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Vote for honesty

The Spectator

The long quest to find a purpose for the Lib Dems is the modern equivalent to the probably apocryphal story about the child asking his mother about Lord Randolph Churchill:...

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The Spectator

JENNY SCOTT Wetook Alastair on holiday with us this year. Listened to his version of the Blair years in the car all the way to Biarritz — it was either him or French pop music....

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Sir Menzies Campbell will either be sacked or will end up in the Cabinet

The Spectator

FRASER NELSON There is just one consolation for Sir Menzies Campbell as he prepares for his second and probably last conference as Liberal Democrat leader: they will not come...

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Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

The Spectator

By Tamzin Lightwater MONDAY Dave has moved into the building! He and his staff left the Commons office on Friday night and set up camp in The Thatcher Room! That ought to put...

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The Establishment is dead. But something worse has replaced it

The Spectator

The term 'Establishment' was coined in The Spectator more than 50 years ago: Peter Oborne says that our new rulers are a narrow, self-serving and increasingly corrupt governing...

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How The Spectator invented the Establishment

The Spectator

This is an extract from Hemy Fairlie's column on the Establishment article, which appeared in The Spectator on 23 September 1955. I have several times suggested that what I...

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Join us in the great Intelligence2 debate

The Spectator

Matthew d'Ancona, editor of The Spectator, hails the magazine's new partnership with the dynamic debating forum, and invites readers and website users to take part Civilised...

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Petraeus's true message: we must be patient

The Spectator

The surge in Iraq is working, says James Forsyth, but its success must not be oversold: this will be a long haul, and one in which the Coalition must prevail There was a single,...

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We have treated the McCanns as if they were Big Brother contestants

The Spectator

Rod Liddle says that the appalling sadness of Madeleine's disappearance has spawned a grotesque reality TV show, in which the nation is polarised and opinion divided angrily...

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Why the kid should have gone to the chair

The Spectator

Twelve Angiy Men, released 50 years ago, is a movie classic, but, says Leo McKinstry, it is also liberal nonsense and has done much to weaken the criminal justice system Towards...

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The Tories will need more national fear to win

The Spectator

Hyvvel Williams, author of an acclaimed book on the decline of the Tories, says that the British will have to feel a lot more insecure before they choose the Conservatives again...

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I always cheer up Down Under

The Spectator

Stanley Johnson Sydney As the ten-foot steel barrier that fenced off the heart of Sydney for the whole of the recent Apec (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) meeting is at last...

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Lift sanctions on Iran

The Spectator

Sir: The resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis is breathtakingly simple, were sanity to prevail (Iran will be next', 8 September). Iran does not need an atom bomb to attain...

Critical mass

The Spectator

Sir: Damian Thompson, in his excellent article (8 September) on the Pope's motu proprio, which has restored the right to celebrate and attend the liturgical form previously...

We knew him as Emily

The Spectator

Sir: I read with interest the meeting between Mary Wakefield and Clarissa Dickson Wright (A pin-up for Scottish pensioners', 8 September) and was touched by her appeal to...

TV tricks

The Spectator

Sir: I was pleased to see from Rod Liddle's piece that David Kermode at Channel 5 is banning a string of 'hackneyed TV news tricks' (Liddle Britain, 8 September). Would he...

Running with the ball

The Spectator

Sir: Rod Liddle's put-down of rugby in favour of football (A game devoid of skill', 8 September) reminds me of the old adage that rugby is a game for hooligans played by...

Silver, not gold

The Spectator

Sir: Paul Johnson asserts that the Maria Theresa thaler (still circulating as a currency in East Africa when I first went there in the 1950s') was a gold coin (And another...

Arms race

The Spectator

Sir: Without wishing to comment on the content of Matthew Lynn's article on Britain's arms industry (Business, 25 August), it is a shame that someone chose to illustrate it with...

The right Wainwright

The Spectator

Sir: Can I make clear, which my diary last week (8 September) did not, that Martin Wainwright is both the Guardian's northern editor and the author of a fine new biography of...

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The media resented the McCanns muscling in on their private terrain

The Spectator

MATTHEW PARRIS My former sketchwriting colleague, Simon Hoggart, has a maxim he would cite when any of us parliamentary sketchwriters were tempted to showcase a genuinely and...

