Monthly Archives: September 2006

“For one should not declare one’s intentions, but should seek to get what one desires anyhow. There is, for instance, no need in asking someone for a weapon to say ‘I propose to kill you with it’, since you can satisfy your appetite once you have the weapon in your hands.” —Niccolò Machiavelli, The Discourses, 1.44

The incomparably humourless Gordon Brown stands, statuesque and secretive, in the centre of the chaos enveloping his party. The man whose seductive shadow he has been skulking around in for the past decade has all but moved aside. Read More

Two stories from the afternoon of 11th September, 2001 that you won’t hear anywhere else.

1. I’m standing in Throgmorton Street with my face pressed against the glass of a private banking building. The TV in the corner opposite the reception desk shows the collapse of a tall grey structure. It’s the WTC, North Tower. The channel is Sky News. At the bottom of the screen the LSE stock ticker is scrolling. The prices are changing.

2. I’m in the mail room of Tower 42, the basement of the building formerly known as the NatWest Tower. It’s forty minutes later. Rumours are going around that several airliners are missing over the Atlantic, perhaps heading for London. The workers in the 183m of building above have been told to evacuate. To go home. “Why are you all still here,” I ask the postroom workers. “We’ve been told we have to stay.”