19 JULY 2008

Page 5

The mugger’s accomplice

The Spectator

‘I nflation,’ Ronald Reagan declared, ‘is as violent as a mugger.’ In response, the world pursued zerotolerance policies for two decades, to the point at which politicians and...

Page 9

W e’re back in St Tropez after a whirlwind week in

The Spectator

London. The party season is in full swing so I dipped my toes in a couple, and what a difference between two of the most high-profile events that week. One, an exhibition of...

Page 10

The cross-party consensus on welfare reform echoes the Gingrich–Clinton revolution

The Spectator

T he Conservatives are making about as much headway in next week’s Glasgow East by-election as they would on Mars. ‘I told one guy I was from the Conservative party,’ moans one...

Page 11

� s�ra�rs �arEs

The Spectator

CHARLES MOORE J ohn Howard, four times Prime Minister of Australia, is one of the great men of our time — direct, amusing, patriotic, moderate but tough-minded. He finally lost...

Page 12


The Spectator

T hese things are sent to try us: I’m speaking now of circular letters from the General Medical Council. I recently received a second such letter about the Council’s Ethnicity...

Page 14

Big Brother versus YouTube:

The Spectator

let the Beijing Games commence Mark Leonard , Britain’s pre-eminent analyst of modern China, says the Olympic genie is out of the bottle. The prospect of global scrutiny has...

Page 16

The Falun Gong show that meek can be provocative

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans joins the dissident movement in a ritual exercise near the Chinese Embassy. He is unsettled to find himself understanding why China’s rulers get so paranoid about...

Page 18

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

Whether Muslims want elements of sharia law to have the force of civil law or not (not, it is argued in last week’s Spectator ), the principle of different jurisdictional codes...

Imagine the terror of the Chinese officials

The Spectator

David Tang reflects on his visits to Beijing in the run-up to the Games, where Western expertise has been harnessed to the ruthless efficiency of China’s government machine A...

Page 20

Nudge, nudge: meet the

The Spectator

Cameroons’ new g uru The economist Richard Thaler — a favourite of the Cameron and Obama camps — talks to James Forsyth about the power of ‘nudging’: small transformative acts...

Page 22

If the liberal press is to be believed,

The Spectator

nobody has ever been stabbed — ever Rod Liddle imagines the hoodie at home, allegedly innocent of any wicked intent, arming himself with a Stanley knife only because of the...

Page 24

Rod for our backs

The Spectator

Sir: Each week, Rod Liddle’s column reminds me of the little girl of whom it was written that she hiked up her skirt to show she wasn’t wearing knickers. In the absence of a...

Persuasive argument

The Spectator

Sir: The problem with calling the initial Islamic campaign ‘unprovoked’ (Letters, 12 July) is that many events in late antiquity — and modern times — were also unprovoked. The...

Russian vulnerability

The Spectator

Sir: Oleg Gordievsky (Letters, 5 July) dismisses Russia’s perception of its own vulnerability as ‘communist propaganda’. In fact the anxiety borne of inhabiting a land without...

Page 26

My A to Z of scare stories, from Anthrax to Zion (Protocols of the Elders of)

The Spectator

B ritain, says the poet Kate Fox, quoted on Radio 4’s Saturday Live last week, is a country ‘eternally poised between a hosepipe ban and a flood’. Or between fearsome,...

Page 27

Human beings and pigs have a very peculiar relationship

The Spectator

T he other evening I went to a ‘pig roast’ in our Somerset village. It was a tremendous turnout from far and wide. There is something about the idea which stirs up deep guzzling...

Page 28

Can London be turned around like a troubled company?

The Spectator

Judi Bevan meets Tim Parker, the controversial private-equity player who slashed jobs and boosted value at Kwik-Fit and the AA, and is about to apply his skills at City Hall T...

Page 29

Who’s in charge? It’s hapless Hank

The Spectator

Elliot Wilson I t’s becoming harder and harder to believe that anyone is really in charge of the world’s largest economy. Each day brings a new catalogue of woes, miscues and...

