10 NOVEMBER 2007

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The vision thing

The Spectator

Cordon Brown managed to keep a straight face last month when he claimed that he was abandoning plans for a snap election because he needed time to spell out his 'vision for...

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The Spectator

When will the Americans withdraw? I don't mind how long they stay in Mesopotamia but it's high time they got out of Grosvenor Square. They've been muttering about relocating...

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What's so special about 2020? Brownism is all about postponement

The Spectator

1 t took the Queen only eight minutes to read the speech Gordon Brown's advisers had prepared for her and even she looked bored by the end of it. The Prime Minister may have...

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The Spectator

CHARLES MOORE Ivhy is it good to make pupils stay on at school until they are 18? Under the Bill promised in the Queen's Speech this week, state education will be compulsory for...

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The Spectator

MONDAY Whisked to Oxfordshire with Jed and Wonky Tom as part of Queen's Speech preparation team! Spent whole day in outer inner sanctum!! Dave was in kitchen with his River...

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The taxpayer is being stung so this Lord can live in Admiralty House

The Spectator

James Forsyth and Claudia Rosett unravel the astonishing tale of Mark Malloch Brown, the most controversial recruit to the ministry of all talents, the deal he struck with...

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The big Russian bear just wants to be loved

The Spectator

Con Coughlin says that the paranoia in the Kremlin should not be confused with aggressive intent: Putin and his minions feel embattled, a perception that could have terrible...

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Soon we'll see if Musharraf is a man of his word

The Spectator

Christina Lamb says that the President of Pakistan's heart was never really in his negotiations with Benazir Bhutto. Now the key is how the army responds to his state of...

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James Michie, gentle genius

The Spectator

Boris Johnson /t is a measure of James Michie's extreme modesty that most of the younger people who bumped into him in the offices of The Spectator probably hadn't the foggiest...

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John, Paul, George, Ringo and John Paul II

The Spectator

Charlotte Metcalf on an extraordinary DVD of papal music starring the late John Paul II that takes its inspiration from the Beatles as much as from the Beatitudes Coming to a...

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The Stalinists have taken over the London Library

The Spectator

An outraged Paul Barker reports from the tense AGM of this great literary institution at which the trustees pushed through a dramatic increase in membership subscriptions The...

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A thoughtful man at the eye of the storm

The Spectator

Douglas Murray talks to Tom DeLay, the former US Republican majority leader, about the presidential field, the War on Terror, and the `criminalisation' of politics Tom DeLay has...

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Nigel Hastilow's real crime was to dare to mention Enoch Powell at all

The Spectator

The Tory candidate was forced to resign, says Rod Liddle, not because of the substance of what he said, but because he invoked the name of a politician declared an unperson by...

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My Chinese week with Elle Macpherson, the Prince of Wales and Tony Blair

The Spectator

Peking In Peking, I took Elle Macpherson to dinner at the ridiculous Lan Club — ridiculous because it is entered from the fluorescent lobby of a nondescript office block, and...

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Telling Right from Right

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Sir: I was very disappointed to see James Forsyth pinning the xenophobe label to Gordon Brown for his comment 'British jobs for British workers' (Politics, 3 November). The...

Scotch the Scots

The Spectator

Sir: The interesting thing about English votes for English MPs is that it would mean that Scottish MPs at Westminster would become virtually pointless (Leading article, 3...

A debased report

The Spectator

Sir: A document sent direct from Conservative Central Office is, by definition, indicative of being consistent with a range of Conservative thinking. Thus the report from the...

Witty rejoinder

The Spectator

Sir: Being attacked by Mohamed Fayed comes with the territory of attempting to establish evidence of how Princess Diana died on the Fayed watch (Letters, 3 November). He has...

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I was no sneak

The Spectator

Sir: Your columnist Martin Vander Weyer alleges that, in a demonstration at Oxford in 1973, I was `.. . running about taking pictures of (him and his friends), presumably to...

Real atrocities

The Spectator

Sir: Osman Streater (Letters, 3 November) dismisses evidence concerning the treatment of Armenians in Turkey during the first world war on the grounds that it was British...

Selfish students

The Spectator

Sir: I read with great interest the article by Harry Mount (Better always to be late than selectively late', 27 October) about punctuality. He quoted his friend's father's...

Protection from the people

The Spectator

Sir: As William Dalrymple implies in his perceptive article on Syria (Syria shouldn't be demonised', 27 October), democracy would be a disaster for minorities, especially...

Your right to chews

The Spectator

Sir: Paul Johnson asks (And another thing, 3 November) if it is true that Gladstone chewed his food 39 times. Horace Fletcher writes in Fletcherism: What It Is or How I Became...

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I hate badges and ribbons, but this year I have decided to wear a poppy for the first time

The Spectator

MATTI-IFW D, PI 1 ed Heath was not always easy to love, but his grumpiness could be endearing. I remember him once inveighing against badges. Badges, he said, lapel-stickers,...

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A magic moment in the gruesome history of portrait sculpture

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON The relationship between a great artist and his sitters is a poignant one. But what they say to each other during the long periods of concentrated stillness, on the...

