Page 3

Long live capitalism

The Spectator

D etached amusement might describe the reaction of many people to the sight of well-paid Lehman Brothers employees being escorted off the bank’s premises, carrying their...

Page 7

O ne of the joys of writing a book about authoritarian

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capitalism is that I am spoilt for choice. My travels have taken me from Singapore to Luanda to Moscow to Rome and in the next few days I am off to the Gulf. Later in the year...

Page 8

Labour is postponing the resolution of Brown’s fate like root canal treatment

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W hen Number 10 said that Gordon Brown’s leadership had not been discussed in the Cabinet on Tuesday morning, it sounded a bit odd. After all, every other gathering of Labour...

Page 9

W e are in a financial crisis which has been going

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on for more than a year. It is remarkable that, in all that time, no political leader has had anything much to say about it. In the United States, neither John McCain nor Barack...

Page 10


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Monday This is ridiculous. I can’t be expected to understand the Labour leadership rules and off-balance-sheet arrangements. I’ve told Nigel it’s composite motions or...

Page 12

The great debt deceit: how Gordon Brown cooked the nation’s books

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Amid global financial turmoil, and on the eve of Labour’s conference, Fraser Nelson and Peter Hoskin reveal the true extent of the nation’s debt — equivalent to £26,100...

Page 14

Reasons to be cheerful amid financial apocalypse

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The interconnectedness and velocity of modern markets make this crash unique, says Martin Vander Weyer . But all is not lost yet: this is a time for cool heads and open minds O...

Page 16

Pay attention at the back of the class, Mr Balls

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Prue Leith talks to John Abbott, author of a new book which argues that teenagers should be challenged, coaxed into apprenticeship and lured out of the classroom W hen I first...

Page 17

I found an undiscovered country: Great Britain

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Sarfraz Manzoor finds a sense of liberation as he travels to Durness in Scotland, slipping out of the clothes of his ethnicity, and exploring what it means to be British T his...

Page 18

‘You grow up with footballs.

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We grow up with kukris’ James Delingpole meets the Gurkha veterans seeking citizenship rights in the courts and says that, this time, the government has picked the wrong...

Page 19

IQ 2 debate — Paths to Peace: proposals to

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resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict I n at the deep end. That’s how Intelligence Squared likes to kick off, and the first debate of the new season plunged straight into...

Page 20

Labour’s behaviour reminds me of the blind football at the Paralympics

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The party’s MPs are fatally conflicted over Gordon Brown’s leadership, says Rod Liddle . Their craven conduct reflects the awkward fact that they overwhelmingly chose him in...

Page 22


The Spectator

capital markets D ubai’s transformation over the past few decades has been remarkable. What was once barren desert is now a site for some of the biggest companies and...


The Spectator

M y one regret at having retired from the National Health Service is that I no longer receive official circulars. I used for a time to derive a small secondary income from...

Page 24

Reports of my death

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Sir: I was astonished to read in John Michell’s review of Michael X: A Life in Black and White (13 September) that I died 35 years ago. Michell states that I went to Trinidad...

Not a defence

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Sir: Theodore Dalrymple’s good sense seems to have deserted him in glossing over the seriousness of the charges against Professors Meadow and Southall (‘In defence of David...

Just our Lidl joke

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Sir: Dot Wordsworth wonders (Mind your language, 13 September) why foreign restaurants don’t consult a native speaker before publishing a menu in English. I have the same...

Village cretins

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Sir: The disease and deformity described by William Clarke (Letters, 13 September) were most likely the result of chronic iodine deficiency common in southern Europe, especially...

Liberal regime

The Spectator

Sir: Ross Clark’s complaint about Tyne and Wear Metro (Labour’s punishment freaks are hounding honest citizens, 6 September) is unfair and overstated. First, you can book...

Joining the Dots

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Sir: Following Dot Wordsworth’s article on pronouncing surnames (Mind Your Language, 6 September), what about Pritchard — how many people with the name rhyme it with...

Long reigns

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Sir: There is an even more obvious example of a long-reigning monarch than Emperor FrancisJoseph (Letters, 13 September). Louis XIV was King of France from 1643 to 1715. C.D.C....

