22 NOVEMBER 2003

Page 6


The Spectator

p resident George Bush of the United States made a state visit to Britain, accompanied by a huge entourage. 'This is the right moment for us to stand firm with the United States...

Page 7

Infantile resentment

The Spectator

B y the time this magazine hits the streets it will be jostling for space with about a million marchers. It is important to be fair to those who have turned out to parade their...

Page 8


The Spectator

im iranda Sawyer's Channel 4 programme pleading for the abolition of the age of consent, Sex Before 16: Why the Law is Failing, featured the following adults: the editor of a...

Page 10

The man with the joyless task of relaunching Tony Blair

The Spectator

PETER OBORNE N ormally the leaves are still on the trees, full of their autumn glory in russet and brown, when Parliament rises ahead of the Queen's Speech. Not this year. For...

Page 11

Tile Questing Vole

The Spectator

y oung Sama bin Laden, niece of the international terrorist (and a member of a family branch, it should be stressed, with not the faintest interest in jihad), was staying in...

Page 12

The threat to rugby

The Spectator

Rachel Johnson wonders whether Earth has anything to show more fair than 15 beefy rugby players, especially when it's raining. But lawyers take a more calculating view of the...

Page 14

Nothing to lose but their chains

The Spectator

Michael Ledeen says that our most potent weapon in the war against terrorism is democracy: people everywhere want to be free T he most controversial part of George W. Bush's...

Page 15

Read all

The Spectator

about it Freedom is working in Iraq: Richard Beeston on the newspapers, satellite television and Internet cafés that have sprung up since liberation Baghdad A n acquaintance...

Page 18

A hanging matter

The Spectator

There is a sound moral case for restoring the death penalty, says Bruce Anderson, but the practical barriers seem insurmountable —u ntil well into the 1980s, the death penalty...

Page 20

Mind your language

The Spectator

A query comes from Argyllshire: 'What is the infinitive of can?' The reference is not to canning peas. But before I forget, Harry Henry of Esher, who sounds a sport, reminds me,...

How to avoid trouble and strife

The Spectator

If you are a man, get a wife. Andrew Gimson says that family breakdown is causing such harm that governments will soon have to legislate in favour of marriage Iv ithin the next...

Page 22

Wannabe Yanks

The Spectator

Theodore Dalrymple regrets that we import many of America's vices but none of her virtues I n the modern world, the availability, indeed ubiquity, of entertainment is the most...

Page 23

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

As WMDs fail to surface in Iraq, it looks more and more likely that we went to war on false pretences. This is no new phenomenon. According to the Greek historian Herodotus (c....

Page 24

Terror on the veld

The Spectator

More than 1,000 South African farmers have been killed since the end of apartheid: Andrew Kenny stares into the heart of darkness Cape Town H eart of Darkness has claim to be...

Page 27

Why not invade Israel?

The Spectator

If rogue nations are to be brought into line by the US, shouldn't Israel be punished for ignoring UN resolutions? Gerald Kaufman is just asking. . . T he unprecedented security...

Page 28


The Spectator

Our beautiful, new and sophisticated youth culture is striding ever onward and upward, reaching the very highest peaks of attainment. For example, a friend of mine went recently...

Page 30

How incredible, how depressing, that

The Spectator

Richard Desmond might buy the Telegraph STEPHEN GLOVER m ost people arc assuming that Conrad Black will lose control of the Dai l y Telegraph. the Sunday Telegraph and The...

Page 32

Welcome, the chairman says, as BP starts its Campaign for Real Shareholders

The Spectator

Bp uy a share in British Petroleum (now called BP) and the chairman's thanks come with it. 'I am pleased to welcome you,' writes Peter Sutherland. 'Thank you for the confidence...

Page 34

An old man of 83 versus an evil world

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON H e sits, writing, thinking, mainly praying, in his bare lonely silent little apartment. Far below him is Bernini's majestic piazza, which can hold, and sometimes...

Page 36

In defence of fisking

The Spectator

From Dr Mark Sedgwick Sir: David Pryce-Jones is ungenerous in his analysis of Robert Fisk's reporting (Fisking means never having to get it right', 15 November). Certainly, Mr...

Stereotypical Clive

The Spectator

From Francis Wheen Sir: I'm glad to see Clive James's tribute to 'clever Aussies' (Letters, 15 November), but puzzled by his assertion. 'At the time my generation of expatriates...

Oboe lesson

The Spectator

From Jo West Sir: Please thank Eric Anderson (Diary, 15 November) for coining the acronym OBOE (Over-Bureaucratisation Of Everything), but please also point out that grammar...

Sheepish Sir Max

The Spectator

From Herb Greer Sir: Max Hastings (Britain is furious with America', 8 November) cites some curious sources for his gloom about the Americans in Iraq. Newsweek has always...