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What did the Duchess get up to in her wood-and-turf hut?

The Spectator

There are many odd tales behind the origins of classic gastronomic dishes. Who would have believed that the old Ipswich bruiser, Cardinal Wolsey, was responsible for that...

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Sarkozy picks a new CEO of France Inc: himself

The Spectator

Matthew Lynn says the new president promised market reforms and a 'rupture' with France's tradition of state intervention in industry — but so far it's just business as usual...

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How the Governor lost his eyebrows

The Spectator

Richard Northedge 'Bank of England denies NatWest rescue move,' screamed an Evening Standard headline in December 1974 as the credit squeeze strangled the clearer most exposed...

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'Greedy? Short-termist? No, quite the opposite'

The Spectator

Margareta Pagano meets Sir Bill Castell, chairman of Wellcome, the medical charity and private-equity investor 1 n the 1880s two young American salesmen-cum-pharmacists, Silas...

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Lenin and Sid Waddell provide words to describe the leader of the Tube strike

The Spectator

MARTIN VANDER WEYER Don't mind me asking,' a Geordie lad accosted me on the train, tut aren't you Sid Waddell?' I looked blank. 'Go on, you are, aren't you,' his mate insisted,...

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This lethal golden elixir

The Spectator

Sinclair McKay on our new-found thirst for cider 1 t used to be the taste of shame. Something that could induce nightmare Proustian flashbacks to teenage years of furtive pub...

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Don't follow the herd

The Spectator

Dominic Prince FT en days ago I went to one of London's finest restaurants, the Lahore in Whitechapel. The place was packed with hundreds of eager punters. There were bankers...

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A British revival

The Spectator

Rebecca Jed There was an episode in the latest series of The Apprentice in which a bungling ex-army man was commissioned with selling the best of British produce in a French...

In search of perfection Samson Spanier The 4th Ear

The Spectator

In search of perfection Samson Spanier The 4th Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792) gave his name to the snack of meat encased between two slabs of bread. The story goes that it was...

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Fare's fair

The Spectator

Clarke Hayes FT here's a fair glut of food festivals going on all across the country in the coming weeks, reflecting — and rightly so — the harvest. But how retro is that?...

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From outsider to insider

The Spectator

Jonathan Sumption A WRITER'S PEOPLE: WAYS OF LOOKING AND FEELING by V. S. Naipaul Picador, £16.99, pp. 194, ISBN 9780330485241 £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 V.S. Naipaul...

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Taking courage from the Dutch

The Spectator

Anthony Daniels THE VACCINATORS: SMALLPDX, MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE AND THE 'OPENING' OF JAPAN by Ann Jannetta Stanford University Press, £28.95, pp. 245, ISBN 9780804754897 © £23.16...

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For the love (and hate) of Mike

The Spectator

Andro Linklater SOLDIER by General Sir Mike Jackson Bantam, £18.99, pp. 400, ISBN 9780593059074 £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 The pictures display a man moulded out of...

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Not much good clean fun

The Spectator

Sara Maitland THE SPA DECAMERON by Fay Weldon Quercus, £14.99, pp. 329, ISBN 9781847240927 © £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 n the original Decameron by Boccaccio...

When murderers knew their place

The Spectator

Gilbert Adair AGATHA CHRISTIE: AN ENGLISH MYSTERY by Laura Thompson Headline, £20, pp. 534, ISBN 9780755315345 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 WasAgatha Christie a good...

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By their clothes shall you know them

The Spectator

Charlotte Moore URSULA'S STORY by Sandra Howard Simon & Schuster, £12.99, pp. 353, ISBN 9780743285568 £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Ursula's story begins at dawn on the...

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Tunes of a misspent youth

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm THE IMPORTANCE OF MUSIC TO GIRLS by Lavinia Greenlaw Faber, £15.99, pp. 195, ISBN 9780571230280 £12.79 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Lavinia Greenlaw's clever...

Almost an Englishman

The Spectator

Anthony Quinton FOR HE IS AN ENGLISHMAN by Charles Arnold-Baker or Wolfgang von Blumenthal Jeremy Mills Publishing, 22 Occupation Road, Lindley, Huddersfield HD3 3BD, Tel: 01484...

