”. I’m not sure I’d villain” mode. Nathaniel Parker back director Jonathan Church’s Freddie Fox: simply brilliant subtly conveys the turmoil of claim that this is Wilde’s best the politician, Sir Robert Chiltern. And Susan play, said Michael Billington in The Guardian. Hampshire is a “delight” as Lady Markby, said However, in this strongly acted and “stylish” revival, it establishes itself as the intriguing “love Paul Taylor in The Independent, “wittering away about modern manias in a hilarious tour de force child of a match between Ibsen and Feydeau”. of empty-headed high-society prattling”. Whether or not this is Wilde’s best play, this revival is easily the best so far in the (until now) somewhat lacklustre year-long run of Wilde The week’s other opening plays at the Vaudeville, said Dominic Cavendish Nightfall Bridge Theatre, Potters Fields Park, in The Daily Telegraph. And much of the credit London SE1 (0333-320 0051). Until 26 May goes to Freddie Fox, who is simply brilliant as Barney Norris’s “poignant study of rural decay” Lord Goring, the incorrigible dandy who turns features strong performances, notably from out to have far more backbone than anyone Claire Skinner as a bereaved farmer. But this expects. Fox, who made his name playing delicate piece is better suited to a studio space than the large stage of the Bridge (Guardian). Wilde’s lover Lord Alfred Douglas (Bosie) in a David Hare play, can “turn on a sixpence on Skin director, Katie Mitchell. The creepy medieval psychoShe includes bizarrely pretentious logical thriller Written on Skin – slow-motion sequences, destroys the “masterly” 2012 debut fullmomentum by bringing down length opera from George the front-cloth between each Benjamin and Martin Crimp – scene and concludes with “the has received worldwide acclaim, most feeble, anticlimactic final said Anthony Tommasini in The tableau I’ve seen for years”. New York Times. And now the This opera is unlikely “to British pair “have done it again” inspire affection”, said Richard with a new work based on the Fairman in the FT. Yet it still fatal passion of Edward II for exerts a grip strong enough “to his courtier Piers Gaveston. The make an audience hold its breath 100-minute opera has already for stretches at a time”. Crimp’s been booked to play in focus on how power corrupts is Amsterdam, Hamburg, Lyon, “positively Shakespearean”. Chicago, Barcelona and Madrid And though Benjamin doesn’t following its London premiere. It write conventional arias, there’s is Benjamin’s remarkable music that “gives the work its charge”. Barbara Hannigan: outstanding “barely a line that this cast does not shape with beauty His writing is so “lush, haunting and expressiveness”. Barbara Hannigan is outand detailed – radiant one moment, piercingly standing, as ever, as the queen, Isabel, with other dissonant the next – that you are continuously enveloped by the raucous beauty of the sounds”. strong performances from Stéphane Degout as But the new opera has little of its predecessor’s the king and Gyula Orendt as Gaveston. “riveting drama”, said Richard Morrison in The Times. Crimp gives us an “anodyne, overCD of the week intellectualised and often boring version of Arctic Monkeys: Tranquility Base Hotel events that should be red in tooth and claw”, so & Casino Domino £9.74 it’s no accident Benjamin’s most dramatic music The Monkeys’ 2013 offering, AM, was “the occurs in the interludes between scenes, while perfect rock record”. Their new one is a radical the settings for the libretto’s underwhelming departure, stripping out the rock for a sci-fi words are mostly “so matter-of-fact that they theme and a more soulful sound; it’s a “riveting may as well have been spoken”. There’s also and immersive listen” (Observer). a “bland, modern-day staging” by the Written Stars reflect the overall quality of reviews and our own independent assessment (4 stars=don’t miss; 1 star=don’t bother) Book your tickets now by calling 020-7492 9948 or visiting TheWeekTickets.co.uk THE WEEK 19 May 2018 © MARC BRENNER; STEPHEN CUMMISKEY 28 ARTS Film Entebbe Dir: José Padilha 1hr 47mins (12A) Flawed recreation of the Entebbe hostage crisis ★★ Revenge Dir: Coralie Fargeat 1hr 48mins (18) Fabulously deranged French action thriller ★★★ That Good Night Dir: Eric Styles 1hr 32mins (12A) John Hurt’s final bow ★★ How to Talk to Girls at Parties Dir: John Cameron Mitchell 1hr 43mins (15) Punk rock sci-fi with Elle Fanning ★ ARTS 29 In June 1976, four anti-Israel terrorists – two German and two Palestinian – hijacked Flight 139 from Tel Aviv, redirected it to the dusty airport of Entebbe in Uganda and issued their demands. In response, Israel launched an extraordinary rescue mission: 100 commandos stormed the airport and saved most of the hostages. It’s the stuff of which movies are made, said Brian Viner in the Daily Mail, and indeed several have been – the “starriest” of which, 1976’s Victory at Entebbe, featured Burt Lancaster and Elizabeth Taylor. This time the big names are Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl, who play the German terrorists, said Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. And the result is “intensely silly and boring” – a film in which “cardboard characters” explain stuff to each other about Palestine, the Holocaust and German guilt in “clunky dialogue”. Well I found it quite gripping, said Kevin Maher in The Times, and Pike gives a superbly “unhinged” turn: she “seems to have cornered the market for female roles that require glacial calm hiding explosive inner rage”. But the good work is undone by an ending of “cataclysmic ineptitude”: director José Padilha drains the excitement out of the climactic final raid by intercutting it with a “tedious dance performance involving a girlfriend of one of the commandos”. The film then “limps towards the finish line with some platitudinous talk about finding peace in the Middle East”. “Is the rape-revenge genre just a way to bring the dual spectacles of rape and violence to a male audience?” This is the question, said Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian, that hovers over Coralie Fargeat’s “smart” and “stylishly-made” debut feature, which some have hailed as “a subversive feminist take on this form”. A rich alpha male (Kevin Janssens) takes his mistress (Matilda Lutz) to a desert villa in Morocco. There, she is raped by one of his friends and then pushed off a cliff, falling 100 feet before being impaled on an implausibly phallic tree. Yet somehow this “nubile girl” survives and returns, barely clothed, to “perpetrate a grisly payback”, said Nigel Andrews in the FT. This “fabulously deranged” French action thriller “knows it’s off the grid” and that’s its strength. But it’s far from clear that being written and directed by a woman makes it any less exploitative, said Edward Porter in The Sunday Times. Still, if you can stomach the extreme violence, it’s hard to resist Revenge’s “sheer flamboyance”. And in the final sequence, at least, it’s the man who is “naked and objectified”. This film’s selling point is that it marks the last hurrah of the late, great John Hurt, said Geoffrey Macnab in The Independent. It’s a sentimental affair but, as he so often did, Hurt transcends his material. He plays an old screenwriter, living with his young wife (Sofia Helin) in a Portuguese villa. Seeking to put his affairs in order before he dies, he invites his estranged son to visit, but so insults his son’s girlfriend that the couple has to leave. One highlight in this “enjoyable portrait of the final days of a world-class misanthrope” is the arrival of Charles Dance as a sinister stranger, who may or may not be a representative of a secretive euthanasia society, said Ian Freer in Time Out. As he and Hurt mull over matters of mortality, we get to hear “two of the great voices in English acting”: Dance’s “deep, velvety tones” and Hurt’s “booze-and-fags rasp”. Even so, the film is undeniably “mawkish”, said Ed Potton in The Times. If you really want to raise a glass to the old hellraiser, better to rewatch The Elephant Man. It’s 1977. Punk rock lands on Croydon like an alien invasion. So when a group of punk kids, led by Enn (Alex Sharp), stumble on a house filled with flesheating aliens – including the dreamy, PVC-clad Zan (Elle Fanning) – they assume they’re just some weird cultural sect. The premise of John Cameron Mitchell’s new film, freely adapted from a Neil Gaiman short story, is certainly intriguing, said Xan Brooks in The Guardian. Yet I’m afraid what follows is “extravagantly muddled”. The bizarre spectacle of Nicole Kidman playing a punk matriarch, complete with electroshock wig and dodgy cockney accent, sums up the film’s silliness, said Tim Robey in The Daily Telegraph. It must have been fun to make, but, with the exception of Sharp’s “shy charm”, there’s precious little for audiences to enjoy. The period detail is “slapdash”, the characterisation “cardboard”, said Kevin Maher in The Times. At best, you could argue that it embodies the “gutsy, amateur DIY punk ethos”. But to use the argot of Enn and his “tiresome punk coterie”, it’s “still bollocks” for all that. 19 May 2018 THE WEEK 30 ARTS Art Exhibition of the week Superstructures: The New Architecture, 1960-1990 Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich (01603-593199, scva.ac.uk). Until 2 September “In 1978, the future Foster and his contemarrived in Norwich,” poraries took inspiration said Joe Lloyd in 1843 from Isambard Kingdom magazine. It came in Brunel and Joseph the form of a gallery Paxton, architect of designed by the architect the Crystal Palace, and Norman Foster and drew on techniques from commissioned by the aerospace and oil rig Sainsbury family to construction. A highlight house their art collection. is an “outstanding” The Sainsbury Centre display of architectural changed British models, including architecture forever: Foster’s design for 130 metres long and Stansted Airport, clad in “shiny steel”, Grimshaw’s Waterloo it boasted “huge glass Eurostar terminal and windows” inside a frame the French architect Jean resembling “the internal Nouvel’s Fondation parts of a rocket”. It Cartier museum in Paris. “was like no other However, there are museum in Britain” – “holes” in the exhibition this was “an art gallery – notably that it provides in the form of an aircraft very little information on Richard Rogers’ design for the Inmos microprocessor factory in Newport, Wales hangar”. The new style the architects themselves. came to be known as “high-tech”, and in the decades that followed it would proliferate around the world. Forty years on, The show will alert you to high-tech architecture’s “contrathe Sainsbury Centre is hosting a “thorough (and thoroughly dictions”, said Rowan Moore in The Observer. It presents itself enjoyable)” exhibition dedicated to the architectural style its as a “pragmatic” style concerned purely with function, yet its design helped to popularise, celebrating the work of Foster and buildings frequently fail to live up to this. At Foster’s recently his (mostly British) contemporaries, such as Nicholas Grimshaw completed Apple HQ in California, for example, staff have and Richard Rogers. The show explores the history of high-tech reportedly walked into the building’s “immaculate glass walls”. through drawings and models, demonstrating how it became “the Nor is high-tech suited to domestic settings, said Peter Yeung in dominant style for corporate headquarters and public buildings” The Times. Such structures that do exist – a house designed by everywhere from Swindon to Hong Kong. Michael and Patty Hopkins is recreated in part here – look “distinctly uncomfortable”. Nevertheless, the show itself is The show roots high-tech in the tradition of “Victorian enginefascinating. For anyone wanting to understand modern ering”, said Isabelle Priest in the RIBA Journal. We learn how architecture, it will be “unmissable”. Where to buy… Anwar Jalal Shemza at Hales Gallery In the 1960s, an explosion of artists and musicians attempted to fuse Eastern cultural traditions with more recent Western developments. In most instances, such experiments now look embarrassing, at best. Others, however, have stood the test of time surprisingly well. The paintings of the Indian-born artist and writer Anwar Jalal Shemza (1928-85) fall comfortably into the second camp. Shemza, who established himself in Pakistan before moving to the UK and settling in the West Midlands, created works that still dazzle 50 years on. The paintings featured in this overview of his 1960s output combine motifs lifted from Islamic architecture, art and calligraphy with Bauhaus modernism and the colourful, sometimes migraine-inducing imagery of psychedelia. By rights, such THE WEEK 19 May 2018 Advancing and Receding in Yellow Ochre and Olive Green (1963), detail style-straddling should be a mess – but unlike so many Western dilettantes, Shemza actually understood his points of reference. These works pack all the punch of contemporary op art while remaining rooted in centuries-old visual custom. Prices on request. 