28 JUNE 2008

Page 7

The UN is not the Holy See

The Spectator

T he situation in Zimbabwe is intolerable: on that all decent people can agree. Robert Mugabe has turned the breadbasket of Africa into a wasteland. He has set his militia, his...

Page 10


The Spectator

MONDAY Hats off to the Major government — it’s not easy managing sleaze. Putting out endless statements explaining why some MP or other isn’t on the take. The reasons are...

Page 11

I ’m just back from New York, where I met friends

The Spectator

from the New York Times . Their morale, they said, was low. This is a typical complaint of journalists everywhere; for not only are they seldom content with their lot but, more...

Page 12

Some advice for Brown’s second year: find a John Reid and bring back Charles Clarke

The Spectator

G ordon Brown’s first anniversary in Number 10 Downing Street is passing in the usual whirl of Prime Ministerial hyperactivity. It would have been out of character for Mr...

Page 13

‘P aul Johnson has killed Gordon Brown.’ This news was

The Spectator

brought recently to Tessa Jowell, Anji Hunter, Margaret Jay and other Labour luminaries gathered in the Sabine hills near Rome. Shocked, they reached for their BlackBerries to...

Page 14

Very discreetly, Cameron is writing his first Queen’s Speech

The Spectator

In spite of their commanding poll lead, the Tories are terrified of seeming complacent. But, as Fraser Nelson discloses, work is well advanced on a first-term plan for...

Page 16

Princely homes that hold their value in every sense

The Spectator

Venetia Thompson says that the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment does work that nobody else can and constructs homes that buck current property market trends R...

Page 20

Trivia really is very important, you know

The Spectator

But it’s a boy thing, admits Mark Mason . Women are just too sensible to watch Spinal Tap 35 times — but they don’t know what connects Ringo Starr and Shane Warne F or...

Page 21

N o doubt a Martian arriving on earth for the first

The Spectator

time would perceive little difference between an inhabitant of Great Britain and an inhabitant of New Britain (off the coast of New Guinea), except perhaps that the former...

Page 22

Cummins may be part of the green ink brigade, but he was right about Islam

The Spectator

Rod Liddle looks back at the case of the British Council employee who dared to speak the truth about Islamic ideology — and notes that what was heretical in 2004 is now almost...

Page 24

‘Yes! Ha! I’d have been up to the top job’

The Spectator

In the first of an occasional series, Martin Rowson interviews Ann Widdecombe while drawing her at the same time. But this two-pronged satirical strategy does not faze the cult...

Page 26

I wrote ‘hug a hoodie’ and I’m proud of it

The Spectator

Danny Kruger , who was David Cameron’s speechwriter, defends his most notorious piece of work for the Tory leader and says that love is a neglected crime-fighting device I t...

Page 28

What Cyd Charisse told me about Singin’ in the Rain

The Spectator

Gerald Kaufman on the late, great dancer and film star ‘who could stop a man by just sticking up her leg’, and the accidents that led her to a role that became a movie...

Page 30

Wrong response

The Spectator

Sir: When James Cooper criticises Matthew d’Ancona (‘Letters’, 14 June), and says that the British government should have responded to 9/11 by ‘tearing down the gates at...

Hard-won liberties

The Spectator

Sir: In an otherwise well argued leading article (‘The old order changeth’, 21 June), you repeat the claim that ‘poll after poll has suggested strong popular support for...

Judgment of Parris

The Spectator

Sir: A word on behalf of Fernando Rodrigues. Matthew Parris informs us (’Another Voice’, 7 June) that thanks to his teacher Mrs McLeod he discovered aged eight that he was a...

Murder in the dark

The Spectator

Sir: Peter Oborne rightly observes (‘We have a duty to protect Zimbabwe’, 21 June) that the MDC has relied on the peaceful tactics of Gandhi in his campaign to bring about...

Hijab opponents

The Spectator

Sir: Rod Liddle, in his attack on the tribunal that awarded £4,000 to Bushra Noah (‘Liddle Britain, 21 July), deploys an old chestnut beloved of hijab opponents everywhere:...

Modest success

The Spectator

Sir: Robin Oakley has done it again. Following his selection Look Here winning the Oaks at 47 to 1, his advice proved nearly as profitable at Ascot; Campanologist winning a race...

