25 NOVEMBER 2006

Page 5

Worse than civil war

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T he assassination on Tuesday of Pierre Gemayel, Lebanon’s industry minister, was another brutal blow of the axe to the cedar tree that gave its name to the nation’s...

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L ast time I was in China it was for the handover in Hong Kong. I stood in Tiananmen Square with tens of thousands of others as the clock went to midnight. This time another...

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At last, a political battle about the family. And not a moment too soon

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S ince Labour came to power, there has been a hugely important social trend that almost no one mentions. The institution of the two-parent family — whether married or...

Page 11

W hile David Cameron was in Darfur, pointing out how Islamist

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leaders in Khartoum give evasive answers about the mass killings in the region, his shadow attorneygeneral, Dominic Grieve, was attending a rally in central London called to...

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MONDAY Cancelled trips 1; GWB 0; personal debt: spiralling. Life is just one long crisis. Big row over what to take to Sudan in Lord A’s jet. I just thought that a few...

Page 14

‘Remember Trotsky!’ Then Litvinenko stared at the ground

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Neil Barnett recalls his encounters with the poisoned spy who has had the bearing of a marked man for years. The Russian intelligence services, Litvinenko told him, are purely...

Page 16

Above all, this murder was an attack onChristians

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Stephen Schwartz says that the assassination of Pierre Gemayel in Beirut could have been carried out by al-Qa’eda. We should make no assumptions about Syria’s role...

Page 18

Ségo and Sarko: not so different, after all

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David Rennie says that Ségolène Royal, the Socialist presidential candidate, and Nicolas Sarkozy, the likely conservative contender, are variations on a French theme I f you...

Page 20

The social climber’s case for going green

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Toby Young is not impressed by the Stern report or by a ‘carbon coach’ who inspects his house for eco-crimes. But he likes the idea that going green is a sign of status A...

Page 22

Who needs Borat? Here’s the Kazakh President

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In this exclusive article, Nursultan Nazarbayev presents a different picture of his homeland to the caricature of Sasha Baron Cohen’s film. It is a thriving, optimistic...

Page 23

Why the Tories must say No to torture

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The government is, on behalf of you and me, involved in the worst type of man’s inhumanity to man — torture. Yet with the honourable exceptions of William Hague and Andrew...

Page 24

The British Airways cross row is about fair play, not religion

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Rod Liddle says that the woman prevented from wearing her cross is demanding a level playing field, not the right to practise her religion. In this, she speaks for many people...

Page 26

Parliamentarian of the Year: the winners

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T he 23rd annual Threadneedle/ Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year lunch took place last Thursday at Claridge’s. The prizes were presented by the Rt Hon. David Cameron MP,...

Page 28

Calling time on legislation

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From Christopher W. Robson Sir: In your leading article ‘To govern is not to legislate’ (18 November), you quote the late Ralph Harris as arguing that there should be a...

Vote Ukip to leave the EU

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From Robert McWhirter Sir: Matthew Parris (Another voice, 18 November) quotes Yeats: ‘The worst [in politics] are full of passionate intensity’. He then goes on to imply...

Vidal statistics

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From Paul Warwick Sir: In his review of Gore Vidal’s Point to Point Navigation (Books, 18 November), Nicholas Haslam asks, ‘Who, in 1973, but Vidal was talking of a...

Noblest of Romans

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From John Jenkins Sir: I cannot allow Paul Johnson’s assertions about the poverty of Latin literature to remain unanswered (And another thing, 11 November). It is true that...


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From Ian Rumfitt Sir: The Warden of All Souls puts the best possible gloss on Dr John Hood’s plan to change the way Oxford University is governed (Letters, 18 November). But...


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From Peter Smaill Sir: I’m afraid J.S. Bach wouldn’t last long in court (Rod Liddle, 18 November) suing Procol Harum for, er, ‘adapting’ the ‘Air on a G String’ to...

Page 32

Let us not assume, lazily, that all Brownites are necessarily fundamentalists

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S o, Gordon Brown has been throwing his weight around in Iraq. On the face of it, that is something for the Iraqis to worry about. But the question arises: is he a threat to...

Page 34

A writer plays hookey with a magic paintbox

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A t a time when I should be writing my book on human monsters — goaded on by the many ingenious suggestions from readers of this column — I have actually been painting....

Page 36

The kitchen table tycoons

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Judi Bevan says that new technology has at last created real liberation for women by enabling them to run successful businesses from home K itchen table tycoons — the new buzz...

Page 38

Ignore your conscience: big oil still beats green power

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Merryn Somerset Webb If you are the kind of person who believes the things the City says, you might by now be almost convinced that we don’t really need oil any more. Within...

Page 40

The immortality of Milton Friedman

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Allister Heath salutes the radical thinker without whom there would have been no Reagan and Thatcher revolutions W hen John Maynard Keynes quipped that ‘in the long run we are...

Page 41

Boston’s in a hole and still digging. Will London’s Olympics go the same way?