7 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 (020-7033 1938). Until 23 June. David and Peggy Rockefeller’s vast collection of artworks and other treasures set a new world record at Christie’s in New York last week, said The Guardian – selling for $832m, considerably more than any other private collection. The top lot was a Picasso of a naked girl holding a basket of flowers (pictured), which had previously hung in their Manhattan home; it sold for $115.1m. A Monet water lily painting went for $84.7m, while a Matisse depicting a woman in a Turkish harem fetched $80.8m; both were records for the artists. All the 1,500 lots sold. Art dealers spoke of the “Rockefeller premium”, said The Times: the fact that the lots had been kept in the home of one of America’s most famous families drove up prices by about a third. A pair of cufflinks sold for $13,750 and a swan decoy for $348,500. Peggy Rockefeller died in 1996, and David, the grandson of the oil baron John D. Rockefeller, in 2017. The family will donate all the proceeds of the sale to charity. © BEN JOHNSON, INMOS CENTRAL SPINE (1985) The sale of the century The Week reviews an exhibition in a private gallery We believe in a different perspective. You see a dresser. We see a kitchen. That’s because we design our kitchen cabinets as pieces of furniture. The same materials, the same attention to detail. Inside and out. Kitchens from £10,000. neptune.com/adifferentperspective The List 33 Best books… Paul Theroux Novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux picks his six favourite books. A collection of his writing and essays, Figures in a Landscape: People and Places, has just been published by Hamish Hamilton at £16.99 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, 1856 (Penguin £8.99). Emma Bovary, married to a good-hearted drudge, has a healthy libido, a shopping addiction and an unhealthy sense of romance. Flaubert’s landmark work is both modern and memorable. A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul, 1961 (Picador £10.99). Naipaul’s masterpiece and a classic of family life. Much of it is based on his own family. Hilarious most of the time and full of conflict, it is one of the few books that have caused me to laugh out loud. Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti, 1960 (out of print). This is one of those books that explain everything – in this case, the way humans gather in groups, how they seize power and the symbols they value. It is a study in tyranny and in other forms of domination – among them, a mother serving food. Canetti put 30 years into writing it, and he deserved the Nobel Prize he won years later. Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, vol. 1: The Structures of Everyday Life by Fernand Braudel, 1979 (UC Press £35). Have you ever wondered when Europeans began drinking coffee? Or when men started wearing trousers rather than robes? This answers many such questions, showing the ingenuity, bravery and salesmanship of people the world over. The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West, 1939 (Roads £9.99). The ultimate novel of Hollywood, written by a native (and author of the masterpiece Miss Lonelyhearts). I read this when I was young and it fuelled my ambition to be a writer. It’s funny, wicked and wholly in the American grain. Henry David Thoreau: A Life by Laura Dassow Walls, 2017 (University of Chicago £26.50). Thoreau had a mind so original and opinions so startling, his Concord neighbours (including Ralph Waldo Emerson) did not know what to make of him. This outstanding biography illuminates the man and his times. Titles in print are available from The Week Bookshop on 020-3176 3835. For out-of-print books visit www.biblio.co.uk The Week’s guide to what’s worth seeing and reading Showing now Out of the Block: Henry Moore Carvings, Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, Hertfordshire (01279-843333). Exhibition bringing together 30 of Henry Moore’s works, made over six decades, as well as photographs and footage of the sculptor at work. Ends 28 October. Literary luminaries, leading chefs and thesps are gathering at the Queen’s Park Book Festival. Zadie Smith, Tessa Hadley and John Preston Queen Victoria and Her Tragic Family Three-part series looking at Queen Victoria’s relationship with her nine children, and the iron control she exerted over them. Sat 19 May, C5 21:20 (60mins). A Very English Scandal Hugh Grant stars in Stephen Frears’ three-part drama based on John Preston’s riveting book about the downfall of MP Jeremy Thorpe, who in 1979 was tried for conspiring to murder his ex-lover Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw). Sun 20 May, BBC1 21:00 (60mins). The Handmaid’s Tale Second series of the acclaimed drama adapted from Margaret Atwood’s novel, set in a future in which an environmental disaster has caused mass infertility. With Elisabeth Moss. Sun 20 May, C4 21:00 (75mins). Imagine... Rupert Everett: Born to Be Wilde The story of the actor’s ten-year quest to write, direct and star in a film about the last years of Oscar Wilde’s life. Sun 20 May, BBC1 22:30 (65mins). rare access to the European Parliament, this new series follows an eclectic group of British MEPs as they deal with the challenge of Brexit. Wed 23 May, C4 22:00 (65mins). Films The Second Mother (2015) Henry Moore with Reclining Figure: Bone Skirt (1977) will talk about their work, while Nicholas Hytner and Simon Russell Beale discuss Shakespeare. 30 June-1 July, Queen’s Park, London NW6 (www.qpbookfest.com). Just out in paperback The Matter of the Heart by Thomas Morris (Vintage £10.99). This “intelligent” book traces the history of the once-unthinkable marvel of heart surgery – from its beginnings to its likely future (Times). The Archers: what happened last week Adam’s pleased Brian has come clean about the insurers not paying out. Adam’s worried about the lack of pickers and fears they may have to leave one of the fruit tunnels to rot. Will tells Clarrie and Eddie that Andrew’s spoken to a solicitor about having custody of Jake and Mia. Will’s worried that Andrew, as their biological father, could win custody. Harrison’s keen to announce his engagement, but Fallon’s embarrassed – as she was so anti-marriage, she is worried that people will judge her, especially as she proposed. At the quiz, Harrison surprises Fallon by staging a second proposal. Fallon accepts. Freddie suggests Hannah rent the spare room at No. 1 The Green. While Johnny and Freddie are showing her around, a brick flies through the window, hitting Johnny’s head. Will decides to return to work full-time after being told that he will have to move out of the cottage if he doesn’t. When Freddie accuses Ellis of throwing the brick, Ellis reminds him that no one deals at college unless it is for him. Brian tells the whole family about the land sale and is relieved they’re all behind him. Will talks to a solicitor. He’s told he has a good case for keeping all the children together. Fabulous comedy about class set in modern-day Brazil. With Regina Casé. Mon 21 May, Film4 01:10 (140mins). Slow West (2015) Michael Fassbender and Kodi SmitMcPhee star in this western charting the journey of a lovestruck Scottish teen across 19th century Colorado. Mon 21 May, Film4 23:20 (100mins). New to subscription TV Patrick Melrose Five-part adaptation of Edward St Aubyn’s acerbic romansà-clef. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the damaged aristocrat Melrose. Showing on Sky Atlantic. Safe Michael C. Hall stars as a widowed father of two daughters in this tense crime drama set in a gated community in Manchester. Streaming on Netflix. 19 May 2018 THE WEEK © STEVE MCCURRY; HENRY MOORE FOUNDATION The Red Rooster festival brings the sound of blues and country to the ravishing grounds of Euston Hall in Suffolk. Alabama 3 and Pokey LaFarge are on the line-up. Weekend tickets cost £59.50 and children under 12 are free. 31 May-2 June (www.redrooster.org.uk). Programmes Carry on Brussels With Book now Sinéad Cusack is starring in novelist Esther Freud’s debut play, Stitchers, about Lady Anne Tree (1927-2010), the aristocratic social reformer who founded Fine Cell Work to teach prisoners needlework. 30 May-23 June, Jermyn Street Theatre, London SW1 (020-7287 2875). Television Best properties 34 Grade II properties under £1m ▲ West Sussex: Cromwell House, High Street, East Grinstead. Although not strictly under £1m, this is a rare chance to buy a historic Grade II* property in a central location with a lovely garden. The house is in need of modernising and updating. Master bed, 6 further beds, family bath, shower, kitchen, 3 receps, study, 2 cloakrooms, loggia, former kitchen, utility, box room, storage room, 2 garages, garden. £1m; Strutt & Parker (01403-246790). ▲ Devon: Gorwell House, Barnstaple. A Georgian house, dating from circa 1828, which is understood to have been built for John Miller, a lacemaker of the period. 6/7 beds, 2 baths, 3 WCs, breakfast/kitchen, 3 receps, hall, studio, garden room, utility, study/bed 7, cellar, colonnaded veranda, extensive parking, mature gardens approaching 0.74 acres. OIEO £595,000; Stags (01271-322833). ▲ Oxfordshire: Ellsdale Cottage, Postcombe. A pretty thatched cottage in this small hamlet at the foot of the Chiltern Hills. The house has been refurbished to a high specification by the current owners, and the low-maintenance rear garden was landscaped by awardwinning garden designer Richard Key. Master bed, 2 further beds, family bath, breakfast/kitchen, 2 receps, hall, utility, private garden, parking. £695,000; Knight Frank (01865790077). THE WEEK 19 May 2018 on the market 35 ▲ Surrey: 19 Albury Park Mansion, Albury. This property is set in a small mews courtyard to the front of Albury Park Mansion and was originally part of the estate stable block. Designed by Augustus Pugin in the 19th century, Albury Park sits within approximately five acres of landscaped gardens close to the villages of Albury and Shere, in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The cottage has been extended and refurbished to a high specification, and has views over the gardens and estate beyond from the reception room. Vaulted master bed with mezzanine dressing area, 1 further bed leading to the roof terrace, shower, kitchen/dining room, double-aspect recep, utility, garage. £725,000; Savills (01483-796800). Suffolk: Hasketon Grange, Hasketon, Woodbridge. This pretty former farmhouse has been carefully restored, without detracting from the original character. Master suite, 4 further beds, 2 further baths, breakfast/ kitchen, 3 receps, inner hall, WC, study, utility, conservatory, attic store, cellar, mature garden, terrace, 0.94 acres. £895,000; Fenn Wright (01394333346). ▲ ▲ East Yorkshire: Reedness Hall, Reedness, Goole. A handsome house, with a useful separate 1-bed cottage, in this small village on the south bank of the River Ouse. Master suite, 3 further beds, family bath, breakfast/kitchen, 3 receps, study, wine cellar, double garage, cottage, 2 stables, tack room, workshop, gardens, terrace, orchard, paddock, parking, 1.05 acres. £450,000; Savills (01904-617820). ▲ Buckinghamshire: Missenden Road, Chesham. Originally built as two houses, this brick and flint home is in the heart of the old town, within easy reach of the station, and has many period features, from panelled walls to feature fireplaces and diamond-leaded windows. Master suite, 4/5 further beds, family bath, breakfast/ kitchen, 2 receps, hall, study/bed 6, garage, garden with a tributary of the River Chess running through. OIEO £699,950; Hunters (01494-723322). ▲ Somerset: Cross House, Milborne Port, Sherborne. A fine family house, dating back to 1860 with later additions. Master suite with roof terrace, 7/8 further beds, family bath, shower, breakfast/kitchen, 3 receps, utility, study, WC, hall, second-floor kitchen/bed 9, double garage, parking, pretty walled garden. £825,000; Jackson Stops (01935-810141). 