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The Week UK - 01 December 2017

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8 NEWS
The main stories?
What happened
The Irish question
What the editorials said
The Irish border question sums up Brexit, said The Observer.
It?s a hugely complex issue, to which ministers have given
shamefully little thought. The Government?s
British and EU negotiators reportedly
working paper on the subject in August merely
reached an agreement this week on the
?revealed the extent of its cluelessness?, and
so-called Brexit divorce bill. The final figure,
was rightly dismissed in Brussels as ?magical
left deliberately vague, is set to be between
thinking?. Now, at last, ministers are being
s45bn and s55bn. The news raised hopes
forced to engage with the problem. Resolving
that EU leaders, at a crunch summit in
this issue will be very hard, said the FT. It?s a
December, will give the green light to moving
?combustible mix of technical detail and raw
Brexit negotiations on to trade. A deal over
emotion?, and the embattled British and Irish
the reciprocal rights of expat citizens is also
governments ?have little room for manoeuvre?.
said to be within reach, but the other big
On the plus side, all parties want to protect
separation issue ? Ireland?s future border
Northern Ireland?s peace process and they all
arrangements ? remains a sticking point.
An ?invisible? border?
agree ?that a hard border is anathema?. The
problem calls for ?cool heads? and flexibility. ?An Irish veto
Dublin threatened last week to veto UK-EU trade talks
in December could torpedo any hope of an orderly Brexit.?
unless it receives a written guarantee that the border between
Northern Ireland and the Republic will remain ?invisible?.
The apparent deal on Britain?s exit bill may help overcome
It believes this can only be achieved by Britain staying in the
some remaining Brexit hurdles, said The Spectator. ?Now
single market and customs union after Brexit, or agreeing
that we have put money on the table, the EU?s negotiating
special laws for Northern Ireland that ?mirror European
team knows what it would lose if it were to collapse the talks
regulations?. But the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) says it
through sheer obstinacy.? Some Britons may baulk at the idea
will resist any deal ?decoupling? the province from the rest of
the UK. London has ruled out staying in the single market and of us shelling out s45bn or so to Brussels, but it was ?never
realistic to think we could leave the EU and maintain good
customs union, and says it can?t agree any border deal until it
relations with the bloc without paying a penny?.
knows the shape of the future UK-EU trade relationship.
What happened
Massacre in Egypt
Islamist militants killed more than 300
people and left scores injured in an attack
on a mosque in Egypt?s Sinai peninsula last
week. About 30 gunmen surrounded the
building in the remote town of Bir al-Abed
during Friday prayers, before throwing in
grenades and opening fire through doors and
windows. Panicked worshippers, including
many women and children, were then mown
down as they tried to flee. No group claimed
responsibility for the attack ? the bloodiest
in recent Egyptian history ? but witnesses
said the terrorists carried the black flags of
Islamic State. Most of the victims were Sufis,
followers of a mystic strain of Islam, who are
regarded as heretics by Isis fanatics.
What the editorials said
The Sinai massacre was unprecedented for its scale and the
sheer ?ruthlessness of its organisation?, said The Guardian.
But it also marks a dangerous development in
jihadi tactics. The long-running insurgency in
Sinai has seen numerous attacks on soldiers
and police: however, this is the first time that
the Islamists have deliberately targeted a mosque
and their fellow Muslims. The message from the
militants is clear, said The Times. After defeat
on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq, many Isis
diehards have fled to Egypt to continue the fight.
And by mounting such a vicious attack, they are
signalling to the world that they remain a force
to be reckoned with.
For Cairo, a resurgent Isis is a scary prospect,
said The Star (Beirut). It now faces a struggle
to contain the Islamist threat on three fronts:
Sisi: ?detain, torture, jail?
Isis is busy smuggling men and weaponry in
In response, Egypt?s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi promised from Libya; the government accuses the outlawed Muslim
to ?restore security and stability with the utmost force?.
Brotherhood of staging ?sporadic bloody operations? in
Within hours of the attack, warplanes launched strikes on
Egypt?s heartland; and some 1,000 jihadis are active in Sinai.
suspected jihadi bases near Bir al-Abed.
That is some challenge, even for the Arab world?s largest army.
It wasn?t all bad
A 16-year-old whose
Bangladeshi immigrant parents
can barely speak English has
won a prestigious debating
contest at Eton College. Selina
Begum was awarded the
individual debating prize for
arguing that the US should
abolish the death penalty.
Selina, who lives with her
parents in a council flat in
east London, is studying for
her A levels and hopes to go
to Oxford. ?We can?t be more
proud than we are today,? said
her father, Abdur.
A footballer whose wife went into
labour while he was on the pitch
managed to score two goals ?
and still made it to hospital in
time for his son?s birth. When
Wigan?s Ryan Colclough took to
the field against Doncaster, the
baby wasn?t due for a couple of
days. But just before he scored
his second goal he caught sight
of his father gesticulating wildly
in the stands ? and realised his
wife?s waters must have broken.
Moments later, he scored a
second goal and was then
substituted so that he could rush
to hospital. He got there, in full kit, 30 minutes before his wife,
Steph, gave birth to Harley. ?He made it a hat-trick for me!?
A ?hero? bus driver died to save
his passengers from falling off
an alpine road, an inquest
heard. Maurice Wrightson, 63,
was taking British staff from the
French ski resort of Alpe D?Huez
in April 2013 when he realised,
just as he approached a bend,
that the brakes had failed.
Rather than go over the edge,
he steered into rocks. Four
people were seriously injured,
but only he was killed. ?In my
eyes, and I think I speak on
behalf of everybody on the bus,
we have always viewed him as
a hero,? said Catrin Pugh, who
suffered 96% burns in the crash.
COVER CARTOON: NEIL DAVIES
THE WEEK 2 December 2017
?and how they were covered
NEWS 9
What the commentators said
What next?
?When people are screwing up, they tend to take their rage out on their nearest and dearest,?
said Fintan O?Toole in The Irish Times. Hence the fury directed at Dublin for daring to make
clear that an open border with Northern Ireland is, for the Republic, a vital national interest.
The Sun advised the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, to ?shut his gob and grow up?. And rightly so,
said James Forsyth in The Spectator. It?s outrageous for Dublin to demand that the UK erect an
internal customs border. A mere 15% of Northern Irish exports go to the Republic ? whereas
60% go to the rest of the UK. ?It is often said that this idea is a non-starter because of Theresa
May?s reliance on the DUP?, but ?no decent UK government? could agree to such a demand.
A study by the UK
government and the
European Commission
has listed 142 activities
in Ireland that could be
adversely affected by a hard
border. They range from
coordination on the ongoing
paramilitary threat to crossborder ambulance services
and bus routes.
The Irish border issue is ?largely an invented problem?, said Andrew Lilico on Reaction.life.
People say a hard border would be unavoidable if the province were to leave the customs
union, but that?s nonsense. Although physical border posts are generally the most convenient
way for countries to carry out customs checks, there?s no reason why laws can?t be enforced
away from the border through random inspections of offices, audits and other means. That
may be true in theory, said Alan Beattie in the FT, but it wouldn?t work in practice. Apart from
anything else, Dublin would be liable in the European Court of Justice if it were seen to have
breached the integrity of the single market by failing properly to control its border.
So how will this deadlock be solved? Many experts involved in the process believe the ?political
and commercial logic? points to an ?east-west? border, rather than a ?north-south? one, said
Peter Foster in The Daily Telegraph. As one UK official privately observes, installing numberplate recognition cameras at Holyhead and Fishguard ? where ?no one is going to shoot the
cameras out in the middle of the night? ? is easier than in the Irish borderlands. Unionists
fiercely object to the idea of Northern Ireland becoming a regulatory ?exclave? of the EU, but
the province, with its dual citizenship and policing arrangements, already has a ?special status?
within the UK. ?Some form of unique new settlement for Northern Ireland seems inevitable.?
UK ministers will have
to defend the size of the
divorce bill to voters, says
Asa Bennett in The Daily
Telegraph. The sum will
?astound many taxpayers, as
it dwarfs the amount the UK
will spend on housing this
year (�bn) and transport
(�bn)?. However, the
divorce bill will be paid out
over many years, and is much
less than the s100bn figure
once mooted by EU officials.
What the commentators said
What next?
The Islamists behind the Sinai attack are ?bent on creating maximum mayhem?, said Simon
Tisdall in The Guardian. The Isis affiliate held responsible, Wilayat al-Sinai, has already
ventured outside the region to hit Coptic churches in Cairo and Alexandria. Now it has
thrown down a challenge to Egyptian society as a whole by slaughtering fellow Muslims. But
Sisi?s response will only make matters worse. More air strikes in Sinai will kill more innocent
civilians, inflaming local opinion against the Cairo regime. Previous Egyptian leaders also relied
on brute force to crush their enemies. ?All failed. And Sisi will, too.? The local tribes already
have every reason to hate the government, said Mona Eltahawy in The New York Times.
Marginalised and neglected by the regime, many have sided with the Islamists in a conflict that
is growing ever more vicious: 1,000 soldiers and policemen have been killed since 2013. Yet the
government?s response has followed a grimly familiar pattern: ?detain, torture, jail?.
Presidential elections are
due next year, but Sisi is
unlikely to face a serious
challenger. The strongest
contender, human rights
lawyer Khalid Ali, was
jailed for three months in
September for ?violating
public decency? and, if
upheld, his sentence will
prevent him from standing.
Amnesty International
described his conviction
as politically motivated.
Alas, Sisi knows no other tactics, said Robin Wright in The New Yorker. When he seized
power in 2013, he promised to deliver security and economic prosperity in return for ?neartotal political control?. Since then, Cairo has effectively banned all anti-government protests,
locked up its enemies without trial, and persecuted those brave enough to champion human
rights. Even the US State Department, normally a loyal friend to Cairo, has been moved to
protest at what it calls the ?excessive use of force by security forces?. Nor has Sisi made good
on his promise of prosperity: unemployment among young Egyptians now stands at an
astonishing 30%. Whatever the president?s failings, the latest outrage will strengthen his hand
when it comes to winning military support from the West, said Robert Fisk in The Independent.
And the extra weaponry that will bring will help to cement the army in power. Result: the
government ?will feel even bolder in arresting or torturing its political opponents?.
THE WEEK
When people refer to Twitter and other social media platforms
as ?disruptive?, the word is usually meant as a compliment ? an
acknowledgement of these services? potential to shake up industries
and spur innovation. But the description took on a more literal meaning in the light of two stories last
week. One was the claim that Twitter, Instagram et al might be to blame for Britain?s sluggish
productivity. Dan Nixon, a senior analyst at the Bank of England, talked of a ?crisis of attention?
caused by people spending so much time checking their devices at work. Twitter was also blamed
for stoking a mass panic on Oxford Street in London. Through a form of social media-fuelled Chinese
whispers, a fight on a Tube station platform led to fears of a non-existent terrorist attack. ?F***
everyone get out of @Selfridges now gun shots!! I?m inside? the singer Olly Murs tweeted to his
7.8 million followers, as Black Friday shoppers fled down the street. Several people were injured in
the melee. Mail Online added to the hysteria by circulating a ten-day old tweet stating that a lorry
had mounted the pavement on Oxford Street with ?police all around it and blood on the floor?.
Twitter has proved invaluable during real disasters, such as the Kashmir floods of 2014, helping
citizens and aid agencies exchange up-to-date information, and raising awareness. And social media
can be useful in the office, too. These tools need to be handled with care,
Harry Nicolle
though, if they?re not to deliver the wrong sort of ?disruption?.
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The Week is a registered trademark of Felix Dennis.
Egypt looks close to
concluding a new arms
deal to buy fighter jets
from France. In the past
two years, Cairo is thought
to have spent more than
�n on arms from France
alone.
Editor-in-chief: Jeremy O?Grady
Editor: Caroline Law
Deputy editors: Harry Nicolle, Theo Tait
Consultant editor: Jemima Lewis
Assistant editor: Daniel Cohen City editor: Jane Lewis
Contributing editors: Charity Crewe, Thomas Hodgkinson,
Simon Wilson, Rob McLuhan, William Underhill, Digby
Warde-Aldam, Tom Yarwood Editorial staff: Anoushka Petit,
Tigger Ridgwell, William Skidelsky, George Steer Picture
editor: Xandie Nutting Art director: Nathalie Fowler Subeditor: Laurie Tuffrey Production editor: Alanna O?Connell
Founder and editorial director: Jolyon Connell
Production Manager: Ebony Besagni Senior Production
Executive: Maaya Mistry Newstrade Director: David Barker
Direct Marketing Director: Abi Spooner Inserts: Joe Teal
Classified: Henry Haselock, Henry Pickford Account Directors:
Scott Hayter, John Hipkiss, Victoria Ryan, Jocelyn Sital-Singh
UK Ad Director: Caroline Fenner
Executive Director ? Head of Advertising: David Weeks
Chief Executive, The Week: Kerin O?Connor
Group CFO/COO: Brett Reynolds
Chief executive: James Tye
Dennis Publishing founder: Felix Dennis
THE WEEK Ltd, a subsidiary of Dennis Publishing Ltd,
31-32 Alfred Place, London WC1E 7DP. Tel: 020-3890 3890.
Editorial: The Week Ltd, 2nd Floor, 32 Queensway, London
W2 3RX. Tel: 020-3890 3787.
email: editorialadmin@theweek.co.uk
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
Politics
10 NEWS
Controversy of the week
Boring but important
Britain in the slow lane
?The 1956 Suez crisis was the moment Britain had to wake up to
the fact it was no longer the force it once was,? said Larry Elliot in
The Guardian. ?The 2017 Budget was its economic equivalent.?
Forget the extra money thrown at the NHS and housing (see page
27). The real story was the ?calamitous? news delivered by the
Government?s of?cial forecaster, the Of?ce for Budget
Responsibility (OBR). It estimates that the UK economy will grow
by less than 2% in each of the next ?ve years ? the worst forecast
since 1983. Underlying this is an even more worrying appraisal.
For the past century, the UK?s productivity ? the measure of each
worker?s economic output ? has grown at an average of 2% a
year. Since the 2008 crisis, this trend has been broken. The OBR
used to predict that we would bounce back. Now it thinks we
won?t: it predicts productivity will grow to just 1.2% by 2022. In
short, ?Britain is substantially and permanently poorer?.
Brexit papers row
Could he be more productive?
It?s hard to overstate how much productivity matters, said Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer.
Getting more from each hour worked, by improving technology and working practices, ?allows
wages to rise, lifts living standards and boosts the tax take to ?nance additional government
spending?. It guarantees that, through the ups and downs, things generally get better. ?Absent
improvements in productivity, everything else goes to pieces. Including politics. Especially politics.?
If Britain is stuck in its low-growth rut for the foreseeable future, it will very likely ?blast apart the
existing parties?. ?We still don?t quite know why productivity growth has been so bad,? said Juliet
Samuel in The Daily Telegraph. It has been low across the developed world, but particularly so in
Britain. A lack of investment in training and technology is often blamed ? perhaps not surprising,
when cheap workers are readily available on Britain?s buoyant labour market. ?On the bright side,
whatever of?cial forecasters tell us about the future, one thing is almost certain: they will be wrong.?
Indeed they will, said Dominic Lawson in The Sunday Times. There is a rich absurdity in offering
detailed projections, six years ahead. Forecasts ?typically assume things will continue as they are,
and thus miss what we most want to know?: when they will change. Besides, it?s not even clear that
Britain?s low productivity is such a dismal predicament. France, for instance, has much better ?gures.
But it also has much higher unemployment levels; the unemployed are, by de?nition, not part of the
productivity statistics. Which problem would you rather have? A job where pay doesn?t increase or
no job? Yes, forecasters get things wrong, said Janan Ganesh in the FT. But they often ?err through
optimism? too. The OBR has not, for instance, predicted a recession during Brexit. At present, there
is no end in sight to this protracted period of low growth; and Britain is about to seriously disrupt
relations with its main trading partners. ?We will see how exhilarating voters ?nd that ride.?
Spirit of the age
As Americans prepared to
spend Thanksgiving with
their families last week, the
Girl Scouts issued a stern
warning to parents. Urging
girls to hug relatives could
give them ?the wrong idea
about consent?, said the
group. If girls are taught that
they ?owe? hugs to uncles
and aunts, to thank them for
a gift, say, they might grow
up to believe that physical
affection is something they
owe to anyone who is nice
to them.
With three weeks to go until
Christmas, sales of gifts for
pets are booming. Tesco
reports a fourfold increase
since 2015, while John
Lewis?s ?pet fashion? lines
are up 81% this year. Among
the products on offer are
?pawsecco?, a non-alcoholic
drink for cats and dogs that
costs �a bottle, and
canine ?cologne?.
THE WEEK 2 December 2017
Good week for:
Just Eat, a takeaway app established in the UK only a decade
ago, which was promoted to the FTSE index of the UK?s 100
biggest firms, at the expense of the 126-year-old engineering firm
and defence contractor Babcock. Just Eat is valued at about
�6bn ? giving it a higher market value than Sainsbury?s.
Michael Owen, the former star striker and England captain, who
made his debut as a jockey. Owen, 37, lost 20lbs in 21 days in
order to take part in the charity race at Ascot, finishing second.
Bad week for:
Dame Glynis Breakwell, announced her resignation as vice
chancellor of the University of Bath, days after narrowly winning
a vote of no confidence in her leadership. Breakwell had faced a
series of challenges about her pay: with a salary of �8,000 per
annum, she was the UK?s highest-paid vice chancellor.
Uber, which is facing investigations by governments around the
world, following the revelation that it concealed a massive data
breach last year. Some 57 million customers and drivers had their
personal information compromised in October 2016, but rather
than report the security breach, Uber paid the hackers $100,000
to destroy the data and keep quiet about the hack (see page 56).
Language students, who face an uncertain employment future.
According to ONS figures, language graduates are now the least
employable university graduates in Britain, with an employment
rate of 84% ? below medicine (95%), engineering (92%), arts
(88%) and law (87%). Moreover, their average annual salary has
fallen �000 since the data was last released, in 2013.
David Davis has been
accused of treating
Parliament with contempt
for refusing to release in full
the Government?s ?analysis
papers? on Brexit. After
losing a Commons vote
last month, the Brexit
Secretary was forced to
hand over the papers, which
cover 58 sectors of the British
economy and how they are
regulated within the EU, to
MPs. The information was
given to the Commons
Brexit committee this week
? but many sections were
redacted, on the grounds that
they could undermine the
UK?s negotiating position
with the EU. Labour is now
calling for the redacted
sections to be revealed.
Benefits freeze
The freeze on benefits for
working-age people is to
remain in place for another
year, the Government has
confirmed. The move, which
applies to benefits including
tax credits and child benefit,
will extend the freeze to April
2019. It will affect 10.5 million
households and save the
Treasury an estimated
�9bn. Working-age benefits
have been frozen since 2015;
according to the Resolution
Foundation, a typical working
family with two children
stands to lose �5 next year
as a result of the policy.
Poll watch
67% of millennials who
went to university think they
didn?t benefit from their
studies. 35% wish they
hadn?t gone to university
while 48% believe they
would now be earning more
had they not done so.
Able Skills/Forbes
37% of voters think the
Government is doing a
better job at managing the
economy than a Labour
government would. 21%
think Labour would do a
better job. 42% think Labour
would do better at reducing
the number of people in
poverty; 16% think the
Tories would be better.
YouGov
41% of people who play
the lottery at least once a
week say they would
continue to play even if
they won the jackpot.
YouGov
Europe at a glance
Dublin
Government back from brink: Ireland?s
deputy PM, Frances Fitzgerald, resigned
on Tuesday ? a move that averted the
threat of a pre-Christmas snap election,
but intensi?ed doubts about the longerterm future of PM Leo Varadkar?s fragile
coalition. His Fine Gael-led government
depends for its survival on a ?con?dence
and supply? agreement with the largest
opposition party, Fianna F醝l. Fitzgerald?s
resignation, over her handling of a case
involving a police whistle-blower, came
only hours before Fianna F醝l MPs were
due to hold a parliamentary vote of no
con?dence. The scandal centres on what
she did or did not know about the alleged
decision by senior Garda commanders to
smear the individual. The no-con?dence
vote would probably have brought down
the government; her resignation avoids
that, but Varadkar?s resolute backing of
his deputy has led some in his own party
to question his judgement, and many
suspect there will be an election in January.
NEWS 11
Bod�, Norway
Reindeer killed:
More than 100
reindeer were
killed by
freight trains
in a four-day
period in
Norway
? leading to
calls for the
national rail
company to do more to protect the
animals. Several hundred reindeer die
each year on Norway?s rail tracks, and
this time of year, when herders are moving
the semi-domesticated animals to their
winter pastures, is particularly dangerous.
However, last week?s carnage was
exceptional, with 65 reindeer killed in a
single incident. ?I have been a herder all
my life, since boyhood,? said Torstein
Appfjell, 59, ?and I have never
seen anything like the scene
on Saturday night.?
Moscow
Candidate probed: The socialite TV
presenter who hopes to stand against
Vladimir Putin in next year?s presidential
elections could face prosecution for
describing Russia?s annexation of
Crimea in 2014 as illegal. Ksenia
Sobchak, 36, says she is being investigated
over comments she made in October at a
press conference; in a subsequent interview
she said that Western sanctions on
Russia were justi?ed and called Putin
a ?dictator?. It is illegal in Russia to state
that Crimea is not part of the Russian
Federation and people have been jailed for
doing so. Some in Russia are suspicious of
Sobchak?s candidacy, not least because her
family has close ties with Putin. In 2014,
she said she was proud of the annexation.
Berlin
Grand coalition: Martin Schulz, the leader
of Germany?s second biggest party, the
Social Democrats (SPD), has agreed to
discuss re-forming a left-right ?grand
coalition? with Angela Merkel?s CDU,
in response to what he described as a
?dramatic? personal appeal from President
Steinmeier. The two parties governed in
coalition from 2013 until September?s
election, when both lost votes. The SPD
had ruled out another coalition, but the
collapse of talks between Merkel and her
other potential partners ? the Greens and
the Free Democrats ? put intense pressure
on the SPD to reconsider in the interests
of national stability. ?We do not have
a government crisis, but Germany is in a
complicated situation,? said Schulz. Some
analysts argue that a return to the status
quo risks boosting support for the far-right
AfD, who would become the of?cial
opposition in such a scenario.
Bucharest
Protests swell: Tens of thousands of
people marched through Bucharest
and other Romanian cities on Sunday to
protest against judicial reforms that they
claim are designed to allow high-level
corruption to go unpunished. Although
civil groups, magistrates and foreign
diplomats have warned that the overhaul
risks undermining the independence of
the judiciary, weakening anti-corruption
measures and handing too much power
to politicians, the laws are currently being
considered by parliament. The ruling
Social Democrat-led coalition hopes to
have them passed by the new year. Among
the most controversial changes are those to
an inspectorate that oversees the conduct
of magistrates and the appointment of
chief prosecutors. Earlier this year, a
reform that would have effectively
shielded of?cials accused of corruption
was shelved, after mass protests.
� REBECCA STAUDENMAIER-DW
Paris
Sexist society: President Macron has
unveiled plans for a ?ve-year ?cultural
war? against sexism in France. His
proposals include doing more to educate
secondary school pupils about the dangers
of pornography, simplifying the system
for reporting rape and sexual assault, and
running a ?hard-hitting? media campaign
aimed at radically changing attitudes
towards sexism and sexual violence.
There has been outrage in France in
recent weeks over two separate cases in
which two 11-year-old girls were deemed
(by a prosecutor and a court) not to have
been raped by older men because they had
supposedly consented to sex. Instead, they
were judged to be victims of attouchement
sexuel ? molestation ? which carries a
maximum ?ve-year term; the maximum
term for rape is 20 years. ?Our criminal
law contains intolerable ambiguities,?
said Macron.
Altena,
Germany
Mayor stabbed:
The pro-refugee
German mayor
who was stabbed
in the neck in a
kebab shop this
week returned to
the scene 24 hours
later, to thank the
people who helped
save his life.
Andreas Hollstein, the mayor of Altena,
arrived carrying a bouquet of ?owers
and then hugged the shop?s owner, Demir
Abdullah, and his son Ahmet, who had
both helped ?ght off his attacker. Hollstein
(pictured) made headlines in Germany
when Altena took in more than its quota
of refugees. His assailant reportedly made
comments about immigration policy before
launching into the attack.
Catch up with daily news at www.theweek.co.uk
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
12 NEWS
The world at a glance
Lansing, Michigan
Team doctor jailed: A disgraced former doctor to the US Olympic
gymnastics team has pleaded guilty to seven charges of sexual
assault as part of a deal that could see him jailed for at least
25 years. Larry Nassar, 54, was one of the US?s most respected
sports doctors until a criminal complaint was ?led against him
last year. Subsequently, scores of women and girls ? including
members of the US Olympic team ? came forward to say that he
had abused them on the pretext of treating them for hip and back
pain. In a Michigan court last week, he admitted using his ?ngers
to penetrate seven girls, some of whom were under 13, and ?nally
acknowledged that this was not a legitimate treatment. In a
separate case, he will be sentenced for possessing indecent images
of children. He is now being sued by about 130 women.
Washington DC
Moore ?sting? fails: The scandal over sexual misconduct by US
politicians took a bizarre twist this week, when supporters
of the Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who is
accused of multiple sexual offences, attempted to trick
The Washington Post into reporting false allegations
against him. A woman working for a group called
Project Veritas, which says it targets ?the mainstream media?,
went to the Post, claiming Moore had got her pregnant and forced
her to have an abortion when she was 15. The aim was to expose
the supposed credulity and bias of the media, and discredit
Moore?s accusers. The Post, however, was not taken in. Moore,
an outspoken former state judge, has been abandoned by
Republican leaders, but retains the support of President Trump.
New York
Thurman?s anger: Uma Thurman, who
starred in several Harvey Weinstein ?lms,
including the Kill Bill revenge movies, has
hinted that she will be joining his list of
accusers. In an Instagram post last week,
she wrote: ?I said I was angry recently,
and I have a few reasons, #metoo, in case
you couldn?t tell by the look on my face.
I feel it?s important to take your time, be
fair, be exact, so... Happy Thanksgiving
Everyone! (Except you Harvey [...] I?m
glad it?s going slowly ? you don?t deserve a bullet). Stay tuned.?
When asked about Weinstein in October, she said she didn?t have
a ?tidy soundbite?, but would speak when she was ?less angry?.
Nashville, Tennessee
Justice campaign: A woman who was
sentenced to 51 years without parole
for a murder she committed when she
was a sex-traf?cked 16-year-old has
had her case put back in the spotlight,
thanks to a new campaign championed
by celebrities including the pop star
Rihanna. Cyntoia Brown (pictured), who
was born with foetal alcohol syndrome,
was forced into prostitution by a violent
pimp known as ?Kut Throat?. Her
victim, Johnny Allen, had paid to have sex with her at his home;
Brown insists she shot him in self-defence. In court, however, she
was tried as an adult in 2006, and convicted of murder.
� BIRMAN PRODUCTIONS
Tegucigalpa
Victory stand-off: Both candidates in Honduras?s presidential
election have claimed victory after Sunday?s poll. Early results
suggested that the challenger, Salvador Nasralla ? a 64-year-old
former sports show host dubbed ?Mr Television? ? was ahead of
the incumbent president, Juan Orlando Hern醤dez, by a margin
of ?ve points. However, the latter declared victory nonetheless,
saying outstanding ballots were certain to put him over the line,
and the head of his ruling National Party called on his supporters
to take to the streets to ?defend the triumph?. Nasralla, an
?anti-corruption? centrist, has the backing of Manuel Zelaya,
who was ousted as president in 2009.
Caracas
Military bosses: Venezuela?s hard-line Socialist president, Nicol醩
Maduro, has made an army general the head of both the energy
ministry and the country?s state oil company, PDVSA ? which is
grappling with US sanctions, overdue debt repayments and
dwindling production. Maduro said Major General Manuel
Quevedo?s appointment was part of ?a new oil revolution?
to tackle corruption. His government has arrested more than
50 PDVSA bosses since August, and last week arrested the acting
head of Citgo, its US re?ning arm. Several other military leaders
were brought into Maduro?s government at the same time as
Quevedo. According to analyst Helima Croft, Maduro is ?steadily
making the military his co-pilots, to ensure that they sink or swim
together and that he is coup-proof?.
