11 NOVEMBER 2006

Page 5

Let justice be done

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T he US mid-term election results have many lessons, but one of them, as Christopher Caldwell argues on page 14, is that most Americans believe that the war in Iraq is over, and...

Page 9

R ing ring ... ‘John Humphrys speaking.’ ‘Oh that’s wonderful because

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I just know I can help you!’ This has been happening a lot in the past week or two. Heaven knows how total strangers get my number, but they do. Maybe it’s divine intervention....

Page 10

Reid ‘wants some Etonian blood on his hands’. But so does Brown

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T he most famous political quotations come not from politicians but the wickedness of headline writers. Although Jim Callaghan never said ‘Crisis? What crisis?’, the phrase...

Page 13


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Am sleeping on the bunk bed at Dave and Sam’s. The atmosphere is v tense. We don’t know when they will come for us, but we know they will come and when they do we have to be...

MONDAY Jed chased me out of kitchen this morning for

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frightening the children. Godammit one of them dropped a piece of rainforest into the Brabantia! OK, so it was in the form of a lollipop stick but that’s not what the headline’s...


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Hours to go until announcement, and we still can’t decide whether to create a new post of Shadow Minister for Love. Personally, I’m with Dave on this. If love really is the...

WEDNESDAY Mr Swayne has discovered a horrifying plot to destroy

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the Speaker! He walked in on the plotters in a basement room with just minutes to spare before PMQs. Luckily, quick-thinking Dezzy managed to avert disaster by locking the door...

THURSDAY V exciting. Am off on regional tour to persuade

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people in the north that we care about the NHS. (And what better way to show we care than to go all that way!) It’ll be a bit of a squeeze in the back of the Lexus. Hope Mr...

Page 14

The message of this wipeout is that Americans believe they’ve lost the war

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Christopher Caldwell says that the mid-term elections were a landslide in which the Republicans paid a heavy price for Iraq, for sexual scandals and for ugly campaigning....

Page 16

The trial of a man like Saddam shouldn’t be fair

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Alasdair Palmer says that the proceedings in Baghdad were far from perfect, but a much better option than the international tribunal favoured by so many lawyers W hen Mohammed...

Page 18

Mind your language

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My husband has been trying to interest me in the architecture of the stations on the Jubilee line on the London Underground. Some of them — Westminster and Canary Wharf — are...

‘I’ve been arrested for peeling potatoes?’

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Jeremy Clarke hovers in the blood-soaked limbo of a Plymouth police station, where he discovers a nostalgia for the days when police custody was a little more robust I t’s ten...

Page 20

‘The neocons are just utopians on steroids’

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Allister Heath talks to John Hulsman, a rising star of the Republican party, who has rejected neoconservatism but remains committed to fighting al-Qa’eda and global Islamism H...

Page 22

I’ll never eat lunch in this town again

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The trouble with lunch, writes Rachel Johnson , is that it takes all day, serves no purpose and makes you feel bloated. Tea is so much better. Ladies who don’t lunch, unite! A...

Page 24

Ancient & modern

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Whatever the eventual result of the West’s incursion into Iraq, the Iraqi people will have to rewrite their history to make sense of the occupation. Doubtless the West will try...

Ms Bland’s joke wasn’t funny, but it struck home

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There is an obvious connection between immigration to Britain and emigration from these shores, says Rod Liddle , but we are frightened of admitting it A pparently almost a...

Page 26

Wrong about Oxford

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From Bill Troop Sir: Oxford’s new prize-winning graduate ‘Charlie’ Boss evidently did not learn enough during his time there (‘Is Oxford about to get rid of its...

Hot air on climate change

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From Tristan Gooley Sir: I find myself among the weary majority who share a genuine concern for the environment and a mild revulsion at sensationalism on the subject. David...

Heads they win

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From Mitchell Symons Sir: Further to Rachel Johnson’s claim that there is a paucity of ex-head boys and girls in public life (‘To be expelled is the mark of genius’, 28...

