14 APRIL 2007

Page 5

Conduct unbecoming

The Spectator

M onday was ‘National Nuclear Day’ in Iran. In Britain, with the paid appearance of Leading Seaman Faye Turney on television, it was national humiliation day. The abduction...

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St Ives, Cornwall E mailing a friend in Boston, I reported that winter had been so benign in southern England this year that it was bound to snow in Cornwall at Easter. Not so....

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Labour is fated to be led by Gordon Brown, but he can still be forced to share power

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A fortnight ago, I was invited along to a dinner with John Reid in the private room of a London hotel. It sounded wonderfully conspiratorial, arranged at just a few hours’...

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CHARLES MOORE H itler said, ‘I know my enemies. I met them at Munich. They are little worms.’ He turned out to be wrong, thank goodness, but the impression that his enemies...

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MONDAY Am going to get to the bottom of this

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Miliband unit if it’s the last thing I do. There’s something shifty about it, mark my words, although initial investigations are inconclusive. Kept eye on Poppy and James, and...

TUESDAY Gids back from hols, and v upset about the

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Bullingdon business. I’m not surprised. The bar was set so high by Dave’s Bullers photo, and what with widespread comparisons to Spandau Ballet and other New Romantic...


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Couldn’t stand the suspense any longer. Decided that embarrassing myself was actually less painful than not knowing what was going on with Kill Mil. Half-expected door to be...


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Everyone v sheepish since I found out the big secret. Jed tried to explain that politics is all about appearances — or ‘Design’, as he calls it. Sometimes you don’t actually...

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Why there will be no future Pax Americana

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David Selbourne says that George Bush is losing the war in Iraq as surely as George III lost the war against the American colonists — and that the US imperium has entered on its...

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Mind your language

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I’ve been reading with unexpected pleasure The First English Dictionary (Bodleian, £12.99), an edition of a list of 2,500 ‘hard usual English words’ compiled by Robert Cawdrey...

Our enemies are right to mock us

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Theodore Dalrymple blames the hostage crisis on profound social and psychological changes of which Mr Blair is both a symptom and a cause A taxi driver in Mexico City, who in my...

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‘I thought never again meant never again’

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Matthew d’Ancona talks to this year’s Reith Lecturer, Jeffrey Sachs, about a world ‘bursting at the seams’, the practicalities of ending poverty — and his friendship with George...

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Why Brown’s premiership could be short-lived

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Irwin Stelzer says the prime-minister-in-waiting’s poor poll ratings have less to do with personal style and more to do with fading support for the welfare state I n guessing at...

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I am sorry, but the C of E really must make up its mind about homosexuality

The Spectator

Rod Liddle says that if the Anglicans withdraw from the business of making irksome rules, they will all end up singing from the Monty Python hymn sheet T he Archbishop of York,...

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This is Miliband’s moment, and he should run as the ‘we screwed up’ challenger

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I t may be time to stop talking about whether David Miliband challenges Gordon Brown, and start talking about when. The young cabinet minister plainly contemplates the...

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Misread signals

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Sir: In his analysis of the Falklands conflict (‘From the Falklands to Iraq’, 31 March) Simon Jenkins treats the independent-minded Lord Franks with disdain for heading an...

A party for England?

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Sir: The plan to roll back the Conservative party from Scotland (‘Revealed: how the Conservative party is planning to split’, 7 April), although a setback to Scottish unionists,...

The Hebron massacre

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Sir: In Rod Liddle’s article ‘You get your film and go home’ (7 April), no mention is made of the reason why the Jewish population in Hebron is so small: the massacre in 1929 of...

Vivè la difference

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Sir: In his eulogy to the wonderful French railway system (‘French trains: faster, cheaper, greener, sexier’, 7 April), Neil Collins fails to mention one important difference...

A fine divorce

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Sir: Alasdair Palmer (‘For once, Heather Mills has a point’, 31 March) says: ‘I am sure Fiona Shackleton is rich and successful enough not to have to be professionally concerned...

The name is Aston...

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Sir: My name was misspelt as Ashton in the Letters page last week. Since the letter was a comment on Brian Magee’s accuracy among other matters, I should consider a correction...

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Thank God for a wise, truth-telling Pope

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I like the new Pope, Benedict XVI. I have not yet met him, but hope to do so soon. It is always fun to judge leaders from afar. David Cameron, another fellow I’ve not yet met,...

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Banking on victory for the Scottish Nationalists George Kerevan says the leaders of Scotland’s booming financial sector see the prospect of independence under an SNP...

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Can Sarko halt France’s decline? Allister Heath W hen I first moved to Britain in 1995, after a misspent youth in France, there were few Gallic accents to be heard outside the...

