22 APRIL 2006

Page 5

How to beat the BNP

The Spectator

T he investigation of the battle between the BNP and Labour in the local elections by Peter Oborne in last week’s Spectator has triggered a furious controversy about the...

Page 9


The Spectator

I t’s a sappingly humid Sunday evening, but I decide a suit and tie are in order for Sir Michael Arthur, the British High Commissioner. Bad move. He is in shirtsleeves as he...

Page 10

Harsh sunlight shines on a failing NHS, as fire consumes the Blairite vanities

The Spectator

T here was a definite gaiety among MPs as they came back from Easter recess this week. The winter has been longer and colder than any in recent memory. Westminster, cheerless...

Page 11

Y es, the BNP is unpleasant and hate-filled. But why does

The Spectator

everyone feel the need to say it so much? Or rather, why don’t people say it about all the other hate-filled organisations in this country, as well as about the BNP? The...

Page 13

By Tamzin Lightwater

The Spectator

SUNDAY NIGHT Dave’s private office has just rung to say he wants me to accompany him on his earthsaving trip to Norway to highlight global warming — am so excited my...

MONDAY Mentioned trip 17 times this morning. Made me popular

The Spectator

for a bit but think may now be losing friends. The other press officers are clearly trying to ruin it. Sebastian complaining that we shouldn’t be going on a trip to highlight...

TUESDAY Donor-card spot check this morning. We all have to

The Spectator

carry one now. It’s part of Dave’s ten commandments. Nigel says he can’t imagine why anyone would want his organs, they’re all pickled. Hope we don’t have to obey all...

WEDNESDAY AM This is it! Am taking mostly designer skiwear,

The Spectator

and of course my Kate Middletoninspired fox-fur hat. Mummy forces me to take something for evening even though we will be staying in a hut with only huskies and a bloke called...

Page 14

The Chinese love capitalism: they

The Spectator

just aren’t very keen on elections Boris Johnson goes to Beijing on a mission to sell democracy, but finds his hosts — as wedded to authority as they have been for the last...

Page 16

Hamas has failed its first real test

The Spectator

In the wake of the Tel Aviv bombing, Con Coughlin says that Israel’s patience is being stretched to the limit, and that the new Palestinian government must learn realism —...

Page 18

A century and a half of conspicuous bravery

The Spectator

Michael Ashcroft , a devoted collector of the Victoria Cross, marks the 150th anniversary of the medal’s creation and salutes its simple beauty T he concept of bravery...

Page 19


The Spectator

I was about to write ‘Everyone knows the story of James Lind, the Scottish naval surgeon, who conducted the first controlled trial in the history of medicine to prove the...

Page 20

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

It is a general rule that public services rarely work properly, if at all. But over the past 60 years there has been one shining exception — grammar schools. Yet New Labour...

We should attack Iran — but we can’t

The Spectator

Alan Dershowitz says that the pre-emptive assault on Iraq has given a bad name to a good idea — and will leave Iran the most dangerous nation in the world F ace it. Iran will...

Page 22

Mind your language

The Spectator

I thought my husband had fallen unconscious on the doormat, for I could not push the front door open. But I was mistaken. It was a huge drift of post complaining that I had used...

Much more than Madonna’s mother-in-law

The Spectator

Rod Liddle meets Shireen Ritchie, the force behind the Tory drive for more women MPs, and wonders if her awesome politeness will do the trick I am wandering the gilded streets...

Page 26

A very short g uide to

The Spectator

winning every argument Madsen Pirie says that logic and a few Latin terms can help you destroy any challenger in intellectual confrontation W hen I taught logic at an American...

Page 28

The Resurrection

The Spectator

From John Jolliffe Sir: Richard Dawkins is quite wrong in saying that there is no good evidence for the resurrection of Jesus (‘Did Jesus really rise from the dead?’, 15...

From Nicholas White

The Spectator

Sir: What surprised me about your survey was the high proportion of respondents who professed to believe that Jesus physically rose from the dead. However, the Bishop of Oxford...

From Mikey Quigley

The Spectator

Sir: In your survey Fraser Nelson states, ‘If the verifiable bones of Christ were discovered, you’d have to admit that the Muslims were right, Jesus was a prophet and...

