26 JANUARY 2008

Page 5

Not so good

The Spectator

S ince the words ‘credit crunch’ entered the public lexicon last summer, many politicians and pundits on both sides of the Atlantic have maintained a state of blithe denial...

Page 9

I t’s said that vampires suffer from a syndrome called arithmomania

The Spectator

or an obsessive love of counting, so much so that to escape a vampire you just need to throw loads of cloves of garlic on the floor and the vampire can’t resist counting them,...

Page 10

Brown’s reputation for economic competence has gone. The Tories should seize the chance

The Spectator

I t was easy to forget during Gordon Brown’s trip to India and China that he has actually been Prime Minister since June. His speeches were filled with export targets and...

Page 11

P resident Sarkozy has made the right decision by avoiding the

The Spectator

World Economic Forum in Davos this week. The global titans of banking and politics are not looking good: to be photographed having fun with them would be a provocation. Not...

Page 12

MONDAY Am engaged on top secret mission — the accidental

The Spectator

snapping by a tabloid photographer of Sam nipping out for late-night essentials on the mean streets of west London! We first planned for her to be caught buying fairtrade...

Page 14

Gordon Brown has a new plan to beat terror. This is what he should do

The Spectator

The PM is about to unveil his comprehensive National Security Strategy. Con Coughlin says the best idea to import from America is not a National Security Council but a new...

Page 16

Fleecing non-doms is the thin end of a bad wedge

The Spectator

Allister Heath says that Brown’s poll tax on Britain’s 114,000 non-domiciled residents will drive away talent when our economy most needs it. Shame the Tories would do the...

Page 18

The schmoozer of Davos prepares to bare his teeth

The Spectator

In the week of the World Economic Forum Rani Singh talks to Angel Gurria, head of the OECD, who has sharp words on capitalist ‘schizophrenia’ and a coded warning for Gordon...

Page 19

Intelligence 2 debate report: should we bomb Iran?

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Iran was in the cross hairs last Tuesday. At the Intelligence Squared debate the mellifluously worded motion, ‘It’s better to bomb Iran than risk Iran getting...

Page 20

Get your hands off my light bulbs, Big Brother

The Spectator

Bryan Forbes says that the government’s ruling that incandescent light bulbs be phased out is a symptom of a world indulging its political lunacies — and it makes it too...

Page 22

In one sentence, Jacqui Smith became the Gerald Ratner of the Home Office

The Spectator

Rod Liddle says that the Home Secretary’s admission that she would not feel safe walking the streets after dark reflects not candour but arrogance and aloofness T here is a...

Page 24

Have a heart

The Spectator

Sir: I was longing to disagree with Rod Liddle that organ donation should continue to depend upon a positive act to opt into the programme (‘Hands off my organs’, 19...

Banning bells?

The Spectator

Sir: Charles Moore (The Spectator’s Notes, 12 January) contemplated the banning of church bells in Oxford by politically correct cowards unwilling to turn down the application...

Taxing aliens

The Spectator

Sir: Irwin Stelzer’s article (‘The true impact of Brown’s policies’, 19 January) makes a host of valid points, which the likes of the PM will doubtless ignore. That...

Blair’s conversion

The Spectator

Sir: Charles Moore is wrong to condemn Ann Widdecombe’s remarks on Blair’s ‘conversion’ to Roman Catholicism (The Spectator’s Notes, 12 January). Blair’s government...

Parrisites write

The Spectator

Sir: Sniglet, Matthew, is the answer to your problem (Another voice, 19 January). Sniglet is a word to describe a much-needed word which does not exist. It was coined at least...

Fat, fatter, fattist

The Spectator

Sir: So Diana Rigg ‘can’t bear’ fat people, although she should be told that it is not only the hugely obese who wear those horrible leggings which do none of us any...

Page 26

Identity cards might well be convenient: and, in any case, they are already here

The Spectator

L ast week, in my digital dealings with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, I experienced something truly fascinating. Yes, I know. Subjective. Dangerous sentence. Bear...

Page 27

The Public Enemy, the moll and the squashed grapefruit

The Spectator

D o the sources disagree? Of course. And so they should. One of the mysterious aspects of human perception is the way in which eye-witnesses disagree about what they have seen....