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To know him is to love him, usually

The Spectator

Cressida Connolly THE DEPORTEES by Roddy Doyle Cape, f16.99, pp. 242, ISBN 9780224080613 £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 The eight short stories which form this collection...

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Sources of inspiration

The Spectator

‘T he Craftsman' is one of my favourite Kipling poems: 'Once, after long-drawn revel at The Mermaid, /He to the overbearing Boanerges /Jonson, uttered (if half of it were...

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Old gold

The Spectator

Robert Gore-Langton talks to Warren Mitchell about his health, his career and his prejudices Warren Mitchell is lying on an air mattress in rehearsals. He's 81 and in constant...

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Feat of clay

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army British Museum, until 6 April 2008 Sponsored by Morgan Stanley Here's a show to pull in the public. More than 100,000...

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Back to basics

The Spectator

Matthew d'Ancona What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But not with Sir Elton John, who last week brought the Red Piano Show that has thrilled audiences at Caesar's Palace for...

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Revelatory Richie

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Lone Star & Pvt. Wars King's Head We The People Globe All About My Mother Old Vic The King's Head has a deserved hit on its hands with a James McLure double bill...

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Not great western

The Spectator

Deborah Ross 3:10 to Yuma 15, Nationwide 2:10 to Yuma has everything you might want from a western apart from anything original or interesting, and as for Russell Crowe, he's...

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Musical youth

The Spectator

Michael Tanner British Youth Opera Peacock Theatre Pavarotti British Youth Opera celebrates its 21st birthday season with its annual two productions at the Peacock Theatre: this...

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Play school

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm atch 'em young makes sense if you're selling a product, an organisation or a belief system. And the BBC has never lagged behind the commercial broadcasters and...

Raising Reith

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart Watching television as a critic is an artificial way of watching television. For the most part we see DVDs supplied by the television companies. We start and...

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She's got rhythm

The Spectator

Robin Oakley Former US champion jockey Eddie Arcaro has entered the new Oxford Dictionary of Quotations with his comment, 'When a jockey retires he becomes just another little...

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Profit and loss

The Spectator

Alan Judd Depreciation is to cars what compound interest is to us: it bites sooner and deeper than you think. In March 2006 my sister-in-law paid a main dealer £8,000 for a 2002...

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Birthplace of blondes

The Spectator

Taki On board S117 Bushido Isimply can't understand why so many Greek women resemble Scandinavians. Everywhere I look there are blondes — fat blondes, short blondes, hairy...

Sparks flying

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke he lay on her side and watched the people coming and going from the tented stalls and music stages. I lay on my back beside her and stared up at the billowing...

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Junior leaders

The Spectator

Roy Hattersley T should not have been surprised to discover that The Spectator has a profound influence on village life — a happy state of affairs which was illustrated last...

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Stuffed animals

The Spectator

Oscar Humphries says taxidermy is very in My dog has cancer. We found a lump the size of a goji berry on his paw. Tomorrow the vet operates and I've been telling anyone who will...

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Fashion dressed as art

The Spectator

Sarah Sands visits the 'spaces' where designers exhibit their wares T he best-dressed women are usually to be found at contemporary art shows. They pull rank at the Venice...

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Bonkers for Honkers

The Spectator

Jenny Wilhide is thoroughly spoiled in Hong Kong Iwas recently offered the chance to go to Hong Kong. Our small group was to have luxury spa treatments and fine cuisine, and fly...

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I was so good at talking up Shepherd's Bush that I

The Spectator

I was so good at talking up Shepherd's Bush that I can't afford to live there now TOBY YOUNG Ifirst bought a flat in Shepherd's Bush in 1991 and I've never missed an opportunity...

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Your Problems Solved

The Spectator

Dear Maly Q. During the summer I worked in my stepfather's office. I discovered that while he is generally well liked his (25) employees do have one gripe. At Christmas he...

Spoiled for choice FRANK KEATING Was last weekend

The Spectator

Spoiled for choice FRANK KEATING Was last weekend the most stirringly chock-full and eventful ever in sports broadcasting history? BBC Radio 5 heroically, breathlessly, covered...