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THE WEEK

2 JULY 2016 | ISSUE 1080 | £3.30

THE BEST OF THE BRITISH AND INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Britain votes Out

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT MATTERS

www.theweek.co.uk




4 NEWS

The main story…

Brexit: the vote that shook the world
David Cameron and fellow EU leaders held
tense talks this week in an effort to contain the
fallout from last Thursday’s historic Brexit
vote. The referendum result – a 52% to 48%
victory for the Leave side – caught almost
everyone by surprise, unleashing political and
economic chaos. It led Cameron to announce
that he would resign as prime minister in the
autumn, and prompted a concerted move by
Labour MPs to unseat their own leader,
Jeremy Corbyn (see opposite). The financial
markets swung wildly – with sterling at one
point plunging to a 31-year low against the
dollar, and some share trading having to be
temporarily halted. Three credit-rating
agencies downgraded the UK’s debt.
As Remainers vented their fury and
disappointment, anti-EU parties on the
continent rejoiced at the UK vote and vowed
to push for referendums of their own.

lonelier and uglier”. And the worst part, said

Gabriel Roth on Slate, is that Brexit –
assuming it happens, and there are those who
think it won’t – may not even deliver a
decrease in immigration. No wonder many
Leave voters are now said to be suffering
from a bad case of “buyer’s remorse”.

I confess to having felt a tweak of guilt myself
after the result, said Rod Liddle in The
Sunday Times. Had I let my fellow Europeans
down by voting Leave? Was Britain now
going to “cop it”? But the petulant reaction
of Remain supporters and Jean-Claude
Juncker, the unelected president of the
European Commission – who warned that
Brexit would not be “an amicable divorce” –
restored my faith in my decision. The fact is,
most Britons feel uncomfortable with the
Angry Remain supporters
pace of immigration, they “quite like the
nation state”, and they feel the elite has ignored their concerns.
Untangling ourselves from the EU will be tricky, said The
Fearful of prolonged uncertainty, EU leaders urged Britain to
Daily Telegraph, but critics are wrong to claim it’s bound to
instigate formal exit negotiations. “Married or divorced, but
leave us worse off. “There is no earthly reason why a country
not something in between,” said Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s
severing a political relationship that was already pretty halfPM. “We are not on Facebook, with ‘it’s complicated’ as a
hearted shouldn’t flourish, unless we talk ourselves into a crisis
status.” But Cameron insisted the UK wouldn’t invoke Article
50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the official two-year notice to quit the or one is foisted on us.” There’s no call for panic, agreed Ross
Clark in The Spectator. In the end, we will get an acceptable
Union, until a new government was in place (see page 6). He
trade deal with the EU “because it will be in everyone’s
said EU leaders had failed to grasp public concerns over mass
interests that it should happen”.
immigration, and warned that they
It
was telling that share prices fell
would have to show some flexibility
“There could be benefits, for both
further on the main German and
on freedom-of-movement rules if they
sides, in avoiding too hasty and
French indices last week than they did
wanted a future deal with Britain over
on the FTSE: it suggested investors
the single market. Lib Dem leader
brutal an ending”
believe those country’s exports would
Tim Farron said his party would
continue fighting for the UK to remain in the EU, while Angus come off worse in the event of a “hostile divorce”.
Robertson, the SNP’s leader in Westminster, said his party
My guess is that Brexit’s impact will be “neutral to moderately
“had no intention whatsoever of seeing Scotland taken out
negative” for the UK, said Wolfgang Münchau in the FT. But
of Europe” (see page 21).
I fear it could be “devastating” for the EU, where anti-Brussels
sentiment is on the rise. In October, Italy is holding a crucial
“How quickly the unthinkable became the irreversible,” said
The Economist. A year ago, few people imagined that Britons, referendum on constitutional reforms: Prime Minister Matteo
Renzi has promised to resign if he loses – and there’s a good
for all their fondness for whingeing about the EU, would
chance he will. The party most likely to benefit is the populist
actually vote to leave “the club of countries that buy nearly
half of Britain’s exports”. Yet here we are. The steep fall in the Five Star Movement, which wants to hold a referendum on
EU membership. That’s all the more reason to avoid any
pound last week “offered a taste of what is to come”. Brexit
precipitate action over last week’s vote, said Martin Wolf in
will leave the country with a “permanently less vibrant
the same paper. The UK should hold off from triggering
economy”, resulting in fewer jobs and more austerity. In the
Article 50, which would “eliminate its leverage” and set the
long term, said The Observer, it’s possible that Brexit may
clock running on Brexit. We need to work out exactly what
bring some benefits, but for now the referendum result has
we want, and the EU needs to reflect on its position too. The
pitched us into a world of “uncertainty and instability”. The
country “looks destined, unless we are both extremely vigilant “stalemate” can’t last forever. “But there could be benefits, for
both sides, in avoiding too hasty and brutal an ending.”
and extremely lucky, to become by stages poorer, weaker,

It wasn’t all bad
A businessman with terminal
cancer was so impressed by the
treatment he received from the
doctors and nurses at Poole
Hospital that he left them £10m
in his will. Before his death last
year, Robert White arranged to
sell his £6.5m collection of cars
and motorcycles to pay for a
state-of-the-art cancer wing at
the hospital; a further £3.5m will
come from the sale of other
assets. The money will also help
fund new radiotherapy facilities
at Dorset County Hospital.

A multi-talented pet
rabbit with an artistic
bent has become an
internet star. When
presented with a blank
canvas, the Los
Angeles-based bunny,
a four-year-old Holland
Lop named Bini, will
grab a brush
in its mouth, and daub
on paint to create abstract designs in a variety of colours. Bini
(pictured) also plays pool and basketball – holding a ball in its
mouth and dropping it into a net – and was recently seen using a
brush to comb its owner’s hair. Shai Asor bought Bini in 2012, and
began teaching it tricks when he noticed that the rabbit liked to
play with balls. Bini now has more than 50,000 Facebook followers.

Across the country, people are
responding to a rise in hate
crimes since the Brexit vote by
taking positive steps to show
immigrants that they are
welcome. A Polish community
centre in west London that was
painted with graffiti has been
inundated with flowers and
messages of support. And in
Sherborne, Dorset, a b&b owner
is offering free Sunday-night
stays to immigrants from the
EU in July and August: Malcolm
Heygate-Browne said it was a
“thank you for their contribution
to the UK”.

COVER CARTOON: HOWARD MCWILLIAM
THE WEEK 2 July 2016


…and how it was covered

NEWS 5

They should be attacking the Tories, and facing
up to the nation’s many problems, not leading
this “farcical” attempted coup.

Labour implodes
Britain is facing the “greatest political upheaval
in its postwar history”, said The Times – and it
desperately needs a “functioning opposition”.
Yet the Brexit campaign and its aftermath have
revealed a Labour Party so chaotically led that it
faces “possible extinction”. Its leader, Jeremy
Corbyn, has “alienated” both voters in Labour’s
heartlands, and his own MPs. This week his
parliamentary colleagues staged a “belated”
revolt, leaving their posts in droves.

Yet Corbyn’s failure to get the Labour vote
behind Remain was ultimately fatal, said The
Independent. He made “the case for the EU
with all the enthusiasm of a medieval peasant
confessing to witchcraft on pain of torture”.
Polls suggest that a third of Labour voters didn’t
even know which side the party was on. Now
81% of Corbyn’s MPs oppose him, said The
Guardian. “The question is no longer whether
Mr Corbyn should continue to lead, but whether
First to go was shadow foreign secretary Hilary
he is in fact leading at all.” The party is in utter
Benn, said The Daily Telegraph. He was sacked
disarray, said Michael Wilkinson in The Daily
Corbyn: will he resign?
during a confrontation at 1am on Saturday
Telegraph. The calls for his resignation kept on
night, after being accused of plotting a coup. Over the
coming this week. Ed Miliband reluctantly reached the
following days, 20 members of the shadow cabinet and
conclusion that Corbyn’s position was “untenable”; party
29 junior ministers resigned, their resignations apparently
grandees Margaret Beckett and Tessa Jowell also called for
choreographed, coming almost every hour. On Monday,
him to step aside. David Cameron used Prime Minister’s
thousands of Corbyn supporters rallied outside Parliament,
Questions to say: “For heaven’s sake man, go!”
chanting “Jez we can” and waving placards that read, “hands
off our Corbyn”. But on Tuesday, Labour MPs passed a
Corbyn’s rivals were expected to launch leadership challenges
motion of no confidence in their leader, by a crushing 172 to
this week, with former shadow business secretary Angela
40 votes. The ballot was not binding, however: Corbyn said it
Eagle emerging as one front runner, and the party’s deputy
had “no constitutional legitimacy”, and refused to step down.
leader, Tom Watson, rumoured to be waiting in the wings.
But getting rid of Corbyn may not be easy, said Geoffrey
Corbyn has to go, said Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian.
Wheatcroft on Slate. The party’s convoluted election rules
During the Brexit campaign, he barely troubled to hide his
mean that, once a candidate has been endorsed by 20% of
Eurosceptic sympathies. At one point, he “all but agreed” that
MPs and MEPs (which he might still manage), the final choice
those troubled by immigration should vote Leave. There is
of leader belongs to its rank-and-file members. Many of these
even evidence that his team deliberately sabotaged the cause,
are newly joined hard-left activists, and polls suggest that a
removing “pro-EU lines” from speeches. But the referendum
majority still favour Corbyn. Even so, “Jeremy must resign”,
debacle is not his fault, said Dawn Foster in the same
said Chris Bryant, a Labour MP, in The Daily Telegraph. He
newspaper: it’s Cameron’s. Labour MPs “have sought to
is making himself a “laughing stock”. The party itself could
overturn the democratic election of Corbyn from day one”.
be “destroyed” if he doesn’t stand aside.

