12 JANUARY 2008

Page 5

Change you can believe in

The Spectator

I n an interview with The Spectator last September, Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist, advanced the following paradoxical political principle: ‘What we have tried to...

Page 9

Y ears ago my divorce liberated me from many things, not

The Spectator

least of which was a wife’s burden of organising the traditional family Christmas. Inevitably, come Boxing Day, I was whey-faced with fatigue and singularly lacking in...

Page 10

Cameron is making the intellectual running now — with a little help from the Blairites

The Spectator

W hat do you give a Prime Minister who wants nothing? The Indian government has been asking itself this for some time, ahead of Gordon Brown’s official visit later this month....

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T hrough all the apparent banality of campaign speeches, politicians do,

The Spectator

in fact, convey a message about themselves. There is a vital distinction between candidates who, mentally, face outwards and those who face inwards. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton,...

Page 12

On to South Carolina: Hillary gets back on track

The Spectator

But it’s all still to play for, says James Forsyth . Senator Clinton’s astonishing comeback does not man that Obama is finished by any means -— and John McCain has injected...

Page 14

Putin’s Tories: welcome to the Vlad and Dave Show

The Spectator

Denis MacShane says that the Conservatives’ refusal to align themselves with other centre-right parties on the Council of Europe has driven them into a shabby alliance with...

Page 16

Mind your language

The Spectator

I was looking at bird-feeders reputed to resist the attentions of squirrels as a suitable present for my husband, who already often sits in his armchair nursing his whisky glass...

When elephants fight, the grass suffers

The Spectator

Aidan Hartley says that the violence in Kenya reflects the failure of the political class: better paid than their European counterparts in a nation where many live on 50p a day...

Page 18

In less than a fortnight I turned down £2 million

The Spectator

Bryan Forbes is drawn into a cyberspace scam by an indignant ‘happily married’ woman who invites him to Madrid to arrange a princely payout I t all began when an email greeted...

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Birth order means more than school or faith

The Spectator

To understand those in power, says Alice Thomson , ask whether they are older or younger siblings. Brown, a middle son, is far less easy-going than Cameron, a youngest son K...

Page 22

If you want men to spend time with their children, stop passing stupid laws

The Spectator

Rod Liddle , recovering from his Christmas parental responsibilities, is unimpressed by Harriet Harman’s instructions to fathers, which are undermined by the very social...

Page 23

Forgotten Army Syndrome

The Spectator

Sir: Boris Johnson is to be praised for his intention to honour the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan (‘How, as mayor, I would help our brave troops’, 15–29 December)....

The Rwandan narrative

The Spectator

Sir: Michael Gove should be wary of accepting the standard Rwandan narrative, given his advocacy of democracy as a cure for Africa’s ills (‘An act of evil that recalled the...

Wrong year, Rod

The Spectator

Sir: Rod Liddle is quite right to forewarn us of the dreary and right-on nostalgia for 1968 that will fall upon us this year (‘Stand by for a year of nostalgia for 1968’, 5...

Not at your convenience

The Spectator

Sir: Robin Holloway has observed — as any viewer must — the Grainger museum’s uncanny resemblance to (as he puts it) ‘a public lavatory without users’ (Arts, 15–29 December)....

A legacy of democracy

The Spectator

Sir: I thoroughly enjoyed the splendid articles by Christina Lamb and William Shawcross on the late Benazir Bhutto (‘The fears of Pakistanis’; ‘At war with hatred’, 5 January)....

Found in translation

The Spectator

Sir: I read with interest the results of your Christmas poll (‘Do you believe in the Virgin Birth?’ 15–29 December). Galatians iv 4 shows that in about ad 53 Paul hadn’t heard...

Page 24

It occurs to me that, with all this stress, Gordon may be having the time of his life

The Spectator

T he assumption, of course, is that Gordon Brown isn’t having much fun. That is what lurks behind the question, every time. On Monday’s Today programme, when Ed Stourton asked...

Page 25

What has sawing a lady in half to do with global warming?

The Spectator

A t this time of year, exactly 70 years ago, I was taken to my first exhibition of professional conjuring. The magus called himself Dante — he was Danish-American and his real...

Page 26

The economy in 2008: chilly showers but no hailstorms

The Spectator

Allister Heath forecasts that Britain’s economy will suffer less than America’s, but that homeowners and consumers will still feel the pain — and blame it on Gordon Brown F...

Page 27

Life after Wills: barely a whiff of smoke in the cosmopolitan gateway to the west

The Spectator

A t the time of his death in 1972 my father worked for WD and HO Wills, the Bristol tobacco people. Wills were huge and rather enlightened employers and even now plenty of...

