Welcome to Spiel, the JC’s blog.

  • Where's more expensive; London or Tel Aviv?

    Candice Krieger
    Jul 7, 2009

    London is the 16th most expensive city in the world to live in, according to the latest figures by consultants Mercer. While it has dropped 13 places from last year, it is still above Tel Aviv, but only just. The Israeli city is sitting just behind in 17th. Tokyo has knocked Mexico off the top spot. Must be all that sushi.

    Here's the full list, courtesy of Mercer's survey: 

  • Out to lunch

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 7, 2009

    Ed Balls has just posted a bizarre tweet:

    on way to Cabinet.9am start not v family-friendly.Thank goodness for grandparents...

    What time does he think most people start their jobs? 10.30, 11? I'd guess that most people start work at or by 9am. 

  • Ecclestone and Mandelson, hand in hand still

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 7, 2009

    Yesterday we carried on this site a JC interview with Bernie Ecclestone in which he apologised for his remarks about Hitler.

    It's not surprising that he wanted to kill off the story asap - his remarks on Saturday had gone round the world with the speed at which the internet disseminates news and were (in fact, they still are) threatening to undermine, if not destroy, his position. 

    I now know who was advising Mr Ecclestone on his crisis management strategy. Step forward Lord Mandelson, who had at least one lengthy conversation with Bernie Ecclestone yesterday and who told him what best to do to kill off the story. 

  • Puff at your peril

    Simon Rocker
    Jul 7, 2009

    Out and about yesterday, I was surprised to see a couple of men in kippot standing outside a kosher restaurant having a cigarette. Smoking Jews are an increasingly uncommon sight these days and rabbis have debated whether tobacco should be proscribed.

  • Major Miller's summer au revoir

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 7, 2009

    It's the big day. I know you're all eager with anticipation and counting the minutes down until the 8.50 at Uttoxeter this evening.

    Yes, it's Major Miller's last run until his summer holidays. After his fall last time at Aintree he's back over hurdles in a 3 mile handicap. It's a tough ask, because he has to carry 11 stone 11, but Nicky Henderson says he hasn't ever had him moving so well before.

    He's 9/1 at the moment. I'll have a small each way bet.

  • Tweet your prayer

    Jessica Elgot
    Jul 6, 2009

    The Kotel, (@thekotel) a Twitter service is allowing Jews around the world to post their prayers to the Western Wall in Jerusalem...via Twitter.

    They explain on their website the service they offer includes a delivery of your tweet-prayer directly to the wall.

    "All you need to do is to tweet your prayers and wishes, and they’ll be printed on real paper, cut down to small notes, and placed in the Wall."

  • Jihadists are fine in the civil service, but not anonymous expenses rip-off posts

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 6, 2009

    Excellent post on Harry's Place pointing out the discrepancy between the treatment by the civil service of Lisa Greenwood and Azad Ali:

    the one hand we have Lisa Greenwood getting sacked for anonymously
    expressing her outrage over MP the expenses scandal. On the other we
    have Azad Ali openly glorifying jihad.
    are Civil Servants governed by the same code of conduct, but only one
    gets sacked – and it’s not the one lambasting the British state or
    promoting violence against Israel.
    What a disgrace.

  • Influential Jews, Bernie Ecclestone and the BBC

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 6, 2009

    We'll be having more on Bernie Ecclestone's Hitler interview later today - watch the JC site.

    But in the meanwhile, I had a bizarre conversation yesterday with a Today programme producer, who wanted me to go on this morning to talk about it. 'What aspect?', I asked. 'How it will have gone down with inflential Jews who support F1', the woman replied.

    'What do you mean 'influential Jews'?' I asked. 'Ummm - those with lots of money who support F1'. 'Can you tell me which ones you are referring to?', I replied. 'Ummm, Philip Green? I assume he must be involved'. The conversation went on in similar vein.

  • Ten Days - out now!

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 6, 2009

    Forgive the plug, but my new book, Ten Days That Changed The Nation - the Making of Modern Britain, is out today.

    Here's what the blurb on the back says:

    Sometimes it is not big events or great men or women that change
    history. Often, an apparently trivial occasion or insignificant
    decision changes everything.