THE WEEK 2 December 2017
Buenos Aires
Leak led to a ?re on missing sub:
Hopes of ?nding the missing
Argentine submarine, the ARA San
Juan, were dwindling this week. The submarine, which had 44
crew on board, sent its last message on 15 November. According
to the Argentine media, this reported that seawater had leaked
through the ventilation system, causing a short circuit and the
?beginnings of a ?re? in the battery room. ?At the moment in
immersion propelling with split circuit. No updates on personnel,
will keep informed,? the message continued. Last week, Viennabased nuclear-testing monitors reported that they had detected a
signi?cant ?hydro-acoustic anomaly? in the area ? potentially the
implosion of the submarine ? a few hours after its last contact.
The world at a glance
Harare
A new leader: Emmerson Mnangagwa, the
75-year-old veteran of the ruling Zanu-PF Party,
was sworn in as Zimbabwe?s new president in
Harare last week. He vowed to hold ?free and
fair? elections, scheduled for next year, and to
govern for all ?patriotic Zimbabweans?.
Mnangagwa (pictured) has been closely linked
to the worst excesses of the regime of deposed
president Robert Mugabe, in particular the 1980s Matabeleland massacres, in which
more than 20,000 people were killed. He was vice-president until Mugabe sacked him
last month ? the result of his succession struggle with Mugabe?s wife, Grace. In his
speech he praised Mugabe as ?a father?, but also alluded to the woeful state in which
the 93-year-old former leader had left the country. Mnangagwa?s ousting sparked the
army intervention that led to Mugabe?s forced resignation as parliament began
impeachment proceedings against him. As part of the deal to make him quit, Mugabe
has reportedly been guaranteed immunity from prosecution, protection for his
business interests and a $10m payoff. The same protection applies to his family,
including Grace, even though she is highly unpopular and reviled for her extravagance.
Lahore,
Pakistan
Terrorist freed:
An Islamist cleric
held responsible for
masterminding the
2008 terrorist
attacks in Mumbai ? in which more than
160 people were killed ? has been released
from house arrest by Punjab?s judicial
review board. Ha?z Saeed is the leader of
a political group widely assumed to be the
front organisation for Lashkar-e-Taiba,
the banned terrorist group that carried out
the Mumbai atrocity. After the attack,
Saeed was placed under house arrest and
the US later put a $10m bounty on his
head. But a Pakistani court released him
in 2009 for lack of evidence; it was only in
January that he was rearrested. Pakistan?s
government had asked the judges on the
review board to keep him detained, but to
the fury of India and the US, he was freed.
Yangon,
Myanmar
Pope visits:
Adoring crowds
greeted Pope
Francis
(pictured) in
Yangon this
week, where he
shared a stage
with Myanmar?s
leader, Aung San
Suu Kyi. But his
speech on the need for ?respect for each
ethnic group? was slated for its failure to
mention the group suffering persecution in
Myanmar: the Rohingya Muslims.
Myanmar and Bangladesh have now
signed an initial deal to repatriate some of
the 620,000 Rohingya expelled from their
homes in Rakhine province. But to rights
groups? dismay, the deal fails to specify
where they could be settled, since their
villages have been razed to the ground.
NEWS 13
Eastern Ghouta, Syria
Government shelling: The Syrian government agreed to a cease?re in the rebel-held
Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta this
week, after a two-week bombardment in
which scores of people were killed. The
regime?s offensive to recapture the suburb
? the last rebel-held stronghold in the
vicinity of the capital ? has left it in
near-ruin. According to the UN, the
suburb?s 400,000 residents are facing
such severe food shortages that some have
been reduced to eating rubbish. Although
Ghouta was deemed a ?de-escalation zone
earlier this year?, as part of a Russianbrokered deal, the regime had stepped up
its bombardment ? apparently in response
to a renewed ground offensive by jihadi
rebels. The Russian-proposed cease?re was
announced in advance of a new round of
UN-backed peace talks in Geneva.
Pyongyang
Missile launch: Hopes that
North Korea had been
winding down its weapon
programme were dashed
this week, when it
launched a Hwasong-15.
State media described it as
a ?most powerful ICBM?,
carrying ?a super-large
heavy warhead?, and
Western analysts think it
has enough range to reach
Washington, although its
reliability has yet to be
proven. The lull in missile
testing since September,
when President Trump
threatened possible
retaliation, had led
some to believe
Pyongyang
was ready
to comply
with the
US. Not
any more.
Bali, Indonesia
Volcano brewing: Around 100,000 people
were ordered to evacuate their homes on
the Indonesian island of Bali this week,
amid fears of an imminent major eruption
of Mount Agung. Massive plumes of dark
ash ?rst became visible above the volcano
on Saturday, eventually reaching two miles
above its summit, and onlookers talked of
seeing ?rays of ?re?. Of?cials raised the
alert to its highest level and temporarily
closed Ngurah Rai airport, affecting nearly
60,000 travellers at the popular holiday
destination. The volcano last erupted in
1963, killing more than 1,000 people.
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
People
14 NEWS
known. So far, he concedes,
this tactic ?has not delivered
results. Except, perhaps, for
the fact that Nazanin knows
that I care and that we care.
Instrumentally, who knows
what works? But I do know
that Nazanin is sitting in her
prison cell knowing that people
are rooting for her.?
Dyson?s tech farm
Sir James Dyson is an inventor,
a billionaire and ? less well
known ? the most powerful
farmer in the UK. Over the
past decade, he has bought
33,000 acres of prime farmland
in Oxfordshire, Lincolnshire
and Gloucestershire, making
him a greater private
landowner than the Queen.
?I suppose, rather like
manufacturing, farming
happens in relative secret to the
public, so people haven?t really
noticed,? he told Guy Kelly in
The Daily Telegraph. Dyson
has poured �m into his
farming business, much of it
on new robot technology. (He
has a drone that scans the ?elds
for birds? nests, so that his
self-driving tractors go round
them.) His farms are highly
productive, but haven?t yet
made a pro?t. Luckily, he is in
it for love, not money. He grew
up in Norfolk and spent his
childhood helping out in the
?elds. ?My earliest memories
are of digging potatoes, top
and tailing Brussels sprouts
and picking blackcurrants
from the hedgerows,? he says.
?Working on farms is a very
visceral form of manufacturing.
It?s growing and happening in
front of you. I missed that.?
Castaway of the week
This week?s edition of Radio 4?s Desert Island Discs featured
writer and activist Naomi Klein
1 First We Take Manhattan, written and performed by
Leonard Cohen
2 Draft Dodger Rag by Phil Ochs, performed by Pete Seeger
3 One Way or Another by Debbie Harry and Nigel Harrison,
performed by Blondie
4 Do Re Mi, written and performed by Woody Guthrie
5 Desaparecido, written and performed by Manu Chao
6 God Blessed Our Love by Al Green, Willie Mitchell and
Earl Randle, performed by Al Green
7 Rising, written and performed by Lhasa
8* Mother and Child Reunion, written and performed by
Paul Simon
Book: The Backyard Astronomer?s Guide by Terence Dickinson and
Alan Dyer
* Choice if allowed only one record
Luxury: a snorkel and diving mask
THE WEEK 2 December 2017
Pamela Anderson once said of herself: ?My breasts have a career;
I?m just tagging along.? Yet since hanging up her swimsuit in 1997,
the former Baywatch star has turned into a formidable activist. She
campaigns for animal rights, supports a helpline for domestic
violence victims and gives lectures on the perils of online porn. This
new career has made her some surprising friends. Whenever she
is in London, for example, she visits the fugitive WikiLeaks founder
Julian Assange. His room in the Ecuadorian embassy is ?tiny,
without sunshine coming through the windows?, she told Charlotte
Edwardes in The Times. ?Even in jail you have sunlight, but him,
no. He has nothing.? Assange must be thrilled to have such a
glamorous visitor. ?He?s always very sweet, asking about my kids
and my life. He doesn?t see too many people and he looks forward
to me coming.? Another activist friend, much to Anderson?s delight,
is the designer Vivienne Westwood. ?When people say mean
things about me I think, ?Well, Vivienne likes me and she?s one
of the coolest people in the world.?? The Mother of Punk has her
?aws, however. Once, when Anderson?s son was having a tantrum,
Westwood offered to speak to him. ?She goes in and says, ?Dylan,
I am so proud of you. You are making your mother so crazy by not
listening to her.? I was like, ?No, no, no! Vivienne, get outta here!??
Viewpoint:
Going on a bear hunt
?A recent poll found that 6% of parents
have never read their child a bedtime story.
Oh, how I envy that 6%! My daughter used
to insist on the most ghastly trash, such as
We?re Going on a Bear Hunt by the hirsute
communist Michael Rosen. I have been
forced to read this awful poem so many
times it is seared into my brain. I ?nd myself
muttering it involuntarily on country walks:
?Uh-oh! Mud! Thick oozy mud. We can?t go
over it, we can?t go under it. Oh no! We?ve
got to go through it! Squelch squerch!
Squelch squerch. Squelch squerch.? I know
that when my time comes and I am staring
the Grim Reaper in the face I will think:
?Uh-oh! Death! Hooded, skeletal death. We
can?t go over it, we can?t go under it. Oh
no! We?ve got to go through it!??
Toby Young in The Spectator
Farewell
Trevor Bell, St Ives
artist, died 3
November, aged 87.
Pat Hutchins,
author of children?s
bestseller Rosie?s
Walk, died 8
November, aged 75.
Dmitri
Hvorostovsky,
Russian baritone,
died 22 November,
aged 55.
Helen John,
co-founder of the
Greenham
Common protest
camp, died 5
November, aged 80.
� EMILY BERL / NEW YORK TIMES / REDUX / EYEVINE
?Nazanin knows we care?
For Richard Ratcliffe, normal
life stopped on 3 April 2016,
when his wife and baby
daughter were seized by the
Iranian Revolutionary Guard
as they tried to board a plane
back to Britain. Nazanin
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who had
been visiting family in Iran,
was charged with sedition and
later sentenced to ?ve years in
jail. Ever since, Ratcliffe has
been ?ghting for her release.
Nothing else matters. ?I am
in my own world. Someone
said it?s raining today, but I
didn?t notice,? he told Decca
Aitkenhead in The Guardian.
Big news stories, such as the
downfall of Harvey Weinstein,
register only as irritants. ?I?d
see his picture on the news
and think: why isn?t my wife
in the news, because that?s
more important!?
When Nazanin was ?rst
arrested, the Foreign Of?ce
advised Ratcliffe not to make
a public fuss, arguing that
quiet diplomacy behind the
scenes would be more effective.
Nazanin, meanwhile, was kept
in solitary con?nement and
told that her husband was
doing nothing to save her.
?You don?t get to see anyone
else except your interrogator,
you?re being told relentlessly
that you?ve been abandoned,
there?s no contact, you don?t
get to hear any news, it?s
complete sensory deprivation.
It doesn?t take many days
before you?ll believe anything.?
Now, though, Nazanin is out
of solitary ? and her husband,
ditching the FCO?s advice, has
made her plight internationally
Brie?ng
NEWS 17
The shrinking of Japan
The populations of many developed nations are ageing and reducing in size ? but none as fast as Japan?s
How fast is Japan shrinking?
Its population has already been reduced
by around a million people in the past
?ve years. In 2006, Japan reached a
demographic turning point: deaths
outnumbered births for the ?rst time
since 1945. Last year, the number of
annual births fell to 981,202, while the
number of deaths reached 1.3 million
? an annual net loss of some 300,000
people, equivalent to a city the size of
Newcastle. Japanese statisticians think
its population of 126 million will shrink
to 105 million by 2050, and to 87
million by 2060. It is already one of the
world?s oldest nations, with a median age
of 46. By 2040, there will be three senior
citizens for every child under 15 ? the
opposite of the situation in 1975.
marriage partners. Having children out
of wedlock is very rare. And 70% of
women who have children stop work;
childcare is hard to ?nd and very
expensive. In the World Economic
Forum?s study of gender parity in the
workplace, Japan came 114th out of
144 countries. Similar conditions pertain
in other East Asian economies, such as
South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore,
which also have very low birth rates.
Why is there so little immigration?
Geographically remote and culturally
homogenous, Japan has long discouraged
immigration. Its postwar industrial boom
came, almost uniquely, without
importing migrant workers on a large
Japan?s demographics will soon be the stuff of sci-? scale. Today, policy-makers and most
voters think migrants would imperil
both Japanese homogeneity and its very low crime rates; they
Why is it happening?
point to Europe?s experience as a cautionary tale. There are 2.3
Excluding Monaco, Japan has the highest life expectancy of
million long-term migrants in Japan ? mostly Chinese, Koreans
any nation ? 83.7 ? and a very low fertility rate, of 1.45. This
and Filipinos ? and many more on short-term ?training? visas,
situation is in fact not wildly different from that of many
which allow them to work for a limited period of time. The latter
developed countries: fertility almost invariably drops as life
group is growing modestly, but the of?cial position of Shinzo
expectancy grows; Britain?s fertility rate is 1.8 and Italy?s is 1.35.
Abe?s government is that migration laws will never be loosened.
The big difference is that Japan?s immigration rate is ultra-low,
and in the postwar period it always has been. In 2015, a mere
How does the government intend to tackle the crisis?
1.8% of the Japanese population was foreign ? compared with
The government?s aim is to keep Japan?s population above 100
7% in the US, 8.6% in the UK and 11.1% in Germany.
million: projections are only projections, and if the fertility rate
could be raised to close to the replacement level of 2.1 births per
What will the effects be of the reduction in population?
woman, the demographic timebomb would be defused. To this
Population decline and extreme ageing ?will profoundly alter?
end, it has introduced a range of policies, from encouraging
Japan, writes the US demographer Nicholas Eberstadt. Indeed,
shorter hours to taxpayer-funded speed-dating services. PM Abe
it already has. Labour shortages hit a 43-year high in 2017, with
is committed to ?womenomics?: trying to encourage women into
low-paid sectors such as care work, hospitality, construction and
the workplace by providing, among other things, longer maternity
agriculture particularly hard hit. Sales of adult diapers surpassed
leave and childcare, so that they are encouraged to have children
those of children?s nappies in 2014. Around 400 schools close
and to go back to work afterwards; 600,000 new childcare places
every year. Unclaimed land and ?ghost homes? ? akiya ? are
will have been provided over the ?ve years to 2018. Abe also aims
found all over Japan. A recent report warned that 83,000sq km
to offset the shrinking labour force by encouraging a ?robot
? an area the size of Austria ? could be unoccupied by 2040.
revolution?, quadrupling the size of the robotics industry.
Driven by rising welfare spending, Japan?s public debt is more
than double its GDP ? the largest ratio of any developed nation.
Is there an upside to Japan?s
And by 2060, about 36% of its
predicament?
population will be 65 or older,
Shut-ins and grass-eating men
In Japan people are mostly
requiring vast pension and healthcare
Demographic decline has inspired much soulspending. ?Gradually but
searching in Japan?s media. Surveys have pointed to a pessimistic: some analysts even talk
relentlessly,? says Eberstadt, ?Japan is general decline in the national libido: in 2015, a Japan of the country?s ?extinction?. There
Family Planning Association survey found that 49% of
could, however, be many advantages
evolving into a type of society whose
Japanese people had not had sex in the past month.
to a reduced population ? more living
contours and workings have only
Other polls suggest that a growing number of young
space, more arable land per head and
been contemplated in science ?ction.?
people have no interest in sex or relationships at all,
a higher quality of life. One think
while anecdotally, many appear to be retreating from
tank envisages the ?growth society?
Why is the fertility rate so low?
human contact into a world of pornography and virtual
Japan?s young people have been
relationships. In Japan there are a bewildering number evolving into a ?mature society?,
which enjoys the fruits of growth.
blamed for losing all interest in sex
of terms for such people. There are hikikomori, ?shutBut Japan?s predicament isn?t unique;
and relationships (see box). However,
ins?, who withdraw from social life; parasaito
it?s merely leading the way. Most
the underlying explanation is
shinguru, the ?parasitic single? who lives with their
parents into their 30s; yaramiso, or a middle-aged
developed countries will follow
probably economic. Japan endured
virgin; and soshoku danshi, ?grass-eating men? who
a similar trajectory. The world
a long economic crisis in the 1990s;
have no interest in marriage or finding a girlfriend.
population is projected to peak this
since then the economy has grown
steadily, if slowly, and unemployment Japan?s culture of long hours is often blamed. Another century and then decline. This will
explanation is the sudden collapse of traditional family give Japan, with its outstanding hiis low. But today, about 40% of the
values. Love matches did not exceed arranged
tech sector, a head start in evolving
workforce is irregular and precarious,
marriages until 1965. ?There is a near-perfect
the technologies of the grey future.
and economic insecurity is a key
correlation between the demise of arranged marriage
reason for not having children.
in Japan and the decline in postwar Japanese fertility,? ?Rapid ageing itself is an advantage,?
says economist Hiroshi Yoshikawa of
Cultural attitudes, meanwhile, remain
says Eberstadt. ?The collapse of arranged marriage
the University of Tokyo. ?Necessity is
old-fashioned. Men who don?t have
seems to have taken something with it.?
the mother of invention!?
a steady job are not seen as desirable
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
Best articles: Britain
China is
winning the
hi-tech race
Edward Luce
Financial Times
Dopeheads
have taken the
fun out of LA
Brendan O?Neill
The Spectator
The EU has
no special
love of animals
Dominic Lawson
Daily Mail
What silly
things we
worry about
Zoe Strimpel
The Daily Telegraph
?Whoever becomes the leader in arti?cial intelligence will become
the ruler of the world.? Russia?s President Vladimir Putin said
that, says Edward Luce. And China clearly believes it. Beijing has
made supremacy in AI a strategic goal: it has announced plans to
draw even with the US by 2020, and dominate global AI by 2030.
It is shoving money into AI research, even as the Trump administration is slashing funding for agencies that specialise in the ?eld.
None of this ensures China will prevail, of course, but at the very
least it gives it an edge. China has other key advantages, too. Its
economy is more online than America?s: it takes in some 40% of
global e-commerce, mostly via its three big tech companies ? Baidu,
Alibaba and Tencent ? which can manipulate vast troves of data
with few legal constraints. In some areas ? online payments, visual
recognition, voice software ? ?China is already ahead of its Silicon
Valley counterparts?, and it?s fast catching up on self-driving cars.
?Today, America is the world?s technological leader. With Mr
Trump in the cockpit, tomorrow may look very different.?
?I don?t want to come over all Nancy Reagan,? says Brendan
O?Neill, ?but Los Angeles feels like a city under siege.? Walk
its streets today and you?re constantly assailed by the reek of
marijuana, which California legalised for recreational use last
year. You?re not meant to smoke it in public, but people do ?
everywhere. Its ?omnipresent fug? has reminded me why dope is
my least favourite recreational substance. I can?t abide the odour:
?It?s the smell of a Nietzsche-reading teenager?s bedroom, the
smell of an old hippy?s laundry.? And it makes people so boring.
Where booze and cigarettes liberate people?s ?socialising instinct?,
dope dulls it. At least the Sixties ?cats used hash to get wrecked?.
Today?s dopeheads are the sort of people ?who shop only at
Whole Foods? and who push the drug as a healthier alternative to
alcohol. Well, maybe it is, but it has made LA a less fun and vital
city. May this be a warning to Britain. By all means, let?s legalise
cannabis on libertarian grounds, but ?for the good of the nations?
social life?, let?s also be sure to discourage people from using it.
Our furry friends are in danger. Tory MPs want to water down
EU welfare laws by denying that animals are sentient creatures
capable of feeling pain. This was the cry being raised by the antiBrexit brigade last week, says Dominic Lawson, but it was pure
scaremongering: no such plan was proposed in the parliamentary
debate that sparked the row. But in any case, the whole idea that
the EU single-handedly guarantees the humane treatment of our
animals is itself a joke. It permits bull?ghting, for heaven?s sake,
and the forced feeding of geese for foie gras. It?s Britain, not the
EU, which has shown most concern for animal welfare. We were
the ?rst country to pass a law protecting farm animals (in 1822)
and the ?rst EU country to ban fur farming. Far from standards
being lowered after we leave the EU, they will undoubtedly be
raised. Environment Secretary Michael Gove is already talking
of banning the import of puppies less than six months old and
stopping the export of live animals for slaughter ? two reforms
currently ruled out by our EU membership. Britain is a nation of
animal lovers and there?s no way Brexit will change that.
The bigger Britain?s problems get, says Zoe Strimpel, the pettier
our arguments seem to become. We?ve got a weak government
and a ?loony Left, incompetent, anti-Semite-indulging opposition?,
and what is everyone worrying about? The minutiae of identity
politics. Last week, Natasha Devon, the Government?s former
mental health champion, told the head teachers of Britain?s top
girls schools at an industry meeting that they shouldn?t call their
pupils ?girls? or ?ladies? because they?d be ?reminded of [their]
gender? and the attached ?stereotypes?. The same week, a parent
(the president-elect of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations,
no less) questioned the appropriateness of schools letting children
read Sleeping Beauty: the non-consensual nature of the prince?s
kiss sets a bad example, she said (see page 31). There was also a
row about a new app, MakeApp, that digitally removes make-up
from women?s faces in sel?es ? ?a violent, misogynistic act?, raged
the critics, and a tool for cyberbullying. What will these people do
when something truly bad ? nuclear war, say ? happens? Such
absurd overreactions are debasing the currency of outrage.
NEWS 19
IT MUST BE TRUE?
I read it in the tabloids
Disgruntled West Ham fans
have been urged to stop
calling emergency services
to complain about a recent
defeat. Apparently a number
of fans have dialled 999 since
the Hammers? 2-0 loss to
Watford this month left them
in the relegation zone. In a
tweet, the police warned:
?Ringing 999 because
@WestHamUtd have lost
again and you aren?t sure
what to do is not acceptable!?
If you?re after a bargain
house, look on Fanny Street.
Research in Australia has
revealed that houses on
streets with ?embarrassing?
names sell for 20% less than
those on surrounding roads.
The examples cited include
Willys Avenue, Butt Street
and Wanke Road.
When police in Pasuruan,
Java, pulled over a sorrylooking 22-year-old and
discovered he was riding a
motorcycle without a licence,
they spared him a fine... and
offered him a job instead.
The man?s name, it turned
out, was Mr Polisi, which
means ?police? in
Indonesian. When Polisi?s
ID card photo went viral
on social media, the police
decided to adopt him as a
mascot, bought him a driving
licence and offered him a job
at their station. He began
work last week (above).
?It?s a new experience for
me,? said Polisi, who since
his father?s death has been
his family?s breadwinner.
?I promise to do my best.?
A householder from Glasgow
came home to find his home
had been broken into ? and
the burglar still inside, fast
asleep next to a half-eaten
pie and covered in Doritos.
?He woke up in cuffs,? said
the local police in a tweet.
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
Best of the American columnists
20 NEWS
Bill Clinton?s past comes back to haunt him
?The Bill Clinton moment has ?nally
Barro on BusinessInsider.com.
arrived,? said Ruth Graham on Slate.
It would have been better for the
After weeks of scandal about powerful
Democrats if Clinton had quit in
men exploiting women, the spotlight
1998, ceding power to Vice-president
has landed on the former president.
Al Gore. Gore would have pursued
Two decades ago, America?s ?rst
the same agenda as Clinton and
national conversation about Clinton?s
would have fought the 2000 election
treatment of women ?ended in a
? the race he narrowly lost ? with the
muddled draw?. Clinton confessed
advantages of incumbency. Better still,
to two affairs, with Gennifer Flowers
it would have ended the Clinton
and Monica Lewinsky. He was also
dynasty, meaning someone other than
accused of three cases of nonHillary would have been the nominee
consensual sexual contact: Paula Jones
in 2016. Sticking by Bill, in short, cost
said he exposed himself to her in a
the Democrats two presidential
hotel room; Kathleen Willey said he
elections, which in moral terms is
Did Bill cost the Democrats two elections?
groped her in the Oval Of?ce; and
probably just ?what they deserved?.
Juanita Broaddrick said he raped her in a hotel room in the late
1970s. At the time, Democrats were quick to defend Clinton
Leave Bill alone, said Jamie Stiehm on USNews.com. It?s not
from what they regarded as a partisan witch-hunt. But in the
as if he got a free pass in the 1990s. The independent counsel,
wake of the scandal triggered by the Harvey Weinstein expos�,
Ken Starr, thoroughly investigated Willey and Broaddrick?s
liberals are now reassessing Clinton?s ?moral legacy?.
claims and found them not credible enough to be used in the
case against Clinton. As for the ill-judged affair with Lewinsky,
What convenient timing, said Kevin D. Williamson in
Clinton was ??ogged in the public square, over and over? for
National Review. ?Our progressive friends have discovered
it. He was also impeached by the House, before being acquitted
their consciences on the Clinton matter at the precise moment
by the Senate. Was all this not punishment enough? ?Let?s not
the Clintons ceased to be useful instruments of political power.? build a modern Salem all over again, relitigating the most
Actually, this timing is ?decidedly inconvenient?, said Josh
painful chapter of the Clinton presidency. It?s done and gone.?
Too many of
us are dying
on the roads
David Leonhardt
The New York Times
Tear up the
war-making
blank cheque
Rachel Bovard
The Federalist
Hollywood?s
preaching days
are over
Kyle Smith
New York Post
THE WEEK 2 December 2017
Millions of Americans got behind the wheel last week to travel to Thanksgiving gatherings. What
few perhaps realised, says David Leonhardt, is that they were travelling on ?the most dangerous
roads in the industrialised world?. The fatality rate in the US (per miles driven) is more than twice
as high as in Britain or Sweden, and about 40% higher than in Canada or Australia. ?This isn?t
one of those situations in which the US has long been an outlier ? as is the case with, say, guns or
the death penalty.? As recently as 1990, America had a lower vehicle fatality rate than other af?uent
countries. So what happened? The answer is that other nations decided that their road death tolls
were unacceptable, and launched successful ?evidence-based campaigns? to reduce them. America,
where people are instinctively resistant to any perceived state infringement on their ?freedom?,
hasn?t taken this sort of concerted action. It is more lax about safety belts ? and thus has more
deaths ? and needs more speed cameras and lower speed restrictions. Roll on, then, the days of the
self-driving car. This technology promises to slash road fatalities across the industrialised world, but
it will be a particular boon for America.
It?s time for Congress to ?stop writing a blank cheque to wage war?, says Rachel Bovard. In the
wake of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the legislative body passed an Authorisation for Use of Military
Force (AUMF) measure allowing the president to target any nation, organisation or person who
?planned, authorised, committed or aided? those terrorist outrages. It was intended to sanction
individuals directly involved in 9/11, yet it has since been relied upon by Presidents Bush, Obama
and Trump to justify more than 37 US combat operations in 14 different countries, including
Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Niger. ?The further we travel from 2001, the more
distant and tangential military action becomes from the authority used to justify it.? Congress?s
decision to let presidents keep using this out-of-date AUMF, and to thus bypass full legislative
scrutiny, amounts to a ?dereliction of duty?. Fortunately, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers
has now tabled a revised AUMF, which would authorise the use of military force against the
Taliban, al-Qa?eda and Isis for ?ve years, and would require periodic progress reports on action
taken. Congress should pass it and ?take back its constitutional war-making mandate?.
?Hollywood is in a tizzy about what to do about next year?s Oscars,? says Kyle Smith. If the
ceremony goes ahead as planned in March, everything about it is going to remind people of the
?Pervnado? currently tearing through Tinseltown. Every mention of a ?lm will risk highlighting
an individual caught up in the abuse scandal. Every appearance by a former child star will remind
people of allegations of widespread paedophilia in the industry. Every speech-maker will face the
problem of how to deal with ?the herd of rampaging elephants in the room?. Can Casey Af?eck,
last year?s Best Actor winner, possibly present the Best Actress award, now that everyone knows he
settled harassment suits with two colleagues? There?s only one solution: cancel next year?s Oscars.