Page 28

A paragon of Britishness reinvented by Germans

The Spectator

Matthew Lynn visits the Bentley factory in Crewe — where Spitfires were once built — and discovers how Volkswagen’s engineers and marketing men have revived the classic...

Page 29

Coming soon to a screen near you

The Spectator

Cosmo Lush V egas, baby. Ask any self-respecting geek what’s the hottest thing in this town and it isn’t lap-dancers or crapshoots but gadgets and gizmos. Las Vegas is the...

Page 30

Network Rail’s performance is poor enough to test an archbishop’s patience

The Spectator

T he archbishop and I — not having been formally introduced — confined ourselves to an exchange of despairing glances. We were at Doncaster, in the buffet car of the 19.13...

Page 31

A great writer and drinker

The Spectator

Sam Leith POE: A L IFE C UT S HORT by Peter Ackroyd Chatto, £15.99, pp. 170, ISBN 9780701169886 ✆ £12.79 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 W hen Edgar Allan Poe bumped into a...

Page 32

A stately progress

The Spectator

George Osborne T HE F ORGOTTEN P RIME M INISTER : T HE 14 TH E ARL OF D ERBY , A SCENT , 1799-1851 by Angus Hawkins OUP, £30, pp. 448, ISBN 9780199204403 ✆ £24 (plus £2.45...

Page 33

Dangers of the group mentality

The Spectator

Alan Judd L EADERLESS J IHAD : T ERROR N ETWORKS IN THE T WENTY - FIRST C ENTURY by Marc Sageman University of Pennsylvania Press, £16.50, pp. 200, ISBN 9780812240658 M arc...

Page 34

Let Joy be unconfined

The Spectator

Matthew d’Ancona J oy D IVISIoN : P IECE By P IECE , W RITING A BoUT J oy D IVISIoN , 1977-2007 by Paul Morley Plexus, £14.99, pp. 160, ISBN 9780859654043 ✆ £11.99 (plus...

When pink was far from rosy

The Spectator

Judith Flanders A MERICAN P RoMETHEUS : T HE T RIUMPH AND T RAGEDy oF J. R oBERT o PPENHEIMER by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin Atlantic, £25, pp. 736, ISBN 9781843547044 ✆...

Page 35

The new arbiters of taste

The Spectator

John Martin Robinson G REAT C OLLECTORS OF O UR T IME : A RT C OLLECTING S INCE 1945 by James Stourton Scala, £45, pp. 480, ISBN 9781857595147 ✆ £36 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870...

Page 36

Love among the journalists

The Spectator

John de Falbe W E A RE N OW B EGINNING OUR D ESCENT by James Meek Canongate, £16.99, pp. 295, ISBN 9781841959887 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A t the centre of...

Page 37

Remembering Hugh Massingberd

The Spectator

The following is the address given at his funeral at Kensal Green Crematorium on 2 January W e were all so lucky to bask in Hugh’s generous friendship. He included in this...

Page 38

Capturing the decade

The Spectator

D. J. Taylor G RANTA 100 edited by William Boyd Granta, £12.99, pp. 349, ISBN 9781905881000 ✆ £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T ugging the review copy of Granta 100...

Page 39

Legacy of an Eminent Victorian

The Spectator

‘Mr Hallé’s Band’ began giving concerts 150 years ago. Michael Kennedy on the great orchestra O n the wet evening of 30 January 1858 in the Free Trade Hall,...

Page 40

Generosity of spirit

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Rose Hilton: A Selected Retrospective Tate St Ives, until 11 May R ose Hilton was born Rosemary Phipps in the Kentish village of Leigh, near Tonbridge, in...

Page 42

Olden but golden

The Spectator

In the swim Charles Spencer T here’s a lovely number by Loudon Wainwright III called ‘The Swimming Song’ that evokes the delights of bathing with both sharp wit and...

Dazed and confused

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans The Tempest Arts, and touring Brendan at the Chelsea Riverside A Mother Speaks Hackney Empire T ara Arts, a troupe devoted to ‘crosscultural theatre’, are...

Page 43

Powerful trio of stars

The Spectator

Michael Tanner La traviata Royal Opera House The Vanishing Bridegroom The Barbican S omething I didn’t think was possible has happened this last week: I have been strongly...

Page 44

...while you work

The Spectator

Robin Holloway I t’s been commonplace ever since the widespread dissemination of sound recording, followed by the rapid growth of broadcasting, to deplore ‘the appalling...