Page 31

Through the keyhole

The Spectator

William Leith S NOOP : W HAT Y OUR S TUFF S AYS A BOUT Y OU by Sam Gosling Profile, £15, pp. 260, ISBN 9781846680182 ✆ £12.00 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T HE C OMFORT OF T...

Page 32

Flowers of Scotland

The Spectator

Dinah Roe T HE L OST L EADER by Mick Imlah Faber, £9.99, pp. 126, ISBN 9780571243075 ✆ £7.90 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 E DWIN M UIR : S ELECTED P OEMS edited by Mick Imlah...

Island Life

The Spectator

I live on an island. But that’s not the worst part. Water sloshes uncontrollably at the edges of this entire geological formation. You can hardly go anyplace without falling...

Page 33

The Pope was wrong

The Spectator

Andrew Roberts p iuS Xii: t he h ound of h itLer by Gerard Noel Continuum, £20, pp. 256, ISBN 9781847063557 ✆ £16.00 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 V atiCan S eCret d ipLomaCY...

Page 34

Short and sweet

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans T XTING : T HE G R 8 D B 8 by David Crystal OUP, £9.99, pp. 239, ISBN 9780199544905 ✆ £7.90 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 W hat do you make of this texting...

A lost painting in a crumbling mansion

The Spectator

Olivia Glazebrook T HE B ELLINI M ADONNA by Elizabeth Lowry Quercus, £16.99, pp. 304, ISBN9781847243645 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T his is a curious book: not...

Page 35

No denying it

The Spectator

Alberto Manguel T HE S PARE R OOM by Helen Garner Canongate, £12.99, pp. 195, ISBN 9781847672650 ✆ £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 M ontaigne wished for a library of...

A hostage to fortune

The Spectator

Jonathan Keates O NE M ORNING IN S ARAJEVO by David James Smith Weidenfeld, £18.99, pp. 326, ISBN 9780297851448 ✆ £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 M ugging, according to a...

Page 36

The house that Jock built

The Spectator

James Fergusson T HE S EVEN L IVES OF J OHN MURRAY by Humphrey Carpenter, edited by Candida Brazil and James Hamilton John Murray, £25, pp. 370, ISBN 9780719565328 ✆ £20.00...

Page 37

A Soho stalwart

The Spectator

Francis King S ELECTED L ETTERS by Julian Maclaren-Ross, edited by Paul Willetts Black Spring Press, £9.95, pp. 351 ISBN 9780948238383 ✆ £7.85 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 L...

Page 38

‘Culture knows no political borders’

The Spectator

Tiffany Jenkins talks to James Cuno about looting, exporting and owning antiquities J ames Cuno is a busy man. I pin him down between two projects: promoting the new Modern Art...

Page 39

Shifting truths

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Wyndham Lewis Portraits National Portrait Gallery, until 19 October Supported by Christie’s B efore getting down to a discussion of Wyndham Lewis and an...

Page 40

Seduced by Klimt

The Spectator

Mark Glazebrook Gustav Klimt: Painting, Design & Modern Life in Vienna 1900 Tate Liverpool, until 31 August A rt Nouveau, or Jugendstil as it was called in Germany, came...

Page 41

Wasted journey

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Free Outgoing Royal Court Fanshen 295 Regent St Frozen Riverside T he Royal Court’s search for new scripts has gone global. Its tireless talent scouts, assisted by...

Page 42

Dystopian love STOR.E

The Spectator

Deborah Ross WALL.E U, Nationwide W ALL.E , the latest CGI animation from Pixar in collaboration with Disney, has already been hailed as a ‘modern masterpiece’ — in America, at...

Torment of languor

The Spectator

Michael Tanner The Rake’s Progress Royal Opera House I t’s easy to see the way opera Inszenierung is going. We are in for a spate of US-located productions, just as we emerge...

Page 43

Perfect prose

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm C hekhov, Louisa M. Alcott, Kafka and co. wrote them for money; thinking of them as a lucrative money-spinner to keep their families in bread and potatoes. Now...