What better way for Hollywood to express remorse than to forego its favourite evening? It could
announce that every guilty person in the industry will instead be spending Oscars weekend ?in quiet
contemplation?. The glitzy ceremony could then return as usual in 2019. ?Except with one crucial
difference: this time, and forever after, sanctimonious preaching at the Oscars should be banned.?
The days of Hollywood being able to lecture us from on high are gone.
Best articles: International
NEWS 21
The bigots who threatened to behead a Bollywood star
They stalk couples on Valentine?s
Alauddin Khilji, throws herself on
Day; they bully artists for ?offending?
a pyre to escape his advances. The
Hindu culture. India has always had
story, taken from a 16th century
hotheads who set themselves up as
poem based on a real siege, is
moral police, said Sandipan Sharma
fictional, but Hindus have long
in Firstpost (Mumbai). But until now,
revered Padmini as a symbol of
they would be called out for what
female honour. No wonder there
they were: ?goons operating on the
has been fury at the claim that the
margins?. Not any more. Last week,
film contains a dream sequence in
a member of the Shri Rajput Karni
which Khilji ? ?a hated bigot with
Sena, a group from the Rajput
animal instincts? ? has a romantic
(warrior) caste, threatened to cut
liaison with Padmini. Playing with
off the nose of the Bollywood actress
the facts in this way is like denigrating
Deepika Padukone. A senior official
Joan of Arc. And glorifying Khilji can
from the ruling Hindu nationalist BJP
only instil in young minds the sense
Deepika Padukone portraying the revered Padmini
party even offered a $1.5m bounty to
that ?bad men are majestic?.
have her and the film?s director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali,
beheaded. True, his party then asked him to apologise, but the
That kind of justification of violent intolerance is emblematic
wind is in the bigots? sails: across India a number of states have
of the frightening new direction Indian politics has taken, said
vowed to ban the new film in which Padukone stars. ?India has
Sharmistha Mukherjee in the Deccan Chronicle (Hyderabad).
degenerated so much that instead of acting as the custodian of
Indians who profess liberal secular values are coming under
law and order, the state has genuflected to the fringe.?
threat and being vilified as ?sickulars?. Yet no action has been
taken against the BJP official who called for Padukone to be
Violent protests have been raging over the film, and for good
executed. Thankfully, though, on social media, and in the ?Not
reason, said former BJP MP Tarun Vijay in The Indian Express
in My Name? protests against caste and religious intolerance,
(Mumbai). Padmavati, which had been due for release on
citizens show that they are waking up to the violence around
1 December, tells the story of Padmini, a legendary Rajput
them. It will take time for the humane voices to be heard above
queen who, after her husband is killed by the Muslim ruler
the cacophony, but there?s still cause for hope.
GERMANY
East Germans
are getting
a raw deal
Berliner Zeitung
TURKEY
Parents don?t
want Erdogan?s
pious schools
Al-Monitor
(Washington)
FRANCE
We shouldn?t
indulge this
linguistic fad
Slate.fr
(Paris)
Nearly three decades after the Berlin Wall fell, East Germans, or ?Ossis?, still feel they are living
in a colony, with West German overlords running their governments and businesses, says Maritta
Adam-Tkalec. Look what happened when an East German uranium mine in Saxony, which in its
bloated communist inef?ciency had employed 45,000 people, was transformed after reuni?cation
into a modern, productive facility: only 1,000 of the workers there were retrained for the new mine,
and unemployment in the surrounding area rose to 20%. Nor were former communist bureaucrats
given positions in the new administrations: the police chiefs and regulators all came from the West.
Today, 75% of the department heads in the ministries of former East German states are Westerners.
Not a single rector of a state university is an Ossi. No wonder so many East Germans backed the
xenophobic, far-right Alternative for Germany party in the September elections: ?They were already
furious about ?foreigners? before the country took in any refugees.? So maybe we should set up a
quota system for hiring Ossis. It would seem humiliating. ?But does anyone have a better idea??
President Erdogan?s attempt to Islamicise Turkey?s youth has back?red badly, says Pinar Tremblay.
He has long yearned to create ?a pious generation? and to stem the in?uence of the West on Turkish
minds. In 2013 his party, the AKP, therefore changed the curriculum and introduced a new school
entrance exam to ensure religion was prioritised. And as a result, as the government intended, there
has been an increase in the number of religious high schools. The trouble is, they?re highly unpopular.
Parents don?t like the blood-curdling warnings given to their children ? that ?hell?re? awaits their
mothers if they don?t cover their hair, for example. They?re even less impressed by their educational
standards: this year just one in ?ve religious school leavers passed the university entrance exam.
As for prospective teachers, they could answer only a third of the questions correctly. Even parents
who support the AKP are dissatis?ed. More dissatis?ed still are the very people whose votes Erdogan
needs if he wants to win convincingly in the 2019 presidential elections ? the students. No wonder
he has now decided to abolish the system introduced with such fanfare only four years ago.
I?m all for gender equality, says Peggy Sastre, but I?ve no patience with ?閏riture inclusive?, the new
fad in France for ?inclusive writing?. In French, masculine endings have always been used for any
group containing a male, even if he is one among many females ? a linguistic practice that enrages
feminists. So, in 2015, the state equality council recommended a way of making the language more
neutral ? inserting the feminine ending between two points at the end of the word. Thus amis
(friends) becomes ami.e.s. The change is being adopted by academics and civil servants, but it has
horri?ed the Acad閙ie fran鏰ise, the French language?s traditional guardian. Its members were
instantly dismissed as reactionaries, but now, unexpectedly, Prime Minister 蒬ouard Philippe has
come out against inclusive writing and banned its use in of?cial texts. Good for him. ?Despite my
big ovaries? I don?t feel better ?represented? by feminine endings being tacked on to words. To try
to mould people via linguistic changes decreed from on high is a ?dictator?s dream?. It?s what the
Khmer Rouge did when, to cement allegiance to the state, they ?cleansed? the Khmer language of
the words aunt and uncle so that people would refer to each other as comrades instead. What our
language does supply to every citizen is the means to ?resist and ridicule?. Now is the time to use it.
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
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Health & Science
NEWS 23
What the scientists are saying?
No water on Mars after all
In 2015 Nasa declared that it had found
?unambiguous? evidence for the existence
of liquid water on Mars, raising hopes of
?nding life on the Red Planet. But alas it
was wrong. The original announcement
came after high-resolution images from
the agency?s Mars Reconnaissance
Orbiter revealed dark streaks on the
planet?s surface, known as recurring slope
lineae. With these appearing to vary over
time and containing hydrated salts ? often
a sign of water ? scientists assumed they
were caused by underground water
rising to the surface. But a new analysis,
undertaken by the US Geological Survey
and other institutions, has concluded that
the markings were probably produced by
nothing more than sand and dust slipping
downhill. The report, published in Nature
Geoscience, doesn?t rule out Mars having
liquid water on its surface, but suggests
this is limited to traces of dissolved
moisture from the atmosphere. Such
?water-restricted conditions?, the
researchers found, ?would make it
dif?cult for Earth-like life to exist near
the surface?.
The promise of better vision
Roughly 600,000 people in the UK
are af?icted with age-related macular
degeneration (AMD), a leading form
of blindness. It affects about one in ten
over-65s and, owing to our rapidly ageing
population, the NHS estimates that the
number of people af?icted could reach
700,000 by 2020. However, rates of
new cases could soon start falling. When
scientists at the University of WisconsinMadison looked at the incidence of AMD
across successive generations in one town,
they found that rates are falling fast: for
people born between 1901 and 1924, the
Dolly: genetically sound
rate was 8.8%, but in the 1925-45
generation, it was only 3%; and for baby
boomers (born between 1946 to 1964),
it was only 1%. The researchers speculate
that improvements to sanitation and
medical care over the past century could
be factors in the decline. ?We?re excited by
this because it?s a good news story, and we
don?t get very many of those in research,?
says study leader Karen Cruickshanks.
To live longer, get a dog
Next time your dog chews your slippers
or tears up the furniture, bear this in mind:
Fido is probably adding years to your life.
In the largest study of its kind, researchers
in Sweden tracked 3.4 million over-40s
for 12 years, and found that dog owners
had a 20% lower risk of early death than
non-dog owners (a link that persisted even
after factors such as smoking, body mass
index and socio-economic status were
taken into account). The effect was
Will next year be bad for earthquakes?
Brace yourselves: scientists have
predicted that 2018 could be an
exceptionally bad year for earthquakes.
While it?s impossible to forecast
earthquakes with any accuracy, it seems
their incidence isn?t completely random.
When US researchers looked at all the
magnitude seven or more earthquakes
that have occurred since 1900, they
discovered five evenly spaced periods
when their average annual frequency
jumped, from about 15 to at least 25.
These periods, they noticed, usually
Are we on notice for more quakes?
began five or so years after slowdowns in
the Earth?s rotation, caused by changes in its core. As well as changing the length of
day by a millisecond, it is thought that such changes create an outward pressure that
results in more earthquakes after five or six years.
The last time the Earth?s rotation slowed, according to atomic clocks, was in 2011
? making another seismic upsurge due. ?It?s straightforward,? said Roger Bilham of
the University of Colorado, one of the co-authors of the research. ?The Earth is
offering us a five-year heads up on future earthquakes.?
starkest among people who live alone:
here, having a dog was associated with
33% lower mortality. Professor Tove Fall,
one of the leaders of the study at Uppsala
University, in Sweden, said it was likely
that this was largely down to the
companionship conferred by dogs
mitigating the well-documented negative
impact of loneliness on human health.
But it?s not just a question of having a
dog: you need the right kind. Pedigree
dogs originally bred for hunting ? terriers,
retrievers and the like ? seemed to confer
the greatest bene?ts. Possibly people who
buy these highly active dogs are themselves
quite active; even if they are not, their dogs
ensure they become so. Professor Fall also
speculates that dogs bring an array of
microbes into the home that boosts their
owners? immune systems.
Dolly was not a victim of cloning
Dolly ? the poster ewe for cloned
mammals ? did not age prematurely,
scientists have found. Born in Edinburgh
in 1996, Dolly was the ?rst mammal to
be cloned from an adult cell, and there
were always fears that as a result of
being cloned, she?d have genetic problems
that would lead to premature ageing.
Aged ?ve, she began to limp, apparently
the result of early-onset arthritis ?
suggesting these fears had been well
founded. When she died, aged six, some
took this as further con?rmation of those
fears. Yet the virus that led to Dolly?s
death also killed other sheep in her barn,
and her cloned ?sisters? lived to be nine
years old, a pretty good age for sheep.
Now a team from Nottingham and
Glasgow Universities has re-examined
Dolly?s bones, and concluded that the
extent of her osteoarthritis was normal
for an animal of her age.
Cancer tests in car parks
The NHS is to start offering tests for
lung cancer in supermarket car parks,
in a bid to improve rates of diagnosis,
reports The Daily Telegraph. The
scheme, announced by Simon Stevens,
the chief executive of NHS England, is
designed to reach patients who are
reluctant to go to their GPs or for tests
in hospitals ? leading to potentially fatal
delays in diagnosis. Under a pilot
scheme carried out in Manchester, GPs
wrote to smokers and former smokers
aged between 55 and 74, inviting them
to undergo checks at shopping centres,
where many were given on-the-spot
CT scans. The trial led to a quadrupling
of the number of cases of lung cancer
being discovered at stages one and
two ? when the disease is more
treatable. The scheme is to be rolled out
more widely, along with other initiatives,
including a new system of home-testing
for bowel cancer.
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
Talking points
26 NEWS
Harry and Meghan: shaking up the monarchy
?Whatever you think of our Royal
Family, you cannot deny that they have
a great sense of timing,? said Dominic
Sandbrook in the Daily Mail. With the
economy in the doldrums, headlines
dominated by the Brexit ?stalemate?
and the weather taking an Arctic turn, the
British people needed a lift. On Monday
Prince Harry delivered the perfect tonic,
by announcing his engagement to the
American actress Meghan Markle.
Prince Charles discovered, the Church of
England has proved very stubborn over
the issue of Royals marrying divorced
people. (This is something of a historical
irony, since it was founded upon a
monarch?s desire to end his marriage.)
But ? perhaps because Prince Harry is
now only ?fth in line to the throne, and
soon to be sixth ? Harry and Meghan
have been given special dispensation to
marry in church, at St George?s Chapel
at Windsor Castle next May. ?Let it be
a great national occasion? with all the
?pageantry? at which this country excels.
For ?if there is ever an event that can
draw our fractured nation together, then
this is it?.
?What a gal!? said Jan Moir in the same
paper. Markle is ?no boring Sloane or
weedy aristo?, but an independent
woman who has already made a success
A great sense of timing from the happy couple
of her life. Seven seasons in the US drama
Suits has given her some experience of the spotlight and a
?supreme? con?dence unlike anything before ?seen in a Royal
For ?us brown-skinned Brits?, especially, Harry?s wedding will be
spouse-to-be?. Remember when Prince Charles and Diana
a ?socially-momentous? occasion, said Georgina Lawton in The
Spencer gave their ?rst post-engagement interview? The bride-toGuardian. Until now, we have not seen ourselves re?ected among
be looked like a frightened lamb, while her ?anc�, 12 years her
the ?all-white? Windsors. But Markle is a mixed-race outsider,
senior, dismissed talk of love by grunting: ?Whatever ?in love?
whose African-American mother wears her hair in dreadlocks.
means.? Harry and Meghan?s ?rst interview, given to the BBC on
Her ancestors were slaves who worked on the Georgia cotton
Monday, was something else entirely. Snuggled up on the sofa of
plantations. Markle has spoken publicly about ?her battle with
their ?cottage? in the grounds of Kensington Palace, the pair held
her mixed-race identity?, and last year Prince Harry issued a
hands and ?exchanged mutual molten
statement condemning the ?outright
looks?. Markle ? articulate, poised and
sexism and racism? that Markle
?That this match has been greeted encountered. This feels like a new level
fascinating ? did most of the chat, while
Harry ?looked on adoringly?. They
of ?wokeness? for British society.
with such joy is ?emblematic of a
revealed that they had been introduced
nation that has changed utterly??
by a mutual friend (?We should protect
Markle will be ?the ?rst social justice
her privacy,? Meghan warned Harry,
warrior princess?, said Brendan O?Neill
who ?immediately shut his Royal trap?); that they had bonded
on his Spectator blog. ?She?s so right-on it?s painful.? She has
over cosy nights in and country walks; that Harry proposed over
worked with UN Women, campaigned for ?menstrual health?
a meal of roast chicken; and that he designed her engagement ring in India and describes herself as an ?activist?. She is the ?perfect
himself, using diamonds from his mother?s jewellery collection.
Royal for the Twitter age?: famous, pretty, good at emoting. In
?She is with us,? declared Markle solemnly, as if she were now
the short term, she will give a boost to the ?ageing, bent-over, old?Harry?s personal spirit guide?. Well, she probably is ? ?along
millennium House of Windsor?. But republicans like me need not
with being the biggest thing to hit the Windsors since Wallis
despair. For the farther the monarchy goes down this route ?
Simpson walked out and then Princess Diana walked in?.
transforming itself from a ?mystical, godly out?t into a celebrity
enterprise?, refashioning its purpose as therapeutic rather than
constitutional ? the more redundant it becomes. If our Royals are
The fact that this love match has been greeted with such joy,
no different from other celebrities, why do we bow before them?
both by the palace and by the British people, is ?emblematic
Why do we grant them the Royal prerogative, through which a
of a nation that has changed utterly?, said The Daily Telegraph.
monarch can declare war? ?We wouldn?t let Kim Kardashian
?A divorced, mixed-race Hollywood actress who attended a
declare war.? Once the confetti has been cleared away, this
Roman Catholic school is to marry the son of the next king. Such
showbiz wedding may ?raise more questions about the monarchy
a sentence could simply not have been written a generation ago.?
than the establishment realises, or can possibly handle?.
As Edward VIII, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne and even
anybody, as most characters
who come into the Square do,?
he told The Sunday Times.
?I was also offered a part in
Emmerdale. I was to play an
intruder in jodhpurs ? which I?d
longed to be, of course, I had
waited years to be an intruder
in jodhpurs.? In the end,
however, Morrissey (pictured)
turned down both offers. But
?it?s nice to be asked?.
Pick of the week?s
Gossip
If the music ever dies,
Morrissey could always get
a job in light entertainment.
The gnomic Mancunian
singer, formerly of The
Smiths, revealed this week that
he was once offered a job on
EastEnders, playing a character
loosely based on himself. ?I
was invited to be Dot Cotton?s
other son, a mysterious son
no one had ever spoken about,
who returns to the Square,
THE WEEK 2 December 2017
doesn?t get involved with
anybody and doesn?t
immediately have sex with
John Humphrys has a secret
talent for water divining. The
mysterious method of finding
buried water ? which involves
holding rods as you walk over
the land ? was one of the
subjects discussed on the
Today programme last week,
after ten of Britain?s 12 water
companies admitted to using
it. The presenter revealed that
he had tried divining, also
known as dowsing, after a
plough cut through the water
pipe outside his farm in Wales.
The man on the plough handed
Humphreys ?a bent coat
hanger? and told him what to
do. ?I felt a total fool walking
up and down this field,? said
Humphreys. ?And then, kapow,
the thing bent forward ? I
couldn?t stop it ? I felt a force,
I really did.? When he dug
down, he found the cut pipe.
?I know it?s not science,? he
conceded, ?but explain it.?
Talking points
Hammond?s Budget: will it save him?
?A successful Budget nowadays
mention some of the biggest
is one that doesn?t fall apart
?political hot potatoes?, said
after a week,? said Fraser
Henry Mance in the FT. There
Nelson in The Daily Telegraph.
was not a word on the vexed
By those standards, Chancellor
subject of social care, seriously
Philip Hammond?s second
overstretched in much of the
Budget last week was just the
country, or on public sector pay,
job. Unlike the general election,
which, since 2010, has been ?rst
the Tory conference or the
frozen and then capped at 1%.
March Budget, it did not end
?in disaster?. Hammond
Hammond gave ?just enough to
delivered a series of careful
all of his critics? to buy himself
compromises. There was more
some time, said Allister Heath in
money for house-building, but
The Daily Telegraph. His Tory
Theresa May ?was granted her
Eurosceptic foes, for example,
wish on protecting the green
got �n over two years to
belt?. By cutting stamp duty
prepare us for leaving the EU,
for ?rst-time buyers, he offered
The Chancellor: modest handouts ?allowing Mr Hammond to
?a much-needed overture to the
claim he is taking Brexit
young?. Yet there was also money to prop up
seriously?, despite his scepticism on the issue.
the NHS and the universal credit bene?t
What his Budget lacked, in the face of the worst
reforms. Hammond seemed to have saved the
growth forecasts in recent history, was any kind
Government?s credibility and ?his own career?,
of vision. We seem to be facing ?an economic
which was teetering on the brink, said Tim
emergency?. So why didn?t the Chancellor
Shipman in The Sunday Times. As one minister
announce ?an urgent dash for growth?, by
put it: ?It was the ?rst week since the election
offering ?dramatic? tax reforms? Hammond?s
debacle that we have looked like a government.? critics seemed to want a Budget that would see
Britain come ?steaming out of the EU? with all
But the Chancellor could only really offer
its problems ?xed, said Janan Ganesh in the FT.
?sticking plasters?, said Martin Kettle in The
Given his limited room for manoeuvre, that was
Guardian. His ?modest handouts? were dwarfed never going to happen. He has done enough to
by the big story: ?the historic slowing of growth, survive, for now. ?The best guess is that Mr
and the falling real wages and living standards
Hammond?s enemies will lay off him for the rest
over which Hammond presides?. He didn?t even
of the year and regroup at his next crisis.?
Ratko Mladic: a war criminal?s legacy
were excavated in a forensic
There was no remorse. When he
cataloguing of atrocity.? There
entered the court last week, Ratko
are now 6,504 graves, but the
Mladic gave a de?ant thumbs up
memorial there lists 8,372 people:
to the cameras. And as the charges
Bosnian Muslim men and boys
were read out, he screamed abuse
who were killed by Mladic?s forces
at the judges and had to be dragged
in July 1995. Mladic knew it was
out. Thus, the former Bosnian Serb
genocide: he had told his political
general known as the ?Butcher
master, Radovan Karad?ic, that
of Bosnia? was not present as he
the ?strategic aim? of the Bosnian
was sentenced to life in prison for
Serb parliament ? to separate
genocide and other war crimes.
Serbs from Bosnian Muslims and
His conviction was a ?tting end
Croats ? could not be achieved
to the International Criminal
?painlessly?. And this ?erce
Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
nationalist embraced his task in
(ICTY): having indicted 161 people
the interests of a ?Greater Serbia?.
involved in the war that followed
The ?Butcher of Bosnia?
the break-up of Yugoslavia, it will
The massacre was the height of his brutality, but
now be wound up. (By contrast, 22 senior Nazis
there was much else that the court didn?t class as
were tried at Nuremberg.) The wheels of justice
genocide, said Ed Vulliamy in The Guardian:
turned slowly, said Tony Barber in the FT,
partly because several suspects, Mladic included, villages razed; civilians, including babies, burnt
alive; women herded into camps to be violated.
spent years on the run. But the ICTY wasn?t
And I?m sceptical of the claim that this verdict
only set up to dispense justice: its purpose was
also to record history. Given the key role Mladic sends a message to other war criminals. No one
is likely to be indicted for war crimes in Syria,
played in two of the war?s greatest atrocities, the
Yemen or Myanmar; genocide retains a hideous
siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica massacre,
logic of its own to its perpetrators. It gave
his trial was ?particularly important?.
Mladic what he wanted: a Bosnian Serb statelet
where he is venerated and to which non-Serbs
One of the terrible things about Srebrenica
dare not return. He may be ?a furious man, but
was how the cemetery kept growing, said Harry
he can start his sentence with the satisfaction of
de Quetteville in The Daily Telegraph. ?Fresh
a mission in no small part accomplished?.
headstones kept being added, as more bodies
NEWS 27
Wit &
Wisdom
?Every surgeon
carries within himself
a small cemetery.?
French physician Ren�
Leriche, quoted in
The Observer
?Never write a letter while
you are angry.?
Chinese proverb, quoted
in The Daily Telegraph
?The trouble with the
English is that they don?t
know their history,
because so much of it
happened overseas.?
Salman Rushdie, quoted
in The Guardian
?Teach a parrot the terms
supply and demand and you
have an economist.?
Thomas Carlyle, quoted
in the FT
?We are continually faced
with great opportunities
brilliantly disguised as
unsolvable problems.?
Margaret Mead, quoted
on The Browser
?Don?t argue with idiots.
They?ll bring you down to
their level and then beat you
with experience.?
Brian Clough, quoted
in The Times
?The line separating good
and evil passes not through
states, nor between classes,
nor between political parties
either, but right through
every human heart, and
through all human hearts.?
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,
quoted in
The New York Times
?The wonder is not that the
field of stars is so vast, but
that man has measured it.?
Poet Anatole France,
quoted in The Wall
Street Journal
Statistic of the week
Almost 20% of women in
England and Wales who
celebrated their 45th
birthday last year were
childless ? compared to 11%
of their mother?s generation
at that age. Over the same
period, the average number
of children women have has
fallen from 2.21 to 1.9, the
lowest level on record.
Office for National Statistics
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
Sport
28 NEWS
Cricket: a dismal start to the Ashes
?Well, it was good while it lasted,? said Paul
Newman in the Daily Mail. For almost three
whole days of the first Ashes Test, in Brisbane,
?it really did look like England might compete
and, whisper it, even win?. But on the fourth day
?normal service was quickly resumed? and, by
the end, Australia had raced to a ?thumping? tenwicket victory. England?s old failings ?resurfaced
at the worst possible times?: whenever the visitors
looked set to apply pressure, ?they either sold their
wickets cheaply or found the old enemy had the
greater strength and character?. We feared there
would be a gulf in class between these two sides ?
we just didn?t expect it to be quite so big.
In the second innings he was dismissed for 51,
the fourth time in his last six matches that he
has been removed between 50 and 59. There?s
?no escaping the comparison with his opposite
number?, Australia?s captain Steve Smith, who
scored an unbeaten 141 in his sole innings, the
21st Test century of his career. Little may separate
Smith and Root in the world rankings ? they are
first and third ? but it?s the Australian who has
?set the standard for everyone in this contest?.
How Root must wish he could call on Ben Stokes,
said Lawrence Booth in the Daily Mail. The allrounder is stuck at home, waiting to find out if
he will be charged over a ?brawl? in September.
Without Stokes, England aren?t just deprived of
Joe Root?s problems keep stacking up, said Paul
an outstanding batsman ? their whole batting
Hayward in The Daily Telegraph. The captain?s
Root: numerous distractions
order is warped out of shape. Moeen Ali has
predecessor, Alastair Cook, has ?lost his form?.
been ?shunted up two places? to No. 6, ?depriving him of the
And there was the embarrassing revelation that Jonny Bairstow,
freedom that made him such a danger during the 2015 Ashes?.
the England wicketkeeper, had run into Australia?s Cameron
Stokes?s absence has created bowling problems, too: his effective
Bancroft on a night out at the start of the tour and greeted him
replacement, Jake Ball, floundered in Brisbane, taking only one
with a ?headbutt?; the team have been given a curfew as a result.
wicket and conceding more than four runs an over. One Test
All these concerns are huge distractions for Root at a time when
down, the challenge facing England has become tougher ?by a
he ought to be focusing on his batting. His conversion rate (the
factor of about ten?, said Mike Atherton in The Times. The hosts
frequency with which he converts fifties into hundreds) is
will smell blood. ?To win in Australia is hard enough. To win
?heading the way of the pound against the major currencies? ?
having lost the opener is nigh-on impossible.?
of the world?s top ten Test batsmen, Root?s rate is the lowest.
Rugby union: Scotland?s greatest victory
driving maul?; behind the scrum, the backs ?played
an expansive, ambitious game?. The performance
was all the more remarkable because Scotland were
playing without their talisman, full-back Stuart
Hogg, who injured his hip in the warm-up. Drafted
in to replace him at the last minute, Byron McGuigan
enjoyed a dream debut: he scored a brace of tries and
was named man of the match. It?s true that Scotland
played with a ?numerical advantage?, said Stuart
Bathgate in The Guardian: Australia?s Sekope Kepu
was sent off in the first half. But in the past, the
Scots have actually struggled against 14 men; this
time they exploited the red card with intelligence
McGuigan: dream debut and ruthlessness. It was testament to the progress
they have made under their new head coach, Gregor
Townsend. Only six months into the job, he already has them
The Scots played with ?invention, verve and ambition?, said
playing ?the highest-tempo rugby in the world?. In the process,
Richard Bath in The Sunday Telegraph. Up front, the forwards
he has produced ?the most exciting Scotland side? this century.
dominated the collisions and produced ?a remarkably effective
There was a time, not long ago, when watching
Scotland play rugby was ?so traumatising that it
would require a lie down in a darkened room afterwards?, said Duncan Smith in The Scotsman. They
picked up record after record, all of them unwanted:
heaviest defeat; ?longest run without a Six Nations
win?. But last Saturday, in their sensational 53-24
win over Australia, the Scots finally made the right
kind of history. It was their biggest victory over the
Wallabies yet; never have they scored more points or
tries (?an extraordinary eight?) against a tier-one
rugby side. To hammer the third-ranked team in the
world is ?the stuff of heady dreams?: it was, surely,
the greatest result in Scotland?s history.
