23 JUNE 2007

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A long time in politics

The Spectator

By the time the next issue of The Spectator hits the news-stands, Tony Blair will have battled his way through his last EU summit; the Labour party will have elected a new...

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The Spectator

PENNY JUNOR Ihave long thought there is no analogy quite so perfect for the process of writing a book as childbirth. There is the initial stage when it's little more than a fond...

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It is time for Cameron to shape the team that he thinks can chase Brown from office

The Spectator

FRASER NELSON Boris Johnson is being rather coy about his chances for promotion. 'Statistically, I am due to be fired again,' he tells this month's GQ magazine. 'It may be that...

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It is time for Cameron to shape the team that he thinks can chase Brown from office

The Spectator

FRASER NELSON Boris Johnson is being rather coy about his chances for promotion. 'Statistically, I am due to be fired again,' he tells this month's GQ magazine. 'It may be that...

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The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator

CHARLES MOORE Tyranny is most successful when most extreme. Because we all know that North Korea is absolutely foul, we do remarkably little about it. The new report into mass...

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Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

The Spectator

By Tamzin Lightwater MONDAY A day of high drama. Heart-stopping parliamentary meeting at which Dave put the party on stand-by for an election in October. . . THIS October!...

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Stars in their eyes: undercover with the celebrity Scientologists

The Spectator

Tessa Mayes is the first reporter to have gone undercover in the London Celebrity Centre of the Church of Scientology. It is, she finds, like a pious version of Pop Idol. The...

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Blair is going, but Thatcher still rules

The Spectator

In the last days of Blair's premiership, Simon Jenkins is struck by the stunning resilience of Thatcherite doctrine: in time, New Labour will be seen as nothing but a change of...

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With Sego's love split, France is going tabloid

The Spectator

Celia Walden says that the very calculated way in which Segolene Royal announced her break-up with her partner of 29 years was worthy of Diana This week, shortly after the...

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Hello, sailor! The real pirate of the Caribbean

The Spectator

Richard Sanders recalls the exploits of Bartholomew Roberts, a swashbuckling 18th-century buccaneer to match Johnny Depp — except that he drank tea, and was probably gay The...

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Gaza is just another front in Iran's war on the West

The Spectator

Melanie Phillips says that appeasement by Britain and America has fuelled the Palestinian violence and assisted Tehran's ambition to establish a regional empire Britain gazes...

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There is no one more deserving of a knighthood than Salman Rushdie

The Spectator

Rod Liddle, no fan of the honours system, scorns the united front of Left and Right who have expressed horror at the reward given to this brave and remarkable novelist At last...

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Lie of the land

The Spectator

Sir: In the past few weeks Hamas has shown itself to be a merciless, power-hungry organisation with little interest in the well-being of its own people, let alone that of its...

Big wigs

The Spectator

Sir: Of course the legal wig is an anachronism ('When Harry met silly', 16 June). But then so is the yarmulke, the mitre, the biretta, the bearskin, the mortarboard and all...

The Belgrano was a threat

The Spectator

Sir: Charles Moore (The Spectator's Notes, 16 June) rightly criticises ITN for cutting Captain Bonzo's admission that his ship did indeed pose a threat to the task force and...

Self-interest, not patriotism

The Spectator

Sir: Irwin Stelzer (Go West, young man', 9 June) writes as if patriotism were an unmixed blessing. It is if it means putting country before self. But when it comes to putting...

Blair has a point

The Spectator

Sir: Your leader on the Prime Minister's speech about the media (16 June) is a little unfair. Mr Blair's description of the Independent as 'a viewspaper' is not 'daft'. Anyone...

Bog standard

The Spectator

Sir: Charles Moore's fascination for the past three weeks with lavatory paper prompts me to offer a suggestion as to why two papers might be offered to the discerning — Bronco...

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Terry Wogan and Ken Bruce are beloved because they soar above English ideas of class

The Spectator

MATTHEW PARRIS presenting Pick of the Week on Radio Four the other day, I was determined to feature (and did) BBC Radio One's Annie Nightingale, and Radio Two's Janice Long —...

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The man who took a PhD in Happiness Science

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON La dy Diana Cooper used to relate that, at a dinner she gave in the British embassy in Paris, not long after the war, Madame de Gaulle was asked what she was...

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'That's Shriti Vadera — Gordon's representative on earth'

The Spectator

Martin Vander Weyer says the new Prime Minister's trusted policy enforcer and adviser on business issues has been mistreated by the media because they know so little about her...