Page 28

From William Shawcross Sir: In his letter critical of my

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support for the US and British commitment to Iraq, Jonathan Mirsky asserts that the ‘brutal truth’, in Iraq as in Vietnam, ‘is that the insurgents are far more willing to die...

Blair’s war crimes

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From J.G. Cluff Sir: I expect that I am not the only Spectator reader to have become exasperated by your consistent support for the Bush/Blair axis of incompetence in Iraq and...

A time for tiles for all

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From Malcolm Knott Sir: Not only are gentlemen in period drama given anachronistic wedding rings; they are also robbed of their hats (Letters, 4 November). Until the late 1930s...

Flawed state building

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From Michael Shuttleworth Sir: Matthew d’Ancona (‘How to build the peace’, 4 November) lets Paddy Ashdown off very lightly. Five years of non-conflict and raising state...

Irony down under

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From Dov Midalia Sir: Paul Johnson’s (And another thing, 28 October) nod to Australian nicknames failed to mention their ironic tendency: a red-haired man is invariably Blue, a...

Everyone else pollutes

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From Madeleine Cutts-Watson Sir: H.O. Mounce (Letters, 21 October) has completely missed Charles Moore’s point. He says his mother never travelled far out of her home town; but...

Toorop was a Dutchman

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From Helma Drukker Sir: Thank you very much for the informative review of the James Ensor exhibition in Ostend (Arts, 4 November). However, Mark Glazebrook names Toorop as a...

Page 30

It was too risky for Chavez to be seen with a left-wing extremist like Livingstone

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A n ‘embarrassed’ Mayor Livingstone was reported this week to have flown back to London from Caracas. President Hugo Chavez had ‘shunned’ him. The official reason for Señor...

Page 31

Keeping your cigar close to your heart

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Subtle and stylish, the Mogul from Pink has a breast pocket designed for a gentleman’s favourite accessory A ccording to Rudyard Kipling, ‘A woman is only a woman, but a good...

Page 32

Remember your Latin? Don’t all speak at once!

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A n optimist, listing for me the reasons that the deplorable state of the world is not quite as bad as we think, cited, as one of them, ‘the Latin revival’. Oh, is there one? I...

Page 34

The promise of real profits from a weird virtual world

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Cosmo Lush explores the bizarre byways of Second Life, the latest internet phenomenon, and explains how big brands plan to make money out of it M y name is Cosmic Finucane. I...

Page 36

Flawless, timeless, almost priceless

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White diamonds are the world’s most expensive gems. The ideal stone is like a piece of ice, whiter than white, graded ‘D’, the purest possible grading, and cut with exquisite...

Page 38

A year in exile, but still in the game

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Richard Orange meets Bill Browder, the investor who is banned from Russia but remains bullish about its future B ill Browder is strangely apologetic for the grandeur of his...

Page 40

What makes a great businessman: a silver tongue or a killer instinct?

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‘W ho’s the most impressive business leader you’ve ever met?’ I asked a group of senior executives the other night. I confess I interjected the question (as I do here) to enable...

Page 43

The monster we hate to love

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W hat is it about fruit? There is no more searing passage in the memoirs of Auberon Waugh than the bit when three bananas reach the Waugh household in the worst days of postwar...

Page 48

When our servants become our masters

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Robert Salisbury T HATCHER AND S ONS by Simon Jenkins Allen Lane, £20, pp. 384, ISBN 0713995955 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T his country is incompetently governed....

Page 49

Making sense of crazy times

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Marcus Berkmann D IARIES , 1969-1979: T HE P YTHON Y EARS by Michael Palin Weidenfeld, £16.99, pp. 650, ISBN 0297844369 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T his is a...

The tyranny of nanny

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Nicholas Harman B IG B ABIES by Michael Bywater Granta, £14.99, pp. 262, ISBN 1862078831 ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 G rumpy grand-dads do their job best when,...