How Burnley are beating the odds
tally surpassed only by the two
Last season, Burnley finished
Manchester clubs. The club?s
16th in the Premier League, two
lynchpins in central defence,
places above the relegation
Ben Mee and James Tarkowski,
zone, said Jamie Jackson in The
have blocked more shots than
Observer. But many predicted
any other defensive partnerthey would be less lucky this
ship; Nick Pope has made more
time round and tipped them to
saves per game than any other
go down. Those predictions now
goalkeeper. That?s the fruit of
appear increasingly foolish: the
careful work by their manager,
Clarets sat seventh this week,
Sean Dyche. He has taught his
just three points outside the top
Dyche: a focus on defence
team to defend ?as a
four. Away from home, they
structure?, rather than as individuals; he is that
have beaten Chelsea and drawn with Tottenham
rare manager who includes a defensive drill in
and Liverpool; on Sunday at Turf Moor, they
training. For Burnley, however, this new-found
were on course to draw with Arsenal, only to
success has a ?bittersweet? quality, said Chris
succumb to a controversial injury-time penalty.
Brereton in The Sunday Times. Dyche keeps
Burnley?s success is down to defence, said
being linked with ?every Premier League job
Rory Smith in The New York Times. They have
opening? ? and each impressive performance
a mediocre scoring record, with 12 goals in their
takes him a step closer to leaving the club.
first 13 games, but have conceded just ten ? a
THE WEEK 2 December 2017
Sporting headlines
Rugby league England beat
Tonga 20-18 to reach the
World Cup final for the first
time since 1995. They will
face Australia, who beat
Fiji 54-6.
Rugby union England beat
Samoa 48-14. In their 30th
consecutive victory over
Wales, New Zealand
won 33-18. Ireland beat
Argentina 28-19.
Formula One Mercedes?
Valtteri Bottas won the Abu
Dhabi Grand Prix, the final
race of the season.
Football Leicester beat
Tottenham 2-1. Manchester
United beat Watford 4-2.
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LETTERS
Pick of the week?s correspondence
Let?s follow Denmark
To the Financial Times
Exchange of the week
Sleeping Beauty on trial
Your excellent report on
UK stamp duty refers to the
counterproductive increases of
recent years being justified as
an attempt to ?stop foreigners
buying London homes?. If
that was truly a motive, it
has failed up to now.
If our politicians are
genuinely concerned about
this they should emulate
Denmark, where foreigners
cannot buy property unless
they have already lived in the
country for five years. This
sensible safeguard has made
?wonderful Copenhagen?
relatively affordable and not
blighted with empty tower
blocks of flats. Will any MP
try for a private member?s bill
to raise this?
Sam Dunkley, London
Your leading article makes light of Sarah Hall?s objection to
Sleeping Beauty as a story for small children, but she has a
serious point. The version of the story that we all know
derives from Charles Perrault?s bowdlerised 17th century La
Belle au Bois Dormant. Perrault?s statement that the prince
?kissed? the sleeping princess to wake her was an obvious
euphemism (to his contemporaries).
All known earlier versions of this European folk tale (for
example, from 17th century Italy and 14th century France)
say that he rapes her and goes on his way. She bears twins
while still unconscious: one of the babies sucks her finger in
mistake for her nipple and draws out the splinter that caused
her sleep. She wakes to find herself alone with two babies,
about whose conception and father she has no idea at all.
This might be an interesting basis for a discussion with
sixth-formers of sexual coercion in historical Europe and how
far our society still has to go in shaking those attitudes off, but
Ms Hall is quite right that the subject is a good deal too chewy
for six-year-olds.
Victoria Solt Dennis, Gillingham, Kent
The truth about housing
To The Times
To The Times
The Chancellor?s modest
housing measures deserve
modest support, but most
of this discussion misses the
point. Of course supply must
be increased, not least to
deal with the backlog. The
underlying problem, though,
is uncontrolled demand. Most
household growth comes from
immigration, not from the
domestic population: in recent
years, more than four-fifths
of additional households in
the UK have been headed by
a person born overseas.
Forget the absurdly
defective household
projections by the Department
for Communities and Local
Government. For as long as
net migration continues at
about a quarter of a million
per year, Britain will be
trapped in a treadmill of
housebuilding without limit.
David Coleman, emeritus
professor of demography,
University of Oxford
Taxing land
To The Sunday Times
In Tim Shipman?s illuminating
interview with Philip
Hammond, the minister says:
?It?s housebuilders banking
land, it?s speculators hoarding
land, it?s local authorities
blocking development.? One
obvious reason for this is that
those who own vacant land
pay no rates or taxes on it.
For more than a hundred
To The Times
As the sleeping beauty had been unconscious for 100 years,
it has always been clear to me that the handsome prince was
performing nothing more than mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
That some believe this benevolent action would be assumed by
young children to constitute sexual assault beggars belief. The
story provides parents with an excellent opportunity to use the
story to reinforce the societal value of practising first aid.
Nigel Bufton, Milton-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire
To The Times
If Sarah Hall cares to look at a translation of the French
version of La Belle au Bois Dormant she could add attempted
cannibalism to the charge sheet. After the princess?s marriage,
her mother-in-law takes in the resultant children and seeks to
have them cooked for her supper, stipulating, in the original, a
Sauce Robert on the side. In some editions the recipe is given.
Brian Alderson, Richmond, North Yorkshire
years, since David Lloyd
George?s 1909 Budget,
which foundered in a House
of Lords packed with
landowners, there has been
no attempt to shift the basis
for rates from buildings onto
land, leaving the speculators
to get away scot-free.
To charge rates at the
maximum permitted
development value will inhibit
land hoarding, reduce land
prices and bring cash into
local government.
Michael Meadowcroft, Leeds
Lesson from Zimbabwe
To the Financial Times
Outside the parliament
in Harare, before Robert
Mugabe resigned, protesters
held up signs reading
?Mugabe ? you?re
snookered?. Compare that,
after more than three decades
of dictatorship, with
Momentum?s ?Tory Scum?
posters, or the vituperation
launched by both sides in
the EU referendum. Might
we have something to learn
about political discourse
from Zimbabweans?
Keith Craig, London
31
for the country as a whole.
As chairman of the Heathrow
Employment and Skills
Taskforce, charged with
the preparation for 10,000
jobs and thousands of
apprenticeships across the
country, I am worried that
we will not be able to meet
the challenge of large-scale
infrastructure programmes.
Given that, after Brexit, it
will be more difficult to bring
in people from other parts of
Europe to fill the gap, it is
vital for us to ensure that
we have a skilled domestic
workforce that can take on
the challenge.
Lord Blunkett, Sheffield
Christ in a cake
To The Daily Telegraph
Those who object to Greggs
using a sausage roll to
represent the baby Jesus
in a nativity are obviously
unaware of the origins of the
famous 16th century Dresden
Stollen, or as it is otherwise
known, Christstollen cake.
Stollen contains a marzipan
rope, traditionally enclosed by
the cake, which represents the
infant Christ in his swaddling
clothes. I don?t hear any
complaints about that.
Victoria Edge, Farningham,
Kent
Hands up! Own up!
To The Times
Years ago I saw a woman on
the Tube deal admirably with
an unwanted touch. She held
a man?s hand up in the air
and shouted: ?Does anyone
own this hand? Only I found
it on my bum!?
Sharon Cavendish, London
The apprentice gap
To The Times
In the aftermath of Philip
Hammond?s second Budget
this year, an extremely
worrying statistic is in danger
of going relatively unnoticed:
the catastrophic fall in the
number of apprenticeships
started in the summer of
2017, compared with the
equivalent period a year
earlier. The fall from 117,000
to 48,000 is extraordinarily
bad news both for the
prospects of individuals and
?When we?ve made sufficient
progress on my presents,
then we can move on to talks
about my behaviour.?
� MATT/THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
? Letters have been edited
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
ARTS
Review of reviews: Books
Book of the week
The Vanity Fair Diaries
by Tina Brown
W&N 448pp �
The Week Bookshop � (incl. p&p)
Tina Brown was only 30 when, in
1983, she was ?parachuted in? to
rescue the ailing Cond� Nast magazine
Vanity Fair, said Anthony Quinn in the
Financial Times. Yet by then she had
already made a success of editing Tatler
and had worked at The Sunday Times
(where she had an affair with its
married editor, Harold Evans, 26 years her senior, who later
became her husband ? pictured). And in no time she turned
Vanity Fair into the ?house magazine of a resurgent celebrity beau
monde?, raising its circulation from a few hundred thousand to
more than a million. In this book, Brown describes her conquest
of Manhattan with ?caustic drollery and dash?, her ?natural
British irreverence? serving as a counterweight to the ?bumptious
spirit of American self-promotion? she quickly acquired. At times,
the diaries resemble a ?roll call of celebs, places and deals?, but
Brown sustains our interest through her beady eye for detail and
willingness to present herself as being regularly on the back foot.
These are the most compelling media diaries since Piers
Morgan?s The Insider, said Nicholas Coleridge in the London
33
Evening Standard, but with a more
high-toned cast of characters. It?s all
here, from Demi Moore ?naked and
pregnant? on the front cover, to
Claus von B黮ow photographed in
black leather, from the ?attractively
acquisitive? Donald Trump
complaining about having to sit
through Wagner?s Ring Cycle, to a
young Boris Johnson behaving like
an ?epic shit?. Brown is a writer of
?great asperity? and an excellent
observer of the peccadilloes of the
rich, said Janice Turner in the New
Statesman. But that said, her priorities
often seem unappealingly skewed: the
?only lowly people? she ever mentions
are staff, and she tends to be ?cruel about the ugly, stupid or fat?.
For British readers, there?s another problem, said Craig Brown
in The Mail on Sunday. Although the people Brown spent her
days hobnobbing with were once ?big names?, the majority are
now forgotten. Many of the passages in these diaries ? for
example, her account of a dinner party attended by ?the creamy
TV anchor Diane Sawyer, mag magnate Malcolm Forbes [?]
and the gossip columnist Aileen Mehle, aka Suzy? ? are virtually
indecipherable. But when she encounters someone genuinely
famous, her pen portraits are invariably ?zippy?. She also writes
with touching anxiety about her two children. Overall, however,
these diaries are a mixed bag: amusing and genuinely revealing at
times, but at others, stuffed with vainglorious hyperbole.
Air Force Blue
Fiction of the week
by Patrick Bishop
William Collins 432pp �
The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth
The Week Bookshop �
by William Boyd
Viking 256pp �.99
In this excellent history of the RAF in the Second
World War, Patrick Bishop charts the transformation of Britain?s fighter pilots from ?garage
mechanics in uniform? to glamorous national
heroes, said Max Hastings in The Sunday Times.
At the War?s start, Britain?s air force was underresourced and poorly trained. Rearmament in the
1930s had been sluggish and RAF leaders clung
to their old ?mystic faith in air power?, which led
them to favour ?independent bomber operations? over the more tactically
useful role of providing support for armies. But from the Battle of Britain
onwards, the force?s approach became more scientific, it invested heavily in
personnel and equipment, and it developed a new focus on ?tactical fighterbomber operations?. Bishop writes with a refreshing lack of romanticism about
air force life, revealing, for instance, that venereal disease was rife among RAF
pilots, who responded to the stress of their life by having frequent casual sex.
The result is a ?terrifically readable? and authoritative book, even if Bishop is
overly ?indulgent? about the War?s final phase, when the RAF ?devoted grossly
excessive attention and resources to burning cities?.
As readers of his earlier books, Fighter Boys and Bomber Boys, will know,
said Giles Whittell in The Times, Bishop specialises in writing history ?from
the point of view of those who lived it?. Here, again, he provides a ?pilot?s eye?
view of the War, studding his account with startling insights. Although keen to
show that there was ?something rather special about the RAF? in the Second
World War, there is ?no jingoism in his account?. Rather, the sense he gives
is of the aircrew and their commanders ?making it up as they went along? and
?prevailing in the end not by force of destiny, but by the skin of their teeth?.
The Week Bookshop �.99
William Boyd?s latest book ?sits somewhere
between a collection of stories and a novel?,
said Alex Preston in the Financial Times. The
stories are linked (with characters and images
recurring) and the collection?s wonderfully
written centrepiece is a novella-length tale about
a ?spoilt? young woman?s long ? and ultimately
unsuccessful ? search for a career. The piece
could easily have been ?vicious? satire, but
Boyd saves it from being so by ?marrying icy
detachment with real compassion?.
Elsewhere, the stories are more ?glossily
knowing?, said Elizabeth Lowry in The
Guardian. As ever, Boyd revels in writerly
tricks, such as narrating a love affair backwards
in a ?series of wry vignettes? and breaking off
a Bond-like caper before its denouement.
Unfailingly amusing though these pieces are,
they sometimes ?strive for effects of pathos that
the urbane narrative angle can?t quite support?.
For example, in one story about a narcissistic art
dealer, Boyd seems so wedded to the character?s
?smugly super?cial voice? that we don?t
particularly care when things go wrong.
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
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
Musical
Everybody?s
Talking About
Jamie
Lyrics and book:
Tom MacRae
Music: Dan Gillespie Sells
Director:
Jonathan Butterell
Apollo Theatre,
Shaftesbury Avenue,
London W1
(0330-333 4809)
Until 21 April
Running time:
2hrs 40mins
(including interval)
????
Opera
Semiramide
Composer:
Gioachino Rossini
Conductor:
Antonio Pappano
Director: David Alden
Royal Opera House,
Covent Garden,
London WC2
(020-7304 4000)
Until 16 December
Running time:
3hrs 50mins
(including interval)
???
Drama
lyrics and script by Tom MacRae
Damn right everybody?s talking
are witty and sprightly. The
about Jamie, said Paul Taylor
choreography by ZooNation?s
in The Independent. This
Kate Prince is ?pulse-racingly?
?wonderfully funny and
brilliant. And McCrea is starmoving? new British musical
makingly fabulous as Jamie, the
? which has won a hatful of
?queen-in-waiting?.
awards since its Sheffield
To judge from the audience?s
premiere in February ? is
response, said Tim Auld in The
completely ?irresistible?.
Daily Telegraph, this is destined
Jamie is the ?joyous, lifeto become a cult classic. And it?s
affirming? tale of a Sheffield
not just McCrea who shines, said
16-year-old whose careers
David Jays in The Sunday Times.
adviser has pencilled in ?forkLucie Shorthouse sparkles as his
lift truck driver?, but whose
best friend, Pritti, and Josie
heart is set on ?drag queen?.
Walker is stunningly powerful
Director Jonathan Butterell had
as Jamie?s mother. The love
the idea for this ?fizzing? show
between teenager and mother is
after seeing a BBC documentary
about a young drag performer,
John McCrea: ?lights up the stage? ?the show?s vast beating heart?:
it has moments of such sweet
said Ann Treneman in The
sincerity that ?I?m filling up as I type, soft lad
Times. And what he has come up with is
that I am?. This pair, and this show, deserve all
touched by ?magic?. John McCrea ?lights up
the awards coming their way. ?I laughed. I cried.
the stage? as Jamie ? ?gawky, vulnerable and
I?m still humming the songs. It?s a chuffing
magnetic?. It?s the ?real deal, this one?.
marvellous British musical.?
The Billy Elliot-type plot could probably do
with more ?grit?, said Sarah Hemming in the
FT. But overall, this ?glorious? show ?sweeps
The week?s other opening
you away on a tide of mischief, warmth and
A Christmas Carol Octagon Theatre Bolton
exuberance?. The production is a ?high-impact
(01204-520661). Until 13 January
blaze of colour?, said Tom Wicker in Time Out,
Ben Occhipinti directs Neil Duffield?s adaptation
?combining video projections with seamless
of the Dickens?s classic in an ?engaging, clear
and coherent? production. It boasts simple but
scene changes?. The music, by Dan Gillespie
cleverly suggestive sets, props and light effects,
Sells of soft-rockers The Feeling, is a ?deft mix
and excellent performances (Observer).
of irresistibly catchy, pop-honed foot-tappers?
and ?truthful, heart-wrenching numbers?. The
son)?. In Rossini?s day, the
Rossini?s Semiramide, which
?singing was all that mattered?,
premiered in Venice in 1823,
said Richard Fairman in the FT.
was a ?popular vehicle for
?And so it is here.? In the
great voices? throughout the
showpiece arias, DiDonato
19th century, said Michael
?displays a range of vocal
Church in The Independent.
colours, technique and
Yet for the whole of the 20th
expression? that could leave
it was all but forgotten. The
any rivals standing. It makes
reasons for both its popularity
one long to hear her sing Bellini?s
and disfavour are clear from
Norma in the near future.
David Alden?s enjoyable new
DiDonato?s performance
production, the first staging at
places her in the same bracket
Covent Garden since 1887:
as Maria Callas and Joan
the vocal writing is ?glorious?,
Sutherland, said Fiona
but the ?tragic melodrama?
Maddocks in The Observer.
plot ? about the rise and fall of
But she?s not the only ?worlda murderous Babylonian queen
class singer? on show. Tenor
? is borderline risible. That it
Lawrence Brownlee, as the
makes for a ?stunning evening?
Joyce DiDonato: magnificent
Indian king Idreno, matches her
is entirely due to the music.
for ?fabulous ornament and flawless technique?,
Antonio Pappano and his orchestra ?bring out
and Daniela Barcellona is a very fine Arsace. The
all the colour and energy in Rossini?s score? and
Royal Opera orchestra, meanwhile, under the
the three soloists ? led by the American mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato, magnificent in the title masterly Pappano, is on ?sensational form?.
role ? ?lift this score to stratospheric heights?.
Beethoven?s advice to Rossini was, roughly,
CD of the week
?stick to comic operas, laddie?, said Richard
Bj鰎k: Utopia
Morrison in The Times, and Semiramide ?rather
One Little Indian Records �99
proves his point?. It?s as if Rossini has fleshed
After 2015?s austere, extreme Vulnicura, which
out all the known facts about the queen ? which
charted the sorrows of a relationship breakis to say, none at all ? by mashing together ?bits
down, Bj鰎k ?exudes a lust for life again? on
of Hamlet (spooky intervention from dead king),
her self-styled ?Tinder album?, a hope-filled set
Macbeth (murderess unhinged by guilt) and
powered by flutes and birdsong (Observer).
Oedipus Rex (mother inadvertently lusting after
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 2 December 2017
� BILL COOPER
34 ARTS
60 YEARS OF ADVENTURE
AND DISCOVERY
Film
Battle of
the Sexes
Dirs: Valerie Faris and
Jonathan Dayton
2hrs 1min (12A)
Entertaining true-life tale
of tennis and feminism
???
Suburbicon
Dir: George Clooney
1hr 44mins (15)
Unsatisfactory satire with
Matt Damon
??
Jane
Dir: Brett Morgen
1hr 30mins (PG)
Fascinating documentary
about the naturalist
Jane Goodall
????
Manifesto
Dir: Julian Rosefeldt
1hr 41mins (15)
Cate Blanchett doing a star
turn in an ?emphatically
experimental? project
??
ARTS 37
In 1973, around 90 million people tuned in to watch
one of the world?s best female tennis players, 29-yearold Billie Jean King, play an exhibition match against
55-year-old Bobby Riggs, a former men?s champion
who declared that, even at his age, he could still beat
any woman. And this dramatisation of those carnivalesque events is ?emotionally engaging, politically
intriguing, dramatically gripping and frequently very
funny?, said Mark Kermode in The Observer. That is
in large part due to the excellence of the leads, said
Brian Viner in the Daily Mail: Riggs may have been
an attention-hungry gambling addict, but Steve Carell
portrays him with depth and sympathy. Emma Stone, fresh from her Oscar success in La La Land,
is equally adept at portraying King?s awakening sexuality as her marriage to her loyal husband
crumbles, and she falls in love with her hairdresser (Andrea Riseborough). The depiction of
misogyny and the media circus feels bracingly modern, said Kevin Maher in The Times, but the film
also whisks us back to the age of bell-bottoms and Farrah flicks. It never explores the growing bond
between the two players, who later became firm friends, said Tim Robey in The Daily Telegraph.
But that would have got in the way of the explosive winner-takes-all finale. And very good it is too.
It may be George Clooney?s sixth film as director, but
this awkward noir satire set in a model 1950s picketfenced suburb shows practice doesn?t make perfect,
said Charlotte O?Sullivan in the London Evening
Standard. Suburbicon consists of two ill-matched
stories. The first centres on the racist hostility faced
by an African-American family after they move into
the all-white neighbourhood. The second is a tale of
murder and skulduggery in an outwardly-perfect
white American family headed by Matt Damon, with
Julianne Moore as his wife. The murder story comes
from a script the Coen brothers abandoned in the
1980s, and you can see why they ?shelved? it, said Joshua Rothkopf in Time Out. It comes over like
?a dull Raymond Chandler homage?. And there?s little to connect the storylines, said Ian Freer in
Empire. ?The result is a sporadically entertaining, tonally all-over-the-place, ultimately bewildering
cut ?n? shut of a movie,? which fails to hang together ?narratively, tonally or thematically?.
At the age of 26, Jane Goodall ? a typist with no
academic background ? took off for Tanzania to
live with chimpanzees. She called herself the ?strange
white ape?, said Ed Potton in The Times, and soon
made groundbreaking discoveries ? that chimps
make tools, hunt for meat and have social behaviour
patterns similar to those of humans. And Jane, Brett
Morgen?s documentary of her encounters, is a fitting
portrait of an extraordinary woman, said Cath
Clarke in The Guardian. The 16mm shots of Goodall,
made all the more poignant by her own ?reflective?
narration, were filmed in 1960 by the acclaimed
National Geographic wildlife photographer Hugo van Lawick, who in the process fell in love with
her. The couple married ? he proposed via telegram: ?Do you like emeralds stop what size is your
finger? ? but the marriage didn?t last. Goodall?s ?happy-ever-after? was with the chimps. One can
only marvel at Goodall?s ?stoical, level-headed and incongruously glamorous presence? as she
sleeps under the stars, said Geoffrey Macnab in The Independent, and at the limitless patience and
compassion with which she treats the chimps. As she puts it: ?I thought they were like us, but nicer.?
Ever wanted to see 13 different Cate Blanchetts make
revolutionary speeches direct to camera? That?s in
essence what we get here, said Peter Bradshaw in
The Guardian, with the double Oscar-winner slipping
into various characters ? including funeral widow,
newsreader, teacher and homeless man ? and reciting
chunks of political and artistic manifestos of the past
170 years. This ?emphatically experimental? project
by German film-maker Julian Rosefeldt was initially
a 13-screen installation, said Wendy Ide in The
Observer ? an intriguing idea, but one that no doubt
made more sense in its original form. Blanchett is
impressive, said Clarisse Loughrey in The Independent, a canvas ?on which any idea can be faithfully
projected?. And there?s something to be said for juxtaposing the manifestos, from Karl Marx?s to
Lars von Trier?s. But you can?t help feeling this is a ?deeply unironic? Blanchett showreel, said
Kevin Maher in The Times. ?Look! She does cockney! And Yankee! And Scottish too!? There?s little
pleasure in watching the texts ?chopped and trimmed into context-free doggerel for the Twitter era?.
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
Art
38 ARTS
Exhibition of the week Modigliani
Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 (020-7887 8888, www.tate.org.uk). Until 2 April
Amedeo Modigliani?s life story is
mortem portrait?, is utterly
?pure romantic bohemian?, said
horrifying. Equally disturbing
Matthew Collings in the London
is the subject of one of his nude
Evening Standard. Born to a
studies: it has the ?passive
Jewish family in Livorno in 1884,
expression of a slasher movie
he suffered from tuberculosis
antagonist?. Yet although
from a young age, yet still
Modigliani mingled with Picasso,
harboured a burning ambition
Cha飉 Soutine and the like ? he
to be an artist. And in 1906, to
was a sort of ?diarist of bohemian
pursue his dream, he moved to
Paris? ? he could never hope to
Paris, where he lived in ?dreadful
match them as an artist. Few of
poverty?, womanising, drinking
the works here are ?individually
and smoking hashish. This
good enough to warrant much
decidedly irresponsible lifestyle
attention?, and suffer terribly by
took its toll; he ?rotted away?
comparison with his
physically, eventually dying at
contemporaries? output.
the age of 35. But as this ?great?
new exhibition at Tate Modern
Even more unsatisfactory from
demonstrates, his ?intense,
a modern perspective are the
shockingly short life? yielded
nudes with which Modigliani
a wealth of brilliant art. It?s
?scandalised? Paris, said Mark
the largest retrospective of
Hudson in The Daily Telegraph.
Modigliani?s work yet seen in the
His approach to the female form
UK, with more than 100 paintings,
was one of ?Page Three-ogling
drawings and sculptures, as well
literalness? and the ?come-hither?
as a virtual reality installation that
looks in the eyes of the 12 nudes
lets visitors experience the sordid
gathered here are simply ?cringereality of his Parisian studio ?
making?. However, for all these
a vibrant showcase for his
embarrassing missteps, there is
?constantly lively? and
much to enjoy in this show; the
Jeanne H閎uterne (1919): a ?quasi-classical feeling of serenity?
?experimental? art ? that provides
most successful works, such as
a comprehensive picture of his creativity.
The Little Peasant (c. 1918) or the ?haunting? Marie (Marie, Fille
du Peuple) (1918), have a ?sense of timeless rightness?, while a
Beyond the ?almond-shaped? eyes and ?swan-like? necks of
series of portraits of his lover Jeanne H閎uterne, executed shortly
Modigliani?s figures lies an undeniable ?darkness?, said Steve
before his death, capture a ?quasi-classical feeling of serenity?.
Dinneen in City AM. For example, his likeness of fellow artist
He may have had his limitations, but at its best, Modigliani?s
L閛n Indenbaum, looking for all the world like a ?Victorian postwork still packs a ?powerful emotional punch?.
Where to buy?
David vs. the ticket touts
The Week reviews an
exhibition in a private gallery
Feliks Topolski:
Eyewitness Drawings
at Abbott and Holder
Feliks Topolski (1907-1989) was an
artist with a compulsion to record
what he saw around him, sketching
his surroundings at staggering speed
in an inimitable, kinetic style. He also
had an uncanny knack for finding
himself at the centre of historical
events; from the Arctic convoys of the
Second World War to the construction
of the Berlin Wall, to Bob Dylan?s
early performances, Topolski sketched
it all. Many of these graphic
reportages ended up in Chronicles,
a magazine of his drawings that he
published independently from 1953
to 1979. This show brings together
a wealth of the original drawings
Topolski made for the series and gives
a good idea of the baffling scope of his
project. Among the most arresting are
THE WEEK 2 December 2017
The Duke of Kent visits Louis Armstrong
likenesses of Martin Luther King Jr.
and Graham Greene, an energetic
record of Andy Warhol?s New York
Factory and ? strangest of all ? a
sketch of the Duke of Kent visiting
Louis Armstrong in his dressing room.
Prices range from �5 to �500.
30 Museum Street, London WC1
(020-7637 3981). Until 22 December
His toned physique
appears on
everything from
key rings to
ashtrays.
Underpants and
aprons featuring
his genitals are
particularly popular.
But now, the Italian
authorities are
cracking down
on the commercial
exploitation of
Michelangelo?s
David (pictured).Earlier this year, the Galleria
dell?Accademia ? where David is exhibited ?
started legal proceedings against a company
called Visit Today, for using an unauthorised
image of the 16th century statue to promote
its s45 tours of the art museum (which
normally costs only s8 to enter). Last week
a civil court ruled that the gallery is solely
authorised to use David?s image; anyone else
must have its express permission. It?s unclear
if Florence?s souvenir shops will be emptied
of David-themed trinkets. For now, the gallery
(and other Italian institutions) is expected to
use the ruling mainly to crack down on the
firms that flog overpriced tours to tourists.
The List
41
Best books? Sally Rooney
The Irish writer Sally Rooney picks her favourite books. Her novel
Conversations with Friends is shortlisted for the 2017 Sunday Times/PFD
Young Writer of the Year award. The winner is announced on 8 December
Emma by Jane Austen, 1815
(Penguin �99). For its fine
observation, comic brilliance
and spectacularly deft grip
on the reader?s sympathies,
Emma is for me Austen?s
masterpiece. It?s a novel that
always manages to make me
care a huge amount about
very little.
Ulysses by James Joyce, 1922
(Penguin �99). It took me a
long time to finish this lengthy
and at times difficult book, by
which point I felt I had really
earned the astonishing and
incomparable beauty of its
closing pages.
