11 OCTOBER 2008

Page 3

A necessary evil

The Spectator

T hough largely forgotten now, the headlines ten years ago this week had an uncanny resemblance to those of the past few days. There was an emergency bailout, demands to slash...

Page 7

P arliament is back and I can relax. A tiresome cliché

The Spectator

holds that MPs have a three-month summer break. If only. I have spent more time canvassing, selling tombola tickets and doing politics than ever before. And then on the eve of...

Page 8

It’s worth giving Mandelson a job if it keeps him out of trouble

The Spectator

G ordon Brown’s critics are confused. For months they have been accusing him of dithering, of timidity, of being unable to make the bold moves that are needed if his...

Page 9

� s�ra�rs �arEs

The Spectator

W e all know that everything about money comes down to confidence, but normally, because we have that confidence, we do not think about what this means. Now we must. We have...

Page 10


The Spectator

MONDAY Everyone in a panic about our Greek taverna line. Am starting to wish I never mentioned it. DD keeps ringing up to tell Gids about big game hunting. ‘I know, I know,’...

Page 12

Amid the financial turmoil, Peter

The Spectator

versus George is the key battle Stand by for a mighty clash between two politicians, says Fraser Nelson . The now infamous dinner between Mandelson and Osborne was a cordial...

Page 14

Maybe Polanski was right to flee America

The Spectator

P.G. Morgan goes in search of the truth about the great director’s flight from the US courts — and uncovers some uncomfortable truths worthy of a scene in Chinatown H igh...

Page 16

Only Abba can save the world financial markets

The Spectator

Martin Vander Weyer says that the collapse in the markets reflects a loss of confidence that is out of proportion to all reason: a trip to Mamma Mia! is the answer to this...

Page 17

The Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards

The Spectator

Nominations continue to roll in for the inaugural Spectator’s Readers’ Representative. This week saw several MPs nominated for their campaigning work. Richard Hamilton...

Page 18

An evening with the Muslim Facebook crew

The Spectator

Sarfraz Manzoor celebrates an iftar meal with homeless people and his fellow Muslims, a web-generated ‘flashmob’ observing an Islamic tradition of generosity to the needy I...

Page 20

Strictly Come Dancing is not the BBC’s core broadcasting

The Spectator

Rod Liddle — a former editor of the Today programme — says that the Corporation must stop pretending to be democratic if it is to keep the licence fee. Unashamed elitism is...

Page 22

The blame game

The Spectator

Sir: While I do not flinch from looking on the Clinton era as a disaster for its neglect of the threat to global security posed by bin Laden et al and the tacit encouragement of...

Linguistic thickets

The Spectator

Sir: I am pleased that it annoys Rod Liddle (Liddle Britain, 4 October) as much as it does me that BBC newsreaders have the annoying habit of affecting the local dialect to...

A firm line on Medjugorje

The Spectator

Sir: It is good that the Vatican is finally taking a firmer line against the Medjugorje cult (‘Sex, lies and apparitions’, 4 October). Too many of my fellow Catholics have...

Page 23

A place of miracles?

The Spectator

Sir: In your article focused on Medjugorje the overdue action by the Vatican against the known activities of Fr Vlasic is of course a defence of the Medjugorjian phenomenon...

Bullets in the bottom

The Spectator

Sir: Peter B. Martin’s letter (Letters, 4 October) took me back to a rain-swept moor near Catterick Camp in September, 1954. National service recruits from the 65th Training...

On Charles V and the Pope

The Spectator

Sir: As Paul Johnson should know (And another thing, 4 October), there never was an Emperor Charles V of Spain. Karl V of Austria (technically a Duchy) was also King Carlos...

Sir: Paul Johnson has modestly admitted to not having met

The Spectator

the current Pope. But since his latest piece shows God divulging to him His plans for the universe, he can probably take that apparent snub with equanimity. Tim Hudson (Dr)...

