27 JANUARY 2001

Page 6

M Peter Mandelson, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, resigned,

The Spectator

after forgetting and then remembering that he had made a telephone call to a Home Office minister to do with the possibility of British passports for the brothers Srichand and...

Page 7


The Spectator

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 020-7405 1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 HOLOCAUST ABUSE M emorial days have never been an English practice. We have a few...

Page 8


The Spectator

I am eight months into the writing of what looks like being a very long novel, and at last I think I can see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. During the process of...

Page 9

Mr Mandelson kept on digging until the hole became his political grave

The Spectator

BRUCE ANDERSON O ne might have thought that he would have learned his lesson. Peter Mandelson was lucky to return to office only a few months after the mortgage fiasco;...

Page 10

Mandy has gone again but it's no thanks to the BBC

The Spectator

STEPHEN GLOVER S o Peter Mandelson has gone. The general view at Westminster and in Fleet Street was that the Northern Ireland Secretary would not have to resign, though his...

Page 12


The Spectator

Charles Moore says that in trying to ban hunting, the government is picking a fight that did not have to be picked — and one that will turn out to be bloody The waggoners on...

Page 14

Banned wagon

The Spectator

A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit THERE are plenty of politicians, particularly of the local variety, who would ban the driving of cars if only they...

Page 15


The Spectator

Frank Field says that the government should revive the welfare system destroyed by left-wing, middle-class reformers GORDON BROWN promises a silent revolution. Within five...

Page 16

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

IN cases of homicide, no punishment these days seems too severe in the eyes of the victim's family, and there are voices in government that seem willing not only to listen to...


The Spectator

SiOn Simon says that Tony Blair has no agenda for government, just a continuing thirst for power EVERYBODY thinks they must be missing something. That's why they've got me...

Page 20


The Spectator

Alasdair Milne tells Michael Vestey that vengeful Tories were behind his dismissal as director-general of the BBC ALASDAIR MILNE telephones to alter our appointment....

Page 22


The Spectator

Aidan Hartley on the murder of Laurent Kabila and the wicked farce of Central African politics The Congolese President Laurent-Desire Kabila fantasised that he would fall...

Mind your language

The Spectator

MIND the doors! The consensus is that early doors (13 January) derives from theatrical use, although one reader suggested it came from the practice of the `knocker-up' (or...

Page 24


The Spectator

Julian Manyon reads Richard Tomlinson's book on M16 and discovers childish damage to the service Moscow DEVOTEES of new technology will sneer, but I still find the photocopier...

Page 26


The Spectator

James Bartholomew on the anger in Valletta as they prepare for a referendum on whether to join the EU MY father-in-law, Wally, stands with me on a finger of land called...

Page 27

Famous last words do not always ring true. Or do they?

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON T here is a rumour going around about Auberon Waugh's last words. It is said he became briefly conscious and asked. 'Have they sacked Dominic Lawson yet?' But...

Page 28

Johnson and Maclean

The Spectator

From Sir Charles Maclean of Dunconnel Sir: Paul Johnson doesn't seem to have done his homework before proposing my father Fitzroy Maclean as the missing villain in Evelyn...

Weights of the world

The Spectator

From Mr Vivian Linacre Sir: Ross Clark (Imperial madness', 20 January) has already secured this year's 'PHIB' (Perverting History to Impose Bureaucracy') award for his...

Boring is better

The Spectator

From Diana Chapman Sir: Amazing, isn't it (How exams are fixed in favour of girls', 20 January)? When women were underachievers no one pointed out that the system was loaded...

Pretty nasty woman

The Spectator

From Mr Richard Burge Sir: I have just read the article about me (Gone to Claridge's', 20 January), and never have I more regretted going for a drink with a pretty woman. It was...

Page 29

Miser of distinction

The Spectator

From Mr John Vincent Sir: Mr Alistair Cooke, in his erudite comments on the rotten borough of Ilchester (Letters, 20 January), is perhaps a shade harsh when he describes Lionel...

Taki's consolation

The Spectator

From Lord Harris of High Cross Sir: I am hardly in , a position to object to Taki's rather strong complaint (High life, 20 January) against me for revealing his name (to Mr...

Brock-loving Bron

The Spectator

From Mr Simon Courtauld Sir: The 1984 article by Auberon Waugh which you republished (`Badgers are beautiful', 20 January) was well chosen. More than 16 years on, and to a...

The issue of the century

The Spectator

From Lady Lothian Sir: Apparently we are living at a time of particular danger for humanity since it has become possible for the human species to be altered irreversibly. For...

