Page 3

Turkey must relent

The Spectator

T he issue of how best to approach a friend who has badly let you down is one more commonly dealt with at the back of this magazine, by our agony aunt on etiquette, Mary Killen....

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PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister,

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flew off to China and appeared at a press conference with the Chinese leader, Mr Wen Jiabao, where it was said that there had been a resolution of the dispute over European...

Page 6

W ith my wife’s consent, I have just become the lover

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of a handsome 57year-old lady. She has a fine round bottom and a comfortable beam. I sought expert advice before embarking on the affair. Ian Burgoyne, marine surveyor, tapped...

Page 7

The country wants Kenneth Clarke — so why don’t the Westminster Tories?

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A t the worst moment in Labour party fortunes, some point in the mid-1980s, a Labour politician is said to have emerged from yet another resounding election defeat unrepentant,...

Page 8

A t the weekend, I was in Frederick the Great’s palace

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at Potsdam, attending a conference inspired by the indefatigable George Weidenfeld. As the elections approach, excitement is beginning to mount that Germany might be run by a...

Page 9

The grim lessons of Katrina

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Walter Ellis says that for many Americans New Orleans revealed the slimy underside of national life New York I t is tempting when looking back on natural catastrophes to see...

Page 10

Is this the end of empire?

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Patrick J. Buchanan Washington W hat did Katrina tell us? Much we already knew. Our politics is as poisoned as in the Nixon era. Even the worst disasters are exploited to score...

Page 11

It may be hell, but it’s home

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Eat, drink and be merry for this is ... New Orleans: Julia Reed on the deadly delights of her city Greenville, Mississippi I t was bound to happen — in fact it already had....

Page 12

The cowardice of the BBC

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Rod Liddle on the key players in the campaign against John Humphrys T he peculiar and very bitter New Labour vendetta against the BBC presenter, John Humphrys, has at last drawn...

Page 14

The Flintoff phenomenon

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Michael Henderson talks to the sporting hero who is set to lift England’s hearts at the Oval R arely, rarely, comest thou, Spirit of Delight!’ But when it comes, as it has this...

Page 16

Ancient & modern

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Two weeks ago, we wondered how Tacitus, that pillar of the Roman establishment, was able to get away with putting a speech in the mouth of the Caledonian ‘terrorist’ Calgacus to...

The lie of the land

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Alasdair Palmer is astonished by what asylum-seekers get away with when they face the adjudicators A survey published last week shows that more people tried to claim asylum in...

Page 18

Mind your language

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In a memorable outburst on local radio, the Mayor of New Orleans, Mr Ray Nagin, complained about the distantness of federal authority from the hurricanestruck city. ‘They flew...

Writing God off

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Theo Hobson says that literary atheism is a very British cult — and it is practised with adolescent enthusiasm I s it a rule that British novelists have to take a simplistic...

Page 20

Something rotten in the state of Louisiana

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I have mixed memories of New Orleans. The hospitality was gracious and the cuisine was fine, but there was a pervasive whiff of something rotten which must have a bearing on the...

High tables

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This column will occasionally offer advice on where to eat — not restaurants, but corporate tables to which it is worth blagging an invitation. I recently enjoyed lunch at the...

Page 21

If you are a Tory politician, why not be fat and sexist?

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F emale Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs, while out of the Speaker’s earshot, have been caught making personal remarks about the Conservative MP Nicholas Soames. Mr Soames was...

Page 22

RSPCA is off target

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From Peter Luff, MP Sir: Simon Heffer was right to warn about the danger to shooting, and Charles Moore was equally right last week (The Spectator’s Notes, 3 September) to point...

From John Rolls Sir: Simon Heffer says that ‘the animal

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rights fascists are now turning their attention to the killing of birds with guns’ (‘Gunning for game shooting’, 27 August). He asserts that the RSPCA ‘is heavily politicised...

Two ways of trading

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From Ronald Stewart-Brown Sir: Your clarion call to the Conservatives to ‘keep up the fight for an open, free-trading Europe’ (‘Why “Europe” matters’, 3 September) reads oddly...