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CITY LIFE The island state that wishes it could be towed to less murky waters

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S ingapore’s property market is roaring. I know that because our lease will soon expire and our landlady wants 70 per cent more rent than she did in 2004. No matter that our...

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The Master and the Servant

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Robert Salisbury L LOYD G EORGE AND C HURCHILL : R IVALS FOR GREATNESS by Richard Toye Macmillan, £25, pp. 356, ISBN 9781405048965 ✆ £21.50 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T his...

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Too much information

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Sebastian Smee TOMORROW by Graham Swift Picador, £16.99, pp. 247, ISBN 9780330450188 ✆ £14.50 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I n managing too carefully the revelation of truth,...

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The be-all and end-all

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Christopher Bland T HE RSC S HAKESPEARE : T HE C OMPLETE WORKS edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen Macmillan, £30, pp. 2482, ISBN 9780230003507 ✆ £25.50 (plus £2.45 p&p)...

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Historical thrillery-factual fiction

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Justin Cartwright D ANCING WITH E VA by Alan Judd Simon & Schuster, £9.99, pp. 214, ISBN 9780743275682 ✆ £8.49 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 R ecently, Adam Mars Jones accused...

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Justin Cartwright’s latest book is The Song Before it is Sung (Bloomsbury, £16.99).

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Making a virtue out of necessity Ben Wilson F OOD IN E ARLY M ODERN ENGLAND by Joan Thirsk Continuum, £30, pp. 396, ISBN 9781852855383 ✆ £25.50 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655...

Voodoo, rape and an apple tree

The Spectator

Simon Baker HOSPITAL by Toby Litt Hamish Hamilton, £14.99, pp. 510, ISBN 9780241142806 ✆ £12.75 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A summary of the events that take place in this...

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Not content with the contents

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D egas once complained to Mallarmé that he had been trying to write a sonnet, unsuccessfully, though he had had such a good idea for it. ‘Alas, my poor Edgar,’ was the reply,...

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Beyond the ordinaire

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Andrew Lambirth goes in search of the haunting and the haunted in the world of Surrealism S how time at the V&A: the latest in its series of survey exhibitions brings us...

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Thank you, Humph

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Charles Spencer I ’ve spent the past couple of weeks sharing my life with some malignant bug that has left me feeling weak and pathetic on those relatively rare occasions when...

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Heart of glass

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Michael Tanner Satyagraha Coliseum W hatever one thinks about Philip Glass’s music in general, and Satyagraha in particular, it does tend to get extremely well served, and...

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German triumphs

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Lloyd Evans Tom Fool Bush Brecht Fest Young Vic Mojo Mickybo Arcola N o question about it. If you had to name the 500 brightest periods in the history of human creativity, you...

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Courting the computer

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Patrick Carne gy The Merchant of Venice Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon B ack in the 1920s someone complained there wasn’t a play on the London stage that didn’t have a...

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Shades of grey

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Harry Joll The Lives of Others 15, nationwide T he setting is East Germany, 1984. A highly appropriate year: the Stasi is positively Orwellian in its observation of its...

Cooling off

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Simon Hoggart L ots of new comedy this week. Mitchell and Webb are a puzzle. They had a successful sketch slot, which followed the first runs of Peep Show . Then they turned up...

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Shocking women

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Kate Chisholm I t was not so extraordinary in September 1946 when the Third Programme began broadcasting that its schedule should include a weekly discussion of the ‘visual...

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Scoff no more

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Robin Oakley S eeking to realise your dreams it certainly helps if you are a member of a ruling family with untold oil millions to hand. But when Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al...

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Billionaire paradise

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Taki New York L arry Ellison, the chief executive of the software giant Oracle and the world’s 11th-richest man, according to Forbes magazine, is not imbued with grace or...

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Returning penitents

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Jeremy Clarke I ’m back in the gym. I put it down to the lighter evenings and the rising sap. It’s been so long since I last worked out that I had forgotten what the gym card...

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Farming fame

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Roy Hattersley T he Charolais changed their habits at about the time we all moved our clocks and watches forward by an hour. The two hardiest calves in the herd —accompanied by...

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A driving force Charlotte Metcalf reports on a new course aimed at saving young lives M ost Spectator readers share the gripe that we live in a nanny state. So it is...

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Tomb raider

The Spectator

Lee Langley follows in the footsteps of a famous French Egyptologist A Nile cruise is not for wimps — not if you do it seriously: up before dawn, a quick breakfast, then off on...

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All change

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FRANK KEATING I daresay bonny Barbados and some blazing cricket in its final fortnight might retrieve disenchantment with the 2007 World Cup. But I doubt it. Bob Woolmer’s...


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Dear Mary Q. Please can you advise me? I am a bachelor living on my own and I have my shirts ironed by a very nice lady in the village. She does a great job, but I am getting...