28 APRIL 2007

Page 2

Politics is rubbish

The Spectator

A n Englishman’s home is his castle, but his wheelie bin is not far behind as a symbol of domestic independence. So it is no surprise that the spread of fortnightly, rather than...

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I n thick of whistlestop tour of the US to promote

The Spectator

Notting Hell , so the dateline above this diary should read ‘New York, Dallas, Washington D.C, Chicago, Denver, L.A, San Francisco’ which would be a first — for me, anyway. In...

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‘A conflict of interest’ is now almost the worst thing

The Spectator

known to modern theories of governance. It is considered disgraceful, for example, that the Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, who is a government minister and was made a peer by...

Page 6


The Spectator

MONDAY Phew! We’re back to just the one good-looking, charismatic David. All I can say is thank goodness for that! My mental health will be all the better for it and no doubt...

Page 7

These elections will mark the final collapse of New Labour

The Spectator

Fraser Nelson takes to the road and finds voters turning to whichever parties will maximise the mutiny against Blair and Brown. The SNP is now a party of protest, not separatism...

Page 9

There is less to France’s choice than meets the eye

The Spectator

Don’t be fooled by the country’s apparent polarisation over Sarkozy and Royal, says Patrick Marnham . The ancien régime of the French state will survive this presidential...

Page 10

On First Great Western, railway hell is routine service

The Spectator

Rod Liddle says that, Iraq aside, New Labour has got nothing so catastrophically wrong as its railway policy: the very means of transport it is supposed to be encouraging L ast...

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Rise up, Englishmen, to save the Union

The Spectator

Liam Byrne says the English must be less apathetic about the United Kingdom, and about the threat of Scottish independence that looms in next week’s elections A s another...

Page 13

Here’s to a pact between the Tories and Plaid Cymru

The Spectator

Hywel Williams says that 3 May may end Labour’s hegemony in Wales, ushering in an era of liberal capitalism and paving the way to eventual independence O ne party rule sums up...

Page 14

True democracy may die with Boris Yeltsin

The Spectator

Simon Sebag Montefiore says that the Russian leader was both hero and buffoon, a democrat who failed to safeguard freedom against the return of the KGB in the form of Vladimir...

Page 15

The pangolin and the terrorist enclaves

The Spectator

Christopher Howse meets Mary Douglas, Britain’s foremost anthropologist, and learns the connection between ritual taboos and al-Qa’eda’s cells ‘I t’s no good attacking...

Page 17

Shot in the dark

The Spectator

Sir: Just a thought. Has anyone ever considered the possibility that, if all citizens were armed, the Columbine and Virginia Tech perpetrators would have been shot long before...

Where’s the evidence?

The Spectator

Sir: Melanie Phillips makes virtually no credible claim in her article on the ‘missing’ WMDs (‘I found Saddam’s WMD bunkers’, 21 April). Most of the ‘explanations’ offered are...

Fine one to talk

The Spectator

Sir: Can Anne Applebaum really complain that the Russian government went ahead and printed posters of ‘fat British capitalists in bowler hats squashing Russian workers with...

Square dance

The Spectator

Sir: Mark Palmer’s description of the proposals for Sloane Square (‘Sloane Rangers! Unite’, 7 April) has little to do with the actual design by the architects Stanton and...

United, we fall

The Spectator

Sir: The Conservative party’s problem in Scotland cannot be solved by simply juggling with the identity of their Scottish party (‘The Tories’ plan to separate’, 7 April). David...

Name and shame

The Spectator

Sir: Charles Moore is not the only one to object to the unsolicited use of his first name by total strangers, frequently in a business context (The Spectator’s Notes, 21 April)....

Page 18

David Selbourne is right about empires in decline, but wrong about Islam

The Spectator

T he hottest months are July and August, though the summer solstice, when the sun is highest, is in June. There’s a time-lag. Thus it is with empires, too. By the time they burn...

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It is the imagination which links man to God

The Spectator

W e are imprisoned in space and time and there appears to be no obvious way of escaping from them. Indeed if, like Richard Dawkins and other neanderthals, you do not believe in...

Page 21

Oxbridge investors fail to win glittering prizes

The Spectator

Jonathan Davis says that if Britain’s ancient universities want to remain world-class, they should take tutorials from Harvard and Yale in how to invest their endowments D...

Page 22

Aux armes, actionnaires!

The Spectator

Richard Northedge F rench democracy is in full swing, but the spirit of Revolution is alive and well sous la Manche . Eurotunnel’s small shareholders, having seized control of...

Page 23

Why come to Kazakhstan?

The Spectator

Elliot Wilson says corrupt bureaucrats are driving foreign investors out of Borat’s oil-and-mineral-rich homeland R ussia may have set the bar pretty high, but Kazakhstan still...

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Shoppers think fresh – and think less of products endorsed by World Cup losers

The Spectator

M iddle-class Delhi-ites have fallen in love — with supermarkets. The ‘Organised Retail’ concept has exploded here, as mini-chains such as Big Apple, Food Bazaar and Reliance...

Page 25

Like a ghost town

The Spectator

Ross Clark investigates London’s wealth of empty houses T he list of nominations for the title of London’s shabbiest street would be a long one. But of all of them, one would...

Page 26

Architectural wonders

The Spectator

Norman Miller M aybe it’s because London is finally too big for comfort that everybody suddenly seems desperate to move to the south coast of England. But where to buy? No one...

Page 27

The divine pork butcher

The Spectator

Ferdinand Mount S HAKESPEARE THE T HINKER by A. D. Nuttall Yale, £19.99, pp. 428, ISBN 9780300119282 F or some reason, snootiness I expect, I had never been to...

Page 30

Extraordinary champion of ordinary people

The Spectator

Anne Applebaum A S MALL C ORNER OF H ELL : D ISPATCHES FROM C HECHNYA by Anna Politkovskaya University of Chicago Press, £9, pp. 224, ISBN 9780226674339 A R USSIAN D IARY by...

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Odd one out

The Spectator

Simon Baker ENGLEBY by Sebastian Faulks Hutchinson, £17.99, pp. 342, ISBN 9780091794507 ✆ £14.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A t the beginning of this novel, Mike Engleby,...

Succeeding in spite of itself

The Spectator

Philip Ziegler I NDIA A FTER G ANDHI by Ramachandra Guha Macmillan, £25, pp. 688, ISBN 9780230016545 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T his is a success story. In the 60...

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A choice of crime novels

The Spectator

Andrew Taylor A ny new novel by John Harvey is cause for celebration. He produces beautifully written, solidly engineered crime stories that probe the flaws and sensitivities...

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The bicentenary of the Literary Society

The Spectator

Charles Moore N ext month, the Literary Society will celebrate its 200th birthday. The monthly dinner at the Garrick Club will be bigger than usual, but otherwise there will be...

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Is Hilaire Belloc out of date?

The Spectator

A . N. Wilson, in his admirable biography, concluded that Belloc was more remarkable as a man than in his writings. No doubt he was, and his case is not unusual. The same has...

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Mum’s the word

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke S haron’s chucked in her job as a child protection officer and gone to live in Birmingham. She’s met a chap there who measures up to her ideal, and she wants to...