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O n the way into Boston from Logan Airport, you pass a cavernous, closed-off tunnel entrance, full of construction vehicles, looking at night like an avant garde set for...

Page 42

A NTHONY D ANIELS J. G. Ballard’s Kingdom Come (Fourth Estate, £17.99)

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is a dyspeptic vision of a dystopian Britain that has already halfarrived. He is a close observer of our national malaise: indiscriminate consumerism combined with a sense of...

S AM L EITH There were a lot of old favourites performing

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well this year in fiction. Martin Amis’s gulag story House of Meetings (Cape, £15.99) was terrific, though he must be sick to his new back teeth of hearing it accorded the...

D IGBY D URRANT How did Siegfried Sassoon at 42 in the

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throes of a love affair with Stephen Tennant, the most flamboyant homosexual in the land, and moving in the same smart circle as the Sitwells and the Garsington set, shut...

L EE L ANGLEY Margaret Atwood’s Moral Disorder (Bloomsbury, £15.99) worked for

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me on every page. Eleven stories with a narrator who shares Atwood’s sardonic, lethal humour, ability to inspire laughter and touch the heart. Family life, memory, the rueful...

Page 44

R OBERT S ALISBURY This year seems to have taken a Gallic

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turn, perhaps appropriately in view of the gathering storm in France. Paris: The Secret History by Andrew Hussey (Viking, £25) is particularly good on low life, as he proves...

D AVID G ILMOUR The most stimulating thing I have read this

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year is Richard Dawkins’ brilliant new book, The God Delusion (Bantam Press, £20). One can hardly read a page without feeling that, if only monotheistic fundamentalists...

B EVIS H ILLIER Usually I have to rack my brains at

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this season to try to dredge up the titles of the books which have most appealed to me since New Year’s Day. But this year two books stand out. One is John Fowles: The...

J ONATHAN S UMPTION Robert and Isabelle Tombs’ That Sweet Enemy (Heinemann,

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£25) is history with the grand sweep, an elegant and perceptive account of Anglo-French relations over the three centuries since Louis XIV, ranging from food to literature to...

P HILIP Z IEGLER I normally get little pleasure from historical whodunits,

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but C. J. Sansom’s Sovereign (Macmillan, £19.99) is both marvellously exciting to read and a totally convincing evocation of England in the reign of Henry VIII. Peter...

A NNE A PPLEBAUM If you have to choose a single volume

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from the enormous stack of books on Iraq published this year, choose Tom Ricks’s Fiasco (Allen Lane, £25). Unlike many of the other writers, Ricks didn’t start out in...

Page 45

A NDRO L INKLATER We have no Whig historians in this country

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to match the stature of David McCullough, whose reputation in the United States is of Macaulayesque proportions. His Pulitzer Prize-winning 1776 (Penguin, £8.99) can be wholly...

W ILLIAM T REVOR Denys Finch Hatton was the man in the

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aeroplane who disturbed Karen Blixen’s African solitude and hugely cheered her up. In the film that featured their romantic friendship Robert Redford didn’t look much like...

J ANE R IDLEY The book that has given my family most

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pleasure this year is Simon Hopkinson’s Second Helpings of Roast Chicken (Ebury Press, £12). Cooking usually defeats and depresses me, but more and more I find that producing...

Page 46

And all that jass

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Sam Leith A GAINST THE D AY by Thomas Pynchon Cape, £20, pp. 1104, ISBN 0224080954 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A bout a third of the way through Against the Day ,...

Page 48

He told it like it was

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Bevis Hillier J AMES L EES -M ILNE D IARIES , 1942-1954 abridged and introduced by Michael Bloch John Murray, £25, pp. 496, ISBN 0719566800 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870...

Page 50

Advertisement feature

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Martell’s country weblogger explains... Winter drinks Hello and welcome again to my diary! It’s been a nice quiet week for me and Geoff. Well, I say quiet – it was until...

Page 51

Man’s craving for spirits

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William Leith PHANTASMAGORIA by Marina Warner OUP, £18.99, pp. 496, ISBN 0199299943 ✆ £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 W hen I finished this book I asked myself why,...

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Looking at language

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Lloyd Evans B EYOND W ORDS by John Humphrys Hodder, £9.99, pp. 240, ISBN 034092375X ✆ £7.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A P LUM IN Y OUR M OUTH by Andrew Taylor...

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The time of the hedgehog

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Jonathan Mirsky K HRUSHCHEV ’ S C OLD W AR by Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali Norton, £22.99, pp. 670, ISBN 0393058093 ✆ £18.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A s...

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Tycoons of our times

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Geoffrey Owen C LOSING B ALANCES : B USINESS O BITUARIES FROM THE D AILY T ELEGRAPH edited by Martin Vander Weyer, with an introduction by Hugh Massingberd Aurum, £16.99, pp....

Page 55

Apportioning the honours

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Allan Mallinson T HE W AR OF W ARS : T HE E PIC S TRUGGLE B ETWEEN B RITAIN AND F RANCE , 1793-1815 by Robert Harvey Constable & Robinson, £25, pp. 800, ISBN 1841199583 ✆...

