Stephen Pollard



The price of freedom

By Stephen Pollard, June 18, 2007

As Daniel Finkelstein writes:

The decision to recommend that Salman Rushdie receive a knighthood was a bold and correct one. In addition to the merit of his literary work, the author is a symbol of free speech.

The counter-attack was bound to come, and it has.

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Scrolling

By Stephen Pollard, June 17, 2007

Thanks to those of you who have written about the problem scrolling down the page. I'm assured that it's being worked on. I'm as frustrated as you are - it's galling writing posts and no one being able to read them.

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Mr Offensive-Moron and the little Offensive-Morons

By Stephen Pollard, June 16, 2007

I mentioned below that I'd return to the subject of British audiences. Forgive the narcissism, but here's what I had to say in December 2002:

According to the reviews, the performance of Mahler's Sixth Symphony that I went to last week was "transcendent", "emotionally perfect" and "violently good". A friend called me the following morning and told me that it was one of the most powerful experiences of her life.

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Agent Zigzag

By Stephen Pollard, June 16, 2007

There's a genre of biography which I love: the stories of minor figures who led fascinating lives. By far my favourite is Bernard Wasserstein's simply wonderful biography of Trebitsch Lincoln, which I urge you to read - it's a romp.

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A perfectly darling little gypsy thingy

By Stephen Pollard, June 16, 2007

I'm sure Deborah Brown is a perfectly lovely lady, but this sentence from today's Times Money is just so horribly...well, you'll either get what I mean or you won't. DEBORAH BROWN, whose children Antonia, Piers and Frances attend independent schools, was browsing Schoolstrader when she came across an original Gypsy caravan – something she has been seeking for 15 years – priced at £1,500.

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It's not their fault - we made them kill each other

By Stephen Pollard, June 15, 2007

An utterly bizarre sentence in Clemency Burton-Hill's utterly bizarre post at the Coffee House yesterday: For once, on this bleakest of days, I find it hard not to want to blame the Palestinians themselves.

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Brendel and the new Festival Hall

By Stephen Pollard, June 15, 2007

I agree with a lot of what Intermezzo has to say about Brendel last night, although I'm a little more upbeat:

The opening Haydn sonata, surprisingly chocker with bum notes even by Brendel's own carefree standards, was otherwise a model of delicacy and restraint.

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E’ come uno che uccide i genitori e poi chiede clemenza ai giudici perche e orfano

By Stephen Pollard, June 14, 2007

I have a small piece on Tony Blair's 'feral beast' speech in today's Il Foglio. You can read it here (if you speak Italian!).

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The Borathon

By Stephen Pollard, June 14, 2007

No, Clive, it's not just you. I've not even lasted 10 minutes with Dimblebore's borathon. What a total waste of time and money. I've tried two and lost the will to live very early on, for exactly the reasons you mention.

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Antisemitic, pure and not so simple

By Stephen Pollard, June 14, 2007

Do read the full version of Anthony Julius' and Alan Dershowitz' piece in today's Times on the boycott.

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European Parliament bans refutation of Protocols

By Stephen Pollard, June 13, 2007

Not much manages to shock me when it comes to European antisemitism. This has.

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An election victory of sorts

By Stephen Pollard, June 13, 2007

So Shimon Peres has, after 83 years, at last won an election. Sort of. It was MK's who elected him President, rather than the electorate. And the other two candidates had to pull out first. Still, Mazel Tov!

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What is Facebook for?

By Stephen Pollard, June 13, 2007

I was invited by a friend to join Facebook yesterday, so I did. Try anything, I will. Now I might be one of those new-fangled blogger types, and I might be able to file via my Blackberry (although somewhat cack-handedly). But really, I have not the least idea what the point of Facebook is, other than to fritter away half the day looking at friends of friends and saying to yourself, 'oh, he knows her'.

Am I missing something? Or is that it?

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Goldbergs

By Stephen Pollard, June 13, 2007

I couldn't agree more with Clive about the Goldberg Variations. If I was only allowed one piece on that desert island, I think it would have to be the Goldberg (although possibly the B minor Mass or Mozart's C minor Mass).

I also agree with him about Dimitry Sitkovetsky's string trio arrangement, which grew on me, too.

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A proper boycott

By Stephen Pollard, June 12, 2007

The estimable Jonathan Hoffman has come up with an appropriate response to the UCU's boycott vote - this memo to Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the University and College Union.

Dear Ms Hunt

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Genius

By Stephen Pollard, June 12, 2007

David Aaronovitch has an interesting piece today on educating children. It reminds me of one of my favourite anecdotes.

The remarkably accomplished Ron Cass told me how, when he was 10, his father yelled at him in exasperation at something he had done: "How did you turn out to be so stupid?".

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