20 OCTOBER 2007

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De quoi avez-vous peur, Gordon?

The Spectator

L' et us step aside for a moment from the political posturing and horse-trading at the Lisbon EU summit and go back to the beginning. On 20 April 2004, Tony Blair announced to...

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The Spectator

JANE MOORE Christmas is coming. In fact, clock the mince pies on sale in M&S or the ruddy selection boxes in just about every store except Millets, and you could be forgiven for...

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Nick Clegg or Chris Huhne: no one can change the Lib Dems' failure to find a niche

The Spectator

he past week has seen history repeating itself, skipping the tragedy and moving straight to farce. Two weeks ago a Scottish MP, tipped from his first days in the Commons as a...

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The Spectator

There is much complaint that 'ageism' has toppled Sir Menzies Campbell. In theory, one must deplore prejudice against advancing years. Political leadership should come after...

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Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

The Spectator

By Tamzin Lightwater Sunday Bonjour, mes amis! Am in Paris for Compassionate Conservative hen weekend! All the girls from the office are here giving Abby from Dave's team a...

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Once again, Europe threatens to devour another British PM

The Spectator

Whatever is achieved in Lisbon, or spun afterwards, the EU Reform Treaty is already a nightmare for Brown, says Fraser Nelson. As so often, the European question is becoming the...

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Listen to Adam Smith: inheritance tax is good

The Spectator

Irwin Stelzer — no fan of taxation — says that this particular levy makes good economic sense and that both parties are wrong to be sacrificing sound policy to the politics of...

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I beg to differ... Rugby

The Spectator

They call soccer, sorry, football, the beautiful game. But what could be more beautiful than beating France 14-9 in Paris to go through to the Rugby World Cup final for the...

Brick Lane's queen strikes gold on the silver screen

The Spectator

Monica Ali talks to Matthew d'Ancona about the film of her East End novel, and the 'community leaders' who ensured the cancellation of its Royal Film Performance Four years ago...

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I beg to differ... Football

The Spectator

The Liverpool manager Bill Shankly once said: 'Some people think football is a matter of life and death. . . I can assure them it is much more serious than that.' No one could...

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The Muslims' letter to the Pope is not all it seems

The Spectator

The statement by 138 Islamic scholars and imams seems to be an olive branch. But, says Piers Paul Read, it is based on the false premise that Christians are waging war on...

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What has this 'genocide' to do with Congress?

The Spectator

Norman Stone says that public bodies have no role in historical disputes and that the House of Representatives has made America deeply unpopular in Turkey Istanbul Two elderly...

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The auditor general and Saudi arms deals

The Spectator

Christopher Hope and Peter Oborne examine the career of Sir John Bourn, and ask why the National Audit Office's inquiries into the Al Yamamah deal was never published To date...

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Why living near my old friend Michael Gove can seriously damage your health

The Spectator

Actually, it can't, says Rod Liddle, but it is scarcely a sillier interpretation of the known facts than the hysterical reaction to the survey of drinking habits among the...

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GLO WILL inrsarenlING

The Spectator

THEODORE DALRYMPLE It is in listening to other people talk that you learn to appreciate silence. What higher praise of a man could there be than that he is taciturn? People have...

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Hammer's Dracula is now a beloved British institution

The Spectator

Sinclair McKay hails the re-release of the 1958 Christopher Lee classic — showing at the British Film Institute — and asks why this version of the vampire legend is so treasured...

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Promises, promises Sir: Fraser Nelson (Politics, 6

The Spectator

Promises, promises Sir: Fraser Nelson (Politics, 6 October) suggests that the approach that won David Cameron the leadership in 2005 was conveyed in messages like 'social...

Lib Dems and the EU

The Spectator

Sir: We read that again the Liberal Democrats are blaming their leader for their fall in popularity in the polls. Does it not occur to them that it is their policies which are...

Our Christian foundations Sir: 'I don't want to li

The Spectator

Our Christian foundations Sir: 'I don't want to live in a society where I get stoned for committing adultery; I want to live in a society where I get stoned, and then commit...

So misread

The Spectator

Sir: Richard Bolchover, in his letter criticising my review of The Israel Lobby (13 October), makes a common mistake: he conflates the authors' views with mine. I did not attack...

