16 AUGUST 2008

Page 5

Clear and present danger

The Spectator

R ussia’s actions in the past week should not have taken anyone by surprise. The fact that they did illustrates just how gravely in denial the free world now is about the...

Page 9

Beijing A n immediate rumour after the opening ceremony at the

The Spectator

Beijing Games was that an emergency meeting of the British Olympic Committee was convened in order to find an excuse for cancelling London 2012. There might have been even...

Page 10

Gordon’s £500 million benefit spree would be better spent on tax cuts than handouts

The Spectator

T here are several ways one might look at Gordon Brown’s leaked plan to send £150 to each of the seven-plus million families receiving child benefit. The first, and kindest, is...

Page 11


The Spectator

Monday Copies of lads mags found lying around leaders’ office: 5 (v bad); pounds shed by Mr Pickles in name of Being The Change: 0 (v bad); inquiries about why we haven’t...

Page 12

Russia’s aggression in Georgia is a portent of perils to come

The Spectator

Philip Bobbitt says that the crisis reflects Russia’s determination to remain an old-fashioned nation state, dominating its region. Intellectual imagination will be needed to...

Page 14

For a footballer to sue for ‘negligence’ is like a climber suing a mountain

The Spectator

The case of Ben Collett, the footballer awarded £4.5 million for a tackle that ended his career, bodes ill for the game, says Rod Liddle . Blame the zeitgeist, not the judge I f...

Page 16

America is still the nation whose eyes say ‘yes’

The Spectator

Douglas Murray tours a country despondent about its presidential race and increasingly uncertain about Barack Obama. Yet the world still needs America’s strengths Chicago I n...

Page 17

Mind your language

The Spectator

Do you pronounce the ‘l’ in falcon ? That civilised Kentish man Mr Eric Brown has sent me an entertaining newspaper cutting kept for 18 years. It is from the Times ’s ‘On this...

Page 18

On the road with a long distance morris dancer

The Spectator

When A.S.H. Smyth was asked to accompany a friend on a 150-mile morris dance from London to Norwich, he could hardly say no. But morris dancing is a perilous pursuit ‘I ’m...

Page 20

Give us back our Big Idea, Mr Cameron

The Spectator

Liam Byrne — tipped for Cabinet promotion in the reshuffle — says that when Cameroons advocate ‘fraternity’ they are repackaging the Conservative case for the shrinking of the...

Page 21

Simon Carter

The Spectator

I still get letters about the Impossible Quiz which Simon Carter set for our Christmas special issue. An infernally complex blend of merciless logic, M.C. Escher’s art, and very...

Page 22

Credit where credit’s due

The Spectator

Sir: I’m not sure if my colleague Bob MarshallAndrews is happy to be seen as some kind of showbiz personality (‘I’m not an ambassador for New Labour’, 9 August). However wrong...

Don’t blame Pakistan

The Spectator

Sir: Why does Fraser Nelson want to call it an Afghan-Pakistan war when it is not? (‘Don’t mention the Afghan-Pakistan war’, 26 July). Such labels are not only dangerous but...

A kit not a kat

The Spectator

Sir: Blair Worden in his review of The KitCat Club (Books, 2 August) has got his kits and cats a little mixed-up when he suggests that ‘kat’ is slang for a small fiddle. It is...

Progress in Cyprus

The Spectator

Sir: There has been progress in Cyprus since John Torode’s perceptive article (‘In Cyprus, warm words conceal dark intentions’, 2 willia_p_0206.07 5/29/07 2 August) was written....

Page 23

If you or your chatmate are looking for a nilogism or mislexis, don’t wait till an earar

The Spectator

A t the beginning of the year I devoted this column to words that don’t exist. By that I meant things for which there ought to be a word, but there isn’t. This is itself, of...

Page 24

A leisure class can accommodate the workaholics of wisdom

The Spectator

O ne of the great paradoxes, for most of us, is the hatred of work, and the need for it to fill what Dr Johnson called ‘the great vacancies of life’. We sigh for leisure, then...

Page 26

Does Medvedev really believe in the rule of law? The fate of TNK-BP is the test

The Spectator

I s President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia — who looks and sounds like a liberal-leaning modern technocrat — really his own man, or is he merely the stooge of his predecessor, the...

Page 28

Do tell me some more about Devonshire

The Spectator

Jeremy Treglown S O I H AVE T HOUGHT OF Y OU : T HE L ETTERS OF P ENELOPE FITZGERALD edited by Terence Dooley Fourth Estate, £25, pp. 624 ISBN 9780007136407 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45...