The Brexit breakdown: how the UK voted
Just over 72% of voters participated in the
referendum – 33.6 million people; that
compares to a turnout in the last general
election of 66.1%.
By region, turnout was lowest in Scotland
and Northern Ireland, and highest in the
southeast and southwest of England.

84.6%.) In Northern Ireland, 56% voted
Remain, on a turnout of 63%. In Wales,
52.5% voted to Leave, a turnout of 71.7%.
In England, 53.4% voted to Leave, on a
turnout of 73%. The most Out region was
the West Midlands (59.3%), followed by
the East Midlands, the Northeast,
Yorkshire and the Humber, and the East.

The vote was divided 52% Leave, 48%
Remain. Overall, 17,410,742 people voted
to Leave; 16,141,241 to Remain.

The only English region with a majority In
vote was London, with 60% for Remain.

In Scotland 62% voted to Remain, on
a turnout of 67%. (In 2014’s Scottish
independence referendum, turnout was

The area with the highest proportion of
Leave voters was Boston, Lincs, on 75.6%.
The areas with the lowest were the London

boroughs of Hackney and Lambeth
(21.5% and 21.4%), and Gibraltar (4.1%).
Seven of the ten areas with the highest
Remain vote were in London.
Of the 30 areas with the most elderly
people, 27 voted to leave. Of the 30 with
the fewest graduates, 28 voted to leave.
Polls suggest that 75% of voters aged
18-24 voted to Remain in the EU;
however, that age group is also believed
to have had the lowest turnout, of 36%.
By contrast, Sky Data estimated that
among 55- to 64-year-olds, turnout was
81%, rising to 83% among over-65s.

Well, which is it? Do we want a participatory democracy or a quiescent
one? Given the endless laments in recent years about the public’s
waning involvement in politics, the former is what we always seemed
to desire. And last week we got it. Seldom has a nation immersed itself so thoroughly in political argument. In homes, offices, shops and pubs, politics was the talking point. Voters accustomed to feeling
that their vote made no difference felt that this time, it would. In housing estates across the land, in
Stoke-on-Trent – where less than 50% bothered to vote in the last election – turnout was over 65%.
But here’s the rub. If citizen involvement is a key virtue of the democratic system, submission to the
majority verdict is another. It’s a system aimed at neutralising that most toxic of political emotions, Sore
Loser Syndrome (SLS). And the chances of doing that are far greater if you’re voting for a political party
rather than a political outcome. Parties, after all, make a range of obscure promises, so even if your own
party loses you can still hope the winners will enact some of what you want. By contrast, a plebiscite
offers voters a stark choice over a single outcome – a fine way of stimulating citizen participation but
a lousy way of suppressing SLS. We can see that only too clearly from the reaction of last week’s sore
losers (the Lib Dems among them) who now seek to reverse the majority decision. Insanity. If they’re
sore at losing, just imagine the hysterical SLS of the majority robbed of victory.
Jeremy O’Grady
It’s almost a recipe for civil war. How very stupid clever people can be.

THE WEEK

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25 June 2016 THE WEEK


Politics

6 NEWS
Controversy of the week

Boris for PM?
Boris Johnson woke up last Friday morning “having won the
war”, said Gaby Hinsliff in The Guardian. Against all the
odds, he had achieved a great victory, and emerged as the “heir
presumptive” to the Tory leadership and No. 10. “It’s just that
somehow, as he fought his way through booing crowds on his
Islington doorstep before holding an uncharacteristically
subdued press conference, it didn’t really look that way.” He
seemed “as shocked as anyone else by the enormity of what is
happening”. Now he stands to inherit “a nation febrile and
divided, teetering on the brink of economic and constitutional
crisis”. Johnson certainly doesn’t look like a man with a plan,
said Janan Ganesh in the FT. In his Telegraph column on
Monday, he sketched out a model of Brexit which seemed to
Gove and Johnson after their victory
include warm ties with Europe and access to its single market,
without paying in money, observing its laws or allowing the free
movement of people. “He did not say whether he also intends to bake a pie and put it in the sky.”
Even so, the 52% have spoken – and the Leavers will have to clear up the mess they’ve made.

Boring but important
Infrastructure projects
Some of Britain’s biggest
infrastructure projects have
been thrown into doubt by
the EU referendum result.
The £18bn project to build a
new nuclear power station at
Hinkley Point, in Somerset,
could be cancelled, a
government adviser on
nuclear matters has warned.
Paul Dorfman told The Times
that the devaluation of the
pound, and the political
uncertainty generated by
Brexit, would be anathema
to EDF, the French statecontrolled energy company,
which was already struggling
to find the funds for the

Not necessarily, said Isabel Hardman in The Observer. There is plenty of bad blood in the party over
recent events, and the “Anyone But Boris” campaign is up and running. Pensions Secretary Stephen
Crabb, a rising star from a Welsh working-class background, and an enthusiastic Remainer, threw
his hat into the ring this week. Home Secretary Theresa May is, however, the favoured “ABB”
candidate. “She backed Remain, but in a more half-hearted way than even Jeremy Corbyn.” So she
is “perfectly placed to unite the warring Tory tribes”, said Lucy Denyer in The Daily Telegraph. We
need “someone steely at the helm” during Brexit negotiations, and she fits the bill. May has survived
six years at the notoriously tricky Home Office, where she is renowned for her forensic grasp of
detail and for “getting what she wants”. She gives nothing away – David Cameron once spent an
hour trying to get her to say which way she’d vote in the referendum, “but came away still
guessing”. True, she can seem cold. “But these are serious times: who wants a joker in charge?”
Well, the joker is still the favourite, said Daniel Finkelstein in The Times. Boris has charisma, a
proven ability to win difficult elections, and support among the party members who will ultimately
choose the leader (after the candidates are whittled down to two by successive rounds of voting
among MPs). He also has the backing of Michael Gove, and possibly of George Osborne. But Tory
leadership elections are “famously hard to call”, and other candidates might come to the fore
between now and 9 September, when the new leader will be announced. Whoever gets the job, “a
huge bust-up lies ahead”, said Matthew Parris in The Times. Only 160 of 650 MPs backed Brexit.
So we probably need a new general election, while facing the prospect of economic meltdown, a
Scottish referendum, and splits in both main parties. “Our experiment in direct democracy is hurtling
towards our tradition of representative democracy like some giant asteroid towards a moon.”

Spirit of the age
The residents of Tunbridge
Wells are outraged. A new
supermarket is being
opened in the prosperous
Kent town – and it’s not the
Waitrose locals have long
felt was their due. Over the
years, scores have written to
Waitrose, demanding to
know why their town has
been overlooked. They were
angry in 2014, when
Sevenoaks got its second
Waitrose; and even angrier
when Edenbridge, 13 miles
away, was awarded one,
although it has a population
of only 8,000. Now, they’ve
been told that a site that
they hoped would become a
Waitrose is to be occupied
instead by budget retailer
Wilko. “This is a Royal spa
town and Waitrose is known
as the Queen’s grocers,”
explained one aggrieved
resident, Craig Smart, 43.

