24 NOVEMBER 2007

Page 2

Black Tuesday

The Spectator

Just as some remote tribesmen fear that cameras and mirrors have the power to steal their souls, so the people of the modern world have come to fear that computers have the...

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The Spectator

MIRANDA SAWYER 1 've seen my fair share of films-turnedinto-live-shows over the past couple of years. All About My Mother, The Producers, The Sound of Music, Dirty Dancing: I've...

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Brown cares more about faction fights than the betrayal of 25 million citizens

The Spectator

_FF FRASER NELSON f all the many vices Gordon Brown's government was expected to exhibit, few predicted rank incompetence. This was supposed to be the dullbut-effective...

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The Spectator Notes

The Spectator

CHARLES MOORE Cordon Brown sat next to poor, trembling Alistair Darling on the government front bench on Tuesday for the Chancellor's statement on the loss of 25 million...

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Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

The Spectator

r:.)1L2 OF A LiII1-1 _ J111 _ _ _ ii— By Tamzin Lightwater MONDAY Ugh. Have been in Tranquillity Room all day. Was meant to be briefing Mr Gove's new policy of making all...

Page 8

This Middle East summit is a distraction that will achieve little

The Spectator

James Forsyth is sceptical about the prospects for the Annapolis summit and asks what Rice, Olmert, Abbas, Blair and the other protagonists can really hope to achieve — as the...

Page 10

The mighty should quake before the Wiki man

The Spectator

Researching two Radio Four programmes on the web and power, Matthew d'Ancona found himself enthused about the potential of this technology to transform democracy As Robert...

Page 11

Mind your language

The Spectator

Although a badger does not hibernate in the true sense of the word, it lies low for long periods in winter, just as my husband does, stirring only (in his case) to fetch the...

'The largest thorn in the side of Gordon Brown'

The Spectator

Fraser Nelson talks to Alex Salmond, Scottish First Minister and Threadneedle/Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year, about the next phase of his guerrilla strategy Alex Salmond...

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Beowulf a digital hero from England's lost culture

The Spectator

Hyvvel Williams says the new 3-D blockbuster continues a long tradition of Anglo-Saxon interpretation: an epic prism through which we have defined what it is to be English 13...

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Westminster politics has nothing on Oxford's battles

The Spectator

Chris Patten, the university's Chancellor, defends John Hood, the embattled vice-chancellor who has announced he is standing down after failing to push through all his reforms 1...

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Brown has outsourced British foreign policy

The Spectator

Irwin Stelzer says that the PM wants a special relationship between Washington and Brussels (not London), and foreign policy to be set by a web of international institutions N....

Page 16

The Intelligence2 Debate

The Spectator

The motion: Britain Doesn't Need Trident Harrowing stuff. Helena Kennedy QC began by invoking the memory of Hiroshima. 'Peeling skin, melting eyeballs. People on pavements...

Page 17

The 28 days debate is a red herring compared to this attack on free speech

The Spectator

Rod Liddle is appalled by the conviction of Samina Malik, the self-styled 'Lyrical Terrorist' whose poetry may be cretinous but does not justify criminalisation Eeny meeny miny...

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There is a great deal to be said for living in a tip

The Spectator

Martin Gayford invokes the spirit of Picasso, van Gogh and Banksy to defend his own untidiness. The British should celebrate their tradition of mess and muddle 1 n 1864 a...

Page 20

The Threadneedle/Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards

The Spectator

Last Thursday the 24th annual Threadneedle/Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year lunch was held in front of a roomful of the great and good at Claridges, and — this being the...

Page 21

Build on the past

The Spectator

Sir: Simon Thurley (Britain is being demolished', 17 November) calls us to think again before politicians, short-term financiers and architects repeat all the mistakes we made...

Powell was no racist

The Spectator

Sir: Randhir Singh Bains (Letters, 17 November) is being disingenuous when he argues that Enoch Powell was, indeed, a racist because the main thrust of his concern was against...

Old-fashioned murder

The Spectator

Sir: There's not the slightest hint in George Orwell's essay that the murders people liked to read about 'were the consequence of a hypocritical society' (Roy Liddle, 'The Foxy...

Library's silent majority

The Spectator

Sir: In his letter disputing Paul Barker's account of the London Library's recent AGM (17 November), Richard Davenport-Hines repeats the slur he made at the meeting, that...

