29 MARCH 2008

Page 9

The abolition of fatherhood

The Spectator

T o date, the government’s handling of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has resembled what might be called ‘Vicky Pollard politics’. Challenged to grant MPs a free...

Page 13

I t’s not easy working out what to give Lord Lloyd-Webber

The Spectator

for his 60th birthday. I mean he’s got a few bob, hasn’t he? Three ties and a shoehorn seem a bit inadequate. Particularly as his lordship flew 46 friends to Deià, a...

Page 14

F or some weeks, I was thinking of writing against the

The Spectator

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, but despair crept over me. What is the point, I asked myself, when opinion seems to have moved so decisively against the idea that a...

Page 16

We live in a state of emergency: and we are getting angrier

The Spectator

Britain has lost its identity and its sense of nation, says David Selbourne . The citizen is treated as a mere ‘consumer’, liberty reduced to the ‘freedom to choose’,...

Page 17


The Spectator

Are we living in a state of emergency? Is Britain in moral freefall? Log on and have your say: Go to www.spectator.co.uk/ stateofemergency tity and lost sense of nation....

Page 18

The soft diplomacy of Belgian chocolates

The Spectator

Emily Maitlis reports from Libya on a land newly entranced by our brands — even M&S — where the West tolerates Gaddafi for fear of the insurgent alternative S trange things...

Page 20

Taki is right: we are all still snobs

The Spectator

Vassi Chamberlain was taken to task by the poor little Greek boy over her powers of social observation. On reflection, she concedes that snobbery has never truly gone out of...

Page 22

Milburn: What’s it all about, Gordon?

The Spectator

Alan Milburn gives his first interview since Brown became PM, and tells Fraser Nelson that Gordon has converted to Blairism too late. Something new is needed now O n the floor...

Page 24

I know why the government wants to send homosexuals back to Iran to be hanged

The Spectator

Gays are law-abiding, better-educated than the norm, economically productive and tend to be less of a drain on the state, says Rod Liddle . They don’t stand a chance in this...

Page 26

To bring peace to the Afghans, talk to the Taleban

The Spectator

Adam Holloway says that Britain’s strategy in Afghanistan is misconceived. Nato’s military presence should be reduced and the battle for hearts and minds fought more...

Page 28

Not black and white

The Spectator

Sir: Marian L. Tupy deserves thanks for his excellent article (‘Mugabe is the Mobutu of our time’, 22 March), despite one seeming inaccuracy and an omission. Tupy says, ‘It was...

Under cover

The Spectator

Sir: With the cartoon on the cover of your issue of 22 March you plumbed the same depths as those that were familiar to readers of Der Stürnzer from 1923 until the end of the...

Noble Deedes

The Spectator

Sir: Peregrine Worsthorne’s compelling review of my biography of W.F. Deedes (Books, 22 March) strikes a discordant note in the final paragraph when it suggests that Bill spoke...

A princely plongeur

The Spectator

Sir: It seems that Prince Charles kept more secrets from Diana than we suspected. She was quite wrong to claim (And Another Thing, 22 March) that he had ‘Never, never, never’...

Why they fought

The Spectator

Sir: Despite what Charles Moore says (‘Lessons from the miners’ strike’, 22 March), Muslims did not fight against the Ottoman empire because they felt respected and secure with...

Eggs is eggs

The Spectator

Sir: Alex James’s comments about painted eggs should be taken with a pinch of salt (Slow life, 22 March). The answer to his question, ‘Who in Witney wants to buy a decorated...

What Tesco does

The Spectator

Sir: I think it was the late Alan Coren who neatly summed up the purpose of Tesco and Sainsbury’s et al (‘Tesco, I hate you’, 22 March). They keep the riff-raff out of Waitrose....

Page 30

Reading the speeches of McCain and Obama has made me ashamed of our political class

The Spectator

R ather less than two years ago, bored and with time to kill at a Conservative party conference, I decided to do what is for a British journalist a rather unusual thing. I...

Page 32

Why the example of Mary Magdalen is relevant today

The Spectator

I t would not surprise me if the present Pope, who is a man of strongly conservative instincts but also highly intelligent, energetic and forceful, abruptly decided to introduce...

Page 34

I think I’ve spotted the ‘trash and cash’ merchants, dining at Mayfair’s best tables

The Spectator

A posse of hedge fund managers came round to The Spectator the other day, not to indulge in ‘trash and cash’ — or the even less attractive ‘pump and dump’ — but to participate...

Page 36

Thanks for the memories

The Spectator

Alex Massie says that sports memorabilia is on a roll A s was so often the case, P.G. Wodehouse reached deep into the heart of the matter: collecting sporting memorabilia...

Page 38

Which watch?

The Spectator

Victoria Saxton A practical time-keeping necessity or a frivolous fashion accessory? The opinion on time-keeping devices seems to divide neatly into two camps: pretty versus...

Page 39

Vintage dining

The Spectator

Jonathan Ray T he Chancellor is such a fool. If anything is going to drive us to drink it’s the soaring cost of wine, beer and spirits. Are these muddle-headed puritans going...

Page 42

Both sublime and ridiculous

The Spectator

Sam Leith F ABERGÉ ’ S E GGS by Toby Faber Macmillan, £17.99, pp. 324, ISBN 9781405053884 ✆ £14.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 W hat a great idea for a book, this is — and...

Page 44

Flouting the rules

The Spectator

John de Falbe MACHINE by Peter Adolphsen Harvill/ Secker, £10, pp. 88, ISBN 9781846551031 ✆ £8 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T his intriguing novella tells the story of a drop...