Our BNP is the IRA

The Spectator

From Charles Thompson Sir: Once again the mainstream political and media establishment gets an attack of the vapours at the prospect of the BNP gaining a few council votes...

Dinner with Matthew

The Spectator

From Richard Leigh Sir: Being slagged off by journalists is, by now, a familiar experience for me, as well as for Michael Baigent. One becomes inured to commentators who...

Page 30

No need to travel

The Spectator

From Jason Boatright Sir: I enjoyed reading Michael Moorcock’s article ‘Why I am becoming an American’ (15 April). However, he referred without comment to one of the...

Climatology isn’t ‘drivel’

The Spectator

From Helen Johns Sir: I am a bit fed up with people like Charles Moore (The Spectator’s Notes, 15 April) who admit they are totally ignorant of the science behind climate...

Absolutely gutted

The Spectator

From Hugo de Groot Sir: I agree wholeheartedly with the antimodernist thrust of Roger Scruton’s homage to Quinlan Terry (‘Hail Quinlan Terry’, 8 April). His observation...

Hawks kill to eat

The Spectator

From Elly Daw Sir: I write with regard to the Spectator’s Notes of your 8 April issue. Charles Moore writes of witnessing a sparrowhawk in pursuit of a jay, a pursuit which...

Conversion tip

The Spectator

From Tom Allen Sir: Michael Vestey might well be right to question whether the BBC has abolished the mile in favour of the kilometre (Arts, 15 April), but his maths is a little...

Page 32

If Jesus did not exist, the Church would not invent him

The Spectator

M any readers will have read The Spectator Easter survey — ‘Did Jesus really rise from the dead?’ — with intense interest. I did. The results of a survey posing the...

Page 34

A noble lady who showed that virtue is its own reward

The Spectator

T ruly good people have always been rarities, and ours is not an age which nourishes them by attention and respect. When a good person dies, it is not headline news but, rather,...

Page 35

Failing to share the pillar-box

The Spectator

Sam Leith H OUSE OF S TONE : T HE T RUE S TORY OF A F AMILY D IVIDED IN W AR -T ORN ZIMBABWE by Christina Lamb HarperCollins, £14.99, pp. 290, ISBN 0007219385 ✆ £11.99...

Page 36

Why Housman holds up

The Spectator

A ged 12 or 13 I copied several poems by Housman into a commonplace book I had been encouraged to keep. An English master had read several Housman poems to us, and I’ve been...

Page 37

Trademarking the ordinary

The Spectator

William Feaver A NDY W ARHOL ‘G IANT ’ S IZE conceived by Phaidon editors Phaidon, £75, pp. 624, ISBN 071484540X L ecterns have been installed in some bookshops enabling...

Keeping the best of order

The Spectator

Ben Wilson A M AD , B AD AND D ANGEROUS P EOPLE ? E NGLAND 1783-1846 by Boyd Hilton OUP, £30, pp. 757, ISBN 0198228309 ✆ £24 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T he...

Page 38

Portable and to the point

The Spectator

Marcus Berkmann B RIEF L IVES : N EWTON by Peter Ackroyd Chatto, £12.99, pp. 163, ISBN 0701169869 ✆ £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A n old biographer friend of...

Page 39

Looking after Anthony

The Spectator

Alan Watkins C HURCHILL : T HE S TRUGGLE FOR S URVIVAL , 1945-60 by Lord Moran Constable & Robinson, £9.99, pp. 480, ISBN 1845292979 ✆ £7.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655...

Page 40

Missing the happiness boat

The Spectator

Charlotte Moore P ERFECT M ADNESS by Judith Warner Vermilion, £9.99, pp. 327, ISBN 0091907160 ✆ £7.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 ‘C ompetitive and rapacious and...

His Day

The Spectator

Saint George has spent years in denial. His image has had a bad press. There’s been, as shrinks say, for some while A problem he needs to address. I suppose it’s not...

Swansong at twilight

The Spectator

Stephen Abell T HE S UNLIGHT ON THE G ARDEN by Francis King Arcadia, £11.99, pp. 192, ISBN 1900850990 ✆ £9.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I t is, if you stop to think...

