Iqbal Khan FORMER President of Egypt, Muhammad Morsi, collapsed on June 17 just after having addressed the court, speaking from the glass cage he was kept in during sessions; during this address, he had warned that he had “many secrets” he could reveal, a judicial official said. In earlier court sessions he used to give angry speeches until judges ordered him kept in a glass cage where they could turn off his audio. State TV, citing an unnamed medical source, said he died after suffering a heart attack. There were a dozen other Brotherhood members on trial inside the glass cage, including some physicians who in vain tried to administer CPR. … [Read more...] about Morsi died naturally or murdered?
At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking that Labour’s publication ‘Land for the Many’ is a set of policy ideas that solves the housing crisis. Increasing the supply of affordable housing and freeing up land to build, improving access to existing stock and transparency sounds fair, right? Yet tucked away inside the report, you’ll find a range of measures that could pull the market as we know it to pieces; it’s the most radical sets of property proposals since the mass building plan after the Second World War. The report’s editor, George Monbiot, has not thought through the unintended consequences of the proposals. Just one example and perhaps the most damaging is the desire to reduce land prices. With government (national and local), institutions and pension funds and religious organisations being the most prolific landowners, often on our behalf, this would be an economic disaster. It would undermine the nation’s ability to pay … [Read more...] about How would Labour’s proposed tax grab affect your home?
Scarcely a week passes without a story on the so-called gig economy. But the ever-worsening economy of the gig – the beating heart of the live music scene – rarely gets a look in. Not only are venues around the country closing alarmingly fast, but many bands from the alternative scene are finding success without the hard-miles slog of the sticky-floor supporting act. None of this bodes well for good music. For at least half a century – 1960 to 2010, say – the formula for emerging acts was simple enough. After a band had fallen together, and graduated from cover versions to their own material, the only way to test whether their music sunk or swam was to face the no-nonsense crowd at a local venue. Typically, this would be a pub or working men’s club, with many in the crowd there less to hear the band than to drink and talk. Those acts who did not split or combust in this baptism by fire could soon become warm-up fodder for more established bands. Pass that … [Read more...] about Why algorithms are destroying the music industry
It is the ultimate romantic image: a young man encircled by delicate wild roses leaning against a tree with his hand on his heart. Nicholas Hilliard’s famous miniature, Young Man Among Roses has come to epitomise the love-torn hero of the Shakespearean sonnet but the idea of a scented, sheltered bower, a place to sit and dream, is timelessly seductive. Art historians have held for years that the white rose in this exquisite palm-size watercolour is the eglantine rose or sweet briar, the personal flower of Elizabeth I and therefore a symbol of the young man’s secret passion for his Queen. The eglantine rose, Rosa rubiginosa is in fact pale pink (the field rose, Rosa arvensis would be a better colour match) but it is a particular lovely species rose prized for its fine, apple-scented foliage. The sweet apple fragrance becomes more intense in the rain, making it even more suitable for a poetic soul. In practice the eglantine which has thorny, if graceful stems and produces … [Read more...] about How to create a romantic rose arbour
The brewers have evicted the tenant landlord of the Coach and Horses in Soho, Alastair Choat, who has run the place since 2006. I can see why he is cut up about it. The Coach is well known the setting for the hit comedy with Peter O’Toole, Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell, which tickled the West end Zeitgeist in 1989, reprised a decade later. I suppose it was like making a play about the Algonquin Hotel and Dororthy Parker and the lads. But the play worked so well because Peter O’Toole wanted to be like Jeffrey Bernard – drunk, irresponsible and loved by women – just as Jeffrey had wanted to be like him – tall and famous with lots of money. It was no accident that the Coach had a special relationship with The Spectator in the Eighties, just as it had had since the Sixties with Private Eye. I used to hop eagerly onto the 19 bus from The Spectator, where I worked, to take Jeffrey his copy of magazine with his column in it every Thursday morning. Michael … [Read more...] about Last orders for Soho’s infamous Coach and Horses