Welcome to Spiel, the JC’s blog.

  • A Reaganite, Thatcherite Conservative leader

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 15, 2009

    There's an excellent post at Conservative Home by Dan Hannan, on the election of Michał Kamiński as leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR):

    When Michal made his first speech as an MEP, he hymned the praises
    of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, to the unfeigned horror of the
    EPP. He is, in short, the closest thing to a British Tory outside the
    Carlton Club.

    In a sense, Michal’s election was accidental. It had
    originally been planned that he would take a parliamentary
    Vice-Presidency while a Briton became the first leader of the European
    Conservatives and Reformists (ECR). But my erstwhile colleague Edward
    Macmillan-Scott decided to have a go at the Vice-Presidency himself,
    which upset all the calculations (Edward lost the Conservative Whip in

  • Postcard from Lod

    Danny Caro
    Jul 14, 2009

    Do not enter. That is the sign I was expecting to see after hearing some unfavourable reports about Lod – the venue for Team GB’s Open Cricket match against South Africa.

    The drugs capital of Israel, as described by my driver Ami, who reminds me of Mr T, is somewhere one should try to avoid. Ami is no weakling. He regularly lifts heavy weights and is built like a brickhouse. He has given me plenty of sound advice since I arrived to cover the Maccabiah, so when he talks, I listen.

    The fact that he was less than enthusiastic about taking me there said everything I needed to know.

  • The Whitehouse

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 14, 2009

    Watching the Daily Politics on BBC2. The caption under Andrew Roberts reads:

    Andrew has dined in the Whitehouse with...

    We hand over our earnings, under threat of imprisonment, for this.

  • Libido gum

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 14, 2009

    Hamas have discovered a dastardly plot:

    Is Israel targeting the Palestinian population in Gaza by distributing libido-increasing chewing gum in the Strip? A Hamas police spokesman in the Gaza Strip Islam Shahwan claimed Monday that Israeli intelligence operatives are attempting to "destroy" the young generation by distributing such materials in the coastal enclave.


  • The big issue: Obama's hair

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 14, 2009

    Remember that little story last week about President Obama giving a girl the once over at the G8? (Although the video showed - quelle surprise - that Sarkozy's letch was far more pronounced.)

    James Delingpole saw the pics and drew a far more important conclusion: the President is losing his hair. Or, as he writes:

    [I]s the president’s hair starting to come out in funny, tufty little
    packages, almost, one might say, as if the onerous business of
    transforming a once proud free nation into a liberal fascist tyranny
    has started to trouble not just his mind but his scalp too.

  • Er, the horror

    Jenni Frazer
    Jul 13, 2009

    I've just learned, with some consternation, that Prime Minister Gordon Brown was born in the same nursing home in Glasgow as me and my brother. (Brown's older, by the way.)
    I didn't realise that the Orchard Park Nursing Home, now a hotel, was supposedly the Queen Charlotte's of Glasgow. How aspirant of my parents.
    And there was I thinking that the blue plaque in the bar was reserved for us.

  • Potty for poetry

    Jessica Elgot
    Jul 13, 2009

    Ok, yes this is my second Harry Potter related post in my very short time at the JC, but I couldn't resist this.

    The Telegraph reports
    that Daniel Radcliffe is following in the footsteps of his Jewish poetic forefathers like Allen Ginsberg and Isaac Rosenberg by pouring out his little teenage heart into poetry for cult mag 'Rubbish'.

    But Radcliffe decided to keep his anonymity by using the distinctly kosher pen name Jacob Gershon, a combination of his middle name and the Jewish version of his mother's maiden name, Gresham.