Page 25

Hats off to Lehman Brothers for predicting it would need so many neat cardboard boxes

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O K. I’ll be honest. It’s been a bad fortnight, and I simply don’t understand any of the things you might expect me to be writing about. I don’t understand the fuss...

Page 26

Today’s Friday so we must be in Spain

The Spectator

R ecently a Syrian lorry driver, making his cumbrous way across Turkey and Europe to Gibraltar, and following his satellite navigation system and online mapping service, found...

Page 28

From Northern Rock to Lehman: who should share the blame?

The Spectator

Martin Jacomb assesses the extent of the damage to the banking system so far — and the effectiveness of responses by central banks, regulators and lawmakers W ill it be short...

Page 30

A war of words

The Spectator

Caroline Moorehead R ESISTANCE : M EMOIRS OF O CCUPIED F RANCE by Agnès Humbert Bloomsbury, £14.99, pp. 370, ISBN9780747595977 ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 P...

Page 32

Culture-clash on the campus

The Spectator

Francis King CHICAGO by Alaa al-Aswani Fourth Estate, £14.99, pp.332 ISBN 97800007285181

B ecause I spend part of each winter in Egypt, friends

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from time to time ask me to recommend, not a guide, but a book that will give them the ‘feel’ of that country. Invariably my choice has been The Cairo Trilogy of Naguib...

A crisis of confidence

The Spectator

Anita Brookner T HE B ELIEVERS by Zoë Heller Fig Tree, £16.99, pp. 308. ISBN 9780670916122 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 665 Z oë Heller’s Z oë Heller’s Notes...

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Out of depth

The Spectator

Adam Nicolson L EVIATHAN OR , T HE W HALE by Philip Hoare 4th Estate, £18.99, pp. 453, ISBN 9780007230136 ✆ £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 665 O n the beautiful jacket...

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No love lost

The Spectator

Jonathan Mirsky T HE H OUSE OF W ITTENGENSTEIN by Alexander Waugh Bloomsbury, £20, pp. 366, ISBN 9780747591856 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I t has been famously...

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Going the distance

The Spectator

Sebastian Smee W HAT I T ALK A BOUT W HEN I T ALK A BOUT R UNNING by Haruki Murakami Harvill/ Secker, £9.99, pp. 180, ISBN 98781846552205 ✆ £7.90 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429...

A passage from India

The Spectator

Robert Cooper S EA OF P OPPIES by Amitav Ghosh, read by Lyndham Gregory John Murray, £14.99, abridged 4 CDs, 4 1 / 2 hours E ver been called a ‘dung-brained gubberhead’ or...

Page 37

Loving or hating your subject

The Spectator

‘R eviewing two books about Hemingway in The Spectator (19 August 2006) Caroline Moorehead asked: ‘How far is it right for biographers to write about subjects they so...

Page 39

Poetry in motion

The Spectator

Henrietta Bredin talks to Peter Manning about taking risks and creating opportunities T here is an almost palpable forcefield of energy around Peter Manning. You expect a...

Page 40

Force of nature

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Andrew Lambirth Ancient Landscapes — Pastoral Visions: Samuel Palmer to the Ruralists Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, until 19 October B ath is nearly always a joy to visit,...

Page 42

Give a dog a bad name

The Spectator

Alan Powers D oes nobody love Parliament Square? Days before the Mayoral election, Tristram Hunt called it a ‘terrible place: inaccessible, ugly, polluted and grotty’ in...

First honk, then applaud

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Lloyd Evans Turandot Hampstead Theatre Do You Know Where Your Daughter Is? Hackney Empire Eurobeat Novello W hy the long wait? Brecht completed his last play, Turandot , in...

Page 44

Missing the magic touch

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Michael Tanner Don Giovanni Royal Opera House La Rondine Peacock Theatre T he first thing the Royal Opera needs to do with Don Giovanni , increasingly becoming Mozart’s most...

Page 45

When I am King

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James Delingpole A Church of England official has issued an apology to the descendants of Charles Darwin for the Church’s ‘anti-evolutionary’ fervour towards his Origin...

Page 46

A simple horror

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm T he BBC World Service’s drama department has been drastically cut back over the last few years and plays, squeezed out by news and current affairs, are...

