Page 5

A novice with the right ideas

The Spectator

F or all its stunts, vacuities and plain deceptions, there was something undeniably compelling about Gordon Brown’s conference speech in Manchester. Here was an old stager,...

Page 9

I am deeply depressed about my children’s capacity to connect with

The Spectator

the Old Country should we ever come back to England. My effort to begin the process of toughening them up for the rigours of the British education system (uniforms, etc) met...

Page 10

I t is a fascinating feature of this great financial disaster

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that everyone — or at least everyone sensible — is confused. I do not mean the basic, widespread confusion about terms and processes — about what is shortselling or a...

Page 11

SUNDAY What more compassionate way to open than by allowing

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Mrs Spelperson to lead us in prayer at an inclusive service for all faiths and none at Birmingham’s historic yet modern town hall? (Some of us need to pray harder than others of...

Page 12

Welcome to the new austerity era, Mr Cameron

The Spectator

Fraser Nelson says that the Tory leader must not be tempted by a ‘safety first’ strategy at his conference in Birmingham. The global financial crisis has transformed the...

Page 13

The Insider’s View

The Spectator

John Redwood joins the Coffee House team for the Conservative Party Conference. For the latest news and analysis from Birmingham, log on to: www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse...

Page 14

How Dave and George can avoid a terrible rift

The Spectator

Andrew Tyrie says that root-and-branch reform of the Treasury will be needed when Brown is gone, including weekly minuted meetings. Past friendship is not enough T he Treasury...

Page 16

The modern Tory hero should be Jefferson

The Spectator

Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell unveil their plan for radical reform to decentralise power, make voting count and challenge apparats from Brussels to town halls I n theory,...

Page 18

If Miliband becomes PM, I’ll join the right-wing coup to topple him

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Rod Liddle is outraged by the Foreign Secretary’s alleged comparison of himself to Michael Heseltine: like comparing a Big Beast to a stumpy little Muntjac deer. Where have all...

Page 19

Mind your language

The Spectator

There is no reason to disallow the phrase aside from (instead of apart from ), but I know I shall never use it. Hearing it, with slight annoyance, set me wondering why people...

Page 20

This charming man: an audience with the Gover

The Spectator

Fraser Nelson meets the shadow schools secretary and finds him bracingly radical and disarmingly polite: a recipe for success in government T here are two reliable tricks which...

Page 21

The Tory lead is more solid than you might think

The Spectator

Anthony King T he Conservatives last won a general election in 1992. That was also the year when the opinion polls met their Waterloo. The results of 50 nationwide surveys were...

Page 22

Face it: Marx was partly right about capitalism

The Spectator

Rowan Williams , the Archbishop of Canterbury, says that the financial world needs fresh scrutiny and regulation. In our attitude to the market, we run the risk of idolatry R...

Page 24

Zardari is even more afraid than Musharraf

The Spectator

Stephen Schwartz and Irfan Al-Alawi say the Marriott bomb in Islamabad shows how weak the new Pakistani President is in the face of the Talebanised sectors of this failing state...

Page 26

Your chance to vote in the Spectator awards

The Spectator

After a gripping week of political theatre in Manchester, James Forsyth invites readers to submit nominations for a new category in our Parliamentarian of the Year Awards: the...

Page 28

Storing up more trouble

The Spectator

Sir: Your leading article (20 September) calls for a ‘kick up the backside’ to the banking industry. That kick should be aimed elsewhere. The British and American governments...

Impeach Brown

The Spectator

Sir: If the problem with removing Brown is that Labour’s front bench don’t want the responsibility (Politics, 20 September), and if the scale of Brown’s financial duplicity is...

Kremlin methods

The Spectator

Sir: Tom Parfitt’s article (‘Moscow’s secret war in Ingushetia’, 13 September) is a grim yet wholly accurate description of the techniques used by the Russian leadership to...

Canada’s example

The Spectator

Sir: John Kampfner (Diary, 20 September) relates an anecdote suggesting the Labour party might suffer the same fate as Canada’s Conservatives in the early 1980s, which dropped...

‘Too modest’ Toby

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Sir: Toby Young’s piece on how he came to be admitted to Brasenose is, like most of his writings, a beautifully elegant piece of fiction (Status anxiety, 20 September). He was...

