Welcome to Spiel, the JC’s blog.

  • Ludicrous

    Stephen Pollard
    May 12, 2009

    I'm not sure if I believe this story:

    A Muslim catering manager has accused the
    Metropolitan Police of religious discrimination as he was told he may
    have to handle sausages and bacon.

    Hasanali Khoja was told he would be expected to handle pork
    products at his new job at the Empress State Building in Earls Court,
    west London.

    His lawyer said Mr Khoja was excused from pork meat in his previous job at Hendon Police College in north London.

  • Jordan and Peter Andre split

    Alex Kasriel
    May 11, 2009

    The couple have just released an official statement confirming they have separated.

    Whatever you think about the glamour model (real name Katie Price), her lewd antics and her pneumatic breasts, it is still a sad fact that her marriage of four years is over.

    This is especially true as they have two children together: Junior, three, and one-year-old daughter Princess Tiáamii.  And Jordan, who is halachically Jewish has another son, Harvey, six by footballer Dwight Yorke.

  • BBC gets it wrong as always

    Stephen Pollard
    May 11, 2009

    Shockingly bad coverage of the Pope's visit to Israel on the BBC. I've just watched the 5pm bulletin on News 24, and the reporter, Paul Wood, comment thus on Benedict's opening remarks: 

    For the Israeli government, these were unwelcome words. They don't want a two-state solution - a Palestinain state alongside Israel. The Pope does.

    This from an expert correspondent? Can Mr Wood really not get his mind round the distinction between not publicly embracing an idea and being opposed to it? Formal acceptance of the idea of a two-state solution is simply being held in reserve by Netanyahu in return for...well, that's the real question.

  • When 'Middle East' really means Arab

    Jan Shure
    May 11, 2009

    We are, in case you need reminding, half way through 2009; it is 31 years since the Camp David agreement, close to 20 years since the Arab boycott of Israel officially ended and 16 years since Yitzhak Rabin and Yassir Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn, leading - supposedly - to the normalization of relations between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

    Yet how often does the phrase "Middle Eastern" in any kind of commercial context, actually include Israel, and how often is it a handy euphemism for "Arab nations", invariably excluding Israel.

    This is always made very clear at the UK's main travel exhibition, World Travel Market, held each November - these days at ExCel in Docklands, but in former years at Earls Court. Whatever the venue, the "Middle East" invariably fails to include Israel; at last November's show, Israel was somewhere between Greece and Portugal in the North Hall sector entitled "Europe and Mediterranean", while all of its geographical neighbours were located in the South Hall sector named "Middle East and North Africa". The organizers of WTM may, of course, have placed Israel there on security grounds, possibly at the request of Israel.

  • Collaboration

    Stephen Pollard
    May 11, 2009

    I hold no brief for the Evening Standard under its old regime. But compared to the new look paper... The relentless froth and puffery is plain dull. I can't think of a single reason why anyone would buy it, rather than grab one of the freesheets.

    As for the paper's 'Sorry' campaign - here's what the previous editor, Veronica Wadley,. has to say:

    London is laughing at this ludicrous campaign. Saying 'Sorry' for
    the past smacks of a Soviet courtroom 'confession'. 'Sorry' has all the
    hallmarks of a KGB-style smear campaign. It denigrates the judgment of
    500,000 loyal readers who have been buying the paper in recent years.

  • A Littlejohn

    Jenni Frazer
    May 11, 2009

    New readers start here. A favourite catchphrase of the columnist Richard Littlejohn is "You couldn't make it up."

    Much the same thought flickered briefly this morning as I listened to the long litany of excuses trotted out by MPs caught in the Telegraph's relentless spotlight over the parliamentary expenses scandal.

    My absolute fave today was the Conservative woman (her name, mercifully, escapes me) who, having had the temerity to claim for dog food, now thinks that she's making things right by repaying the claim — a whole £4. This is not just chutzpah, this is 24-carat gold chutzpah. Like I said, A Littlejohn.

  • The Pope is deeply suspect to Jewish eyes (The Times)

    Stephen Pollard
    May 11, 2009

    I have a piece in today's Times on the Pope's visit to Israel. You can read it here.

    This is the conclusion:

    If ever there was a case for avoiding public display and concentrating
    on quiet activity, surely it is this. Instead of a visit that risks
    inflaming already heated passions, far better to let the Pope’s future
    deeds demonstrate that his actions to date have been an aberration.

  • Another plot

    Stephen Pollard
    May 8, 2009

    The Olympics. Now, whatever you might think of London taxpayers being crippled for generations so that people can run around and throw things in 2012, here's something I bet you didn't realise.

    It's all a Zionist - aka Jewish - conspiracy.

    Specifically, the dates of the London Olympics.

  • Storm in a bra cup. Or why M&S shouldn't reduce its big bra surcharge

    Alex Kasriel
    May 8, 2009

    It has just been announced that Marks & Spencer has scrapped its surcharge on bigger bras after a revolt from large busted women.

    A group calling itself 'Busts 4 Justice' won enormous support for its fight against the extra £2 levy on bras larger than a DD-cup.

    I myself am in the higher-than-DD-cup bracket, but you know what, I didn't resent paying more for a £16 bra. At least M&S stocked bras in my size. (It has always been a struggle to find anything above a DD in most stores.) And at least at M&S underwear is cheaper than the rest of the posh brands who charge upwards of £25 for a bra, whatever the size.