10 DECEMBER 2005

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Fresh air

The Spectator

I t has become a cliché in recent days to contrast the gloomy jowls of Gordon Brown, performing emergency surgery to his spending plans in the Commons, with the beaming...

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The Spectator

Tory! Tory! Cameron is coming! Hurrah, hurrah! PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK M r David Cameron was elected leader of the Conservative party in a ballot of members, beating Mr David...

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The Spectator

T he avalanche of words on last week’s Adair pensions report seemed to miss one significant point. Retirement is likely to be delayed to 67 or even later. Yet there is no...

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The Spectator

ANDY M C SMITH Why do my Labour friends send their children to private school? A good friend said something strange the other day. Her daughter, who is approaching her final...

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The Spectator

CHARLES MOORE S o now conservatives, and particularly Conservatives, must all change ‘the way we look, the way we feel, the way we think and the way we behave’. It is a tribute...

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The triumph of tradition

The Spectator

Peter Oborne says that David Cameron has arrived at exactly the right time to reshape British politics by reclaiming the centre ground for the Tories B ritish politics froze for...

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Use your head

The Spectator

Theodore Dalrymple believes that wearing proper hats — not hoods or woollen beanies — could encourage self-respect and civility in the young W hy do men behave so badly...

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Ancient & modern

The Spectator

The principles behind ‘synthetic phonics’, the latest educational reading nostrum, have been around for thousands of years. Heaps of papyrus exercises, exercisebooks (and a...

The great art bubble

The Spectator

William Cash on how record prices are making the contemporary art market an insider trader’s dream L ast week, on my second evening at Art Basel Miami, the Cannes Film Festival...

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The best v. the worst

The Spectator

William Shawcross says that premature pull-out from Iraq would be a betrayal of everything we stand for J ust over a year ago Charles Duelfer was almost murdered by a suicide...

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Mind your language

The Spectator

The plum, says Mrs Beeton, ‘is not a nourishing fruit, and if indulged in to excess, when unripe, is almost certain to cause diarrhoea and cholera’. That is from the first...

How Europe betrays the poor

The Spectator

Neil O’Brien says that the EU will offer the Third World nothing at the world trade talks next week N ext week ministers from 150 countries will meet in Hong Kong to try to...

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Lessons from Latin America

The Spectator

Daniel Hannan on why South Americans don’t want to imitate the European Union E uro-diplomats are grinding their teeth in frustration. For 15 years they have been urging the...

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‘Asians don’t hug’

The Spectator

Eric Ellis on the background to the hanging in Singapore last week of an Australian drug-dealer Singapore N o one outside Singapore’s steeltrap judiciary knows for sure...

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The Spectator

MATTHEW PARRIS My war in Spain with the the water terrorist L ast winter, from the town of Manresa in Catalonia, I wrote on this page about an ancient house in the Pyrenees; a...

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The Spectator

CHRISTOPHER FILDES I get a bung from the unjust steward — he must be due for an audit G ordon Brown is a son of the manse, so he will have been brought up on the Parable of...

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Austria and the Jews

The Spectator

From the Austrian Ambassador Sir: In Austria it is illegal publicly to deny the Holocaust (‘Let Irving speak’, 3 December). ‘Words are deeds,’ said Sigmund Freud, and in Austria...

All style, no substance

The Spectator

From Nigel Tipple Sir: Peter Oborne excelled himself in his final Cameron campaign address (Politics, 3 December). ‘A major presence on the national stage’, ‘massive...

Red or dead

The Spectator

From Sir Peregrine Worsthorne Sir: Unquestionably, as Oleg Gordievsky points out (Letters, 26 November), the Soviet Union, long after it had ceased to believe in communism,...

Duel nationality

The Spectator

From Clark McGinn Sir: The last duel in Scotland (and in fact the UK) was not fought by James Landale’s forefather (Books, 26 November). It took place on 2 March 1899 in the...

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The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON Odd man out in the age of ‘celebs’ T he world of mammon has never been more blatant and noisy. A businessman, a caricature plutocratic monster, pays himself a...

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The Spectator

What Britain can learn from China Andrew Neil fears that Britain might sink with the dirigiste Europeans rather than rise to the capitalist Chinese challenge O f all the...

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A talent for the unexpected

The Spectator

Philip Hensher S OME P OETS , A RTISTS AND ‘A R EFERENCE TO M ELLORS ’ by Anthony Powell Timewell Press, £25, pp. 400, ISBN 1857252101 A novelist needn’t know anything, but...

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Dics of fun quots

The Spectator

Bevis Hillier A few years back I had an argument with Ned Sherrin (now, but not then, a friend), which I have to say he won. Reviewing the first edition of his Oxford...

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Nearly a burnt-out case

The Spectator

Caroline Moore M ELVILLE : H IS W ORLD AND H IS W ORK by Andrew Delbanco Picador, £25, pp. 415, ISBN 033037107X ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 W ould-be artists clinging...

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Challenged at the top level

The Spectator

Sarah Burton BALD: F ROM H AIRLESS H EROES TO C OMIC C OMBOVERS by Kevin Baldwin Bloomsbury, £9.99, pp. 229, ISBN 0747569509 ✆ £7.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 C oming as I...