Voices off

The Spectator

Sir: It was good to find Bryan Forbes a television-shouting supporter (Shouting at my telly', 17 November). I join with him, especially in vocally denouncing background music....

I raised a 3 A.M. Girl

The Spectator

Sir: Unlike Rachel Johnson, I was delighted to introduce a daughter as a 3 AM. Girl (Can anyone be a writer now?', 17 November). Jessica was one of the three 'founding sisters'...

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A guide to 'gaffes', and why, in truth, they are always to be found in the eye of the beholder

The Spectator

MATTI-IFW D, PI Among the silly expressions that may one day be associated with our era — and I hope buried with it — is the little word 'gaffe'. I ought to know, having...

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In salons for writers, beware giving a black eye to literature

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON Students of words enjoy the way in which adjectives normally used to describe reprehensible actions are whitewashed to become terms of praise. One instance, which...

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Shock and ore: the fight for the world's mineral riches

The Spectator

Matthew Lynn says the potential merger of mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton is a challenge by the old economic world order to the growing power of China Manus Kloppers is...

Page 25

Brian Marber arkets are emotional, not cerebral I

The Spectator

Brian Marber arkets are emotional, not cerebral I have been a technical analyst — or chartist, if you prefer — for 55 years, since reading that the stock market is the...

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Half a million rooms to choose from

The Spectator

Richard Northedge meets Andrew Cosslett — whose company, InterContinental, opens a new hotel every day Most hotel-group bosses like to be at the opening of each new property...

Page 27

How Prince lost the plot — and why the next episode may be Sachs and the Citi

The Spectator

ROBERT COTTRELL IN NEW YORK 1 hazarded here in February that it would probably be a good idea if the world's largest bank were to be run, every now and again, by a banker. At...

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Fancy pants

The Spectator

Nick Foulkes wants to wear checked trousers with a dinner jacket. Will he pluck up the courage this year? Ihave a problem with violently checked trousers. I love them and yet I...

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Approved shopping only

The Spectator

Simon Heifer looks for Christmas presents online; and takes a stroll round Piccadilly There are several reasons why Christmas should be held every two, or possibly even five,...

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Santa's little helpers

The Spectator

Lindy Woodhead finds that assisted shopping is this year's new trend Arecent survey found that 25 per cent of people polled admitted finding Christmas more stressful than...

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Back to basics

The Spectator

Jenny Wilhide says the best gift for an established or aspiring foodie is solid, high-quality cookware We are obsessed with food. Everywhere I look there are food philosophers,...

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William Trevor

The Spectator

Thomas Hardy: The Time-Tom Man by Claire Tomalin (Penguin, £8.99). This is a classic biography, gracefully written, driven by a perception that never falters. The...

Caroline Moorehead

The Spectator

Two best books of the year: The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany (Fourth Estate, £7.99), a sharp, humorous novel about the people who inhabit an old apartment block in...

Gary Dexter

The Spectator

I bought Les Dawson's Secret Notebooks (JR Books, £15.99) to see if it could furnish an explanation of why Les wrote A Time Before Genesis, the only serious fiction he ever...

Alan Judd

The Spectator

The reissue by McBooks Press (Amazon, £7.43) of John Biggins's Otto Prohaska tetralogy, beginning with A Sailor of Austria, is more than welcome. Set in the AustroHungarian...

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Simon Baker

The Spectator

My favourite novel of 2007, which was omitted from an oddly undistinguished Booker longlist, was The Pesthouse by Jim Crace (Picador, £12.99), a dystopian image of a future,...

Lloyd Evans

The Spectator

Christmas looms and loyalties divide. Should I go for the Shameless Plug or the more high-minded Service to Literature? Luckily I'm able to unite these objectives by announcing...

Roger Lewis

The Spectator

Light the candles and draw the thick velvet curtains, take a deep draught of purple wine and lift Jonathan Black's The Secret History of the World (Quercus, £25) on to the...

Charlotte Moore

The Spectator

Three fine and subtle novels, all concerned in different ways with the emotional aftermath of the second world war, were Thomas Keneally's The Widow And Her Hero (Sceptre,...

D. J. Taylor

The Spectator

Jane Stevenson's Edward Bun-a: TwentiethCentury Eye (Cape, £30) was one of the best biographies I have read in years. Not only does Stevenson get to grips with the complexities...