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It's wrong to punish private equity

The Spectator

Allister Heath /t will come as little consolation to Guy Hands, the financier who complained this week that he must be the last person in Britain still prepared to defend the...

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The scourge of Hong Kong

The Spectator

Elliot Wilson meets David Webb, the shareholder activist who challenges the former colony's most powerful tycoons Every city needs a David Webb. Hong Kong, a heaving, sweating...

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Good news for everyone except Mr Chu: the post-Prescott era dawns at last

The Spectator

ROBERT BEAUMONT IN HULL n Wednesday, when John Prescott finally steps down as Deputy Prime Minister, the city of Hull will breathe a collective sigh of relief. Just as Joseph...

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Sailing to victory

The Spectator

Bob Fisher on the 32nd America's Cup n the Mediterranean waters off Valencia in a moderate sea breeze on the afternoon of 23 June, two 80ft yachts will begin a first-to-fivewins...

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Cruise control

The Spectator

Taki When my first wife left me back in 1968 I moped around the house feeling sorry for myself until my father took pity and told me to go out and buy myself a boat. My only...

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Everything under the sun

The Spectator

Christopher Howse The sun comes up over the sea at Valencia, and no one shows this better than Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, a painter who reached the height of his powers in the...

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The need for speed

The Spectator

Angus Grogono As a child, I spent my summer holidays camped out on Weymouth beach during Weymouth Speed Week watching what looked like big toys being thrown into the big...

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The changing faces of London

The Spectator

Philip Hensher WEST END CHRONICLES by Ed Glinert Allen Lane, £25, pp. 322, ISBN 9780713999006 © £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 At the commissioning stage, this must have...

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The rules of the meddling game

The Spectator

Richard Beeston SWORDS AND PLOUGHSHARES by Paddy Ashdown Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 338, ISBN 9780297853039 © £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 paddy Ashdown was standing by a muddy...

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Spain's brain drain Raymond Carr THE DISINHERITED:

The Spectator

Spain's brain drain Raymond Carr THE DISINHERITED: THE EXILES WHO CREATED SPANISH CULTURE by Henry Kamen Penguin, £30, pp. 508, ISBN 9780713997672 © £24 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870...

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Return of the native

The Spectator

Digby Durrant THE ROAD HOME by Rose Tremain Chatto, £16.99, pp. 365, ISBN 9780701177935 © £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Ive know the pressures the steady flow of...

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A female Colossus

The Spectator

Andrew Barrow COMING ON STRONG by Joan Rhodes Serendipity, £9.95, pp. 151, ISBN 9781843942283 uring the post-war years, the author of this book was a much-talked about variety...

Just the one regret

The Spectator

Sophia Waugh FULFILMENT AND BETRAYAL, 1975-1995 by Naim Attallah Quartet, £25, pp. 796, ISBN 9780704371219 © £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 s he a monster, saint, genius...

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The children of Marx

The Spectator

Anne Applebaum COMRADES: A WORLD HISTORY OF COMMUNISM by Robert Service Pan Macmillan, £25, pp. 547, ISBN 9781405053453 © £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 talian...


The Spectator

Stung like a gelding sixteen hands high, spooked, tangled up in my clothesline and horse flies, holding me down behind the barn, spinning yarn, frost, dew and moss, outhouses,...

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The tame Englishman

The Spectator

Edward Harrison MY FRIEND THE ENEMY: AN ENGLISH BOY IN NAZI GERMANY by Paul Briscoe and Michael McMahon Aurum, f12.99, pp. 212, ISBN 9781845132316 £1039 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870...

Victors and vanquished

The Spectator

Francis King THE KINGDOM OF ASHES by Robert Edric Doubleday, £16.99, pp. 400, ISBN 9780385612562 © £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 n the immediate aftermath of the last...

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Decryption and deception

The Spectator

M. R. D. Foot THE INNER CIRCLE: A VIEW OF WAR AT THE TOP by Joan Bright Astley The Memoir Club, £12.95, pp. 212, ISBN 9781841041667 THIRTY SECRET YEARS: A. G. DENNISTON'S WORK...

Mr String, considering

The Spectator

Cups in the midden. Imagine. Made by madmen, nineteen hundred of them In the asylum's heyday. Idle hands, then, idle minds England. Whole institution round the bend....