THE WEEK 2 July 2016

Good week for:
Gender equality, with news that women are, for the first time,
being allowed to participate in English Heritage jousting
tournaments. The organisation has invited two leading female
jousters from the European circuit to join the male “knights”
competing at four English Heritage castles this summer.
Justine Greening, who celebrated Gay Pride by coming out.
As much of central London was brought to a standstill by last
week’s march, the International Development Secretary tweeted:
“Today’s a good day to say I’m in a same-sex relationship. I
campaigned for Stronger In, but sometimes you’re better off out!”
Greening, 47, is the first openly gay woman to hold cabinet office.
Led Zeppelin, who were cleared of stealing the opening bars of
their biggest hit, Stairway to Heaven, from a song called Taurus
by the rock band Spirit. A jury in LA concluded that the two songs
were not “substantially similar” in their fundamental elements.

Bad week for:
The Irish passport office, which fears being swamped by
applications from UK citizens. Since the Brexit vote, there has
been a surge in Google searches for “getting an Irish passport”,
and Ireland’s foreign minister has confirmed a “spike” in
applications. Charlie Flanagan warned that this risked putting
undue pressure on the system, and reminded UK citizens that it
will be two years or more before the rights they enjoy as EU
citizens come to an end.

project. However, EDF insists
that it’s still committed to
building the new station.
There has also been speculation that plans to build a
new runway at Heathrow or
Gatwick will be scuppered;
a decision had been expected
this month, but has now
been delayed. The High
Speed 2 railway line (HS2),
linking London, the Midlands
and the North ,could also
be affected. Already it has
been suggested that parts
of the proposed line will
be dropped.

Second EU referendum
Four million people have
signed a petition calling on
the Government to hold a
second EU referendum. The
petition – proposing that to
win a referendum, one side
should achieve at least 60%
of the vote if the turnout is
less than 75% – was set up in
late May by a right-wing
Brexit supporter, who at that
point feared that Remain
would win by a small margin.
Labour MP David Lammy
has endorsed a second
referendum, while Tony Blair
raised it as a possibility;
however, most MPs have
insisted that the result be
respected. Some 77,000
signatures have been
removed from the petition,
on suspicion that they were
added fraudulently.


Europe at a glance
Brussels
Unwelcome guest:
UKIP’s Nigel
Farage was booed
in the European
Parliament on
Tuesday at an
emergency session
to discuss the UK’s
vote to leave the
EU. Things started
amicably enough
with an embrace
between Farage and the Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured) – but
the mood changed when Farage told MEPs
that they were “in denial” about the failure
of the European ideal, and accused them of
never having had a proper job. Several
turned their backs on the UKIP leader, and
Juncker asked him: “Why are you here?”
However, Marine Le Pen, of France’s
National Front, praised Farage, and hailed
Brexit as the start of a “People’s Spring”.

Rome
Hospital honoured: Between September
1943 and June 1944, Rome was struck by
an epidemic of the mysterious and deadly
“K syndrome”; as a result, dozens of
people had to be quarantined in a wing at
the Fatebenefratelli hospital – closed to
outsiders, and especially to the German
soldiers then rounding up Rome’s Jews for
deportation. In fact, the K syndrome didn’t
exist; none of the “patients” was ill – and
all were Jewish. In this way, the doctors
who diagnosed the disease, and the nurses
who went along with the deception, saved
at least 40 lives. The hospital, near Rome’s
Jewish ghetto, was recently recognised by
the International Raoul Wallenberg
Foundation as a “House of Life” that gave
shelter to the victims of Nazi persecution.
Last week, one of the doctors, Adriano
Ossicini, 96, attended a ceremony to
celebrate the honour, along with
83-year-old Luciana Tedesco, one of
the hospital’s fictitious patients.

NEWS 7

Taurianova, Italy
Mafioso held: Italy’s second-most wanted
mafia boss, the ’Ndrangheta kingpin
Ernesto Fazzalari, was arrested last Sunday
after 20 years on the run. The 46-year-old
was caught, with his girlfriend, when
police raided a remote cottage in the
mountains outside his home town of
Taurianova in Calabria. He now faces a
life term, having been convicted in absentia
of crimes including murder and drug
trafficking. Federico Cafiero de Raho,
Calabria’s chief anti-mafia prosecutor,
said it was hugely significant that Fazzalari
had been captured in the ’Ndrangheta’s
heartland. “Taurianova is a place where
the clans control every clod of earth,” he
said – yet “the investigation proceeded
without him hearing a whisper”.

Paris
No change on migrants: Suggestions that
the border checks that take place on the
French side of the Channel could be
pushed back to Kent have been rebuffed
by the government in Paris, reports The
Guardian. Under the bilateral Le Touquet
accord, signed in 2003, British officials are
authorised to check passports in France,
and vice versa. It is as a result of this
arrangement that thousands of migrants
hoping to reach Britain are currently
languishing in the makeshift Jungle camp
at Calais. Since the referendum, calls have
been growing in France for Paris to
unilaterally end the deal, and send the
migrants on to Kent. “The English wanted
to take back their freedom: they must take
back their border,” said Xavier Bertrand,
the president of the Hauts-de-France
region, which includes Calais. But this
week, Paris signalled that it had no plan to
terminate or renegotiate the treaty.
Madrid
Unclear result: Spain’s second election in
six months has produced another hung
parliament: the People’s Party (PP), led by
acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy,
increased its share of the vote, but still won
only 137 seats in parliament – 14 more
than in December, but far fewer than the
176 needed to form a majority. The
socialist PSOE – the PP’s traditional
adversary – came second, with 85 seats,
while the upstart left-wing alliance Unidos
Podemos came third, with 71. Rajoy
hoped to make an alliance with the PSOE,
which performed better than expected:
analysts had predicted it would be knocked
into third place by Unidos Podemos.
However, the PSOE rejected his coalition
offer. Rajoy said the PP would carry on
governing “day by day”, and pointed to
Podemos’s failure to defeat the Socialists as
evidence that his policies were working.

Catch up with daily news at www.theweek.co.uk

Istanbul, Turkey
Dozens killed in airport attack: Three suicide
bombers launched a devastating attack on
Istanbul’s Atatürk airport late on Tuesday
evening, spraying bullets around the building
before blowing themselves up. At least 41 people
were killed, and around 240 were injured. The
bombers seem to have travelled in a taxi to the
airport, the third-busiest in Europe, with AK-47
automatic rifles in their bags. According to early
reports, they opened fire on crowds of passengers inside the international arrivals
terminal, and at its entrance. Presumed to have been perpetrated by Islamic State, the
suicide attack was the third targeting tourists in Istanbul this year, and is likely to deal
a crippling blow to Turkey’s already struggling tourist industry.
World leaders expressed their outrage and dismay; Charles Michel, the PM of
Belgium – where 32 people were killed in a similar attack on Brussels in March –
posted an emotional message of solidarity; Germany’s foreign minister said that “we
stand by Turkey”; in the US, the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
said the attack “strengthens our resolve to defeat the forces of terrorism and radical
jihadism around the world… [in] cooperation with our allies”, while the Republican
Donald Trump spoke of “taking steps to protect America”.

2 July 2016 THE WEEK


8 NEWS

The world at a glance

Baltimore, Maryland
Freddie Gray cop acquitted: A second police officer has been
acquitted of all criminal charges relating to the case of Freddie
Gray – a suspect whose death from injuries sustained in a police
van last April triggered major riots in Baltimore. Caesar Goodson
Jr. was driving the van carrying Gray, 25, after he was forcibly
arrested for possessing a switchblade. Gray wasn’t given a seat
belt, and prosecutors accused Goodson of deliberately subjecting
him to what is known as a “rough ride”, causing him to sustain
a fatal spinal-cord injury as he was thrown around in the back of
the vehicle. But the court decided there was no evidence that the
defendant had driven erratically on purpose, and acquitted him
of second-degree “depraved-heart” murder – equating to gross
negligence – and lesser charges including reckless endangerment.

Panama City
Canal opens: Thousands of
people, including a dozen
heads of state, gathered
outside Panama City on
Sunday to watch a 984ft
Chinese container ship
become the first commercial
vessel to sail down the newly expanded Panama Canal. The
ten-year, $5.4bn enlargement project has made the waterway,
which was opened in 1914, accessible to a new generation of
giant ships known as the Neopanamax class. The Chinese vessel
paid the government of Panama $500,000 to make its ten-hour
trip between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. “Today marks a
historic day for Panama,” said President Juan Carlos Varela.