Franny and Zooey by J.D.
Salinger, 1961 (Penguin
�99). A story about a young
woman going through a minor
nervous breakdown, and
her older brother, by turns
sympathetic and irritable,
trying to offer some help. This
is the book I reread more often
than any other.
The Golden Notebook by
Doris Lessing (4th Estate
�99). The first time I tried
to read this groundbreaking
1962 novel, I had to put it
down because it was too
unsettling. When I did finally
finish it, I concluded it was a
work of genius.
10:04 by Ben Lerner, 2014
(Granta �99). A dazzling
meditation on illness, art,
intimacy and literature. It?s
also sublimely funny.
NW by Zadie Smith, 2012
(Penguin �99). Smith?s fourth
novel gives us the fragmented
stories of four Londoners, each
of whom grew up on the same
council estate, as they navigate
adult life in Willesden. NW is
not only joyfully experimental
in form, but daring and
unexpected in its content too.
My Documents by Alejandro
Zambra, 2015 (Fitzcarraldo
Editions �.99). This
collection of short stories,
in an excellent translation by
Megan McDowell, confronts
the reality (and unreality) of
recent Chilean history.
Unsettling, astute and at times
horrifying, this is a book that
stays with the reader long after
the final page.
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
Book now
Richard Eyre?s ?electrifying? production of
Eugene O? Neill?s Long Day?s Journey into
Night, starring Jeremy Irons and Leslie
Manville, is transferring to the West End
(MoS). 27 January-8 April, Wyndham?s
Theatre, London WC2 (0844-482 5120).
Tickets are on sale for Martin McDonagh?s
new play, A Very Very Very Dark Matter, at
Great White Shark ? A
Living Legend The South
African naturalist Mike Rutzen,
known as ?Sharkman?, swims
with great whites without a
cage. Here, he follows the
sharks to a seal ambush. Sun
3 Dec, BBC4 21:00 (50mins).
Mugabe and the
Democrats Camilla
Nielsson?s award-winning
2014 documentary about
two political enemies tasked
with drafting a constitution
for Zimbabwe after 2008?s
controversial election. Mon
4 Dec, BBC4 23.30 (90mins)
Invasion! with Sam Willis
In this three-part series,
historian Dr Sam Willis looks
at the many different forces
and peoples that have invaded
Britain over the millennia. Tue
5 Dec, BBC4 21:00 (60mins).
Stuck on You: The Football
Sticker Story The story of
how four Italian brothers from
the Panini family took a childhood obsession and made it
a billion-pound industry. Thur
7 Dec, ITV1 00:15 (50mins).
courtroom drama Crown Court
returns ? presided over by
Judge Rinder. Inspired by a
real-life arsenic poisoning, this
series stars Timothy Bentinck.
Fri 8 Dec, ITV1 20:00 (30mins).
Films
Taxi Tehran (2015) Banned
Imagining the Divine: the Hinton St Mary roundel
London?s newest theatre. Jim Broadbent stars as
Hans Christian Andersen in this blackly comic
tale. 10 October-29 December 2018, Bridge
Theatre, London SE1 (0843-208 1846).
Just out in paperback
Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by
Kapka Kassabova (Granta �.99). Having fled
Bulgaria after the fall of communism, Kassabova
returns to the region and produces an ?elusive
but beautifully written book? (Sunday Times).
The Archers: what happened last week
� TRUSTEES OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM
Programmes
Judge Rinder?s Crown
Court After 30 years, ITV?s
A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic, London
SE1 (0844-871 7628). Rhys Ifans is Scrooge in
Jack Thorne?s adaptation of Dickens?s classic
Christmas tale. For age 11+. Ends 20 January.
Imagining the Divine at the Ashmolean
Museum, Oxford (01865-278000) and Living
with gods at the British Museum, London
WC1 (020-7323 8181). Two engrossing
exhibitions looking at belief. The Ashmolean?s
features art inspired by five religions. Ends 18
February. The British Museum show traces the
history of belief through artefacts. ?Bold and
joyous? (Sunday Times). Ends 8 April.
Television
Lilian tells Peggy that Christine has lost money in the Melling scam. They gently break the news to
Christine, who says she invested about �,000. Pip goes for a drink with Alfie and admits to Lily that
she finds him attractive. Lilian offers to drive Justin to the police station to be interviewed about
Matt. Justin says it?s too late for her to start supporting him now. He returns to the Dower House in a
foul mood. The police are saying that Lilian could be his motive for trying to kill Matt. Lilian denies
having an affair with Matt, but Justin no longer trusts her. Lilian offers to move out for a while.
Christine?s upset that Peggy told David and Jill about her loss and begs her not to tell Peter, her son.
Elizabeth phones Lilian to discuss her unexpected wedding choices ? prosecco not champagne. Lilian
dissuades Elizabeth from dropping by, hiding the fact she?s staying at The Bull. Lilian tries to give
Christine a cheque for �,000. Christine won?t take it ? she has only herself to blame. Emma wins
the parish council election by a tiny margin. Robert admits to Lynda that even he voted for Emma.
Christine tells Peggy that she lied about investing �,000 ? she invested all her money.
from making films in Iran,
director Jafar Panahi poses as
a taxi driver in Tehran to record
the lives of its inhabitants. Sun
3 Dec, BBC4 23:00 (80mins).
Like Father, Like Son
(2013) Moving Japanese
drama about two families
who discover that their
children were switched at birth.
Tue 5 Dec, C4 03:10 (12mins).
Coming up for sale
Fine Cell Work, the charity
that trains prisoners in highquality needlework, is selling
its beautiful cushions, quilts
and decorations ? all made
by inmates ? at Fine Cell
Work?s Christmas Sale
and Exhibition, from 10am4pm on 8 December, at St
Peter?s Church, Kensington
Park Gardens, London W11
(www.finecellwork.co.uk/
blogs/blog-events).
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
Best properties
42
Properties for the international jet set
?
US: Eagle Island,
Darien, Georgia.
Accessible only by
boat, this private
island lodge is
located on one of
the most pristine
saltwater estuaries in
the US, and includes
a half-acre building
plot on the historic
Sapelo Island
nearby. The lodge
is set on a ten-acre
island, great for
coastal fishing and
kayaking. 4 beds,
3 baths, wraparound
terrace, antique
cypress floors, tall
ceilings, chef?s
kitchen, firepit,
outdoor kitchen,
dock, hot tub,
gazebo. $2.3m;
DeLoach Sotheby?s
International Realty
(001 912 258 6000).
?
? US: 180 Bedford Road, Sleepy Hollow, Westchester County, NY. Designed by Mott
Schmidt in 1938, Hudson Pines was bought by David Rockefeller in 1946. Master
wing with balcony, 8 further suites, 2 receps, library, offices, wine vault, lift, terraces,
heated pool, playhouse, carriage house, 3-bed gatehouse, barn with stables, gardens,
greenhouses, orchard, helipad, 75 acres. $22m; David Turner (001 914 234 9099).
South Africa:
15 Serruria, Fransche
Hoek Estate,
Franschhoek, Western
Cape. A luxurious
house in this secure
wine farm estate, with
sweeping views over
the valley and the
mountains beyond.
7 suites, state-ofthe-art kitchen,
entrance hall,
2 receps, family/TV
room, office, wine
cellar, laundry, patios,
scullery, 2 garages,
garden, 14m solar
swimming pool, pool
deck, inner courtyards,
air conditioning (ref:
FWI1317249).
ZAR69m; Savills
(020-7016 3740).
THE WEEK 2 December 2017
on the market
43
? Morocco: Villa Jardin, Route d?Ourika, Marrakech. Built in
?
2014, this villa sits in 1.5 acres of tranquil gardens in the Ourika
Valley, 20 minutes from the Medina, and combines traditional
design with modern comforts. 4 suites, kitchen, double recep, staff
quarters, roof terrace with views of the Atlas Mountains. s1.375m;
Sphere Estates (020-3617 1360).
France: Chalet in Le Lavancher, Chamonix, Haute-Savoie,
Auvergne-Rh鬾e-Alpes. An energy-efficient chalet set in this hamlet
close to the Grands Montets ski area. 5 suites, bunk room, kitchen,
open-plan double recep, indoor pool, balconies, cinema room, gym,
spa with sauna and steam room, boot room, garage, storage.
s6.3m; French Entr閑 Property Sales (01225-463752).
?
US: Eagle Island, Tower, Minnesota.
Built in 2016 of locally sourced stone
and timber, this private island retreat on
Lake Vermilion comes with membership
of a nearby marina. 3 beds, 3 baths, WC,
kitchen with island, double-height recep
with floor-to-ceiling fireplace, lift, yard,
dock, observation deck with fine views,
5.5 acres. $1.995m; Lakes Sotheby?s
International Realty (001 612 619 8277).
Greece:
Fanari, Mykonos,
Cyclades. Built on
three levels, this
traditional property
has fine views of
the Aegean Sea.
The house is
designed to be
used either as one
house or two selfcontained villas,
each with a
separate entrance.
9 beds, 9 baths,
fitted kitchen, air
conditioning, solar
panels, swimming
pool, BBQ area,
parking, private
garden. s1.55m;
Sphere Estates
(020-3617 1360).
?
?
Australia:
Balmoral, Sydney.
Situated on a high
elevation with views
over Balmoral Beach,
Sydney Harbour and
beyond, this state-ofthe-art, three-level
house was designed by
Cameron MacDonald,
his first project in
Sydney. 4 suites,
kitchen/open-plan
double recep,
north-facing terrace,
swimming pool, pool
terrace, private
sculpture gardens,
outdoor water features,
bespoke furniture,
curated art. AU$20m;
H. Barnes & Co (0207499 3434).
? US: 962 Cerro de la Paz, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Designed by architects
Alexander Gorlin and Brendan Cotter, this hilltop estate near downtown
Santa Fe has mountain and city views. 4 beds, 3 baths, WC, professional
kitchen, spacious recep, wine room, balcony, deck, lap pool, hot tub,
garage, patios. $3m; Sotheby?s International Realty (001 505 920 8001).
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
LEISURE
Food & Drink
45
What the experts recommend
The Cartford Inn Cartford Lane, Little
Eccleston, Lancashire (01995-670166)
There are some ?outstanding food pubs?
in Lancashire at the moment, deploying
the skills associated with classic French
cuisine in the service of a typical British
pub repertoire, says Jay Rayner in The
Observer. I?m thinking of such stellar
establishments as the Parkers Arms
in Newton-in-Bowland, and The White
Swan in Fence. The Cartford Inn is
in that class. Its kitchen ?can clarify
a consomm�, make a silky duck-liver
parfait?, and rustle up a perfect choux
bun of epic proportions. But here they
are also ?cheerleaders for the pasty, the
suet pudding and the fish pie?. And all
of it is lip-smackingly good: an oxtail,
beef skirt and ale suet pudding has
?luscious glossy strands of long-braised
cow?; likewise, a vast choux bun is filled
with lashings of caramel cream. In fact,
the latter is a ?serious contender for my
dessert of the year?. To call the Cartford
an ?undiscovered gem would merely be
to shine a light on my own ignorance; it
has won plenty of awards in recent
years?. Long may it flourish. Meal for
two, with drinks and service, from �.
East London Liquor Company
Unit GF1, Bow Wharf, 221 Grove Road,
London E3 (020-3011 0980)
Were you to stumble across this bar,
restaurant and gin-vodka-whisky
scratchings and you?d be happy. Instead,
they serve seriously good Italian food,
with real care. ?I raise a glass to them.
Yes, another one. And I?ll have another
round of arancini while we?re at it.?
Cocktails from �50; plates from �
Lisbon?s Belcanto: sensationally good
distillery in Seattle or Sonoma, ?you?d
punch the air at your own cleverness?,
says Marina O?Loughlin in The Sunday
Times. From the intriguing list of cocktails, I start with a ?Pandanmonium?
made from mescal, pandan and sour
cherry bitters: it?s ravishing, bittersweet
and packs an almighty punch. Other
thrills include a Benign Masochism (a
gorgeous rum concoction scented with
pine and jalape駉) and some ?heavenly
little? trios of martinis or twisted
negronis. ?After about four hours in
the place, am I plastered? Friends, I am
perfectly blootered.? This is the kind of
joint where they could give you pork
Belcanto Largo de S鉶 Carlos 10,
Lisbon, Portugal (+351 213 420 607)
There was a lengthy period, between
about 1985 and 2005, when no decent
London restaurant could have prospered
without its army of hard-working
Portuguese bar staff, waiters and general
managers, says Nicholas Lander in the
FT. Now that Lisbon has become a
culinary hotspot, far more young
Portuguese are staying at home ? and
who can blame them? Who would want
to leave the glorious fish and shellfish
from the Atlantic, the great pork cookery
? and the chance to work in sensationally
good restaurants such as Belcanto? I
have eaten ?enviably well? this year,
and the meal cooked by chef Jos� Avillez
at the double-Michelin-starred Belcanto
(est. 1958) included several of its
highlights: red prawns grilled in rosemary
ashes; suckling pig with an orange and
black garlic sauce; and red mullet fillets
with corn porridge and exploding clams.
The fact that it was all served with ?such
panache? and friendliness ?added
enormously to our pleasure?. Starters
from s35; mains from s45.
Recipe of the week: Mushroom Parmigiana
This version of a much-loved classic Italian aubergine dish is given extra savoury richness by the addition of a generous amount
of mushrooms says Jenny Linford. Usefully, it can be made ahead, then baked as needed. Serve it simply with a crisp-textured
green salad ? which contrasts well ? and steamed rice, to soak up the juices.
� PAULO BARATA; CLARE WINFIELD
Serves 4-6 4-6 tbsps olive oil 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped 1 anchovy fillet, chopped
400g can of chopped tomatoes 2 pinches of chilli flakes a generous pinch of dried oregano 2 aubergines, thinly sliced lengthways
600g large white mushrooms, sliced 1cm thick 2 balls of mozzarella cheese, drained and cut into chunks 2-3 tbsps fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbsps finely grated Parmesan salt and freshly ground black pepper
? First, make the tomato sauce. Heat a tbsp of
the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic
and fry for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat,
until softened and fragrant. Add the anchovy
fillet and fry until it has melted in.
? Add the chopped tomatoes, chilli flakes and
oregano. Season with salt and freshly ground
black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the
heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring now
and then. Blend the sauce using a hand blender
or food processor. Preheat the oven to 200癈.
? Heat 2 tbsps of the olive oil in a large, nonstick frying pan. Fry the aubergine slices in
batches, over a medium heat, until softened
and browned on both sides, adding in
more oil if needed. Remove from the pan
and set aside.
? Heat a further tbsp of the olive oil in the same
frying pan. Add the mushrooms and fry over a
medium heat for 2 minutes on each side, until
lightly browned.
? Spread a spoonful of the tomato sauce over
the base of a shallow ovenproof dish. Top with
a layer of fried aubergine. Spread 1-2 tbsps of
tomato sauce evenly over the aubergine, then
add a layer of fried mushrooms, then sprinkle
a few mozzarella chunks. Repeat the layering
process, finishing with a generous layer of
sauce and, finally, a topping of breadcrumbs
and Parmesan.
? Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes,
until the breadcrumbs and Parmesan are golden
brown. Serve hot from the oven, warm or at
room temperature; it tastes good at any of these!
Taken from Mushrooms: Deeply delicious recipes, from soups and salads to pasta and pies by Jenny Linford, published by Ryland
Peters & Small at �.99. To buy from The Week Bookshop for �.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit www.theweek.co.uk/bookshop.
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
Consumer
New cars: what the critics say
Porsche Cayenne
from �,965
Car magazine
When the Cayenne
launched in 2002, ?purists
were beside themselves?.
Why, they asked, was a
sports car manufacturer
bothering to produce an
SUV? But the car proved
to be a ?blitzing success?:
almost 800,000 units have
been sold, bringing Porsche
?back from the brink? and
making it ?one of the most
profitable names in the
business?. And that means
this new, third generation
?has a lot to live up to?.
LEISURE 47
Autocar
Given the popularity of
previous models, Porsche
was ?understandably
wary of meddling? with
its looks: for better or
worse, the exterior is
much the same. But the
cabin is different and it?s
a triumph, appointed
with ?sumptuous
materials? and ?seamlessly
integrated? technology.
There?s lots of space,
including a whopping
770 litres in the boot ?
an increase of 100 litres.
Auto Express
This is a big, heavy car: the
Turbo model weighs ?a
not-insignificant 2,175kg?.
Yet it?s an ?effortless highspeed cruiser? ? refined,
powerful and, in the case
of the Turbo, capable
of sprinting from 0 to
62mph in 3.9 seconds.
Steering is smooth and
accurate, while the brakes
are ?spectacular?. The
Cayenne certainly isn?t a
cheap option, but ?there?s
no denying its all-round
ability?.
The best? iPhone alternatives
Huawei P10 The P10 is
an iPhone lookalike for
tho
those who want to use
And
Android software. It?s slim
(ju
(just 7mm wide) and runs
qui
quickly, with a good camera
? but battery life is a little
und
underwhelming (�0;
www
www.currys.co.uk).
Samsung Galaxy S8
Con
Considered by some
to be superior to the
iPh
iPhone, the S8 looks
stu
stunning, with its brilliant,
cur
curved 5.8-inch screen.
Apa
Apart from an annoyingly
loc
located fingerprint sensor,
nex
next to the camera, it?s
har
hard to fault (�9 for
a Sim-free handset;
www
www.samsung.com).
?
?
Honor 9 A real
bargain, this Honor
phone is a match
for much more
expensive rivals. It?s
attractive, well built
and solid in just about
every area, with a
camera that takes
crisp pictures (�0;
www.hihonor.com).
Tips? how to taste wine
like a professional
? Avoid eating sweet food for at least an
hour before a wine tasting. Sugar has a
huge effect on taste: it makes wine taste
more bitter and less fruity.
? Don?t wear perfume or aftershave. It
won?t make a difference to your sense of
taste, as you?ll have adapted to the smell,
but it will affect everyone else?s.
? When you take your first sip, draw a
little air into your mouth. This will aerate the
wine, bringing out its flavours and aroma.
? Avoid using a glass as a spittoon ? no one
wants to see what you?ve spat out.
? Eventually, after trying a certain number
of wines, everything will start to smell the
same. That?s a good time to bury your nose
in an item of clothing ? a scarf or jumper ?
and take a few long, deep breaths. Once
you?ve taken in your own scent, you should
be able to smell wine properly again.
? Don?t bother noting the ?legs? that streak
down the inside of the glass. Real wine
buffs don?t pay much attention to them.
SOURCE: THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
And for those who
have everything?
The Upright Go is a clever gadget that
forces you to sit up straight by vibrating
when you start slouching. It sticks to your
upper back and is linked to an app that
gives you feedback on your posture.
�; www.uprightpose.com
SOURCE: FINANCIAL TIMES
? HTC U11 HTC?s latest
smartphone is its best:
unusually, it?s covered
in reflective glass
(rather than metal) and
boasts excellent battery
life. It has the loudest
speakers of any
smartphone, and
comes with noisecancelling in-ear
headphones (�9 for
a Sim-free handset;
www.htc.com).
Free apps?
for art lovers
Smartify identifies paintings when you
hold your phone up to them, providing
notes and audio commentary. So far,
however, it only works in about 20
museums ? including the Royal Academy
and the National Portrait Gallery ? and it
can be unreliable (Android, iOS).
DailyArt highlights one masterpiece a
day. It also gives you the history of each
work and tells you where you can view
the original (Android, iOS).
Google Arts & Culture lets you zoom in
on the hundreds of artworks that Google
has scanned in incredible detail, and will
keep you updated on the exhibitions taking
place in your area, as well as the latest art
news (Android, iOS).
WikiArt is an enormous online art
encyclopedia, featuring more than 100,000
works by 2,000 artists. You can explore a
map that shows where all the artists lived,
and save your favourite works to the app
or to your phone?s image library (iOS).
SOURCES: THE TIMES/THE CULTURE TRIP
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
SOURCES: STUFF/T3
?
?
Google Pixel 2 XL The Pixel 2 XL
isn?t
isn quite as stylish as a Samsung or
an Apple smartphone, but it makes
up for that with its superb camera
and speakers. It?s fast, too, running
the best version of Google?s Android
oid
software (�9 for a Sim-free
sof
handset; store.google.com).
han
Travel
LEISURE 49
This week?s dream: a journey into the wilds of Georgia
and Alexandre Dumas attended literary
?In the jigsaw of nations that is the
salons. In Gori, you can visit the house
Caucasus region, the most accessible,
where Stalin grew up. (The city seemed
the most sophisticated and the jolliest is
?a trifle conflicted? about its famous
Georgia,? says Stanley Stewart in
son. ?He may have been a bastard, but
The Sunday Times. Russian romantics
at least he was our bastard,? seems to
always had a thing about it, coming
be the official line.) And then there is
here to cheer up and ?run off with a
Svaneti, a beautiful, remote region
chambermaid?. It is beautiful, wrote the
generally said to be ?the most purely
soldier, writer and diplomat Fitzroy
Georgian? part of the country.
Maclean, half a century ago, but its true
The road there winds through
charm lies in its people, who combine a
mountain gorges, and past meadows
?Mediterranean expansiveness? with
and woods that blaze with colour in
?the dash and hardiness of the
autumn. Shepherds in white felt cloaks
Highlander?. Little has changed since
lean on crooks and watch you pass. In
then, bar independence from the Soviet
Ushguli ? considered to be the highest
Union, which came in 1991. The wine is
Ushguli, in the remote region of Svaneti
village in Europe, at 6,900ft ? many of
still ?fabulous?, the food ?wonderful?,
the houses have fortified stone towers, making the place ?feel like
the traditional vocal music thrilling. The capital, Tbilisi, is lovely,
a refugee from the Middle Ages?, and there is a tiny church where
and beyond it, ?gorgeous landscapes roll away beneath wide
the congregation consists of a few ?black-robed? monks and an
skies? to the snow-capped Caucasus Mountains.
At Katskhi, a monk lives on top of a pillar of rock, like a Syrian apparently devout tabby cat. Steppes Travel (01285-601050,
www.steppestravel.com) has a nine-day trip from �195pp,
stylite 1,500 years ago. At Tsinandali, the grand estate of the
including flights.
Chavchavadze family, there is an ?elegant? library where Pushkin
Hotel of the week
Getting the flavour of?
Lima?s gourmet delights
Hotel Excelsior,
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Perched above the sea just outside
Dubrovnik?s glorious old town, this
is a true ?grande dame?, with an
illustrious list of former guests
including Elizabeth Taylor,
Sir Roger Moore and the Queen.
Following a recent revamp, it?s
lovelier than ever, says Tatler ?
as modern and ?breezy? as it is
elegant. Its 158 rooms are cool
and calming; the public spaces are
?bedecked in shades of blue?, with
lots of polished brass and art deco
touches; and the spa is huge yet
?cosseting?. There?s a sunny
seaside terrace with steps down
into the water, and the food is
?light and fresh?.
Doubles from �0 b&b. 00 385
20 300 300, www.adriaticluxury
hotels.com
Once spurned as South America?s grittiest
city, Lima has reinvented itself as a ?global
gastronomy destination?, says Chris Moss
in The Sunday Telegraph. Its restaurants
are diverse and scintillating, drawing on
the country?s multicultural heritage
(Andean, African, European and more) and
exceptionally diverse ecosystems, from the
Amazon jungle to the high plains. At Central,
chef Virgilio Mart韓ez presents a tasting
menu with 17 courses, each made from
produce from different altitudes. There?s
?exquisite? Japanese-Peruvian fusion food
at Maido (including a ?humble? sausage
sandwich, in which the meat is octopus),
and the guinea pig in a purple-corn cr阷e
at Astrid y Gast髇 is ?exceedingly moreish?.
Also great fun are the city?s food markets,
with their displays of exotic grains and fruits.
Aracari (020-7097 1750, www.aracari.com)
has a five-day culinary trip from �770pp,
excluding flights.
Hard labour on St Kilda
The hardy people who once lived on
St Kilda, a barren, rocky archipelago about
100 miles from the Scottish mainland, were
evacuated in 1930, owing to ?illness and
privation?. Today, you can visit on day trips,
but the only way to stay there is by working
for the National Trust for Scotland, says Jay
Sivell in The Guardian. Participants lodge in
19th century cottages for a fortnight in
early summer and labour at least 24 hours
a week ? patching up old buildings, cleaning
toilets, clearing drainage channels. It?s not
everyone?s idea of fun, but the haunting
beauty of the islands is a great reward, and
there?s ?ample? time to go tramping their
ridges, cliffs and caves. By Boreray, the
stacks rise ?like a cathedral? from the sea,
and there?s abundant wildlife to spot,
including basking sharks and minke whales.
The cost is �5. Applications for 2018 close
on 23 January (www.kilda.org.uk).
A volcanic Sicilian gem
Standing between Mount Etna and the
sea, Sicily?s second city, Catania, is ?an
architectural riot?, says Jonathan Bastable
in Cond� Nast Traveller ? a distinction it
owes, in part, to the famous volcano. Laid to
waste by an eruption and an earthquake in
the late 17th century, it was rebuilt entirely
in a ?squat? baroque style ? wonderfully
ornamented, but low and muscular to resist
tremors. Particularly splendid is the parade
of grand churches and palaces on Via dei
Crociferi. The city has a ?cacophonous?
fish market, home to two ?old but jumping?
lunch places, and lots of good trattorias for
evening meals. Trips in the cable car to
Etna?s ?majestically bleak? upper slopes are
well worth it too. BA flies direct to Catania
from Gatwick (www.britishairways.com).
Last-minute offers from top travel companies
Luxurious Welsh escape
Spend 4 nights at Ch鈚eau
Rhianfa, an award-winning
hotel, and enjoy a 3-course
dinner one evening. From
�4pp b&b. 0333-212 5594,
www.offpeakluxury.com.
Arrive 22 February.
Four nights in Portugal
Set in the resort of Albufeira,
the Balaia Golf Village Hotel
offers a relaxing retreat on a
half-board basis from �4pp,
including Bristol flights. 0203897 1185, www.loveholidays.
com. Depart 4 January.
Short break in Paris
The Timhotel Opera Blanche
Fontaine is ideally located to
explore the city. Three nights
b&b cost from �3pp,
including Birmingham flights.
01733-224808, www.thomas
cook.com. Depart 16 February.
In the heart of Old Quebec
A week at the contemporary
boutique hotel Auberge SaintAntoine on a room-only basis
costs from �255pp, London
flights included. 0344-739
6328, www.virginholidays.co.
uk. Depart 10 February.
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
Obituaries
51
Tormented teen idol and star of The Partridge Family
Slim, fine-boned and
David Cassidy boyish, David Cassidy, who
1950-2017
has died aged 67, was one
of the biggest teen stars of
his generation. In the early 1970s, ?teenage
girls didn?t just follow him around?, said The
Guardian ? ?they spirited themselves into
hotels, camped in the air-conditioning unit of
his house and howled at the sight of him?.
Mobbed wherever he went, he received 25,000
fan letters a week at the peak of his popularity,
and his fan club was said to be bigger than
The Beatles? and Elvis?s combined.
simplicity of the show, about a family of
musicians who travel around in a psychedelic
van. With his warm green eyes, shy smile and
feathered haircut, Cassidy became an
unthreatening fantasy boyfriend for a million
teenagers. But he wasn?t goody-goody Keith: as
a teenager in LA during the Summer of Love,
Cassidy had smoked pot, picked up girls and
driven to Haight-Ashbury to see Jimi Hendrix.