Cressida Connolly

The Spectator

Annie Freud's poetry collection, The Best Man That Ever There Was (Picador, £8.99), has been a highlight of 2007. It's hard to believe that these troubling, hilarious, totally...

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Jonathan Sumption

The Spectator

David Cannadine's Andrew Mellon (Allen Lane, £30) is a striking portrait of a great American misanthrope, which will be much enjoyed by those who persist in believing that...

Jane Ridley

The Spectator

The best heavyweight biography that I have read this year is Tim Jeal's Stanley (Faber, £25). Wise, fair and deeply researched, Jeal's book sets the record straight on the...

Bevis Hillier

The Spectator

In 100 years' time I think the period of Eng. Lit. from 1959 (when the first volume of George Painter's life of Proust appeared) to now will be regarded as the Age of Biography....

Andrew Taylor

The Spectator

On one level, Tokyo Year Zero (Faber, £16.99) by David Peace is a murder mystery; on another it is a grimly effective exploration of Tokyo a year after the end of the second...

Patrick Marnham

The Spectator

The Laughter of Mothers (Harvill Secker, £12), the latest collection of poems by Paul Durcan, takes us further through the story of his life in Dublin and Mayo, and tells us...

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The volcano's resonant rumble

The Spectator

Sam Leith EZRA POUND, VOLUME I by A. David Moody OUP £25, pp. 507, ISBN 9780199215577 1 n the cartoonist Martin Rowson's comic strip critique-cum-spoof of The Waste Land, Ezra...

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Lives less ordinary

The Spectator

Rupert Christiansen MODERNISM: THE LURE OF HERESY by Peter Gay Heinemann, £20, pp. 640, ISBN 980434010448 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 peter Gay opens his survey of the...

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Portrait of a lady

The Spectator

Raymond Carr CLARISSA EDEN: A MEMOIR FROM CHURCHILL TO EDEN by Clarissa Eden, edited by Cate Haste Orion, £20, pp. 271, ISBN 9780297851936 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655...

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Inscrutable lords of the deep

The Spectator

Sarah Burton LEVIATHAN: THE HISTORY OF WHALING IN AMERICA by Eric Jay Dolin W W Norton & Co., $27.95, pp. 479, ISBN 9780393060577 The sperm whale, more than any other whale, has...

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No simple solutions

The Spectator

Anthony Daniels THE INVISIBLE CURE by Helen Epstein Viking, £16.99, pp. 320, ISBN 9780670913565 £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 The epidemic of Aids among heterosexuals...

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Borders of the possible

The Spectator

Stephen Abell GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD by Michael Chabon Sceptre, El 2, pp. 224, ISBN 9780340953549 © £9.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 The original title for this novel was...

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A choice of crime novels

The Spectator

Andrew Taylor Name to a Face (Bantam, £14.99) is Robert Goddard's 19th novel. With characteristic brio, he combines the Black Death, the wreck of Sir Clowdisley Shovell's...

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A one off

The Spectator

John de Falbe MY TANGO WITH BARBARA STROZZI by Russell Hoban Bloomsbury, £10.99, pp. 162, ISBN 9780747590286 © 8.79 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Late in My Tango with...

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His own man

The Spectator

Justin Marozzi OMAR KHAYYAM: POET, REBEL, ASTRONOMER by Hazhir Teimourian Sutton, £20, pp. 384 ISBN 9780750947152 £16 (plus 2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 What little most of us know...


The Spectator

So much for the ineffectual sandbags: we were put in touch with the loss adjuster, who came when the 'black water' had retired. They would indeed replace the white goods (for...

Recent gardening books

The Spectator

Mary Keen Celebrity gardeners are what publishers are banking on this year. The Dowager Marchioness of Salisbury, known in New York as 'the high priestess of historic garden...

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Urge to be first

The Spectator

Helena Drysdale MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS TO KNOW by Ranulph Fiennes Hodder & Stoughton, £20, pp. 416, ISBN 9780340951682 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 t's an alien...

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Norman at the Ritz

The Spectator

Andrew O'Hagan wrote a very nice piece about Norman Mailer in the Daily Telegraph last week. Affectionate and admiring, it was just the sort of tribute a young writer should pay...

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Screen saver

The Spectator

Igor Toronyi-Lalic on the important role opera played in the early days of cinema Jn 1978, the Swiss impresario Rolf Liebermann picked the veteran American director Joseph Losey...