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Mind your language

The Spectator

Encouraged by those blancmangemakers of the linguistic kitchen, the Queen's English Society, listeners have recently been having a go at the BBC. One left a website comment:...

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Coping with crisis, climate change — and lost luggage

The Spectator

Judi Bevan meets CBI president Martin Broughton, who as chairman of British Airways and BAT has learnt to enjoy controversial industries and deal with external pressures Martin...

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Forty years on, we're still confused

The Spectator

Richard Northedge Next weekend is the 40th anniversary of Harold Wilson slashing sterling's official value from $2.80 to $2.40 and telling us the pound in our pocket had not...

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Here's an oxymoron: green private jets

The Spectator

Neil Collins says NetJets will struggle to persuade eco-warriors that its flying limo service is carbon-neutral This year's must-have Christmas present is a small rectangle of...

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The bishop of Hope Street offers an organic remedy for no-hope ghettoes

The Spectator

This should have been Boris's gig, of course. Our former editor's perilous journey into the heart of the Scouse soul was a penance of sorts for that notorious Spectator...

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If music be the food of health. . .

The Spectator

Theodore Dalrymple MUSICOPHILIA* TALES OF MUSIC AND THE BRAIN by Oliver Sacks Picador, £17.99, pp. 240 ISBN 9780330418379 £14.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Qliver Sacks is a...

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Pity the oppressed; fear the oppressed

The Spectator

Digby Durrant NOT WITH SILVER by Simi Bedford Chatto and Windus, £17.99, pp. 356 ISBN 9781856192354 © £1439 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 The fight to abolish slavery and its...

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A tale of two timeless epics

The Spectator

Tom Holland HOMER'S THE ILIAD AND THE ODYSSEY: A BIOGRAPHY by Alberto Manguel Atlantic Books, £12.99, pp. 304 ISBN 9781843544029 © £1039 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 t is...

Betrayed by their disciples

The Spectator

Linsey McGoey KEYNES, KEYNESIANS AND MONETARISM by Tim Congdon Edward Elgar Publishing, £79.95, pp. 339, ISBN 9781847201393 © £63.96 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 t's rarely...

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Monsters and others

The Spectator

Olivia Cole THE BOOK OF OTHER PEOPLE edited by Zadie Smith Hamish Hamilton, £16.99, pp. 287, ISBN 9780241143636 £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 M ‘ a ke somebody up' was...

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Some like it cold

The Spectator

Stanley Johnson THE FEROCIOUS SUMMER: PALMER'S PENGUINS AND THE WARMING OF ANTARCTICA by Meredith Hooper Profile Books, £20, pp. 320, ISBN 9781846680083 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p)...

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Talking it over

The Spectator

Andrew Roberts SUMMITS: SIX MEETINGS THAT SHAPED THE TWENTIETH CENTURY by David Reynolds Penguin/Allen Lane, £25, pp. 512, ISBN 9780713999174 © £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429...

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The fading of the Cambridge dawn

The Spectator

D. J. Taylor FAME AND FORTUNE by Frederic Raphael JR Books, £16.99, pp. 295, ISBN 9781906217341 £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 An exhausting life it must be, being the...

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Rock'n'roll, drugs and a good roast

The Spectator

Marcus Berkmann THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Eric Clapton Century, £20, pp. 392 ISBN 9781846051609 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 RONNIE by Ronnie Wood Macmillan, £20, pp. 358 ISBN...

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Cargoes of despair

The Spectator

Ian Thomson THE SLAVE SHIP: A HUMAN HISTORY by Marcus Rediker John Murray, £30, pp. 434, ISBN 9780719563027 © £24 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Not long ago, I was invited to...

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Once happy havens

The Spectator

John de Falbe FAREWELL TO SALONIKA: CITY AT THE CROSSROADS by Leon Sciaky, with an introduction by Neil Barnett Haus, f16.99, pp. 257, ISBN 9781905791224 £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p)...

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Caroline's back in town

The Spectator

Amanda Herries COOLER, FASTER, MORE EXPENSIVE: THE RETURN OF THE SLOANE RANGER by Peter York and Olivia Stewart-Liberty Atlantic Books, £19.99, pp. 336, ISBN 9781843546771 ©...

On the road with George

The Spectator

Richard Bradford GADFLY IN RUSSIA by Alan Sillitoe JR Books, £16.99, pp. 242, ISBN 9781906217129 £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Stories abound of figures for whom the...

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Causes and consequences

The Spectator

Alistair Irwin LIBERATION OR CATASTROPHE? by Michael Howard Hambledon Continuum, £25 pp. 224, ISBN 9781847251596 £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Despite its puzzlingly...

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Spirits, shamans and sceptics

The Spectator

John Michell THE GOLD LEAF LADY AND OTHER PARAPSYCHOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS by Stephen E. Braude University of Chicago Press, £12, pp. 205, ISBN 9780226071527 © 0.60 (plus £2.45...

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Big is beautiful

The Spectator

Jonathan Cecil HATTIE: THE AUTHORISED BIOGRAPHY OF HATTIE JACQUES by Andy Merriman Attrum, £16.99, pp. 232, ISBN 9781845132576 £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 t is odd...