Page 48

One-trick pony

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Deborah Ross Tropic Thunder 15, Nationwide Unrelated 15, Selected Cinemas T ropic Thunder is an action comedy which stars Ben Stiller, is produced by Ben Stiller and is...

Raking up the past

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Ursula Buchan T he best enterprises look to the future but honour their past, which is why it was encouraging that the Royal Horticultural Society should last week have...

Page 49

Modern classic

The Spectator

Robin Oakley W hat a glorious spectacle it was at Doncaster last Saturday. And no, I don’t mean Frankie Dettori launching himself at Sir Michael Stoute like an exuberant...

Page 50

Best foot forward

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Taki Gstaad W alking up mountains is not only healthy, it gives a man time to think. In fact, climbing in solitude offers one marvellous inner adventures, with epiphanies being...

Page 51

Winds of change

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Jeremy Clarke I can feel a tremendous draught of change affecting me,’ said Dave, waggling his fingers at us as if playing a chest-high piano. ‘It’s the strongest, most...

Page 52

Viaggio in Italia

The Spectator

Alex James A re you the driver?’ I asked. ‘No, I’m the owner,’ he replied, and I liked him immediately. It’s a lovely hotel, The Torre Maizza in Puglia, a walled...

Page 54

France Americans in Paris

The Spectator

Kimberley Quinn visits her mum, who deserted Beverly Hills for the French capital M y mother is a breed of American woman that’s fast disappearing. The...

Page 55

All roads lead to Avignon

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Sarah Carr-Gomm AVIGNON A n expat in Australia was once asked what he missed most about England. ‘France,’ he replied. Reminded by this of what is on our doorstep, I took...

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La France profonde

The Spectator

Lindy Woodhead GASCONY I must start by declaring an interest, as we are lucky enough to own a farmhouse in the Gers, one of the most beautiful départements in France, deep in...

Page 58

La belle époque

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Simon Heffer BIARRITZ W e were drawn to Biarritz for a series of odd reasons. We like France, but for some reason we had never been to that part. We like the French seaside,...

Page 59

Fast bargains in the South

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Emma Soames HOUSE - HUNTING I have always believed that there are some things in life, like five-bar gates and mothers’ races, that are better taken at the gallop. And buying...

Page 60

Living the high life

The Spectator

Jonathan Ray TREEHOUSES M rs Ray and the boys — Ferdy, six, and Ludo, four — were desperate to go camping in Cornwall. I was equally desperate not to. Camping ain’t my...

Page 61

Naughty, but Nice

The Spectator

Theo Fennell COTE D’AZUR T he words of Sandy Wilson’s song from his incomparably camp musical, The Boyfriend , don’t do justice to the archness of the place. Throw down...

Page 62

SPECTATOR WINE CLUB T his week marks the launch of the

The Spectator

new super-duper, hi-octane, interactive, dazzling and delicious Spectator Wine Club. Of course it has never been a club of any kind, with secret passwords, or club ties, and...

Page 70

Desperate to survive my speech at the Brasenose Gaudy, I resorted to Cameron jokes

The Spectator

I t was the call I’d been dreading. Roger Cashmore, the Principal of Brasenose College, phoned to ask whether I would be willing to give a speech on behalf of the alumni at...

Mind your language

The Spectator

‘Not really,’ replied my husband when I asked if he thought it would be nice for us to have the Gibsons over for supper. If you knew the Gibsons (not their real name),...

Page 71

A fortnightly column on technology and the web

The Spectator

Rory Sutherland I recently saw a photograph of a street vendor’s stall in Argentina. The menu reads simply Orange Juice $5. Jugo de Naranja $4. Here unsuspecting Anglophones...

Q. For her wedding present I gave my 28-year-old goddaughter

The Spectator

a cheque, about five times the value that I would give to a mere family friend. I have now received a note from her which reads, ‘Thank you for the generous present. I hope...

Q. Close friends have made a ‘Sound of Music’ type

The Spectator

recording for their home answerphone. Their four small children take turns to trill out lines like ‘No! Our parents aren’t at home’ and ‘Please leave a mess-ess-age!’...

Q. May I pass on a tip to readers? I

The Spectator

recently made two extremely nice new friends while waiting outside the Albert Hall for return tickets for the Proms. It strikes me as a wonderful way to tune into people on...