Washington DC
Congressional sit-in: There were chaotic scenes in the US Congress
last week when around 170 Democrat congressmen and
women held a 25-hour sit-in, calling for tighter gun
controls in the wake of the Orlando massacre. Their
protest, which they live-streamed from the chamber,
failed to force a vote on new legislation in the
Republican-controlled Houses of Congress; however, the
protesters insisted that their fight had only just begun. They
would, they said, be taking the issue back to their constituents,
before returning “with a new sense of purpose” when Congress
resumes on 5 July. The Democrats are calling for more
background checks for gun buyers, and a ban on people on
the terrorism watch list buying guns (see page 15).
Austin, Texas
Abortion verdict: In a landmark verdict, the US Supreme Court
has struck down Texas’s strict abortion regulations. Republicans
claimed the laws they introduced in 2013 were designed to protect
women. But campaigners argued that the regulations – which
oblige doctors performing abortions to have admission privileges
at local hospitals, and abortion clinics to have hospital-like
facilities – had no medical benefit, and were mainly designed to
restrict women’s access to abortions by forcing clinics to close.
The 5-3 ruling is the most significant on abortion by the Supreme
Court in years, and is likely to deter other states from enacting
“clinic shutdown” laws. Since 2013 the number of clinics in Texas
has fallen from 42 to 19, and more closures have been expected.
Washington DC
Hillary’s boost from Bernie: Although he has refused formally
to endorse her candidacy, and is technically still in the Democrat
race, the socialist senator Bernie Sanders has declared that he
will vote for Hillary Clinton in November – and his supporters
seem finally to be rallying to her cause. In May, 20% of Sanders
supporters said they would vote for the Republican Donald
Trump in the White House race; now, that figure is down to
8% – enormously boosting Clinton’s chances. According to
The Washington Post, she currently leads Trump by 51% to
39%. Sanders has vowed to battle on to the Democrat
convention, to keep his “revolution” alive, and force the party
to adopt a more progressive platform.
Orlando, Florida
Shooting was “revenge”: A man who
says he was Omar Mateen’s gay lover
has claimed that Mateen committed his
massacre at the Pulse nightclub in
Orlando to get vengeance on a former
lover. Identified only as Miguel, the man
says he met Mateen (pictured) on a
dating site late last year, and that they
“hooked up” 15 to 20 times; he claims
that Mateen didn’t talk about Islamic
State, but that he’d been “terrified” when
he heard that a Puerto Rican man he’d
had sex with had tested positive for HIV. He apparently said he
felt “used” by Puerto Rican men, and that he’d “make them pay”.

THE WEEK 2 July 2016

Bogotá
Farc signs peace deal: Thousands
of people took to the streets of
Bogotá and other Colombian cities
last week, to celebrate a deal to end the country’s 50-year civil
war. Signed in Havana, Cuba, by representatives of the government and of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc),
the deal confirms the cessation of hostilities, and outlines how
Farc’s estimated 7,000 guerrillas will demobilise; however, this
will only begin following the signing of a final agreement, which
could take place later this month. The conflict, described as the
longest-running insurgency in the Western hemisphere, has cost
more than 200,000 lives, and displaced millions. Farc’s leaders
have signalled that they now plan to build a political movement.


The world at a glance
Qaa, Lebanon
Christian village bombed: Eight suicide
bombers raided a Christian village in
Lebanon this week, killing at least five
people. Although no immediate responsibility was claimed for the attacks, close
to the Syrian border, they were presumed
to be the work of Islamic State. The first
attack was pre-dawn. One bomber blew
himself up after being challenged by a local
resident in Qaa. The others detonated their
explosives as villagers gathered at the
scene. A second attack targeted funeral
preparations that evening. Isis’s forces have
been ranged in the hilly border area for
years, and although the group had urged
its followers to kill non-believers in the
holy month of Ramadan, analysts believe
its prime target is the powerful Lebanese
Shia group Hezbollah, which is fighting in
support of President Assad in Syria.

Yerevan
Peace and anger:
The Pope angered the
Turkish government
this week by
describing the
slaughter of millions
of Armenians by
Ottoman Empire
forces in 1915 as a
“genocide”. During a
three-day visit to Armenia, Francis I also
laid a wreath at the Armenian Genocide
Memorial in Yerevan. Turkey’s deputy
PM said the Pope’s words betrayed a
“crusader mentality”. The next day,
however, Francis urged the Armenians to
reconcile with Turkey, and – at the ancient
Khor Virap monastery, close to the border
– he and the Armenian Patriarch released
white doves in Turkey’s direction.

NEWS 9

Kot, Afghanistan
Isis renews attacks: Islamic State made a
fresh attempt to seize control of territory
in eastern Afghanistan last week, triggering
three days of fierce fighting with security
forces. Officials said that around 135 Isis
fighters had been killed in three days, along
with at least 12 Afghan security personnel.
The fighting began last Thursday, when
600 heavily armed, Isis-affiliated fighters
launched coordinated attacks on security
outposts in Kot in Nangarhar province,
close to the Pakistan border. Three months
ago, the Afghan president said that Islamic
State had been driven out of the country;
but according to the US military, there are
still up to 3,000 fighters loyal to Isis in
Afghanistan. They are mostly disaffected
former members of the Afghan and
Pakistani Taliban, and are concentrated in
Nangarhar and neighbouring Kunar.

Beijing
City sinking: Beijing’s
20 million residents – who
already put up with toxic
smog and dire traffic
congestion – have learnt
that their city is sinking,
at a rate of 11cm a year in
some parts. Engineers say
the relentless pumping of
groundwater, for use in
homes and in industry, is
behind the subsidence,
and that it poses a serious
safety risk, with damage
to railway lines one area
of concern. However,
Beijing is not alone in its
problem: Mexico City
is sinking at a rate
of 28cm
a year.

Pretoria
Zuma must pay:
Jacob Zuma
should refund 7.8m
Rand (£388,000)
that he charged to
the taxpayer for non-security-related
improvements to his private residence,
a treasury report has recommended. The
upgrades included the installation of a
swimming pool, an amphitheatre and
a chicken run. The report was
commissioned by the constitutional court
in March: it ruled that Zuma had “failed
to uphold, defend and respect” South
Africa’s constitution, by refusing to pay
back public money spent on his Nkandla
homestead; and asked the Treasury to
suggest what proportion of the bill Zuma
should pay. It came up with 88%. Once
the court approves the figure, Zuma will
have 45 days to stump up the money.

Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Style police: Around 50 young men have
been arrested in Mecca in a crackdown
on “bizarre” haircuts and “anti-Islamic”
shorts. According to reports in Sabq,
a pro-government newspaper, teams of
police officers have been patrolling
shopping malls in the holy city during
Ramadan, looking out for violations
including “bizarre hairstyles, chains that
are hung on the chest or arms, hair ties
and shorts”. Photos show young men
wearing distressed jeans, knee-length
shorts and Crocs; the paper reports that
they were taken away and “handed over to
the department of criminal investigations”.
The paper also interviewed a young man
in gym shorts, who, after being detained,
apparently vowed to mend his ways.
“Frankly this outfit is sickening,” he was
quoted as saying. “Today I have decided
to wear long sports trousers instead.”

Karachi,
Pakistan
Singer shot
dead: One of
Pakistan’s most
revered singers
was shot dead
by Taliban
gunmen as he
drove through
Karachi last
week. Amjad Sabri was famous for his
renditions of Sufi devotional songs, and his
death prompted an outpouring of grief and
anger. The Pakistani Taliban was quick to
claim responsibility for the killing, saying
Sabri (pictured) was a blasphemer. (Two
years ago he caused controversy by
referring to the family members of the
Prophet Mohammed in a song.) However,
police said they were still investigating
who was behind the attack.