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Bursting out of the closet

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Gerard Noel N O M AKE U P : S TRAIGHT T ALES FROM A Q UEER L IFE by Jeremy Norman Elliott & Thompson, £15.99, pp. 272, ISBN 1904027504, ✆ £12.79 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429...

Page 57

The uninteresting survivor

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Jane Gardam M Y N AME W AS J UDAS by C. K. Stead Harvill/ Secker, £16.99, pp. 256, ISBN 1846550122 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 C . K. Stead was Professor of...

Surprising literary ventures Gary Dexter

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A CTION C OOK B OOK (1965) by Len Deighton T he fact that the cover of this book by Len Deighton shows a chap cooking spaghetti while wearing a gun lends itself to many...

Page 59

Who needs prizes?

The Spectator

T his week the Painters’ Hall in the City of London opened its doors for the second time to The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize , launched last year by the Worshipful Company of...

Page 60

Eminent Victorians

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Andrew Lambirth A Victorian Master: Drawings by Frederic, Lord Leighton Leighton House Museum, until 25 February 2007 William Powell Frith: Painting the Victorian Age Guildhall...

Page 61

Brits on Broadway

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Sheridan Morley T he tills of the West End may be alive with the sound of musicals new and old, but the Brits on Broadway are remarkably well represented at a time when theatre...

Page 62

Desperately seeking stardom

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Toby Young The Sound of Music Palladium Porgy and Bess Savoy Thérèse Raquin Lyttelton C onnie Fisher, the winner of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search-for-a-star reality TV...

Page 63

Raising the dead

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Patrick Carnegy The Winter’s Tale Pericles Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon I n his late ‘romances’ Shakespeare reaches out for happy endings in which sinners are...

Page 64

Sparkle-free birthday

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Giannandrea Poesio Rambert Dance Company Sadler’s Wells Theatre I have always loved Rambert’s artistic eclecticism. The dancers’ ability to adapt to different...

Page 65

Terrific terror

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Deborah Ross Pan’s Labyrinth (15, selected cinemas) J ust when I was beginning to despair of ever happening upon a visually ambitious movie willing to take on fascism, the...

Hello — and goodbye

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Michael Tanner La voix humaine Opera North, Nottingham Alessandro nell'Indie Opera Rara, Coliseum P oulenc’s La voix humaine is a brief, powerful piece, and it’s a matter...

Page 66

Grim thoughts

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Kate Chisholm ‘ he medium needs glitz, it needs glam T our, it needs an ego,’ read an ominously worded column in this week’s Radio Times , accompanied by a glamorous...

Page 67

Triangle of death

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James Delingpole ‘D ad, Dad, we watched this really funny video at Ozzie and Ludo’s called Dick or Treat . Dad, dad. Daaad? Can I show you, Dad, can I?’ says Ivo, eight,...

Page 68

Look to Korea

The Spectator

Alan Judd F ord recently declared losses of £3 billion in three months and is to ‘restate’ its earnings since 2001. According to my (failed) eleven-plus maths, that’s...

Page 69

Pro’s dilemma

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Taki New York B ack in the days before I started writing for the Speccie , I wrote for National Review and for UPI, the worldwide wire service. UPI kept up with late breaking...

Page 70

Out of this world

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Jeremy Clarke A fter chucking-out time a few of us went round to Trev’s to smoke crack through a water-pipe. Water-pipes can be tricky and when it was my go I sensibly asked...

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SIMON HOGGART T his is our last Christmas offer for 2006, and contains a great many wines, starting with Corney & Barrow’s house white 1 and house red 6 . Both are highly...

Page 72

Is it curtains for shutters?

The Spectator

Sarah Sands says the current hegemony of shutters may be over T his winter, is it shutters or curtains for you? We are known as a nation of curtain twitchers, so the creeping...

Page 74

Bespoke becomes affordable

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Justin Marozzi gets measured in London for a suit made in Kowloon H e’s the man threatening to do to Savile Row tailors what Margaret Thatcher did to the miners. And he’s...

Page 76

The secrets of Scapa Flow

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Douglas Hurd learns the lessons of the Orkney Islands A s in the Falkland Islands, the winds are unremitting; there are hardly any trees. Yet the pastures are green and...

Page 81

Make it easy on yourself

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O ld women I know are saying that they rather approve of global warming if it means all this lovely warm weather. I say it’s a jolly nuisance for those of us trying to get...

Page 87

Testing times

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FRANK KEATING H ow goes it at the Gabba? We shall know by now how the first Ashes Test is panning out. Have radio’s pre-dawn choruses from Brisbane already been ruining your...

Q. I attend a small weekly prayer group in my

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tiny local church. Some mildly personal (not intimate) matters are made topics of prayer. Before the last meeting, being a moderately vain male, I happened to have my hair...

Q. I have been visiting a number of leading restaurants

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recently and find that waiters increasingly have the annoying habit of saying ‘enjoy’ — or even worse ‘enjoy your meal’, as they deposit a plate of the chef’s...