Dignity at all costs

The Spectator

James Forsyth CONDOLEEZZA RICE: NAKED AMBITION by Marcus Mabry Gibson Square, £20, pp. 354, ISBN 9781906142032 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 f George W. Bush goes down in...

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Many happy returns

The Spectator

Matthew Dennison THE COUNTRY HOUSES OF ROBERT ADAM by Eileen Harris Attrum, £40, pp. 192, ISBN 9781845132637 © £32 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Robert Adam is probably...

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A plain book about beauty

The Spectator

Olivia Glazebrook VERONICA by Mary Gaitskill Sopent's Tail, £10.99, pp. 272 ISBN 9781852429737 © £8.79 (plus £2.45p&p) 0870 429 6655 When people write about their experiences as...

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Almost' religious joy

The Spectator

P. J. Kavanagh How To BE WILD by Simon Barnes Short Books, £14.99, pp. 281, ISBN 9781904977971 £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Simon Barnes is chief sportswriter for the...

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Murder most serious

The Spectator

Raymond Chandler praised Dashiell Hammett for having given murder back to the sort of people who commit it. Given that he himself followed in Hammett's footsteps, this was an...

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The age of the train

The Spectator

Stephen Bayley welcomes the first new railway for a century, at St Pancras Eight thousand years ago the Thames was a tributary of the Rhine. And if the cities had actually...

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Round the galleries Andrew Lambirth

The Spectator

The autumn brings a fine crop of new exhibitions, some of them even full of 'mellow fruitfulness'. I have been watching the development of Julian Perry's work over the past ten...

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Saints on the move

The Spectator

Roderick Conway Morris Opening of Museo Remondini I Santi dei Remondini Palazzo Sturm, Bassano del Grappa, until 20 January 2008 In August 1766, the printmakers of Augsburg...

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An absence of intimacy Michael Tanner

The Spectator

La Traviata Birmingham Opera Company The Coronation of Poppea English National Opera ransformed into a lavish pleasure1 dome in the heart of Birmingham this dazzling event, with...

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The road to Auschwitz

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Lotte's Journey New End Cloud Nine Almeida Joe Guy Soho Beware of plays that open on trains trundling through Europe in the 1940s. You know where they're heading....

Simple minds

The Spectator

Deborah Ross Lions for Lambs 15, Nationwide rr his film is described on the posters as 'a powerful and gripping story that digs behind the news, the politics and a nation...

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Czech mates

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm T was pretty sure I was being followed,' he 1 said in that unforgettably sleek drawl. We are in Prague at the height of the Cold War in 1968 and Robert Vaughn, aka...

Dreaming with Stephen

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart The word 'dream' has different meanings, as in the greetings card: 'May all your dreams come true, except the one about the giant hairy spiders'. Martin Luther...

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Twelve to Follow

The Spectator

Robin Oakley E‘ nough of these two-year-old babies and 4 ' equine whippets racing over the length of a few suburban lawns. Not a moment too soon it is time for hardier sorts and...

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What's in a name?

The Spectator

Taki New York My good friend George Szamuely, who is very big in the Jewish community of the Bagel, swears this is a true story. (George's father, incidentally, was Tibor...

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Fungus foray

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke o prepare for the collapse of Western civilisation, which seems to be more imminent with every news bulletin, I'm learning about wild food. Two months ago I learnt...

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Russian luxury

The Spectator

Alex James The Astoria Hotel in St Petersburg is acknowledged by one and all to be the best hotel in town. This doesn't seem to be a matter of opinion, taste or committee, so...

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DEBORAH ROSS Do you remember when, the other week,

The Spectator

DEBORAH ROSS Do you remember when, the other week, I went to St Alban, got lost and ended up in the wrong restaurant entirely, where I said, Am I in St Alban?' and was told,...

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Getting personal

The Spectator

Charlotte Metcalf noses her way through the world of bespoke scent Iam sure most Spectator readers would agree that Christmas shopping used not to be so stressful. Every...

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Slow food heaven

The Spectator

Peter Grogan tours Italy's regional, family-run eateries British foodies at large in Italy this summer had a distinct spring in their step. Their pesto-stained copies of Osterie...

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Elsewhere — where else?

The Spectator

Juliet Nicolson savours the culture clash of Goa Arriving at the hippy hang-out at Vagator on the red-earthed north Goa coast, where the rocky beach is packed with spaced-out...

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I'm proud that my ancestor served at Trafalgar. But not too proud to sell his stuff

The Spectator

TOBY YOUNG Iexperienced what the American self-help guru Dr Phil calls a 'defining moment' the other day. I'd just taken stock of my life and, frankly, things didn't look good....

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IFY (J7_1' ) jj

The Spectator

Dear Maly Q. Two years ago I purchased a pair of Beretta shotguns which are 'over and under'. In the shooting field this caused others to peer suspiciously down their noses at...

Old rivals

The Spectator

FRANK KEATING In need of a positive spin from anywhere, ITV can at least console itself with the plaudits for its exclusive live coverage of rugby's recent World Cup. The oddity...