Page 45

Drained of colour

The Spectator

Deborah Ross Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 18, nationwide A fter the cheerlessness and brutality of No Country for Old Men , I’m not sure a film about a...

Page 46

Bach substitute

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm I t’s been really hard getting used to the idea that there’s no more Bach at eight on Radio Three. After 48 mornings, I’ve found myself well and truly...

The pity of war

The Spectator

James Delingpole Y ou were probably expecting me to review Ross Kemp in Afghanistan (Sky One, Monday) this week but I’m a bit off Afghanistan programmes at the moment. Not to...

Page 47

Family traditions

The Spectator

Robin Oakley T he actor Bernard Miles, asked once how he liked his eggs, replied, ‘In threes.’ An old chum of mine, in the days when lunch with ministers or MPs was an...

Page 48

Serbian siren

The Spectator

Taki Gstaad I ’ve been watching the Australian Tennis Open on the telly and boring myself to sleep. The modern game is too onedimensional, the players too predictable. The...

Page 49

Secrets and lies

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke T he Methodist church hall could have been a bit warmer. I chose a seat at the end of the row. Because I’d been kept awake for most of the previous night by...

Page 50

Look and learn

The Spectator

Aidan Hartley Somalia I am in a refugee camp of 200,000 war victims on the outskirts of Mogadishu. The muezzin call to prayer drifts across a sea of plastic tents set among...

Page 51

Staying cool

The Spectator

Alex James I was outside the Wolseley smoking after dinner, just lighting up my second and peacefully contemplating the relative merits of banana splits and chocolats...

Page 53

Licence to thrill

The Spectator

Mark Palmer regrets that the Aston Martin impresses only men ‘W ell done, mate, nice one,’ says a man on the way to work as my Aston Martin DB9 rolls off a giant transporter...

Page 54

Homage to Aragon

The Spectator

Simon Courtauld visits a battle-scarred memorial to the Spanish civil war F or students of the Spanish civil war, and especially its battlefields, Aragon, visited by few foreign...

Page 55

Lviv and let live

The Spectator

Andrey Slivka M aybe I’m not objective, since I always approach Lviv, Ukraine, after a spell in Kiev, where I live, or in other points east amid the relentless dun-coloured...

Page 56

The real French

The Spectator

Dom Joly I went to a French lycée in Beirut when I was a kid and I’m bilingual — at least I thought I was until my New Year’s trip to Quebec City, the capital of French...

Page 58

Where past meets future

The Spectator

Christina Patterson O n my first morning in Shanghai I was woken up by drums. It sounded like a military parade, but the roads I could see from the window of my 16thfloor hotel...

Page 59

Wonders in the jungle

The Spectator

Lucinda Baring I f you want a more intrepid holiday than your usual week on the Costa del Sol, then Peru has it all. But when trying to decide how to tackle an entire country...

Page 61

I s the economy about to collapse? Or are we facing

The Spectator

a minor blip? I do not know, but things don’t look good. What I do know is that we can offer Spectator readers the magical ‘soft landing’ economists seek, since the wines...

Page 70

I am not ashamed to admit that I want to be famous today. Who cares about posterity?

The Spectator

‘S o,’ said the television interviewer, fixing me with an inquisitorial stare, ‘why are you so desperate to be a celebrity?’ This was last week on BBC2, but the question...

Mind your language

The Spectator

It is not fair to blame the Americans for every element of speech that we don’t like, but there are a couple of pieces of syntax that have blown like some New World bacterium...

Page 71

F ollowing last week’s article, someone wrote asking me to dissuade

The Spectator

them from buying the new ultra-thin Apple Air laptop, to which they had become curiously attracted. Delighted to help. In fact anything I can do to deprogramme you from the...

Q. Following the death of my father, I have received

The Spectator

a large number of letters, many of them lengthy, from people I have never met but who knew Daddy (he was 50 when I was born). I am enormously moved by the length of the letters...

Q. Since my husband gave up alcohol, and since the

The Spectator

cost of petrol has become so high, he is reluctant to accept weekend invitations and suggests that instead we ‘join’ our friends by webcam as they are having breakfast or...

A. Thank you for your consideration.

The Spectator

Q. I have an intense dislike of writing letters with anything other than an ink pen, including the address on the envelope. However, with the constantly changing weather, I am...