18 MARCH 2006

Page 5

Time to think small, Mr Brown

The Spectator

S omeone should remind Gordon Brown of the Hippocratic Oath before he stands up on Wednesday afternoon to deliver his tenth Budget to the House of Commons. Taking his cue from...

Page 9

O bservation of the week: all too often a diary is

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the achievement of those without achievement. I was an MP and a whip in John Major’s government. My political career did not amount to much, but at least my diary provides a...

Page 10

If you’re trying to find New Labour’s deepest flaw, just ask a policeman

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I n his Dimbleby Lecture last year, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, declared that ‘policing is becoming not only central to our understanding of...

Page 11

T he Dunblane massacre took place ten years ago. Its effects

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on the families of the victims are so terrible that it seems dangerous to speak about them. But there were secondary effects as well. In the aftermath of the horror, the then...

Page 13


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TUESDAY Hateful, horrid Tessa Jowell. Things have gone mad at Tory headquarters since the stupid row over her silly husband. Everyone sweating over share certificates. I’ve been...

Page 14

A bittersweet birthday — but we were still right to go to war

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On 20 March, the Iraq conflict reaches its third anniversary. Con Coughlin defends the decision to invade, explores the impact of Blair on Bush’s second term — and reveals what...

Page 16

A coffee, a smoke and a chat with Milosevic

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John Laughland on a memorable encounter with the butcher of the Balkans at the UN detention centre in The Hague — and his claims of innocence to the last I was one of the last...

Page 18

Let’s just admit that Iraq was a disaster

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Rod Liddle says that life was better for Iraqis under Saddam, and that the fires of Gaza show how terribly we have destabilised the region ‘April 9 — Liberation Day! What a...

Page 20

Dark side of the Hoon

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New Labour, Old Rocker: Geoff Hoon , Leader of the House of Commons, swaps his red box for Pink Floyd as our guest pop critic P ink Floyd — Leicester — 1972. You will always...

Page 22

The Fellowship of the Engagement Ring

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Jemima Lewis says farewell to Planet Spinster — and gets to know the strange inhabitants of her new world C all me slow on the uptake, but I had no idea that getting engaged...

Page 24

Ken Clarke: ‘We must turn to the Liberals’

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Fraser Nelson meets the former chancellor, reborn as Cameron’s ‘ambassador for trust’, who calls for a coalition of Tories and Lib Dems A n interview with Kenneth Clarke is not...

Page 26

Schools aren’t clubs

The Spectator

From Nicholas Nelson Sir: Have you given proper thought to the reason that we have an education system (Leading article, 11 March)? Our schools have an essential list of...

Where trendy Parisians go

The Spectator

From Daniel T. Perkins Sir: I agree with Allister Heath’s view of the Imprimerie Nationale and the passport debacle (‘300,000 Frenchmen can’t be wrong’, 11 March), but the...

Our disappearing rivers

The Spectator

From Alastair Harper Sir: Lord Lawson in his otherwise commonsensical perusal of ‘global warming’ should be reproved for his assertion that ‘the volume of water flowing down...

Politics is for hypocrites

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From Dr Michael Lynch Sir: Ferdinand Mount should take comfort, if not joy, from the refusal of the young to be hoodwinked by the so-called democratic process (Letters, 11...

The charming Mrs A.J.P.

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From Richard Ingrams Sir: Paul Johnson (And another thing, 11 March) describes A.J.P. Taylor’s third wife Eva as ‘a Hungarian communist, a sourfaced lady. What A.J.P. saw in...

False news from Berkeley

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From Dr Ian Mortimer Sir: Jonathan Sumption implies in his review (Books, 25 February) that my research on Edward II’s death — which concludes that he was not murdered, and...

Gordon’s dress code

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From Basil Dewing Sir: Irwin Stelzer is wrong to write that ‘Brown wouldn’t be caught dead in a dinner jacket, much less white tie’ (‘Cameron is the Tory Muhammad Ali’, 11...

