Category Archives: Financial Times (newspaper)

What rich geriatric adolescents are reading

Vulgar supplement of a dopey newspaper: Dalrymple writes that How To Spend It, a glossy supplement of the Financial Times newspaper, ‘suggests what most readers are really interested in and what their tastes actually are, or what the editors and advertisers think that most readers are really interested in and what their tastes actually are. Since newspapers are hardly read any longer by anyone under 40, the supposed interests and tastes are those of an ageing, educated, wealthy, liberal-leaning minority’. The supplement is ‘devoted mostly, though not quite entirely, to fashion, a subject of about the same interest to me as the Costa Rican traffic regulations’, with ‘pictures of terminally-pouting, bored-looking, anorexic models’ and of ‘geriatric adolescents—or is it adolescent geriatrics?’

Singapore cabbies outclass FT in intelligence and realism

screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-15-49-02A lot of Dalrymple’s information about humanity and the world comes from taxi-drivers. He writes:

On the whole I have found them more reliable, accurate, intelligent, and realistic than, say, the commentators in the Financial Times. They are generally much more interesting, too, and express themselves more vividly, even if English is their seventh language.

Dalrymple notes that an imperfect command of the English language sometimes confers an expressive eloquence. Finding himself in Singapore, he attempts to hail a taxi. You cannot do this on the street in the city-state, you have to go to a taxi-stand.

This I did, but still no taxi would stop for me. The taxis swept past me as if I did not exist. Then someone came and hailed a taxi about two feet to my right. A taxi stopped immediately and took him. When I stood two feet to the right of where I had been standing, a taxi stopped for me immediately. I told the driver of my experience and he, Chinese without a great deal of English, replied, ‘Singapore velly, velly law.

Dalrymple asks:

Have you read anything in the Financial Times, or any other serious newspaper, that so succinctly and accurately sums up a country or society?

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Unreliable, inaccurate and very far from succinct

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Singapore velly, velly law

screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-15-56-42screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-15-58-33screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-15-59-39screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-16-02-34 screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-16-01-59 screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-16-02-56 screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-16-05-53

Financial Times very, very wrong

Financial Times very, very wrong: the plutocrats’ paper on the horrors of Brexit

Britain’s spiv economy, polity and society

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Tony Blair: capo di tutti spivvi

The UK House of Commons, Dalrymple reports,

wants to strip [the tycoon] Sir Philip Green of his knighthood because it alleges that he is a spiv.

Dalrymple is

perfectly prepared to believe that he is a spiv, though I cannot claim to have followed his career closely. At the very least he seems to be a man given to vulgar show.

The Saturday supplement of the Financial Times newspaper: for people with more money than taste

The Saturday supplement of the Financial Times newspaper: for people with more money than taste

But Dalrymple asks:

How many members of the British parliament and government are spivs, or hope to become spivs at the end of their political careers? Two of our last three prime ministers were clearly of spiv calibre, one of them indeed to spivs what the capo dei capi is to the Mafia. If Parliament deprived them of their pensions, then it might have done something useful.

Once you grasp the concept of spivvery,

much about modern Britain becomes explicable. You have only to read the Financial Times’ Saturday supplement, How To Spend It, to understand how much of our economy is in essence a spiv economy. The supplement is aimed not at people with more money than sense, but at a group of people far, far worse: people with more money than taste, for whom Sir Philip is a leader of fashion.

David Cameron: clearly of spiv calibre

David Cameron: clearly of spiv calibre

We have, Dalrymple points out,

raised up spivs to the summit of our economy and society.

Moreoever, Britain has a tax system

that turns accountancy into the queen of the sciences.

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Sir Philip Green: leader of fashion

Newspaper-commentary addiction

Dalrymple writes:

It’s an addiction, reading newspaper commentary, and I don’t really know why I do it except that I’ve always done it and probably always will—if, that is, newspapers outlive me.

For example, he read

a lot of articles about the bombings in Brussels, even though I knew they would be about as illuminating as the economic commentary of the Financial Times, and only slightly more interesting.