19 May 2018 THE WEEK LEISURE Food & Drink 37 What the experts recommend Hide 85 Piccadilly, London W1 (020-3146 8666) Ollie Dabbous’s grand new restaurant is the capital’s biggest opening of 2018, and probably its most expensive – and it’s a “barnstorming success”, says Frankie McCoy in the London Evening Standard. Dabbous’s backers, the Russian-owned Hedonism Wines (which also provides Hide’s vast choice of wines) could have invested in the flashiness of another Sexy Fish, say. Instead, they’ve created a fabulous “cellar-cool refuge from sticky Piccadilly”, with not one but two superb restaurants. Ground (on the ground floor), is a relatively casual all-day space, where we enjoyed gorgeous turbot, in a sauce of its own bones, and charred asparagus. Then up the art deco tree trunk staircase there’s Above, where huge windows offer cinematic views across Green Park, the inspiration behind the sensational tasting menu. Delights include a “soul-enriching” bouillabaisse, Norwegian king crab, and “stupendous” goose with crispy kale and miso. Hide is like a “handsome friend who has inherited impossible wealth and lives a charmed life, but who is so lovely that you cannot resent him”. Starters around £14, mains about £28, tasting menu £95. Titu 1A Shepherd Street, Mayfair, London W1 (020-7493 8746) This charming new gyoza restaurant from the “seriously talented” Jeff Tyler + Foie Gras” was a “brilliant, ridiculous hybrid: a Japanese dumpling with an old-school French stuffing made by a New Zealander”. Dishes £3.90-£17.60; gyoza £6.90-£12.90. Gaijin Sushi: amazing-value food – formerly head chef at the super-luxe Novikov – is a revelation, says Tim Hayward in the FT. I confess I expected it to be “amusingly pretentious”; in fact, it is precisely the opposite. A pre-lunch snack of fresh lotus root crisps with a corn yuzu dipping sauce is “light, welcoming and utterly exceptional”. A soft-shell crab salad is a “gorgeous, generous” thing. And the gyoza (Japanese dumplings) are wonderful. “Chicken + Cheese” (an unusual combination I had thought might make a good gag) turns out to be a beautiful balance of hand-chopped bird, herbs and nuggets of what tasted like Gruyère. A sweetly spicy “Chicken Gaijin Sushi 78 Bristol Street, Birmingham (0121-448 4250) Depending on who is talking, gaijin is either an “aggressively offensive word for non-Japanese people, or a self-mocking term used by non-Japanese people to signify their otherness”, says Jay Rayner in The Observer. The latter applies here, because this delightful sushi joint is run by “a tall Polish chap” called Michal Kubiak. The setting is admittedly unprepossessing. Gaijin, which opened in March, sits on a “slightly brutal” shopping parade next to the A38. But the food is great and the vibe convivial. The salmon and prawn tempura don’t quite qualify as tempura, seeing as both are panko-breadcrumbed, rather than battered and lacy. But they are “very fine deep-fried things” and amazing value. “Just £8.50 brings you six big prawns, each longer than my middle finger and trust me, I have big hands.” The same goes for excellent nigiri sushi (about £4 for two pieces). And spicy tuna rolls, prawn and eel rolls, crab rolls and tight prawn maki rolls are all very fine, too. Currently Gaijin is unlicensed, but you can bring your own booze for a small corkage fee. Meal for two, about £60. Recipe of the week Scandinavians use a lot of marzipan in baking, but only the good quality, 50% almond kind, says Brontë Aurell, and it’s really easy to make your own (see below). I think apricots are delicious with spice, so I’ve added cardamom and cinnamon, but omit if you prefer. Apricot tart with mazarin Serves 8-10 sweet shortcrust pastry: 200g unsalted butter, cold and cubed 350g plain flour 125g plus 2 tbsps icing sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from ½ a vanilla pod 1 egg marzipan: 200g finely ground almonds 100g caster sugar 100g icing sugar 1 tsp almond extract 1 medium egg white, ideally pasteurised mazarin: 150g marzipan (as per recipe, or shop-bought with 50% almond content), grated 100g caster sugar 100g (minus 1 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened 2 eggs 50g plain flour a pinch of salt to assemble: 10 ripe, fresh apricots ½ tsp ground cardamom ½ tsp ground cinnamon icing sugar, for dusting 36cm x 13cm rectangular tart pan, greased • To make the pastry, pulse all the ingredients in a food processor. Roll the mixture into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. © FABIO DE PAOLA/GUARDIAN NEWS & MEDIA; PETER CASSIDY • If making your own marzipan, first re-grind the almonds if they feel coarse – they should be very fine. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Roll the mixture into a log and wrap in cling film, then chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. • Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 4-5mm. Carefully transfer to line the tart pan and let the edges hang over. Refrigerate until ready to bake. Freeze any excess pastry for use in another recipe. Preheat the oven to 180°C. • To make the mazarin, mix the marzipan and sugar until combined, using a wooden spoon or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, then add the softened butter. Mix again until smooth then add the eggs, one at a time, ensuring they are well incorporated. Sift in the flour and salt, and fold into the mixture. • Spoon out the mazarin onto the pastry base and spread evenly. Halve the apricots and remove the stones. Arrange the halves evenly across the mazarin. Add a dusting of cardamom and cinnamon, and bake the tart for about 45-50 minutes or until the pastry is nicely browned at the edges and the mazarin has set. • Remove from the oven and allow to cool before trimming away any untidy pastry edges and removing from the pan. Dust with icing sugar and cut into slices. Serve with crème fraiche or sour cream on the side, if you like. Taken from ScandiKitchen Summer by Brontë Aurell, published by Ryland Peters & Small at £16.99. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £15.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit www.theweek.co.uk/bookshop. 19 May 2018 THE WEEK Consumer Kia Sorento from £29,310 Autocar The Sorento is not a crossover spun from a family hatchback: it’s got proper SUV architecture. That means this spacious seven-seater is a capable tow car that feels “built to last”. But it also means it’s in a highly competitive class. For the price, this latest model (which has 4WD as standard) is a compelling option, but it lacks the “polish and sophistication” of its many impressive rivals. The Daily Telegraph At 4.8 metres long, it’s a big car – “hard to miss”, in fact. But even after this midlife facelift the exterior isn’t up to much, with “a tough, ready-foranything mien chosen over conventional beauty”. Inside, it all feels a bit retro, and while the car is well put-together in general, the seats aren’t that comfy (even if the seat heaters feel “powerful enough to incubate a newborn lamb”). What Car? While some manufacturers seem “hell-bent on trying to inject sporty handling into their large SUVs”, Kia has focused on what matters most to the family buyer: “a comfortable ride”. In achieving this, though, the Sorento, with only a 197bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine available, has sacrificed agility, while the steering is “vague and inconsistently weighted”. Ultimately, it loses out to other, more “nimble” cars. The best… gardening tools Black & Decker GW3031 Collect your leaves into a pile with this powerful leaf blower, then swap in the suction tube and watch them all disappear into the 72-litre collection bag (£102; www.tooled-up.com). ▲ ▲ Black & Decker GL7033 This two-inone edger and trimmer is light and manoeuvrable, but heavy-duty. Just switch it to vertical mode and use the guide wheel for an immaculate lawn (£66.50; www.tesco.com). ▲ Niwaki GR Secateurs A pair of razor-sharp secateurs can make a world of difference to a day in the garden, so treat yourself to this pair. Hand-forged in Japan with carbon steel, they are beautifully balanced and robust enough to tackle the toughest work (£69; www.niwaki.com). ▲ Gardena Smart Sileno This robot lawnmower can handle the most complex shapes and slopes. Part of Gardena’s smart range, it can be controlled remotely via an app, or linked to their sprinklers, so it doesn’t get in their way (£1,197; www.argos.co.uk). Tips of the week… how to fall asleep on a plane ● In so far as it’s possible, replicate your usual night-time routine. Changing into pyjamas, brushing your teeth, removing your make-up or washing your face will send signals to your brain, telling it that it’s time to get ready for sleep. ● Scent can be a very powerful relaxation tool; use hand cream or dab essential oils on your neck or pulse points to nudge you towards sleep. Scents that aid sleep include lavender, camomile and ylang-ylang. ● At least half-an-hour before you hope to doze off, put away any electronic devices, turn off the in-flight film, and read or meditate instead. ● Before you fly, work out what types of pillow, earplugs and eye mask work best for you. Look for a dark mask with a soft lining and a large (if unattractive) shape, and see if you prefer wax or foam earplugs. ● Don’t put pressure on yourself to sleep like a log. Think of it more as resting your eyes: even if you only rest, that will help. SOURCE: THE INDEPENDENT ▲ Gtech HT20 A brilliantly versatile hedge trimmer, this Gtech model is extendable and cordless – and it weighs only 2.25kg. The head can be angled at 90 degrees to tackle the very top of your hedges (£130; www.gtech.co.uk). A And forr those who have h everything… verything… Worried your dog gets bored when it’s home alone? Buy it a robotic dog bone to keep it entertained. Available to pre-order, the Wickedbone will chase your pet around or run away from it. If you’re at home, you can control it via an app on your phone. £50; www.kickstarter.com SOURCE: STUFF Where to find… food festivals Eat & Drink Festival in Glasgow will have mouth-watering food trucks and an array of popular street food dishes (31 May-3 June; www.eatanddrinkglasgow.com). For Taste of London, the capital’s best restaurants gather in Regent’s Park and provide scaled-down versions of their signature dishes (13-17 June; london.tastefestivals.com). Wilderness, Oxfordshire, is largely about Wil the music