Page 38

The English Conquest

The Spectator

From Robert Armstrong Sir: In his review of Melvyn Bragg's book The Adventure of English (Books, 22 November), Andrew Roberts talked about `the battle for survival that Old...

Scott's fatal errors

The Spectator

From John Harradine Sir: Your recent review of Ranulph Fiennes's Captain Scott (1 November) reminds me of an interesting conversation I had with Tryggve Gran, the last surviving...

Paul's angel Diana

The Spectator

From Fr John Thackray Sir: Hitherto I have thought Paul Johnson to be sound. When he named Evelyn Waugh as the greatest writer in English in the 20th century (And another thing,...

Page 40

Crime underestimated

The Spectator

From Sam Jordison Sir: I was flattered by the inclusion of a review of my book Crap Towns (Books, 1 November). I enjoyed reading Henry Hobhouse's opinions and was amused by his...

Bush blunder

The Spectator

From Peter P. Witonski Sir: Peter Oborne's assertion that President Bush needs to visit the Queen to aid him in the forthcoming American presidential election is outrageous...

Not so good old days

The Spectator

From Graham Wade Sir: Roger Scruton (`The beastly British', 15 November) accuses us both as individuals and as a society of 'depravity', an act of 'collective treason' and...

Older and wiser

The Spectator

From Gordon Haines Sir: I suggest that there is a much simpler explanation for the increase in racism with age alleged by Dr von Hippel (Letters, 15 November). The thought...

Page 42

IDS fell for the same reason as Ceausescu: his security apparatus turned against him

The Spectator

F _ or a party which all agree is unlikely to win a general election in the foreseeable future, the Conservatives arouse disproportionate interest. For weeks, an unprecedentedly...

Page 44

It is a strange time to work at

The Spectator

The Spectator if you're a quasi-leftist IA/ . hat on earth is going to happen to us all now, do you suppose? Apparently, rumour has it, we're going to be sold. I've never been...

Page 47

Books of the Year

The Spectator

A further selection of the best and worst books of the year, chosen by some of our regular contributors HUGH MAS SINGBERD Surrounded by spin, mealy-mouthed political...

Page 50

Hitler's unbalanced Orangeman

The Spectator


Page 51

Their knavish tricks frustrated

The Spectator

Robert Stewart THE CONFIDENT HOPE OF A MIRACLE by Neil Hanson Doubleday, £20, pp. 571, ISBN 0385604513 T ie Enterprise of England, the name given by His Most Catholic Majesty,...

Blood-brother and king-maker

The Spectator

Mark Amory TRIBE: THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON by Tom Stacey Stacey International, 128 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4BH, Tel: 0207 221 7166 £19.95,...

Page 52

Talking to some purpose

The Spectator

Jane Ridley REFORM! THE FIGHT FOR THE 1832 REFORM ACT by Edward Pearce Cape. £20, pp. 343, ISBN 0224061992 N ineteenth-century British politics used to be the historian's bread...

Page 53

A bas la difference!

The Spectator

Zenga Longmore DEAD SEXY by Kathy Lette Simon & Schuster,114.99, pp. 341, ISBN 074324804X K. athy Lette's latest novel begins with a zany one-liner: 'How can we win the sex war...

Page 54

When believing is not all there is to seeing

The Spectator

Allan Mallinson How TO READ A CHURCH by Richard Taylor Rider, £10, pp. 250, ISBN 1844130533 T n his 100-page introduction to the Collins Guide to the Parish Churches of England...

Question mark over Cuba

The Spectator

Hugh Thomas THE REAL FIDEL CASTRO by Leycester Coltman Yale, £25, pp. 335, ISBN 0300101880 I n the United States several diplomats have written profound books about countries...

Page 56

Beta plus and beta minus

The Spectator

Judith Flanders WILLIAM AND LUCY by Angela Thirlwell Yale, £25, pp. 376, ISBN 0300102003 s ay `Rossetti' to most people, and you v , ill get back 'Dante Gabriel', or ....

Page 57

All you need is love

The Spectator

Charlotte Moore CORA CRANE by Paul Ferris HalperCollins, £1 7.99, pp. 295, ISBN 0002261391 ora sits at the bay window, writing, in a fat manuscript book with a lock, about a...

Howard's end reconsidered

The Spectator

Harriet Waugh DISORDERED MINDS by Minette Walters Macmillan, .E16.99, pp. 432, ISBN 1405034165 M inette Walters is an unusually uneven writer. Although we know she is just one...

Page 58

How good was the Boyo?

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke DYLAN THOMAS: A NEW LIFE by Andrew Lycett Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 434, ISBN 000297607936 W hen Dylan Thomas first lived at the Boathouse, Laugharne (tel. Laugharne...

Predictable plots, familiar faces

The Spectator

Olivia Glazebrook BLOW FLY by Patricia Cornwell Little, Brown, £17.99, pp. 480, ISBN 0316854751 A PLACE OF HIDING by Elizabeth George Hodder & Stoughton, £18.99, pp. 576, ISBN...