Page 50

Teasers lurking in the shadows

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Sandy Balfour A-Z OF C ROSSWORDS : I NSIGHTS INTO THE T OP S ETTERS AND THEIR P UZZLES by Jonathan Crowther Collins, £17.99, pp. 342, ISBN 0007229232 ✆ £14.39 (plus £2.45 p&p)...

Page 52

Escape into happiness

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A. N. Wilson G RASS S EED IN J UNE by John Martin Robinson Michael Russell, £16.95, pp. 175, ISBN 9780859553018 T he central and the longest part of this all too brief memoir...

Page 53

When all the clocks have stopped

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Sebastian Smee T HE R OAD by Cormac McCarthy Picador, £16.99, pp. 226, ISBN 033044753X ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A great many unspeakable things happen in the...

In praise of unwanted gerundives

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Philip Womack A MO , A MAS , A MAT ... A ND A LL T HAT : H OW TO B ECOME A L ATIN L OVER by Harry Mount Short Books, £12.99, pp. 269, ISBN 1904977545 ✆ £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p)...

Page 54

Carrying on with gusto

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Jonathan Cecil HELLO! by Leslie Phillips Orion, £18.99, pp. 406, ISBN 0752868896 ✆ £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 ‘W hen you reach your seventies,’ mused a once...

Page 55

Putting Bradford on the map

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Francis King B RIGHT D AY by J. B. Priestley Great Northern, £14.99, pp. 320, ISBN 1905080182 ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T his is one of the three best of J. B....

Pea-soupers and telegraphic paralysis

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Judith Flanders A D ICTIONARY OF V ICTORIAN L ONDON : A N A-Z OF THE G REAT METROPOLIS by Lee Jackson Anthem Press, £12.99, pp. 180, ISBN 1843312301 ✆ £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p)...

Page 56

The shadowy world of secrets

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M. R. D. Foot C HURCHILL ’ S M AN OF M YSTERY : D ESMOND M ORTON AND THE W ORLD OF I NTELLIGENCE by Gillian Bennett Routledge, £49.95, pp. 404, ISBN 9780415394307 ✆ £39.96...

Page 57

One of those who simply are

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Jonathan Keates K ATE : T HE W OMAN WHO WAS K ATHARINE H EPBURN by William J. Mann Faber, £18.99, pp. 621, ISBN 0571229778 ✆ £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 ‘I don’t want...

A last, affectionate look

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Fiona Maddocks T CHAIKOVSKY : T HE M AN AND HIS M USIC by David Brown Faber, £25, pp.460, ISBN 0571231942 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T hree decades ago, in one of...

Page 58

Yo-ho-ho and a barrel of crude

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Malcolm Deas P IRATES OF THE C ARIBBEAN : A XIS OF H OPE by Tariq Ali Verso, £14.99, pp. 224, ISBN 184467102X ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T ariq Ali, the Johnny...

Page 59

Winning against the odds

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Ed Smith T HE B LIND S IDE by Michael Lewis W. W. Norton, £14.99, pp. 288, ISBN 039306123X ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 H ow serious a subject is sport? We know it...

Page 61

Siegfried turns Russian

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A complete production of Wagner’s Ring cycle is always a major cultural event, especially if it is done on four consecutive evenings, so that the great vision of the work takes...

Page 62

Forging ahead

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Andrew Lambirth David Smith: Sculptures Tate Modern, until 21 January 2007 ‘I am going to work to the best of my ability to the day I die, challenging what’s given to me,’...

Page 64

Stone jewels

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Laura Gascoigne Art at the Rockface Millennium Galleries, Sheffield, until 7 January 2007 S heffield seems to be in a constant state of redevelopment. Last time I went, the...

Page 66

Identity crisis

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Stuart Nicholson T he re-release of Europeana , an evanescent album by pianist Joachim Kühn and the Hanover Philharmonic Orchestra, once again raises the question of whether...

