13 OCTOBER 2007

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From clunk to cluck

The Spectator

Rattled, hoarse and angry, Gordon Brown did not look a happy man at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday. Small wonder: it is only weeks since his clunking fist was pounding...

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The Spectator

JOANNA SHIELDS An internet executive taking to the streets of London without a BlackBerry is about as rare a sight as the Circle Line working normally. But sometimes you have to...

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The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator

CHARLES MOORE Damocles was the courtier who told Dionysius the tyrant that his happiness was complete. Dionysius ordered Damocles to his banquet and sat him under a sword...

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Diary of Notting Hill Nobody

The Spectator

By Tamzin Lightwater MONDAY What can I say?! Happiness and General Wellbeing levels through roof! Dave is the greatest! We're definitely going to win in 2009!! But more...

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The election sprint has turned into a marathon. Can Dave keep the lead?

The Spectator

Fraser Nelson says that the Tory leader has emerged triumphant from Brown's disastrous election gambit and the spending review, and has seized the intellectual initiative. The...

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Meet the next Saddam minus the torture

The Spectator

Con Coughlin talks to General Mohan al-Furayji, the Iraqi commander in charge of Basra, a tough man who has already helped to contain violence in the south Basra No one's...

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I beg to differ... Scotland

The Spectator

Scene: The last day of Creation. God is busy creating a wonderful land, full of handsome, inventive people, with fantastic mountainous scenery and rivers and lochs full of fish....

The terrible secrets of Beijing's 'black jails'

The Spectator

Aidan Hartley was arrested while investigating the appalling conditions inside these Chinese prisons — the grim reality concealed by propaganda as the city prepares for the...

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I beg to differ... England

The Spectator

Many years ago I lived in Sydney, and spent a lot of time at the beach. The sand was fine and hot, the beer was cold, and wherever you dropped your towel you could hear the...

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Democracy can't compete with the history of kings

The Spectator

Hywel Williams says that the intellectual legacy of the 20th century has concealed the depth of monarchy's roots — and we can see its resilience as an institution in the Middle...

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'They come at two or three in the morning'

The Spectator

Before dawn in Burma's capital, Fergal Keane risks the roadblocks and talks to fugitive monks in a safe house — who tell him that 'we will do the same again' Rangoon The first...

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The Spectator

We should not be reluctant to assert the superiority of Western values The great thing about the Intelligence2 debates is their vitality, pace and compression. A week-long...

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Monaco's man with a plan takes his place centre stage

The Spectator

Prince Albert knows that the principality is an ancient, glittering asset but wants to turn it into a modern, eco-friendly brand — as he tells Freddie Sayers Last week Prince...

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Memories of the Venetian palace where I lived

The Spectator

The story of the landlady who rented the Palazzo Mocenigo to Byron stirs Robin Lee's recollections of a place populated by brilliant decadent ghosts of an astonishing past here...

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Laws that constrain free speech bring out the childish bigot in me

The Spectator

Rod Liddle is baffled by the contradictions in Jack Straw's proposal to make hatred of homosexuals a crime punishable by a long jail term — and more generally alarmed by the use...

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A-bomb or B-movie?

The Spectator

Sir: I have no idea whether or not we really came close to WW3 last month, as your correspondents Douglas Davis and James Forsyth insist ('We came so close', 6 October), but one...

Don't blame the Jews

The Spectator

Sir: Jonathan Mirsky's review of Mearsheimer and Walts's The Israel Lobby & US Foreign Policy: The vety special relationship (Books, 29 September) demonstrates how insidious the...

Kill to conserve

The Spectator

Sir: Paul Johnson's blast against shooting (And another thing, 6 October) overlooks an important fact. The wildlife in our countryside would be far less diverse without the land...

Behind the Times

The Spectator

Sir: Frank Keating (6 October) is as always informative, entertaining and interesting, even to someone indifferent to sport. He might be interested to know, however, that if...

The princess diaries

The Spectator

Sir: It used to be the prerequisite of the late Alastair Forbes to pounce on those who made mistakes, and very often on Taki (High life, 29 September). May I briefly assume...

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The quality of a political speech is a symptom of popularity not a cause

The Spectator

MATTI-IFW D, PI Epiphenomenalism is, as 16-letter words go, not an obvious hook with which, dear reader, to draw you to this column; but let me explain; because I think I may be...

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They sang 'Nearer My God to Thee' as the Titanic went down

The Spectator

To me, history has always had a double magic. On the one hand it is a remorseless, objective account of what actually happened, brutally honest, from which there is no appeal to...

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How to stay sane when computers go crazy

The Spectator

Matthew Vincent says private investors in hedge funds will do better by picking those that rely on human judgment in turbulent markets rather than sophisticated software ‘'m on...

