17 FEBRUARY 2007

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A nation of babysitters

The Spectator

First, let us not submit to the selfindulgence of moral panic: there has never been a time when British children have been less afflicted by poverty, disease and malnutrition....

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TIM RICE 1 t's finally dawned on me that my relati

The Spectator

TIM RICE 1 t's finally dawned on me that my relationship with the Conservative party has irrevocably changed. Dave and his young, dynamic, thrusting team are simply not...

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After Blair's Big Tent, Brown plans a Big Football Stadium of popular causes

The Spectator

FRASER NELSON The 2018 World Cup is, by every measure, a long way off. Fifa intends to take three years to decide on which continent the tournament should be hosted, and only...

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The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator

CHARLES MOORE Ivas it really an 'own goal' for 10 Downing Street to invite people to petition it on subjects of interest to them, and then find more than a million people saying...

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Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

The Spectator

By Tamzin Lightwater MONDAY Am fed up. It simply cannot be the case that everyone smoked cannabis at school. They're clearly all just saying it to suck up to Dave. Head office...

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Islam rejects the liberal consensus: the best we can hope for is tolerance

The Spectator

John Gray, Britain's foremost political philosopher, says that Ruth Kelly's new campaign against Islamic extremism is doomed because it exaggerates the scope for cohesion in our...

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I admit it: I didn't get into the Bullingdon

The Spectator

James Delingpole's envy is revived by the picture of David Cameron in the navy-blue waistcoat of Oxford's most exclusive and decadent dining club Twenty years ago when I was in...

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Mind your language

The Spectator

Someone wrote about 'reeking vengeance' in a letter to me recently, and the author wasn't talking about smell. Then in a newspaper it was 'reaping vengeance'. It's a sure sign...

My interrogation with Professor 'Torture'

The Spectator

Alasdair Palmer meets John Yoo, the academic lawyer who infamously argued that the President should be left to set the limits on methods used to question suspects Cuantanamo Bay...

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An unhappy anniversary for the Emperor Ming

The Spectator

Michael Cove says that the Lib Dems have retreated to their comfort zone. Sir Menzies Campbell's cringe-making attempts to adopt a demotic style are matched by boring politics...

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Gillian McKeith is truly ghastly, but we are gullible enough to deserve her

The Spectator

Rod Liddle says that the TV nutritionist, no longer a 'Doctor', personifies our misplaced trust in health experts and our spectacular ignorance of science generally Acouple of...

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Ancient & modern

The Spectator

Cooked turkey is perfectly safe to eat, but no one is buying it because of a scare which has nothing to do with cooked meat Parents refuse to give their children the M MR...

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No, we have not betrayed a generation

The Spectator

The Spectator's two-part analysis of Labour's failure in education has caused fury at the apex of government. Here Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, claims that we were...

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Beating bird flu

The Spectator

From Peter Dunnill Sir: Ross Clark's article on what will happen if bird flu becomes a pandemic (Will you have a place in the bio-bunker?', 10 February) is correct in its...

Soft in the head

The Spectator

From Richard Laming Sir: Tony Blair misunderstands the notion of 'soft power' when he uses it to refer to the non-military aspects of government foreign policy (Leading article,...

Indian ink

The Spectator

From Erica de Graaff-Hunter Sir: Kate Chisholm's article 'The Spirit of India' (Arts, 10 February) was very refreshing. I was thrilled to find someone who had been as pleased as...

Exit the fox

The Spectator

From Patrick Brooks Sir: First, let me wish The Spectator — and all who sail in her — health and happiness in its new home. Long ago an ancient mariner told me about the...

Against our ethos

The Spectator

From Dr Sumaya Alyusuf Sir: I find Rod Liddle's article (Not all faith schools are the same', 10 February) deeply offensive in every way. This school has never taught any child...

Home-schooling rules OK

The Spectator

From Stephen Patten Sir: I do wish Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth had looked a bit further afield when researching their article on city academies and the involvement of the...

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Don't always blame the parents: the child is often just as guilty

The Spectator

MATTHEW PARRIS From a wedding or a christening nothing new is learnt, but funerals are different. A funeral or memorial service almost always teaches us things we never...

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Are we heading, eyes open, to a materialist Hell on Earth?

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON 1 f I wanted to pick an artist whose work and mind seem peculiarly apt for the present day, my choice would fall on Hieronymus Bosch (c. 14501516), the...

