21 JUNE 2008

Page 5

The old order changeth

The Spectator

U ntil his astonishing resignation from the Commons last week, the prospect of David Davis as the next Home Secretary was one of the foremost attractions of a new Conservative...

Page 9

T he summer solstice is upon us. Time to get out

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the woad, ramp up the chanting and perform some ancient pagan rituals involving fire, water, air and earth. It might be very cheering to get blue and naked in the countryside,...

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Poor, brave David Davis has become the Eddie the Eagle of Westminster

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A t a dinner party in central London a few months ago, David Davis made an extraordinary confession. He had become disenchanted with David Cameron, he said, and was considering...

Page 11

H ow strange that Gordon Brown’s suggestion this week that MPs

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should have no say in setting their own pay is being welcomed as a curb on sleaze. If their pay is to be set, as is proposed, by a government-funded agency instead of by their...

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By Tamzin Lightwater MONDAY Dave opened the nine o’clock by paying tribute to a great former shadow home secretary whose place in history, and on the back benches, was now...

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We have a duty to protect Zimbabwe

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Robert Mugabe is murdering, starving and brutalising his people in the run-up to the presidential elections next week, says Peter Oborne . We should act now to prevent civil war...

Page 16

EU leaders will never consult us again

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Daniel Hannan , who predicted the Irish ‘No’ vote in this magazine, now says that the EU will simply implement the Lisbon Treaty and never risk a referendum again B y ten...

Page 18

‘I hope the entire tribunal becomes infested with lice’

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Rod Liddle on the case of Bushra Noah, the headscarf-wearing Muslim who has just won £4,000 from the Wedge hair salon I used to dye my hair — Midnight Auburn, from Clairol....

Page 19


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T he last time I played rugby, I was sent off for reading on the field. It was my small satirical protest against the supposition that my character would be much improved by...

Page 20

Is the Catholic Church sliding towards civil war?

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Damian Thompson on the bitter feud between the new young defenders of the recently reinstated Latin Mass, and Britain’s ‘magic circle’ of liberal bishops W hile Church of...

Page 21

Talk of ‘excellence for all’ is just Balls

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David Green responds to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families: E d Balls claims that the Tories want excellence for the few, whereas he wants excellence for...

Page 22

The new Woodstock generation

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Reihan Salam predicts the dawning of a new hippy era as critics of consumerism head to the hills I n late May, New York magazine noted a highly unusual advertisement that...

Page 24

An innocent at Home

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Dominic Grieve, the new shadow home secretary, tells James Forsyth that he won’t ‘resort to soundbites’. But is this a sensible approach for a modern-day politician? D...

Page 26

A child’s purpose

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Sir: Rachel Johnson (‘When did you last see your children?’, 14 June) paints a thoroughly depressing picture of modern parenting. I urge anyone contemplating breeding to...

Casting aspersions on Poles

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Sir: It was with deep disappointment that I read Rachel Johnson’s article. The illustration accompanying it depicts a gaunt, shabbily dressed young woman in a T-shirt with...

Ulster didn’t fight for right

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Sir: For 30 years the Protestant people and culture of Ulster sought British help as the IRA tried to destroy them both. For 30 years mainland Britain defended, subsidised,...

Pushkin comes to shove

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Sir: Deborah Ross may not have heard of Bodrov’s Prisoner of the Mountains (Arts, 7 June) but she should not try to implicate the rest of us in her ignorance. It is a version...

The last straw

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Sir: I’ve always considered that The Spectator ’s otherwise peerless dissertations are let down by a bewildering ignorance of the countryside, but hitherto thought that this...

Roll on the glorious future

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Sir: As a teacher in a secondary school for the last 18 years, my response to the article by Mr Balls about the government’s educational achievements (‘No child left...

Page 28

It’s all too easy to leave Top Secret papers lying around — I should know

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N ews last week that police are investigating a ‘serious’ security breach after a civil servant lost top-secret documents containing the latest intelligence on alQa’eda...

Page 29

How to fill a lecture hall, and how to empty it

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I recently gave a lecture, on quite a solemn subject, the connection between freedom and the ownership of property, to about 200 people, and was gratified — and surprised —...

Page 30

Business as usual with the Burmese generals

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Elliot Wilson explains why international condemnation of Burma’s brutal military leaders is so ineffectual: because many other countries are eager to do deals with them T he...

Page 31

Wishful thinking at the Economist

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Tony Curzon Price I n 1990, the former Wall Street trader Jim Rogers (interviewed here by Jonathan Davis, 15 March) set off to circumscribe the globe astride a large...

Page 32

Not a scandal but a textbook success

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Ross Butler says MPs’ criticisms of the sell-off of the former Defence Research Agency are financially naive I n America it would have created celebrity entrepreneurs and...

Page 34

Ruthless but ineffective

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Jonathan Sumption G IDEON ’ S S PIES : T HE I NSIDE S TORY OF I SRAEL ’ S L EGENDARY S ECRET S ERVICE , T HE M OSSAD by Gordon Thomas JR Books, £16.99, pp. 698, ISBN...

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A genius but not a hero

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David Crane M ARLBOROUGH : E NGLAND ’ S F RAGILE G ENIUS by Richard Holmes HarperPress, £25, pp. 564, ISBN 9780007225712 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I f anyone...

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Flying bison and half a cup of coffee

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Shelby Tucker A C OUNTRY IN THE M OON : T RAVELS IN THE H EART OF P OLAND by Michael Moran Granta, £20, pp. 362, ISBN 9781847080011 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T...

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Obsessed by Ukraine

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Adam Zamoyski T HE R ED P RINCE by Timothy Snyder Bodley Head, £20, pp. 344, ISBN 9780224081528 ✆ £6 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T his is the story of a very unusual...

