Recruiting for jihad

What’s more surprising: that a narcissistic if charismatic recruiter for Islamic State (IS), known to the security authorities, was allowed to operate freely, to the point a young convert was killed in Syria, or that he allowed himself to be filmed by a journalist for years, seemingly untroubled that he was gifting material to his…

At the quiet limit of the world

I used the research for this post as the basis for an article commissioned by 1843 Magazine, the sister publication to The Economist. The article ‘Death by Design’ will appear in the June/July 2017 edition of 1843.  Dennis Barlow, anti-hero of Evelyn Waugh’s 1948 black comedy The Loved One, was as fascinated as he was appalled…

All is not butter that comes from a cow

Manufactured anger can be just as dangerous as the real thing Like the captain of a sinking ship appealing for calm at the lifeboats, Rabbi Lionel Rosenfeld tried in vain to impose order on the Kiddush; the meal celebrating the Jewish Sabbath. “Families first, families first!” he exhorted over the herring. He was either unheard…

Beware the bounce

This article was published on Huffington Post Canada Payment card reward schemes could be the unwitting victims of government regulation  When Rosie McLennan bounced her way to gold for Canada in the Rio Olympics, regulation of the payment card industry was probably not uppermost in her mind. Which is surprising, given the trampoline routine of…

Of MiSK and risk: Saudi Arabia

This article was published today in The Economist’s Espresso news app  The inaugural forum of the MiSK Foundation, founded by Muhammad bin Salman, the deputy crown prince, starts today in Riyadh. The two-day culture-and-technology event is aimed at youth in the kingdom and the wider Arab world. Attendees will hear from Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder,…

Bitter feud splits Reform Club amid ageism and bullying claims

By Robert Mendick, chief reporter and Dominic Nicholls 1 OCTOBER 2016 • 10:00PM. This article was published in the Sunday Telegraph on Sunday October 2nd.    When Phileas Fogg wagered £20,000 he could circumnavigate the globe in 80 days, he departed from the Reform Club in Pall Mall, London. Had he set off today, Jules Verne’s creation might…