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The front-row forward who never loses a fight

The Spectator

Matthew Lynn profiles Peter Sutherland, the pugnacious chairman of BP who stands accused of forcing the early departure of the oil giant's chief executive, Lord Browne f the...

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London is the Liberia of listings

The Spectator

Richard Northedge By vanquishing Nasdaq, the London Stock Exchange has yet again fought off falling into foreign ownership. But what does it matter who owns the exchange when so...

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A win-win proposition, but not for the punters

The Spectator

Edie Lush endures a Win Investing' seminar which fails in its promise to reveal the secrets of stock-market success hat percentage of ten trillion pounds do you need to be...

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Don't believe in trickledovvn economics? Consider the parable of the Chelsea nanny

The Spectator

MARTIN VANDER WEYER peter HaM says two thirds of City bonuses should be redirected to charity, or employers who dish them out should face tax penalties. David Cameron is trying...

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Driven by the dance

The Spectator

Rupert Christiansen SOMEWHERE: THE LIFE OF JEROME ROBBINS by Amanda Vail! Weidenfeld, £25, pp. 675, ISBN 9780297847977 Amanda Vaill opens her absorbing biography of the...

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Cute pidgin pie

The Spectator

Jonathan Mirsky A CONCISE CHINESE-ENGLISH DICTIONARY FOR LOVERS: A NOVEL by Xiaolu Guo Chatto, £12.99, pp. 353, ISBN 9780701181147 © £1039 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Slight....

A genius for living

The Spectator

Charlotte Hobson RED PRINCESS: A REVOLUTIONARY LIFE by Sofka Zinovieff Granta, £16.99, pp. 346, ISBN 9781862079199 © £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 perhaps the only...

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Wrong but Wromantic

The Spectator

Christopher Bland SCRAP THE BBC! by Richard D. North Social Affairs Unit, £15.95, pp. 219, ISBN 9781904863205 The BBC is an infuriating organisation: powerful, introspective,...

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When tobacco worked wonders

The Spectator

Robert Stewart SAVAGE KINGDOM by Benjamin Woolley Haiper Press, £25, pp. 467, ISBN 9780007131693 © £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 The British empire in North America was not...

Painting with the Winds

The Spectator

What colour is the wind today, that Boreas shimmers from the north? White and blue and shivery grey, ice and gentians on his breath to fan the ashes in my hearth. Does Notus...

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All human life is there

The Spectator

Caroline Moorehead THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING by Alaa Al Aswany, translated by Humphrey Davies Fourth Estate, £14.99, pp. 255, ISBN 9780060878139 £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429...

Funny peculiar and ha-ha

The Spectator

Eric Weinberger THE CASTLE IN THE FOREST by Norman Mailer Little, Brown, f17.99, pp. 496, ISBN 0394536495 £1439 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Rumours and published reviews to...

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Sins of the father

The Spectator

Cressida Connolly IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE by Miranda Seymour Simon & Schuster, £14.99, pp. 270, ISBN 9780743268677 Memoirs about bad or dotty fathers — from J. R. Ackerley's (and...

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The tric world of faction

The Spectator

William Waldegrave THE SONG BEFORE IT'S SUNG by Justin Cartwright Bloomsbury, £16.99, pp. 275, ISBN 9780747583417 © £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 There is something odd...

Children at a Daffodil Planting

The Spectator

They dibble the turf with fork and trowel eagerly, eagerly going to it, each whiskery bulb unclutched and buried as we their assistants kneel beside them. Ours is the...

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Policies of masterly inactivity

The Spectator

Ben Wilson THE GREAT MAN: SIR ROBERT WALPOLE: SCOUNDREL, GENIUS AND BRITAIN'S FIRST PRIME MINISTER by Edward Pearce Cape, £25, pp. 485, ISBN 9780224071819 © £20 (plus £2.45 p&p)...

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The double nature of romance

The Spectator

The word 'romance' has come down in the world, and the romantic novel is one in which the love-interest predominates. A romance used to be more spirited, a tale of adventure in...

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Middlesbrough's lofty ambitions

The Spectator

No expense has been spared at Mima. But is a new gallery necessary, asks Laura Gascoigne The most exciting thing to do in Middlesbrough on a Sunday afternoon, Ronnie Scott used...

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Unfamiliar connection

The Spectator

Tom Rosenthal Lowry in Liverpool Tate Liveipool, until 9 April T t was a dark and stormy night when I I got to Liverpool and, on my way to the Tate at Albert Dock the next...