Are rights right?

The Spectator

Sir: Douglas Murray is right: 'Decades of intense structural relativism and designer tribalism have made us terrified of passing judgment' (Don't be afraid to say it', 6...

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Aid for the tsunami

The Spectator

Sir: Contrary to Michael Howard's claim (Lessons of the tsunami the world forgot', 6 October) that the EU reacted slowly to the Solomon Islands tsunami crisis, European...

Game for lunch?

The Spectator

Sir: Everyone is entitled to their own food preferences but Paul Johnson goes too far when he states that 'pheasant is not worth eating' (And another thing, 6 October). All game...

Lucky to be alive

The Spectator

Sir: I loved Matthew Parris's article the other week: 'celestial strains of a violin made my soul soar' (Another voice, 22 September). Whether it is music, a beautiful painting,...

Ships in the night

The Spectator

Sir: It can be difficult when reading a review of a book one has not read to know whether the opinions are those of the author or reviewer. In Michael Howard's review of Max...

Simple chemistry

The Spectator

Sir: Elliot Wilson writes in his biofuels article: 'A single ton of refined palm oil generates 33 tons of carbon dioxide emissions — 10 times more than petroleum' (Business, 6...

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By the time they stop being mad, politicians are the right age for the House of Lords

The Spectator

HUGO RIFKIND This is a column about the reform of the House of Lords. I have a hunch it might not look like one, probably until pretty much the end, but that is what it is. Try...

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You can admire a roguish old pagan without approving of him

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON Recently I managed to get hold of a copy of Alone by Norman Douglas. This series of essays about Italian towns at the time of the first world war was the author's...

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Northern Rock: a day to remember

The Spectator

Martin Jacomb says the crisis that led to the first run on a British bank since 1866 should have been foreseen, but that apportioning blame is less important than learning...

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'Emotions are key. It's not just about sandwiches'

The Spectator

Judi Bevan learns the distinctive philosophy of the Pret a Manger chain from its founder, Julian Metcalfe Atiny door marked 'Pret a Manger Academy' in the back wall of Victoria...

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Darling must scrap his tax attack on entrepreneurs

The Spectator

Gordon Brown can't stop himself from meddling, even with his own good ideas. Soon after he moved into No 11 Downing Street, he introduced one of the best pro-growth capital...

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Piggy in the middle between the grain speculators and the supermarkets

The Spectator

MARTIN VANDER WEYER The concentrated aroma of — how shall I put it — deep piggy doo-doo that wafts through your car window as you motor up the Al through North Yorkshire is, in...

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Sinclair McKay on the wonderful freedom of renting

The Spectator

When you tell people, they recoil as though jabbed with a lavatory brush. 'You mean you still actually pay rent?' is, in middle-class terms, a question akin to: 'You mean you...

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Losing our heritage

The Spectator

Ross Clark /remember having a conversation with a German friend a few years ago about why there seemed to be no old cottages left in the German countryside. Surely, I said, the...

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Invest in Budapest

The Spectator

Harriet Marr-Johnson n a crisp, clear autumn day in Budapest the sun streamed in through tall windows on to the splendid parquet floor of an elegant flat on the east bank of...

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Prime time

The Spectator

Edie Lush CL ondon House Prices Set to Crash! The Capital's Property Boom Finally Ends! London Housing Bubble Pops!' As the reality of the US subprime property story leaks...

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Flippin' amazmg

The Spectator

Mira Bar-Hillel ere is the scientific formula for calculating London's top property prices: think of a figure, double it, add a few noughts, and voila! — or should I say...

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Property porn

The Spectator

I need help. I've got an addiction. It's reading property magazines and newspaper supplements and watching property programmes on television. I'm not looking for a new flat or...

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A late and furious flowering

The Spectator

Philip Hensher JANACEK: YEARS OF A LIFE, VOLUME II, 1914-1928: TSAR OF THE FORESTS by John Tyrell Faber, £60, pp. 928, ISBN 9780571236671 £48 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655...

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King of the lurid spectacle

The Spectator

Bryan Forbes CECIL B. DEMILLE AND THE GOLDEN CALF by Simon Louvish Faber, £25, pp. 507, ISBN 9780571229000 © £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 What a strange, gifted little...