One non-pharmacological strategy, of proved effectiveness, for those with sleep disorders is to attempt to read this journal's commentary either on the economy or on world affairs

One non-pharmacological strategy, of proved effectiveness, for those with ordinary insomnia or more intractable sleep disorders is to attempt to read this journal’s commentary, either on the economy or on world affairs. Doing so is powerfully sedative, though side-effects include depression and, in some cases, such symptoms of psychosis as hallucinations (almost always unpleasant), melancholic loss of concentration, drastically reduced sex drive, the wish to commit suicide, thoughts of murder, or the belief that one is being buried alive

How to beat insomnia on those long flights

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

In the pages of the Financial Times, writes Dalrymple,

one seeks in vain an item of interest, let alone of illumination.

Dalrymple sometimes attempts to read the FT

to help me get to sleep when it is handed out free on planes.

He very occasionally buys it and walks through

Outstanding vulgarity

Outstanding vulgarity

my small town in England with it under my arm in order to give the appearance to my fellow townsmen of material substance.

The FT

is earnest rather than serious. The only frivolity it permits itself is its glossy supplement, How to Spend It (a title of outstanding vulgarity), which consists mainly of advising financiers on how to dispose of their surplus millions—that is to say their misappropriations of shareholders’ funds—on expensive trifles.

Is the crisis faced by the Greeks their own fault?

Feeble-minded: Martin Wolf Wolf: feeble-minded

NO, says Martin Wolf. Stupid lenders lose money

This greatly overvalued (and very conceited) journalist writes about high finance. He can be read in the Financial Times, the Irish Times and other prints. He argues:

Nobody was forced to lend to Greece. Initially, private lenders were happy to lend to the Greek government on much the same terms as to the German government. Yet the nature of Greek politics, tellingly described in The 13th Labour of Hercules: Inside the Greek Crisis by Yannis Palaiologos, was no secret. Then, in 2010, it became clear the money would not be repaid. Rather than agree to the write-off that was needed, governments (and the International Monetary Fund) decided to bail out the private creditors by refinancing Greece. Thus began the game of ‘extend and pretend’. Stupid lenders lose money. That has always been the case. It is still the case today.

Dalrymple: incisive and gutsy Dalrymple: incisive

YES, says Theodore Dalrymple. Stupid borrowers lose assets

This greatly undervalued (and very self-effacing) essayist writes about the human condition. He can be read in City Journal, the Salisbury Review and other prints. He argues:

The lenders were foolish, or worse than foolish, relying as they did on Greece’s fraudulent membership of the common currency to forestall any possibility of default. But the Greeks, or rather the Greek government, can hardly be absolved of all blame for the situation. The latter borrowed huge sums of money to fund current consumption, having previously falsified its public accounts in order to meet the criteria to join the common currency. If nobody had to lend to Greece, Greece did not have to borrow, at least not like it did and for the purposes that it did. And if it is true that stupid lenders lose money, stupid borrowers lose their assets. If this is a tale of stupidity, it is of stupidity – or dishonesty – all round.

Peace be upon the Financial Times and the Library of Birmingham

Two organisations that are objectively pro-Islamist

Dalrymple points out that the Financial Times and the Library of Birmingham both work hard to accommodate the Islamists, the Financial Times by branding those (now no longer with us) who lampoon them ‘stupid’, the Library of Birmingham by providing women-only tables.

Dalrymple was the first to spot the FT's cringe

Dalrymple spotted the FT’s cringe within hours; Private Eye later caught up with the story — this is from No. 1384, 23 Jan – 5 Feb 2015

Misandry of which ISIS would approve: Birmingham Central Library

A page from ISIS’s book: Birmingham Central Library

Al-ḥamdu lillāh!

Al-ḥamdu lillāh!

Praise for Libération and the Guardian

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 22.17.25The Financial Times disgraced itself, but other European newspapers’ response to the Charlie Hebdo shootings has been admirable, Dalrymple writes.

Libération has bravely given the magazine space in its office; the next edition of Charlie Hebdo will print 1m copies, 25 times its normal run. And in Britain, the Guardian has announced a donation of £100,000 to Charlie Hebdo.

The actions of Libération and the Guardian stand, Dalrymple points out,

in marked contrast to the pusillanimity displayed by George W. Bush during the Danish cartoon crisis of 2006, and by Barack Obama in 2012, when he criticized Charlie Hebdo for being offensive to Muslim sentiment.