The show ran from 1970 to 1974 and spawned
chart hits, including I Think I Love You ? with
Cassidy also enjoying solo success with songs
such as Daydreamer ? on both sides of the
The devotion Cassidy inspired was not
Atlantic. When he visited London, thousands
unprecedented: Beatlemania had come first. But
of fans besieged The Dorchester, said the Daily
its commercial exploitation was new: even The
Mail. On his next visit, no hotel would have
Monkees, created by the same TV studio, were
him, so ?he hired a 200-ton yacht on the
not as ruthlessly marketed as Cassidy. Knowing
Thames with a 24-hour security team. But the
that his moment would be brief, TV executives
fans didn?t care. They jumped into the river
?I paid a tremendous personal price? and had to be rescued.? And when he flew
put him on a relentless schedule of filming,
recording and live performances; his face
home, 3,000 people turned up to wave him off
appeared on everything from pillowcases and lunch boxes to
? bringing the airport to a standstill. In 1972, he tried to change
colouring books and bubblegum wrappers. The merchandising
his image by posing naked for Rolling Stone, and talking about
generated about $500m; he claimed to have seen only about
sex and drugs. But it didn?t win him any older fans, and he ended
$10,000 of it. Most teen stars tire of their fame at some point.
up having to issue an apology to his younger ones.
Cassidy hated it from the start. Playing Keith Partridge had taken
over his life, and scuppered his chances of being taken seriously as Matters finally came to a head in London in 1974, when a
an actor or a musician. ?I was pigeonholed as a teen idol [and]
14-year-old was crushed at one of his concerts and died. Around
there?s no credibility,? he said in the 1980s. ?I paid a tremendous
the same time, Cassidy quit The Partridge Family, exhausted and
personal price ? it?s a very empty, isolated, lonely existence.?
burnt out, most of the money he?d earned lost to managers, agents
and hangers-on. Instead of focusing on his solo career, he partied
Born in New York, David Cassidy was the son of two actors: Jack hard, dabbled in drugs and drank. By the end of the 1980s, he
Cassidy and Evelyn Ward. Often working, they left him in the
was in therapy and fighting bankruptcy. He also had two failed
care of grandparents and divorced when he was six. His father
marriages behind him. He continued to tour and to perform in
then settled in LA with his second wife, Shirley Jones, who played
musicals, but the fans who attended his concerts expected him to
his mother in The Partridge Family. He had a fraught relationship still be 21. His mistake, he told The Times?s Janice Turner in
with his father; nevertheless, he followed him into acting and, at
2006, was to have gone on living. ?I could have killed myself and
the age of 20, won the role of Keith Partridge. Most of the cast
been like Monroe, Elvis or James Dean. A legend. But I chose
lip-synced in the singing sections, but when the studio realised
life.? He continued to struggle with alcoholism, and earlier this
Cassidy had a decent voice, they let him do his own vocals. While
year disclosed that he was suffering from dementia. His last words
the Vietnam War raged, viewers delighted in the feel-good
were reportedly: ?So much wasted time.?
Yorkshire-born actor who starred as a Likely Lad
Rodney Bewes was one half
Rodney Bewes of The Likely Lads (19641966), a sitcom about two
1937-2017
working-class young men in
the northeast of England. In the 1970s, Bewes,
who has died aged 79, and his co-star a were
reunited for Whatever Happened to the Likely
Lads?, which attracted up to 27 million
viewers. The two actors had been close. But at
some point after that, Bolam decided he wanted
to have nothing more to do with the show and
the pair never spoke again. Bolam resisted all
attempts to revive The Likely Lads; he refused
to allow reruns on terrestrial TV (thus
depriving Bewes of repeat fees) and when
Bewes was the subject of This Is Your Life, in
1980, Bolam was notable by his absence.
in London, working long shifts in the kitchens of
the Grosvenor House Hotel by night, and going to
a preparatory academy for Rada by day. He was
later expelled from Rada (for partying too hard, he
claimed), yet managed to get jobs in rep ? and did
his best to befriend actors who were on their way
up. One of them was Tom Courtenay, then starring
on stage in Billy Liar. The two ended up sharing a
flat, where he found Courtenay?s script for the film
version ? and decided to put himself up for the role
aof Billy?s friend Arthur. It was on the back of this
performance that Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement
offered him the part of the aspirational Bob, to
Bolam?s more cynical, proudly working-class Terry,
in The Likely Lads.
In between the sitcom?s two series, Bewes found
other film and TV roles ? including Mr Rodney in
The Basil Brush Show ? but, unlike Bolam, he struggled to carve
out a separate career, said The Times, and he was rarely seen on
screen after the 1980s. ?Jimmy must be very wealthy,? he said.
?Me, I?ve just got an overdraft and a mortgage.? Yet he tried not
to be bitter. The Likely Lads, he admitted, ?is the only thing I am
remembered for. But at least I am remembered for something.?
Asked to leave Rada
Growing up in Bingley, the son of a clerk, Bewes was a sickly,
asthmatic child who took refuge in make-believe and read
voraciously. Aged 12, he responded to an advertisement in his
father?s Daily Herald for boys to audition for the role of Billy
Bunter in a BBC adaptation. He didn?t get the part, but it led to
others, and by the age of 15 he was living alone in a basement flat
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
Advertisement feature
What will happen to UK imports and exports after Brexit?
Ask the expert
Hamish Muress, Senior Currency
Analyst at OFX
What does a weak pound mean
for SMEs?
As negotiations on Britain?s future
relationship with the EU continue, small
and medium-sized businesses have said
they expect trade to be reduced as a result
of Brexit. Nevertheless, the effects are not
straightforward. One of the most
noticeable and immediate effects of the
referendum result was the weakening of
the pound, resulting from the consensus
among economists that Brexit will lead to
slower economic growth. For businesses
that rely on imported goods and raw
materials from outside the UK, this
translates into an increase in the cost of
doing business. Conversely, businesses that
earn revenue in the UK but face
competition from overseas could find
themselves enjoying a competitive boost,
as customers in the UK will have to choose
between expensive imports and potentially
cheaper domestically-produced goods.
Small businesses based in the UK could
also take advantage of the weaker pound
by doing more business with the EU and
further afield.
What about the customs
union?
While it is a member of the EU, Britain is
part of what is called the customs union ?
which simplifies the transit of goods
across national borders. If the UK leaves
the customs union ? an outcome looking
more likely as the idea of a ?hard? Brexit
takes hold ? then importing and exporting
goods will instantly become much more
difficult. This will be a particularly nasty
outcome for SMEs with complex supply
chains, for whom business could become
almost impossible. Some businesses have
mooted the idea of leaving the UK if this
happens. Rewriting the existing trade
agreements after Brexit could prove a
herculean task: the Financial Times
reports that the UK could have to re-work
more than 750 individual deals across the
world.
What could potential tariffs or
barriers mean to companies?
While owners of small businesses may
cling to hopes of a Brexit business boom
resulting from more competitive export
prices, the reality is that in order to make
the most of the weaker pound companies
will have to be able to do international
business with a minimum of meddling.
As the law stands, people and goods can
travel through the EU with impunity, but
unless the UK remains in the single
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deal once it leaves, small businesses could
see any potential international advantage
eaten up by a tangle of red tape.
Extra tariffs imposed by the EU on imports
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advantage: the average external tariff
imposed by the EU is between two and
four per cent. And if the UK imposes
tariffs of its own on imported goods, SMEs
(and their customers) will have to pay the
inflated prices.
What will happen to European
staff?
About 20% of SMEs say they employ staff
from the EU. Even if there is no immediate
legal change in their status, European
citizens may feel their jobs are no longer as
safer as they were before the Brexit vote,
increasing the incentive to move
somewhere where they feel their
employment prospects are more secure.
This could result in SMEs facing increased
difficulty finding the staff they need.
Because SMEs tend to pay lower wages
than their larger cousins, they might find
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they need. Some researchers have claimed
it could be harder to attract unskilled
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occupied by workers from the EU. This is
work that generally doesn?t attract school
leavers in the UK - for example in the food
processing or care home industries.
How can a small business save
money in its supply chain?
Speaking to many OFX clients
regarding their supply chain
issues, they often break these
issues down into the following:
costs, projections and risks.
It seems obvious, but it helps to
try to reduce your costs across
the board, making sure your 30-,
60- and 90-day projections are
in place. When it comes to foreign
currency strategies, try to reduce
the risk of adverse market
fluctuations. Managing risk
generated by an unpredictable
market by utilising 30- to 90day short-dated forward contracts,
which lock in today?s rate for
delivery later. It?s particularly
handy if businesses know they?ll
be facing invoices in the next
few months.
How much more will imports cost
if we have a hard Brexit?
A hard Brexit will most likely be a
lengthy process. At OFX, we work
with a number of UK exporting
businesses to mitigate a fall in
sterling by utilising products like
forward contracts to lock in
today?s rates for future delivery.
A series of forward contracts
allows a UK importer to protect
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and a hike in the cost of imports
for up to 24 months, while they
possibly restructure their costs.
On the flip side, many of our
marketplace e-commerce clients
welcomed the recent fall in
sterling, meaning their exports to
the continent are now more
competitive. The key is to ensure
the rise in importing costs does
not offset the new
comparative
advantage of
competitive
exports.
What about other markets?
There are, of course, big markets beyond
the EU, including the USA, China and
India, and many small and medium-sized
businesses hope Brexit ? and the
competitive advantage afforded by the
weak pound ? will lead to opportunities
for more lucrative trade deals with these
players. However, it should be noted that
profitable trade depends in large part on
geographical proximity, and no amount of
negotiation can bring two markets closer
together. Not only that, but with US
President Donald Trump taking a more
insular approach to trade than his
predecessors, small businesses could face
some additional headwinds abroad.
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02 December 2017 THE WEEK
CITY
Companies in the news
...and how they were assessed
CITY 53
UK banks: fit for a disorderly Brexit
Britain?s major lenders are ?robust enough to survive a chaotic Brexit?, according to the
Bank of England?s latest annual ?stress test?, which subjected seven UK banks to their
toughest ?doomsday? scenario yet, said Iain Withers in The Daily Telegraph. ?The
extreme scenario included a slump in both world and UK GDP, a dive in the value of
the pound and house prices falling by a third.? Reassuringly, all but two banks ? RBS
and Barclays ? passed with flying colours. In mitigation, the Bank pointed out that the
tests were based on the two banks? capital positions in late 2016; both have since
improved their capital buffers and would now pass. ?For the first time since the tests
were launched in 2014,? no British bank now ?needs to strengthen its capital position?,
said Christopher Thompson on Reuters Breakingviews. That?s a boon for the
Government: ?the clean bill of health will help state-owned RBS restart dividend
payments?, making it easier for the state to sell down its 71% stake. Still, it won?t be
plain sailing ahead, said Withers. The Bank specifically warned that politicians ?must
act quickly to minimise disruption to trillions of pounds of contracts?.
Seven days in the
Square Mile
Centrica: mini-crash
About �6bn was wiped from the value of British Gas?s parent company last week,
after the energy provider issued a huge profit warning ?following the loss of 823,000
customers in just four months?, said Daniel Grote on Citywire. Shares in the company
endured ?their worst day ever?, tumbling by about 17% ? a mini-crash that took total
share losses for the year to 42%. Centrica?s woes in Britain have been well rehearsed:
?pricing pressure has hurt its retail business? and a cack-handed price rise in August, in
the teeth of public clamour for a price cap, can hardly have improved customer relations.
But the group?s business-facing division is also now in trouble, ?especially in the US,
where it has taken a �m write-down?. Centrica could ?ill afford to break more bad
news?, remarked one analyst, ?but unfortunately, that?s exactly what it?s done?. Many
analysts are now ?fretting about a dividend cut?, said John Collingridge in The Sunday
Times. The company?s boss, Iain Conn, has also admitted that it is now ?open to offers
for its 20% stake in eight nuclear power stations?. Unfortunately, as he noted, ?there are
very few buyers of nuclear assets acceptable to the Government and EDF?, its main
nuclear partner. China is a possibility, but would certainly face political opposition.
Sports Direct: family soap opera
It?s Christmas panto time, said Alistair Osborne in The Times. And instead of the Ugly
Sisters, this year?s theatrical villains are the Ashley Brothers. Most investors thought that
the wrangle involving founder Mike Ashley?s brother John, who was forced out in 2015,
had been resolved. But Ashley is determined to resurrect it. As well as rehiring his brother
apparently to run the group?s IT, he wants to ?reimburse? him �m, arguing that he
missed out on earlier bonuses because of ?concerns? about public relations. Cue outrage.
Everyone knows Ashley likes to keep it in the family, said Jim Armitage in the London
Evening Standard: ?he put his daughter?s boyfriend in charge of the company?s property
division? and clearly ?couldn?t give a monkeys for good governance?. Anyone doubting
that hasn?t done their homework. ?If you don?t like it, sell your shares.?
The pound shot to a two-month high as
traders digested the news that the UK
and EU Brexit talks may have reached
agreement on a divorce settlement,
which could allow negotiations to move
on to transitional arrangements and a
full future trade agreement. The firmer
pound, together with higher gilt yields,
reflect expectations that the Bank of
England could tighten policy at a faster
pace if a deal is achieved. The bitcoin
surge showed no sign of ending.
Having broken through the landmark
$10,000 level, the price gained $1,000
in a morning on Wednesday.
The Government launched a white paper
containing details of a new industrial
strategy designed to increase UK
productivity. It highlighted five key
areas including a ?major? infrastructure
upgrade and ?sector deals? to champion
specific industries.
Ocado shares jumped 21% after the
online grocer announced a deal to
supply its technology to France?s Groupe
Casino supermarket chain; it hopes to
strike ?multiple? similar deals. Palmer
and Harvey, a wholesaler supplying
Tesco and Sainsbury?s went into
administration blaming ?challenging
trading conditions?. The Time Inc.
publishing group put itself up for sale,
it looks likely to be sold to the Meredith
Corporation in a $1.8bn deal. easyJet
admitted a vast gender pay gap: male
employees earn 51.7% more than female
colleagues on average, largely because
?pilots are predominantly male?.
Black Friday: consumers shrug off gloom to carry on shopping
The ?Black Friday? shopping bonanza
following Thanksgiving may be an American
import, but it?s increasingly important to
British retailers ? and the omens ahead of this
year?s event didn?t look too bright, said Alex
Brummer in the Daily Mail. The day fell ?hard
on the heels? of the Budget, and coincided
with economic forecasts of such gloom from
the Institute for Fiscal Studies that one might
have thought ?citizens reading of
unprecedented lost decades of wage growth?
would have been ?inclined to slit their wrists?.
Instead, it seems, they went shopping.
spend �5bn on the day itself. The surge
was mainly down to a sharp increase in
internet spending: ?Britain?s online retailers
won the battle for sales.? But some shops
held up well. ?We traded well in both shops
and online, with shops becoming
increasingly busy as the weekend
progressed,? said Dino Rocos, operations
director at John Lewis.
Black Friday splits retailers, said Joanna
Bourke and Alex Lawson in the London
Evening Standard. Some question ?whether
An early December day for retailers
mass discounting amid the festive shopping
Early tallies show that overall spending on the day was up on a
season is wise for margins and profits?; refuseniks this year
year ago, ?despite a drop in the number of shoppers visiting
included M&S and Ikea. But others, including James Daunt, boss
stores?, said Sarah Butler and Zoe Wood in The Guardian.
of the bookshop chain Waterstones, welcome it, said Brummer.
Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of all debit and credit
Daunt, who is waging a campaign against the online might of
card transactions in the UK, estimated that Black Friday spending
Amazon, embraces Black Friday as ?retail theatre?. It gives his
rose by 8% on last year?s jamboree, with shoppers predicted to
shops a ?very good December day? in November.
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
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Talking points
CITY 55
Issue of the week: the bust-up at the London Stock Exchange
A bitter corporate governance row has raised important questions about transparency in public companies
When the London Stock Exchange
given that the LSE is trying to defend
announced the departure of its chief
London?s role as Europe?s financial
executive Xavier Rolet in October,
centre ? and retain key business such
the group?s chairman, City grandee
as euro clearing ? ahead of Brexit.
Donald Brydon, was effusive about
Hence, perhaps, the intervention this
the Frenchman?s ?remarkable
week of the Bank of England governor,
achievements?, said the FT. But within
Mark Carney, who declared himself a
a fortnight, the situation had begun to
?bit mystified? by the row, said Nils
look much less friendly. The Children?s
Pratley in The Guardian ? though he
Investment Fund ? a 5% LSE
made it clear that the ?Carney cavalry?
shareholder run by the activist investor
was not about to arrive to save Rolet.
Sir Christopher Hohn ? had accused the
Brydon and the other LSE nonboard of unfairly sacking Rolet, and
executives were ?shockingly arrogant in
concealing the fact by inserting gagging
not explaining their thinking? on Rolet?s
clauses in his exit deal. Hohn called for
ousting to shareholders. Now, it seems,
Rolet to be reinstated and for Brydon to
we may never know the full story.
be fired, triggering a bitter dispute that
Rolet: ?domineering? style
has split the City. Ahead of a potentially
?Activist investors do not usually revolt
inflammatory and embarrassing shareholder vote, the LSE has
to stop the chief executive of a business leaving, so the crisis at the
finally called time ? ruling that both men are out. Rolet is stepping Stock Exchange is a striking event,? said John Gapper in the FT.
down with immediate effect; and Brydon will leave in 2019.
Hohn wanted to know why the board had asked Rolet to depart,
seeing how he had excelled in raising the LSE?s value to more than
The outbreak of peace hasn?t come a moment too soon, said
�bn. But that might have involved being candid about some of
Aimee Donnellan and Iain Dey in The Sunday Times. Fears were
Rolet?s failings, not least his ?domineering management style and
?mounting? that a weakened London Stock Exchange ?could fall
dismissiveness towards others?. It is tempting to insist that
victim to an opportunistic takeover bid? as a result of the
?shareholders need the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
?acrimonious split? on its board: Intercontinental Exchange, the
truth?, but no company ? not even the London Stock Exchange ?
owner of New York Stock Exchange, ?has long coveted the LSE?. ?can bear too much transparency?. Disclosing all the tensions in
Moreover, the timing of the bust-up couldn?t have been worse,
boardrooms ?would make corporate life insufferable?.
Unpicking the Budget: what the experts think
up to �0,000. In
expensive areas such
Philip Hammond?s
as London, the first
first autumn Budget
�0,000 of homes up
had ?more giveaways
to �0,000 will not
than takeaways?, said
be taxed. But ?initial
FT Money. Although
enthusiasm turned to
aimed at younger
disappointment? for a
voters, it ?also left
sizeable group on the
wealthy voters
discovery that the duty
relatively unscathed?.
reform doesn?t apply
UK property: ?stagnating?
?Particularly pleasing?
to them, said Anna
was Hammond?s decision not to tinker
Mikhailova in The Sunday Times. Joint
with pensions, noted Jason Hollands of the buyers in particular need to watch out.
Tilney Group: the feared overhaul of tax
They?ll only qualify if neither has, or has
reliefs, or a cut to the general allowance,
had, any interest in a residential property.
didn?t materialise. So for now at least,
Mortgage brokers John Charcol and
?pensions remain unbeatable in their
Kinnison reckon that will rule out about
generosity, especially for higher-earners?.
?one in four first-timers? who are buying
Another measure for wealthy investors was with someone with a property history.
a doubling of the Enterprise Investment
Scheme limit to �, said Tanya Jefferies
? Stuck in the middle
on Thisismoney.co.uk. The move ? which
This reform ?could prompt more firstincreases the tax relief available to a
timers to step on to the first rung of the
potential �0,000 ? is intended to boost
housing ladder?, said Richard Dyson in
investment in ?young and adventurous
The Daily Telegraph. The danger, though,
businesses?. Hitherto, this relief has been
is that they then become ?stuck there?.
widely abused, but Hammond vowed a
Contrary to received wisdom, the most
crackdown on what he called ?low-risk
troubled part of the UK property market
capital preservation schemes?.
isn?t at the ?entry point?, but ?stagnation?
further up the scale. Having bought their
? Stamp of approval?
first house, a swelling group of ?nonFirst-time home-buyers enjoyed the
movers? find they cannot afford to
biggest headline giveaway, typically saving
?convert that equity? into their second
between �500-�000 from the complete property ? because ?static? incomes are
scrapping of stamp duty on houses worth
preventing them from making the upgrade.
? A Budget for
the rich?
Bitcoin hits
$11,000
?Digital gold. The new tulip mania. A
virtual currency.? Whatever you call it,
says Nathaniel Popper in The New York
Times, bitcoin ?is on an extraordinary
run?. The cryptocurrency has just
chalked up a new milestone, breaking
through the $10,000 barrier ? and then
reaching $11,000 ? less than two
months after it crossed $5,000 for the
first time. ?The skyrocketing price has
brought forth no shortage of sceptics?,
from JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie
Dimon to Warren Buffett, variously
calling it ?a fraud, a bubble and a Ponzi
scheme?. But investors ? from smalltime punters to hedge funds ? are still
buying at ever higher prices.
?If Marvel Comics were to design a
template for the ultimate super-bubble,
bitcoin would be it,? says Dominic
Frisby on Moneyweek.com. Naysayers
say it ?relies on greater fool theory? ?
people are only buying because they
think they?ll be able to sell it to
someone else. But who is the greater
fool? ?The guy who participates in the
greatest investment mania any of us
will ever see in our lifetimes, or the guy
who misses out?? Bitcoin has had ?five
80% corrections in its evolution? ? and
another wouldn?t surprise me. But its
potential has far greater implications
than previous bubbles: it?s an entire
system of money. ?So, yes, it?s a
bubble. Yes, it?s gone bananas. But,
yes, it could go a lot higher.?
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
56 CITY
The UK?s
managers must
look to Asia
Philip Aldrick
The Times
Tough times
for high street
restaurants
Jim Armitage
London Evening Standard
The City runs
scared of the
Marx brothers
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
The Daily Telegraph
The knives
are out for
Uber
James Moore
The Independent
THE WEEK 2 December 2017
Commentators
?If the Government wants to raise prosperity, it cannot afford to
ignore bad management,? says Philip Aldrick. Yet the latest
?255-page doorstopper of a white paper?, outlining Britain?s new
industrial strategy, glosses over how to tackle the country?s ?long
tail? of poorly managed companies. It?s a serious oversight. As the
paper itself notes, ?management skills could account for a quarter
of the productivity gap between the UK and the US?. Were that to
be closed, Britain ?would be �0bn richer without a single extra
hour worked?. To kick-start change, we should look to Asia:
techniques to upgrade management skills such as Japan?s kaizen
(continuous improvement) programme, which helped transform
that country after WWII, were at least as important as R&D to
the wider ?Asian miracle? of the 1980s. From Singapore to South
Korea, state campaigns were crucial in spreading ?new practices
to small business?. ?Management quality? among the worst 10%
of firms in China is ?roughly the same as Britain?, notes a new
World Bank report. Since we are, in that respect, ?a developing
nation?, we badly need a ?general management upgrade?.
One sector of the UK economy that needs ?an industrial strategy
fast? is the restaurant business, says Jim Armitage. It has been
having a ?dismal? time. As the boss of one chain puts it: ?flat is
the new up? ? and that?s on a good day. Given the high levels of
debt used to fund expansion plans, he predicts that ?at least four
serious-sized chains? could be ?toast? in the new year if banks
are ?unforgiving? about calling in loans. Why is trade so tough?
?Too many sites have been opened in recent years, just as the
economy starts to cool.? But the more immediate causes are a big
hike in business rates (of 30% and more in London) and surging
staffing costs, thanks to the minimum wage and Brexit. ?The
number of potential workers from Europe has fallen, and those
who remain are becoming more demanding as the pound falls
against the euro and Polish z?oty.? The hospitality sector pays
nearly �bn a year in taxes and productivity ?is growing at
twice the national average?. Yet it features nowhere in the
Government?s white paper. ?Better service, please.?
The US investment bank Morgan Stanley has warned clients
that the prospect of ?a radical left-wing lurch? under Labour
leader Jeremy Corbyn is a ?more serious threat? to British asset
markets than Brexit. It could come sooner than we think, says
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. Morgan Stanley reckons there is now
?a two-thirds likelihood? of a snap election in the second half of
2018, raising the possibility that, for the first time in the trading
life of most investors, a developed OECD country may nationalise
power, water, mail and rail companies. Indeed, the ?double
whammy? of Brexit and a Corbyn government could prove so
?toxic? to stock markets that, in Morgan Stanley?s full-blown
?bear case?, it could lead to recession and a 32% crash in the
FTSE 100 index by 2019. With even family-owned firms now
reportedly ?exploring cashing in their wealth before the guillotine
comes down?, a ?red scare? is gripping the Square Mile. Worries
about the ?Marx Brothers? ? Corbyn and his shadow chancellor,
John McDonnell ? ?are approaching systemic levels?.
Uber?s founder Travis Kalanick is ?still hailed by some as an
inspiration? who built ?one of the great disruptive forces in the
global economy?, says James Moore. But the latest scandal to
afflict the taxi app company may ?force a reassessment?. Around
the world, regulators are ?sharpening their knives? following
Uber?s admission that it concealed a massive data hack, affecting
57 million drivers and passengers, on Kalanick?s watch. And now
his successor, Dara Khosrowshahi, is in the cross hairs too. It has
emerged that he informed a big investor, SoftBank, about the
breach before making the news public. Clearly, even a company
?as cavalier as Uber? would feel obliged to fess up to a ?potential
partner with $10bn in its back pocket?. But Khosrowshahi ?
hired to turn Uber into a ?responsible business? ? has been
criticised for telling an investor before the users and drivers
affected were informed. It?s too early to gauge the consequences
of what may be ?the greatest crisis? in Uber?s ?short life?. But
those who attacked London?s Mayor Sadiq Khan for stripping the
firm of its licence to operate ?don?t look so clever now?.
City profiles
Andy Palmere
Aston Martin has ?pulled a
handbrake turn? under the
leadership of Andy Palmer,
says the FT. Last week, the
luxury British carmaker ?
which has been bankrupt
seven times ? recorded two
notable moments: launching
its latest car, the �0,000
Vantage, and posting its first
consecutive four quarters of
profit since at least 2008.
?It was a great day,? says
Palmer, who took over in
2014 after 23 years at
Nissan. ?It made all the bad
days worthwhile.? Described
as the perfect fusion of
?British West Midlands
industrialist? and ?Japanese
perfectionist?, Palmer is a
?real car guy?, who ?spent
weeks sleeping at the office?
while he fixed Aston, which
now plans to float next year.
With five major new cars
expected before 2022, ?we?re
in harvest mode?, he says.
Jeff Bezos
If you were one of millions
shopping on Amazon on
Black Friday, congratulations,
says Chris Isidore on CNN.
com: ?You helped make Jeff
Bezos a $100bn man.?
Bloomberg, which tracks the
wealth of the world?s richest
people, estimates that
Amazon?s founder reached
the ?12-digit milestone? after
making $2.4bn last Friday
alone, when the stock ?got a
lift? from positive shopping
reports. ?Amazon?s shares
are up 58% this year, enough
to enrich Bezos by about
$34bn? ? and putting him
well ahead of Microsoft
founder Bill Gates, the only
other person thought to have
cracked $100bn, when the
dotcom bubble ?briefly put
him over the mark? in 1999.
Having vied with Bezos all
year for the title of ?world?s
richest person?, Gates is
now firmly back in second
place, with a ?mere? $89bn.
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Shares
CITY 59
Who?s tipping what
The week?s best buys
Directors? dealings
Just Group
The Mail on Sunday
Panmure Gordon believes
this retirement services ?rm
has a ?sustainable competitive
advantage? over new entrants
such as Legal & General.
Market growth rates of 25%
per year are expected to
continue. Buy. 156.3p.
Young & Co?s Brewery
Investors Chronicle
The London-focused pub
group continues to invest in
its prime freehold estate of
properties with the purchase of
two iconic pubs. Drinks and
food sales are up, thanks to its
premium positioning in the
market. Buy. �.61
Empresaria
Investors Chronicle
Shares in the specialist recruiter
have plummeted on fears over
new legislation in Germany
and weakness in the Middle
East. But the ?rm is well
diversi?ed and still expects
record pro?ts. Falls are
overdone. Buy. 98p.
NCC Group
Shares
The cyber-security consultant
and software escrow services
provider is recovering after
a painful year. With a new
CEO and chairman, pro?ts
are strengthening and shares
could reach 300p again.
Buy. 226p.