2 July 2016 THE WEEK


People

10 NEWS
Sir Cliff on being cleared
In August 2014, while on
holiday in Portugal with
friends, Sir Cliff Richard got
a phone call telling him that his
apartment in Berkshire was
being raided by police, and that
a BBC helicopter was hovering
overhead, filming it all. Baffled,
he turned on the television – to
discover he had been accused
of historic sex crimes. “I didn’t
vomit, but the greatest knot in
my stomach arrived,” he told
David Wigg in the Daily Mail.
“It was like a boulder. You
know, you just have that, ‘God,
what is happening to me?’”
Since then, the singer has been
living in a state of constant
dread. “I always knew I was
innocent, but I always worried
I would end up in prison. Or at
least having to face a court.”
The strain took a physical and
mental toll: he became thin and
frail, and was unable to sleep.
“I thought I was going crazy,
because I found I was talking
to myself. Whether I was in the
shower or brushing my teeth,
I’m mumbling away in front of
the mirror. I phoned Paul
Gambaccini [the radio DJ who
was also falsely accused of
molestation] and said I’m in
the bathroom and I’m talking
to myself. He said: ‘What are
you saying?’ I told him it was
like I was facing a judge or
something. He said: ‘You’re
not going crazy, think of it as
a rehearsal.’” Last week, after
a two-year police investigation,
Richard’s ordeal finally ended
when the Crown Prosecution
Service threw out all the
allegations against him. His
accusers all turned out to be

thoroughly untrustworthy –
one is a convicted sex offender,
another allegedly plotted to
blackmail him – and their
claims easily disproved.
Richard is hugely relieved; but
he knows the damage to his
reputation can never truly be
undone. “Because they don’t
say ‘Chucked out – no
evidence,’ do they? They say
‘insufficient evidence’, which
to the reader, certainly to me,
suggests maybe there is some
evidence, but not enough.”
Everett’s gender roles
Rupert Everett used to think he
was transgender, says Camilla
Long in The Sunday Times.
From the age of six to 14, he
dressed exclusively as a girl.
His mother – a Home Counties
major’s wife – indulged him
happily, giving him her own
clothes and shopping for
“nightdresses and negligees”
for him. “I really wanted to be
a girl,” he says. “Thank God
the world of now wasn’t then,
because I’d be on hormones
and I’d be a woman. After I
was 15 I never wanted to be
a woman again.” Instead, he
discovered acting – and sex.
By 16, Everett was a “leather
queen”, cutting a swathe
through London’s gay scene.
He worries that modern
parents are too quick to “get
medical” with cross-dressing
children. “It’s nice to be
allowed to express yourself
but the hormone thing, very
young, is a big step. I think
a lot of children have an
ambivalence when they’re very
young. And there should be
a way of embracing it.”

Castaway of the week

Viewpoint:

This week’s edition of Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs featured
human rights activist Sara Khan
1 You Keep Me Hangin’ On by Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland and
Eddie Holland, performed by Diana Ross and the Supremes
2 Yeh Dosti Hum Nahin by Anand Bakshi and R.D. Burman,
performed by Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey
3 Lacrimosa dies illa from Requiem in D minor by Mozart,
performed by the London Philharmonic Choir
4 Sweet Child O’ Mine, written and performed by Guns N’ Roses
5* A Change is Gonna Come, written and performed by Sam Cooke
6 Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey and Rick Nowels,
performed by Lana Del Rey
7 Fighter by Christina Aguilera and Scott Storch, performed by
Christina Aguilera
8 Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, performed by the New
York Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Bernstein
Book: The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the
Extremists by Khaled M. Abou El Fadl
Luxury: Yorkshire tea

THE WEEK 2 July 2016

Marion Bartoli is almost unrecognisable from
when she won Wimbledon three years ago, says Hilary Rose in The
Times. The 31-year-old has lost more than three stone, and now
lives on a diet of extreme asceticism. “I’m completely gluten-free,
sugar-free, dairy-free, salt-free and everything organic.” So what
does she actually eat? “Steamed vegetables, salads, cucumbers.
There’s a nice dessert that’s dairy-free, sugar-free, fat-free,
butter-free and made of coconut oil. It tastes really good!” Bartoli
has also transformed her exercise regime. “I stopped going to the
gym and lifting 200kg. I do ballet, yoga and pilates, so everything is
long and elastic. It’s inner strength but less of the powerful muscles
that come from the thigh that you need for tennis.” All this, she
insists, has nothing to do with the row that broke out during her
winning season at Wimbledon, when commentator John Inverdale
asked Radio 5 Live listeners: “Do you think Bartoli’s dad told her
when she was little, ‘You’re never going to be a looker?’” She
wasn’t traumatised or even offended, she insists. The change in her
looks is simply the result of retiring from tennis, and no longer
having to beef herself up. “I think my body and my brain just came
back to normal, to who I am. I think I look okay and I’m in good
health. It’s not like I’m trying to lose weight.”

* Choice if
allowed only
one record

The Leave vision
“Now that it is all over, it is quite easy to
see why it all went so wrong for the Remain
camp. If you are going to pin your entire
strategy on support for the status quo, you
need first to be sure that people are happy
with the way things are. If you think the
main thing that people have to fear is that
the economy will tank, you are in trouble
when half the country feels that, for them,
it has tanked already. The Leave campaign
started off as an appeal to return to Agatha
Christie’s England – warm beer, leaving
your front door open – and evolved into
a strategy that said if you don’t like what
your country has become, you don’t have to
put up with it. It went from being a dream
about the past to a vision of the future.”
Anthony Hilton in the London
Evening Standard

Farewell
Bob Holman,
anti-poverty activist
and academic, died
16 June, aged 79.
Lord Mayhew of
Twysden, former
Northern Ireland
secretary, died
25 June, aged 86.
James Nicholson,
crime reporter
known as the
“Prince of
Darkness”, died
12 June, aged 89.
Harry Rabinowitz,
conductor and
composer of film
and TV music, died
22 June, aged 100.




Briefing

NEWS 13

Getting out of Europe
Voting to leave the EU is the easy bit: the hard part comes in working out a new settlement with the Union
How does one withdraw from the EU?
dilemma: if the UK is to gain access to the
The process is straightforward on the face
Single Market – for instance, by rejoining
of it. It’s set out in Article 50 of the Lisbon
the European Economic Area – it will
Treaty. First, the leader of a departing
almost certainly have to accept its rules,
member state has to notify the European
such as the free movement of people, and
Council – that is to say, the assembled EU
product standards, and pay into EU funds.
leaders; then a withdrawal agreement is
This would presumably be unacceptable to
negotiated; a qualified majority of the
a Eurosceptic British leadership.
Council (usually 20 of 27 states) must
approve it; and it must then be ratified by
So what’s the alternative?
the European Parliament. All those steps
A bespoke trade deal: a leaked German
must be completed within two years of
government document suggests that Britain
invoking Article 50: until then, the UK is
should have “associative status”. But if so,
still an EU member and most things stay
the terms are likely to be tough. The UK is
the same. But as no state has ever left
very unpopular in Brussels, which may well
before, the process is in practice entirely
want to make an example of Britain, pour
untested. No one even knows how soon
encourager les autres. “Deserters won’t be
Article 50 must be triggered: Boris Johnson
welcomed with open arms,” in the words
Juncker: “Deserters won’t be welcomed”
thinks there’s no rush, while the EU’s top
of Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of
officials insist that talks must begin “as soon as possible, however
the European Commission.
painful that process may be”.
But doesn’t the UK have leverage?
And what will the negotiations cover?
Some. German carmakers and French wine producers will push
The first thing Britain must do is negotiate an exit agreement –
for a friendly deal with what will still be the EU’s largest single
a treaty to unravel its current involvement with the EU. This will
export market. Since the UK imports far more than it exports to
have to settle the status of the 1.3 million Britons living in EU
the EU, there’s a good chance zero or low tariffs on manufactured
countries, and the three million EU citizens living in the UK. It
goods in and out of Britain could be agreed. Yet a much larger
will have to arrange for the winding down of UK contributions to
proportion of the UK economy is dependent on EU exports
the EU; the closure of EU agencies in Britain such as the European (12.6%, according to official figures) than vice versa: only 3.1%
Banking Authority; and, most complex of all, the untangling of
of the EU’s economy relies on exports to the UK. In any case, the
shared laws and regulations (see box). And that’s just the start.
EU could target specific sectors (e.g. farming) or impose quotas.
Most of all, it will be keen to cut a tough deal on services. At
What’s the next thing we would need to resolve?
present, banks and insurers based in London are allowed to set
Future relationships between ourselves and the Union. This would up branches and sell services throughout the EU. Both Paris and
involve matters such as the rights of British people in Europe –
Frankfurt have long looked jealously at London’s role as the
and of Europeans in Britain – to visit, work and use health
financial capital of Europe. “Britain’s service economy will be cut
services; the right of British fishermen to fish in EU waters, and
up like an old car,” warns one well-informed Brussels observer.
vice versa; and cooperation on foreign policy, justice and security.
But most vexed of all will be the question of trade between Britain What happens if the talks are deadlocked?
and the EU bloc. This deal will probably be classified as a “mixed
If there were no deal, we could fall back on the World Trade
agreement” – one made with both the EU and its members – so it
Organisation rules which govern international trade. But some of
would have to be ratified by every single national parliament.
the tariffs we would then have to face when selling into Europe
– 20% for meat and butter, for example – would be ruinous. To
What will happen to EU citizens in the UK?
make things worse, the UK’s agreements with other WTO memThe Leave campaign has given assurances that any new
bers might need to be renegotiated, since they were agreed with
immigration system won’t affect EU
the EU as a whole. Many of these
The legal vacuum
citizens who are already in Britain:
nations are already negotiating with
Undoing the supremacy of EU law over UK law would
they’ll have all the rights they have
the EU – and, as Barack Obama said,
be relatively easy: the European Communities Act 1972
now. The hope is that Britons on the
we’d be “at the back of the queue”.
would be repealed. But that would only be the start.
continent will be similarly protected:
The EU has sole legal responsibility for many vital
the Vienna Convention states that
So they’ve got us over a barrel?
areas of law such as competition, international trade,
when a treaty between two states is
It looks that way, especially as the
agriculture and fisheries, and the rules governing free
terminated, the rights previously
UK has a mere handful of trade
movement and the single market. It also has an
important role in many areas of national law, such as
acquired under it by an individual in a
negotiators: that competence was
employment, sexual equality, and the environment.
foreign country are not lost. However,
passed over to Brussels decades ago.
Over the 70 years of its existence, it has produced a
this is an area of uncertainty: some
In addition, Article 50 is designed to
vast body of legislation said to cover 80,000 pages of
rights the EU confers – on owning
weaken the departing state’s position:
the statute book: treaties, court decisions, regulations
property, for example, or on using
the two-year negotiation deadline, for
issued directly by Brussels, and directives, which all
public services – may be affected. And
instance, can only be extended with
have to be incorporated into national law.
were we to impose an immigration
the consent of all 27 other states.
If the 1972 law were repealed, regulations would cease
points system on EU citizens, the EU
Even where relations are good, EU
to apply. Industries previously governed by EU legal
would presumably do the same to us.
trade deals take a long time. Canada’s
frameworks, such as financial services, would find
took seven years and isn’t yet ratified.
themselves in a regulatory vacuum. Parliament would
What about trade?
The Government thinks the process
have to either pass these into law anew, or produce
new legislation. Equally, the vast body of UK
During the campaign, there was much
could lead to “a decade or more of
legislation implementing EU laws will have to be kept,
breezy discussion of the various
uncertainty”. Brexiters remain
amended or repealed. After Brexit, not much is certain
options: the Swiss, the Norwegian,
bullish. But as the Remain campaign
– but there will be plenty of work for lawyers.
and the Canadian. All involve a basic
used to say, it’s a leap in the dark.

