10 JUNE 2006

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Water, water, everywhere

The Spectator

T h e emergency water-rationing measures now affecting 13 million people across the southeast have rekindled memories of the last serious drought to afflict the country, in...

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The Spectator

R esearching the dead can feel like being buried alive with them. After months spent with manuscripts and dusty books about the 16th century I even look like a corpse. But this...

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The Spectator

FRASER NELSON Cameron is right to be sceptical of the polls: he does not want to be the Tory Kinnock A fter more than a decade of intellectual struggle, the Conservatives have...

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The Spectator

CHARLES MOORE A lthough we send 250 police in search of possible terrorists in east London, our government takes a completely opposite attitude to the subject whenever it’s...

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The Spectator

MONDAY Exhausted. Have ploughed through nearly 30 pages (a record for me) of our 500-page briefing on Gideon’s speech and I’m still no wiser. Are we going to cut taxes or not?...

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Darfur’s terrible export: the riders of death who are pouring into Chad

The Spectator

Peter Oborne reports from the battlefield on the Chad–Sudan border where Janjaweed bandits, armed with AK-47s, grenades and helicopter gunships, are ethnically cleansing local...

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A don who embodies the idea of a university

The Spectator

Alan Duncan pays tribute to Jeremy Catto, the mediaeval historian and legendary Oxford tutor — but doubts that today’s dons will carry on his glorious tradition S ir John...

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Labour’s ‘trust tsar’ sets out his stall for life after Blair

The Spectator

Jack Straw tells Matthew d’Ancona about his plans for the Lords, party funding and the royal prerogative, and says that ‘Tony will go well before the next election’ F or a man...

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The truth is that Europe is America’s poodle

The Spectator

David Rennie says that Brussels has been craven in its compliance with US demands for up to 34 pieces of data on each passenger heading for an American destination Brussels I...

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Polygamy is just the legal term for having affairs

The Spectator

Melissa Kite is glued to the screen by the US smash-hit series ‘Big Love’ — about to be shown here — and is gripped by the controversy it has triggered over multiple marriage F...

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Schools for success

The Spectator

From Barnaby Lenon Sir: Robert Yates rightly explains that grammar schools were the path to academic success and a good job for clever workingclass children in the period 1935...

From Col. John Wilson

The Spectator

Sir: Robert Yates makes a proper case for grammar schools. But working-class children will not reach that stage unless they start well. My late wife was an infant teacher for...

Roy’s rural ride

The Spectator

From Charles Jackson Sir: While enjoying Roy Hattersley’s bucolic rhapsodies (Life, 3 June) and wishing him well in his village Arcadia, I was reminded of those contemporary...

Tolerance of the Kurds

The Spectator

From James Blount Sir: Charles Moore worries, with some justification, about the vulnerability of Christians in such places as Iraq (The Spectator’s Notes, 3 June). He would...

Good news for Dugganites

The Spectator

From Anthea Morton-Saner Sir: Allan Massie’s advocacy of Alfred Duggan (Books, 3 June) is greatly welcomed. As Duggan’s recently retired literary agent, I can assure Mr Massie...

Wind instrument

The Spectator

From Dennis Morris Sir: Christopher Caldwell in his piece ‘Why I, as an American, love the French’ (27 May) says, ‘Little of [French] wit involves breaking wind on trains.’...

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The Spectator

FRANK JOHNSON We should be told whether Ernie the milkman would make the Tory A-list M r Cameron’s feat in attracting Ernie, the most famous milkman in the history of the...

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The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON The misleading dimensions of persons and lives I am disquietingly conscious of feeling smaller than I was; relatively, that is. For most of my life, being six...

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The Spectator

An insatiable appetite for art Joanna Pitman says money from Russia and Wall Street is fuelling saleroom fever. But how long can the bull run last? N ever in living memory has...

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The Spectator

Humbugs, scallywags, hustlers and fools Bill Bonner If a bull market can turn a moron into a genius, the art market deserves government funding. It has done for the elite what...

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The Spectator

Watch those figures, girls! Nicola Horlick says women will soon be richer than men, and should learn to look after their money W hen divorce is cited as a fast track to...

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The Spectator

Hot stocks and naughty boys Matthew Vincent says that London’s colourful junior stock market can offer tax breaks and high returns W hat do the following have in common:...

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The Spectator

Why the economy and the stock market are always out of step Allister Heath John Maynard Keynes used to say that he hoped being an economist would one day be deemed as...

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CITY LIFE Hank the Tank’s answer to America’s deficit: more prayer, less healthcare

The Spectator

ROBERT COTTRELL IN NEW YORK T he markets are jumpy, the dollar is tired, and Alan Greenspan has sunk below the horizon. Now more than ever the dollar needs a top-class...

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The Spectator

The view ahead through the windscreen Philip Hensher T HE B OOK OF D AVE by Will Self Penguin, £17.99, pp. 495, ISBN 9780670914432 ✆ £14.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 M...

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Hard acts to follow

The Spectator

Digby Anderson L ION ’ S H ONEY : T HE M YTH OF S AMSON by David Grossman Canongate, £12.99, pp. 159, ISBN 1841956562 ✆ £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A t a time when...

The slow poison of praise

The Spectator

Anne Applebaum O RSON W ELLES : H ELLO AMERICANS by Simon Callow Cape, £25, pp. 507, ISBN 0224038532 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 M ore than 60 years after its release,...