Page 68

Picture this

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Roderic Dunnett In the Face of History: European Photographers in the 20th Century Barbican Art Gallery, until 28 January 2007 T he title of this absorbing, stylishly laidout...

Enduring love

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Michael Tanner The Marriage of Figaro ENO La Bohème Royal Opera T his week each of London’s two opera houses staged a work which has claims to being among the three or four...

Page 70

Mixed blessings

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Tom Rosenthal Literary Circles Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, until 30 December T he subtitle ‘Artist, Author, Word and Image in Britain 1800–1920’ sets out the aim of one of...

Brains and voice

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Peter Phillips W ith the flourish of a pen, or however these things are done, the Warden and Fellows of Merton College, Oxford last week established in principle a new choral...

Page 71

House of misery

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Harry Mount Y ou won’t find a grander monument to failed marriage than the Mount, the New England picture-book palace built by Edith Wharton a century ago. Wharton was a house...

Page 72

Good time twangery

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Marcus Berkmann T he journalist and broadcaster Danny Baker recently admitted that, getting on in years, he listens to almost nothing these days other than country music. I can...

Page 73

Best in show

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Ursula Buchan J ust as embroiderers working in the late 11th century will not have appreciated the achievement that was the Bayeux Tapestry until they stood well back at the...

Page 74

Of vice and men

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Toby Young Cabaret Lyric The Cryptogram Donmar R eading the obituaries of William Styron last week, I was surprised to learn about the controversy surrounding the publication...

Page 75

Light entertainment

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Deborah Ross T his film is a perfectly amiable yet inconsequential rom-com, so if perfectly amiable yet inconsequential romcoms are your thing, you’re basically in clover. What...

Page 76

Going for gold

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Kate Chisholm W here have all the billions gone? asked a refreshingly unpolitical investigation into the Iraq war on the BBC World Service. Baghdad Billions , presented by Mark...

Growing pains

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James Delingpole B efore I go on, can I just ask: do any readers share my concern about the scrawny bum on the girl on the new Nokia billboard poster ad? For those of you who...

Page 77

The neocon con

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Taki T o West Point, where the Black Knights, as the cadets are known among American football types, are slaughtered by the ‘Falcons’ of the Airforce Academy. But sitting in...

Page 78

Jagged edges

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Jeremy Clarke T he last mile or so back to her flat was punctuated at 50-yard intervals by speed bumps purposely designed to punish drunks in late-night cabs. I had my head...

Coup en Passant

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Brian Senior A fairly common play technique is the Coup en Passant. The fancy French name hides a pretty simple technique. Declarer attempts to make her small trumps by leading...

Page 80

How to boil an egg

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Juliet Nicolson on why kids need to learn cookery at school F rom the age of 13 I was famous for my three-course dinners. As the daughter of a recently divorced and newly...

Page 82

Fatal attraction

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Selina Mills on how she lost her soul to shoes T he first inkling that my life was about to change came when I mentioned casually over lunch to some acquaintances that I was off...

Page 84

Cultural renaissance in China’s Venice

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Tessa Keswick celebrates the return of I.M. Pei to his home town, Suzhou W hen the October moon was at its fullest I travelled from Shanghai to nearby Suzhou, the capital of...

Page 87

W e have two Christmas offers this month, both from top-ranking

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wine merchants. The first is by Lay & Wheeler. Nearly all the wines have been reduced by 10 per cent (with free delivery); there are further discounts if you buy more than one...

Page 95

Eye screams

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FRANK KEATING A t Shrewsbury School a couple of weeks ago, with nice ceremony, they opened a swish new indoor cricket centre alongside what Neville Cardus once called ‘the most...

Dear Mary

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Q. Several weeks ago I was asked to keep clear a date in November for a surprise 60th birthday party. In anticipation I purchased a carefully chosen and expensive gift which,...