1 MARCH 2008

Page 5

Order, order

The Spectator

T he Speakership of the House of Commons has been aptly described as ‘the linchpin of the whole chariot’. This is why the lamentable conduct of Michael Martin, who has...

Page 9

W e woke up early on Oscar morning to see the

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hills of Hollywood wreathed in fog, clouds and spitting rain. I shivered in the unseasonable freezing weather. ‘Should be fun on the red carpet this afternoon,’ I said to...

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T his is what Stubbs’s Constitutional History of England says: ‘That

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individual members should not be called to account for their behaviour in Parliament, or for words there spoken, by any authority external to the house in which the offence was...

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The Spectator

MONDAY Thank goodness I keep a diary. I want to put on record here so that future generations of Lightwaters can see that it was my idea to have Our Leader encounter a great...

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Made in Sweden: the new Tory education revolution

The Spectator

Fraser Nelson reports on the radical Swedish system of independent state schools, financed by vouchers, that has transformed the country’s education performance and is now...

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The real tributaries of Enoch’s ‘rivers of blood’

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Forty years after the notorious speech, Robert Shepherd explores its origins — Powell’s fear of Indian ‘communalism’ and his views on the US race riots W hat was in...

Page 18

Charlie does surf. Meet the new wizard of the web

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Charles Leadbeater tells Matthew d’Ancona about the riches to be mined from online collaboration — and says that the Conservatives have a chance to launch a new form of...

Page 20

Boris’s most brilliant wheeze to date was the letter to the Guardian attacking him

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Rod Liddle salutes the genius of the Tory mayoral candidate in sending a spoof petition condemning himself and praising Livingstone to the skies to the Left’s in-house...

Page 22

Mind your language

The Spectator

My husband went to a medical conference, paid for by a pharmaceutical company, in Padua, where the university has been teaching medicine since the 14th century. So I went too...

IQ 2 goes back to school

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Lloyd Evans I ntelligence Squared squared up to intelligence last Tuesday. How do we get the best from our brightest youngsters while not chucking the dimwits on to the...

Page 23

Rip up Blairism by the roots

The Spectator

Sir: Michael Gove (Politics, 23 February) gives a eulogy to Tony Blair, ‘I admired Tony Blair. I knew Tony Blair’. I had hoped that David Cameron’s claim to be ‘the...

Our own enemy

The Spectator

Sir: Douglas Murray’s description (‘A scholar who dares to look terror in the face’, 23 February) of the terrorist mentality is spot-on: ‘narcissism, widely misconceived...

Cui bono?

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Sir: Hugo Rifkind’s conspiracy theory (Shared opinion, 23 February) about Diana’s death has the merit of reasonableness, compared with the Al Fayed craziness. But it is a...

Score one for Toscanini

The Spectator

Sir: Paul Johnson (And another thing, 16 February) might be amused at this delightful vignette about Toscanini’s genius. An out-oftown visitor to Milan was enticed by a poster...

Substance abuse

The Spectator

Sir: I looked up Venetia Thompson on Google and was not surprised to see, given the lack of any evidence or other proof offered in support of her comments about white men and...

Celtic cringe

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Sir: Molly Watson (Style & travel, 23 February) begins by saying ‘Dylan Thomas used to say that a day away from Wales was a day wasted.’ Was this the same Dylan Thomas who...

Page 24

The truth about the Auschwitz ‘gimmick’ row is that Labour exploited Jewish sensitivities

The Spectator

D avid Cameron, said the Times last Saturday, ‘was facing intense political criticism last night after including student “trips to Auschwitz” on a list of government...

Page 25

Ten perfect poems and one little brown man

The Spectator

I t is said that when the British public is asked, ‘What is your favourite poem?’, the one chosen by most people is Kipling’s ‘If’. Is there any evidence for this? And...

Page 26

Whatever happened to Sir Richard Evans?

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Eric Ellis tracks down the former chairman of BAE Systems amid the wintry steppes of Kazakhstan, where he is trying to introduce Western notions of corporate governance I had...

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Darling has offered an

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incentive for chicanery George Trefgarne argues that nationalisation undermines fundamental principles of honesty and trust in banking I magine the scene at around 10 p.m....

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Small elephant at Dove Cottage

The Spectator

Victoria Glendinning T HE B ALLAD OF D OROTHY WORDSWORTH by Frances Wilson Faber, £16.99, pp. 267, ISBN 97805771230471 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T his is a...

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Plunging into the hurly-burly

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Rupert Christiansen T HE R EST IS N OISE : L ISTENING TO THE T WENTIETH C ENTURY by Alex Ross Fourth Estate, £20, pp.624, ISBN 9781841154756 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870...

Thom Gunn

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We set out to explore the poison root, To etch the brain with new cartography, The harbour-glitter and the wine-dark sea. The only rule was endless latitude. Let the unready...

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Power to the people

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Robert Stewart G OD ’ S F URY , E NGLAND ’ S F IRE by Michael Braddick Allen Lane, £30, pp. 758, ISBN 9780713996326 ✆ £24 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I n July,...

