23 FEBRUARY 2002

Page 6

I t emerged that a company controlled by Lakshmi Mittal, who

The Spectator

had given £125,000 to the Labour party, was given a £70 million loan by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, partly underwritten by Britain, in order to buy a...

Page 7


The Spectator

T here are few sights more nauseating than that of a trade union leader trying to say `I told you so'. When the news came through that the National Air Traffic Services (Nats)...

Page 8

Memo to Blair: sack Prescott, sack Byers, sack Irvine and move Jack Straw

The Spectator

PETER OBORNE here was an intermission at Westminster last week. MPs went back to their constituencies, or off skiing. Life returned to normal after three weeks of frenzied...

Page 9


The Spectator

W ith every year that passes, the Oscars are taken more and more seriously and given more and more coverage by the media. Not very long ago it was still possible to read a...

Page 10


The Spectator

Matt Ridley celebrates Bjorn Lomborg, the environmentalist brave enough to tell the truth that the end is not nigh AT the Christmas cabaret in the politics department of...

Page 12

Mind your language

The Spectator

I KNEW someone would help. Mr Rob McWhirter from Guildford writes to tell me that the most notorious exponent of the word sweet in the context "jaminy, lucky-day" is the...


The Spectator

Tim Allan says we all pay for BBC trash television FLICK through last week's Radio Times and you will find that one channel was showing some pretty remarkable programmes. If...

Page 14


The Spectator

David Fishlock sees signs that this country is converting to nuclear power LATE summer found me on the pretty new pier at Southwold in Suffolk, gazing south at a dome that...

Second opinion

The Spectator

AS IS well-known, complaints rise to meet the procedures set up to investigate them. Given this fact, it is not altogether surprising that, despite the many legitimate grounds...

Page 16


The Spectator

Thomas Braun on a truncated map and the threat to ancient numismatic symbols of British identity THERE is no such continent as Europe. It is a misconception of the pioneer...

Page 19


The Spectator

Mark Steyn takes issue with EU Marshal Chris Petain, Stephen Glover and other sodaphobes New Hampshire SAY what you like about those wacky Islamofascists but at least they...

Page 20

A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit

The Spectator

GORDON BROWN has made much of his targeted tax cuts. There has been rather less trumpeting of a disturbing new trend: targeted taxes, whereby small groups of society are singled...

Page 24


The Spectator

Jonathan Ray helps the Scarborough police with their inquiries I WAS strolling along the prom at Scarborough minding my own business. The sun was hot, the ice-cream was cold...

Page 26


The Spectator

Jo Johnson on France's latest bout of anti-American paranoia Paris THE high priests of French anti-Americanism are back. Anyone doubting this should take a look at Jean-Pierre...

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

THE two main political parties have announced that they are jointly going to attack cynicism. So that's the end of Prime Minister's Question Time, then. More urgent, however, is...

Page 28


The Spectator

Magnus Linklater I HAVE a boyhood memory of a hot summer's day in the Highlands. We are tramping through knee-high heather on a steep hill overlooking Loch Duich in Wester...

Page 31

Tit for tat and the fury of a squirrel with an Einstein brain

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON P rofessor Pepperberg, a delightful lady from MIT, told an American conference last week that she can teach a parrot, Alex, to recognise 50 objects, to count, to...

Page 32

It was the biggest wedding buy-up since John got the exclusive rights to the Marriage at Cana

The Spectator

FRANK JOHNSON At the time of writing, OK magazine's relevant issue is not yet in the shops. Exclusive rights to the photographs of the ceremony and reception marking Miss Joan...

Page 34

Christians v. Jews

The Spectator

From Mr Piers Paul Read Sir: As a lifelong Christian, I was interested to read Melanie Phillips's account of 'replacement theology' (Christians who hate the Jews', 16 February):...

From Mr Israel Shamir Sir: As an Israeli writer living

The Spectator

in Jaffa, witness the other side of Jewish-Christian relations carefully omitted by Miss Phillips. While the Hebrew Bible is respected in Europe, in Israel the New Testament is...

From the Revd Peter W. Lockyer Sir: I understand and

The Spectator

share Melanie Phillips's concern about the vein of antiSemitism that has existed in the West and some sectors of the Christian Church. It is surely right for all people of good...