Page 45

Sounding a false note

The Spectator

William Leith C URRENCY W ARS : F ORGING M ONEY TO B REAK ECONOMIES by John K. Cooley Constable, £18.99, pp. 350, ✆ £15.19 (plus £2.45p&p) 0870 429 6655 I n this book John K....

Page 46

Pistols at dawn

The Spectator

Raymond Carr T HE D UEL : C ASTLEREAGH , C ANNING AND THE D EADLY C ABINET R IVALRY by Giles Hunt I. B. Tauris, £20, pp. 214, ISBN 9781845115937 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429...

Page 47

His mysterious ways

The Spectator

Roger Lewis O N G OD by Norman Mailer Continuum, £16.99, pp. 221, ISBN 9781847062864 ✆ £13.59(plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 N orman Mailer spent his life hunting for a subject...

Page 48

Thinking like a river

The Spectator

P. J. Kavanagh DOWNSTREAM by Tom Fort Century, £14.99, pp. 310, ISBN 9781846051692 ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 ‘ Y ou can tell a river-lover. They cannot help but...

Page 50

A willingness to believe anything

The Spectator


A selection of recent paperbacks

The Spectator

Non-fiction: Stalingrad by Antony Beevor (Penguin, £9.99) Plain Tales from the British Empire by Charles Allen (Abacus, £14.99) You Cannot Live as I Have Lived and Not End up...

Page 51

Supplementary benefits

The Spectator

Henrietta Bredin talks to the Young Vic’s David Lan and ENO’s John Berry about the joys of collaboration W alking into the Young Vic these days is a hugely pleasurable...

Page 52

Natural beauty

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Andrew Lambirth Amazing Rare Things The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, until 28 September D o not be put off by the title of this show: in its barrow-boy eagerness to...

Page 54

Women on top

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Kate Chisholm Brilliant Women: 18th-Century Bluestockings National Portrait Gallery, until 15 June I t’s refreshing to discover from a new and beautifully judged exhibition at...

Page 56

Waste of life

The Spectator

Deborah Ross Beaufort 15, Key Cities B eaufort is the Israeli war film that won the Silver Bear at Berlin and was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign language film and it...

Lost in translation

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans A Couple of Poor, Polish-Speaking Romanians Soho Theatre The Man Who Had All the Luck Donmar Warehouse B rave thrusts at the Soho. A wacky new play by Polish...

Page 58

Letting down Mr B.

The Spectator

Giannandrea Poesio New York City Ballet London Coliseum D espite the hype with which it was heralded, and an undeniably interesting programme of delectable choreographic...

Page 59

Reflexive and reflective

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Punch and Judy Linbury Studio La vie parisienne Guildhall School of Music and Drama H arrison Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy is very much a piece of its time, the...

Page 60

Mozartian magnificence

The Spectator

Robin Holloway I t’s the best book about one of the greatest composers. I’ve devoted odd moments of this autumn and winter to absorbed intake of Hermann Abert’s Mozart and am...

Page 61

Celebrating renewal

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm N ot Bach, or Beethoven, to celebrate the Easter season on Radio Three, but a series of programmes dedicated to Spring. Not that you would have discovered this...

Hancock’s hubris

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart T elevision feeds upon itself, which isn’t surprising. Watching TV is by a huge margin our most popular — or our most timeconsuming — leisure activity. It’s...

Page 62

Of vice and men

The Spectator

Taki Gstaad T here’s fear and loathing around here, and it has nothing to do with lousy snow conditions. Fear that UBS, the biggest Swiss bank, is in trouble, loathing for...

Page 63

Rental block

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke D artmoor, said the box ad. One-bedroom cottage. Five hundred pounds a month. I called the number and an elderly woman answered. I’m interested in renting the...

Page 64

Rural poor

The Spectator

Aidan Hartley Laikipia G abriel Barasa was a week dead and already trouble was brewing. I could tell that as I stood at his grave on the farmstead. In 1966, Kenya’s government...

Page 65

Costly charges

The Spectator

Melissa Kite W hile J. Alfred Prufrock measured out his life with coffee spoons, I prefer to chart mine with the daily passing of one hundred pounds. Hence, and though there...

Page 66

Born free

The Spectator

Roderick Gilchrist on Prince Albert’s environmental aspirations I met a wealthy widow in Monaco the other day who was so pressed for space to keep her designer frocks she paid...

Page 67

Living to tell the tale

The Spectator

Tim Walker shares his varied experiences of South Africa I happened to look up before I turned off the light just after 11 p.m. and there the snake was, writhing on the mosquito...

Page 75

I was wrong about Acton. It is by far the most affluent place I have ever lived

The Spectator

S ix months ago I wrote an article in this magazine in which I complained that rising property prices in Shepherd’s Bush had forced me and my wife to move to Acton. I pointed...

Mind your language

The Spectator

When the Bible says that John the Baptist ate locusts and wild honey, what does it mean by locusts ? The question may be a chestnut, but I’ve found some jolly new material in...

Page 76

A shley Cole is a difficult man to warm to. The

The Spectator

friends of Ashley, like the friends of Heather Mills, are small isolated groups emerging only after dark. But it’s just possible that this tiresome berk may have sparked a...

Dear Mary

The Spectator

Q. While on holiday in the Middle East I contracted amoebic dysentery. Although it is an unpleasant condition, I am a bit overweight and the pounds have been dropping off. Do I...

Q. I am desperately poor since settling my tax bill

The Spectator

on 31 January. I work a fourday week and have agreed a rate of £20 per hour to edit a friend’s book on two of my free days. I have subsequently been offered a lot of tutoring...

Q. A new woman has joined our group of early-morning

The Spectator

swimmers at our local pool. She’s very nice and friendly but she will insist on singing in the shower. This is the time of day when I like to keep my head clear of troubling...