Jesus the literate

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From Roy Ford Sir: Lloyd Evans (Books, 11 March) is incorrect when he writes that Jesus could not read. Please see Luke iv 16ff. He could also write: John viii 6-8. Roy Ford...

Page 28

Profumo was saved by scandal from a much worse fate

The Spectator

T he admiring comments which attended John Profumo’s passing would have inspired hope, for the moment when their time comes, among the Fallen Men of more recent years, such as...

Page 30

Hedge funds, like cash gifts from Italy, carry a whiff of dangerous sophistication

The Spectator

‘P ushing money into offshore hedge funds is not the Labour way,’ a left-wing MP commented last week on the savings habits of Tessa Jowell’s estranged husband, David Mills....

Page 32

Bottle-beauties and the globalised blond beast

The Spectator

T he hair colour gene MCI-R has seven European variants, one of them blond. It is rare and becoming rarer. A WHO survey calculates that the last true blond will be born in...

Page 34

The great pensions disaster

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Martin Jacomb says a series of catastrophic decisions have wrecked Britain’s once-proud retirement savings system B ritain’s private sector pension provisions used to be...

Page 38

Let’s do the scuttlebutt

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Matthew Vincent says that some of the world’s greatest investors rely more on gossip and observation than on studying balance sheets W hy do City types routinely don garish...

Page 40

Golden memories

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Mining entrepreneur and former Spectator proprietor Algy Cluff recalls the best and worst of a lifetime of adventurous investing M y best and worst investment decisions were one...

Page 42

A strategy for the once-a-year investor

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If the professional classes gave a little more attention to their portfolios, says Jonathan Davis , the results could be startlingly better ‘T ell me frankly’, I asked my friend...

Page 44

Use it or lose it

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You may not trust the Chancellor, says Ian Cowie , but you should take advantage of the tax breaks he offers T he more ways Gordon Brown finds to tax us in his budgets, the less...

Page 47

High priestess of Tory sleaze

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Leo McKinstry N OTHING L IKE A D AME : T HE S CANDALS OF L ADY P ORTER by Andrew Hosken Granta, £20, pp. 400, ISBN 1862078092 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 ‘S he can’t...

Page 48

A strange reluctance to be free

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Philip Longworth R USSIAN C ONSERVATISM AND I TS C RITICS : A S TUDY IN P OLITICAL C ULTURE by Richard Pipes Yale, £17.95, pp. 216, ISBN 9780300112882 ✆ £14.36 (plus £2.45 p&p)...

Page 49

Keeping the outsiders at bay

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Harriet Sergeant T HE G REAT W ALL : C HINA A GAINST THE W ORLD , 1000 BC-AD 2000 by Julia Lovell Atlantic, £19.99, pp. 412, ISBN 1843542129 ✆ £15.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429...

Page 50

Coming to terms with the past

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Christopher Howse G HOSTS OF S PAIN by Giles Tremlett Faber, £14.99, pp. 440, ISBN 057122167X ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 G hosts there are, but do not be afraid,...

Page 51

God in the brain

The Spectator

David Caute B REAKING THE S PELL : R ELIGION AS A N ATURAL P HENOMENON by Daniel C. Dennett Penguin/Allen Lane, £25, pp. 448, ISBN 0713997893 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429...

Page 52

Laughter in the howling wilderness

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Diana Hendry T HE T ENT by Margaret Atwood Bloomsbury, £12.99, pp. 155, ISBN 0747582254 ✆ £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 H ot on the heels of The Penelopiad , Margaret...

The best-Loebed hits

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Peter Jones A L OEB C LASSICAL R EADER Harvard University Press, £6.95, pp. 234, ISBN 067499616X B efore the dramatic expansion of Penguin Classics, it was almost impossible to...

Page 53

Short-listing doomed intellectuals

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Anne Applebaum T HE P HILOSOPHY S TEAMER by Lesley Chamberlain Atlantic Books, £25, pp. 414, ISBN 1843540401 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 S o powerful was the image of...