From Dr Daleep Mukarji Sir: The suggestion behind Melanie Phillips's

The Spectator

article was that Christian Aid has been infiltrated or otherwise influenced by those espousing anti-Semitic views. We deny that idea completely. Christian Aid's mandate is to...

Page 35

Wimpish Catholics

The Spectator

From Mr Robert O'Brien Sir: Paul Gottfried is right (`The Church and the Holocaust', 16 February). It is not the Ozicks and Dershowitzs who most effectively peddle this absurd...

Parents' choice

The Spectator

From Mr Paul R. Taylor Sir: Anonymous 'government scientists' and Doctor Andrew Wakefield continue to dispute the 'safety' of MMR (Leading article, 9 February), but with no...

It's safer abroad

The Spectator

From Mr F.P.N. Lake Sir: Simon Heffer's article ('Cowardy custards in the home of the brave', 9 February) covering the Americans' panic over terrorism prompts me to make a point...

Youth appeal

The Spectator

From Sally Osman Sir: Thankfully, Greg Dyke — unlike Stephen Glover (Media studies, 16 February) — realises that society has changed somewhat, and that the BBC is there for...

African revival

The Spectator

From Mr Keith Arrowsmith Sir: John Papworth's sweeping diatribe against former colonial rule in Africa (Letters, 9 February) is unjustified. I was one of the last British...

Opinion breeds ignorance

The Spectator

From Mr Andrew Ian Dodge Sir: Besides having a crude rant at the wrong audience, Howard Veit (Letters, 16 February) made a howler of a mistake. This error demonstrated the...

Soldiering on

The Spectator

From Mr Hairy Whitbread Sir: I refer to Bruce Anderson's article ('Is this how bin Laden escaped?', 16 February), about the difference between the US and the British attitudes...

Snow business

The Spectator

From Sophie Hall Sir: Francis King (Books, 16 February) says that 'almost all Snow's novels are now out of print'. I respectfully offer a contradiction to this comment on the...

Page 36

How does Labour survive sleaze? With a little help from its media friends

The Spectator

STEPHEN GLOVER A cording to a YouGov poll in the Sunday Times, New Labour is now regarded as being sleazier than the Tories. Yet an ICM poll in the Guardian suggests that...

Page 37

The pot and the kettle

The Spectator

Justin Ma rozzi ISLAM'S BLACK SLAVES: A HISTORY OF AFRICA'S OTHER BLACK DIASPORA by Ronald Segal Atlantic Books, £20, pp. 241, ISBN 0374227748 S Lavery, wrote the 19th-century...

Page 38

Approaches and escapes

The Spectator

Carole Angier FLIGHTS OF LOVE by Bernhard Schlink, translated by John D. Woods Weidenfeld, £12.99, pp. 308, ISBN 0297829033 T here can be few readers who have not heard of The...

Page 39

An old bohemian, amoral and fiercely moralising

The Spectator

Frederic Raphael THE CHAMELEON POET: A LIFE OF GEORGE BARKER by Robert Fraser Cape, £25, pp. 573, ISBN0224062425 ho reads, or remembers, George Barker today? Even I was...

Page 40

Where once there was no time

The Spectator

Emma Tennant ROAD TO THE ISLES by Derek Cooper Macmillan, £16.99, pp, 247, ISBN 0333901002 0 n the occasion of my first — and only visit to the Hebrides in 1963 I found many...

Page 41

Losing the thread of life

The Spectator

Nicholas Harman THE FORGETTING: UNDERSTANDING ALZHEIMER'S by David Shenk HarperCollins, £15.99, pp. 290, ISBN 0002571749 D can Swift, the master of despair, pretty certainly...

Page 42

Falling out of love with music

The Spectator

Fiona Maddocks SELECTED LETTERS OF WILLIAM WALTON edited by Malcolm Hayes Faber, .130 pp. 526, ISBN 0571201059 WILLIAM WALTON: THE ROMANTIC LONER by Humphrey Burton and Maureen...

Page 43

Secrecy in a bleak bunker

The Spectator

M. R. D. Foot THE SECRET STATE by Peter Hennessy Allen Lane/Penguin, £16.99, pp. 234, ISBN 0713996269 KGB LEXICON edited by Vasiliy Mitrokhin Frank Cass, £35. pp. 451, ISBN...