2 July 2016 THE WEEK


14 NEWS
Brexit is
a threat to
Irish peace
Fintan O’Toole
The Guardian

Referendums
are always
a bad idea
Robert Harris
The Sunday Times

Journalists
make poor
politicians
Nick Cohen
The Observer

Spare us
the leftie
histrionics
Libby Purves
The Times

THE WEEK 2 July 2016

Best articles: Britain
One thing you can say for sure about Brexit, says Fintan O’Toole.
It has “planted a bomb” under Ireland’s peace settlement. Until
now, “all but a few diehards” had learnt to live with partition,
not least because the border between Northern Ireland and the
Republic “had become so soft as to be barely noticeable”. But this
customs barrier will now have to become a full-scale immigration
border in order to stop EU migrants who’ve legally entered the
Republic from crossing into the UK. “Meanwhile, the cornerstone
of the peace settlement, the Belfast Agreement of 1998, is being
undermined.” One of its key provisions is that anyone born in
Northern Ireland has the right to be a citizen of the UK or Ireland
or both. How will that work post-Brexit? “Can someone be both
an EU citizen and not an EU citizen?” Northern Ireland “desperately needed a generation of relative political boredom” to allow
its fragile new settlement to bed in. All that has now been put at
risk. The reckless disregard of the Brexiters for the knock-on
effects on Northern Ireland is appalling – and “frankly insulting”.
We can draw one clear lesson from the Brexit vote, says Robert
Harris: it’s a truly bad idea to call referendums. Reducing complex
issues to a binary “yes or no” vote invariably leads to “vicious,
divisive” campaigns, as Scotland found in 2014. And as critics
have often pointed out, the device is inimical to our system of
parliamentary democracy. In 1945, Clement Attlee denounced
referendums as “alien to all our traditions” – words approvingly
quoted by Margaret Thatcher 30 years later when she condemned
Harold Wilson’s decision to hold a plebiscite on membership of
the Common Market. The 18th century conservative philosopher
Edmund Burke observed that while every citizen was entitled to
deliver an opinion, it was quite another matter for them to issue
instructions that MPs were “bound blindly and implicitly to
obey”. It leads to crazy situations like today, with Brexit being
forced on MPs who believe overwhelmingly that it is a terrible
idea. David Cameron – “a Tory, who is supposed to believe in the
wisdom of ancient institutions” – should have known better.
“If you think rule by professional politicians is bad,” says Nick
Cohen, “wait until journalist politicians take over.” Boris Johnson
and Michael Gove both come from a media background, and
their approach to public life betrays all the worst aspects of their
former profession. Faced with a problem, their first instinct is to
devise simplistic, eye-catching solutions. They have no interest in
detail; it’s all about being dramatic and entertaining. Challenge
their assertions and they impatiently brush off the criticism.
“People in this country have had enough of experts,” sneered
Gove – a comment that will surely “follow him to his grave”.
When mockery doesn’t work, “the worst journalists lie”, and that
was the approach of the Leave campaigners, who printed a bogus
figure on their battle bus about the “£350m” Britain sends to
Brussels each week, and groundlessly accused impartial figures
of bad faith. But Johnson and Gove are now set to be found out.
“If we could only find a halfway competent opposition, the very
populist forces they have exploited and misled so grievously
would turn on them. The fear in their eyes shows they know it.”
“Ashamed. Terrified. Shocked. Horrified.” That tweet by a performing artist typified the reaction of the “culturati” and liberal
media to the referendum result. I feel much the same, says Libby
Purves: only not about the vote, but about the hysterical response
of the chattering classes. The lamentations over our withdrawal
from “a 43-year-old administrative arrangement” are “beyond
parody”. Someone in the FT mourned “the lost opportunities,
friendships, marriages and experiences” – as if “nobody ever had
a foreign friend before Directive 2004/38/EC”. Others paraded
their grief on social media: “spent most of yesterday crying,
couldn’t get out of bed”; “texting people I love telling them we’ll
be OK”; “angry and betrayed.” “I don’t think I’ve ever wanted
magic more,” bleated J.K. Rowling to her Twitter followers.
And when liberal types weren’t wallowing in this self-indulgent
anguish, they were portraying Leave voters as universally stupid
or bigoted. Never mind that “only 35% of the 18- to 24-year-olds
now being soppily mourned as ‘disinherited’” bothered voting. All
these liberals weeping into their lattes “really need to grow up”.

IT MUST BE TRUE…
I read it in the tabloids
A Swedish football team,
Järna SK Reserves, was
reduced to ten men in a key
match against local rivals last
week, after its left-back was
sent off for farting. “I had a
bad stomach, so I simply let
go,” explained 25-year-old
Adam Lindin Ljungkvist,
whowas already on a yellow
card when he did so. “I asked
the referee, ’Am I not allowed
to break wind a little?’”
Unconvinced, the referee redcarded him for “unsportsmanlike behaviour”.

An amateur musician who
took to practising all night in
her flat, in Folkestone, made
such a ghastly noise that
her violin has been confiscated by the local council.
“When she played,” said a
neighbour, “it sounded like a
cat being strangled. The
guitar-playing wasn’t much
better.” Shepway District
Council has now given TsigeJahna Simmons a noise
abatement notice, and told
her if she doesn’t pay the
costs incurred, her instruments will be destroyed.

A motivational trainer who
charges £10,000 a day has
been forced to apologise
after being caught on video
spanking some of the staff he
was motivating. “Get your
butts ready,” Jiang Yang tells
the eight men and women,
who came last in a test at
a training session for 200
staff from China’s Changzhi
Zhangze Rural Commercial
Bank. He then whacks them
with a thick piece of wood
before subjecting them to his
“hair-cutting punishment”.
It’s “a training model I’ve
tried for years,” explained
Jiang. “It’s a way of waking
up a person’s vigour.” The
bank’s chairman has been
suspended for “failing
strictly to check the content
of the course”.


