11 DECEMBER 1999

Page 6


The Spectator

Your cut-out-and-keep guide to the millennium celebrations T he Northern Ireland executive sat for the first time, although its two Democrat- ic Unionist ministers did not take...

Page 9


The Spectator

SARAH SANDS S ullen critics have attributed the success of Sir Cliff Richard's 'The Millennium Prayer' to the abysmal taste of an unguided British public. Much more threatening...

Page 10


The Spectator

Margaret Thatcher would have relished the Helsinki challenge; Tony Blair is close to panic BRUCE ANDERSON A glance at the headlines might suggest a typical British build-up to...

Page 11


The Spectator

The NHS makes me wonder whether I'll ever be a proper Tory MATTHEW PARRIS W by don't you go private?' My sec- retary had a point. She and I had found two plastic chairs...

Page 12


The Spectator

Mark Littlewood explains why he has left Britain in Europe in protest at the pusillanimity of the Prime Minister TONY BLAIR has a number of personae on the European stage....

Page 13

Mind your language

The Spectator

MY friend Sarah Johnson, who is mar- ried to one of Paul Johnson's egghead sons, told him something he didn't know the other day, and nor did I. There is a company, Gap, that...

Page 14


The Spectator

Greed, fear and boredom have turned us into millennial party-poopers, says Tim Dowling BACK when the Artist Formerly Known As Prince, or Prince as he was then known, first...

Page 16


The Spectator

The motoring lobby scents blood but John Prescott has got his roads policy right, argues Ross Clark LOUDER even than the traffic on White- hall is the screech of vultures...

Page 18


The Spectator

Israel is split by the growing number of Russian immigrants who have an unorthodox taste for 'white meat, says Julian Manyon Jerusalem IN the shop on Shamai Street where I buy...

Page 20


The Spectator

Tom Walker reports from among the prostitutes, drug smugglers and rogues of Sierra Leone Freetown IN the Sierra Leone of Graham Greene's The Heart of the Matter there were...

Page 22


The Spectator

Incest and other harmless perversions should be tolerated, says Felipe Fernandez-Artnesto HAS this country ever been less tolerant? I doubt it. On the one hand are those miser-...

Page 24


The Spectator

Rumours that John McCain is bananas have done wonders for his presidential bid, observes Mark Steyn New Hampshire THE first John McCain campaign stop I attended was at Lebanon...

Page 27


The Spectator

Beggars are honourable people, says Lloyd Evans. They have faith, hope, charity — and courage MESSAGE to party-goers: if you're expect- ing a beggar to break your fall as you...

Page 28

The Spectator

Page 30


The Spectator

Rachel Johnson on the deal Mr Kinnock has done with the people who really run Europe Brussels 'AND now, if there are no more questions on hormones in beef,' said Signor...

Page 32


The Spectator

The government's obsession with the educational powers of the new technology is failing our children, says James Delingpole WHENEVER I hear Tony Blair, David Blunkett, Greg...

Page 36


The Spectator

Global corruption is everywhere, including Labour's backyard PAUL JOHNSON D owning Street let it be known this week that the Prime Minister has been hav- ing urgent talks with...

Page 38


The Spectator

Mr Blair's Ministry of Truth is keeping tabs on the Mail and the Telegraph STEPHEN GLOVER L ast Thursday the Guardian columnist Hugo Young inclined his noble head and poured...

Page 40

From Mr John Sweeney Sir: John Laughland should not believe

The Spectator

the likes of me, one of the so-called 'propagan- dists' he reviles. He should go to Kosovo and see for himself. Go to Little Drusha. Last March, 118 Albanian men and boys were...

From Professor Mark Almond Sir: It may be an amusing

The Spectator

conceit to write about contemporary events as if they were ancient history, relying on secondary sources instead of making an on-the-spot inspection, but even a historian as...


The Spectator

The Kosovo question From Mr John Laughland Sir: When judging between me and Noel Malcolm (`Yes, there were mass killings', 4 December) your readers should be aware that Mr...

Page 42

Out with the voters

The Spectator

From Mr Peter Tatchell Sir: Robert Shrimsley is mistaken to accuse me of having 'hidden' my homosexuality when I stood as a Labour candidate in the 1983 Bermondsey by-election...

Third Way wants longer

The Spectator

From Mr R.J. Grant Sir: There may be those who think Michael Diboll's discernment of incipient fascism in the Blairite Third Way is paranoid (`Unite against the centre', 27...

Blunt about Burgess

The Spectator

From Mr Roger Lewis Sir: Allan Massie (Letters, 4 December) asks by whom Anthony Burgess has been forgot- ten? By my publishers, for a start. Picador commissioned me to write...