Today’s Tamerlane

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From Justin Marozzi Sir: You say that in the mass murderer stakes Tamburlaine, or Tamerlane, ‘comes a long way behind’ Lenin (Diary, 3 September). I’m not so sure. In many ways,...

Sad but true

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From J.M. Hallinan Sir: Paul Johnson (And another thing, 27 August) despairs of ‘the sheer moral, emotional and intellectual emptiness of the universe’ as seen by the...

Tempting fate

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From Eric Brown Bromley, Kent Sir: What possessed Mike Atherton to write an article predicting an England victory (‘Triumph of the Poms’, 3 September)? And why on earth have...

Page 23

From Robespierre to al-Qa’eda: categorical extermination

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A n intellectual is someone who thinks ideas matter more than people. If people get in the way of ideas they must be swept aside and, if necessary, put in concentration camps or...

Page 24

How to live for ever

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Boris Johnson on the relationship between Horace the poet and Augustus the emperor, and why the poet identified with Mercury I found myself in disgrace a while ago when I...

Page 27

Running on empty

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Alan Judd on the state of the once-mighty British motor industry D id Bertrand Russell drive? His elder brother, Frank, certainly did; described by the police as a ‘hooligan...

Page 28

Second-hand gang

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Iain Duncan Smith I know,’ Boris mumbled to me in the voting lobby late one night, ‘write a piece for us on a motor car.’ He ruffled his hair and grinned, ‘Any car will do.’...

Page 29

Reviving the classics

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John Laughland I had admired it, gleaming and blue in the street, for a couple of years. Its clean lines and low-built structure recalled a large cat about to pounce; its cream...

Page 31

The decent limits of forgiveness

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Philip Hensher T WO L IVES by Vikram Seth Little, Brown, £20, pp. 503, ISBN 0316727741 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A titbit from the Strange But True file. The last...

Page 32

Keeping an eye on the Wall Street ball

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Martin Vander Weyer D ARK G ENIUS OF W ALL S TREET : T HE M ISUNDERSTOOD L IFE OF J AY G OULD , K ING OF THE R OBBER B ARONS by Edward J. Renehan Jr Basic Books, £17.99, pp....

Page 33

The calm and solid Cubist

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Richard Shone G EORGES B RAQUE : A L IFE by Alex Danchev Hamish Hamilton, £35, pp. 440, ISBN 0241140781 ✆ £28 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T he personalities of only a...

Page 34

Take-over bid by a stranger

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Anita Brookner S LOW M AN by J. M. Coetzee Secker, £16.99, pp. 263, ISBN 0436206110 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T his is a novel on a rebarbative theme: incapacity....

Page 35

The spacious firmament on high

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Andro Linklater T HE P LANETS by Dava Sobel Fourth Estate, £15, pp. 271, ISBN 1857028503 ✆ £12 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T his is the most dazzling era in astronomy that...


The Spectator

How many more farewells? A brittle fan of bones, Once your hand, Waves across your face Like a metronome slowing down. The one good eye, still aquamarine As a Turkish sea,...

Gone but not forgotten

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John Gross T HE B OOK OF L OST B OOKS by Stuart Kelly Viking, £15.99, pp. 390, ISBN 0670914991 ✆ £12.79 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T he complete works of the poet Gallus...

Page 36

A Norfolk not an Essex man

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Hugh Massingberd H UMPHRY R EPTON ’ S MEMOIRS edited by Ann Gore and George Carter Michael Russell, £15.95, pp. 160, ISBN 0859552950 A special thrill when visiting country...

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Top marks for charisma

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Jonathan Cecil OLIVIER: T HE A UTHORISED B IOGRAPHY by Terry Coleman Bloomsbury, £20, pp. 607, ISBN0747577986 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I n the delightful...