Best of the American columnists

NEWS 15

Make Trump put his money where his mouth is
to Trump-owned businesses, and of
Contrary to the Washington consensus,
salaries for himself and his family. Why,
Donald Trump is not running a bad
you might ask, is Trump, who claims to
campaign, said Chris Cillizza in The
be worth “in excess” of $10bn, not
Washington Post. He’s just not really
ploughing some of his own money into
running a campaign at all. It emerged
his campaign? Why indeed. “The
last week that the tycoon raised all of
Founders pledged their lives, their
$3.1m in May – less than a typical
fortunes, and their sacred honour.”
candidate for the Senate or the House.
Surely Trump, who says he’s the only
Hillary Clinton, by contrast, raised
one who can save America, “could
$27m in that month. Trump, who has
pawn Trump Tower”.
just fired his campaign manager and still
has no communications director, had
The suspicion must be, said Scott
just 69 people on staff at the end of
Martelle in the Los Angeles Times, that
May; Clinton had 683. Trump has yet
to spend any money at all on TV
Trump, who is still refusing to release
Why isn’t Trump funding his own campaign?
advertising in swing states, while
his tax returns, is worth nothing like as
Clinton is spending $23m on such an effort. She’s also investing
much as he claims. Without enough funds to mount a
in a vital ground campaign, while Trump’s strategy still revolves traditional campaign, his only option will be to keep seeking
around giving speeches to supporters, calling in to TV shows
free coverage – which in his case means providing a steady
and sending angry tweets.
stream of “outrageousness”. No wonder the Republican Party
is panicking and still wondering desperately if it can deny him
Trump’s campaign is floundering and “broke”, said Jonah
the nomination. The best thing the party can do now, said
Goldberg in the National Review. He boasted about rejecting
George F. Will in The Washington Post, is to withhold
donations from fat cats during the primaries, but now that he’s
donations from Trump and taunt him into spending his own
seeking financial assistance, little has been forthcoming. That’s
money. Every dime he squanders on his campaign “will
unlikely to change after last week’s revelation that a fifth of his
contribute to a redemptive outcome, a defeat so humiliating –
campaign’s May expenditures were made up of reimbursements
so continental – that even Republicans will be edified by it”.

Fatuous sit-in
won’t affect
gun laws
Ross K. Baker
USA Today

The children
we condemn
to poverty
Nicholas Kristof
The New York Times

We’re too
obsessed with
brain power
David H. Freedman
The Atlantic

“Legislation by tantrum.” That’s what the Democrats were up to last week, says Ross K. Baker,
with their childish sit-in protest in the House of Representatives over gun control. For two days,
more than 200 of them occupied the chamber, chanting and preventing legislators from getting any
business done. When the cameras were turned off, they used their phones to live-stream their protest.
I support these politicians’ demands for new restrictions on access to firearms, but their righteous
cause does not justify this “unprecedented” form of protest. “Democracy, if it means anything at
all, implies a process.” True, it’s hardly unheard of for members of Congress to resort to wrecking
tactics, or petulant, self-defeating gestures: “witness the fatuous, repetitive votes on the House floor
to repeal Obamacare”; or the occasions when rebels have shut down the federal government by
refusing to pass vital funding bills. But these previous actions have always complied with established
procedures. “The sit-in is different in kind.” It’s pure “disruption” of the sort usually seen only on
student campuses. No cause, not even gun control, warrants such behaviour. “The long-term health
of democratic institutions matters more than the political impulses of the moment.”
It’s time for a mea culpa, says Nicholas Kristof. In 1996, when Bill Clinton introduced his
controversial welfare reforms, I supported them. I believed the measures, which included a strict
lifetime limit on benefits, would help break the cycle of dependency. But having witnessed the effects
of these reforms over subsequent years, “I’ve decided I was wrong”. The legislation did initially reap
dividends, moving many people from benefits into work, but that “employment bump” has since
stalled and many at the bottom of the heap are now struggling. An estimated three million American
children are today living in households with cash incomes of “less than $2 per person per day, a
global metric of extreme poverty. That’s one American child in 25.” Thanks to food stamps, such
families aren’t actually starving. They also get other assistance such as church clothing donations.
But they get no cash welfare at all to help pay essential bills. Indeed, there are “now more postage
stamp collectors in the US than there are families collecting cash welfare”. I’m not calling for a return
to America’s previous, flawed welfare system, which did trap people in poverty. But the new system,
which leaves some families with children “utterly destitute”, clearly needs to be improved.
This is “a terrible time to not be brainy”, says David H. Freedman. Until a few decades ago, “possessing only middling intelligence” was no great barrier to success. Employers were less concerned with
elite degrees than “integrity, work ethic, and a knack for getting along”. But today, thanks to our
“fetishisation of IQ”, intelligence is becoming the sole measure of human worth, determining how
much money you make, where you live and whom you marry. Companies are insisting on everhigher academic standards from job applicants, even when it’s not really justified. Education officials,
meanwhile, are devoting endless effort to locating and nurturing gifted poor children – those
“overlooked gems” – but worrying less about the “problematically ungifted majority” – the ones
whose future jobs are disappearing as a result of automation. We need to think more about how to
make our society work for people of all capacities, not just the bright minority. When the British
sociologist Michael Young coined the term meritocracy in 1958, it was in a “dystopian satire”.
At the time, his imaginary world, “in which intelligence fully determined who thrived and who
languished, was understood to be predatory and far-fetched”. Yet his vision is fast coming true.

2 July 2016 THE WEEK


16 NEWS

Best articles: Europe

Good riddance? Is Europe better off without Britain?
Bravo for the British, said Giorgos
now that’s all likely to change – it
P. Malouchos in To Vima (Athens).
makes no sense for member states to
They’ve seized back control of their
communicate with each other in the
affairs from a Europe “dominated
language of a country that isn’t even
by Germany”. They’ve shown the
a member. The days when Britain
world they won’t be blackmailed
exerted a disproportionate influence
into submission. What a victory for
on Europe may be over.
democracy – the cornerstone of our
Western civilisation. What you fail
It will certainly be a lot easier to
to grasp, said Ignacio Molina in
reshape the union with the British
El País (Madrid), is that Leave
out of the way, said Christoph
voters were not motivated by “lofty
Prantner in Der Standard (Vienna).
democratic ideals”, let alone rational
They’ve always been obstructive.
objections to the EU’s manifold
Remember Margaret Thatcher?
shortcomings. On the contrary, they
“That housewife” won’t be satisfied,
rejected precisely what’s best about
Jacques Chirac famously remarked,
Thatcher with Chirac: all take, no give
the EU: free movement of people,
until she has “my balls on a plate”.
cultural pluralism and a preference for consensus over bickering And her successors have been little better. Well, now the Brits
between rival parliaments. Rather than pile on the attacks
have won the ultimate opt-out, one that leaves them free to
against the “miraculous, fragile artifice” we call Brussels, we
build a new “empire” based on “superpower nostalgia” and
should close ranks against those who want to import the UK’s
“fantasies of national autonomy in a globalised world”. But
“toxic xenophobia and provincialism”.
it’s not just Britain that poses a challenge to the EU, said
Werner Mussler in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In every
member state, Eurosceptic voices are clamouring for change.
That xenophobia was most clearly expressed, said Calin
Yet even after the shock of Brexit, many EU bigwigs remain
Nicolescu in Adevarul (Bucharest), in the way Brexiters
mercilessly targeted the poor of Eastern Europe, accusing them
hopelessly out of touch with the mood across Europe. The
of living off British welfare. Not a word about the contribution
president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker,
they make to Britain’s economic growth. And now that the UK
even sees Brexit as a pretext to deepen monetary union: so
is quitting the EU, be warned: Britain will seek to pick and
strong is his “anti-British bias”, whatever the Brits decide, he
choose from would-be immigrants willing to “enslave” themwants the opposite.
selves. But they’re not the only ones who can be selective, said
Philippine Robert in Capital (France). Brexit offers rich pickings One can celebrate Brexit as a much-needed “slap in the face for
to EU member states. France will “roll out the red carpet” for
the EU apparatchiks”, said Alexandra Lucas Coelho in Público
businesses fleeing London (which pre-Brexit hosted 40% of the
(Lisbon). But I’m still sad the British are leaving. My generation
assumed that ever more open borders, with everyone coming
European headquarters of the 250 largest multinationals); Paris
and going as they pleased, was the way the world was headed.
is well-positioned to take over as the EU’s financial centre, a
Brexit has reversed the direction of travel. It seems Europe has
prize that Frankfurt too is eyeing; Spain, and eastern countries
such as Poland and Slovakia with cheaper labour costs, will pull “become old before its time”. But let’s face it, the “old Europe
is dying”, said Jakob Augstein in Der Spiegel (Hamburg). We
out the welcome mat for car manufacturers seeking to relocate.
need a new vision. The EU was founded on the ruins of fascism
There may be big cultural benefits as well, said Jean Quatremer
– on the cry of “Never again war”. The task now is to rebuild
in Libération (Paris). Official EU business – once conducted
the EU and its institutions on the “ruins of capitalism”, this
equally in English, German and French – has of late become
time with the cry of “No more injustice”. In sum, we can view
a predominantly English affair, especially on EU websites. But
Brexit as a “historic” moment, as the start of something new.