Dancer with no name

The Spectator

From Mr Joseph Long Sir: In the late 1980s I purchased from a gentleman in Ireland a precious art-deco porcelain figure of a dancer in mid-stride. I need to establish the...

Page 30

The time is coming when the Left will again lead the Tory party

The Spectator

MATTHEW PARR IS I was invited recently to a short symposium organised by the Tory Reform Group. Late for the gathering. I had in my confusion remembered only where I was...

Page 32

Clara comes in to cure the Exchange's delusions but she must be its last chance

The Spectator

CHRISTOPHER FILDES F ourth time lucky? Clara Furse must surely represent the London Stock Exchange's last chance. She has emerged as its choice of chief executive, the job in...

Page 34

Vamping it up in old New York

The Spectator

PetroneIla Wyatt says the past is alive and kicking in Manhattan I WISH I had been born in 1908. That would have made me the age I am now in 1938. Were I the age I am now in...

Page 36

Life in the afternoon

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke UNTIL we went to Madrid for the weekend just before Christmas, my boy, Mark, aged 11, had not been out of the country. He hadn't flown in an aeroplane either. Nor...

Page 38

Blooming fantastic

The Spectator

John Parry NOTHING quite prepares you for the sheer force of the charm offensive that greets you when you come face to face with Susana Valeria Rosa Maria Gil Passo, more...

Page 39


The Spectator

I taly conjures up many varied images, but surely few could be stronger than that of the Lakes of Lombardy. The early mist rising off the lake, church bells resonating off the...

Page 40

Messing about in a barge

The Spectator

Michael McMahon THERE are many interesting travel opportunities on the Internet, and le-guide.com seems to offer one more challenging than most: 'Be seduced by the Canal du...

Page 42

Clinton country

The Spectator

Jonathan Ray AMERICANS — the ones I know anyway — don't go to the Ozarks, the vast wilderness of rivers, mountains and forests that straddles Missouri and Arkansas. When I told...

Page 44

Among the blokes

The Spectator

Lucy Vickery I WENT to Melbourne with my younger brother, Simon, and a whole load of preconceptions. Centre-stage in my imaginary Australia were the men — laconic, chippy,...

Page 47

Playing (and not playing) the Game

The Spectator

Philip Hensher TOURNAMENT OF SHADOWS by Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac Little, Brown, .E25, pp 672 W e can agree to call this episode in history the Great Game' since...

Page 48

The fault is in our stars, dear Brutus

The Spectator

Ann Geneva TRUE AS THE STARS ABOVE by Neil Spencer Gollancz, £10.99, pp. 246 A ll obscure corner of academia has come up with a wheeze for explaining the genesis of world...

Page 49

The man about whom still more remains to be said

The Spectator

Ian Ousby THE HITLER OF HISTORY: HITLER'S BIOGRAPHERS ON TRIAL by John Lukacs Weidenfeld .E25, pp. 279 A nybody who takes a serious interest in the history of the second world...

Beneath the Surface

The Spectator

First an aerial photo. This might be the site. Then a JCB, clanking, heaps topsoil and stone. Spadework and sieving bring artefacts up to the light. Like lucky phrases, pottery...

Page 50

Being mysteriously interfered with

The Spectator

Miranda France THE HESPERIDES TREE by Nicholas Mosley Seeker, £15.99, pp. 311 I have never read anything quite like this extraordinary book before. It is about a student who,...

A damned puzzling dozen

The Spectator

Nicholas Harman T o be asked to review a book is always nice. To be asked to do a dozen in one go makes one suspect the literary editor of exploitation. But it was not such...

Page 51

Bravery and break-down: a military mystery

The Spectator

Robert Fox WAR OF NERVES: SOLDIERS AND PSYCHIATRISTS by Ben Sheppard Cape, £20, pp. 487 S oldiers invalided from the Western Front in the early stages of the first world war...

Page 52

Never a wet blanket

The Spectator

Helen Osborne GIELGUD: A THEATRICAL LIFE by Jonathan Croall Methuen, £20, pp. 579 ‘E verybody loved him,' warned the late Dirk Bogarde, when Jonathan Croall talked to him about...

Page 53

Establishing the credentials of the new establishment

The Spectator

Hugh Massingberd DEBRETT'S PEOPLE OF TODAY 2001 edited by John Crookes and Alison Green Debrett's Peerage Ltd, £130, pp. 2,170 y ou know, Jeeves,' observes the 9th Earl of...

Page 54

A triumphant disaster?

The Spectator

Philip Glazebrook THE SIEGE OF KARS, 1855 edited by Tim Coates The Stationery Office, (Undercover Editions), £6.99, pp. 252 E ach book in this series draws on the Stationery...