and theatre, but there’s great food to be had too: a highlight is the banquet cooked by Yotam Ottolenghi (2-5 August; www.wildernessfestival.com). River Cottage Festival in Devon has cooking masterclasses, talks (Prue Leith and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall are on the line-up), music and yoga (25-26 August; www.rivercottage.net). At The Good Life Experience in north Wales, you can learn wild cooking, fermenting and spatula-making skills (14-16 September; www.thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk). SOURCE: THE DAILY TELEGRAPH 19 May 2018 THE WEEK SOURCES: THE INDEPENDENT/T3 New cars: what the critics say LEISURE 39 Travel 41 Three holidays with a difference of treats from “smoked kangaroo and pickled crocodile” to Fifty years on from the Summer of “roadkill emu”. Kakadu still Love, psychedelia is having another retains a “Crocodile Dundee” moment, says Tarn Rodgers Johns reputation, but is aiming to widen in The Independent. Last year, its appeal during its annual food a team at Imperial College London festival, A Taste of Kakadu, now found evidence that psilocybin, a in its second year. Running until compound in magic mushrooms, the end of this month, it comprises can “‘reset’ the brains of depressed pop-up dining, masterclasses in patients”. Now, at Jamaica’s cooking bush tucker, and guest Treasure Beach, there is a tropical appearances from indigenous retreat where guests are invited to chefs. Above all, it shows visitors use magic mushrooms to explore how, after centuries of “colonial “issues” in their personal or injustices”, the Bininj survive here professional lives in a supportive on the lands they have inhabited – and legal – setting. You don’t for millennia. A Taste of have to be suffering from Kakadu (parksaustralia.gov.au) depression to take part, but no one The Inn at Dos Brisas: rancher luxe in Texas runs until 27 May. Singapore comes “to party”. Participants take Airlines (www.singaporeair.com) flies (with one stop) to mushrooms – ground down into capsule form – three times over Darwin. Visit northernterritory.com for details. the week, overseen by six facilitators who provide expertise and “make sure no one wanders off”. On rest days, you can indulge in herbal steam massages or go on island excursions. What Blowing away the cobwebs in cowboy territory happens outside of each mushroom trip “is just as important Not everyone is a natural cowboy or girl, says Sarah Ivens in as the trip itself”, as everyone shares their experience and reflects The Daily Telegraph. But on a Lone Star weekend at Dos Brisas on their “new perspective” – having, with luck, “unplugged” you can spend a couple of days testing your mettle in 313 acres emotional blockages that may have been “festering for years”. of rolling Texas countryside, and blow away a few cobwebs in Magic mushrooms are proscribed Class A drugs in the UK. the process. There’s no stinting on creature comforts, however. MycoMeditations (www.mycomeditations.com) has mixed Rooms have private plunge pools and the ranch boasts Texas’s and women-only retreats, from £1,285 per week. only Forbes five-star-rated restaurant. Even the horses have their own trainers, masseurs and personal chef. “This may explain their good nature.” You’ll spend the morning riding them along rocky Tasting ants on a bush tucker tour of Kakadu trails; then there’s shooting practice, and perhaps fishing and The main danger when licking green ants is that they’re liable to archery. After a soak in the tub to soothe aching limbs, there’s an bite you on the lip. But if they’re dead, you can safely nibble their evening around the campfire, toasting s’mores “under a blanket backsides to release a “tangy, citrus-like flavour that’s pretty tasty of stars”. You may not leave as the next Wild Bill Hickok or if you close your eyes”, says Helen Davidson in The Guardian. Annie Oakley, but the fresh air and new challenges will surely You can try them on a bush tucker tour around the Warradjan “put a swagger in your cowboy boots”. The Lone Star package cultural centre in Kakadu National Park, in Australia’s Northern at The Inn at Dos Brisas (www.dosbrisas.com) costs from £889 Territory. Guided by Aboriginal elders from the Bininj people – per room per night, including meals and activities. the park’s traditional owners – the walk takes in a smorgasbord A therapeutic journey © SOHO HOUSE/WHITE CITY HOUSE Soho House’s White City outpost The 19th Soho House has opened its doors in the old BBC Television Centre – and this west London outpost of the empire is “weirdly delightful”, said Steve King in Condé Nast Traveller. From the outside it may look like the “faculty buildings of a 1960s polytechnic”, but inside the members’ club, the decor is an ostentatious “display of wit and whimsy”. In the quirky communal spaces, there are curved, timber-panelled walls and retro squishy armchairs, where attractive people work on laptops; there’s a 24,000 sq ft gym, and two swimming pools – one on a rooftop with views over “the anonymous grey suburban smear that extends all the way to Heathrow”. Back in the day, if a pop star wanted a drink after lip-synching to their latest hit on Top of the Pops, their only option was to head to the BBC Club bar and hang out with the electricians, said Sarah Turner in Forbes. Now, they’d be spoilt for choice. There are several bars and restaurants, including a large ground space that is open to all, and a branch of Electric Cinema. All over, there are riffs on “elements of BBC heritage”, with panels in the lifts that look like daleks and BBC-inspired artworks – including a large multicoloured test card – on the walls. The 45 bedrooms, also open to nonmembers, are housed in the Grade II circular building, in former production offices where classic shows such as Fawlty Towers were once “commissioned and nurtured”. White City House (www.whitecityhouse.com) has doubles from £120. Is your hotel spying on you? The first rule of any business is “know your customer”, says Christian Koch in The Sunday Times. The hotel industry is certainly taking that to heart: in order to “enhance” their guests’ experience, a growing number of hotel companies are now scouring social media in search of the kind of information we used only to share with our friends and families. So, tweet about your favourite beer and you may find it in the minibar on arrival. If you stay at a hotel owned by Groupe Germain while in town for a job interview, don’t be surprised if the staff leave you a good-luck card. Kimpton Hotels admits to having a whole team of “social agents” monitoring social media 24/7 in an effort to “surprise and enthral” guests – or just freak them out. It’s worth noting that in some hotels, “even the chambermaids are gathering intelligence”. They’re not just “ghosts” coming in to make your bed – they’re also clocking what kind of underpants you wear. 19 May 2018 THE WEEK Obituaries 43 Labour minister who helped bring London the Olympics Dame Tessa Jowell, who Dame Tessa has died aged 70, was often Jowell depicted in the media as a 1947-2018 prim, slightly nannyish figure, said The Times. But at Westminster, she was known not only for her sense of humour, but for a quality that is far more rarely found in politics, said Stephen Bush in the New Statesman: her kindness. As an MP, and later as a minister, this least tribal of politicians made a great effort to be kind to people she had no need to be kind to. Of course, she was other things besides. She was astute and extremely effective: her achievements included the London Olympics, 24-hour licensing and the Sure Start programme. But it was partly because she was kind that she was effective. It inspired people to work hard for her: they wanted to help her achieve her aims. Jowell was health minister in Blair’s first government; she then moved to education and employment before replacing Chris Smith as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in 2001. In that role, she persuaded Blair to back Britain’s Olympic bid, in 2004. “Of course we may not win,” she told him, “but at least we will have had the courage to try.” The Games proved a huge success, but there were controversies along the way (mainly to do with budget overruns). She was castigated for approving the creation of super casinos (the “nation’s nanny” was now a “gangster’s moll”, she observed). And she was caught up in the scandal surrounding the “sexing up” of the Iraq dossier. She’d had reservations about the 2003 invasion – but she would have “jumped under a bus” for Blair, she admitted. There were embarrassments in her private life, too: in 2004, her husband David Mills – a millionaire Tessa Palmer was born in London in 1947, the Jowell: the least partisan of politicians tax lawyer with many controversial clients, daughter of a physician and a radiographer, including Silvio Berlusconi – was accused of and brought up in Aberdeen, where she went to a local fee-paying tax fraud by the authorities in Italy. In 2009, he was convicted school and the university. Having developed socialist leanings in of accepting a £350,000 “bribe” from the former Italian PM in her teens, she moved to London in 1969 to become a social exchange for giving false testimony at two trials in the 1990s, worker; in 1974, after further study, she became a psychiatric and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison – which was social worker at the Maudsley Hospital. By then, she’d been overturned in 2010 on a technicality. The episode was a huge elected to Camden Council where, long before her party’s shift strain on their family and caused the couple briefly to separate. to the centre, she presented herself as a moderate, pitted against the “loony left”. Deciding that to find “big solutions” to social Jowell stood down as an MP in 2015. Last September, she problems she would need to be in government, she first stood revealed that she was suffering from cancer. (She was rumoured to be an MP in 1978, and was finally elected MP for Dulwich to have nicknamed her tumour Momentum.) Visibly frail, and in 1992. Two years later she supported Tony Blair’s bid for the in a voice cracking with emotion, she gave her final speech to the Labour leadership. He recognised her competence, her commitHouse of Lords in January, describing her life with cancer and ment and her likeability, said The Guardian – all of which proved appealing for more treatments to be made available. In a rare a huge asset to the party as it sought to win over Middle England. breach of protocol, her fellow peers gave her a standing ovation. Film editor who won an Oscar for Lawrence of Arabia When Anne V. Coates declared that she wanted to work in the film industry, her uncle – J. Arthur Rank – found her a job at Elstree Studios repairing prints of religious films known as Sunday Shorts. The idea was that she would soon get bored and rethink her unsuitable career. The plan backfired, said The Times. Coates, who has died aged 92, became one of cinema’s most respected editors. She won one Oscar, for Lawrence of Arabia, and was nominated for four others. Moving with the times, both in terms of technology and social attitudes, she was in her 80s when she edited her last film, Fifty Shades of Grey. She thought it a bit tame. “I wanted more passion,” she said. Anne V. Coates 1925-2018 with him on Powell and Pressburger’s The Red Shoes. Her ambition had been to direct, but it dawned on her that in that male-dominated world, editing was the most interesting job a woman could do, other than acting. “While it was just a background job, they let the women do it,” she said later. “But when people realised how interesting and creative editing could be, then the men... kind of took over.” In 1960, she offered to edit Albert Finney’s screen test for Lawrence of Arabia for