Yu Group
Investors Chronicle
Yu supplies gas and electricity
to corporate customers and
has grown rapidly since
entering the market in April
2016. Rated for customer
service, renewal rates are at
80%. Expanding into water.
Buy. 795p.
Next
5,500
5,250
5,000
4,750
4,500
4,250
4,000
Chairman
buys 5,018
3,750
3,500
Jun
Jul
AO World
Investors Chronicle
The online white goods
retailer?s ?spend big to grow
fast? strategy continues to hurt
pro?ts. UK sales have risen, but
marketing costs and widening
losses in Europe have increased
the overall loss. Sell. 112p.
Dignity
Investors Chronicle
The funeral provider faces
increasing competition and a
shrinking market share. Costs
and debt are high owing to
investment costs and digitalplatform work. Analysts have
trimmed forecasts. Sell. �.43.
Go-Ahead Group
The Daily Telegraph
Political uncertainty and the
threat of renationalisation
under a Labour government
have made the travel
operator look vulnerable.
Rail franchises are in
Jeremy Corbyn?s sights ?
even buses ?may not be safe?.
Sell. �.22.
Sep
Oct
Nov
Next is up against tough
comparative ?gures for
Christmas and has struggled
to pep up ?agging sales.
Chairman Michael Roney has
shown con?dence in the high
street retailer, spending more
than �6,000 on shares.
?and some to hold, avoid or sell
Accrol Group Holdings
The Daily Telegraph
After a six-week suspension,
shares in the lavatory roll and
kitchen towel-maker are
trading again, but the dividend
has gone and the same worries
remain. The dif?culty in
passing on cost increases to
customers is a ?huge concern?.
Sell. 46p
Aug
Form guide
Just Eat
The Sunday Times
The takeaway app has nearly
20 million signed-up
customers and 79,000
restaurants. Shares have
trebled in three years, but the
valuation looks ??t to burst?
as new competitors emerge.
Take pro?ts. Sell. 819p.
Majestic Wine
The Times
The wine retailer is on track
in the ?nal stage of a threeyear turnaround. Stores have
been revamped and customer
retention has improved.
50% of sales are now ?multichannel?, and 20% are from
overseas. Hold. 425.5p.
Shares tipped 12 weeks ago
Best tip
Moneysupermarket.com
The Sunday Times
up 4.71% to 336p
Worst tip
ZPG
The Mail on Sunday
down 6.38% to 330p
Market view
?We are adamant that the
?fear of missing out? attitude
that seems to be driving
much of what we are seeing
in markets at the moment is a
certain way to lose money.?
Thomas Wilson of F&C.
Quoted in
The Daily Telegraph
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)
�STERLING
28 Nov 2017
7460.65
4095.13
23706.40
6895.51
22486.24
29680.85
1291.85
63.66
3.87%
1.29
2.33
3.0% (Oct)
4.0% (Oct)
+5.2% (Oct)
$1.341 E1.129 �9.430
Best
shares
Best and
and worst performing shares
Week before
7411.34
4070.45
23607.00
6859.64
22416.48
29818.07
1283.30
62.46
3.90%
1.29
2.35
3.0% (Sep)
3.9% (Sep)
+4.0% (Sep)
Change (%)
0.67%
0.61%
0.42%
0.52%
0.31%
?0.46%
0.67%
1.92%
WEEK?S CHANGE, FTSE 100 STOCKS
RISES
Price
% change
539.00
+6.21
Mediclinic Internat.
155.00
+5.51
ITV
432.60
+5.00
Worldpay Group
1409.00
+4.91
easyJet
1206.00
+4.87
St James?s Place
FALLS
Centrica
Barratt Developments
Micro Focus Intl.
Persimmon
Convatec Group
Following the Footsie
7,600
7,500
7,400
140.00
595.00
2587.00
2540.00
190.00
?12.61
?6.08
?5.55
?5.05
?4.09
BEST AND WORST UK STOCKS OVERALL
4.25
+335.90
Physiomics
0.12
?53.64
Torotrak
Source: Datastream (not adjusted for dividends). Prices on 28 Nov (pm)
7,300
7,200
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
6-month movement in the FTSE 100 index
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
SOURCE: INVESTORS CHRONICLE
Cranswick
The Times
The food producer has added
poultry to its ?non-pork sty?,
pushing revenues 21% higher.
Performance is being driven by
the price of pork and the
spread into higher-margin
areas, such as cooked meat.
Buy. �.91.
The last word
60
After a year of teaching, I have
learnt that I am useless
Lucy Kellaway left a prestigious, well-paid job at the Financial Times to become a teacher. Everyone told her it would be the
hardest thing she had ever done ? and they were right. Yet even now, she doesn?t regret a thing
Routinely, I forget to take the
electronic register. Or I mark
students present when they are
absent, then fail to ?gure out how
to overwrite mistakes, leaving
bureaucratic chaos in my wake.
There is only one thing I am not
useless at, and that is standing at
the front of the class and talking.
I had thought this would be the
bulk of the job, but alas it turns
out to be a small part. Another
thing I need to get better at:
learning how to shut up.
I replied that I was perfectly sane.
I?d spent so long writing columns
that I was no longer getting any
better at it and was possibly
Before I started, every teacher I
getting worse. Many of my
came across issued the identical
contemporaries were restive in
warning: this will be the hardest
their assorted jobs too, and while
thing you have done. At the time
some were planning to slouch
I found this annoying. Yes, I knew
towards retirement, others
teaching was hard. My mother
longed to start all over again
was a teacher and my daughter is
doing something new, dif?cult and
too. Its being hard was part of the
worthwhile. To anyone who dared
attraction. Who wants to coast
suggest that, at 57, I was too old
through the last quarter of their
to be worth the investment of
working lives? Yet I couldn?t see
training, I sharply replied that
why teachers wanted to claim a
I would probably live into my
monopoly on hard jobs. Being a
90s and so had another 15 years?
Lucy Kellaway: ?I have not been bored for one second?
newspaper columnist can be hard;
working life ahead of me. In any
my fellow Now Teach trainees had done even harder things.
case, the average teacher stays in the profession for only ?ve
One used to run an NHS hospital trust, one was a hostage
years, so I was no worse a risk than the next person.
negotiator and another worked for Nasa.
A week before the launch of
Eleven weeks in and I?m
Now Teach, a journalist from
?I am a dunce with the interactive smartboard. changing my mind. Writing
The Times came to interview
me at home about my untoward
I forget to take the electronic register. I leave columns turns out to be a
relative doddle because there
career change. I remember
bureaucratic chaos in my wake?
are only two things you have
sitting on the sofa and earnestly
to crack: having a decent idea
explaining that I craved one
thing above all: the luxury of being useful. The phrase appeared and writing it snappily. Teaching is hard in so many ways.
There are at least a dozen roles you need to master ? including
prominently in the article and on the Now Teach website, and
performer, marshal, counsellor, clerical worker, mathematician,
seemed to strike a chord. Within a few months, a thousand
role model and nag ? and you need to know exactly when and
professionals of every variety had applied to Now Teach saying
how to be which.
that they were interested in becoming teachers too. After a long
process of sorting, we ended up with nearly four dozen guinea
It is now 6.20am and I must stop writing and put on smarter
pigs, mostly teaching maths and science (where the teacher
clothes than I ever wore as a journalist. The school demands
shortage is worst), all of whom started their new careers on
that pupils wear perfect uniform on the grounds that if they
the ?rst day of September, along with me.
have their ties done up properly, they are less likely to throw
a desk at their teachers ? which means staff need to do their
It is exactly a year since I gave that interview, but now I look
bit and dress properly too.
at the phrase ?the luxury of being useful? and want to laugh.
Or cry. I am writing this at 5.15am on a school day. This is
It is now nine in the evening and I?m too tired to write much.
earlier than I need to be up, but I am in a permanent state of
Today was not one of my better days. My explanation of how
agitation that is oddly reminiscent of being in love. I am wide
to round a number to two signi?cant ?gures went straight over
awake before dawn, thinking obsessively about my lessons and
the heads of some of the pupils. I had such a bad time trying
new charges. The most luxurious thing that awaits me today
to control the mouse on the whiteboard, I declared despairingly,
will be a helping of school dinner in a polystyrene box.
?It?s like playing The Golden Shot,? a reference that was lost
on the class because the TV programme was last broadcast
And instead of feeling useful, for large chunks of every day
decades before they were born. A senior teacher who had
I feel useless. I am a dunce with the interactive smartboard that
observed my lesson handed me a long list of ?targets? for
is the centrepiece of every modern classroom. I sometimes get
improvement and, in an attempt to make me feel better, said:
so ?ustered I make mistakes in my sums in front of class.
THE WEEK 2 December 2017
� JULIAN GERMAIN
A year ago I announced that after
three decades I was leaving the
Financial Times to become a
maths teacher in a tough
secondary school, and that I had
set up Now Teach, a charity to
encourage other ?ftysomethings
to quit their cushy jobs and join
me. Almost everyone said the
same thing: you?re mad.
The last word
?Teaching is like learning
to drive. You think you?ll
never be able to steer
and change gear
simultaneously. But you
will.? I am not entirely
reassured: I still can?t
reverse-park after 30
years at the wheel.
61
Sussex, and twice as many
the year after. To them I am
saying something that I am
learning the hard way:
teaching is brutal.
Yet even in my most painful
moments there are four joys
of teaching that I never lose
sight of. The ?rst is the
students. For the ?rst time
The oddest thing about
in my working life I?m doing
my state of professional
something that is not about
uselessness is that it is
me. Teaching is about them.
not making me
When, at the end of the
despondent. Instead I?m
?rst half-term, I watched
?nding being a hopeless
Now Teach?s first cohort, pictured at King Solomon?s Academy, Marylebone
the heads of my pupils bent
novice more stimulating
in silence over their test papers I felt a passionate involvement
than soul-destroying. And for this uncharacteristically sensible
in their progress. So much so that when I was marking papers
attitude I credit my advanced age. When we started Now Teach
at home later, I found myself whooping out loud, ?X has got
we wondered how this new breed of relatively ancient trainees
the hard negative number question right!? much to the
would differ from the younger ones. Various people suggested
consternation of one of my grown-up children.
that energy would be a problem, but there is no sign of this
being so. Teaching is tiring ? it is tiring if you are 55 and tiring
Second is the joy of being a trainee again. The view from the
if you are 25. Instead, the beauty of being my age is that I
bottom of the ladder is far prettier than it appeared to me
know who I am. When my mistakes are pointed out, I don?t
35 years ago. Then I only wanted to climb. Now I am happy
take it as an assault on my very being, as I might have 30 years
to stay put. I am responsible for nothing except my progress.
ago. I take it as a sign that I?ve got to hurry up and improve.
There is also a delight in being junior enough to go to the pub
on Friday with my fellow maths teachers, who seem benignly
Better still, even in my darkest moments I am not alone. Often
amused at having a woman who is older than their parents
I suspect the true reason I co-founded Now Teach was not to
tagging along.
help to ?ll the teacher shortage, but for something more sel?sh.
I wanted to have like-minded people to moan with when times
Third is the maths. For most of us, the subjects we loved at
were hard. And so it has proved. To celebrate surviving our ?rst
school were snatched away from us prematurely. After nearly
four weeks in the classroom a few of us went to the pub. One
four decades dealing with
Now Teacher who in a
slippery,
ambiguous words,
previous life had risen to the
?One of my fellow teachers stares into his beer
I feel joy in returning to the
top of the police force stared
and says: ?I keep having to remind myself I
certainties of maths, which I
into his beer and said: ?I keep
put aside when I ?nished my
having to remind myself I used
used to be good at something??
maths A level in 1977.
to be good at something.? The
rest of us laughed despairingly.
Fourth is the absence of boredom. Journalism is one of the
most exciting jobs on Earth, but even that is sometimes boring.
I ?nd I?m not alone in struggling with technology. Equally,
Since 1 September, I have not been bored for one second. I am
most of us, softened by decades of the faux democracy of
so interested in what I am doing that I have become a bore to
corporate life, ?nd it hard to enforce the strict rules on which
my old friends. One of them tried to discuss the new chairman
most of our schools depend. In my school, the rules are so
of the Federal Reserve with me the other week, but I wouldn?t
strict that calling out an answer in class when not invited or
cooperate. All I wanted to talk about was how best to teach
whispering to the person next to you are acts of subversion.
algebra to 11-year-olds.
I am slow at spotting what is going on under my nose, let
alone stamping it out. Again, I must try harder.
I am ?nishing this article on a Sunday afternoon. Today, as
on most Sundays, I went to Hampstead Heath to swim in the
This time a year ago, just after the launch of Now Teach, I
Ladies? Pond with a group of friends. One of them said she
got an email from a woman accusing me of being a Pied Piper,
would go on swimming throughout the winter, because the
of leading bankers and lawyers to their certain deaths in the
shock of the cold water ?lled her with a euphoria that made
classroom. These softie professionals of a certain age would
her feel entirely alive. I realised that this is partly what I love
have nervous breakdowns after prolonged exposure to the
about being a trainee teacher. I feel that same mixture of
classroom, she predicted. So far, only two out of the 47 who
excitement and dread before going back to school on a
started in September have given up. One told me that he felt
Monday as I do about getting into the water. I know that the
lonely in the classroom and missed the teamwork of his old life.
shock of immersion will crowd out all other thoughts, rooting
The other said that not only did he ?nd teaching intolerably
me in the here and now.
stressful, he despaired of it ever getting any better. He looked
around at the young teachers in his school who all looked pale
Yet, there is a difference between swimming and teaching.
and shattered and thought: ?I can?t do this.?
The legacy of my morning immersion in 9?C water was that
my extremities remained cold until lunchtime. Tomorrow I
It is too early to declare that the remaining 45 of us will
hope to achieve something a bit more lasting. To make a tiny
complete the year and go on to be teachers who, as the clich�
bit of progress in the battle with the electronic board, while
goes, change lives. A couple more are wobbling and I?m
trying to show 32 students that a factorised quadratic is a
watching them with anxiety. But even so, I?m not remotely
thing of beauty.
repentant about what I?ve done. One of the guinea pigs who
used to make documentary programmes says that teaching may
This article ?rst appeared in The Times. � The Times/News
or may not be the hardest thing she has done, but it?s certainly
Syndication. For more information about Now Teach, visit
the best. My pied pipe is out again because this year Now
nowteach.org.uk.
Teach is recruiting 80 trainees in London and Hastings, in East
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
Crossword
62
THE WEEK CROSSWORD 1084
This week?s crossword winner will
Thi
receive
rec
an Ettinger (www.ettinger.co.uk)
Croco
Cro key case in ebony, which retails
at �, and two Connell Guides (www.
con
connellguides.com).
An Ettinger Croco key case and two Connell Guides will be given to the sender of the first
correct solution to the crossword and the clue of the week opened on Monday 11 December. Send
it to: The Week Crossword 1084, 2nd floor, 32 Queensway, London W2 3RX, or email the answers
to crossword@theweek.co.uk. Tim Moorey (www.timmoorey.info)
ACROSS
7 Company once foremost in
recording classical albums (3)
8 Peach and orange cocktail for
which charges are small (11)
10 Harry Potter?s complaint (7)
11 Agree with Gunners? That?s a
wild notion (7)
12 Arresting items in strikes (5)
14 Sonny, perhaps at home with
large car outside (7)
16 Article on official exclusions for
old Greeks (7)
18 British companies carrying
on? They provide unreliable
transport (7)
19 Track laid around area very hard
work (7)
21 Where you?ll find Arabs
liberated? (5)
23 Gin?s ordered in pub ? it should
be on the house (3,4)
24 Dodgy dealing regulated (7)
26 Time to stop work in closing
field event (4-7)
27 Damage caused by backing
pound (3)
DOWN
1 Start race as spoken of for a
pudding (4)
2 Cash but no credit for biscuits (6)
3 Love children leading in book
publicity (8)
4 Its lead is slowly worn down on
A4 (6)
5 Westminster watcher turned on
one in a little Italian (8)
6 Bags of nonsense in Scotland
about fire (10)
7 Knock a part of London for
greed (8)
9 Cheese crackers with last of brie
served up (4)
13 Following unreliable site; enter
from the south Wales town (10)
15 One getting abuse is person
from Cuba? (8)
17 Motion appearing right away
to get poetic inspiration (8)
18 Uncle from the country? (8)
20 Related industrial bigwig
blowing his top! (6)
21 English composer?s violin
part (6)
22 Grave message beginning to
stimulate tears (4)
25 Handel, say or handle! (4)
1
2
7
3
4
5
6
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
19
18
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
Name
Address
Clue of the week: Ruler initially used in producing triangle, square and
rectangle (4) The Guardian, Brendan
Solution to Crossword 1082
ACROSS: 1 Slacks 5 Butlins 10 Frontage 11 Peseta 12 Canadian 13 Pallor
14 Agitated 16 Hews 18 Buck 20 Leinster 21 Deface 22 Talisman 23 Corpus
24 Olivetan 25 Perusal 26 Gusher
DOWN: 2 Lorraine 3 Cantatas 4 Stabilise 6 The Bard 7 I tell you 8 Shamrock
9 Reincarnation 15 Extolling 16 Handicap 17 Wayfarer 18 Brussels
19 Carapace 20 Lace-ups
Clue of the week: Dispose of reserve, cutting bank?
(9, first & last letters S & K)
Solution: SCRAPBOOK (dispose of = scrap + reserve = book)
The winner of 1082 is Hazel Ibbetson from Gomersal
3
5
9
4
Sudoku 628 (difficult)
8
7
Fill in all the squares so that
each row, column and each
of the 3x3 squares contains
all the digits from 1 to 9
Solution to
to Sudoku
Sudoku 627
228
Solution
4
2
9
1
6
2
5
5
2
9
7
8
4
5
6
9
5
4
2
8
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Travel
LEISURE 49
This week?s dream: a journey into the wilds of Georgia
and Alexandre Dumas attended literary
?In the jigsaw of nations that is the
salons. In Gori, you can visit the house
Caucasus region, the most accessible,
where Stalin grew up. (The city seemed
the most sophisticated and the jolliest is
?a trifle conflicted? about its famous
Georgia,? says Stanley Stewart in
son. ?He may have been a bastard, but
The Sunday Times. Russian romantics
at least he was our bastard,? seems to
always had a thing about it, coming
be the official line.) And then there is
here to cheer up and ?run off with a
Svaneti, a beautiful, remote region
chambermaid?. It is beautiful, wrote the
generally said to be ?the most purely
soldier, writer and diplomat Fitzroy
Georgian? part of the country.
Maclean, half a century ago, but its true
The road there winds through
charm lies in its people, who combine a
mountain gorges, and past meadows
?Mediterranean expansiveness? with
and woods that blaze with colour in
?the dash and hardiness of the
autumn. Shepherds in white felt cloaks
Highlander?. Little has changed since
lean on crooks and watch you pass. In
then, bar independence from the Soviet
Ushguli ? considered to be the highest
Union, which came in 1991. The wine is
Ushguli, in the remote region of Svaneti
village in Europe, at 6,900ft ? many of
still ?fabulous?, the food ?wonderful?,
the houses have fortified stone towers, making the place ?feel like
the traditional vocal music thrilling. The capital, Tbilisi, is lovely,
a refugee from the Middle Ages?, and there is a tiny church where
and beyond it, ?gorgeous landscapes roll away beneath wide
the congregation consists of a few ?black-robed? monks and an
skies? to the snow-capped Caucasus Mountains.
At Katskhi, a monk lives on top of a pillar of rock, like a Syrian apparently devout tabby cat. Steppes Travel (01285-601050,
www.steppestravel.com) has a nine-day trip from �195pp,
stylite 1,500 years ago. At Tsinandali, the grand estate of the
including flights.
Chavchavadze family, there is an ?elegant? library where Pushkin
Hotel of the week
Getting the flavour of?
Lima?s gourmet delights
Hotel Excelsior,
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Perched above the sea just outside
Dubrovnik?s glorious old town, this
is a true ?grande dame?, with an
illustrious list of former guests
including Elizabeth Taylor,
Sir Roger Moore and the Queen.
Following a recent revamp, it?s
lovelier than ever, says Tatler ?
as modern and ?breezy? as it is
elegant. Its 158 rooms are cool
and calming; the public spaces are
?bedecked in shades of blue?, with
lots of polished brass and art deco
touches; and the spa is huge yet
?cosseting?. There?s a sunny
seaside terrace with steps down
into the water, and the food is
?light and fresh?.
Doubles from �0 b&b. 00 385
20 300 300, www.adriaticluxury
hotels.com
Once spurned as South America?s grittiest
city, Lima has reinvented itself as a ?global
gastronomy destination?, says Chris Moss
in The Sunday Telegraph. Its restaurants
are diverse and scintillating, drawing on
the country?s multicultural heritage
(Andean, African, European and more) and
exceptionally diverse ecosystems, from the
Amazon jungle to the high plains. At Central,
chef Virgilio Mart韓ez presents a tasting
menu with 17 courses, each made from
produce from different altitudes. There?s
?exquisite? Japanese-Peruvian fusion food
at Maido (including a ?humble? sausage
sandwich, in which the meat is octopus),
and the guinea pig in a purple-corn cr阷e
at Astrid y Gast髇 is ?exceedingly moreish?.
Also great fun are the city?s food markets,
with their displays of exotic grains and fruits.
Aracari (020-7097 1750, www.aracari.com)
has a five-day culinary trip from �770pp,
excluding flights.
Hard labour on St Kilda
The hardy people who once lived on
St Kilda, a barren, rocky archipelago about
100 miles from the Scottish mainland, were
evacuated in 1930, owing to ?illness and
privation?. Today, you can visit on day trips,
but the only way to stay there is by working
for the National Trust for Scotland, says Jay
Sivell in The Guardian. Participants lodge in
19th century cottages for a fortnight in
early summer and labour at least 24 hours
a week ? patching up old buildings, cleaning
toilets, clearing drainage channels. It?s not
everyone?s idea of fun, but the haunting
beauty of the islands is a great reward, and
there?s ?ample? time to go tramping their
ridges, cliffs and caves. By Boreray, the
stacks rise ?like a cathedral? from the sea,
and there?s abundant wildlife to spot,
including basking sharks and minke whales.
The cost is �5. Applications for 2018 close
on 23 January (www.kilda.org.uk).
A volcanic Sicilian gem
Standing between Mount Etna and the
sea, Sicily?s second city, Catania, is ?an
architectural riot?, says Jonathan Bastable
in Cond� Nast Traveller ? a distinction it
owes, in part, to the famous volcano. Laid to
waste by an eruption and an earthquake in
the late 17th century, it was rebuilt entirely
in a ?squat? baroque style ? wonderfully
ornamented, but low and muscular to resist
tremors. Particularly splendid is the parade
of grand churches and palaces on Via dei
Crociferi. The city has a ?cacophonous?
fish market, home to two ?old but jumping?
lunch places, and lots of good trattorias for
evening meals. Trips in the cable car to
Etna?s ?majestically bleak? upper slopes are
well worth it too. BA flies direct to Catania
from Gatwick (www.britishairways.com).
Last-minute offers from top travel companies
Luxurious Welsh escape
Spend 4 nights at Ch鈚eau
Rhianfa, an award-winning
hotel, and enjoy a 3-course
dinner one evening. From
�4pp b&b. 0333-212 5594,
www.offpeakluxury.com.
Arrive 22 February.
Four nights in Portugal
Set in the resort of Albufeira,
the Balaia Golf Village Hotel
offers a relaxing retreat on a
half-board basis from �4pp,
including Bristol flights. 0203897 1185, www.loveholidays.
com. Depart 4 January.
Short break in Paris
The Timhotel Opera Blanche
Fontaine is ideally located to
explore the city. Three nights
b&b cost from �3pp,
including Birmingham flights.
01733-224808, www.thomas
cook.com. Depart 16 February.
In the heart of Old Quebec
A week at the contemporary
boutique hotel Auberge SaintAntoine on a room-only basis
costs from �255pp, London
flights included. 0344-739
6328, www.virginholidays.co.
uk. Depart 10 February.
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
Obituaries
51
Tormented teen idol and star of The Partridge Family
Slim, fine-boned and
David Cassidy boyish, David Cassidy, who
1950-2017
has died aged 67, was one
of the biggest teen stars of
his generation. In the early 1970s, ?teenage
girls didn?t just follow him around?, said The
Guardian ? ?they spirited themselves into
hotels, camped in the air-conditioning unit of
his house and howled at the sight of him?.
Mobbed wherever he went, he received 25,000
fan letters a week at the peak of his popularity,
and his fan club was said to be bigger than
The Beatles? and Elvis?s combined.
simplicity of the show, about a family of
musicians who travel around in a psychedelic
van. With his warm green eyes, shy smile and
feathered haircut, Cassidy became an
unthreatening fantasy boyfriend for a million
teenagers. But he wasn?t goody-goody Keith: as
a teenager in LA during the Summer of Love,
Cassidy had smoked pot, picked up girls and
driven to Haight-Ashbury to see Jimi Hendrix.
The show ran from 1970 to 1974 and spawned
chart hits, including I Think I Love You ? with
Cassidy also enjoying solo success with songs
such as Daydreamer ? on both sides of the
The devotion Cassidy inspired was not
Atlantic. When he visited London, thousands
unprecedented: Beatlemania had come first. But
of fans besieged The Dorchester, said the Daily
its commercial exploitation was new: even The
Mail. On his next visit, no hotel would have
Monkees, created by the same TV studio, were
him, so ?he hired a 200-ton yacht on the
not as ruthlessly marketed as Cassidy. Knowing
Thames with a 24-hour security team. But the
that his moment would be brief, TV executives
fans didn?t care. They jumped into the river
?I paid a tremendous personal price? and had to be rescued.? And when he flew
put him on a relentless schedule of filming,
recording and live performances; his face
home, 3,000 people turned up to wave him off
appeared on everything from pillowcases and lunch boxes to
? bringing the airport to a standstill. In 1972, he tried to change
colouring books and bubblegum wrappers. The merchandising
his image by posing naked for Rolling Stone, and talking about
generated about $500m; he claimed to have seen only about
sex and drugs. But it didn?t win him any older fans, and he ended
$10,000 of it. Most teen stars tire of their fame at some point.
up having to issue an apology to his younger ones.
Cassidy hated it from the start. Playing Keith Partridge had taken
over his life, and scuppered his chances of being taken seriously as Matters finally came to a head in London in 1974, when a
an actor or a musician. ?I was pigeonholed as a teen idol [and]
14-year-old was crushed at one of his concerts and died. Around
there?s no credibility,? he said in the 1980s. ?I paid a tremendous
the same time, Cassidy quit The Partridge Family, exhausted and
personal price ? it?s a very empty, isolated, lonely existence.?
burnt out, most of the money he?d earned lost to managers, agents
and hangers-on. Instead of focusing on his solo career, he partied
Born in New York, David Cassidy was the son of two actors: Jack hard, dabbled in drugs and drank. By the end of the 1980s, he
Cassidy and Evelyn Ward. Often working, they left him in the
was in therapy and fighting bankruptcy. He also had two failed
care of grandparents and divorced when he was six. His father
marriages behind him. He continued to tour and to perform in
then settled in LA with his second wife, Shirley Jones, who played
musicals, but the fans who attended his concerts expected him to
his mother in The Partridge Family. He had a fraught relationship still be 21. His mistake, he told The Times?s Janice Turner in
with his father; nevertheless, he followed him into acting and, at
2006, was to have gone on living. ?I could have killed myself and
the age of 20, won the role of Keith Partridge. Most of the cast
been like Monroe, Elvis or James Dean. A legend. But I chose
lip-synced in the singing sections, but when the studio realised
life.? He continued to struggle with alcoholism, and earlier this
Cassidy had a decent voice, they let him do his own vocals. While
year disclosed that he was suffering from dementia. His last words
the Vietnam War raged, viewers delighted in the feel-good
were reportedly: ?So much wasted time.?