Cartoonists brought it on themselves

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 08.34.16Faut pas se moquer: journalism at the Financial Times

How long, Dalrymple asks,

would it take for a Western journalist to blame the Charlie Hebdo murders on French colonialism and journalistic insensitivity to the feelings of Muslims? Not nearly as long, I suspected, as it would take a journalist in the Muslim world to blame them on the legacy of Mohammed and Islam. And I was right.

Tony Barber: Charlie Hebdo should stop 'being stupid'

Tony Barber: Charlie Hebdo ‘just being stupid’

Distressing wrong-headedness

Dalrymple reports that it took less than four hours for someone called Tony Barber, described as an ‘associate editor’ of the Financial Times, to publish an article on the newspaper’s website

blaming the journalists and cartoonists of the satirical French magazine (and the two policemen as well?) for their own deaths.

This Barber, Dalrymple points out, wrote and posted the following (see screenshot):

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 10.14.38Charlie Hebdo has a long record of mocking, baiting and needling French Muslims . . . Some common sense would be useful at publications such as Charlie Hebdo . . . which purport to strike a blow for freedom when they provoke Muslims, but are actually just being stupid.

Perverted

Dalrymple’s response:

According to this perverted logic, if the relatives of the 12 murdered men were now to storm into the offices of the Financial Times and shoot 12 staff members because of the considerable provocation offered by Tony Barber, it will prove only that Barber had just been stupid.

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 08.31.07Dalrymple points to a relevant difference between the two cases:

When he wrote his disgraceful little article, Barber knew perfectly well that the relatives of the murdered men would not behave in this fashion, and that therefore he was not ‘just being stupid’. Hence, he equates prudence with cowardice, a sure way to encourage (though not perhaps to provoke, in his sense of the word) more such attacks.

Barber refers to Charlie Hebdo's 'editorial foolishness', in contradistinction to the FT's editorial wisdom, judgment, tact and perspective

Barbare refers to Charlie Hebdo’s ‘editorial foolishness’, in contradistinction to the FT’s editorial wisdom, judgment, tact and perspective

Cowardice

Barber’s implicit recognition

that some people react differently to provocation is not flattering to those whom he wishes to exculpate, in so far as it implies that they are childishly unable to accept the kind of mockery that is perfectly normal in a free country.

France had it coming

In his first paragraph, Barber wrote

that the attack on Charlie Hebdo will ‘not surprise anyone familiar with the rising tensions among France’s 5m or more Muslim citizens and the poisonous legacy of French colonialism in North Africa.’ In other words, France had it coming, though it offers a far better life to its 5m Muslims than they would be likely to find anywhere in the Muslim world, including in their countries of descent. The Muslims owe nothing, no loyalty, to France.

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 09.21.56How To Spend It

Rather than commenting cretinously on matters of which it knows little or nothing, such as the meaning of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, Islamism, free speech, etc., perhaps the Financial Times should concentrate on what it does best, for example putting out its spectacularly vulgar and imprudent How To Spend It magazine supplement for the corrupt international rich.

Voltaire

Dalrymple concludes:

The French must defend to the death the right of their satirists to mock, bait, and needle Muslims, in France and elsewhere.

Private Eye No. 1384, 23 Jan - 5 Feb 2015

Private Eye No. 1384, 23 Jan – 5 Feb 2015

The eternally hypocritical English bourgeoisie

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 18.15.18The British lower classes are deeply unpleasing, having been thoroughly corrupted by welfarism. But the classes of Briton that excite the most disgust are the upper middle, to which Britain’s current, lamentable prime minister belongs.

It is not just the world-class snobbery and hypocrisy of the British upper-middle classes that repel. (The snobbery and hypocrisy persist, or are even heightened, despite the nation’s third-rate, piffling status. As snobs and hypocrites, Britons punch above their weight.)

Middle-class Britons are greatly more vulgar — and sillier — than before. They are the silly-billy bourgeoisie, and the idea of duty, responsibility, probity or self-restraint is alien to them, especially if they work in that abyss of imaginary money, the City of London. Dalrymple has, for example, often drawn attention to the grotesque, insensible vulgarity of one of their favourite magazines, the How To Spend It supplement of the Financial Times newspaper. They are, writes Dalrymple,

the underclass, but with more money.

The British middle classes are ‘not a pretty sight or a grateful sound’, for they

lack refinement in their tastes, except in matters of expensive technological appurtenances…Their manners, down to their gestures and very facial expressions, are crude, coarse and brutish.