Page 29

Speaking for the silent majority

The Spectator

George Osborne NIxoNLAND by Rick Perlstein Simon & Schuster, £25, pp. 880, ISBN 9780743243025 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I asked Henry Kissinger recently whether he...

Page 30

Going through the hoops

The Spectator

Patrick Skene Catling D REAMING I RIS by John de Falbe Cuckoo Press, £11, pp. 278, ISBN 9780954268855 ✆ £8.80 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 L ove, whether originally mental or...

Highs and lows of a musical career

The Spectator

Rupert Christiansen HANDEL: T HE M AN AND H IS M uSIc by Jonathan Keates Bodley Head, £25, pp. 352, ISBN 9780224982020 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 S ince 1985, when...

Page 31

Once a fashionable monster

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth T HE G REAT B RATBY by Maurice Yacowar Middlesex University Press, £30, pp. 282, ISBN 9781904750260 ✆ £24 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 M aurice Yacowar,...

Page 32

Dearly beloved Meg

The Spectator

Jonathan Sumption A D AUGHTER ’ S L OVE : T HOMAS AND M ARGARET M ORE by John Guy Fourth Estate, £25, pp. 378, ISBN 9780007192311 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 S ir...

Page 34

All roads lead East

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth on our continuing fascination with the Orient A lmost everywhere you look these days there’s an exhibition to do with China or the Far East. Tinselly young...

Page 35


The Spectator

Scottish highs and lows Michael Tanner Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny Usher Hall Ysaye Quartet Queen’s Hall The Two Widows Edinburgh Festival Theatre T he Edinburgh...

Page 36


The Spectator

Lost and found Roderick Conway Morris Josef Maria Auchentaller (1865-1945): A Secessionist on the Borders of the Empire Palazzo Attems-Petzenstein, Gorizia, Italy, until 30...

Page 38


The Spectator

Late-night line-up Peter Phillips L ecturing on a course in Seattle has taken me away from London in recent days, and therefore from the excitement of Roger Wright’s first...

Theatre 1

The Spectator

Pick of Edinburgh Lloyd Evans Dybbuk King’s Theatre Britt on Britt Assembly Rooms Surviving Spike Assembly Rooms P erhaps it should be the Inter-notional Festival. The posh...

Page 39

Theatre 2

The Spectator

Doctor Who in Elsinore Patrick Carnegy Hamlet Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon S tar casting at Stratford runs the risk of propelling a show into an orbit hard to track...

Page 40


The Spectator

Eyes wide shut Kate Chisholm W hat a dilemma. The synchronised diving, with young Tom Daley taking part for Team GB, was due on at 7.30 on Monday morning, but that’s when I...


The Spectator

The fast and the furious Simon Hoggart I t’s three in the morning and a BBC executive is home in bed. Suddenly he wakes up, sweating. ‘What is it, darling?’ asks his...

Page 41


The Spectator

Holiday reading Ursula Buchan I have always been reticent about recommending gardening books for anyone short of something to read on holiday. After all, gardening books are...

Page 42

High life

The Spectator

That’s not fair play Taki On board S/Y Bushido A s far as I’m concerned, the less said about the goings on in Beijing the better. I know, I know, I’ll be watching the judo and...

Page 43

Low life

The Spectator

Last orders Jeremy Clarke U nder a low oak-beamed ceiling, three middle-aged men were perched on stools around the bar. One of these greeted me, walked around to the other...

Page 44

Real life

The Spectator

Fat fish trouble Melissa Kite M y clownfish is clinically obese and agoraphobic. He has been refusing to come out of his bamboo log for three years now, except occasionally to...


The Spectator

Going cold turkey Janet de Botton A ugust. Holidays. Sun. Relaxation. Sleep. No bridge. Withdrawals. Hysteria. Aaaaaaaaaagh. I get August anxiety in early February so why do I...

Page 46

Home on the Grange

The Spectator

Matthew Dennison experiments with self-catering on a royal scale F ew married men can match my boast of having been taught how to plump cushions by an interior decorator with a...

Page 47

Familiar Wilderness Liz Dimmlich reveals why the Falkland Islands are

The Spectator

a must-visit destination for any lover of wild places S tep off the plane at Mount Pleasant International airport and you would be forgiven for thinking your flight had been...

Page 54

These days, I can’t even afford to rent a trailer on Shelter Island

The Spectator

A s a young man living in New York, I used to club together with four or five friends every summer and rent a house on Shelter Island. About 80 miles from New York, it is close...

Page 55

Spectator Sport

The Spectator

Y ou can’t help feeling for Sergio Garcia. At Carnoustie last year, he lipped out on the last hole to throw away an Open title which had seemed his on the last day. And who was...