15 MARCH 2008

Page 5

Borrowed time

The Spectator

H ow much better it might have been if Alistair Darling had heeded the advice of the director-general of the CBI, Richard Lambert, and kept his first budget speech to no more...

Page 9

C alifornia is not the worst place in which to be

The Spectator

stuck. In fact I love it! To view your world from a distance is interesting, hearing news slightly delayed, the anchors of life breaking until it is inevitable that your inner...

Page 10

This was the Budget of a man trapped by the terrible profligacy of his predecessor

The Spectator

I t says much about Alistair Darling’s predicament that he used his first Budget to win back a title once used to insult him — being the most boring man in British politics. His...

Page 11

I n the cut and thrust of debate, David Cameron won

The Spectator

easily against the Chancellor in the Budget battle. He was crisp and effective. But Alistair Darling did not attempt thrust and certainly will not cut. The fact that his Budget...

Page 13


The Spectator

By Tamzin Lightwater MONDAY Is anyone paying attention out there? Where on earth did people get the idea that we would be offering tax cuts during our first term of office? We...

Page 14

‘They have guns’: a Sloane at large in gangsta land

The Spectator

Tired of Euro-Sloane bores in Chelsea, Venetia Thompson tours the clubs of Harlesden, the UK’s ‘gun capital’, and experiences a world where a firearm is as normal a status...

Page 16

Go nuclear, but keep your hand on your wallet

The Spectator

The government claims that the private sector will meet the costs of new nuclear plants, says Irwin Stelzer . But there is every risk that the public will end up footing the...

Page 18

A diplomat who could yet be the British Obama

The Spectator

Paul Boateng, our man in South Africa, dismisses comparisons with the American presidential contender. But Tim Walker says he has unfinished business in Westminster Cape Town I...

Page 20

A film-maker who lives in the shadow of a fatwa

The Spectator

Geert Wilders, the controversial Dutch politician, says that the Koran should be banned but his film attacking it must be seen. He makes his case to Douglas Murray D ebate about...

Page 22

The BBC White Season only shows how little Auntie has really changed

The Spectator

Rod Liddle says these tokenistic programmes demonstrate that the BBC’s view of the vast majority of people in this country remains appallingly patronising. The Corporation has...

Page 24

Next time you need a doctor, go to China

The Spectator

Tessa Keswick marvels at the quality of care she received in Beijing when she found herself unable to walk. Painful though it was, the acupuncture was cheap and highly effective...

Page 25


The Spectator

I f you would like to see the kind of outat-elbow tweed jackets once beloved of schoolmasters before they discovered the joys of earrings and the like, and still by far my...

Page 26

Farewell, my father: the sun sets on my horizon

The Spectator

Charles Glass pays tribute to the man who was his measure in all things, and whom he thought, like all sons, would be there forever W hen the sun lowers itself into the Pacific...

Page 28

Martial virtues

The Spectator

Sir: In his article about his film of the Haditha killings (‘The burden of guilt at Haditha’, 8 March), Nick Broomfield subscribes to the tired cliché that, in war, ‘everyone is...

Injurious Taki

The Spectator

Sir: Do any of the editorial staff read Taki’s outpourings prior to publication? This week’s rant (High life, 8 March) about the NHS should have received closer scrutiny before...

Lost soul

The Spectator

Sir: Many of your Christian readers will respond to Martin Rowson (‘I could never believe in God’, 8 March) not by trying to pick holes in his atheist ramblings, as he seems to...


The Spectator

ngraved – or die-stamped – printing, in which the text is printed from a copper die and raised from the paper, is the very best type of printing there is. From shops in Bond...

Personal testament

The Spectator

Sir: At a recent Westminster Abbey memorial service I was invited to read a passage from the New Testament. Despite an expressed preference for the King James Authorised...

Wrong about Bea

The Spectator

// Sir: I deeply regret having written in a column a fortnight ago (‘Boris’s most brilliant wheeze’, 1 March) that Bea Campbell, one of the signatories to the letter endorsing...

History lesson

The Spectator

Sir: Lord Adonis says (Letters, 8 March) that ‘it doesn’t need the Conservatives to “bring the Swedish education revolution to Britain”’ because Labour reformers have already...

Page 30

My obsession with rubbish drove me to share a bath with an Arsenal-supporting teddy bear

The Spectator

E very now and again — and we have had two recent instances of the phenomenon — somebody in local or central government has a good idea for making the nation more sensible about...

Page 32

Was Sir William Joynson-Hicks hair-brained?

The Spectator

T he Letters of Lytton Strachey , which I have just been reading, are a mixed joy. Odd that a writer supposedly so fastidious in the use of words should have produced effusions...

Page 34


The Spectator

A masterclass with the adventure capitalist Jonathan Davis talks to globetrotting investment guru Jim Rogers about the bull market in commodities, China’s rise to superpower...