Page 60

Arms and the men

The Spectator

Allan Massie IN THE NAME OF ROME by Adrian Goldsworthy Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 414, ISBN 0297846663 A drian Goldsworthy has given his book the subtitle The men who won the Roman...

Page 61

The prank that grew to giant proportions

The Spectator

Brian Masters THE MAN WHO LOST HIMSELF: THE UNBELIEVABLE STORY OF THE TICHBORNE CLAIMANT by Robyn Annear Constable & Robinson, £12.99, pp. 416, ISBN 1841197998 T he story has...

Page 62


The Spectator

L t ast year the Mini-bar offered o provide all your bubbles or Christmas in a single convenient case. This proved so successful that we've done it again, working once more with...

Page 63

Opera for the masses

The Spectator

Stephen Pettitt on how Raymond Gubbay plans to make his latest venture pay T he news that classical music impresario Raymond Gubbay is to take over the Savoy Theatre more or...

Page 64

Inventive mix

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth 1920s: The Decade that Changed London Museum of London, until 18 July 2004 T vast and splendid array of pictures 1 and objects is the inaugural exhibition in...

Page 66

Shock tactics

The Spectator

Toby Young The Mercy Seat Almeida The Pillowman ( ottoloe Madame Bovary Lyric, Hammersmith pie Mercy Seat, a new two-hander by / Neil LaBute, has an ingenius premise. It...

Page 67

Dynamic decade

The Spectator

Alan Powers t the beginning of the new century, ritain can boast of one of the most dynamic and fertile architectural cultures of any country in the world,' writes Kenneth...

Page 68

Travelling teamwork

The Spectator

Michael Tanner ldomeneo; La Traviata; Theodora Glyndebourne Touring Opera Cllyndebourne on tour is nowise inferior to Glyndebourne at home, in fact I have regularly enjoyed...

Page 69

Aural feast

The Spectator

Giannandrea Poesio Triple Bill Royal Opera House A ccording to an anecdotal source, the great choreographer George Balanchine maintained that 50 per cent of the success of a...

Page 70

Set-pieces in Curtisland

The Spectator

Mark Steyn Love Actually 15, selected cinemas I owActually is crap actually. I say that in the spirit of the movie, which begins with clapped-out rock geezer Bill Nighy...

Page 71

Time for a rethink

The Spectator

Arnold Wengrow on the Theatre Museum's redevelopment plans T he Theatre Museum has hidden for 16 years in one of the most visible locations in London, a high-traffic corner of...

Page 72

Contrasting reports

The Spectator

Michael Vestey T he state visit of President George W. Bush this week coincides with the 40th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The BBC, however, reveres...

Trust on trial

The Spectator

James Delingpole Eitinthough it is to lambast the BBC for its nauseating political correctness, its glib left-wing bias and its continual dumbing down, there are times when...

Page 74

Enough is enough

The Spectator

Alan Judd your day began with the unwelcome notification of a speeding fine and endorsement, you're in company with about 3,749 other drivers this morning. One in six motorists...

Page 75

Gallant show

The Spectator

Charles Moore I t is exactly true that pride comes before a fall. When jockeys get new silks, they trample on them before they race in them to avoid the nemesis that follows...

Page 76

Talk of the town

The Spectator

Tali New York T hepresidential state visit may be big news in dreary old London, but here in the Bagel it's Paris Hilton's sex videos that are the talk of the town. In fact,...

All hands to the pump

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke W ind-driven rain beats on the windscreen. There's tree debris in the road and standing water in all the usual places when it rains as hard and as long as this....

Page 77

Piggy Wiggy to the rescue

The Spectator

Aidan Hartley Laikipia I returned to the farm alone after two months overseas to find the land as dry as a bone. We're crying out for the rains to come. While waiting for...

Page 78

On meeting Callas

The Spectator

PetroneIla Wyatt T can't understand my friends who go to 1Bayreuth every year and sit on hard wooden benches in order to listen to the The Ring cycle. I once had a...

Page 79


The Spectator

S weet Jesus, I am so utterly bored of everything that goes into family meals — the shopping, the preparing, the eating of the meal itself, which can never be entirely enjoyed...

Page 80

Yoof jargon

The Spectator

Jaspistos In competition No. 2316 you were invited to supply an extract from an essay on a Shakespeare play by a pupil whose language is woefully vernacular. As well as an...

Page 87

It's still only a game

The Spectator

MICHAEL HENDERSON T o what extent should sport play a part in national life? By posing that question I don't mean whether or not people should be happy when the national team...

Dear Mary

The Spectator

Q. Like 37,000 other people, I signed up to go to jail on the declaration day and received a little Hunting Declaration badge to wear on my lapel and a yellow car sticker...