Page 44

Music's poor relations

The Spectator

Stephen Pettitt on the difficulties composers face trying to earn a living C omposers are badly paid. It is a fact of their lives. Even some of the more prominent names find it...

Page 45

Aelbert Cuyp (National Gallery, till 12 May)

The Spectator

Time of enchantment John Spurhng A elbert Cuyp at the National Gallery is the best possible antidote to the dismal halls of Warhol at Tate Modern. Both artists lived through...

Page 46

William Beckford, 1760-1844: An Eye for the Magnificent (Dulwich Picture Gallery, till 14 April)

The Spectator

Pursuit of excellence Ruth Gtulding I n 1844 20,000 people lined the streets of Bath to watch the funeral cavalcade of William Beckford make its way to the Abbey cemetery,...

Page 48

Mother Clapp's Molly House (Aldwych)

The Spectator

Language problems Toby Young N ow that I've been doing this job for three months I can say without hesitation what the single greatest shortcoming is of contemporary British...

Page 50


The Spectator

'When I won the first Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize, it was gratifring for me on every level. I had already begun to publish, but this was a big step in my career. It helped me...

Gems of compression

The Spectator

Robin Holloway T he first number in Hugo Wolf's Italian Songbook, praising little things — the costly pearl, the wholesome olive, the fragrant rose — sweetly converts 'small is...

Page 53

Spiritual yearning

The Spectator

Charles Spencer bit of you dies in winter, and you don't realise it until spring begins to stir. And as the sap begins to rise again, one's thoughts turn to love and...

Page 54

La Bayadere (Royal Opera House)

The Spectator

Morbid fantasies Giannandrea Poesio M arius Petipa's 1877 La Bayadere is to ballet what Giuseppe Verdi's 1871 Aida is to opera. The parallel is anything but casual, given...

Six-Pack (Bridewell Theatre)

The Spectator

Handful of fun Michael Tanner T etc a Tete is a small company, founded in 1997, for bringing 'uplifting, surprising, daring and intimate opera productions of the highest...

Page 55

Acerbic vision

The Spectator

Michael Vestey T he melancholic wit and sharply observed prejudices of Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin enlivened the Afternoon Play spot on Radio Four last week in Dear Philip,...

Page 56

Possessed by demons

The Spectator

James Delingpole A eister Crowley was expelled from my school for crucifying his housemaster's cat on the chapel altar. That was the popular rumour, anyway, and I can...

Talent spotting

The Spectator

Robin Oakley W hen he first left school and joined David Nicholson's yard, the Duke's team all called Robert Thornton 'Chocolate'. The label was attached by Gordon Clarkson,...

Page 57

Steer clear of idiots

The Spectator

Taki 0 Rougemont K sports fans, what do General William Tecumseh Sherman and Sir Jocelyn Stevens have in common? I warn you, it's a tricky one. General Sherman was the first...

Page 58

Thou shalt not . . .

The Spectator

Petronella Wyatt A friend of mine was reading Anna Karenina recently and remarked that it was one of the great books on adultery as committed by a respectable female. We then...

Page 59

Simon Hoggart

The Spectator

AN apology. Last month's offer, from Lay and Wheeler, was so popular and so greatly oversubscribed that poor Hugo Rose had to spend ages locating fresh stocks. Some readers had...

Page 62

Subject to non-availability

The Spectator

Rachel Johnson THE latest issue, weighing in at one pound, was delivered through my door on Monday and had as many pages as the telephone directory for the Taunton and...

Page 67

Last to first

The Spectator

Simon Barnes IT is not a time that will get many chapters in my autobiography. but I was one of the founding fathers of the Greyhound Star newspaper. During this brief period —...

Q. I recently suffered the embarrassment of being taken by

The Spectator

a potential employer to lunch at a sushi bar. Boldly accepting the challenge of chopsticks, I found devouring the delicacy with any kind of grace impossible. It was a choice...

Q. My parents have bought me a flat to live

The Spectator

in while I am at university, and this term I have invited in two fellow students to help with the mortgage. My problem is that while these two friends are perfect in every way,...

Q. Does one eat or drink soup? WM., RG19 A. A gentleman avoids using either term. He simply has it.

The Spectator

Mary Killen