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The great misleader

The Spectator

Theodore Dalrymple LETHAL WITNESS: SIR BERNARD SPILSBURY, HONORARY PATHOLOGIST by Andrew Rose Sutton, £20, pp. 296, ISBN 9780750944229 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 n my...

Homage to Sebald

The Spectator

Jonathon Brown WATERLOG: JOURNEYS ROUND AN EXHIBITION edited by Steven Bode, Jeremy Millar and Nina Ernst Film & Video Umbrella, 8 Vine Yard, London SE1 1QL, Tel: 0207 407 7755,...

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A legend in his lifetime

The Spectator

Allan Massie GARIBALDI: CITIZEN OF THE WORLD by Alfonso Scirocco Princeton, £19.95, pp. 442, ISBN 9780691115405 £15.95 (plus 2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 There is a brand of Toscano...

Belfast to Edinburgh

The Spectator

For Michael and Edna Longley At the beginning of descent I see Wind-turbines cast their giant, spinning arms. The Southern Uplands send out false alarms, Semaphore shadows, all...

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The windfalls after the storm

The Spectator

Linsey McGoey THE SHOCK DOCTRINE: THE RISE OF DISASTER CAPITALISM by Naomi Klein Allen Lane, £25, pp. 558, ISBN 9780713998993 © £20 (plus £x.xx p&p) 0870 429 6655 By the time...

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Going through the motions

The Spectator

Gilbert Adair JAMES BOND: THE AUTHORISED BIOGRAPHY by John Pearson Century, £18.99, pp. 339, ISBN 9781846051142 £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 f book reviews in The...

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Not the place it used to be

The Spectator

Paul Bew LUCK AND THE IRISH: A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHANGE, 1970-2000 by R. F. Foster Penguin, £20, pp.240. ISBN 9780713997835© £16 (plus 2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Roy Foster's new...

The Cure

The Spectator

(After Yannis Ritsos) Although the fever had left him months before, he kept to his bed: the invalid, his room a swelter of sweat and booze and that meaty smell from the hide...

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All together now

The Spectator

P. J. Kavanagh ONCE MORE WITH FEELING: A BOOK OF CLASSIC HYMNS AND CAROLS selected by Rupert Christiansen Short Books, £12.99, pp. 212, ISBN 9781906021160 £10.39 (plus £2.45...

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Prodigious from the word go

The Spectator

David Crane HEAD ON: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Ian Botham Ebtuy Press, £18.99, pp. 384, ISBN 9780091921484 £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 There is a wonderful set of medieval...

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Falling foul of fashion

The Spectator

Matthew Dennison THE CLOSED DOOR AND OTHER STORIES by Dorothy Whipple Persephone, £12, pp. 229, ISBN 9781903155646 £9.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 J. B. Priestley described...

The importance of being earnest

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans STATE OF THE NATION: BRITISH THEATRE SINCE 1945 by Michael Billington Faber, £20, pp. 435, ISBN 9780571210343© £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 LONDON STAGE IN THE...

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Keeping it green and pleasant

The Spectator


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The Godfather of the Steppes

The Spectator

Jonathan Mirsky THE CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER by Alexander Pushkin, translated by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler, with a foreword by Elaine Feinstein Hesperus, £6.99, pp. 131, ISBN...

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The golden writer

The Spectator

Doris Lessing was last week awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Philip Hensher traces the career of 'one of the greatest novelists in English'. Doris Lessing's Nobel win...

Yard Sale

The Spectator

Oh, but it is incalculable — this side yard full of her things laid out on folding tables ranged along a chain link fence. Her Tupperware cake saver takes precedence over egg...

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Gary Dexter

The Spectator

THE MUSHROOM BOOK (1972) by John Cage John Cage was the composer of 4'33", the piano performance piece that consists of 4 minutes and 33 seconds of complete silence — except for...

The Head would like to see us. Now, Inside: before

The Spectator

The Head would like to see us. Now, Inside: before the day is done. But we are having too much fun Out here. We will not listen now, Now smoke obscures the pot-holed yard. This...