a friend. Finney didn’t get the part, but David Lean was so impressed by her cuts, he took her on as the film’s editor. He shot 31 miles of film, which she edited down into a four-hour movie, and in the process Coates: still working in her 80s created one of the most famous cuts in cinema history – a “match cut”, from Lawrence blowing out a match to Born in Reigate, Surrey, in 1925, she was the daughter of an a burning desert sunrise. She went on to work on Becket and The architect, Laurence Coates, and Kathleen (née Rank), whose Elephant Man before, aged 60, she moved to Hollywood. There, grandfather had founded the Rank flour business. She was, she among many other films, she worked on Erin Brockovich and said, born with a “silver spoon in my mouth”; one of her earliest Out of Sight. On the latter, she had been anxious at first about memories was watching a maid iron her father’s copy of The using the new Avid digital technology, but as she explained to Times. She was quite “snotty” in her youth, but during the War the film’s star, George Clooney, she had realised that the job she worked as a nurse at Sir Archibald McIndoe’s plastic surgery was really the same. “It was just a question of calming down unit, where she cared for wounded airmen and children who had and cutting just like I had before, telling the story, making it been injured while playing with bombs. The work, she said, was funny, saving the actor’s performance.” Clooney laughed, but “harrowing... [but] it opened my mind to communism and things when he introduced her to his co-star Jennifer Lopez as the person like that, which shocked my family”. After working as a tea girl who was going to save her performance, Lopez was not amused. at Rank, she blagged a job in the cutting room at Pinewood, In 2016, Coates was awarded a lifetime achievement Oscar. where she was mentored by the editor Reggie Mills, and worked 19 May 2018 THE WEEK We strive to discover more. 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After revealing a profit warning and a ballooning pension deficit (now a troubling £11.3bn), BT’s stock sunk to its lowest level since Patterson took charge in 2013. The “always immaculately attired” boss “put on a brave face” as he pledged to lead a turnaround. But “questions over his tenure – ranging from the decision to spend billions on football rights to the handling of an accounting scandal in Italy – will not go away”. “GPat” has “radically changed the look” of BT, said Jim Armitage in the London Evening Standard. But even its “whizzbang new divisions” aren’t looking too clever: mobile and TV customer numbers are both down. And Patterson’s hopes of channelling cost-savings into next-generation 5G technology may not be enough to assuage regulators and politicians applying pressure over BT’s botched Openreach fibre programme. No wonder the mood within the soonto-be vacated BT Centre near St Paul’s in London – the historic home of UK telecoms since the days of the General Post Office – is described as sombre. RBS: looming share sale It was, declared the Royal Bank of Scotland’s CEO, Ross McEwan, last week, “a milestone moment”. That seems “an oddly cheerful way” to describe a deal to hand over $4.9bn to the US Department of Justice as punishment for mortgage mis-selling more than a decade ago, said Nils Pratley in The Guardian. “But we know what he means.” After years of waiting, it’s great finally to have an agreement – and the terms imposed by the Americans aren’t as severe as feared. “Some thought the hit could be $7bn.” RBS, which was rescued by the government in 2008, has now cleared what is widely seen in the City as the last substantial “hurdle” before a full-on share sale, said Harry Wilson in The Times. Government officials are already sounding out City brokers to gauge interest in the bank, which remains 71% owned by the taxpayer. We should probably prepare to take a drubbing. The Government’s only sale of RBS shares, three years ago – when it sold a £2.1bn chunk, equal to a 5.4% stake – crystallised a loss of more than £1bn. With RBS stock currently even lower, a sale now would “incur an even greater loss”. ZPG/Silver Lake: Zoopla falls to the Americans “Talk about making a killing from the housing market,” said Ian King on Sky.com. ZPG, the owner of property website Zoopla, and the comparison sites uSwitch and Money.co.uk, has been sold to the US private equity fund Silver Lake for £2.2bn. The deal nets Zoopla’s founder, Alex Chesterman, £61m. But “by far the biggest winner from the takeover” is ZPG’s largest shareholder, the Daily Mail & General Trust, which should scoop £640m. Zoopla has been something of a “Marmite” stock for investors. Nonetheless, Silver Lake’s takeover will provoke mixed feelings. “British tech companies are frequently accused of selling out to larger rivals, usually from the US, before they have reached their full potential.” ZPG, which was tipped by some to become the “Amazon of housing”, looks to be no exception. Seven days in the Square Mile The Bank of England kept interest rates on hold at 0.5% citing a soft patch in the economy, and predicting that inflation would return to its 2% target within two years and remain on track. EU leaders met to discuss their response to the US threat to impose sanctions on European companies doing business with Iran, and the prospect of looming steel and aluminium tariffs. Japan ended eight straight quarters of consecutive growth; the economy surprised on the downside, shrinking by 0.6% in the first quarter. The World Trade Organisation ruled against Airbus and the EU in a longrunning row involving Boeing. The US had accused the EU of providing $22bn of improper aid to build A380 and A350 jets. The ruling could lead to more trade sanctions, but may be counterbalanced by a parallel case against Boeing. Barclays boss Jes Staley was fined £642,430 by regulators and had £500,000 docked from his pay over a failed attempt to identify a whistleblower; critics said the sanction did not go far enough. US private equity giant Blackstone was criticised for muscling into the UK social housing market. Volvo appointed a string of Wall Street banks to explore an IPO. WPP is reportedly considering appointing ex-AOL boss Tim Armstrong to succeed Martin Sorrell. The ad giant faces an investor revolt over its refusal to publish details of the investigation into personal misconduct that prompted Sorrell’s resignation. ZTE: trump card in a technological cold war Donald Trump’s recent threat to impose tariffs on some $150bn of Chinese goods looked like “the first volley” of a “full-scale trade war”. Yet suddenly the US president “seems ready to make peace”, said The New York Times. Trump has indicated that he will help to save ZTE, a Chinese electronicsmaker that is on “the brink of collapse” after being punished by US officials last month for breaking sanctions against Iran and North Korea. appears to have done the trick in terms of drawing China to the negotiating table. Shortly after, Beijing agreed to send its vicepremier, Liu He, to Washington for talks. It apparently took the president “less than a week to forget that punishing companies for doing business with Iran was one of the main current aims of US foreign policy”, said the Financial Times. His U-turn “directly contradicts the strong views of many top officials in US intelligence and State-backed ZTE, which majors on mobile law enforcement, who have repeatedly technology and employs 75,000 people in warned that ZTE products could be ZTE: a “geopolitical pawn” more than 160 countries, is “an important employed to spy on American users geopolitical pawn for Beijing” in an increasingly frosty and are a threat to national security”. It seems that Trump’s “technological cold war”. Trump clearly views it as a useful “addiction to dealmaking has led him astray”. If he has “bargaining chip” too in his new quest to keep China onside as “bargained away a serious threat to US national security” for a events hot up in Iran and Korea. His offer of “a reprieve” for the short-term gimmick like ordering China to buy more American company drew “protests from Congress”, said The Times. But it exports, “it is one of the worst deals he has ever struck”. 19 May 2018 THE WEEK YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A ROYAL TO INVEST LIKE ONE It’s a good day to celebrate breaking down the barriers to wealth. So we’re offering access to first-class portfolio design and risk monitoring. From 21p a day. Discover our platform exoinvesting.com As with all investing, your capital is at risk. Minimum investment £10,000. Exo Investing is the trading name of Finhub Technologies Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Talking points CITY 47 Issue of the week: “menopausal” Britain? Has the economy hit a soft patch? Or could we possibly be confronting a “once-in-a-century” slump? Bank of England governor Mark Carney has come under fire for his signature “forward guidance” policy, but this week a different kind of “communications controversy” erupted on Threadneedle Street, said Jill Ward on Bloomberg. Deputy governor Ben Broadbent was forced to apologise after his description of the UK economy as “menopausal” prompted a deluge of complaints about sexism and ageism. As Tory MP Claire Perry tweeted: “I can’t be the only 50+ woman objecting to [this] pejorative description... I’ve never been more productive! How about ‘andropausal’ instead? Then you get declining potency and bonus grumpiness thrown in!” territory – coping with relatively high inflation and a slowing economy”. Broadbent reckons the malaise may be more deep-seated, said Anna Isaac in The Daily Telegraph. He compares the productivity slowdown to the “lull at the end of the 19th century, when the height of the steam era was over but the age of electricity was yet to begin”. He argues today’s economy may be undergoing a similar “climacteric” phase, awaiting “the next big breakthrough” after the digital boom. In short, we could be facing a once-in-a-century slump. Something’s certainly up when those two former stalwarts of “pricepummelling” consumer retail, Greggs and JD Wetherspoon, both record slowing sales growth, said Henry Mance in the FT. Either Britons are falling out of love with cheap beer and bread, or this is “the start of the great Brexit consumer slump”. The omens aren’t great, said Zoe Wood in The Guardian. According to Visa’s consumer spending index, “shoppers are deserting the high street in greater numbers than during the depths of the recession in 2009”. True, some of that cash has been diverted to online sales, but, as Visa notes, spending overall is still declining despite a pick-up in wage growth. Whether or not the British economy is menopausal, andropausal or climacteric, there are going to be challenging times ahead. Greggs: slowing sales growth The timing was especially unfortunate, because Carney had just hosted a conference on diversity in central banking. It also followed a slew of criticism over the Bank’s messaging on monetary policy. “After a few months of implying that rates were firmly on the upward path”, the monetary policy committee voted 7-2 to keep them on hold at 0.5% last week, said John Stepek on MoneyWeek.com. “Carney doesn’t so much look like an ‘unreliable boyfriend’ as a runaway bridegroom. The man just can’t commit.” The issue facing the Bank is whether anaemic growth of just 0.1% in the first quarter is merely symptomatic of a “soft patch”, as it hopes, or whether it will shortly be “in much trickier Making money: what the experts think FT. Having surpassed $77/ ● Down in the basement… barrel last week after the “Uncertainty about Brexit, US decision to reimpose plus the possibility of a sanctions on Iran, it’s now Marxist chancellor”, have up by 50% year-on-year. caused the FTSE 100 to lag