‘Market’: a dirty word?

The Spectator

Sir: Charles Moore (The Spectator’s Notes, 4 October) touches on an issue which has been the occasional subject of my thoughts since the Conservatives coined their slogan...

Pride and infamy

The Spectator

Sir: Your new acquisition Giles Coren (‘I’m proud to be famous for being rude’, 4 October) says he is proud to be famous for being rude. I wonder what Dot Wordsworth...

Page 24

Sit back and enjoy the world economic crisis in three minutes

The Spectator

DRAMATIS PERSONAE: Joe Citizen (a citizen) Jack and Jill Jones (Joe’s neighbours) Mr Whatam-Ibid (a surveyor) Mr Ballpark-Estimate (a valuer) Ms Dreamhomes (an estate agent)...

Page 26

The cartoonist who could make even God the Father laugh

The Spectator

P eople who are infuriated by the huge sums paid for stuffed animals in tanks and the adulation heaped on Francis Bacon’s squiggly horrors should grasp that there is no reason...

Page 28

Safe as houses: why Nationwide survived

The Spectator

Matthew Lynn says Britain’s largest building society prospered by refusing to follow fashion — while its bolder, greedier rivals have all gone bust or been taken over O ver...

Page 29

The No. 1 tax detective agency

The Spectator

Ross Clark S eldom has tax featured in the media over the past decade without the lanky figure of Robert Chote of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, or his predecessor Andrew...

Page 30

A riposte to the Archbishop

The Spectator

Leading hedge-fund manager Paul Marshall says Rowan Williams was wrong to scapegoat share traders W hen Rowan Williams and John Sentamu took up their crosiers against...

Page 32

‘Business only thrives when society thrives’

The Spectator

Judi Bevan hears the views of Paul Myners, the left-leaning millionaire art collector who has just become Gordon Brown’s City minister T here is a telling mischief about the...

Page 34

Time to bet against excessive pessimism

The Spectator

Ian Cowie agrees with the contrarian investor Anthony Bolton that this is a moment to buy shares, not sell them J ust as directors’ dealings often reveal more about the...

Page 36

Viking macho meets the credit crunch: Icelanders are used to stormy weather

The Spectator

W hen the credit crunch first hit, Icelanders blamed everyone but themselves: international banks for their loss of faith, hedge-funders in London for betting on the country...

Page 38


The Spectator

On stage from the start Sam Leith H ENRY : V IRTUOUS P RINCE by David Starkey HarperPress £25, pp. 413, ISBN 9780007247714 ✆ £ 20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A mong...

Page 40

The man with the Midas touch

The Spectator

Anthony Beachey T HE S NOWBALL by Alice Schroeder Bloomsbury, £25, pp. 976, ISBN 9780747591917 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T he perfect timing of this book rivals...

Page 42

A choice of crime novels

The Spectator

Andrew Taylor A lan Furst’s e s p i o nage novels have a melancholic tinge, depending, as they so often do, on the debacles of recent history and, on a personal level, on the...

Living with a dark horse

The Spectator

Jane Ridley T HE H ORSEY L IFE by Simon Barnes Short Books, £12.99, pp. 206, ISBN 9781906021429 ✆ £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 D olly Dolores was a bigbottomed...

Page 44

Gary Dexter

The Spectator

S O Y OU W ANT TO T RY D RUGS ? (1980) by Fiona Foster and Alexander McCall Smith A lexander McCall Smith is best known for his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agenc y series of...

Page 46

Terrors of the imagination

The Spectator

Paul Binding T HE B EACON by Susan Hill Chatto, £10, pp. 154, ISBN 9780701183400 ✆ £8 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 O f the four Prime siblings of the Beacon farm, Frank,...

L ENi ’ S T RIUMPH The boxy, millennial music swirls and lurches. Through

The Spectator

rolling banks of cloud, sure of its way, the Führer’s plane descends — over half-glimpsed views of bell-towers, alleyways, rooftops, tall-spired churches, the ancient (now...