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A meeting of true minds

The Spectator

Anita Brookner T HE E LEMENT OF L AVISHNESS : L ETTERS OF S YLVIA T OWNSEND W ARNER AND W ILLIAM M AXWELL , 1938-1978 edited by Michael Steinman Counterpoint, £13.50, pp. 356,...

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Diamonds and other best friends

The Spectator

Christopher Howse B REWER ’ S F AMOUS Q UOTATIONS edited by Nigel Rees Weidenfeld, £25, pp. 568, ISBN 139780304367993 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 R ecent troubles in...

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Little time for Proust or Tolstoy

The Spectator

Malcolm Deas W ITH B ORGES by Alberto Manguel Telegram, 26 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5RH, tel: 020 7229 2911, email: orders@telegrambooks.com, £6.99, pp. 77, ISBN 1846590051...

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The dangerous edge of things

The Spectator

Anne Chisholm W ILD M ARY by Patrick Marnham Chatto & Windus, £18.99, pp. 352, ISBN 0701179910 ✆ £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I f her name rings a bell at all, Mary...

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The incredible journey

The Spectator

James Scudamore M IRACLE IN THE A NDES by Nando Parrado Orion, £16.99, pp. 274, ISBN 0752871936 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Y ou probably know the story: in October...

Rhythm and blues

The Spectator

Ian Sansom EVERYMAN by Philip Roth Cape, £10, pp. 182 ISBN 9780224078690 ✆ £8 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 N othing much to report here, no news and no surprises: dog bites...

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The devil in the detail

The Spectator

Francis King T HE Y EAR OF H ENRY J AMES by David Lodge Harvill/Secker, £18.99, pp. 332, ISBN 1846550033 T he Year of Henry James, which gives its title to David Lodge’s book,...

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The Spectator

Musical chairs Daniel Barenboim leaves Chicago next weekend. Michael Henderson looks to the future D aniel Barenboim, one of the most celebrated musicians of the age, conducts...

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The Spectator

Orchestrated explosions Andrew Lambirth John Hoyland: The Trajectory of a Fallen Angel Tate St Ives, until 24 September T his small but telling retrospective at Tate St Ives...

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Pop music

The Spectator

Chas and Dave Marcus Berkmann T he idea that two of the three leaders of the main political parties genuinely like pop music is something I am struggling to come to terms...

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The Spectator

A bloodless horror Olivia Glazebrook The Omen 15, general release Offside PG, selected cinemas S omeone once had an excellent idea for a film to scare the pants off us: what...

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The Spectator

Prole gawping Lloyd Evans Market Boy Olivier Sunday in the Park with George Wyndham’s Too2Much Cabaret Walker’s Court, London W1 T he Olivier’s new show is all about the...

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The Spectator

Pursuit of excellence Ursula Buchan T here was an unexpected outbreak of common sense at Chelsea Flower Show this year. I looked hard for the usual silliness to laugh at, but...

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The Spectator

Theatrical magic Giannandrea Poesio Kabuki Sadler’s Wells Theatre I t is difficult for the lay Western European theatreand dance-goer to approach kabuki without a slanted...


The Spectator

Marital mayhem Michael Tanner Duke Bluebeard’s Castle; Erwartung Royal Opera Don Giovanni Welsh National Opera B artók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle is proving to be one of the...

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The Spectator

Trollope’s political nous Michael Vestey I ’ve always thought that Anthony Trollope was excellent at writing about human nature in his novels, and women in particular, but for...

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The Spectator

Brothers on the pitch James Delingpole E very Sunday morning rain or shine I head off to play football in the park with my two boys — Ivo and Rat — and whichever locals happen...


The Spectator

How to be green Alan Judd M y 40-year-old Land Rover achieved an indicated 60mph this week. It took over a mile to get there and, given another mile, a heady 63mph or 64mph...

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High life

The Spectator

Boat people Taki On board S/Y Bushido W e hit a hurricane while sailing off the coast of the Riviera last week, or, to be more precise, a hurricane called Tim Hoare hit us. I...

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Low life

The Spectator

Man at work Jeremy Clarke H ome improvements were again top of the agenda last week. I tried to get out of it by saying I’d been commissioned to write a newspaper article,...

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The Spectator

SIMON HOGGART O ur mini-bar offers from Waddesdon Manor, that magnificently ornate, opulent and over-the-top Rothschild gaff in Buckinghamshire, have always been highly...

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The Spectator

The postman always brings twice Victoria Mather finds that online is the lazy way to luxury I am very greedy. I am also very lazy, so it’s unlikely that I will drive to the...

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The Spectator

The white stuff Sarah Sands lies back and thinks of Montreal I f I had to name the most shameful memory of my youth it would be the unchanged, fitted, poly-cotton sheets in...

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The Spectator

Breaking the code Raffaella Barker discovers Paris through the eyes of a child T ra la la. Paris in springtime. I am on a jaunt with my daughter Esme as a treat to mark her...

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The Spectator

DEBORAH ROSS I try to make a booking at Dans Le Noir?, the new London restaurant where diners eat in total darkness and are served by blind and visually impaired staff,...

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Top gear

The Spectator

Jaspistos In Competition No. 2446 you were invited to provide a poem with the title of ‘The Danger of Queer Hats’. There are one or two queer hats in literature, like the one...

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The Spectator

The madness begins FRANK KEATING O verture and beginners, please. This is it, for real, and mercifully the hysterical months of jingo-jangle jibber-jabber are stilled and...


The Spectator

Dear Mary Q. Recently visiting the city where a niece of whom I am very fond is in her final year as an undergraduate, I asked if she would like to meet for lunch or a coffee....