Page 32

If a policy is in crisis, hand it to the Post Office — or the Girl Guides

The Spectator

W ell I never. You think the government has taken its eye off the ball. You think they’ve got nothing to do except rear up in the Daily Mail to tell us how lucky we all are,...

Page 34

Beware power lobbies, entangling the great in their entrails

The Spectator

I n the early 1960s, Harold Macmillan used to say: ‘The three big interests any prime minister should beware of taking on are the Brigade of Guards, the National Union of...

Page 36

The veteran batsman who just hates to lose

The Spectator

Judi Bevan meets Sir Martin Sorrell, the hard-driving Eighties entrepreneur who is still chasing acquisitions for the company he created, the advertising giant WPP ‘B uilding...

Page 38

Pound sold to highest bidder

The Spectator

Matthew Lynn I n Amsterdam, on the afternoon of 26 June, the pound is finally being sold off. No, Gordon Brown hasn’t decided to repeat his famous trick of dumping a chunk of...

Page 40

Childcare costs soar, house prices plunge, and the rich get sued by Mr Riches

The Spectator

L ife in America’s prisons is famously tough, but at least it allows one inmate, Jonathan Lee Riches, plenty of time to spend filing lawsuits. In his latest legal complaint,...

Page 42

Giacomo of all trades

The Spectator

Ben Wilson C ASANOVA : A CTOR , S PY , L OVER , P RIEST by Ian Kelly Hodder & Stoughton, £20, pp. 400, ISBN 9780340922149 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 O ne evening...

Page 44

A futile solution

The Spectator

Caroline Moorehead J oURNEY To N owHERE : o NE w oMAN L ooKS FoR THE P RoMISED L AND by Eva Figes Granta, £14.99, pp.184, ISBN 9781847080196 ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870...

Truth is stranger than fiction

The Spectator

Jane Ridley C ITY oF T HIEVES by David Benioff Sceptre, £12.99, pp. 258, ISBN 9780340822302 ✆ 10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 L ENINGRAD : S TATE oF S IEGE by Michael...

Page 45

Mudslinging in the groves of academe

The Spectator

Frederic Raphael H ISTORY L ESSON : A R ACE O DYSSEY by Mary Lefkowitz Yale, £18.99, pp. 208, ISBN 9780300126594 ✆ £14.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 M ary Lefkowitz is...

Page 46

Variations on an enigma

The Spectator

Charlotte Hobson R uSSIA : A J ouRNEY To THE H EART oF THE L AND AND ITS P EoPLE by Jonathan Dimbleby Ebury, £25, pp. 564, ISBN 9780563539124 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870...

Page 47

Overstretched and over there

The Spectator

Douglas Hurd A M ILLION B ULLETS by James Fergusson Bantam, £16.99, pp. 358, ISBN 9780593059029 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 D es Browne, our Defence Secretary,...

Page 48

Tangerine dreams

The Spectator

Francis King S PIRIT OF T ANGIER by Tessa Codrington Arcadia, £25, pp. 365, ISBN 9781905147847 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I n 1926, Tessa Codrington’s maternal...

Page 49

Not for insomniacs

The Spectator

Digby Durrant H OME B EFORE D ARK by Charles Maclean Hodder, £12.99, pp. 471 ISBN 97803409511491 ✆ £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T HE B ELLINI C ARD by Jason...

Page 50

Selective breeding

The Spectator

Victoria Glendinning G ROWING U P IN E NGLAND : T HE E XPERIENCE OF C HILDHOOD , 1600-1914 by Anthony Fletcher Yale, £25, pp. 434 ISBN 9780300118506 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p)...

Page 51

Too close for comfort

The Spectator

Mary Kenny S PYING ON I RELAND by Eunan O’Halpin OUP, £30, pp. 335, ISBN 97801909253296 I t was the late Lord Deedes who once succinctly explained to me what it was like to...

A true Renaissance man

The Spectator

Sarah Bradford MAGNIFICO by Miles J. Unger Simon & Schuster, £18.99, pp. 449, ISBN 9780743254342 ✆ £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 L orenzo de’ Medici was...