Page 38

Lucky dip for lovers

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Sarah Burton T HE L ADIES ’ O RACLE by Cornelius Agrippa Bloomsbury, £6.99, pp. 110 ISBN 0747579059 ✆ £5.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 F irst published in 1857, The Ladies’...

A selection of recent paperbacks

The Spectator

Non-fiction: The Strange Death of Tory England by Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Penguin, £8.99 History Play by Rodney Bolt, HarperPerennial, £8.99 The Rare and the Beautiful: The Lives...

Page 39

Campaigning on the campus

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Caroline Moore F ACULTY T OWERS : T HE A CADEMIC N OVEL AND ITS DISCONTENTS by Elaine Showalter OUP, £12.99, pp. 166 ISBN 019928332X D o campus novels reflect the reality of...

Page 40

‘Take a break from shopping’

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Josie Appleton on how libraries are becoming things of the past. Enter, instead, the Idea Store O n 22 September, a new flagship ‘Idea Store’ will open to replace Whitechapel...

Page 41

Discovering a master

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Andrew Lambirth David Milne Watercolours: Painting Towards the Light British Museum, until 25 September T he Canadian painter David Milne (1882–1953) is not known in this...

Page 42

Lovers’ charm

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Michael Tanner Roméo et Juliette British Youth Opera B ritish Youth Opera is an institution which I have somehow not come across until now, to my loss. They, or it, are at the...

Page 43

Life transformer

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Peter Phillips T he revival of interest in what was called ‘early music’ in the 1970s and 1980s was a cultural event which went beyond a new way of making sounds. There was,...

Page 44

Soft option

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Marcus Berkmann T here can’t be many terms in the rock’n’roll lexicon that have come under such sustained critical attack as ‘chillout’. Maybe it’s the connotations of the...

All in the mind

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Lloyd Evans Marc Salem's Mind Games Tricycle Dancing with the Angels Union I nteresting news from the world of conjuring. Magicians don’t believe in magic any more. Marc Salem,...

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Sexual combat

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Mark Steyn The 40-Year-Old Virgin 15, selected cinemas 7 1ze 40-Year-Old Virgin is Hollywood’s 1 version of a professional virgin. It’s vulgar and foul-mouthed and relentlessly...

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The real thing

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James Delingpole Y ou were probably expecting me to watch Celebrity Shark Bait (ITV1, Sunday) but I didn’t because I was feeling a bit ‘been there, done that’ and, short of...

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Bigger picture

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Michael Vestey W hen I worked for the BBC, the opportunity to write and broadcast a longer, more reflective item for From Our Own Correspondent on Radio Four was always a...

Page 48

True grit

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Taki Gstaad B ack in the good old days, the common belief was that the climate was determined by a large number of gods, with Poseidon in specific charge of the weather at sea....

Page 49

Reality check

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Jeremy Clarke L aborare est orare — to work is to pray. It’s true! For two decades I experienced grace via muddy holes and the back of a dustcart, but since becoming a...

Speed limit

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Susanna Gross S TOP! THINK! If only I could remember to follow these simple instructions, I’d be a much better player than I am. One of the commonest mistakes made in bridge is...

Page 51


The Spectator

SIMON HOGGART T here are many things I like about Adnams, the great independent brewery that is now a wine merchant as well. I really like their main shop, one of the most...

Page 52

Spielmann II Raymond Keene

The Spectator

Rudolph Spielmann was one of that group of great masters — which included Nimzowitsch, Alekhine and Rubinstein whose careers were scarred by the violent political and social...


The Spectator

Jaspistos In Competition No. 2408 you were given an opening couplet — ‘Oh, plague of plagues! Wherever I turn, French tricks,/ French schemes, French morals, and French...

Page 54

Our turn for the Urn

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FRANK KEATING O nly twice in history — in 1926 and 1953 — have England regained the Ashes in the final Test match at the Oval. No knowing, of course, if 2005 will be the third...

Dear Mary

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Q. We live in a tiny village in the Drakensberg range of South Africa. The social life is frenetic, but mores are rigidly observed, especially one which dictates that...