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The return of Kureishi-man

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D. J. Taylor S OMETHING TO T ELL Y OU by Hanif Kureishi Faber, £15.99, pp. 344, ISBN 9760571209774 ✆ £12.79 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A nthony Powell always...

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An appeal from beyond the grave

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Richard Beeston RECoNCILIATIoN: I SLAM , D EMoCRACY AND THE W EST by Benazir Bhutto Simon & Schuster, £17.99, pp. 328, ISBN 9781847372734 I n 1988 I arrived in Pakistan a few...

Eye of newt and toe of frog aplenty

The Spectator

Mark Fisher D RY S ToRE R ooM N o . 1: T HE S ECRET L IFE oF THE N ATURAL H ISToRY M USEUM by Richard Fortey HarperPress, £20, pp. 352, ISBN 9780007209380 ✆ £16 (plus...

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A time for resolutions

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I n the forthcoming volume of his Smoking Diaries (not out till April, but I’ve been reading a proof copy) my old friend Simon Gray makes a brave admission. Well, he makes a...

Page 36

Portrait of a director

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Mark Glazebrook talks to Sandy Nairne, who explains why the NPG is part of the life of London D avid Piper, director of the National Portrait Gallery 1964–67, was a brilliant...

Page 38

Art for the masses

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Andrew Lambirth Alexander Rodchenko: Revolution in Photography Hayward Gallery, until 27 April T here’s a whole separate exhibition in the downstairs galleries of the...

Page 40

Aural danger

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Marcus Berkmann T he Guardian had an interesting — and, frankly, terrifying — piece the other day by Nick Coleman, the Independent ’s long-serving and shamelessly...

Family at war

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Deborah Ross Margot at the Wedding Nationwide, 15 M argot at the Wedding is one of those unsettling and bothersome films which will bother and unsettle you during, afterwards...

Page 42

Coward tribute

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Lloyd Evans Brief Encounter The Cinema Haymarket The Homecoming Almeida Under the Eagle White Bear B it of a spoiled brat, the Cinema Haymarket. Can’t decide what it wants....

Dead end

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Michael Tanner Salome Royal Opera House W hat is a producer, or, as they more often like to be called these days, director, to do if he is asked to produce/direct a work about...

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Compare and contrast

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Giannandrea Poesio Flight London Coliseum B allet galas might be the dream of every spectacle-craving balletomane, but they can easily become a nightmarishly boring series of...

Page 44

Seeking redemption

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Simon Hoggart T he Lady’s Not For Spurning (BBC4, Monday) was ostensibly about Margaret Thatcher and the baleful influence she had on the Conservative party after 1990. It...

Wild life

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Kate Chisholm O nly this column would persuade me to get up at 6.30 on a Sunday morning. Six-thirty! In my other life I pore over the collected works of the 18th-century writer...

Page 45

Good guys, bad guys

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Taki A n interesting week, to say the least. A Carlton Club speech on multiculturalism which didn’t quite come off, a kidnapping in Gstaad, a party in London to celebrate...

Page 46

Open for business

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke I can go for fortnight without a drink three weeks at a push. After that I begin to feel disconnected. I try to ignore the feeling, hoping it’s a symptom of...

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Cut-price torture

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Melissa Kite M y favourite television advertisement at the moment is for EDF energy, which promises us that it can make our bills lower. All we have to do is use less gas and...

Page 48

Cheating at food

The Spectator

Richard Sennett ‘E craser l’inf&me!’ Voltaire proclaimed in his war on corrupt priests and crooked government officials. Delia’s Smith’s new book How to Cheat at...

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One man and his winery

The Spectator

Tim Heald takes his place around the Stone Wall Table W hen his father died, Rob O’Callaghan, the maker of Rockford wines in South Australia’s Barossa Valley, was mildly...

Page 52

Pleasure boats

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Andrew Roberts says cruises are the best way to see the world I f ever you want to murder your husband by hitting him over the head with a bottle, always choose champagne. The...

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Ancient & modern

The Spectator

Macavity-like, Brown was never there when he was Chancellor, and rarely seems to be there now he is Prime Minister. When he is, he is always blaming someone else or avoiding the...

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W ith Shilpa Shetty, Lachlan Murdoch, Aussie feist-meister Andrew Symonds and

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more Indian billionaires than you can shake a stump at, the eye-watering player-auction for the new Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL) in Mumbai last week was never going to...

your problemS Solved

The Spectator

Dear Mary Q. I suffer from a form of visual Spoonerism (in New College chapel Warden Spooner concluded, ‘in the sermon which I have just been preaching, wherever I have said...

Q. I enjoyed the problem of your correspondent of 23

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February who is organising a 50th birthday party. My own 40th birthday is looming. I do not want the day to go unmarked but I am a single woman. I am not loaded and feel it...

Q. My husband has been acting very strangely, pulling agonised

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faces in a mirror, wearing spectacles and practising speaking very slowly in a woman’s voice. He has become obsessed by Gill Harbord, the formidable headmistress of Eggleston...