Stephen Pollard



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.

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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.

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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?

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Trade unions are back, and their aim is to create chaos (Express)

By Stephen Pollard, October 27, 2010

I have a piece in today's Express on the FBU strike. It's here.

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At last Cameron's Tories learn to love Baroness Thatcher (Express)

By Stephen Pollard, October 14, 2010

I have a piece on Baroness Thatcher's 85th birthday in today's Express. It's here.

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Booker Prize: It's a funny old thing, Jewish humour ... (Daily Telegraph)

By Stephen Pollard, October 14, 2010

I have a piece in today's Teleraph on Jewish humour. It's here.

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Review: Rigoletto

By Stephen Pollard, October 14, 2010

Rigoletto at the Royal Opera House is a mixed bag. To give it its due, it is gripping and certainly a terrific night out. But there is something missing.

The first act, in the Duke's palace, does not quite come off. It is all very busy, but in David McVicar's production the orgy leaves nothing to the imagination, which actually has the effect of diluting the impact of the music.

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Review: Radamisto

By Stephen Pollard, October 14, 2010

It is hard to credit that a generation ago Handel's operas were thought to be worthy and dull - tuneful, but almost totally devoid of dramatic interest or even, for all but a specialist audience, of musical purpose.

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The JC's blogs, comments and bans

By Stephen Pollard, October 8, 2010

A number of bloggers have asked in recent posts if I
could explain our policy in relation to moderation, and what – and what not –
we consider acceptable.

Let me try to give some context. We have two aims, which
are in a sense irreconcilable. The tension emerges when we try to reconcile
them.

First, we want to encourage as many people as possible to
set up their own blogs and to use the JC’s site as a forum for debate and
discussion – in fact for whatever purpose people want.

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Shadow Cabinet elections

By Stephen Pollard, October 7, 2010

I've been trying to find a bookie offering odds on today's results, but with no luck. The reason? I'm convinced that one of the top places will be won by a man whose name hasn't been mentioned at all in the predictions: Jim Murphy.
Leave aside that he is one of the most popular MPs on the Labour benches. Leave aside his abilities. As Scottish Secretary, he had one job: to save as many Scottish Labour MPs' skins as possible. And he was remarkably successful in that task.

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Review: Niobe, Regina Di Tebe

By Stephen Pollard, September 28, 2010

One of the most alluring of artistic myths is that of the lost masterpiece. With paintings it is sometimes true; there have even been great novels that have laid undiscovered for decades.

Niobe, Regina di Tebe is an opera by the obscure Italian composer, Agostino Steffani, which was first performed in Munich in 1688. It circulated around Europe for a few years and was then never heard again, until a revival in Germany in 2008.

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Action, not talk, brings peace

By Stephen Pollard, September 28, 2010

Many moons ago, before I entered the sordid world of journalism, I worked in the sordid world of politics. I was secretary to a Labour Party committee which had been charged with drafting a new constitution for the party, including - how last weekend's events brought the horrors back! - an electoral college.

After weeks of negotiations between representatives of the different wings of the party, it was, I decided, hopeless. The preconditions laid down were irreconcilable. We were doomed to failure.

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The great scandal of the age

By Stephen Pollard, September 22, 2010

The Guardian today highlights one of the great scandals of our time. An outrage so, well, outrageous, that the country would, if we Brits had any decency, be protesting in the streets.

It is, of course, "UK poetry's ethnic imbalance".

Yup. Someone called Lara Pawson has penned a piece in the paper which appears to be serious, even though it just has to be a skit. I mean it just has to be...

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Come on my son...

By Stephen Pollard, September 22, 2010

Here we go again. Major Miller is running tomorrow at Fontwell in the 4.10.

Fingers crossed.

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Review: Cosi Fan Tutte

By Stephen Pollard, September 21, 2010

The eighth revival of Jonathan Miller's Royal Opera House production of Mozart's Così Fan Tutte is, if anything, even finer now than when it was first performed in 1995, when most of the interest seemed to be generated by the Giorgio Armani costumes. They have long since been dumped, and have been replaced by "normal-looking" modern dress for this run.

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Hi Steven...

By Stephen Pollard, September 19, 2010

Nigel Farndale is bang on the money with a piece about being addressed by one's first name. It's here.

I loved this:

[P]upils at a primary school in
Kent have been told to use their teachers’ first names. You have to wonder
how this idea came about. Were the teachers sitting around in the staff room
saying, “Do you know what our problem is? Our pupils show us far too much
respect”? 

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We could do with some tea party politics in Britain (Daily Express)

By Stephen Pollard, September 17, 2010

I have a piece in today's Express on the 'tea party' in the US. It's here.

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Avram is damned if he stays away . . . and damned if he doesn’t (Evening Standard)

By Stephen Pollard, September 16, 2010

I have a piece in today's Evening Standard on Avram Grant's decision to stay away from West Ham's game on Yom Kippur. It's here.

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Observing in our own ways

By Stephen Pollard, September 16, 2010

Can I be honest? It might come as a surprise to some of you, but I am not the Chief Rabbi.

There. I've said it. There are, one might have thought, few reasons to think I am in fact, the Chief Rabbi - I don't have a beard, for starters - but, believe me, there are people out there who think otherwise.

It didn't take me long to realise that the post of editor of the JC comes with what one might call extra-curricular duties.

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