Unsurprisingly, energymost stock market indices in focused funds have been recent years, said Ian Cowie whizzing: seven out of in The Sunday Times. When ten of the top performers measured by the cyclically in April were invested in adjusted price-earnings energy and natural yardstick Cape, British resources, according to shares are now considerably data provider FE, with picks cheaper than those of the US, including Guinness Global Germany and Japan – and Energy and BlackRock also many emerging markets. World Energy. But even Most institutional investors investors without dedicated Oil stocks are “whizzing” seem to have concluded that exposure have been making “Britain is a basket case”: gains “due to the high weightings towards but a growing number, including oil and gas in many large UK and Ritu Vohora of M&G, reckon that European equity funds”. the “uncertainty” is already discounted and that there are “bargains” to be had. ● Tin’s the thing “Negative sentiment” can cause share Another commodity doing a roaring trade prices to fall “far away from the intrinsic is tin – up 60% since January 2016 at value of a business”, agreed Richard about $21,000/tonne, driven by demand Buxton of Old Mutual. He reckons “cashfrom consumer electronics companies, said generative stocks – including some banks, Deirdre Hipwell in The Times. Twenty miners and retailers” – offer opportunities years after being mothballed, Britain’s for long-term investors. He’s right. UK last working tin mine, South Crofty in shares look “unloved and undervalued”; Cornwall, has come a step closer to contrarians take note. reopening. The mine’s Canadian owner, Strongbow Exploration, is floating on ● Rising oil Aim, hoping to raise £25m to invest in the One development likely to prove a shot in mine, which it dubs one of the “highestthe arm to UK investors is “the sharp rise grade undeveloped tin projects globally”. in the oil price”, said Kate Beioley in the The car crash at Carillion An excoriating report by MPs into the fate of construction giant Carillion claims that “shyster” bosses were “too busy stuffing their mouths with gold to show any concern for the workforce or pensions” – and are “directly to blame” for the company’s collapse in January, said Rachel Millard on MailOnline. A prolific government contractor that employed 58,000 people, Carillion wildly pursued growth and misrepresented its finances, according to the Commons Select Committee report, which also slammed the “feeble” response of regulators supposed to keep tabs on the company. Carillion’s senior team “could now face disqualification”, said Rhiannon Curry in The Daily Telegraph. The report paints a damning picture of directors’ greed. Treating smaller firms with contempt, they used aggressive accounting techniques to cover their own problems. Britain’s biggest corporate failure in over a decade has come under particular scrutiny because the group was given a clean bill of health by auditor KPMG last March. Accusing the latter of being “complicit” in directors’ “increasingly fantastical figures”, MPs called for the break-up of the Big Four accounting firms, arguing KPMG’s “cursory” audits at Carillion were “symptomatic” of a “cosy club” that “works for the members of the oligopoly, but fails the wider economy”. 19 May 2018 THE WEEK 48 CITY Is it folly to downplay Roman risks... Nils Pratley The Guardian … or should the markets be cheering? Matthew Lynn The Daily Telegraph Blockchain is handmaiden of democracy John Naughton The Observer Bye bye, bank robbers. Hello, owl thieves Rene Chun The Atlantic THE WEEK 19 May 2018 Commentators You’d think the arrival of “a populist, free-spending and Eurosceptic” government in Italy would have sent markets spinning. But the reaction so far has been one “big yawn”, says Nils Pratley. That’s extraordinary given “the radicalism being contemplated in Rome” by the League-Five Star Movement coalition, whose programme, “even in watered-down form”, packs a punch against EU orthodoxy. It proposes a parallel currency to run alongside the euro; a flat tax rate of 15% for most companies and households; a “universal income”; and the repeal of tough-minded pension reforms. Depending on the precise version adopted, “that collection” of policies could increase government spending by s60bn-s100bn a year, in a country whose stock of debt is already 132% of GDP. Yet the bond markets have barely budged. “A lot of money is resting on the questionable assumption that the new government won’t do what it says” – or will collapse. But just as likely is a confrontation with the EU over fiscal rules. “That would be a serious showdown, with an uncertain outcome.” If Italy’s new government is “serious about its promises”, we can expect “lots of warnings about the chaos it will create”, says Matthew Lynn. But the conventional wisdom could be “100% wrong”. True, if Italy either defaulted on its debts or crashed out of the euro, “it would plunge the global financial system into a serious panic”. But many of the ideas underpinning its “bold experiment in economic radicalism” are sensible, and even the dottier ones “might be worth a try”. It’s not as if Italy has been enjoying great economic success. “Ever since joining the euro, its average growth rate has been zero”, in marked contrast to periods of prosperity in the past. So be sceptical of the predictions of catastrophe that always arise when populist politicians come to power. Donald Trump’s mix of tax cuts and deregulation is boosting growth in the US. In Europe, both Poland (forecast to expand 4% this year) and Hungary have profited financially from the “populist” governments Brussels keeps chastising. Markets should cheer Italy’s “fresh thinking” as a sign of potential revival. The banking establishment used to be unremittingly hostile to cryptocurrencies, says John Naughton. But the wind has changed. Two exchanges have launched bitcoin futures trading operations; even the New York Stock Exchange is setting up a dedicated online platform. But “the greed and cynicism surrounding bitcoin and its peers” is a side issue in the cryptocurrency saga: far more significant is the potential of the blockchain technology that underpins them. The crucial thing about a blockchain, as Don and Alex Tapscott explain in their book Blockchain Revolution, is it provides “an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record virtually everything of value”. That’s “a really big idea”, because well-governed societies depend on keeping documentation of all sorts in ledgers that are both public and secure – a need all the more pressing in developing or authoritarian countries, which lack “trustworthy institutions” or democratic oversight to combat corruption. Implicit in the blockchain concept is “an endearing strain of technocratic utopianism, a hope that technology can overcome some aspects of human frailty and corruption”. We should put it to good use. Sweden is about as close as you can now get to a cashless society, says Rene Chun. “Cold hard krona” accounted for barely 2% of the value of all payments made in 2015. And the shift to digital currency has, to an extent, brought with it the expected reduction in crime: “Swedish bank robbers and light-fingered cashiers have gone the way of Abba hit singles.” But as paper money gets scarce, other types of crime have flourished. Internet scams are increasingly popular among thieves; so are more “outlandish” physical thefts – including a “new enthusiasm for the endangeredspecies black market, previously cornered by reptile wranglers and orchid thieves”. Crimes involving protected species are at their highest level in a decade: “a single great grey owl now goes for about 1m krona (about £85,000) on the dark web”. Sweden’s new crime wave is worrying, but predictable. Research shows that as we gain “psychological distance” from money, our willingness to steal increases. Which is “why so many people cheat on taxes, inflate insurance claims and steal Post-it notes from the office”. City profile Jim Ratcliffe His wealth increased by more than £15bn last year and The Sunday Times has just named him the richest person in Britain. It has taken the fracking and chemicals billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, 65, “just 20 years to make a fortune of more than £21bn”, said Robert Watts in that paper. He built up his private petrochemicals empire, Ineos, “by acquiring a string of cast-offs from BP, ICI and other corporate giants”. To his critics that makes him an “asset stripper”. To his supporters, however, “he is something between a Womble and an alchemist”. Brought up in a council house near Manchester, the son of a joiner and office manager, Ratcliffe was sacked from BP after three days – on account of the fact he had eczema, he claims – before finding berths at Esso, Courtaulds and later Advent International, where he learnt the art of dealmaking. He has overtaken the Hinduja brothers to take top spot in the 2018 Sunday Times Rich List, which this year lists “a record 145 billionaires”, said The Observer – two others being Ratcliffe’s top lieutenants, John Reece and Andy Currie (each worth £7bn). Ineos, which is trying to frack for shale in South Yorkshire, has just announced plans to build a successor to the Land Rover Defender. Ratcliffe lives in a stunning mansion near Beaulieu in the New Forest and sailing is his passion. He was recently rebuffed by the British Olympic Association, which said he would have to pay £6.6m if he wanted to use its Team GB trademark for his America’s Cup team. Ratcliffe told them to “take a long walk off a short plank”. In partnership with This month’s wines are more eclectic than usual, which is what I have come to expect when I select from Swig — one of the most interesting online wine merchants in the UK. Founder Robin Davis is tireless at exploring new regions and grape varieties, which is how we have come across Domaine Horgelus and its spectacular La Valses de Mansengs. For me, this month was a double first as I had never previously had wines either from this domaine or grape varieties. I’ve already bought some cases La Valse des Mansengs Domaine Horgelus 2017 This is the most exciting discovery I have made since I began £13.50 £10.00 writing this column — a true revelation! It soars from the glass with an extraordinary vitality and energy that belies its modest origins. It is drinking perfectly now, so I would merely enjoy it while it is so intense and delicious. There are traces of citrus and apricots in the background with floral notes from the small amount of Sauvignon Blanc grapes included. Made in the foothills of the Pyrenées, the owners only pick the grapes in the early hours of the day to preserve their aromatics. Fabulous. Thelema Sutherland Chardonnay 2016 Gyles Webb was one of the original New £16.50 Wave winemakers in post £14.00 Apartheid South Africa and his cool climate chardonnay brilliantly reflects what the fuss is about. Fittingly, Gyles was inspired to plant his first vineyard after tasting a glass of Puligny Montrachet, of which this wine is a respectable kinsman. Decanter magazine judged an earlier vintage of this wine to be one of the best South African Chardonnays. Unlike many New World chardonnays, this is all about elegance and restraint and is perfect to be consumed any time in the next few years. to enjoy immediately, as when the initial pleasure is so intense, why wait? The same could be said of the Rote Cuvee Groszer Wein and the Blaufränkisch grape — an equally attractive introduction to dual new experiences. It’s thanks to merchants like Robin Davis that we can still make amazing discoveries from countries we think we already know well. I urge you to give these a try — you won't be disappointed. SAVE Bruce Palling Wine Editor — The Week Wines Titos Garnacha