25 OCTOBER 2008

Page 5

Schoolboy errors

The Spectator

I n December 1998, as Peter Mandelson resigned from the Cabinet for the first time, he and Tony Blair spelt out a modern doctrine for responsible political conduct. ‘We came...

Page 9

T o the Cavalry and Guards Club to speak to Francis

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Maude’s constituency association. A bit like West Ham’s Inter City Firm, the Horsham Tories have a reputation that precedes them. They don’t mess about, this lot. After...

Page 10

The Osborne saga is a danger for the Tories. But so is Obama’s likely victory

The Spectator

T he midday sun clearly does have a strange effect on Englishmen. How else to explain George Osborne’s multiple lapses of judgment in going to meet Mr Deripaska, a Russian...

Page 11

B ut why did Nathaniel Rothschild write to the Times ? Yes,

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he was genuinely annoyed that George Osborne had relayed Peter Mandelson’s disobliging remarks about Gordon Brown to the Sunday Times . The then Mr Mandelson was Mr...

Page 13


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MONDAY I knew it! It’s always something to do with the Bullingdon. A note arrived this morning from Mr Rothschild, marked Attention Gideon: ‘That’ll teach you for rolling...

Page 14

Osborne stumbles: but is there a bigger story about Mandelson?

The Spectator

Melissa Kite says that the shadow chancellor should have known better than to cross the most brutal spin-doctor in Westminster, or flout the conventions of the super-rich. But...

Page 16

There is nothing magic about this Keynesian fad

The Spectator

Last week, The Spectator said that ‘Keynesianism is not the answer’. Here, Tim Congdon says the government’s economic recovery strategy is a sham based on outmoded leftist...

Page 18

The Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards

The Spectator

The final full week of nominations for The Spectator ’s Readers’ Representative Award has brought forth nominations for two female MPs on opposite sides of the abortion...

To muzzle the short-seller is to muzzle free speech

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The market needs speculators who are willing to challenge the big battalions, says Patrick Macaskie . Don’t believe the hype: short-sellers were not the villains of this...

Page 20

Eat, drink and play bingo.

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Red or white? Venetia Thompson takes refuge from austerity Britain in a night of wine bingo: a fast-growing game that combines the spirit of the Mecca Ballroom with the palate...

Page 22

What Harman calls a ‘distraction’, the rest of us call debate

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Rod Liddle is dismayed by the messy debate on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, its hopeless fudge of secular and religious positions, and the cynical suppression of...

Page 24

The market crashes, but the gravy train rolls on

The Spectator

Bryan Forbes lists the prime offenders who continue to fleece taxpayers, consumers, football fans and television owners even as the financial crisis bites. Shame on this Age of...

Page 25

Both their houses

The Spectator

Sir: In your leading article of 11 October (‘A necessary evil’) you state that ‘Many of those senators who opposed the bail-out initially but changed their minds when it...

Sneers before bedtime

The Spectator

Sir: I was dismayed that The Spectator gave a platform to sneer-master general A.A. Gill (India Travel, 18 October) in the guise of a travel piece about Calcutta. Having done a...

Generous Denis

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Sir: Denis MacShane is too generous. In his Diary (11 October) he surmised that I might be the author of John Major’s ‘Back to Basics’ slogan. But I am afraid I can take...

Taki ticked off

The Spectator

Sir: Taki is quite incorrect at various points in his sweeping revision of the history of modern guerrilla movements, on which he bases his opinion that ‘insurgencies have a...

Irritated by Nats

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Sir: The SNP does seem to get between Charles Moore and his peace of mind (The Spectator’s Notes, 18 October). But would he not agree that the oil revenues would have been of...

General confusion

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Sir: I fear that Nigel Milliner (Letters, 18 October) himself falls into error when correcting Dot Wordsworth’s confusion of Gordon and Kitchener. The Nile expedition, which...

Page 26

Contrary to myth, we are becoming ever wittier in our deployment of scorn

The Spectator

W herever the civilised English gather to discuss the state we’re in, it is almost axiomatic to allow that we’re getting less refined. Discourse, public and private, is (we...