Page 36

Under starter’s orders

The Spectator

Christopher Fildes Forget Cheltenham. That was just a warm-up. The big meeting next week is at Newbury, and it will have everything — fierce contests and driving finishes and...

Page 38

The ultimate trophy asset for the new-money elite

The Spectator

Dominic Prince says grouse shooting attracts the super-rich — and demand will keep estate prices rising G rouse shooting and grouse moors have historically been the preserve of...

Page 40

My daily fix of Markets Live

The Spectator

Neil Collins has become addicted to alphaville’s interactive forum for stock-market watchers T here are thousands of websites for anyone interested in markets. You can spend...

Page 42

Funding a path out of poverty

The Spectator

Elliot Wilson explores how investors can back ventures that lend to the world’s poorest entrepreneurs P rathminda Kaur is the modern version of the Little Match Girl, only with...

Page 44

Do it yourself: the joy of SIPPs

The Spectator

Ian Cowie If you think pensions are boring, how exciting do you think poverty in old age will be? I only ask because conventional attitudes to this problematic topic are not...

Page 46

In a city that has run out of cash, it’s wiser to call a neighbour than an ambulance

The Spectator

P hiladelphia got a new mayor in January and most residents couldn’t be happier. After being sworn in, Michael Nutter gave a rousing speech about all the great things he planned...

Page 48

The uneasy world between

The Spectator

Philip Hensher O THER P EOPLE ’ S D AUGHTERS : T HE L IFE AND T IMES OF GOVERNESSES by Ruth Brandon Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 303, ISBN 9780297851134 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429...

Violin Tide

The Spectator

And this is the sea, of course scrawling by moonlight in its room, not quite getting the line right where it meets the shore. The earliest hours still find me thinking of you;...

Page 50

Is it worth the worry?

The Spectator

Matthew Parris PANICOLOGY by Simon Briscoe and Hugh Aldersey-Williams Penguin/Viking, £18.99, pp. 304, ISBN 9780670917013 ✆ £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I first met...

Page 52

Love goes begging

The Spectator

Digby Durrant A P ARTISAN ’ S D AuGHTER by Louis de Bernières Harvill Secker, £16.99, pp. 212, ISBN 9781846551413 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I was astonished by...

The county personified

The Spectator

Juliet Townsend T HE L ORD -L IEuTENANTS AND THEIR D EPuTIES by Miles Jebb Phillimore, £25, pp. 216, ISBN 9781860774515 O ne of the glories of British public life is the way in...

Page 53

The short life and hard times of a mathematical genius

The Spectator

Alexander Masters T HE I NDIAN C LERK by David Leavitt Bloomsbury, £16.99, pp. 485, ISBN 9780747581680 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Any proof pleases me: if I could...

No Interruptions

The Spectator

I cannot wholly decide about my father’s resolve not to speak or seek out texts or make arrangements except perhaps to the pillow and the blankets. Was it for him, or for us,...

Page 54

Always employ a slow bowler

The Spectator

David Crane W HAT s PORT T ELLs U s A BOUT L IFE by Ed Smith Viking, £14.99, pp. 190, ISBN 9780670917228 ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I t would be hard to imagine a...

Page 55

Princes, patriots and party-givers

The Spectator

Andro Linklater H EROES : F ROM A LEXANDER THE G REAT TO M AE W EST by Paul Johnson Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 286, ISBN 9780297851899 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I n the...

Page 56

Modern fusion architecture

The Spectator

Christopher Ondaatje B EYOND B AWA : M ODERN M ASTERWORKS OF M ONSOON A SIA by David Robson, with photographs by Richard Powers Thames & Hudson, £39.95, pp. 224, ISBN...

Page 57

Running for shelter

The Spectator

Anthony Daniels M AD , B AD AND S AD : A H ISTORY OF W OMEN AND THE M IND D OCTORS FROM 1800 TO THE PRESENT by Lisa Appignanesi Virago, £20, pp.541, ISBN 9781844082339 ✆ £16...

No getting away from it

The Spectator

Simon Baker N OTHING TO B E F RIGHTENED O F by Julian Barnes Jonathan Cape, £16.99, pp. 250, ISBN 9780571239337 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 S ome non-fiction books...

Page 58

Putting the jackboot in

The Spectator

Caroline Moorehead I TALY ’ S S ORROW : A Y EAR OF W AR , 1944-45 by James Holland Harper Press, £25, pp. 606, ISBN 9780007176458 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 H e who...

Page 59

For the greater glory of God and man

The Spectator

Rosemary Hill T HE E NGLISH C OUNTRY H OUSE C HAPEL : B UILDING A P ROTESTANT T RADITION by Annabel Ricketts Spire Books, £45, pp. 348, ISBN 9781904965053 Special offer price:...