RUSSIA

Let’s strike
a deal with
the Kremlin
Die Zeit
(Hamburg)

TURKEY

Erdogan’s
crazy plan
for Istanbul
Hürriyet
(Istanbul)

THE WEEK 2 July 2016

When German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier last week denounced Nato’s show of force
in Eastern Europe as provocative “sabre-rattling”, he was condemned for being disloyal. Yet he has
a point, says Theo Sommer. Yes, Poland and the three Baltic states need assurances that the West will
defend them should Russia invade. But the threat of Russia actually doing so has been wildly exaggerated by Nato generals. However unnerving Putin’s warlike rhetoric may sound, the Baltic states
– as independent defence analysts in Moscow make clear – lie outside the sphere he seeks to control;
he has no wish to provoke a nuclear showdown. So enough of the “icy” speeches from both sides:
Europe must rethink its relationship with Russia and start a meaningful dialogue. And that means
recognising that no Russian leader will ever return Crimea to Ukraine, however long sanctions are in
place. Instead, let’s use Crimea as a “trump card”: accept Russia’s ownership of it as part of a “grand
deal” that includes a full settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Whatever hawkish critics may
insinuate, one need not be on the Kremlin’s payroll to prefer negotiation over preparations for war.
Gezi Park, one of the last remaining green spaces in Istanbul, has once again become a battleground,
says Mustafa Akyol. President Erdogan’s bid in 2013 to have it bulldozed, to rebuild an Ottomanera barracks that once stood there, triggered a huge protest against his rule. By the time he’d backed
down, seven protesters had been killed, and Turkey’s international standing seriously damaged. Yet
nothing daunted, he’s again insisting the “historic” building be erected on the site. And he wants it to
house a museum displaying the “misdeeds of the Germans, French and Americans”. Why does he
want to stir things up again? Because he’s on an ideological mission to “reconquer” Turkey from its
enemies – namely, anyone with a more secular world view than his own. By airing the dark episodes
of Western history in the museum, he hopes to mute the charge that Turkey committed genocide
against the Armenians. Most of all, he wants to stamp his conservative Islamist ideology on the city
of Istanbul: for Erdogan, winning the ideological war is more important than keeping the peace.


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Health & Science

NEWS 19

What the scientists are saying…
Exercise “may boost memory”
If you want to remember something,
take some vigorous exercise – but not
immediately. A new study has found
that exercise boosts people’s powers of
recall, provided they leave an interval of
a few hours between absorbing the new
information and heading to the gym.
For the study, published in the journal
Current Biology, 72 volunteers were
shown pictures of 90 common objects
and asked to memorise their positions
on a screen. A third of the participants
then embarked on a high-intensity
workout; a third did the same workout
after a gap of four hours; and the rest
didn’t take any exercise. Two days
later, those who’d waited four hours
were found to have the sharpest recall:
they outperformed the others by around
10%, on average. Professor Guillén
Fernández, of Radboud University in the
Netherlands, suggests that exercise
improves memory because it produces
adrenaline and dopamine –
neurotransmitters that have been linked
to memory in studies on rats. It is still
not clear why those who exercised right
away saw no advantage, but Fernández
speculates it could be because memories
take a while to form as the brain absorbs
the new information – and exercising too
soon could disrupt this process.

Millions living with chronic pain
Around 28 million people in the UK – or
almost 44% of the adult population – are
living with chronic pain, according to
researchers at Imperial College London.
The team analysed 19 studies which
provided medical information on nearly
140,000 British adults to get a “best
estimate” of the scale of the problem.
Based on this data, they calculate that one

Porridge: the key to a longer life?

in seven adults aged under 25 experience
some form of chronic pain, and that nearly
two-thirds of over-75s do. The team also
found that 14% of UK adults live with
pain that is either moderately or severely
disabling. “I don’t even think many of the
members of the chronic-pain community
were aware of the scale of the problem,”
co-author Dr Alan Fayaz told The Daily
Telegraph. “There is a reluctance to talk
about pain because it isn’t as visible or as
measurable as other conditions, despite the
fact that it can have a devastating impact
on quality of life.” The study, published in
the online journal BMJ Open, and partfunded by Arthritis UK, warns the problem
will only become more widespread, as
Britain’s population continues to age.

Are statins pointless?
Statins work for a lot of people, but
millions of those who take the cholesterollowering drugs may be deriving no real
benefit from them, scientists have claimed.
The Israeli researchers tracked 32,000
people with heart disease who were taking

the drugs, and found that while those
who reduced their level of “bad” LDL
cholesterol from high to moderate did
see clear benefits – their chances of a
heart-related emergency fell by 13%
– those whose cholesterol levels fell
from moderate to low saw no benefit.
“Our results do not provide support
for a blanket principle that lower LDL
cholesterol is better for all patients in
secondary prevention,” wrote the
authors in the journal JAMA Internal
Medicine. The study, which some
experts say required a longer followup period, is the latest to question the
medical orthodoxy on statins, which
is that they should be widely
prescribed, even – as a precautionary
measure – to people who do not have
high cholesterol levels.

Eat porridge to cut cancer risk
Eating a wholegrain-rich diet can slash
a person’s risk of premature death, a new
Harvard University study has found.
Researchers analysed data from 12 studies
involving nearly 800,000 people – and
found that people who ate the highest
volume of wholegrain foods (three portions
per day, or 48g in total) had a 20% lower
risk of dying from any cause during the
study period, and a 14% lower risk of
dying of cancer, than those who ate few or
no wholegrain foods. But even eating just
16g (equivalent to a bowl of porridge) a
day made a significant difference. Other
wholegrain foods include brown rice and
Weetabix. Experts welcomed the findings
as more evidence of the importance of
fibre-rich diets, but warned of the difficulty
of teasing apart lifestyle factors in such
studies: it’s likely people who eat a diet
rich in brown rice and porridge are more
health-conscious than other people.

Ancient Romans in rural Devon

A new sick-note culture

The boundaries of Roma
an Britain may have to be
rredrawn. For yyears, th
he consensus among historians
was that,
w
h owing to the fierce resistance of local
tribes
b in Devon an
nd Cornwall, Roman influence
sstretched
h d no ffurth
ther west than Exeter. Then in
2009, two amatteur metal detectives found
2
some Roman coi
oins in a field near the village of
pp p
iles southwest of Exeter – a find
Ipplepen,
20 mil
described as onee of the most significant in
decades. This led
d
d to a major archaeological dig,
w
c has
as ssince
ce unearthed
a hoard of other
which
un
Roman objects,
inccluding hundreds more coins
R
b
and
a d bits
b off pottery, jew
wellery and even a road.
h l
onfident that some 2,000 years
Archaeologists
are now con
aago, the
h ffield
ld was the
h site off a Romano-British
h settle
lement, populated by native
Britons who, far from living
B
g in isolation from the Rom
omans, traded with them and
eeven embraced aspects
p
of their culture. The objects
j
found
fo
there include bits of
g
g in France
– and handles of
“samian ware” – fine kitchen bowls originating
Fr
sauce known as garum
amphora jars used for carrying wine, oil and the fish-based
fishthat was much prized by the Romans.

At present, workers who fall sick have to
get a doctor’s note if they’re off work for
more than a week – but senior members
of the British Medical Association (BMA)
argue that the system creates an
unnecessary burden, with patients who
make appointments just to get a note
using up time that could be spent on
those who need treatment. Now the
BMA is calling for workers to be allowed
to sign themselves off sick for 14 days.
Speaking at its annual meeting, Dr
Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the
BMA’s GP Committee, said staff should
be trusted not to fake illnesses, and that
it was absurd to make them get a note
that tells their employer “what their
employer probably knows already”. GPs
carry out 40 million more appointments
a year now than they did five years ago.
However, critics dubbed the proposal a
“skivers’ charter” and the Government
said it had no plans to change the rules.

2 July 2016 THE WEEK


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