Page 28

Jane Austen knew all about a banking crisis

The Spectator

I n times of anxiety, I always turn to Jane Austen’s novels for tranquil distraction. Not that Jane was unfamiliar with financial crises and banking failures. On the contrary:...

Page 30

Scotland counts the cost of its financial Culloden

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Edinburgh is an undemonstrative city, says Bill Jamieson , but its financial community has been mortified by the loss of two banks that have guarded its wealth for centuries N...

Page 31

Banks too risky? Try flying saucers

The Spectator

Neil Collins K igm Schlunke would like you to buy a flying saucer. No, honestly, he’s ot a video of it on his mobile, showing one buzzing round his lab in Perth, Australia....

Page 32

Shares that go up as banks go down

The Spectator

Scott Payton explores the market for historic bonds and share certificates — including those issued by failed banks ‘W henever there’s a catastrophe on Wall Street, our...

Page 34

Hero to a continent

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Philip Hensher G ABRIEL G ARCÍA W RQuEZ by Gerald Martin Bloomsbury, £25, pp. 664, ISBN 9780747594765 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I n July 1965, or so the story...

Page 36

Only good news will do

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Christopher Meyer T HE W AR W ITHIN : A S ECRET W HITE H OUSE H ISTORY , 2006-2008 by Bob Woodward Simon & Schuster, £18.99, pp. 512, ISBN 9781847373212 ✆ £15.19 (plus...

Page 38

Ancient and modern unite

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Mary Keen SISSINGHURST by Adam Nicolson HarperPress, £20, pp. 342, ISBN 9780007240548 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 O nce, when A d a m Nicolson was asked the...

Page 39

Hungry for love

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Caroline Moore L OVE A LL by Elizabeth Jane Howard Macmillan, £16.99, pp. 454, ISBN 9781405041614 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 L ove All is a dreadful title —...

Page 40

A mystic and an administrator

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Charlotte Moore F LoRENCE N IGHTINGALE by Mark Bostridge Penguin, £25, pp. 646, ISBN 9780670874118 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 N o eminent Victorian has shaped...

Page 41

The yellow star of courage

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Caroline Moorehead JOURNAL by Hélène Berr, translated from the French by David Bellos Quercus, £16.99, pp. 300, ISBN 9781847245748 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429...

Page 42

Alternative reading

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Surprising literary ventures Gary Dexter T HE C ROWS OF P EARBLOSSOM (1967) by Aldous Huxley T he Crows of Pearblossom is a rare children’s book by Aldous Huxley, written...

Page 45

Worshipping a golden calf

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Martin Gayford considers whether we are in the final, pre-popping stages of an art bubble J ournalists arriving for the press view of Renaissance Faces at the National Gallery...

Page 46

Independent spirit

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Andrew Lambirth on how a chance meeting propelled him into working with Eileen Agar I t’s possible that my life would have been quite different if I hadn’t met the literary...

Page 48

Dashing pair

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Laura Gascoigne Jack B. Yeats & Oskar Kokoschka Compton Verney, until 14 December I n 1962 Oskar Kokoschka drew record crowds to his Tate retrospective — belated recognition...

Page 50

Shutting up shop

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Susan Moore O ne day, perhaps sooner rather than later, it may be possible to draw a telling analogy between the practices of the world financial markets which propelled the...

Page 52

Sense and sensuality

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Roderick Conway Morris Correggio and the Antique National Gallery and other locations in Parma, until 25 January 2009 U nlike the other leading artists of the Italian High...

Page 53


The Spectator

F OR 2009, Martin Randall Travel have five different Mediterranean Cruises to choose from. Like our small group tours, these are designed for people with intellectual curiosity...

Page 54

Apotheosis of Caro

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John Spurling Anthony Caro’s Chapel of Light Church of St-Jean-Baptiste, Bourbourg The Barbarians and Clay works Musée des Beaux-Arts, Calais, until 23 February 2009 Paper...

Page 56

Cast adrift

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Michael Tanner The Burial at Thebes The Globe Walton double bill Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House W hat is our best chance of experiencing Greek tragedies as works that are...