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Don't put your money under the mattress

The Spectator

Ian Cowie says that even in uncertain times like these, there are profitable ways of investing your savings Extreme stock market volatility and the crisis at Northern Rock have...

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The asset that shines in troubled times

The Spectator

John Stepek says the price of gold is a gauge of investment fear — and there's a lot of fear around right now Last week, we had a power cut. It was already pitch-dark outside —...

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A good share is like a good wife

The Spectator

James Delingpole admits to 'utter crapness' as an investor in the past, but thinks he now has a winning strategy 1 t has been over a year since I checked my share portfolio but...

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Spend more time in the library

The Spectator

Jonathan Davis says a good read is more rewarding than staring at share prices, and picks some recent titles Where do most investors go wrong in making their investment...

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Riches from oily rags

The Spectator

Margareta Pagano talks to serial entrepreneur Angus Macdonald, who has turned from publishing to garage waste 1 f recycling your domestic rubbish is a pain, imagine what it's...

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It has more companies than citizens, but the prince's tiny tax haven is thriving

The Spectator

JOHN ANDREWS IN VADUZ The speed limit on Swiss motorways is 120km per hour and, if you're travelling from northern Italy to southern Germany through Switzerland at exactly that...

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• • Moving between philosophy and science

The Spectator

Michael Tanner THE STUFF OF THOUGHT by Steven Pinker Allen Lane, £25, pp. 499, ISBN 9780713997415 © £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 This is the latest in the longrunning...

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The ideal romantic partner

The Spectator

Peter Eyre NUREYEV by Julie Kavanagh Fig Tree, £25, pp. 800, ISBN 97819050490158 Before embarking on Julie Kavanagh's magnificent Nureyev, I had recently the pleasure of reading...

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The withdrawal of God

The Spectator

Edward Norman A SECULAR AGE by Charles Taylor Belknap Press of Harvard, £25.95, pp. 874, ISBN 9780674026766 £20.79 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Here is a book which the...

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The name of the game

The Spectator

Jane Ridley BLOOD SPORT: HUNTING IN BRITAIN SINCE 1066 by Emma Griffin Yale, £19.99, pp. 283, ISBN 9780300116281 £15.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Between 1997 and the...

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Scenting the storm

The Spectator

Alberto Manguel THE REBELS by Sandor Marai, translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes Picador, £12.99, pp. 278, ISBN 9780330454544 £1039 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 ne...

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War-war and jaw-jaw

The Spectator

D. J. Taylor THE PAINTER OF BATTLES by Arturo Perez-Reverte, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Sayers Peden Weidenfeld, £12.99, pp. 224, ISBN 9780297851691 © £1039 (plus...

The line of least resistance

The Spectator

William Leith JUNK MEDICINE: DOCTORS, LIES AND THE ADDICTION BUREAUCRACY by Theodore Dalrymple Harriman House, £14.99, pp. 146, ISBN 9781905641598 © £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870...

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Triumph of the clerks

The Spectator

Jonathan Sumption THE DISCOVERY OF FRANCE by Graham Robb Picador, £18.99, pp. 400, ISBN 9780330427609 © £15.19 (plus 2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 To the outside world, France has...

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The road to Yorktown

The Spectator

James Delingpole FUSILIERS: EIGHT YEARS WITH THE REDCOATS IN AMERICA by Mark Urban Faber, £20, pp. 384, ISBN 9780571224869 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 The American War of...

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Handing your life to a stranger

The Spectator

Douglas Hurd THE GHOST by Robert Harris Hutchinson, £18.99, pp. 384, ISBN 9780091796266 Adam Lang, until recently Prime Minister, is keen to write his memoirs as soon as...

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And when they ask us how dangerous it was . . .

The Spectator

Philip Ziegler THE WORLD AT WAR by Richard Holmes Ebruy Press, £25, pp. 672, ISBN 9780091917517 £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 YOUNG VOICES: BRITISH CHILDREN REMEMBER THE...

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Shifting hearts, shifting sands

The Spectator

John de Falbe THE MAYTREES by Annie Dillard Hesperus, £12.99, pp. 185, ISBN 9781843917106 £1039 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Aman of about 60 who had read the American edition...

Brief encounters with the dubious

The Spectator

Justin Marozzi NOT QUITE WORLD'S END: A TRAVELLER'S TALES by John Simpson Macmillan, £20, pp. 461, ISBN 9781405050005 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Volume five — or is it...

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A march that has lost momentum

The Spectator

Edward Skidelsky TOWARDS THE LIGHT by A. C. Grayling Midas, £20, pp. 335, ISBN 9780747583868 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 D , not judge a book by its cover' is not a...

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What's become of Baring?