Page 54

An illness or an excuse?

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Brendan O’Neill T HE T RUTH A BOUT STRESS by Angela Patmore Atlantic Books, £12.99, pp. 440, ISBN 1843542358 ✆ £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 H ow many times have you...

Page 55

Music-making at Morley

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Henrietta Bredin on how a Victorian college for working men and women still flourishes I haven’t sung in a choir since I was 16 and at school, standing in my allotted place...

Page 56

Hotchpotch of a show

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Andrew Lambirth Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli, Blake and the Romantic Imagination Tate Britain, until 1 May F orget for a moment the importation of ‘Gothic’, a term more usually...

Page 58

An inside view

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Laura Gascoigne A Richer Dust Concealed Getty Images Gallery, until 1 April I t’s a little cheeky of Christopher Simon Sykes to have chosen a line from Rupert Brooke’s ‘The...

Page 60

Public faces

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Alan Powers G loomy academics suggest that, in the modern world, the remaining places where free speech and discussion can happen in cities are public libraries, theatres and...

Switched off

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Olivia Glazebrook V for Vendetta 15, selected cinemas I have nothing against comic-book heroes, masked or caped. In fact, I am rather in favour of Batman. He had a difficult...

Page 62

Good-natured glow

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Michael Tanner Sir John in Love English National Opera Gentle Giant Cambridge A lmost everyone who has written about Vaughan Williams’s opera Sir John in Love has defensively...

Page 63

Under the influence

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Toby Young The Winterling Royal Court Sinatra London Palladium Pete and Dud: Come Again The Venue H as Harold Pinter become too dominant a figure? I’m not just talking about...

Page 64

Fighting talk

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Michael Vestey R adio Four listeners have been complaining about the John Humphrys ‘interview’ with David Cameron on Today a fortnight or so ago. So they must have been even...

Page 65

Guile and determination

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James Delingpole O ne reason I find most TV thrillers such a huge waste of life is that the bad guys so often turn out to be evil capitalists, corrupt Tory MPs or sinister...

Page 66

Quality counts

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Alan Judd I t is said that if you tell a lie often enough it will be believed. Conversely, if you repeat a truth often enough it is ignored or taken for granted and not acted...

Page 67

Lethal combination

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Taki I f I told you I was skiing with a friend in the Swiss Alps last week, and my friend had been skiing in Iraq two days before that, you’d probably think I’d been smoking...

Page 68

Sunday worship

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Jeremy Clarke I ’ve given up shoplifting for Lent and feel ever so noble about it. I’m not stealing with the zeal of a convert. It was about time. I was becoming so accustomed...

Page 69

Avoiding crocodiles

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Aidan Hartley Laikipia W hen I was a boy we lived on a farm in remote Devon and the isolation went to our heads. When visitors drove up the lane we would all hide on my...

Page 70


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DEBORAH ROSS T he restaurateur Oliver Peyton’s latest project is the National Dining Rooms at the National Gallery. It is situated in the Sainsbury Wing, although as Tesco has...

Page 71


The Spectator

SIMON HOGGART I love to visit Berry Bros. & Rudd’s shop at the bottom of St James’s Street, London. In the window there might be a few choice bottles — a Methuselah of Château...

Page 79

Aussies rule

The Spectator

FRANK KEATING I daresay the only point of the Commonwealth Games is that they provide the sole raison d’être for the existence of the Commonwealth itself. What else? Or do they...

Q. I am at a co-ed day school and have

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been going out with a boy in my year for six months. Last week he dumped me. What has made it worse is that everyone in school has reacted by saying that they could not...

Q. I live in New York and am plagued by

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the fact that, when having dinner with fellow Englishmen, they bray in loud Kensington accents about how awful Americans are. Apart from the fact that I don’t agree, they seem...

Q. A girl who works in my office wears fake

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tan all the time. Often there is a ‘tide mark’ around her chin and lots of flakes of old mascara sitting on her cheeks. We are good friends and I have told her, but she does not...