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Domestic harmony

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Home and Garden: Domestic Spaces in Paintings 1960-2004 Geffiye Museum, Kingsland Road, E2, until 4 Febmaty 2008 The final part of a quartet of exhibitions...

Page 50

Multiple choice

The Spectator

Laura Gascoigne Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Painters' Hall, until] December Art competitions suffer from a basic problem: how to apply a first-past-thepost system designed for...

Elemental forces

The Spectator

Angela Summerfield Len Tabner Messum's, 8 Cork Street, London Wl, until 1 December For those of us who live in the British Isles there are two unassailable facts. We are island...

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Snowy and friends

The Spectator

Robert Gore-Langton rr he first time I saw Herge's Adventures of Tintin on stage it starred a West Highland white called Chester, playing Snowy. The dog's is a walk-on part...

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Musical misfit

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Desperately Seeking Susan Novello Statement of Regret Cottesloe The Lady of Burma Riverside Demand for new musicals has reached the point where investors are ready...

Botched job

The Spectator

Deborah Ross Sleuth 15, Nationwide Marl me, what hope is there left in the world when Harold Pinter, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh — and maybe Jude Law, should you wish to...

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Dual control

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Le Nozze di Figaro The Royal Academy of Music L'elisir d'amore; Albert Herring Glyndeboume on Tour in Norwich It seems that every opera company that thought it...

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Playing safe

The Spectator

Giannandrea Poesio Rambert Dance Company Sadler's Wells Tam more and more convinced that getting easily bored is symptomatic of growing old. Twenty years ago, when I was 24, I...

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Shiver down the backbone

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm Tust relax your fingers. Stick them on the J fingerboard around the seventh fret. Bang!' Jimi Hendrix comes to Radio Three. Even though the stations are slowly...

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True lies

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart you cannot trust a single frame of any reality television show. I don't mean they are deliberately mendacious, though some are, but nobody behaves normally when a...

Double tragedy

The Spectator

Robin Oakley It was as if we'd never been away for the Flat season. On Paddy Power Gold Cup day at Cheltenham Tony McCoy, implacable in his concentration, pale-faced as a...

Page 58

Bravo, Pablo

The Spectator

Taki New York Talk about synchronism. The invitation 1 to the launch of John Richardson's A Life of Picasso arrived the same day as Peter Arnold's letter concerning the artist....

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Space invader

The Spectator

Alex James Soon we will live on Mars. There is no doubt about that. Space is the great adventure of this millennium. It's growing more rapidly as a place of business than China...

Poetry, Please

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke Tast Saturday I was sitting at the kitchen table ready to go out for the evening, when I heard at the tail end of a radio news bulletin that the English poet...

Page 61

Dark side of the suburbs

The Spectator

Charlotte Metcalf on the paintings of Martin Mull The last time Martin Mull left America for Britain was for a Bob Monkhouse show. Back then he was known as a musician and...

Page 62

Stalkers are a girl's worst enemy

The Spectator

The mystery man dogging Carol Woolton was only after one thing Emily Diane Leatherman was arrested recently outside the house of the actor Tom Cruise for what the Beverly Hills...

Page 63

Game for anything Angela Douglas attends a gloriou

The Spectator

Game for anything Angela Douglas attends a glorious bush wedding in South Africa This March a close friend called from Cape Town with an offer I couldn't refuse. `I'm getting...

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Restaurants DEBORAH ROSS My partner has bought a wood.

The Spectator

r) -11 DEBORAH ROSS My partner has bought a wood. Seriously, he has. He simply came home one day and said, 'I have something to tell you.' Oh good, I thought, he's leaving me....

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Once I was a restaurant critic. Now I must book like an ordinary person

The Spectator

TOBY YOUNG For the past five years or so, my best friends and I have been getting together for a Christmas lunch. Because I'm a food critic — or was, until recently — they...

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

When this column discusses democracy, it is usually to argue that our elective oligarchy bears no relation to it at all; that there is nothing wrong with elective oligarchy,...

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Your Problems Solved

The Spectator

Dear Maly Q. I am a fan of The Archers but my listening pleasure always dips whenever one of the villagers makes the offer of 'a coffee' to another Ambridge resident. I feel the...

Words of Wooldridge

The Spectator

FRANK KEATING Sportswriting lost a glistening luminary when Ian Wooldridge died at 75 last spring. In four decades he produced more than seven million words for the Daily Mail...