Stephen Pollard

Union extremists will bring back the bad old days (Express)

By Stephen Pollard, December 22, 2010

I have a piece in today's Express on Len McCluskey and the more extreme union leaders. It's here.


Ken Clarke: wrong about everything (Daily Express)

By Stephen Pollard, December 14, 2010

I have a piece about Ken Clarke in today's Express. It's here.


Best stick to bishoping, Nigel

By Stephen Pollard, December 10, 2010

I have discovered an unexpected pleasure since entering the world of religious media - the special delight in spotting the many bizarre religious comments which emerge from unlikely sources.

You know the sort of thing: TV presenters who think that having an expensive haircut and a botoxed forehead qualifies them to adjudicate on the schisms within Judaism; or self-appointed Muslim spokesmen who claim to have unearthed the anti-Muslim agenda of the JC.

But last month I came across a comment which makes all the others look like models of rational thought.


All the time in the world

By Stephen Pollard, December 8, 2010

This comment has been left on Comment is Free today, under a piece about the NHS reforms:

My Father was a GP. He sure as hell
didn't earn millions, not even close. He did, however, work 24-hours a day,
seven days a week.

Blimey. I'm intrigued how he managed to eat or sleep, let alone father a child.

(I'm indebted to Leo McKinstry for pointing this out to me.)


Green Paper that is no more than a criminals' charter (Express)

By Stephen Pollard, December 8, 2010

I have a piece in today's Express on Ken Clarke's sentencing gree paper. It's here.


Spurs - a Jewish sports club

By Stephen Pollard, December 6, 2010

As some of you may know, I'm a Spurs season ticket holder. We have, of course, a reputation for our Jewish fans. But according to today's Evening Standard, it's much more formal than that:


42 The Calls

By Stephen Pollard, December 6, 2010

There is something which lifts the spirits about a special breakfast sausage menu which thoughtfully lists all the bangers that are without a trace of pork.

That's the kind of thinking which is typical of this luxury boutique hotel in Leeds' newly vibrant "The Calls" district, overlooking the River Aire.

It's the attention to detail which lifts 42 The Calls above the average.

After checking in, you're handed a reviving glass of wine as a taster from the honesty bar.


Opera: Adriana Lecouvreur

By Stephen Pollard, November 29, 2010

Adriana Lecouvreur is one of those pieces that you have heard of, and most probably heard an aria or two from, but never actually seen.

Its composer, Francesco Cilea, is usually dismissed as a one-hit-wonder (a particularly stupid insult, since it attacks the victim for being a success; how many opera composers manage even one hit?). But immediately successful as Adriana Lecouvreur was after its premiere in 1902, the fact that it has not been seen at Covent Garden since 1906 shows that it hardly qualifies as a repertory piece.


Coalition reforms are too timid to tranform schools (Express)

By Stephen Pollard, November 26, 2010

I have a piece in today's Express on the Schools White Paper (including a horrible grammatical howler). It's here.


The Coexistence Trust: I was wrong

By Stephen Pollard, November 16, 2010

The Coexistence Trust have (politely) taken umbrage at my blog below.

Having read the transcript of the interview with Rokhsana Fiaz, the co-director, it's clear to me that they are right to be annoyed - she didn't say what I thought I heard her say. So first of all, I apologise (they haven't asked for an apology - this isn't some legal thing; I simply owe it to them and her). 

Here is what she said:



Opera: Don Giovanni

By Stephen Pollard, November 11, 2010

Have you heard of Rufus Norris? It seems you should have, because Mr Norris is a more important artistic figure than Mozart.

Actually, that is not quite right. Mr Norris thinks he is more important than Mozart. That is the only conclusion I can draw from his production of Don Giovanni at the ENO.


Coexistence on whose terms?

By Stephen Pollard, November 8, 2010

I was listening to Sunday on Radio 4 on, erm, Sunday, when I was pulled up short by a remark from someone from the Coexistence Trust. Talking about extremism, in the context of Muslim terror, she said the trust works to combat extremism on both sides.

Eh? I'd be fascinated if she could supply us with details of the Jewish terrorists now threatening us and claiming to act in the name of the Torah. Maybe the Coexistence Trust knows something unknown to the rest of the world. Do share.



By Stephen Pollard, November 8, 2010

This 'gala celebration' of Mikhail Gorbachev's 80th birthday, to take place in March at the Royal Albert Hall, has possibly the most surreal line up on a London stage one could imagine:

Gerhard Schroder, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hugh Grant.

Bizarre doesn't even come close.


William Hague is an enemy of Iran, and that's good enough for Israel (Daily Telegraph)

By Stephen Pollard, November 5, 2010

I have a piece in today's Te;egraph on William Hague's visit to Israel. It's here.


Government must be made to foster small businesses (Daily Express)

By Stephen Pollard, November 2, 2010

I have a piece in today's Express on small businesses. It's here.


Interview: Evgeny Kissin

By Stephen Pollard, November 1, 2010

For Evgeny Kissin, the piano is no longer the only means of communication. Renowned worldwide since performing both Chopin concertos as a 12 year old, Kissin has always avoided politics and controversy. Unlike musicians such as Daniel Barenboim, Kissin has stuck to his artistry.

But he has decided that "as a Jew" he must now change that. "After all this time of anti-Israel hysteria, I felt that I had to raise my voice." He dipped his toe in the water earlier this year with an open letter to the BBC about its coverage.


Opera: Romeo et Juliette

By Stephen Pollard, November 1, 2010

I have to confess to spending most of my time at the Royal Opera's revival of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette wondering why anyone would choose to pay good money to hear such third rate hackery.

But people do. Then again, there is a market for Lloyd Webber. His pieces, however, stand or fall on the public's willingness to pay for them. Not these performances, which are subsidised by you and me. Why?