Page 57

Wexford winner

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Tom Sutcliffe T he Irish government has spent € 27 million on a stunning new opera house in Wexford, which is having a flawless and crisis-free baptism in the current opera...

Page 58

Context unbecoming

The Spectator

Giannandrea Poesio Mariinsky Ballet Sadler’s Wells Tiago Guedes: Various Materials The Place: Robin Howard Dance Theatre I know I am not alone in thinking that an...

Page 59

Chamber charm

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Robin Holloway F urther thoughts on the ever renewed quest for the perfect acoustic for performance and audition of music. Over the past five months I’ve heard one of my...

Page 60

Acting up

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Lloyd Evans Oedipus Olivier La Clique Hippodrome H ere it is. The National’s autumn blockbuster, Oedipus . Of all the plays of classical antiquity this is the best, the most...

Page 61

Jesting in earnest

The Spectator

Patrick Carnegy Love’s Labour’s Lost Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon I n Love’s Labour’s Lost Shakespeare uses the most transparent of silly plots as a pretext...

Page 62

Too much of a good thing

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Deborah Ross Ghost Town 12A, Nationwide G host Town stars Ricky Gervais in his first leading Hollywood role, and how much you like this film will probably depend on how much...

Page 63

Half-hearted satire

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Simon Hoggart I don’t want to come over as obsessive, but I was delighted to see the return of Harry Hill’s TV Burp (ITV, Saturday). This show, which has huge ratings,...

Page 64

It takes two

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Kate Chisholm I t happened just before the eight o’clock pips on Radio Two on Good Morning Sunday . One of those rare moments when something clicks on air and you’re...

Page 65

Sticking it out

The Spectator

Alan Judd W ho’d be a car dealer now? With new sales 20 per cent down and dropping, manufacturers moving to four-day weeks, dealerships closing and the used-car market awash...

Page 66

Feeling the pinch

The Spectator

Taki New York ‘O ligarchs brace for a downturn,’ screams a New York business headline, a fact that sends me rushing to buy hankies, now selling at a premium at every corner...

The end is nigh

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke T he average age of the residents in our village here on the south Devon coast must be up in the seventies. Every time I answer the door the person standing there...

Page 67

African exodus

The Spectator

Aidan Hartley Yemen F or a fortnight our group has spent nights on the desert beaches east of Aden, looking out to sea. We strain to hear voices above the waves. At dawn the...

Page 68

Double trouble

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Melissa Kite W ith alarming synchronicity, the horse lost a shoe and my computer screen blew up within minutes of each other at the start of my week off. So, for a gruelling...

Page 70

The power of negative thinking

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Helen Kirwan-Taylor wonders whether the pessimists have been right all along F ew people feel smug in these turbulent times — apart from those who predicted turbulent times....

Page 71

How to buy a yacht

The Spectator

Mid-credit crunch it might sound like a counter-intuitive investment, but there are bargains to be had in the yacht market. Just get yourself a decent broker, writes Sophia...

Page 78

Contrary to popular wisdom, fame has forced me to become a nicer person

The Spectator

B e careful what you wish for — or, as the old proverb puts it, if God hates you, he grants your deepest wish. All my life I have wanted to be famous and now that I am finally...

Mind your language

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It is a curious misapprehension of many otherwise intelligent and well-informed people to think that a writer who is the earliest to be quoted in the dictionary as having used a...

Page 79

New York A s anyone with an unhealthy addiction to Saturday

The Spectator

Night Live and presidential debates can tell you, Americans stage a contest like no one else. And that doesn’t just apply to the race for the White House. So if you find...

Q. May I pass on a tip to readers? Now

The Spectator

is the time of year to plant soft fruit bushes. Blackcurrants are a superfood and, if the berries are frozen, a few bushes will provide a whole family’s vitamin C needs...

Q. I am a member of a golf club that

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is considered to be one of the best in southern England and where non-members enjoy playing. Naturally, in addition to paying an annual subscription, there is a cost if one...

Q. I own a wonderful bra which gives me the

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best support and silhouette but which, because it belonged originally to my grandmother in the 1950s, has become a disgusting colour (even though it is clean). It has some sort...