Page 52

The vanity of human hopes

The Spectator

C allimachus ( fl. 4th century BC), admired by Catullus, Ovid and Propertius, was the author of some 800 books, including a 120-volume catalogue of the Greek writers whose works...

Page 53

How the West was won

The Spectator

Alexander Stoddart unravels the relationship between art and politics T he great British philosopher Brian Magee, writing about Richard Wagner’s political life, points out...

Page 54

Traces of self

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Cy Twombly: Cycles and Seasons Tate Modern, until 14 September T his year, Cy Twombly celebrated his 80th birthday. As the leading modern American artist who...

Page 55

Gripped by paranoia

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans 2,000 Feet Away Bush Relocated Royal Court The Chalk Garden Donmar A merica is nuts about paedophiles. That’s the take-home message of Anthony Weigh’s new play...

Page 56

Visual fuss

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Ariadne auf Naxos Royal Opera House The Pilgrim’s Progress Sadler’s Wells O ne of the odd things about the Strauss–Hofmannsthal collaboration is that...

Page 57

Whisper or scream

The Spectator

Robin Holloway S ince the recent death of Karlheinz Stockhausen, his compatriot Helmut Lachenmann, 73 this year, has inherited the Emperor’s mantle of grandiose invisiblity....

Page 58

Oxford treasures

The Spectator

Harry Mount Beyond the Work of One — Oxford College Libraries and their Benefactors The Bodleian Library, Oxford, until 1 November, admission free A few years ago, my old...

Page 59

Toffs are different

The Spectator

James Delingpole W hen I was up at Oxford, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, my deepest wish was to find a letter one day in my pigeonhole informing me that a distant...

Page 60

Artist and believer

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm I guess it’s no surprise that, while the rest of us were twiddling the dials on our cheap plastic transistors (made in Japan) to find Radio Caroline, the future...

Page 61

International affair

The Spectator

Robin Oakley O K, so they do a good mint julep at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. There are impressive wongamountains on offer for winners at the Dubai World Cup...

Page 62

Sporting chance

The Spectator

Taki B y the time you read this I will have a pretty good idea whether my 70-andover judo world title will belong to some Mongolian monster or be retained by yours truly....

Up for it

The Spectator

Alex James B rad is cool. He was clearly demonstrating his ability to retain grace under pressure and I suppose that’s what conductors get paid for. The traffic on the A40...

Page 67


The Spectator

T his week brings a welcome return of The Vintry, a sort of co-operative of winelovers who use communal buying to reduce prices. They then hold tastings in their own homes. If...

Page 69

Scents and sensibility

The Spectator

Juliet Nicolson says new super-smells make the perfect gift I once knew an exotic and terrifying old lady who had been reared on the back of Indian elephants and who on opening...

Page 70

Celebrity haunts

The Spectator

Lindy Woodhead feels the spirit in Jamaica I t’s impossible not to be seduced by Jamaica — the island is a big, lush, verdant paradise, described by Hollywood hell-raiser...

Page 78

I would take pleasure in driving a Chelsea tractor to the shop to buy a pint of milk

The Spectator

M y father was a lifelong socialist. He joined the Labour party at the age of 16 and at the time of his death, 70 years later, he was a Labour member of the House of Lords. He...

Mind your language

The Spectator

During my rather dry investigation last week of apostrophes on the London Underground map, I found something far more interesting. It is the anagram Underground map invented two...

Page 79

O nce again it’s the time of year when Spectator readers

The Spectator

start loading up their cars with Andrex, Gentleman’s Relish and Marmite in anticipation of the annual drive to France. Do I have any advice to give? Unsurprisingly I do. For...

Q. I travel frequently to Cape Town where I have

The Spectator

a house. I always fly in business class or sometimes in first class. I wonder when it is permissible as opposed to rude to put up the barrier between me and a total stranger in...

Q. How can you tell other people tactfully that their

The Spectator

gum-chewing makes them look bad? Quite a few girls from my school chew gum at parties — usually as a way to stop themselves eating too much and making sure they don’t have...

Q. May I pass on a tip to e-literate readers?

The Spectator

Go to www.dylanmessaging.com. Click enterdylanmessaging.com. There you can substitute your own ten-word message on the series of placards famously held up by Dylan, then cast...