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Christmas art books

The Spectator

David Ekserdjian T he only halfway festive offering in this year’s crop of art books is Laurence Kanter and Pia Palladino’s Fra Angelico (Yale, £40). Even in these secularised...

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Floundering in the shallows

The Spectator

Frederic Raphael N O M AN ’ S L AND by Graham Greene, with a foreword by David Lodge, edited by James Sexton Hesperus, £9.99, pp. 114, ISBN 184391414X ✆ £7.99 (plus £2.45 p&p)...

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How not to lose your shirt in China

The Spectator

Jonathan Mirsky O NE B ILLION C USTOMERS : L ESSONS F ROM THE F RONT L INES OF D OING B USINESS IN CHINA by James McGregor Nicholas Brealey, £14.99, pp. 312, ISBN 1857883586 ✆...

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A brace of noble piles

The Spectator

John Martin Robinson R OUND A BOUT C HATSWORTH by the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire Frances Lincoln, £12.99, pp. 176, ISBN 0711225370 ✆ £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655...

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A hedonist of the old school

The Spectator

Allan Massie N ORMAN D OUGLAS : A P ORTRAIT edited by Wilhelm Meusberger, Michael Allan and Helmut Swozilek Edizione La Conchigli, Via le Botteghe, Capri, Euros 37, ISBN...

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Alternative reading

The Spectator

Surprising literary ventures Gary Dexter A NSWERS TO C ANCER (1962) by William Gaddis Image courtesy of Washington University, St Louis The William Gaddis canon is limited to...

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Let’s get serious

The Spectator

Stephen Pettitt on the importance of reversing the marginalisation of classical music O n 4 November, in the middle of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s 80th birthday concert for...

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The Spectator

Beguiling visionary Andrew Lambirth Samuel Palmer: Vision and Landscape British Museum, until 22 January 2006 T his year is the bicentenary of Samuel Palmer’s birth, and the...

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From tax to culture

The Spectator

Felicity Owen T he splendid extensions to London’s art institutions have been widely celebrated yet the renaissance of Somerset House has barely made news beyond the...

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Reclaim our streets

The Spectator

Josie Appleton A new Arts Council-funded book suggests that members of the public should urinate on national monuments all in the name of ‘corporate subversion’, of course. DiY...

Martin Fuller’s latest exhibition can be seen at the Adam

The Spectator

Gallery, 24 Cork Street, London W1 (until 22 December). Fuller was born in Leamington Spa in 1943, and in the Sixties went to the Mid-Warwickshire and Hornsey Colleges of Art,...

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Pop music

The Spectator

Weeds and wets Marcus Berkmann W hat makes you cry? I hesitate to ask this question in The Spectator , some of whose readers will not knowingly have blubbed since Mafeking....

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Pillars of the community

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Mark Steyn March of the Penguins U, selected cinemas M arch of the Penguins , a documentary film about penguins on the march, was a smash hit in America, and as such became one...

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Change of heart

The Spectator

Toby Young Sunday in the Park With George Menier Chocolate Factory Emperor Jones The Gate When You Cure Me The Bush W hen I started writing this column in 2001 I didn’t have...

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The Spectator

Shorn of drama Giannandrea Poesio Edward Scissorhands Sadler’s Wells Theatre F ew performance-makers possess Matthew Bourne’s ability to create a striking opening sequence....

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The Spectator

Challenge accepted Michael Tanner Falstaff English Touring Opera, Cambridge Violet Guildhall School V erdi’s Falstaff is an opera which I have usually found it easier to...

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The Spectator

Cover your ears Simon Hoggart W alking With Monsters (BBC1, Thursday) is an astounding produc tion, making Walking With Dinosaurs look as homely as Animal Hospital . Gosh,...

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The Spectator

Addicted to Powell Michael Vestey R adio Four marked the centenary of the birth of Anthony Powell by serialising for Book at Bedtime his novel From a View to a Death , a...

Stars of the future

The Spectator

Robin Oakley R ussia’s leader Vladimir Putin said the other day that he had got on better first time at George Bush’s ranch than he had expected. ‘He must have thought: “What’s...

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Sliding back to anarchy

The Spectator

Taki New York M y last week in the Bagel and then back to good old London. And it’s just as well I’m still here, or some of Sunny Marlborough’s children might take a swipe at...

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Suits you

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke F or the first time in five years I have a brand-new suit. Charcoal grey with wide grey and blue pin-stripes. Singlebreasted. By Christian Dior. I got it in a...

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Looking for Leipzig

The Spectator

James Delingpole David Hearsey, DFC, was a bomber pilot. Here he recalls participating in a raid over Leipzig in his Handley Page Halifax in February 1944. W e set out on an...

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Miss Mealy-mouth

The Spectator

Jaspistos In Competition No. 2421 you were given an opening couplet of a poem, ‘I knew a girl who was so pure/ She couldn’t say the word manure ’ and invited to continue for a...

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The Spectator

Comparing colossi FRANK KEATING E ngland’s cricketers came rudely down to earth in the rose-red sandstone of Lahore, and they remain in the old Punjab for another week as they...


The Spectator

Q. Recently I agreed to a male friend of mine’s suggestion to take out a couple that we both know. I said that I would pay for half the dinner as the couple had entertained me...