Blogs

Welcome to Spiel, the JC’s blog.


  • What an Ace Pepper

    Candice Krieger
    Jul 29, 2009

    To you and me, they may look like ordinary peppers but don't be fooled. They are credited with claiming more vitamins than any other variety. Called the ACE pepper, they were discovered in Israel (of course) and are now being developed by Marks & Spencer in Waltham Cross, Essex, where they are grown without pesticides.

    Apparently eating just one of the peppers contains all the vitamin C needed for a day, and half the recommended amount of vitamins A and E. Dr Simon Coupe, a fresh-produce technologist for M&S, predicts the vegetable will supersede other peppers in the future. He said: "We spend a lot of time and effort roaming the world trying to find new and inventive products." What next from the holy land, home of high-tech? A solar-powered self-peeling satsuma pehaps.

     

  • Going shopping

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 27, 2009


    Put yourself in the shoes of an official spokesman for a government which has issues with the US. How would you react to remarks by Hillary Clinton with which you disagree?

    Not like this, I venture to suggest:

    An unnamed North Korean official quoted by the state-run KCNA news
    agency calls Clinton "by no means intelligent" and a "funny lady."

  • Swedes a go-go

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 27, 2009

    Here's a nice little story from the Swedish cabinet (how many times do you get to write that in a lifetime?), from Prospect:

    [O]ne minister recently updated his Facebook profile during a dull cabinet
    meeting, only to receive a reply within minutes. “Shouldn’t you be paying more
    attention to the discussion,” said the message, which turned out to have been
    sent from the other side of the table, by Sweden’s foreign minister, Carl
    Bildt.

     

  • Grrr

    Jenni Frazer
    Jul 27, 2009

    Listening to this morning's Today programme I just avoided throwing something at the radio, which was a good thing, since I was driving at the time.
    Sarah Montague was interviewing the International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander, who appears to have forgotten how to speak English.
    Was it time, Montague asked, to negotiate with the Taliban? Only, Alexander confidently replied, "if they renunciate violence." "Renunciate"? What's the matter with the word "renounce"? A little later he was warbling about "stabilisation" rather than the word normal people use, "stability."
    Even if Douglas Alexander was actually saying something important, which I beg leave to doubt, any message he had was lost in a forest of word-mangling. It is a disease of politicians, and it is spreading faster than swine flu.

  • Friends in High Places

    Simon Rocker
    Jul 24, 2009

    One of the main arguments of the Chief Rabbi’s new book , Future Tense, is that we need not be a “people that dwells alone” and that Jews have friends in the fight against antisemitism and other issues.

    Here’s an example – from Lord Alton, writing this week in the Catholic newspaper, The Universe.

    “For those of us who call ourselves European, the Holocaust means that antisemitism holds a unique and special horror, a horror that had its origins in 2,000 years of hatred directed at Jewish people. Blood libel and caricature has mutated into new forms of hatred, sometimes masquerading on the internet under the guise of free speech, sometimes originating as part of new virulent ideologies from heads of state.”

  • Relapsed members

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 24, 2009

    Tim Worstall has had a look through Demos' Open Left site, and this is what he found:

    For example, from a College Lecturer, we get a glimpse of why the education system is so crap:

    I could never be anything but left wing – my mother is
    the daughter of a South Yorkshire miner, a trade unionist and long time
    (but now relapsed) Labour Party activist.