Wrong verse

The Spectator

From Miss J. Greengrass Sir: Ignorance is not confined to the respon- dents to opinion pollsters (Shared opinion, 4 December). King Herod ordered the slaughter not of the...

From Mr Geoffrey Locke Sir: Noel Malcolm undermines his own

The Spectator

credibility by posing as a Serbo-Croat lin- guist. If he were, he would know that `Kacaniku' is merely the normal dative or locative case inflection of the Serbian place-name...

Forest of Vardon

The Spectator

From Mr Euan Graham Sir: Vicki Woods concludes her review of Max Hastings's book Scattered Shots (4 December) by saying, 'I'll think I'll just mention the name Tiger Woods and...

Sticky semantics

The Spectator

From Bishop Hugh Montefiore Sir: Though no expert on the contents of ladies' handbags, I wonder whether, if we accept Paul Johnson's list of their contents (And another thing,...

Page 46


The Spectator

The outrageous elitism to which Mr and Mrs Blair have been subjected FRANK JOHNSON M any would have been shocked that Mrs Cherie Blair — who the previous Sun- day had been...

Page 47


The Spectator

The master of the indirect Anita Brookner HENRY JAMES: COLLEL I ED STORIES, VOLUMES I and II with introductions by John Bayley Everyman, £12.50 each, pp. 1237 and pp. 1089 H...

Page 48

Sensibility and no nonsense

The Spectator

William Scammell SEVERAL STRANGERS: WRITING FROM THREE DECADES by Claire Tomalin Ming, L18.99, pp. 248 G What is it the best writers do? They infuse the world with their...

Page 49

A standing ovation for God?

The Spectator

Robert Oakeshott NO FUTURE WITHOUT FORGIVENESS by Desmond Tutu Rider, Random House, £14.99, pp. 244 T owards the end of this memorable as well as potentially most consequential...

Page 50

Where fools rush in

The Spectator

Robert Stewart THE BALKANS, 1804-1999 by Misha Glenny Crania, £25, pp. 726 D uring a television discussion of the recent troubles in Yugoslavia a senior politician remarked that...

Page 51

Odd birds of a feather

The Spectator

Jane Ridley THE COTTAGE BOOK: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY DIARY OF AN EDWARDIAN STATESMAN by Sir Edward and Lady Grey Gollancz, f18.99, pp. 176 T his is a book that can't decide...

Page 52

A selection of recent art books

The Spectator

David Ekserdjian A rt books still have little to fear from computer screens, at least while the quality of reproduction they can offer is so incom- parably superior. It cannot...

Page 54

The greatest story ever told

The Spectator

Sarah Anderson THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: A.D. 2,000 YEARS OF CHRISTIANITY edited by Christopher Howse SPC1C £20, pp. 192 I was puzzled by this book from the moment I started reading...

To the right, to the left and in front

The Spectator

Ian Ousby CRIMEA: THE GREAT CRIMEAN WAR, 1854-56 by Trevor Royle Little, Brown, £22.50, pp. 564 I n our current preoccupation with the world wars of this century we should...

Page 55

Discovering the whole thing is a hoax

The Spectator

Julie Burchill DIANA by Sally Bedell Smith Aurum, L16.99, pp. 368 A remarkable thing about the late Princess of Wales — peace be upon her is that, uniquely among icons, she...

Page 56

Believe it or not

The Spectator

Miranda France GOODBYE, BUENOS AIRES by Andrew Graham-Yooll Shoestring, £7.99, pp. 225 L atin American writers seem to prefer describing real events and people in novels,...

Page 57

The charm of the fleeting

The Spectator

Emma Tennant ANNUALS AND BIENNIALS by Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix Macmillan, £19.99, pp. 288 T his book is billed as 'the first major illustrated work on annuals for over 150...

Page 58

A choice of children's books

The Spectator

Juliet Townsend W hen I was a small child in the 1940s, I had two little books which I loved called the Please and Thank You Books. Each deals with a rude, spoilt child who...

Page 59

A Bunter with a wailing soul

The Spectator

William Feaver THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE by John Richardson Cape, £20, pp. 320 don't know William Feaver, nor even who he is — and I am shy by nature. I don't feel we need an...

Page 60

Roads leading from Rome

The Spectator

Peter Vansittart THE TIME BEFORE YOU DIE by Lucy Beckett Ignatius, £12.99, pp. 331 Available from Words Inc, 01243 517 3648 T he Tudor state was harsh, sometimes ferocious,...

Page 61

The necessity of a sense of the numinous

The Spectator

Robbie Millen AFTER PROGRESS: FINDING THE OLD WAY FORWARD by Anthony O'Hear Bloomsbury, f14.99, pp. 270 A duke of Cambridge from the last century once blustered that he was on...