Familia Bastida 2015 Produced in the heartland of Don Quixote’s £17.50 Castilla La Mancha, this has £12.50 to be one of the best value reds from Spain. Garnacha is the Spanish equivalent of Grenache, the mainstay of southern Rhone wines and it has the same intense solid framework. It is extraordinary to find a wine of this quality for the price. The grapes are hand-picked and fermented with local yeasts and kept in American and French oak barrels for nearly a year. There is nothing modest about this wine, which can be enjoyed with any full-flavoured dish. UP TO £60 Mas Brunet Cuvee du Mazet 2015 On the edge of the Massif Central in the Languedoc, Domaine de £14.50 Brunet is a small estate of 60 £12.50 acres owned by the Coulet family since the French Revolution. A mixture of Grenache, Syrah and other Rhone grape varieties, it is best thought of as a bargain version of a Chateauneuf du Pape. Located quite close to Mas de Daumas Gassac, the most famous wine of the Languedoc, Mas Brunet is quite forward with excellent fruit and is so reliable that Robin Davis considers it to be his de facto house wine. Rote Cuvee Groszer Wein 2015 Gutedel Weiler Schlipf, Coming from Austria’s £17.95 Weingut Claus Schneider, Burgenland, this handmade £14.50 Baden 2016 The Schneider organic wine was discovered £15.00 family in southern Baden £12.50 and promoted in the UK by have been involved in the Robin Davis. Primarily made wine business for nearly 600 from the Blaufränkisch grape, years. This nuanced dry white it is the second most popular wine is made from a grape red wine variety there. Owner variety called Gutedel in Matthias Krön is so sure of the Germany, but is better known quality of his wines that he elsewhere as Chasselas. It has confidently puts them up against a distinctive mineral flavour with many of the leading wine producers in elements of hay and even almonds and Bordeaux, the Rhone and Barolo. is wonderfully refreshing — ideal for Despite its Baroque label, it is made in a modern style and given that 2015 was spring. ‘Weiler Schlipf’ is the name of a textbook vintage, it will easily last for the family’s most prized vineyard, another decade. which was classified in 1875 and is considered the best site in Markgräﬂerland. Order online at TheWeekWines.com/may INCLUDES FREE DELIVERY or call Swig on 0800-0272 272 and quote “The Week” Your details SELECT FROM OUR 12 BOTTLE CASES: Mixed Case (2 bottles of each wine) Name Address Postcode Phone no. Email Payment method n n I enclose a Sterling cheque made payable to Swig Wines Limited Please charge my debit/credit card: n Visa n MasterCard CARD NUMBER CVV NUMBER START DATE EXPIRY DATE The Week price Saving £150.00 £39.00 Mixed Reds (4 bottles of each red) £158.00 £41.80 Mixed Whites (4 bottles of each white) £146.00 £34.00 La Valse des Mansengs Domaine Horgelus 2017 £120.00 £42.00 £30.00 Thelema Sutherland Chardonnay 2016 £168.00 Titos Garnacha Familia Bastida 2015 £150.00 £60.00 Gutedel Weiler Schlipf, Schneider, Baden 2016 £150.00 £30.00 Mas Brunet Cuvee du Mazet 2015 £150.00 £24.00 Rote Cuvee Groszer Wein 2015 £174.00 £41.40 Signature Date Alternatively, post your completed order form to Swig Wines limited, 188 Sutton Court Road, London, W4 3HR THE WEEK Terms and conditions: Offer ends 3 June 2018. Free delivery is to UK mainland only. Orders placed before noon will normally be dispatched within 48 hours. Payment can be made by credit or debit card over the phone, online or by post. Payment by cheque is by post only. Whilst stocks last. For full terms and conditions, including Swig’s returns policy, please visit swig.co.uk/terms.html. Dennis Publishing (Ltd) uses a layered Privacy Notice, giving you brief information about how we would like to use your personal information. For full details, please visit www.dennis.co.uk/privacy or call 0330-333 9490. An exciting journey of discovery Visit TheWeekTickets.co.uk to see our latest offers on tickets to the theatre, popular musicals, ballet and opera. Here are our top picks… An Ideal Husband Mood Music Starring Edward and Freddie Fox Vaudeville Theatre, London Until 14 July From £22 Starring Ben Chaplin The Old Vic, London Until 23 June From £39 Pinter at the Pinter Strictly Ballroom A season of Harold Pinter’s one-act plays Harold Pinter Theatre, London From 13 August – 24 Feb 2019 From £20 Created by Baz Luhrmann Piccadilly Theatre, London Booking until 20 October From £20 Brief Encounter 42nd Street Save up to 52% Valid on all performances until 1 July, book by 31 May Empire Cinema Haymarket, London From £25 Top price seats for £42 (save up to 46%) Theatre Royal, Drury Lane From £15 See all promotions at TheWeekTickets.co.uk Or call us on 0207 492 9948 Terms and Conditions: Bookings made via TheWeekTickets.co.uk are supplied by Encore Tickets Limited. Encore Tickets acts as a bonded fulfilment agent for this site. Encore Tickets is a member of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) and operates within the code of practice STAR sets down for its members. All offers are subject to availability and information is correct at the time of going to press. Phonelines are open Mon-Fri 8-8, Sat 9-7.30, Sun 9-7. Shares CITY 51 Who’s tipping what The week’s best buys Shire The Times The undervalued rare disease and neuroscience specialist has agreed a £45bn takeover by Takeda. It’s a risky deal for the Japanese pharmaceutical company, but necessary to compete with rivals in America. Prospects look strong. Buy. £40.58. TUI The Times Thanks to rebranding, the travel business looks reinvigorated, and now appeals to a younger and broader clientele. Shares are up 47% in twelve months, but are still trading strongly. Yields 3.6%. Buy. £17.66. Wetherspoon The Mail on Sunday The pub chain has revealed worse than expected Q3 sales growth. But Investec believes it is “beneﬁting from trading down within the sector”, and “continues to take market share from competition”. Buy. £11.55. Walt Disney Co Investors Chronicle The US entertainment behemoth has an “immense” ﬁlm and TV library, and a portfolio of “hugely popular” theme parks. A stream of box-ofﬁce hits is expected this year, plus a new digital TV platform. Buy. $102.78. XP Power The Mail on Sunday XP makes power supply units and converters for the electronics industry. Analysts think the acquisition of its US peer Glassman brings revenue opportunities: sales and proﬁts could rise 30% by 2020. Buy. £35.80. Genel Energy 250 Director’s wife buys 100,000 200 150 100 Dec Greggs The Mail on Sunday The high street baker’s stock plunged 15% after results revealed proﬁts ravaged by the “Beast from the East”. Greggs isn’t a “bad company”, concludes Peel Hunt. But shares are still “much too high”. Sell. £10.53. International Personal Finance Investors Chronicle Shares in the sub-prime lender are up, thanks to a strong performance in Mexico. Its digital arm is also doing well. But competition and regulatory pressures remain in the European home credit market. Too risky. Sell. 235.2p. Mpac Group Shares Shares have been soaring at the healthcare, pharma and nutrition packaging provider, but both the chairman and the FD are leaving. Shares no longer look discounted. Take proﬁts. Sell. 213p. Feb Mar Apr May Buoyed by a rising oil price, growing production and some stability in Iraqi Kurdistan, the oil ﬁrm looks to be recovering. Non-exec director Martin Gudgeon’s wife, Emma, doesn’t need convincing; she has bought a £230,000 stake. …and some to hold, avoid or sell Electronic Arts The Daily Telegraph The Nasdaq-listed games publisher’s lucrative business model (charging for games, then selling add-ons) has been hit by disrupter Epic’s free-todownload game Fortnite. One to watch from the sidelines. Sell. $122.53. Jan Form guide Pearson Investors Chronicle The educational publisher has enjoyed a sizeable 7% share price leap, thanks to recovery in its key American market. But competition remains ﬁerce and the long-term outlook seems bleak. Sell. 911p. Telit Communications Investors Chronicle The “internet of things” enabler has suffered a surfeit of “afﬂictions” – not least a $12.5m hike in debt to $30.2m, as well as a negative cash ﬂow. Corporate governance issues may continue rippling. Sell. 161p. Shares tipped 12 weeks ago Best tip Indivior The Mail on Sunday up 20.97% to 463.3p Worst tip British American Tobacco The Sunday Times down 13.95% to £38.30 Market view “We might not see a rate rise for the rest of the year. But while savers will be disappointed, it’s pretty good news for investors. Stock markets don’t tend to like rising interest rates much.” Ben Brettell of Hargreaves Lansdown. Quoted on Citywire Market summary Key numbers numbers for investors Key investors FTSE 100 FTSE All-share UK Dow Jones NASDAQ Nikkei 225 Hang Seng Gold Brent Crude Oil DIVIDEND YIELD (FTSE 100) UK 10-year gilts yield US 10-year Treasuries UK ECONOMIC DATA Latest CPI (yoy) Latest RPI (yoy) Halifax house price (yoy) £1 STERLING 15 May 2018 7722.98 4241.88 24671.85 7340.30 22818.02 31152.03 1319.85 78.84 3.80% 1.51 3.06 Best shares Best and and worst performing shares Week before 7565.75 4164.36 24317.11 7255.38 22508.69 30402.81 1309.40 74.47 3.88% 1.44 2.98 2.5% (Mar) 3.3% (Mar) +2.2% (Apr) $1.350 E1.140 ¥148.724 2.7% (Feb) 3.6% (Feb) +2.7% (Mar) Change (%) 2.08% 1.86% 1.46% 1.17% 1.37% 2.46% 0.80% 5.87% WEEK’S CHANGE, FTSE 100 STOCKS RISES Price % change 7760.00 +12.46 Paddy Power Betfair 165.65 +10.25 ITV 5628.00 +8.69 Next 1712.20 +8.59 BHP Billiton +7.36 Royal Bank of Sctl. Gp. 293.30 FALLS BT Group Vodafone Group Burberry Group Land Securities Group Centrica 206.80 198.38 1803.50 950.00 148.40 –12.54 –4.42 –4.30 –3.49 –3.42 BEST AND WORST UK STOCKS OVERALL 4.05 +326.31 Webis Holdings 0.01 –99.00 Polemos Source: Datastream (not adjusted for dividends). Prices on 15 May (pm) Following the Footsie 7,800 7,700 7,600 7,500 7,400 7,300 7,200 7,100 7,000 6,900 Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May 6-month movement in the FTSE 100 index 19 May 2018 THE WEEK SOURCE: INVESTORS CHRONICLE Ashtead Group Investors Chronicle The equipment rental ﬁrm is beneﬁting from strong US demand, tax cuts and dollar strength. Growth, proﬁtability and upgrades continue to look impressive, and buy-backs add to the appeal. Buy. £20.61. Directors’ dealings The last word 52 “Dad convinced the IRA to give me only one bullet” The former world champion boxer Eamonn Magee’s life has been scarred by sectarianism and alcoholism. But he insists he wouldn’t change a thing. Donald McRae reports recently ran a sensationalised book extract], and because of me telling the truth, they’re scared of people coming to shoot me dead. They say: ‘What happens if they shoot somebody else as well?’” Will Magee return to the gym? “I’m busy this week but back next Monday,” he says, deﬁantly. Could someone really walk in and shoot him? “What’s keeping them?” Magee says with a dark chuckle. “It’s not as if they don’t know where I live.” I had felt calm when I took the call that told me about Magee’s latest scrap. My mood remained the same in the cab rumbling through the familiar streets of Belfast, passing the old Republican Eamonn Magee: “I wouldn’t change a thing” murals and the high peace walls that still separate Catholic and Protestant communities. I even felt OK when, after I rang the bell, two pit bulls next “I wouldn’t change a thing,” Magee says as he takes another door leapt at the fence, barking ﬁercely. “They’re wee nippers,” slug of warm beer. His battered, 46-year-old face crinkles and their owner warned as he pulled the dogs away. the lump under his left eye looks even more like a purple mouse as he echoes: “I’ve still had a wee beautiful life.” Magee is Yet it’s hard to feel serene now. Each time Magee’s phone in trouble again because he and the writer Paul D. Gibson have interrupts