Page 28

Omissions and admissions

The Spectator

Philip Hensher H oW To T ALK A BoUT B ooKS Y oU H AVEN ’ T R EAD by Pierre Bayard, translated by Geoffrey Mehlman Granta, £12, pp. 176, ISBN 9781862079861 ✆ £9.59 (plus £2.45...

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An abstract debate

The Spectator

Carole Angier HOMECOMING by Bernhard Schlink Weidenfeld, £14.99, pp. 272, ISBN 9780375420917 ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 B ernhard Schlink’s The Reader was one of...

Page 30

The king of peace

The Spectator

Philip Mansel L ION OF J ORDAN : T HE L IFE OF K ING H USSEIN IN W AR AND P EACE by Avi Shlaim Allen Lane, £30, pp. 720, ISBN 9780713997774 ✆ £24 (plus 2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655...

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By so many, to so few

The Spectator

Christopher Howse A B LoGGER ’ S M ANIFESTo by Eric Ringmar Anthem Press, £8.99, pp. 148, ISBN 9781843312888 ✆ £7.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T HE B ooKAHoLICS ’ G UIDE...

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Would they have ended up grumpy old men?

The Spectator

T he transition from iconoclastic youth to crusty age is common enough. The emergence of Martin Amis as a critic of Islam (at least in some of its manifestations) may be an...

Page 33

Her dark materials

The Spectator

T he Eileen Atkins experience — the word ‘interview’ doesn’t even begin to describe it — starts for me at about 3.30 on a brilliant, sunny afternoon in December. There I am in...

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Beguiled by a master

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Hidden Burne-Jones Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London W14, until 27 January I t’s always a pleasure to visit Lord Leighton’s house and imagine...

Next stop, Lear

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Much Ado About Nothing Olivier The Masque of the Red Death Battersea Arts Centre The Winter’s Tale Courtyard Theatre S imon Russell Beale is working through the...

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Bombs and butts

The Spectator

Deborah Ross Charlie Wilson’s War 15, Nationwide M ike Nichols’s latest film is a mixed bag and a stuffed bag and, incredibly, none the worse for either. In its rat-a-tat,...

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Mercantile madness

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm H ow crazy is this! A huge great whopping oil tanker, 250,000 tons of rust-red steel, sails through one of the narrowest, most beautiful and most populated sea...

Rallying point

The Spectator

James Delingpole M y resolution this year is to make huge sums of money, buy a vast country estate, surround it with a moat and spend the rest of my life hunting, driving fast...

Page 40

Place your bets

The Spectator

Robin Oakley I was given a new take on diplomacy the other day in what you might call the reflective postcoital stage of an interview with a foreign minister from eastern...

Page 41

Regrets, I’ve had a few...

The Spectator

Alan Judd M ost of my regrets are of sins of omission rather than commission; what I didn’t do rather than what I did. (I’m thinking here of acquisitive opportunities rather...

Name fame

The Spectator

Taki A lthough I have to declare an interest, by far the most authentic comments about the Bhutto murder were those made by Jemima Khan in the Sunday Telegraph . As Jemima...

Page 42

Friends reunited

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke O n the last day of the year 22 of us turned up at the car park. We’d come for the ranger-led walk advertised in the Dartmoor Visitor Guide as an opportunity to...

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Addicted to dopamine

The Spectator

Alex James H ow do you stop people taking cocaine? Illegality keeps it at bay a bit. It stops it being quite so freely available, but it makes it sexy, too. I wonder how much...

Page 44

Fatty but fashionable

The Spectator

Richard Sennett J anuary meant marrow-bones in my youth. For most of the year on my housing estate in Chicago, beef featured at best twice a week; after the expense of the...

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The Spectator

SIMON HOGGART I f you live in or around London you must have noticed the chain of Davy’s wine bars which dot the capital, most especially the City. Many have offbeat names,...

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The Spectator

Leaving town James Rubin indulges a fantasy: staying in a top London hotel A fter seven and a half years living in London, there was one thing left to do. Paris, Rome, New...

Page 54

My hopes to become a high-status cultural Omnivore melt with ‘The Snowman’

The Spectator

M ore bad news for the ‘Hons’. According to a sociological survey funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, class doesn’t necessarily guarantee status. On the...

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

One moment laws against ‘religious hatred’, the next against smoking in cars, now mobile phones. What next? But then, law-making has been expanding ever since the Romans drew up...

Page 55


The Spectator

The medical profession used often to be twitted with the mortality of its own members: for if doctors knew so much, how came it that they died like everyone else? I think a...

your problems solved

The Spectator

Q. My brother-in-law, of whom my wife and I are very fond, is an admirable man and rightly proud of the ordinary background from which he has risen to a leading position in his...