I should declare an interest and say that I have always admired Time Magazine. It has great journalists. It has even commissioned your humble correspondent and allowed him to join its exalted company of writers – and more to the point paid your humble correspondent ready money for the privilege. In normal circumstances I would deplore the notion that its offices should be firebombed and editors, reporters, critics, subs, secretaries and IT support staff reduced to piles of smouldering ashes, so charred and diminished their next kin would not be able to identify them.

But what possible argument can those of us who shudder at the thought of arsonists torching Time, and immolating all who work there, now make in its defence? The latest issue contains a piece saying that the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo deserved to have someone – maybe an Islamist, maybe not – firebomb its offices in Paris. It is worth studying because its author seems to be trying to provide a defence for anyone who attacks his own company’s premises.  read more