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Packing a punch

The Spectator

Robert Gore-Langton on why a Sixties satire on the first world war still has enduring power 1 t's a good month for the Great War. At the National Theatre this week a new play by...

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Restless mind

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Louise Bourgeois Tate Modern, until 20 January 2008 For once a major blockbuster exhibition at I: the Tate justifies its size: the imaginative world of Louise...

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Subversive narrative

The Spectator

Tom Rosenthal Paula Rego Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, until 30 December; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, 1 Februcny-25 May 2008 paula...

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Less is more

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Shadowlands Wyndham's Cat's-Paw King's Head Glengarry Glen Ross Apollo Repressed Brits are on parade in Shadowlands. Author C.S. Lewis is portrayed as an emotional...

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Familiar fantasy

The Spectator

Deborah Ross Stardust PG, Nationwide K, here we have a fantasy film and I absolutely hate fantasy films. They bore me to hell and back, plus what if one day I don't actually...

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Indigestible fare

The Spectator

Michael Tanner King Arthur Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds Teseo Hackney Empire It isn't often that we get the chance to see a semi-opera, of which Purcell and Dryden's King...

Blurred boundaries

The Spectator

Giannandrea Poesio Giselle – on love and other difficulties Pretty Ugly Tanz Köln Queen Elizabeth Hall Shaker Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak Queen Elizabeth Hall s the blurb at...

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Competitive edge

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm Amid all the fuss about cuts at the BBC and how this will affect programme output, I can't help thinking, why the outrage? For years, there have been dark...

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Pointless bickering

The Spectator

James Delingpole rr he thing I want to talk about this week is random and unnecessary tensiongeneration because it ruins almost every TV programme I watch and, once I've...

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Animal magic

The Spectator

Alan Judd Richard Holmes, biographer of Shelley and Coleridge, had one of the early ones in the 1980s, kept it for years and much enjoyed it. It seemed a supercar compared with...

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Anatomy of an epicure

The Spectator

Ursula Buchan T°morrow sees the 18th consecutive Apple Day. That may surprise you, since it is easy to assume that this is a decades-old tradition, so integral a part of the...

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Control freaks

The Spectator

Taki New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is as gruesome a fellow as they come. Mind you, he's not as bad as Governor Eliot Spitzer, but then not every public official is a habitual...

Aim the mind

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke rr he only light came from a reading lamp pointing at the centre of the room. The background music was whale song and randomly plucked harp strings. The room was...

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Bad trip

The Spectator

Melissa Kite your ordeal starts innocuously enough. 'Welcome aboard the south east trains service to London Waterloo. This train will be calling at ... 'You settle back in your...

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Bikini boot camp

The Spectator

Henry Sands cleanses his body and soul, if not his conscience Afew months ago I met a sassy, beautiful blonde undergraduate heading for a glittering career as an investment...

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Invasion of the moths

The Spectator

Rachel Simhon on how to get them out of the closet Have you got moths? I bet you have. The editor of Vogue has moths, a friend has moths because her friend, a famous actress who...


The Spectator

Dear Mr Gieve, I'm still a bit puzzled. If 'made to measure', 'personal tailoring' and 'tailor-made' are not true bespoke - then what are they? Mr Russell, London SW1 You're...

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The Spectator

Clemency Burton-Hill gets away from it all in Indonesia To take a three-week holiday is such an extravagance that the destination has to be good. Indonesia, the world's largest...

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I know nothing about rugby, but Jonny Wilkinson is still my favourite quarterback

The Spectator

TOBY YOUNG G‘jou're joking, right?' The person on the 1 other end of the phone was Grub Smith, a sports-loving friend of mine who I was hoping might get me out of a spot of...

Mind your language

The Spectator

When the postal strike was in full spate we heard quite a bit about 'Spanish practices', or at least we did sometimes. On one morning the BBC referred to 'Spanish practices' in...

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Your Problems Solved

The Spectator

Dear Maly Q. I recently prayed to St Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, in the cause of a friend who was desperately ill. My prayers were answered. I have been told that it...

Down under and out

The Spectator

FRANK KEATimi By nice fluke, there has been a heady clash of cultures over the past few days, with comparisons anything but invidious. The intriguing bundle of important...