Saturday, March 08, 2008

Brave enough to dodge the Talebans bullets, but not to wear their uniforms in Britain

It has been reported that RAF personnel have been told not to leave their base in uniform to avoid being verbally abused by civilians. The verbal abuse is bad enough in itself, but to add insult to injury, the same armed forces who are standing up to the taliban haven't got the bottle to stand up to a few yobs. You can understand why the Americans consider us to be unreliable allies.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Daniel Finkelstein - Winner of the Chaim Bermant Prize for Journalism

Daniel Finkelstein, Associate Editor of The Times, has been named winner of the inaugural Chaim Bermant Prize for Journalism.

The prize was launched by the Jewish Chronicle and the Jewish Book Council in memory of Chaim Bermant, the outstanding writer and journalist who wrote a weekly column for the Jewish Chronicle for nearly 40 years until his death in 1998. The award recognises journalism on Jewish and Israeli themes.

Finkelstein submitted a series of columns published in the Times and the Jewish Chronicle. Although he writes a monthly Jewish Chronicle column, the judges were insistent that this connection had no bearing on their decision.

The judges said: “He was simply the writer who most closely reflected the values, spirit and qualities of Chaim Bermant’s journalism, his controlled playful and witty columns effectively drawing the reader in by anecdote and humour to a deeper issue or painful truth, bringing to a wide national readership issues such as Holocaust denial or property restitution in a fresh, lively, conversational style.”

Daniel Finkelstein is a weekly Times columnist and that newspaper's Comment Editor. He is the author of the popular blog Comment Central and the weekly football column Fink Tank.

Finkelstein said, "It is a tremendous honour for a columnist to have their name associated with Chaim Bermant in any way. I was delighted that the judges detected some of his spirit in my work - his erudition and wit were justly celebrated."

An award for an Aspiring Journalist was won by Ross Perlin, for Ladino in Lagado, a comment piece on the decline of the Ladino language.

The awards were judged by David Rowan, editor of The Jewish Chronicle, Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian and literary agent Jonny Geller to mark the end of Jewish Book Week.

Europeans are woefully ignorant of US politics

Gerard Baker's recent article on the presidential election illustrates the ignorance that many Europeans and much of the world have about America.

The competition between Obama and McCain for President (as is looking increasingly likely) is being seen interpreted a fight between good and evil. Obama is a modern day JFK who will atone for all the sins America has committed over the Bush years. McCain by contrast represents more of the same, a hangover of the Bush years (Despite the fact that he is a centrist who is anti torture, pro immigration, is big on the environment and who wants to reach out to Europeans).

Should Obama become President, the world is in for a shock. Despite all his rhetoric, Obama will not be serving at the altar of multilateralism. He will do what every President is elected to do....put American interests first.

Will opponents to Heathrow stop flying?

There's nothing that irritates me more than those who oppose airport expansion yet carry on flying. Regardless of whether there is another runway at Heathrow or not, the expansion pales into insignificance when you consider that China plans to open 97 regional airports over the next 10 years. Why should Westerners who have benefited from decades of mass air travel deny those in the rest of the world from enjoying the same benefits?