Page 49

An insidious form of censorship

The Spectator

Dominic Cooke on why we must guard against a self-perpetuating climate of fear and timidity F orty years ago, the Theatres Bill removed from the Lord Chamberlain his...

Page 50

Moving vista

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Joan Eardley The Fleming Collection, 13 Berkeley Street, London W1, until 20 December T he interplay between realism and abstraction that occurred in the 1950s...

Page 52

Choice pickings

The Spectator

Giannandrea Poesio Merce Cunningham Dance Company Barbican swan Lake Royal Opera House scottish Ballet Queen Elizabeth Hall A s if by tacit agreement, Dance Umbrella and the...

Page 53

Fun with Vermeer

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Girl with a Pearl Earring Theatre Royal Haymarket Waste Almeida Creditors Donmar I don’t know much about art but I know what I dislike. Art history. It forces...

Page 54

Twice as good

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Cavalleria rusticana & I Pagliacci English National Opera Don Giovanni Royal Opera C avalleria rusticana and I Pagliacci tend to be regarded by opera buffs as a...

Page 55

Finding Pooter’s house

The Spectator

Harry Mount T hese days, Charles Pooter, the City clerk and narrator of George and Weedon Grossmith’s The Diary of a Nobody ( 1892) — the enduring comedy of hum-drum...

Fear and menace

The Spectator

Deborah Ross Gomorrah 15, Nationwide G omorrah is a mafia film and while we are well used to mafia films and even like some of them — for example, and if I recall rightly,...

Page 56

Credit where it’s due

The Spectator

Charles Spencer T his is a time for making the most of small mercies. One of the greatest of these, as the financial system collapses around us, is the splendid joke that is...

Page 57

On the road

The Spectator

Peter Phillips F or some reason October this year is yielding the kind of running about the place more normally associated with the summer festivals. From Naples to St Asaph,...

Page 58

Fickle fortune

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm ‘I couldn’t understand most of it. I mean I could understand each word but not when they were put together,’ says one of the characters in Tulips in Winter...

In the doldrums

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart T here’s something agreeably aimless, even melancholy, about late Saturday afternoons, after you’ve finished whatever you were doing in the day and before...

Page 59

No win situation

The Spectator

Taki New York T he war on terror, as the most inarticulate man ever to inhabit the White House calls it, has now lasted longer than the second world war. And take it from Taki,...

Page 60

Chaste thoughts

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke T here was this evil Albanian gang specialising in kidnapping young girls, forcibly addicting them to heroin and selling them on to wealthy Arabs as sex slaves....

Page 61

Travel sickness

The Spectator

Melissa Kite I have been living in hotels for so long I am beginning to hallucinate. For example, at an EU summit on Saturday I could have sworn that Nicolas Sarkozy winked at...

Page 62

Call of the wild

The Spectator

One Highlands estate is to become a wilderness reserve, writes Lisa Marie Johnson I ’ve recently found myself musing on why, in this age of luxury linens and 24-hour room...

Page 70

My ten-point guide to being just like me and Peter Mandelson

The Spectator

STATUS ANXIETY I cannot help feeling a certain affinity with Peter Mandelson. Like me, he has been given a number of high-profile jobs, only to lose them in slightly dubious...

Mind your language

The Spectator

In 1885 W.T. Stead bought a 13-year-old girl for £5 as part of his campaign to get the age of consent raised to 16. He was the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette , an evening...

Page 71

Spectator Sport

The Spectator

T he evenings are getting darker, someone called Libor has nicked all our money, and Scarlett Johansson’s got married. There’s little to smile about. So in a spirit of pro...

your problemS Solved

The Spectator

Q. Next week I will visit London where I have been invited to an exhibition in Cork Street by the artist Richard Foster. Since I understand he is one of the so-called Pinstripe...