Page 39

A choice of first novels

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Christian House T he ghost of Harry Lime seems to be haunting the publishing houses of London. Graham Greene’s infamous anti-hero may have come to a sticky end in the...

Page 40

The irritation of Jean

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Caroline Moore A TTACHMENT by Isabel Fonseca Chatto, £15.99, pp. 306, ISBN 9780701181741 ✆ £12.79 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T he title of Isabel Fonseca’s first...

Page 41

The sweetness pictures can add to life

The Spectator

John McEwen S ARGY M ANN : P ROBABLY THE B EST B LIND P AINTER IN P ECKHAM by Peter Mann and Sargy Mann SP Books, £30, pp. 224, ISBN 9780955898006 available from...

Page 42

Work and sex

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Philip Ziegler SNOWDON by Anne de Courcy Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 404, ISBN 9780297852759 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 O rdinary mortals marrying into the upper...

Page 44

Critical condition

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Lloyd Evans on the perils of being both playwright and critic ‘N o man sympathises with the sorrows of vanity.’ Dr Johnson was speaking of a poet who looked to his friends...

Page 45

Fluff and granite

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Andrew Lambirth Boucher and Chardin: Masters of Modern Manners The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1, until 7 September Alan Green; Joan Miró Annely...

Page 46

Literary juggler

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Lloyd Evans Afterlife Lyttelton Dickens Unplugged Comedy A fterlife is pH-neutral. It doesn’t enhance Michael Frayn’s reputation and doesn’t damage it either. Max...

Great Britten

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Michael Tanner A Midsummer Night’s Dream Opera North, Manchester Powder Her Face Royal Opera, Linbury A t certain times all conditions seem to conspire to favour some opera...

Page 48

Four play

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Deborah Ross The Edge of Love 15, Nationwide T he Edge of Love , which is based loosely on real events, explores the ménage à quatre that existed for a few years between the...

Between the lines

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Kate Chisholm T wo men, a single piece of music and a script that’s barely 40 minutes long. And yet when it was over I felt quite stunned; shaken and unnerved by a totally...

Page 49

Breathless approach

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Simon Hoggart S t Kilda, a set of islands off the coast of Scotland uninhabited for 78 years except by around a million seabirds. Suddenly the BBC sends a crack team of...

Page 50

Traditional virtues

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Ursula Buchan Y ou have probably forgotten about this year’s Chelsea Flower Show by now, it having segued into all the other Chelseas you have ever seen. I, however, am...

Page 51

Excited but drained

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Alan Judd T he first lap of Le Mans last weekend passed in a daze. The thought of performing on that hallowed 14km (8–9 mile) circuit in front of thousands was bad enough,...

Page 52

Conquering heroes

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Taki J ust 555 short years ago last month, troops led by Mehmed II broke through the walls of the ancient Christian capital of Constantinople, ending a gallant defence by...

Run, rabbit run

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Jeremy Clarke A s I came around the corner from the gents’ lavatory, head down, concentrating on rebuttoning my flies, a manual skill I’ve yet to master completely, I...

Page 53

On red alert

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Aidan Hartley ‘ Y aes!’ I’ll answer the phone in a falsettoScottish accent. ‘Can ae help yay?’ If the voice is unfamiliar I lapse into Gaelic and slam down the...

Page 54

Bad manners

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Melissa Kite G od must have an extremely thick skin. I do hope so anyway. I just had a shocking insight into the sort of thing He probably has to put up with all the time. The...

Page 56

Autograph hound

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Bill Cashmore goes on a trip down memory lane A fter the England rugby team returned from last year’s World Cup, a wellconnected friend invited me to a celebratory dinner with...

Page 57

Eyes wide shut

The Spectator

James Delingpole meets a lifestyle guru who gets results T he general rule when writing pieces about the multimillionaire TV hypnotist, bestsell ing author and self-help guru...

Page 58

Paradise found

The Spectator

Sarah Standing visits the Seychelles A few years ago I went to Acton to be hypnotised. I sat on a lumpy armchair and was told to close my eyes. ‘As I am talking to you, you...

Page 60

Flanders fields

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Jonathan Ray W e were a three-man British Expeditionary Force. Tom, Tim and I were in Flanders to pay our respects to Tom’s great-uncle Walter, killed near Ypres on 15 March...

Page 61

An old flame

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Peter Grogan S pain is my old girlfriend. I know her to be jealous of my new inamorata — La Bellissima Italia — but I thought I’d look the old girl up anyway as I was in...

Page 62

Midas touch

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Roderick Gilchrist I t was while Natalia from Torino was applying small sheets of 24ct gold on my crumbling visage at the Hotel Cipriani, during what must be the most expensive...

Page 70

If I try to take Manhattan again, I’ll fail completely. Perfect!

The Spectator

W ell, my wife had the baby. I am now a father of four and, as such, have been doing some thinking about how I am going to support them all in the years to come. My problem is,...

Mind your language

The Spectator

How funny to find the apostrophe described as a ‘notoriously difficult punctuation mark’ in last week’s Letters. It’s simple. So, the simple reason that St Thomas’s...

Page 71

Spectator Sport

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I used to play squash with a distinguished veteran film critic, currently plying his trade on the London Evening Standard . I would force the ball to his backhand but the...

your problemS Solved

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Dear Mary Q. I am in despair because I am growing fatter and fatter with every week that passes. I seem to have developed the most enormous appetite and now want roughly double...

Q. Mary, what should you do when someone you have

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never met before, but who has come into your house via the introduction of a mutual friend, accidentally smashes a priceless object five minutes after they have walked in? This...

Q. What is the correct term for a woman who

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has one to dinner or to stay? I always feel uneasy when referring to someone as my ‘hostess’. It seems such a naff word. What is the answer? H.B., London W11 A. You have...