The food of love

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans BEETHOVEN CONFIDENTIAL & BRAHMS GETS LAID by Ken Russell Peter Owen, £12.95, pp. 220, ISBN 9780720612790 £1039 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 ELGAR: THE EROTIC...

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Fretting about the internet

The Spectator

Christopher Howse THE CULT OF THE AMATEUR by Andrew Keen Nicholas Brealey, £12.99, pp. 228, ISBN 9781857883930 £1039 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 n its early days, the...

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The phantoms of the opera

The Spectator

No doubt Mr Blair will soon be at work on his memoirs; or perhaps his ghost will. Ghosts play a necessary role in the publishing business. Indeed all those firms who rely for...

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Lord of the crags

The Spectator

Henrietta Heald heralds the achievement of a Victorian pioneer of alternative technologies There is a corner of Northumberland, in the valley of the River Coquet, where the...

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A Pevsner for paintings

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Mhere is a remarkable project of great enterprise and diligence in progress throughout the land — a plan to catalogue all the oil paintings (as well as those in...

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Sins of commission

The Spectator

Roderick Conway Morris Venice Biennale Castello Gardens, Arsenale and other venues, until 21 November c 1-lhey order, said I, this matter better in 1 France.' It is the norm at...

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Philippe de Champaigne (1602-74), a Flemish-born F

The Spectator

Philippe de Champaigne (1602-74), a Flemish-born French painter, may be familiar to audiences this side of the Channel from his magnificent triple portrait of Richelieu in the...

Summer froth

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans The Drowsy Chaperone Novello Gaslight Old Vic The Christ of Coldharbour Lane Soho Midsummer. Holidays loom. Migrations are being pondered and planned. Right now the...

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What a life

The Spectator

Deborah Ross La Vie en Rose 124, Nationwide Do go see this biopic of Edith Piaf, if you so fancy. Marion Cotillard is excellent as Piaf, and those Piaf songs are as gloriously...

Musical grossness

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Don Giovanni Royal Opera House Capriccio Guildhall School of Music & Drama The latest revival of Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera, in Francesca Zambello's...

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Devolution of the human brain

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm minous predictions could be heard on Radio Four on Saturday morning in a programme hosted by Rory Bremner. If by chance you missed it, having already dragged...

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Redemptive Power

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart Sex, the City and Me (BBC2, Sunday) might just as well have been called 'All Men Are Bastards — based on a true story'. Sarah Parish played Jess, a horrible...

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Trump card of a joker

The Spectator

Robin Oakley Royalty and racing have long been intertwined. We would not have been racing at Ascot this week were it not for the prodigiously fat Queen Anne, who, when she could...

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I'm in Heaven

The Spectator

Taki Well, what can one say except they don't throw parties like this one any more. The dress code was devilishly or angelically black tie. (Think horns and wings and other...

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Local heroes

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke When I was six or seven I went up to London with my father in his car. As we passed through Whitechapel in the East End, he pointed out a pub called the Blind...

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PC world

The Spectator

Susanna Gross It's been a year since the English Bridge Union launched its BB@B (Better Behaviour at Bridge) campaign. I'm not sure how many players actually call their club's...

Gone missing

The Spectator

Roy Hattersley Tast week — defying the traffic jams , and the most restrictive parking regulations in western Europe — I ventured into Bakewell, our local metropolis and the...

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Brick Lane booty

The Spectator

Jenny Wilhide on picking up bargains at the world's funkiest car-boot sale Unless you are desperate to buy a semi-useless kettle for £2, the irresistible lure of a carboot sale...

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By appointment only

The Spectator

Nick Foulkes succumbs to the charms of a human storewide search engine Iam a terrible snob when it comes to apparel. I have been having clothes made for me since the beginning...

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t' is for luxury

The Spectator

Ivo Dawnay `chillaxes' with his daughter in Capri The telephone beside the bed bleeped discreetly. 'Excuse me for disturbing you, sir. It is the bar here. After a search of the...

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The Spectator

DEBORAH ROSS Iwent out for lunch the other day. Usually, I don't much care for going out to lunch. Too much of a faff — and think of the daytime TV I might miss. I might even...

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Your Problems Solved

The Spectator

Dear Maly Q. Please can you enlighten me as to the difference between an actor's agent, an actor's manager and an actor manager? I recently met a famous actor at a party and was...

Radio days

The Spectator

FRANK KEATING BBC radio's Test Match Special will deservedly be celebrating particularly special champagne moments in a couple of weeks when their tardis settles on Edgbaston...