Page 44

Comprehensive prescription

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart I T would have been fun to be at the planning meeting for Harley Street (ITV, Thursday), the new medical drama series about a group of stunningly good-looking...

Page 45

Value for money

The Spectator

Alan Judd H ow far will the proposed road tax changes influence what we actually buy in the new car market? Not as much, perhaps, as the government likes to think. After all,...

Making sense

The Spectator

Ursula Buchan I f your ears go back, like a frightened horse, at the word ‘conceptualism’ when applied to modern art, you may not be very pleased to know that this is a hot...

Page 46

Island bliss

The Spectator

Taki Cephalonia T he sea surface is smooth and mirrorlike, and from the deck of Bushido I scan the coastline for the mother and baby porpoises who live inside a blue-green...

Page 47

Gathering storm

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke I rested my chin on my hand and watched the passing scenery all the way to London. For most of the journey the sky was filled with towering black clouds and from...

Page 48

Living in the now

The Spectator

Melissa Kite H ave you ever attempted to open the front door to your house by pointing your car key at it? Please say you have. I did it twice this week and what is worse it...

A tight fit

The Spectator

Janet de Botton S queezes have always been as incomprehensible to me as the off-side rule. Having tried to understand them for years I began to doubt their existence — were...

Page 49

One&Only Le Saint Géran

The Spectator

12 nights for the price of 8 with complimentary half board from £5035 £3395 The Spectator has teamed up with luxury tour operator Ultimate Retreats to offer readers a great...

Page 50


The Spectator

Club class Julia Hollander leaves her hair shirt at the departure gate I want to tell you about my vow of celibacy. For three years I have abstained from that most compulsive...

Page 51

Holidays: the ninja way

The Spectator

Matthew d’Ancona ’s young sons show him a good time in Cyprus I n the end, as so often in life, it boils down to the basics. What you need is three things: a persuasive working...

Page 52

A honeymoon on horseback

The Spectator

Olivia Glazebrook and her husband brave the Jordanian wilderness B eing the sort of person who can throw a few things in a bag, take off at a moment’s notice and hunker down...

Page 53

Electric Fethiye

The Spectator

Peter Hoskins I t’s one of the most striking natural harbours you’ll ever see. A dramatic bay, which courses back in on itself to form an almost complete circle. The walls of...

Page 54

Stalk this way

The Spectator

Tremayne Carew Pole I ’ve always been envious of City boys, not for the obscene six-figure bonuses, the sharp tailoring or the cut and thrust of mergers, acquisitions and...

Page 55

Return to Rennes

The Spectator

Paul Williams R ecently, I walked from Winchester through France to a small village near Condom in the south-west. The journey took me back to Rennes and stirred memories of my...

Page 62

Incredibly, nobody has yet punched me in the nose over what I have written in a review

The Spectator

I was told at a very early stage in my writing career never to seek revenge on critics. If you get a poor review, you just have to take it on the chin. To write a letter of...

Mind your language

The Spectator

Although I do not smoke, I find my sympathies drawn more and more to persecuted smokers. Outside Victoria station an aggressive notice says: ‘It is against the law to smoke in...

Page 63

Epic in the gloom

The Spectator

ROGER ALTON G rass-court tennis eh? A bit boring? Just serve and volley, ace, serve and volley? Well not any more. And sometimes old-style serve-return, bish-bosh, really did...

Dear Mary

The Spectator

Q. I have edited a selection of letters which is to be published later this summer. It is more than likely that, as part of the promotion process, I shall be asked to sign a...

Q. When making boring administrative telephone calls in non-private situations

The Spectator

one is often asked for a couple of letters from a password. That is fine because the people overhearing one cannot know the rest of the password. What I do mind is being asked...

Q. I recently gave a party which went very well

The Spectator

and I have received a number of charming and delightful letters of thanks. Tell me, Mary: should I thank people for their thanks? Where does it stop? A. By all means express...

Q. I inherited a personalised number plate acquired 40 years

The Spectator

ago for a few pounds which is now on a small car which I keep in London. It has been a source of much amusement. It would be as ridiculous to remove it to avoid the strictures...