us, with its Who Let the Dogs Out? ringtone, I scan produced a raw and riveting book, The Lost Soul of Eamonn his beaten-up face, wondering Magee, which opens like this: if it’s a call to tell him a “A book? Listen, I’ve been “I’ve been beaten with baseball bats, I’ve had paramilitary gunman is on beaten with baseball bats, I’ve had my throat slashed, I’ve my throat slashed, I’ve been kidnapped, exiled his way. I don’t feel too hopeful at the prospect of Magee, in his been kidnapped and exiled out out of the country and shot twice” dressing gown, and I talking of the country. I’ve been shot our way out of trouble. “Why twice, I’ve been in prison and the hell would you want to shoot me?” Magee asks. “I didn’t my son’s just been stabbed to death. Among all that, I was the do anything wrong.” welterweight champion of the world while drinking the bar dry and doing enough coke to kill a small horse every night. My As a way of changing the subject I point to his beer. He has life’s not a book. It’s a f***ing movie script.” been drinking since he was nine and the book makes clear he is a high-functioning alcoholic, but does he ever wish he could The book has caused strife and he says he has been attacked kick the bottle? “I tried rehab,” he eventually says, before on successive nights in Ardoyne. Exception has been taken to breaking into the Amy Winehouse song. “And I said, ‘No, no, Magee detailing many horrendous incidents, stretching from no!’” I can’t help laughing with him before Magee continues. Republican politics and sectarian violence to drink and drugs, “I really did go to rehab and the only thing that f***ed me up and he shakes his head when I ask how he is feeling. “It’s more was that you’re not allowed TV. Not having TV was worse embarrassing when I’m ﬁghting,” he says softly, licking his than no drink. You’re better off doing six months in jail.” cracked lips. “Last night I was even talking to him while defending myself. I’m punching him and saying: ‘F**k sake, Beneath all his scars the internal wounds have not healed. what’s this about?’” Magee waves his bust hand at me. “Who Magee tells a chilling story of how, during internment raids do you think came out the better?” His husky laugh fades. in the 1970s, he and his three brothers would be turned out of the two beds they shared. British soldiers marched them “What is it? Pick on Magee week? I’m training ﬁghters in the downstairs and they had to kneel, hands behind their heads, gym every day and one thing annoys me. We’ve got a new gym while their photographs were taken for no apparent reason. on the way and the guys that own the building don’t want me “Oh f**k, where are we starting?” Magee says as he remembers near the place. Because of what’s been in the papers [a tabloid THE WEEK 19 May 2018 © PAUL MCERLANE/GUARDIAN NEWS & MEDIA “I’ve had a beautiful wee life,” Eamonn Magee says soon after he has opened the front door in his dressing gown and cracked open his ﬁrst beer of the day, just after 11 on a Monday morning. The former boxer, who knocked down Ricky Hatton in 2002 and was a world champion when he won the WBU welterweight title, is cut and bruised from being attacked the night before. Magee’s left hand is also swollen with an obviously broken ﬁnger, making him wince whenever it brushes against his can of Carling. Such pain, however, is ﬂeeting compared with the deeper hurt that runs through him. Magee’s life, in Ardoyne, the tough Republican enclave of Belfast, has been scarred by violent sectarianism, tragedy and alcoholism. The last word the impact that internment – detention without trial – had on Catholic families in the Troubles. “My dad was a through-and-through Republican and had a proper understanding of what the war was about. It wasn’t about bothering Protestants. The war was against the British army in Ireland. But my dad was a smashing man. The Brits imprisoned him in Long Kesh and the Irish Republicans had a bus run because in them days people couldn’t afford anything else. So we would take the bus up to Long Kesh. I was a wee nuisance and carried in letters that we’d written on cigarette papers. I folded them and hid them under my tongue.” 53 I wasn’t doing anything wrong apart from drinking and driving – and that’s nothing to do with the IRA. They told me to concentrate on training and stop partying. The main guy shook my hand and said: ‘Best of luck when you ﬁght Ricky.’” On the night of the ﬁght, Magee was seen smoking a cigarette outside the MEN arena in Manchester. He smiles at my bemusement. “I started smoking aged 11, so in a ﬁght, at the end of each round, I’d be coughing [Magee imitates a charming phlegm-ridden cough]. Whatever came out of my mouth would have knocked you out. But a smoke before a ﬁght opened my lungs.” It clearly worked in the Hatton ﬁght Sitting in his dead father’s house, I’m Magee’s title bout with Ricky Hatton in 2002 because, in round one, Magee knocked upset by his memory of how, once his down his celebrated opponent. “It was the worst punch I ever dad had fallen out with the IRA and been banished to England, threw because I landed it after 40 seconds. Bam! But he’s seven he snuck back into Ardoyne and was hidden away in his attic. years my junior, so of course he’s getting up when still so fresh. Magee, his mum, Isobel, and his brothers lived in fear of his I wish I’d landed that punch later.” dad being discovered. They hid him in the attic for 18 months – which contributed to Magee Senior’s acute depression and Hatton sealed a close decision, but Magee won the vacant alcoholism. “I didn’t get over that,” Magee says. “My mum WBU welterweight title by beating journeyman Jimmy Vincent would have a wee drink and dad would sit in there all night. in December 2003. He retained his world title until May 2006, I’d go in and slip him a tin or a fag. Nobody ever knew he but he only had two ﬁghts in that troubled time. Magee had was there.” fallen out with a respected ﬁgure in Republican circles and, in a gruesome attack in 2004, his left leg was clubbed to a pulp. Later, when Magee had become one of the most accomplished He suffered a compound fracture of his tibia and ﬁbula, a amateur boxers in Ireland, his father saved his career. Magee shattered knee and a punctured lung. They called him the had joined the IRA’s youth wing because he loved the mayhem Miracle Man when he returned to the ring. Magee’s legs stick of rioting, but he also began taking and dealing drugs [to which out of his dressing gown, and the IRA was violently opposed]. the lumps and scars provide An IRA punishment shooting “His father, who fell out with the IRA and was graphic proof of that terrible usually entailed being shot in the kneecap or worse, but his banished to England, returned to the family beating. “It still gives me pain,” he says, balancing a beer on his dad reminded the paramilitaries house and hid in the attic for 18 months” knee as he studies his left leg. that Eamonn was ﬁghting in the “The doctor thought I’d never Irish championships. walk again, but I was in the gym a year later.” “If my dad hadn’t stepped in they were talking about me I suggest we leave the house and go for a walk around Magee’s getting the six-pack – elbows, knees and ankle. But my father neighbourhood. Rather than waiting inside for a knock on the convinced them to give me only one bullet.” How did Magee door, we will be less exposed to any stray visitors. Magee feel waiting for the knock on the door before he took a bullet agrees but, ﬁrst, we remember his son who was stabbed to in his calf? He shrugs. “It had to be dealt with. I knew it was death in May 2015 – by the jealous ex-husband of his going to be a ﬂesh wound so hurry the f**k up. When he took girlfriend. Eamonn Junior was so different to him, studying me down an alleyway, I asked, ‘What’s it like getting shot?’ He engineering at university while also boxing, and the grief said: ‘Like a hot poker going in your leg.’” Who Let the Dogs becomes too much. Magee starts to cry, a mufﬂed ache falling Out? thumps again on cue. Magee shuts down his phone and from his mouth as tears roll down his face. I say how sorry I I say it’s incredible he still won the national title a few months am and Magee squeezes my hand only to curse the pain in his later. “I won, but there was blood streaming down my leg from broken ﬁnger, before wiping his eyes. We talk about his book the gunshot wound.” and, of the title, he says: “‘The lost soul’ was beautiful. My mother called me a lost soul and she was right.” Magee is a hard and sometimes violent man, but between the ropes he was a slick southpaw who boxed with artistry. Magee goes upstairs to get dressed. When he returns, wearing “I never bullied anybody in my life, so you can rephrase that,” a hat straight out of Peaky Blinders, he almost looks dapper. he says quietly when I mention his violent infamy. “I went to The old ﬁghter sinks the dregs of his beer. We walk outside the gym because I’m the baby of four and my brothers all and Magee takes me on a tour of the murals. Afterwards he were boxers. After a couple of years I’d see wee openings. Bing, hugs me in the street, calling me a gentleman and a scholar, bang. Soon as I started learning how to hit him before he hits even if I can’t stay for a lunchtime drink. Magee lifts his me it was a hell of a lot easier.” broken hand in a stately wave as my taxi drives away. I check my recording in the back of the cab and Magee’s ghostly voice Magee’s best year in the ring was in 2002, when he knocked out Jon Thaxton, a very good pro, to secure a crack at Hatton’s echoes again as we drive through Belfast: “I’ve seen things not many people have seen, but if they hadn’t happened I wouldn’t WBU light-welterweight title. He still drank six beers every be the man I am today. So I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m more Saturday night while training. “It was a wee prize at the end than happy with my wee life.” of the week, but I was well prepared for Thaxton. With the Hatton camp, life was a party.” Magee would drive around This article ﬁrst appeared in The Guardian. © Guardian News town late at night visiting bars, with Magee vs. Hatton logos and Media Limited 2018. The Lost Soul of Eamonn Magee by splashed across his Range Rover. Three senior IRA men paid Paul D. Gibson is published by Mercier Press at £14.50 him a visit. “I don’t know why they gave me another warning. 19 May 2018 THE WEEK Marketplace 54 BUT NYONE A R O F RFUL WONDE OR TH F T C E PERF LE WI PEOP . S D I K D N A GR Have you noticed the older you get the more light you need to read? By the time you reach 60 your eyes need 3 TIMES as much light to see clearly as they did when you were 20. Perfect for any room in the house, the solid oak Switch sofa bed is an ideal ﬁt for virtually anywhere. But it really comes into it’s own when people come to stay, especially small people and dogs. 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Our exclusive bath material creates a difference you can feel With over 50 models available, we’ll have a size for bathrooms big and small Request your brochure on: 01255 831605 or go to: www.albionbathco.com THE WEEK 19 May 2018 Purchase a Serious Light and get a FREE Serious Compact Light worth £150. Quote Promotion Code 5300 when ordering by phone or online. For advice or to request a brochure call free on 0800 085 1088 or visit seriousreaders.com/5300 To advertise here please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Henry Haselock on 020 3890 3900 or Rebecca Seetanah 020 3890 3770 Crossword 55 THE WEEK CROSSWORD 1107 This week’s w winner will receive an Ettinger (www.ettinger.co.uk) Soft Calf Etting Passpo Passport Case in burgundy, which retails at £70, and two Connell Guides (www.c (www.connellguides.com). 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