Page 41

Songs of prayer and praise

The Spectator

Emma Tennant T HE C HURCH H YMNARY , 4 TH E DITION Canterbury Press, Norwich, £16, pp. 1100, ISBN 1853116149 T HE D AILY T ELEGRAPH B OOK OF H YMNS by Ian Bradley Continuum,...

Page 43

The most sinful of the seven

The Spectator

Ronald Segal PRIDE by Michael Eric Dyson OUP and the New York Public Library, $17.95, pp. 142, ISBN 0195160924 M ichael Dyson is Foundation Professor in the Humanities and...

Message from the maze

The Spectator

Lucy Beresford P OPPY S HAKESPEARE by Clare Allan Bloomsbury, £12.99, pp. 344, ISBN 0747580464 ✆ £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 C lare Allan won the Orange/Harpers...

Page 44

Cool and collected

The Spectator

The Art Fund is changing direction. Tiffany Jenkins talks to its director T he Art Fund is stepping up a gear. The UK’s leading art charity is launching a series of...

Page 45

Charcoal mastery

The Spectator

John Spurling Spirit of Trees: Charcoal Drawings by John Hubbard Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, till 7 May, then split between Naughton Gallery, Queen’s University, Belfast, 9...

Page 46

Comfortless aesthetic

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Modernism: Designing a New World 1914–39 V&A, until 23 July Sponsored by Habitat T he classic Modernist interior familiar to us all is a white cube, minimally...

Page 48

Cauldron of vengeance

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Breakfast with Mugabe Soho Waiting for Godot Barbican Mack and Mabel Criterion H ere comes Mugabe. Very creepy and correct in his sleek double-breasted suit and,...

Page 49

Dreamy moments

The Spectator

Olivia Glazebrook American Dreamz 12A, selected cinemas C .R.A.Z.Y. 15, selected cinemas W hat a relief it must have been for Hugh Grant when he realised he could relax and...

Page 50

Great expectations

The Spectator

Michael Tanner La belle Hélène; Orfeo English National Opera Il re pastore Royal Opera House E NO is having a mini-festival of operas whose plots relate to Greek mythology....

The nuns’ story

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart N ostalgia is not what it used to be, but then in television it rarely is. For example, Dr Who (BBC1, Saturday) is back with David Tennant as the 10th full-time...

Page 51

Honours and rebels

The Spectator

Michael Vestey W ith the government and the opposition flogging peerages to raise money for party funds, Radio Four decided to look back at the 1920s master of this practice,...

Page 52

Epic struggle

The Spectator

Robin Oakley I t was lunchtime at a Church school and there was a large dish of rosy apples. A nun placed a note on the fruit: ‘Take only one: God is watching.’ Further...

Page 53

Crashing boar

The Spectator

Simon Courtauld W hile we are all worrying about the threat to poultry from an alien virus which has now reached these shores, there seems to be little concern at the threat to...

Page 54

Flying high

The Spectator

Taki D o any of you remember a film called The Blue Max ? It is about a German flying squadron during the first world war. A working-class German soldier manages to escape...

Page 55

Long day’s journey

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke P reston railway station, Lancashire. Good Friday. Easter sun slanting down through the glass roof warming the concrete surface of platform three, which is...

Home and away

The Spectator

Susanna Gross I ’ve been on holiday in southern India for the past couple of weeks, and although I had a great time I was alarmed by how much I missed bridge. I hadn’t...

Page 63

Cups runneth over

The Spectator

FRANK KEATING L ast two standing. For the muddied oafs of winter, this is the cruellest week. So near, yet.... Defeat in a semifinal, they say, is the hardest to bear. There...


The Spectator

Dear Mary Q. I work in a City office, staffed mainly by young, trendy middle-class males, most of whom like to sport the silly fashion of trousers almost dropping off, exposing...

Q. Being rather behind in my Spectator reading, I have

The Spectator

just come across your advice page from 9 April 2005 regarding the thorny problem of addressing those who are the unmarried others of one’s relations. I like to use the gem of...

Q. A dinner guest, a charming, intelligent and cultured guest,

The Spectator

who knows that my wife is a gourmet cook and that we appreciate good wines, a guest who has lived much of his life in France, indeed who still does, has astonished us this week...