Dot’s warning

The Spectator

Sir: I am besotted by Dot Wordsworth, but you and she have let me down. Does nobody in your office check the copy that is sent in? You allowed her to open her piece (Mind your...

Mysterious whale?

The Spectator

Sir: It was refreshing to read Adam Nicolson’s review of Philip Hoare’s book Leviathan (Books, 20 September). Of course, the whale is no more gentle or mysterious than any other...

The speed of lava

The Spectator

Sir: In his review of Mary Beard’s Pompeii (Books, 20 September), Raymond Carr is incorrect to describe ‘a burning lava, flowing at great speed’. To the best of my knowledge,...

Page 30

I find Miliband’s fridge and its contents more interesting than the Foreign Secretary

The Spectator

D id you see David Miliband’s fridge? It was massive. I saw it in a photograph in a Times magazine article about the brainy young Foreign Secretary. The pictures were intended...

Page 32

Stop throwing bricks! You might hit a bishop’s niece

The Spectator

‘D amn! Another bishop dead!’ said Lord Melbourne in 1834, adding, ‘I think they do it to vex me.’ The departure of one bishop meant he had to make a new one, and that involved...

Page 34

The parable of The Golden Calf

The Spectator

Edie Lush attends the record-breaking Sotheby’s sale of Damien Hirst’s artworks, and wonders whether it is all a metaphor for the recent madness of financial markets L ast...

Page 35

A catalo g ue of

The Spectator

credit-crunch cant Simon Nixon challenges the new conventional wisdom that all bankers are greedy, share traders are spivs, governments know best and capitalism is doomed W e...

Page 36

E veryone knows what the Hollywood autobiography is like. It contains

The Spectator

the assurance that the author has been made to feel exceptionally ‘humble’ exactly at those points where someone ordinary might expect to feel smug and triumphant — a...

Getting even

The Spectator

Philip Hensher J UST M E by Sheila Hancock Bloomsbury, £18.99, pp. 288, ISBN 9780747588825 ✆ £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 M Y W ORD IS M Y B OND by Roger Moore Michael...

Page 38

That worthless piece of paper

The Spectator

Graham Stewart MUNICH by David Faber Simon & Schuster, £20, pp. 528, ISBN 9781847370082 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 D avid Faber’s account of the Munich crisis has...

Page 40


The Spectator

diversification S ince 2000, the Dubai economy has grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 13%. Despite this success, Dubai has recognised the danger that oil price...

Meet the disposable family

The Spectator

Charlotte Moore T HE S TEPMOTHER ’ S D IARY by Fay Weldon Quercus, £16.99, pp. 265, ISBN 9781847242044 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 ‘T hese modern, all-inclusive...

Page 41

A furious, frazzled youth

The Spectator

Simon Baker INDIGNATION by Philip Roth Jonathan Cape, £16.99, pp. 233, ISBN 9780224085137 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I ndignation , Philip Roth’s 29th book, is...

Page 42

Out of the frying pan . . .

The Spectator

Judith Flanders S TRANGER IN THE H OUSE : W OMEN ’ S S TORIES OF M EN R ETURNING FROM THE S ECOND W ORLD W AR by Julie Summers Simon & Schuster, £18.99, pp. 363, ISBN...

A jealous addiction

The Spectator

Jerome de Groot T HE A CT OF L OVE by Howard Jacobson Cape, £17.99, pp.306 ISBN 9780224086097 ✆ £14.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 F rom ‘Readers’ Wives’ to Molly Bloom, the...

Page 43

Slippery slopes

The Spectator

Lucy Hughes-Hallett T HE W HITE W AR : L IFE AND D EATH ON THE I TALIAN F RONT 1915-1919 by Mark Thompson Faber, £25, pp. 454, ISBN 9780571223336 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870...

Page 44

Surprising literary ventures

The Spectator

Gary Dexter U SING THE O XFORD J UNIOR D ICTIONARY (1979) by Philip Pullman B efore Lyra, before polar bears and His Dark Materials , and before his first children’s book,...