Page 60

And the Oscar goes to . . .

The Spectator

Frederic Raphael S CENES FROM A R EVOLUTION by Mark Harris Canongate, £20, pp. 490, ISBN 9781847671028 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T he subtitle of this account of the...

Page 62

Crossing continents

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans on the trend among British authors to sell their archives to the United States P erhaps it’s greed. Or is it greed laced with betrayal? Certainly it’s unseemly. As...

Page 63

Face value

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Pompeo Batoni 1708–1787 National Gallery, until 18 May T he first impression offered by the Batoni exhibition in the Sainsbury Wing is one of dullness. I tend...

Page 64

Shrewd survivor

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Falstaff WNO Paradise Moscow Royal Academy of Music V erdi’s last opera Falstaff is also for many people his greatest. I went to see it in Cardiff this week,...

Page 65

Teenage pain

The Spectator

Deborah Ross Water Lilies 15, Curzon Soho and key cities I did consider seeing this week’s big highconcept film, Disney’s Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds...

Page 66

Garden shorts

The Spectator

The story of old Mrs Foster, who lived in the village where I was brought up, and who contracted lockjaw whilst cutting her raspberry canes, has remained with me since...

Parisian heights

The Spectator

Charles Spencer M rs Spencer had to spend five days in Paris during half-term observing ballet classes, so my son Edward and I tagged along too, on the strict understanding...

Page 67

Death by

The Spectator

la p top Peter Phillips T ouring the more rural college campuses in the United States with Victoria’s Requiem is a very modern challenge. To be sure, the inmates of these...

Page 69

Coward’s way

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans The Vortex Apollo Plague Over England Finborough Major Barbara Olivier L ike a footballer’s wife on a shopping binge at Harrods. That’s how Felicity Kendal lashes...

Page 71

Street life

The Spectator

Giannandrea Poesio Insane in the Brain Bounce, Peacock Theatre A n upbeat, street-dance version of Romeo and Juliet , presented by Rumble, was one of the hottest tickets at...

Making history

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart I t was a fine week for nostalgic people of a certain age, like me. Rivers of Blood (BBC2, Saturday) was an excellent, and not entirely unsympathetic, filleting...

Page 72

Reality bites

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm H as anyone else begun to suspect that The Archers ’ scriptwriters have been taken off Prozac? Maybe it’s something to do with the recent bad publicity about the...

Page 73

A family affair

The Spectator

Taki A round 15 years or so ago I was fast asleep late in the morning when I got an ear-splitting telephone call from Greece. It was Vicki Woods, a Telegraph writer, and she...

Page 74

Around the bend

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke I have a recurring nightmare. I’m driving or walking or cycling, I’m not sure which, up a winding, muddy country lane. At a sharp, uphill bend, I’m overwhelmed by...

Page 75

Fond farewell

The Spectator

Melissa Kite T he tuner who delivered the news could barely look me in the eye. After prodding at the keys of my piano for ten minutes he called me back from the kitchen where...

Page 76

Brown is the new black

The Spectator

Nick Foulkes applies for a card which will do him credit W e read that Britain is a nation in debt; indeed debt is one of our cherished national characteristics — nothing like...

Page 78

Finding (the real) Nemo

The Spectator

Geordie Greig travels to an obscure Malaysian island to fulfil a child’s dream W here do we find Nemo, apart from on the big screen? That was our holiday quest, and the answer...

Page 86

Disaster strikes as the scales finally fall from American eyes: not all Brits are gentlemen

The Spectator

F or the past 200 years or so, Englishmen who aren’t faring too well in the home country have had the option of moving to the States. Thanks to their inferiority complex, our...

Mind your language

The Spectator

I’ve found the origin of the football cliché ‘over the moon’. Or I thought I’d found it. In a speech written in 1857 for W.E. Gladstone by Lord Lyttelton, his brotherin-law, in...

Page 87

Spectator Sport

The Spectator

T wo dismal showings by England teams in less than 24 hours make the strongest hand reach for the Paracetamol. What on earth are England playing at? Stuffed by the Scots in a...

your problemS Solved

The Spectator

Dear Mary Q. Somewhat fortuitously I was recently a guest of an eminent London picture dealer in an excellent restaurant in the West End. Among the assembled were various...

Q. We have a very nice au pair staying with

The Spectator

us. As great foodies we like to buy ourselves treats — passion fruits, expensive chocolates, roasted macadamia nuts and artisan cheeses. These cost a fortune. In the past our au...

Q. Your excellent comments regarding the integrity of London’s black

The Spectator

taxi drivers (8 March) were marred by your misuse of the expression ‘the exception that proves the rule’. The black taxi rapist of recent weeks is the exception that proves the...