Page 62

A choice of recent thrillers

The Spectator

Harriet Waugh t his best Michael Dibdin's crime novels have run the gamut of the laugh- aloud heartless cynicism of Dirty Tricks to the grisly humour of The Dying of the Light...

Page 63

Who needs enemies?

The Spectator

P. J. Kavanagh STEPHEN SPENDER by David Leeming Duckworth, £20, pp. 288 B ecause Spender wanted his biography, should there be one, written by an English- man, he gave the...

Page 64


The Spectator

Leave it to the people More should be done to ensure collections are left to the nation, writes Andrew Lambirth I n a recent Spectator article about the collection of high art,...

Page 65

Museum machinations

The Spectator

Ruth Guilding on how a scholar helped fuel a row about ownership of the Elgin Marbles T here was an unholy row last week behind the scenes at the British Museum. A conference...

Page 66

Exhibitions 1

The Spectator

Gilbert & George (Milton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes, till 6 January) Excelling at squalor Martin Gayford A t the risk of seeming obsessed with the subject, I offer another...

Page 68

Exhibitions 2

The Spectator

Vivant Denon (Louvre, Paris, till 17 January) Rabid collector Nicholas Powell I magine Alastair Campbell, Neil Mac- Gregor, Peter Mandelson and Chris Smith all rolled into...

Page 70


The Spectator

Alcina (Coliseum) Didn't they do well? Michael Tanner E nglish National Opera's contribution this year to the season of good cheer and thoughtlessness is a new production,...

Page 72


The Spectator

The Limey (18, selected cinemas) Salute to the Sixties Mark Steyn T erence Stamp is The Limey; Peter Fonda is, well, the slimey — a scaly music biz exec Stamp flies to...

Page 73


The Spectator

New York recovery Sheridan Morley New York The fabulous invalid, as the New York theatre has always been known, is out of intensive care at last and at least staggering toward...

Page 74


The Spectator

Non-stop wallpaper Peter Phillips I have so far managed to see only one of Andrew Graham-Dixon's programmes on Renaissance art (BBC 2, Sunday) — the most recent one, dealing...


The Spectator

Present time Ursula Buchan I f gardening had not existed, we should certainly have had to invent it. How else could we grapple with those eternal ques- tions, like what to do...

Page 75


The Spectator

Loving the Dome James Delingpole J ust in case you didn't know this already, the Millennium Dome is going to be a huge success. This I find rather depressing, first because if...

Page 76


The Spectator

Grey matters Michael Vestey F or sheer high quality this year there has been little to beat The Charm of Birds, a four-part series on Radio Four from the BBC's Natural History...

Page 77

The turf

The Spectator

Flat out Robin Oakley W hen that electric two-miler Tingle Creek was alive and racing, the best that jockeys like Ian Watkinson and Steve Smith-Eccles could do was to aim him...

High life Loyal subject Taki New York To Princeton, where

The Spectator

King Constantine of Greece spoke at the Woodrow Wilson School's Menaeos Society — created in honour of the first non-English speaking foreign student to attend the university...

Page 78

No life

The Spectator

Dating dangerously Toby Young 'Blasted mobiles.' room. Now, with enormous reluctance, I'm going to have to start dating again. Dating. Even the word fills me with hor- ror....

Page 79

Country life

The Spectator

Crime and punishment Leanda de Lisle T he story of the 16-year-old who went to the anti-capitalist demonstration in Euston to give the police flowers and was hit with a...

Page 80

Singular life

The Spectator

Speaking out Petronella Wyatt I had to make a speech the other day at an Oldie magazine lunch. I forbore to won- der aloud how many of them would see in the millennium. I still...


The Spectator

Bid on Andrew Robson 'WHENEVER I reopen the bidding after the opponents have stopped in a part score, they always seem to bid and make game,' a reader recently complained....

Page 81


The Spectator

At4i0, Si6n Simon WHEN Restaurant Gordon Ramsay opened a year ago, I gave it an unreserved- ly rave review in my Daily Express restau- rant column. Immoderate praise is not my...

Page 82


The Spectator

Ibsen's Brand Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2114 you were asked for some advertising copy ingenious- ly and incongruously linking an imaginary product with a famous name in the...

Kafka's Rook

The Spectator

Raymond Keene IN a new novel, Carl Haffner's Love of the Draw (Harvill), by Austrian writer Thomas Glavinic, the central protagonist, chess grandmaster Carl Haffner (modelled...

Page 83


The Spectator

A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's award-winning Late- Bottled Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 4 January, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or,...

Page 87


The Spectator

Down under is tops all round Simon Barnes WITH the year on its last knockings, it seems that we must come to terms with the fact that Australia is the greatest nation on...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . Q. Increasingly, I find that many men of my father's generation are incapable of holding a conversation without having one hand buried in a trouser pocket,...