Page 47

Ayckbourn’s unflinching gaze

The Spectator

Veronica Lee profiles the playwright as the Old Vic revives his best-known work A lan Ay e ckbourn, so theatre lore has it, is the scond-most performed British playwright after...

Page 48

Man as machine

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Cold War Modern: Design 1945–1970 V&A, until 11 January 2009 I t’s difficult not to admire the ambition of the V&A in mounting exhibitions which summarise and...

Page 50

A cliché too far

The Spectator

Deborah Ross Taken 15, Nationwide T aken is the latest film from the French film-maker Luc Besson and is about American, ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) who turns Paris...

Page 52

Peak performance

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Ivanov Wyndham’s Theatre Now or Later Royal Court Rain Man Apollo G reat directors have the power to alter taste. Michael Grandage’s avowed aim with this revival...

Nanny knows best

The Spectator

Charles Spencer A lthough I waste a lot of time these days gazing longingly at advertisements for luxury cruises in the Daily Telegraph , I don’t think I could ever leave...

Page 54

Make do and mend

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Otello Welsh National Opera, Cardiff La fanciulla del West Royal Opera House O tello , for me the most perfect though not the greatest of Verdi’s operas,...

Page 55

A unique acoustic

The Spectator

Robin Holloway T here was no space in my report last month, on a first visit to the Bayreuth Festival, for what was in retrospect its most exciting quart d’heure , a privileged...

Page 56

Other people’s lives

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart T here was a sad moment in The Family (Channel 4, Wednesday) this week when Dad, the very long-suffering Simon Hughes, is inspecting his daughters’ bedroom, and...

Sense of occasion

The Spectator

Alan Judd T he first Rolls-Royce I drove was a 1960s Shadow, across the Cairngorms on the glorious A939 to Tomintoul. It was a memorable drive, clear skies, snowcapped...

Page 57

Opportunity knocks

The Spectator

Taki The party’s over, it’s time to call it a day. They’ve burst your pretty balloon and taken the moon away. It’s time to wind up the masquerade. Just make your mind up, the...

Page 58

Contemplative moments

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke T he bride was several minutes late arriving at the church. Her side of the congregation were farming people, and while we waited, and the choir sang, the bloke...

Page 59

Calm before the storm

The Spectator

Melissa Kite Q uite out of the blue, the insurance company rang to say that the Polish driver has admitted liability and my car is to be fixed. This came as a shock and forced...

Paint a picture

The Spectator

Janet de Botton W ednesday nights have begun to loom large in the London bridge calendar. TGR’s has just started a weekly ‘Super-League’ where ten invited teams are battling...

Page 60

Home suite home

The Spectator

James Waldron investigates the new fashion for buying your own hotel room W hen I was ten, one of my classmates invited me to his birthday party at the Dorchester. Nothing...

Page 62

The scars of war

The Spectator

Andrew Roberts is moved by the battlefields of southern Italy and the sacrifices made there I suspect that most Spectator readers want more from a holiday than simply a beach...

Page 70

After two decades of being fired, I have some handy tips for my sacked banker neighbour

The Spectator

T o my astonishment, the tsunami that swept through the global financial markets last week actually affected one of my neighbours. When the credit crunch extends as far as...

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

A group of 200 pagan worshippers gathered recently at the Parthenon to beg Athena not to allow material to be removed from her temple and relocated in the new, specially...

Page 71

S o what was Nick Faldo blubbing about a week ago

The Spectator

when he was talking to the media about his European Ryder Cup team’s meeting with Muhammad Ali on the Valhalla course at Louisville, Kentucky? He doesn’t strike one as the...

Q. I am visited by my 30-year-old godson who, quite

The Spectator

often, brings a girlfriend to stay for the weekend. As I live in the country and have a septic system, I would like to remind him not to flush prophylactics down the lavatory. I...

Q. My parents have hosted my cousin’s children at their

The Spectator

country estate for the last two summers at an enormous cost to them — four weeks one summer and five weeks the other. Bizarrely they (my parents) have not had a word of thanks...

Q. I have a close friend of whom I am

The Spectator

very fond, but who has the unfortunate habit of perpetual name-dropping. She is intelligent, highly educated, rich and wellconnected, but it seems is still socially insecure. If...