Yorkshire-born actor who starred as a Likely Lad
Rodney Bewes was one half
Rodney Bewes of The Likely Lads (19641966), a sitcom about two
1937-2017
working-class young men in
the northeast of England. In the 1970s, Bewes,
who has died aged 79, and his co-star a were
reunited for Whatever Happened to the Likely
Lads?, which attracted up to 27 million
viewers. The two actors had been close. But at
some point after that, Bolam decided he wanted
to have nothing more to do with the show and
the pair never spoke again. Bolam resisted all
attempts to revive The Likely Lads; he refused
to allow reruns on terrestrial TV (thus
depriving Bewes of repeat fees) and when
Bewes was the subject of This Is Your Life, in
1980, Bolam was notable by his absence.
in London, working long shifts in the kitchens of
the Grosvenor House Hotel by night, and going to
a preparatory academy for Rada by day. He was
later expelled from Rada (for partying too hard, he
claimed), yet managed to get jobs in rep ? and did
his best to befriend actors who were on their way
up. One of them was Tom Courtenay, then starring
on stage in Billy Liar. The two ended up sharing a
flat, where he found Courtenay?s script for the film
version ? and decided to put himself up for the role
aof Billy?s friend Arthur. It was on the back of this
performance that Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement
offered him the part of the aspirational Bob, to
Bolam?s more cynical, proudly working-class Terry,
in The Likely Lads.
In between the sitcom?s two series, Bewes found
other film and TV roles ? including Mr Rodney in
The Basil Brush Show ? but, unlike Bolam, he struggled to carve
out a separate career, said The Times, and he was rarely seen on
screen after the 1980s. ?Jimmy must be very wealthy,? he said.
?Me, I?ve just got an overdraft and a mortgage.? Yet he tried not
to be bitter. The Likely Lads, he admitted, ?is the only thing I am
remembered for. But at least I am remembered for something.?
Asked to leave Rada
Growing up in Bingley, the son of a clerk, Bewes was a sickly,
asthmatic child who took refuge in make-believe and read
voraciously. Aged 12, he responded to an advertisement in his
father?s Daily Herald for boys to audition for the role of Billy
Bunter in a BBC adaptation. He didn?t get the part, but it led to
others, and by the age of 15 he was living alone in a basement flat
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
Advertisement feature
What will happen to UK imports and exports after Brexit?
Ask the expert
Hamish Muress, Senior Currency
Analyst at OFX
What does a weak pound mean
for SMEs?
As negotiations on Britain?s future
relationship with the EU continue, small
and medium-sized businesses have said
they expect trade to be reduced as a result
of Brexit. Nevertheless, the effects are not
straightforward. One of the most
noticeable and immediate effects of the
referendum result was the weakening of
the pound, resulting from the consensus
among economists that Brexit will lead to
slower economic growth. For businesses
that rely on imported goods and raw
materials from outside the UK, this
translates into an increase in the cost of
doing business. Conversely, businesses that
earn revenue in the UK but face
competition from overseas could find
themselves enjoying a competitive boost,
as customers in the UK will have to choose
between expensive imports and potentially
cheaper domestically-produced goods.
Small businesses based in the UK could
also take advantage of the weaker pound
by doing more business with the EU and
further afield.
What about the customs
union?
While it is a member of the EU, Britain is
part of what is called the customs union ?
which simplifies the transit of goods
across national borders. If the UK leaves
the customs union ? an outcome looking
more likely as the idea of a ?hard? Brexit
takes hold ? then importing and exporting
goods will instantly become much more
difficult. This will be a particularly nasty
outcome for SMEs with complex supply
chains, for whom business could become
almost impossible. Some businesses have
mooted the idea of leaving the UK if this
happens. Rewriting the existing trade
agreements after Brexit could prove a
herculean task: the Financial Times
reports that the UK could have to re-work
more than 750 individual deals across the
world.
What could potential tariffs or
barriers mean to companies?
While owners of small businesses may
cling to hopes of a Brexit business boom
resulting from more competitive export
prices, the reality is that in order to make
the most of the weaker pound companies
will have to be able to do international
business with a minimum of meddling.
As the law stands, people and goods can
travel through the EU with impunity, but
unless the UK remains in the single
market, or can quickly work out a trade
deal once it leaves, small businesses could
see any potential international advantage
eaten up by a tangle of red tape.
Extra tariffs imposed by the EU on imports
from the UK could push up the sale price
of those goods, devouring any competitive
advantage: the average external tariff
imposed by the EU is between two and
four per cent. And if the UK imposes
tariffs of its own on imported goods, SMEs
(and their customers) will have to pay the
inflated prices.
What will happen to European
staff?
About 20% of SMEs say they employ staff
from the EU. Even if there is no immediate
legal change in their status, European
citizens may feel their jobs are no longer as
safer as they were before the Brexit vote,
increasing the incentive to move
somewhere where they feel their
employment prospects are more secure.
This could result in SMEs facing increased
difficulty finding the staff they need.
Because SMEs tend to pay lower wages
than their larger cousins, they might find
themselves having to up their staffing costs
in order to keep recruiting the employees
they need. Some researchers have claimed
it could be harder to attract unskilled
labour for jobs which have recently been
occupied by workers from the EU. This is
work that generally doesn?t attract school
leavers in the UK - for example in the food
processing or care home industries.
How can a small business save
money in its supply chain?
Speaking to many OFX clients
regarding their supply chain
issues, they often break these
issues down into the following:
costs, projections and risks.
It seems obvious, but it helps to
try to reduce your costs across
the board, making sure your 30-,
60- and 90-day projections are
in place. When it comes to foreign
currency strategies, try to reduce
the risk of adverse market
fluctuations. Managing risk
generated by an unpredictable
market by utilising 30- to 90day short-dated forward contracts,
which lock in today?s rate for
delivery later. It?s particularly
handy if businesses know they?ll
be facing invoices in the next
few months.
How much more will imports cost
if we have a hard Brexit?
A hard Brexit will most likely be a
lengthy process. At OFX, we work
with a number of UK exporting
businesses to mitigate a fall in
sterling by utilising products like
forward contracts to lock in
today?s rates for future delivery.
A series of forward contracts
allows a UK importer to protect
themselves against a fall in sterling
and a hike in the cost of imports
for up to 24 months, while they
possibly restructure their costs.
On the flip side, many of our
marketplace e-commerce clients
welcomed the recent fall in
sterling, meaning their exports to
the continent are now more
competitive. The key is to ensure
the rise in importing costs does
not offset the new
comparative
advantage of
competitive
exports.
What about other markets?
There are, of course, big markets beyond
the EU, including the USA, China and
India, and many small and medium-sized
businesses hope Brexit ? and the
competitive advantage afforded by the
weak pound ? will lead to opportunities
for more lucrative trade deals with these
players. However, it should be noted that
profitable trade depends in large part on
geographical proximity, and no amount of
negotiation can bring two markets closer
together. Not only that, but with US
President Donald Trump taking a more
insular approach to trade than his
predecessors, small businesses could face
some additional headwinds abroad.
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02 December 2017 THE WEEK
CITY
Companies in the news
...and how they were assessed
CITY 53
UK banks: fit for a disorderly Brexit
Britain?s major lenders are ?robust enough to survive a chaotic Brexit?, according to the
Bank of England?s latest annual ?stress test?, which subjected seven UK banks to their
toughest ?doomsday? scenario yet, said Iain Withers in The Daily Telegraph. ?The
extreme scenario included a slump in both world and UK GDP, a dive in the value of
the pound and house prices falling by a third.? Reassuringly, all but two banks ? RBS
and Barclays ? passed with flying colours. In mitigation, the Bank pointed out that the
tests were based on the two banks? capital positions in late 2016; both have since
improved their capital buffers and would now pass. ?For the first time since the tests
were launched in 2014,? no British bank now ?needs to strengthen its capital position?,
said Christopher Thompson on Reuters Breakingviews. That?s a boon for the
Government: ?the clean bill of health will help state-owned RBS restart dividend
payments?, making it easier for the state to sell down its 71% stake. Still, it won?t be
plain sailing ahead, said Withers. The Bank specifically warned that politicians ?must
act quickly to minimise disruption to trillions of pounds of contracts?.
Seven days in the
Square Mile
Centrica: mini-crash
About �6bn was wiped from the value of British Gas?s parent company last week,
after the energy provider issued a huge profit warning ?following the loss of 823,000
customers in just four months?, said Daniel Grote on Citywire. Shares in the company
endured ?their worst day ever?, tumbling by about 17% ? a mini-crash that took total
share losses for the year to 42%. Centrica?s woes in Britain have been well rehearsed:
?pricing pressure has hurt its retail business? and a cack-handed price rise in August, in
the teeth of public clamour for a price cap, can hardly have improved customer relations.
But the group?s business-facing division is also now in trouble, ?especially in the US,
where it has taken a �m write-down?. Centrica could ?ill afford to break more bad
news?, remarked one analyst, ?but unfortunately, that?s exactly what it?s done?. Many
analysts are now ?fretting about a dividend cut?, said John Collingridge in The Sunday
Times. The company?s boss, Iain Conn, has also admitted that it is now ?open to offers
for its 20% stake in eight nuclear power stations?. Unfortunately, as he noted, ?there are
very few buyers of nuclear assets acceptable to the Government and EDF?, its main
nuclear partner. China is a possibility, but would certainly face political opposition.
Sports Direct: family soap opera
It?s Christmas panto time, said Alistair Osborne in The Times. And instead of the Ugly
Sisters, this year?s theatrical villains are the Ashley Brothers. Most investors thought that
the wrangle involving founder Mike Ashley?s brother John, who was forced out in 2015,
had been resolved. But Ashley is determined to resurrect it. As well as rehiring his brother
apparently to run the group?s IT, he wants to ?reimburse? him �m, arguing that he
missed out on earlier bonuses because of ?concerns? about public relations. Cue outrage.
Everyone knows Ashley likes to keep it in the family, said Jim Armitage in the London
Evening Standard: ?he put his daughter?s boyfriend in charge of the company?s property
division? and clearly ?couldn?t give a monkeys for good governance?. Anyone doubting
that hasn?t done their homework. ?If you don?t like it, sell your shares.?
The pound shot to a two-month high as
traders digested the news that the UK
and EU Brexit talks may have reached
agreement on a divorce settlement,
which could allow negotiations to move
on to transitional arrangements and a
full future trade agreement. The firmer
pound, together with higher gilt yields,
reflect expectations that the Bank of
England could tighten policy at a faster
pace if a deal is achieved. The bitcoin
surge showed no sign of ending.
Having broken through the landmark
$10,000 level, the price gained $1,000
in a morning on Wednesday.
The Government launched a white paper
containing details of a new industrial
strategy designed to increase UK
productivity. It highlighted five key
areas including a ?major? infrastructure
upgrade and ?sector deals? to champion
specific industries.
Ocado shares jumped 21% after the
online grocer announced a deal to
supply its technology to France?s Groupe
Casino supermarket chain; it hopes to
strike ?multiple? similar deals. Palmer
and Harvey, a wholesaler supplying
Tesco and Sainsbury?s went into
administration blaming ?challenging
trading conditions?. The Time Inc.
publishing group put itself up for sale,
it looks likely to be sold to the Meredith
Corporation in a $1.8bn deal. easyJet
admitted a vast gender pay gap: male
employees earn 51.7% more than female
colleagues on average, largely because
?pilots are predominantly male?.
Black Friday: consumers shrug off gloom to carry on shopping
The ?Black Friday? shopping bonanza
following Thanksgiving may be an American
import, but it?s increasingly important to
British retailers ? and the omens ahead of this
year?s event didn?t look too bright, said Alex
Brummer in the Daily Mail. The day fell ?hard
on the heels? of the Budget, and coincided
with economic forecasts of such gloom from
the Institute for Fiscal Studies that one might
have thought ?citizens reading of
unprecedented lost decades of wage growth?
would have been ?inclined to slit their wrists?.
Instead, it seems, they went shopping.
spend �5bn on the day itself. The surge
was mainly down to a sharp increase in
internet spending: ?Britain?s online retailers
won the battle for sales.? But some shops
held up well. ?We traded well in both shops
and online, with shops becoming
increasingly busy as the weekend
progressed,? said Dino Rocos, operations
director at John Lewis.
Black Friday splits retailers, said Joanna
Bourke and Alex Lawson in the London
Evening Standard. Some question ?whether
An early December day for retailers
mass discounting amid the festive shopping
Early tallies show that overall spending on the day was up on a
season is wise for margins and profits?; refuseniks this year
year ago, ?despite a drop in the number of shoppers visiting
included M&S and Ikea. But others, including James Daunt, boss
stores?, said Sarah Butler and Zoe Wood in The Guardian.
of the bookshop chain Waterstones, welcome it, said Brummer.
Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of all debit and credit
Daunt, who is waging a campaign against the online might of
card transactions in the UK, estimated that Black Friday spending
Amazon, embraces Black Friday as ?retail theatre?. It gives his
rose by 8% on last year?s jamboree, with shoppers predicted to
shops a ?very good December day? in November.
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
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Talking points
CITY 55
Issue of the week: the bust-up at the London Stock Exchange
A bitter corporate governance row has raised important questions about transparency in public companies
When the London Stock Exchange
given that the LSE is trying to defend
announced the departure of its chief
London?s role as Europe?s financial
executive Xavier Rolet in October,
centre ? and retain key business such
the group?s chairman, City grandee
as euro clearing ? ahead of Brexit.
Donald Brydon, was effusive about
Hence, perhaps, the intervention this
the Frenchman?s ?remarkable
week of the Bank of England governor,
achievements?, said the FT. But within
Mark Carney, who declared himself a
a fortnight, the situation had begun to
?bit mystified? by the row, said Nils
look much less friendly. The Children?s
Pratley in The Guardian ? though he
Investment Fund ? a 5% LSE
made it clear that the ?Carney cavalry?
shareholder run by the activist investor
was not about to arrive to save Rolet.
Sir Christopher Hohn ? had accused the
Brydon and the other LSE nonboard of unfairly sacking Rolet, and
executives were ?shockingly arrogant in
concealing the fact by inserting gagging
not explaining their thinking? on Rolet?s
clauses in his exit deal. Hohn called for
ousting to shareholders. Now, it seems,
Rolet to be reinstated and for Brydon to
we may never know the full story.
be fired, triggering a bitter dispute that
Rolet: ?domineering? style
has split the City. Ahead of a potentially
?Activist investors do not usually revolt
inflammatory and embarrassing shareholder vote, the LSE has
to stop the chief executive of a business leaving, so the crisis at the
finally called time ? ruling that both men are out. Rolet is stepping Stock Exchange is a striking event,? said John Gapper in the FT.
down with immediate effect; and Brydon will leave in 2019.
Hohn wanted to know why the board had asked Rolet to depart,
seeing how he had excelled in raising the LSE?s value to more than
The outbreak of peace hasn?t come a moment too soon, said
�bn. But that might have involved being candid about some of
Aimee Donnellan and Iain Dey in The Sunday Times. Fears were
Rolet?s failings, not least his ?domineering management style and
?mounting? that a weakened London Stock Exchange ?could fall
dismissiveness towards others?. It is tempting to insist that
victim to an opportunistic takeover bid? as a result of the
?shareholders need the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
?acrimonious split? on its board: Intercontinental Exchange, the
truth?, but no company ? not even the London Stock Exchange ?
owner of New York Stock Exchange, ?has long coveted the LSE?. ?can bear too much transparency?. Disclosing all the tensions in
Moreover, the timing of the bust-up couldn?t have been worse,
boardrooms ?would make corporate life insufferable?.
Unpicking the Budget: what the experts think
up to �0,000. In
expensive areas such
Philip Hammond?s
as London, the first
first autumn Budget
�0,000 of homes up
had ?more giveaways
to �0,000 will not
than takeaways?, said
be taxed. But ?initial
FT Money. Although
enthusiasm turned to
aimed at younger
disappointment? for a
voters, it ?also left
sizeable group on the
wealthy voters
discovery that the duty
relatively unscathed?.
reform doesn?t apply
UK property: ?stagnating?
?Particularly pleasing?
to them, said Anna
was Hammond?s decision not to tinker
Mikhailova in The Sunday Times. Joint
with pensions, noted Jason Hollands of the buyers in particular need to watch out.
Tilney Group: the feared overhaul of tax
They?ll only qualify if neither has, or has
reliefs, or a cut to the general allowance,
had, any interest in a residential property.
didn?t materialise. So for now at least,
Mortgage brokers John Charcol and
?pensions remain unbeatable in their
Kinnison reckon that will rule out about
generosity, especially for higher-earners?.
?one in four first-timers? who are buying
Another measure for wealthy investors was with someone with a property history.
a doubling of the Enterprise Investment
Scheme limit to �, said Tanya Jefferies
? Stuck in the middle
on Thisismoney.co.uk. The move ? which
This reform ?could prompt more firstincreases the tax relief available to a
timers to step on to the first rung of the
potential �0,000 ? is intended to boost
housing ladder?, said Richard Dyson in
investment in ?young and adventurous
The Daily Telegraph. The danger, though,
businesses?. Hitherto, this relief has been
is that they then become ?stuck there?.
widely abused, but Hammond vowed a
Contrary to received wisdom, the most
crackdown on what he called ?low-risk
troubled part of the UK property market
capital preservation schemes?.
isn?t at the ?entry point?, but ?stagnation?
further up the scale. Having bought their
? Stamp of approval?
first house, a swelling group of ?nonFirst-time home-buyers enjoyed the
movers? find they cannot afford to
biggest headline giveaway, typically saving
?convert that equity? into their second
between �500-�000 from the complete property ? because ?static? incomes are
scrapping of stamp duty on houses worth
preventing them from making the upgrade.
? A Budget for
the rich?
Bitcoin hits
$11,000
?Digital gold. The new tulip mania. A
virtual currency.? Whatever you call it,
says Nathaniel Popper in The New York
Times, bitcoin ?is on an extraordinary
run?. The cryptocurrency has just
chalked up a new milestone, breaking
through the $10,000 barrier ? and then
reaching $11,000 ? less than two
months after it crossed $5,000 for the
first time. ?The skyrocketing price has
brought forth no shortage of sceptics?,
from JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie
Dimon to Warren Buffett, variously
calling it ?a fraud, a bubble and a Ponzi
scheme?. But investors ? from smalltime punters to hedge funds ? are still
buying at ever higher prices.
?If Marvel Comics were to design a
template for the ultimate super-bubble,
bitcoin would be it,? says Dominic
Frisby on Moneyweek.com. Naysayers
say it ?relies on greater fool theory? ?
people are only buying because they
think they?ll be able to sell it to
someone else. But who is the greater
fool? ?The guy who participates in the
greatest investment mania any of us
will ever see in our lifetimes, or the guy
who misses out?? Bitcoin has had ?five
80% corrections in its evolution? ? and
another wouldn?t surprise me. But its
potential has far greater implications
than previous bubbles: it?s an entire
system of money. ?So, yes, it?s a
bubble. Yes, it?s gone bananas. But,
yes, it could go a lot higher.?
2 December 2017 THE WEEK
56 CITY
The UK?s
managers must
look to Asia
Philip Aldrick
The Times
Tough times
for high street
restaurants
Jim Armitage
London Evening Standard
The City runs
scared of the
Marx brothers
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
The Daily Telegraph
The knives
are out for
Uber
James Moore
The Independent
THE WEEK 2 December 2017
Commentators
?If the Government wants to raise prosperity, it cannot afford to
ignore bad management,? says Philip Aldrick. Yet the latest
?255-page doorstopper of a white paper?, outlining Britain?s new
industrial strategy, glosses over how to tackle the country?s ?long
tail? of poorly managed companies. It?s a serious oversight. As the
paper itself notes, ?management skills could account for a quarter
of the productivity gap between the UK and the US?. Were that to
be closed, Britain ?would be �0bn richer without a single extra
hour worked?. To kick-start change, we should look to Asia:
techniques to upgrade management skills such as Japan?s kaizen
(continuous improvement) programme, which helped transform
that country after WWII, were at least as important as R&D to
the wider ?Asian miracle? of the 1980s. From Singapore to South
Korea, state campaigns were crucial in spreading ?new practices
to small business?. ?Management quality? among the worst 10%
of firms in China is ?roughly the same as Britain?, notes a new
World Bank report. Since we are, in that respect, ?a developing
nation?, we badly need a ?general management upgrade?.
One sector of the UK economy that needs ?an industrial strategy
fast? is the restaurant business, says Jim Armitage. It has been
having a ?dismal? time. As the boss of one chain puts it: ?flat is
the new up? ? and that?s on a good day. Given the high levels of
debt used to fund expansion plans, he predicts that ?at least four
serious-sized chains? could be ?toast? in the new year if banks
are ?unforgiving? about calling in loans. Why is trade so tough?
?Too many sites have been opened in recent years, just as the
economy starts to cool.? But the more immediate causes are a big
hike in business rates (of 30% and more in London) and surging
staffing costs, thanks to the minimum wage and Brexit. ?The
number of potential workers from Europe has fallen, and those
who remain are becoming more demanding as the pound falls
against the euro and Polish z?oty.? The hospitality sector pays
nearly �bn a year in taxes and productivity ?is growing at
twice the national average?. Yet it features nowhere in the
Government?s white paper. ?Better service, please.?
The US investment bank Morgan Stanley has warned clients
that the prospect of ?a radical left-wing lurch? under Labour
leader Jeremy Corbyn is a ?more serious threat? to British asset
markets than Brexit. It could come sooner than we think, says
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. Morgan Stanley reckons there is now
?a two-thirds likelihood? of a snap election in the second half of
2018, raising the possibility that, for the first time in the trading
life of most investors, a developed OECD country may nationalise
power, water, mail and rail companies. Indeed, the ?double
whammy? of Brexit and a Corbyn government could prove so
?toxic? to stock markets that, in Morgan Stanley?s full-blown
?bear case?, it could lead to recession and a 32% crash in the
FTSE 100 index by 2019. With even family-owned firms now
reportedly ?exploring cashing in their wealth before the guillotine
comes down?, a ?red scare? is gripping the Square Mile. Worries
about the ?Marx Brothers? ? Corbyn and his shadow chancellor,
John McDonnell ? ?are approaching systemic levels?.
Uber?s founder Travis Kalanick is ?still hailed by some as an
inspiration? who built ?one of the great disruptive forces in the
global economy?, says James Moore. But the latest scandal to
afflict the taxi app company may ?force a reassessment?. Around
the world, regulators are ?sharpening their knives? following
Uber?s admission that it concealed a massive data hack, affecting
57 million drivers and passengers, on Kalanick?s watch. And now
his successor, Dara Khosrowshahi, is in the cross hairs too. It has
emerged that he informed a big investor, SoftBank, about the
breach before making the news public. Clearly, even a company
?as cavalier as Uber? would feel obliged to fess up to a ?potential
partner with $10bn in its back pocket?. But Khosrowshahi ?
hired to turn Uber into a ?responsible business? ? has been
criticised for telling an investor before the users and drivers
affected were informed. It?s too early to gauge the consequences
of what may be ?the greatest crisis? in Uber?s ?short life?. But
those who attacked London?s Mayor Sadiq Khan for stripping the
firm of its licence to operate ?don?t look so clever now?.
City profiles
Andy Palmere
Aston Martin has ?pulled a
handbrake turn? under the
leadership of Andy Palmer,
says the FT. Last week, the
luxury British carmaker ?
which has been bankrupt
seven times ? recorded two
notable moments: launching
its latest car, the �0,000
Vantage, and posting its first
consecutive four quarters of
profit since at least 2008.
?It was a great day,? says
Palmer, who took over in
2014 after 23 years at
Nissan. ?It made all the bad
days worthwhile.? Described
as the perfect fusion of
?British West Midlands
industrialist? and ?Japanese
perfectionist?, Palmer is a
?real car guy?, who ?spent
weeks sleeping at the office?
while he fixed Aston, which
now plans to float next year.
With five major new cars
expected before 2022, ?we?re
in harvest mode?, he says.
Jeff Bezos
If you were one of millions
shopping on Amazon on
Black Friday, congratulations,
says Chris Isidore on CNN.
com: ?You helped make Jeff
Bezos a $100bn man.?
Bloomberg, which tracks the
wealth of the world?s richest
people, estimates that
Amazon?s founder reached
the ?12-digit milestone? after
making $2.4bn last Friday
alone, when the stock ?got a
lift? from positive shopping
reports. ?Amazon?s shares
are up 58% this year, enough
to enrich Bezos by about
$34bn? ? and putting him
well ahead of Microsoft
founder Bill Gates, the only
other person thought to have
cracked $100bn, when the
dotcom bubble ?briefly put
him over the mark? in 1999.
Having vied with Bezos all
year for the title of ?world?s
richest person?, Gates is
now firmly back in second
place, with a ?mere? $89bn.
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CITY 59
Who?s tipping what
The week?s best buys
Directors? dealings
Just Group
The Mail on Sunday
Panmure Gordon believes
this retirement services ?rm
has a ?sustainable competitive
advantage? over new entrants
such as Legal & General.
Market growth rates of 25%
per year are expected to
continue. Buy. 156.3p.
Young & Co?s Brewery
Investors Chronicle
The London-focused pub
group continues to invest in
its prime freehold estate of
properties with the purchase of
two iconic pubs. Drinks and
food sales are up, thanks to its
premium positioning in the
market. Buy. �.61
Empresaria
Investors Chronicle
Shares in the specialist recruiter
have plummeted on fears over
new legislation in Germany
and weakness in the Middle
East. But the ?rm is well
diversi?ed and still expects
record pro?ts. Falls are
overdone. Buy. 98p.
NCC Group
Shares
The cyber-security consultant
and software escrow services
provider is recovering after
a painful year. With a new
CEO and chairman, pro?ts
are strengthening and shares
could reach 300p again.
Buy. 226p.
Yu Group
Investors Chronicle
Yu supplies gas and electricity
to corporate customers and
has grown rapidly since
entering the market in April
2016. Rated for customer
service, renewal rates are at
80%. Expanding into water.
Buy. 795p.
Next
5,500
5,250
5,000
4,750
4,500
4,250
4,000
Chairman
buys 5,018
3,750
3,500
Jun
Jul
AO World
Investors Chronicle
The online white goods
retailer?s ?spend big to grow
fast? strategy continues to hurt
pro?ts. UK sales have risen, but
marketing costs and widening
losses in Europe have increased
the overall loss. Sell. 112p.
Dignity
Investors Chronicle
The funeral provider faces
increasing competition and a
shrinking market share. Costs
and debt are high owing to
investment costs and digitalplatform work. Analysts have
trimmed forecasts. Sell. �.43.
Go-Ahead Group
The Daily Telegraph
Political uncertainty and the
threat of renationalisation
under a Labour government
have made the travel
operator look vulnerable.
Rail franchises are in
Jeremy Corbyn?s sights ?
even buses ?may not be safe?.
Sell. �.22.
Sep
Oct
Nov
Next is up against tough
comparative ?gures for
Christmas and has struggled
to pep up ?agging sales.
Chairman Michael Roney has
shown con?dence in the high
street retailer, spending more
than �6,000 on shares.
?and some to hold, avoid or sell
Accrol Group Holdings
The Daily Telegraph
After a six-week suspension,
shares in the lavatory roll and
kitchen towel-maker are
trading again, but the dividend
has gone and the same worries
remain. The dif?culty in
passing on cost increases to
customers is a ?huge concern?.
Sell. 46p
Aug
Form guide
Just Eat
The Sunday Times
The takeaway app has nearly
20 million signed-up
customers and 79,000
restaurants. Shares have
trebled in three years, but the
valuation looks ??t to burst?
as new competitors emerge.
Take pro?ts. Sell. 819p.
Majestic Wine
The Times
The wine retailer is on track
in the ?nal stage of a threeyear turnaround. Stores have
been revamped and customer
retention has improved.
50% of sales are now ?multichannel?, and 20% are from
overseas. Hold. 425.5p.
Shares tipped 12 weeks ago
Best tip
Moneysupermarket.com
The Sunday Times
up 4.71% to 336p
Worst tip
ZPG
The Mail on Sunday
down 6.38% to 330p
Market view
?We are adamant that the
?fear of missing out? at
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