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Test of stamina

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Hogarth Tate Britain, until 29 April William Hogarth (1697-1764) was a rambunctious figure, controversial and quarrelsome by nature, but the first British artist...

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Cameo pile-up

The Spectator

Deborah Ross Hot Fuzz 15, Nationwide Iwish I could like this film more than I did, but I didn't, mostly because I don't think it adds up to anything more than a vastly bloated...

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Patience rewarded

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Agrippina Coliseum Agrippina is widely agreed among Handelians to be his first major opera. Constituted, to a large extent, of arias from pre-existing works, it...

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Identity crisis

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans The Dumb Waiter Trafalgar Studios Ripper, the Musical Actors' Church The Man of Mode Olivier T feel I have heard quite enough of 1 Harold Pinter.' Thus spoke a...

The third way

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm By the time you read this, the new Radio Three schedule will be up and running — more jazz, more words, fewer 'live' broadcasts (as opposed to live recordings) and...

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Foregone conclusion

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart Apparently Agatha Christie used to write nearly the whole of each book, then before starting the final chapter would decide which character was least likely to be...

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Risky business

The Spectator

Robin Oakley There was at least one game girl on the race train back from Newbury on Saturday. 'You didn't smell very good on the sofa this morning,' the carriage heard her tell...

State of veg

The Spectator

Ursula Buchan It might surprise you to know (or there again, perhaps not) that more vegetable than flower seed is sold by seed merchants these days. It is certainly an...

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Russian invasion

The Spectator

Taki Gstaad There's more happy dust to be found indoors around here than powder on the slopes. Last week I drove to the Diableret glacier and skied my legs off trying to catch...

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Drinking Partner Jeremy Clarke Las Alpujan-as Asuc

The Spectator

Drinking Partner Jeremy Clarke Las Alpujan-as Asuccession of loud explosions reverberated across the ravine. I went and stood at the door of the shepherd's hut and looked out. A...

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Open and shut case Roy Hattersley When we moved in

The Spectator

Open and shut case Roy Hattersley When we moved into our house there was only one window in the dining room. It was built to keep out cold, not let in light. So its northern...

Birth of Bridge Brian Senior The ancestry of bridg

The Spectator

Birth of Bridge Brian Senior The ancestry of bridge can be traced at least as far back as early 16th-century England, when prototypes of Whist were being played. By the middle...

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The Spectator

DEBORAH ROSS my partner is a total tea fascist and whenever I make a pot it is never, ever right. It's: 'Did you use fresh water?' Then it's: 'You used re-boiled, didn't you?'...

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Spectator Wine CLub

The Spectator

SIMON HOGGART 1 'm pleased to say it has become an annual tradition: our February offer of the new vintage of Chateau Musar with Lay & Wheeler. It has been a tremendous success...

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Passport to Pimlico

The Spectator

The Daylesford dream is coming to London — savour it, says Victoria Mather Last night I dreamt I was at Daylesford again. It seemed to me as I drove up the winding drive,...

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Not too posh to push

The Spectator

Sarah Standing on the wheel appeal of luxury luggage Long-haul is a term that should really be used to describe any journey taken with luggage that doesn't have wheels. Getting...

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Money does buy you happiness

The Spectator

James Delingpole deals with envy in the mountainous wealth of Chamonix The great consolation for those of us who don't have enough money is the thought that those who do don't...

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There's no place like home

The Spectator

Stuart Reid is blown away by the Yorkshire Dales Hang the expense, I thought. Let's take a holiday in England. After all, I speak the language and understand many of the...

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Cinque estate

The Spectator

Jim Anderson T f Flopsy the cat had not bolted to hide in 1 the airing cupboard, I would not have believed my daughter when she insisted a ghost had just floated across the room...

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Walk this way

The Spectator

Mary Wakefield n a warm evening last summer, at about 11 p.m., I sat down on a stone step in Edinburgh's Grassmarket and gave my gloom, which had been gathering all day, the...

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A hunt for the past

The Spectator

Rory Knight Bruce The A377 from Exeter to Barnstaple is perhaps 26 miles long, much of it bordering 'The Gentleman River' of the Taw and railway which will still stop at the...

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Your Problems Solved

The Spectator

Dear Maly Q. Last week I had dinner with some old friends in London. My husband was unable to join us since he was working late but came to pick me up at the end of the evening....

The battle of Croke Park

The Spectator

FRANK KEATING There was generally bonny acclamation as the French rugby team ran out to play Ireland at Dublin's Croke Park stadium last Sunday. I forecast a significantly...