A concerto in prose

The Spectator

John Bayley THE LAST SUMMER by Boris Pasternak translated by George Reavey Peter Owen Modem Classics, £8.50, pp. 92 I n literature the Stream of Consciousness began to flow...

Page 55

Not a single dud

The Spectator

Patrick Skene Catling THIRTY LONDON MAGAZINE STORIES selected by Jane Rye London Magazine Editions, £12.50, pp. 328 S hort stories are the impressionism of fiction, glimpses...

Page 56

Under Western eyes

The Spectator

Richard West I HAVE SEEN THE WORLD BEGIN by Carsten Jensen Harvill, £16.99, pp. 337 C arsten Jensen does not explain why he took time off from journalism in Copenhagen to...

Page 57

Verdi and Vienna

The Spectator

Charles Osborne on how the composer and the city still make great partners M y first visit to Vienna was nearly half a century ago. I had come to Europe from Australia in my...

Page 58

I Am A Camera (Saatchi Gallery, Boundary Road, NVV8, till 25 March)

The Spectator

Deceptive images Martin Gayford I n the centre is Christ, a strangely serene figure, in the centre of the emotional storm his words have created. Around him, seated behind the...

Page 61

The Elixir of Love (Opera North) Verdi's Requiem (Barbican)

The Spectator

Lost innocence Michael Tanner L 'Elisir d'Amore is the most benign of operatic comedies, and Opera North, in its excellent new production — I delayed visiting it until I could...

Page 62

Recovering from Schnittke

The Spectator

Robin Holloway I write still reeling a fortnight later from the all-out bombardment of the BBC's Schnittke Weekend earlier this month. Even as spaced more widely on Radio Three...

Page 63

La Lupa (Barbican Pit) A Wedding Story (Soho Theatre)

The Spectator

Blood and lust Sheridan Morley E yen for a company understandably eager to break out of its Shakespearean shackles from time to time, and yet curiously unable to find any...

Page 64

La File Mal Gardee (Royal Opera House)

The Spectator

Sparkling form Giannandrea Poesio N ow that almost all the Sugar Plum Fairies and their dim-looking Nutcracker Princes have been packed away with the rest of the Christmas...

Heroic dozen

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart T his is a tale which will make you realise why people hate television companies. I was watching Jungle Janes (Channel 4) with my wife, when she suddenly said,...

Page 65

Feast of Victoriana

The Spectator

Michael Vestey T here's nothing like an anniversary to bring out the best in Radio Four, as we've been hearing for the past week. To mark Queen Victoria's death on 22 January...

Page 66

Remember the middle-rankers

The Spectator

Robin Oakley I f I had a £100,000 two-year-old I would happily engage Dale Gibson to ride it. It would win if it was good enough and be looked after and educated if it wasn't....

Page 69

Sporting chance

The Spectator

Alan Judd S ports cars are unseasonable, so it's a good time to buy if you can find a good one. Many owners hold on to them until spring or early summer in the justifiable...

Youth and beauty

The Spectator

Taki T o London for the 50th birthday party of Charlie Glass, a great friend of long standing despite him being left-wing and a womaniser. My, how the years go by. I first met...

Page 70

Learning difficulties

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke T he Spanish teacher was a quarter of an hour late for the first evening class of the new term. The course was over-subscribed. Elbow room was limited. We sat in...

Page 71

Lugged around

The Spectator

Petronella Wyatt L uggage. Now there's a conundrum. I was very sorry to read of the trial of the rubbish collector, Mark Oliver, who is accused of handling Posh Spice's stolen...

Page 83

Honour among goalkeepers

The Spectator

Simon Barnes I ALWAYS rather liked Bruce Grobbelaar. so the fact that he has been exposed as, to use the gloating words of the Sun, a crook, a cheat, a liar and a traitor is...

Q. I am a single working mother blessed with a

The Spectator

beautiful I2-year-old girl. We depend on and appreciate enormously the help of a motorised, energetic, 60-year-old lady, Della, who chaperones my daughter after school. Della...

Q. For those who sympathised with Theodore Dalrymple's complaint (*Don't

The Spectator

call me Theo', 16/23 December) about the overfamiliar use of first names by virtual strangers, I offer this possible course of action. On a recent retreat to a health farm, my...

Q. Having recently inherited some decent furniture for my dining-room,

The Spectator

I am anxious to complete the picture with the addition of a good-sized hot plate for the sideboard. There seem to be none on the market save for unattractive, mass-catering...