The Spectator

Piers Paul Read MAURICE BARING: LETTERS selected and edited by Jocelyn Hillgarth and Julian Jeffs Michael Russell, £15.95, pp. 160, ISBN 9780859553094 £12.79 (plus £2.45 p&p)...

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How sacred is Shakespeare?

The Spectator

Acouple of weeks ago I was at the Wigtown Book festival where I had been invited to give the first Magnus Magnusson Memorial Lecture. Magnus had been a great supporter of this...

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The new seekers

The Spectator

David Jennings argues that Web 2.0 will enrich our cultural lives immeasurably 1 n Version 2.0 of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston Smith will have a 'preferred...

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Lost in translation

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth The Painting of Modern Life Hayward Gallery, until 30 December Any show that sets out to be definitive encourages brickbats and controversy. When Charles...

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Life and conflict

The Spectator

John McEwen Michael Sandie: Allegory and Ref iguration Ludlow Castle and Shuker's Landrover showroom, Ludlow, Shropshire; Frost & Reed, 2-4 King Street, London SW], until 3...

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Happy days

The Spectator

Charles Spencer rr here was a piece in the Telegraph last week claiming that nearly two thirds of people over the age of 50 are happier now than at any previous time in their...

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Mechanical magic

The Spectator

Giannandrea Poesio Transports Exceptionnels Compagnie Beau Geste, Jubilee Gardens Cast No Shadow Sadler's Wells Dance-making has come a long way since the days when a duet was...

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Pet hates

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Present Laughter Lyttelton Moonlight and Magnolias Tricycle Dealer's Choice Menier perhaps it was all a joke. In 1939 Noel 1 Coward wrote a play starring a vain,...

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Shut your mouth, dear

The Spectator

Deborah Ross The Nanny Diaries 12A, Nationwide Now, listen, and listen good, or I'll come round and box your ears. Should anyone happen to say to you, 'Shall we go see The Nanny...

ENO gets it right

The Spectator

Michael Tanner The Magic Flute English National Opera Mary Seacole Bernie Grant Arts Centre As I sat contentedly watching the latest, and supposedly last, revival of Nicholas...

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Special effects

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart rr here is no end to the programmes about the land we live in: we have had portraits of Britain, the Britain we built, the coast of Britain, and journeys around...

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Favoured few

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm The only good thing about being stuck in crawling traffic at 9 a.m. on Monday morning was that it gave me the rare chance to tune in to Andrew Marr's Start the...

Ask the expert

The Spectator

Robin Oakley e may, unusually, have a Cambridge economics degree but nobody in racing looks the part better than John Gosden. The panama or brown trilby according to the...

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Broken streak

The Spectator

Taki New York Ain't that a bitch! What else can one say? The way I figure it, it was 357 columns without a miss for the first seven years, then, after a Pentonville break, 1,275...

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All creatures great and small

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke rr he Reverend Nicola Hunt of St Peter's, Ugborough, welcomed us to the St Francis of Assisi Day animal service. Yes, she had seen the Vicar of Dibley episode in...

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Art is the drug

The Spectator

Alex James The invitation to the Frieze Art Fair was a bigger parcel than anything that arrived on my birthday. It looked like a kind of ambassadorial visa package to a higher...

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The Spectator

DEBORAH ROSS Now, let me see if I can get this right. My sister's husband has a brother who has a friend who is friends with a couple in Zimbabwe who read The Spectator and are...

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The age of beige

The Spectator

Bella Pollen on Jaeger's 'new' look: old-fashioned tailoring made sexy With so many things in the world designed to make you angry, it seems pointless to get worked up about a...

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A stay in St Tropez

The Spectator

Joan Collins tours her favourite town When people think of St Tropez they imagine a life of total hedonism, but that's not always the case. Sure the beaches are thronged with...


The Spectator

Dear Mr Gieve, I have wanted a bespoke suit for some time, and I have seen them advertised for £275 or £400. So why do Savile Row bespoke suits cost over £3,000? Are Savile...

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Rock of all ages

The Spectator

Sarah Standing rediscovers her lifelong love of Cornwall Like Rebecca, I too dream of going to Manderley again. Cornwall has a strange hold over me; never failing to produce a...

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The angst of grown-up social life is as nothing compared to children's parties

The Spectator

TOBY YOUNG Isuppose it had to happen. There comes a time in every father's life when his son's social activity begins to eclipse his own. I used to find it amusing when Ludo...

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Dear Maly Q. I have started to commute to London a

The Spectator

Dear Maly Q. I have started to commute to London and although I do not travel in every day I find myself constantly wearing the wrong kit in the wrong place. A Barbour looks...

Big hits

The Spectator

FRANK KEATING Rugby's World Cup has been surprisingly engaging — hooray for the gallant grandeur of England, France and the other small-fry nations! It has been salutary for the...