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Peter Blegvad teaches Creative Writing at Warwick University. Joseph Bottum is a contributing editor to the Weekly Standard and a former editor of First Things. Michael Burleigh is Professor of History at the University of Buckingham and author of Moral Combat: A History of World War II, published by HarperPress. Nick Cohen is a columnist for the Observer. Tim Congdon is an economist and CEO of International Monetary Research Ltd. John Constable is the Director of Policy and Research for the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), a charity publishing data and analysis on the UK energy sector. Mara Delius writes for the culture section of Die Welt. Jessica Duchen is a music journalist, biographer and novelist. She blogs on music at Stephen Fay is a writer on cricket and a former editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly. Patrick Heren is a journalist who specialises in competitive energy markets. He is the founder of Heren Energy (now ICIS Heren). Karen Horn is an economist, author and director of the Berlin office of the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft, an economic research institute. Paul Johnson’s latest book is Humourists: From Hogarth to Noël Coward, published in the US by HarperCollins. His biography of Socrates will be published later this year by Penguin US. Peter Jones helped found Friends of Classics and the fund-raising charity Classics for All. His latest book is Vote for Caesar (Orion). Necla Kelek is a sociologist, author and campaigner against repression of women under Islam. Her latest book is Journey to Heaven: My Fight with the Guardians of Islam, (Kiepenheuer & Witsch). Sheila Lawlor is director of the think-tank Politeia. Her next book will be on the politics of post-war social policy. Dominic Lawson is a columnist for the Sunday Times and the Independent. Nigel Lawson is chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (www.the He is author of An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming and a new abridged version of his Memoirs of a Tory Radical is out in paperback, published by Biteback. Laura Marsh is a graduate of Christ Church, Oxford, and a winner of the London Review of Books Young Reviewers Competition 2010. Minette Marrin is a writer, broadcaster and columnist for the Sunday Times. Douglas Murray is the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion. Eric Ormsby’s latest book of prose is Fine Incisions: Essays on Poetry and Place (The

Sheila Lawlor

Nigel Lawson

Geza Vermes

Andrew Roberts

Joseph Bottum Berenika Stefanska

Gwyn Prins

John Constable


January/February 2011

Porcupine’s Quill). A new selection of his poems will appear from Carcanet this year. Emanuele Ottolenghi is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies. Gwyn Prins is a research professor at the LSE. He was a Visiting Senior Fellow in the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency and special adviser to the Nato Secretary General. Michael Prodger is literary editor of the Sunday Telegraph. Andrew Roberts is an historian. His latest book is The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War (Penguin). Mark Ronan is Honorary Professor of Mathematics at University College London and author of Symmetry and the Monster. Joshua Rozenberg  presents Law in Action on BBC Radio 4. He chairs Halsbury’s Law Exchange, an independent legal think-tank. Neil Scolding is the Burden Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Bristol and Director of the Burden Neurological Institute. Simon Scott Plummer is a freelance journalist and former leader writer on the Daily Telegraph. Lionel Shriver’s latest novel, So Much for That, was shortlisted in the fiction section of the 2010 National Book Awards, America’s leading book prize. Nick Spencer is Research Director for the think-tank Theos. His forthcoming book, Freedom and Order: Politics, History and the English Bible will be published by Hodder and Stoughton in May. Berenika Stefanska is a freelance writer based in Germany and Africa. Geza Vermes FBA is Professor Emeritus in Jewish Studies at Oxford University. His latest book, Jesus in the Jewish World, is published in paperback by SCM Press, London. Daisy Waugh writes novels and two columns in the Sunday Times. Peter Whittle is Standpoint’s film critic and director of the New Culture Forum. Jamie Whyte is the head of research at the consulting firm Oliver Wyman. David Womersley is the Thomas Warton Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford.

Letters Standpoint welcomes letters to the Editor. Write to: Standpoint, 11 Manchester Square, London W1U 3PW or: Please include your address and telephone number.

Standpoint January/February 2011 Issue 29


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Manchester Square 5 CounterpointsNudgeFudge;Climatolatry; RIP Kit Cunningham; Comprehensive Classics; Church and Hate; Tuition Squeeze; Rentacrowd Reinvented 8 Letters The Arts Council is ACE; GK’s Saintly Wit; Germane Germanness; St Paul the Pinko; No Rules OK 13

Columns On the contrary Lionel Shriver has a low-tech defence against online mudslingers 15 Points East & West Emanuele Ottolenghi holds Wikileaks to its own lofty standards 16 Living History Michael Burleigh denounces China’s manipulation of North Korea 17 Marketplace Tim Congdon sets the record straight on Quantitative Easing 18 Jurisprudence Joshua Rozenberg says the jury’s out on trial by jury 19 European Eye Mara Delius considers modern Germany’s relationship with its past 20

Dispatches Old order collapse Stephen Fay in Australia sees Aussie cricket hit for six by consumerism 22 A tale of love, bulls and goats Berenika Stefanska in Kenya is enchanted by the encounter of ancient and modern at a Rendille wedding 24 Mole Special Our insider explains why inner-city Birmingham is Europe’s worst place to be a non-Muslim 26


Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness FeaturesFivemyths and a menace Nigel Lawson corrects economic misconceptions with the help of Adam Smith 36 Warning to the US: Don’t play by Islamic rules Douglas Murray advises America to avoid Europe’s mistakes in dealing with Islamism 48 Critique The hounding of M. F. Husain Nick Cohen denounces the persecution of India’s greatest artist 64 Plus Drawing Board 68 Dialogue Will Germany be divided again? Necla Kelek and Karen Horn in Berlin discuss Germany’s multicultural lessons for Britain 30

Features Last Post for a global power Gwyn Prins laments reckless cuts to the UK’s defence budget 42 Back to Beveridge Sheila Lawlor proposes a smarter, fairer welfare system 46

Energy Special The glories of gas Patrick Heren speaks up for the energy source we too often take for granted 52 Renewables won’t keep the lights on John Constable says green surcharges will make British electricity the world’s dearest 54

Playtime is over for governors David Womersley believes school boards face huge new responsibilities 56 Melancholy monuments of chivalry Simon Scott Plummer visits the crumbling Crusader castles of the Levant 58

Civilisation Books Paul Johnson on The Golden Age: The Spanish Empire of Charles V by Hugh Thomas; Andrew Roberts on Decision Points by George W. Bush; and Eric Ormsby on How Snow Falls by Craig Raine, New & Collected Poems by U. A. Fanthorpe and Late Poems by Anthony Thwaite 71 Music Jessica Duchen puts the brakes on Liszt snobbery 77

Television Nick Cohen wants moralising British dramas to get real 78

Film Peter Whittle talks up Colin Firth in The King’s Speech 80

Theatre Minette Marrin praises Derek Jacobi’s majestic turn as Lear 81

Art Michael Prodger finds little “British” about modern British sculpture 82

Cosmos Neil Scolding debunks the great stem-cell myth 85 Text Geza Vermes re-examines the reputation of King Herod 86 Chess Dominic Lawson marks the centenary of an unflinching Soviet champion 95 Overrated/Underrated Nassim Nicholas Taleb by Jamie Whyte Charles Taylor by Joseph Bottum 96 Imagination Party Lines by Daisy Waugh; Whatever by Peter Blegvad: The Saga of Smit & Smule continues 98

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