29 NOVEMBER 2008

Page 7

Brown bets the farm

The Spectator

T he Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Pre-Budget Report (PBR) was one of the most arresting political events of modern times. Alistair Darling’s delivery was as flat as ever, but...

Page 11

S ocial networking: surely that has to be a tautology? Isn’t

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the social component implied in the overarching concept of networking? Can you have unsocial networking? Or antisocial networking? Isn’t networking itself by definition a social...

Page 12


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MONDAY Tremendous excitement after the PBR. Dave called us into The Cauldron, our inner sanctum, for a top-secret briefing. Felt v privileged to be there, just me and 150 other...

Page 13

I n his speech announcing his PreBudget Report, Alistair Darling said

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that he was going to put up the top rate of income tax to 45 per cent from 2011, because he wanted the burden to be borne by ‘those who have done best out of the growth of the...

Page 14

Brown has played into the hands of the Tory Bullingdon Boys he loathes

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Fraser Nelson says that the Pre-Budget Report killed off New Labour without landing a punch on the Tories. It has paved the way for a new Conservatism, in which Cameron woos...

Page 16

Sarkozy’s dream of taming America is doomed

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The American model of lightly regulated capitalism may be in disrepute, says Irwin Stelzer . But the French President’s ambition is deluded F rench presidents/emperors are given...

Page 18

I will always defend a big spender like J.M. Keynes

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Nancy Dell’Olio makes an impassioned case for Keynesian economics as the necessary remedy for the global crisis. It is to the Cambridge economist that we should turn once more...

Page 20

Murdoch’s big secret is that he doesn’t have one

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Michael Wolff reveals how he secured Rupert Murdoch’s co-operation for his biography and discovered that this media titan has no interest in posterity. He is, at heart, a city...

Page 22

How I became Bulgaria’s etiquette guru

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Dylan Jones is astonished to find in Sofia that the former communist country has embraced his guide to the mores of modern life — and that not everybody looks like Borat T o...

Page 24

Rudd has lurched from indecision to phoney war

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Matthew Castray looks back on the Australian Prime Minister’s first year in office and audits an administration which has reviewed much and done very little F ederal elections...

Page 26

Incompetence is fine: but being offensive is sure to get you sacked

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Rod Liddle says that something has gone wrong when 15 South Lanarkshire social workers are sacked over a dodgy Gary Glitter joke while none of their counterparts in Haringey has...

Page 28


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S cratch the surface and there is always tragedy, mixed, of course, with wickedness. Because of the economic crisis, I was waiting at the bus station: £2.80 for a bus instead...

Page 30

Diplomatic bag

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Sir: Michael Nicholson’s story of a boat-owner finding contraband aboard from the previous owner (Letters, 22 November) reminded me of being compromised in Paris. As leader of a...

Number crunching

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Sir: The figures for national insurance that you published in your leading article (22 November) are incorrect. Unfortunately, employees have not paid a rate of 4.85 per cent on...

Best of the Beeb

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Sir: As one of the apologists for the BBC cited by Robert Solomon (Letters, 15 November), I must confess that I did indeed fail to pick up on Mrs Finching’s crude speculations...

In praise of Low Life

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Sir: Jeremy Clarke describes himself (Low Life, 22 November) as the worst hack in the history of British journalism. Can I assure you that in our opinion he is the finest...

Not the same book

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Sir: I do not seem to have read the same book as Philip Zeigler (Books, 15 November) although both title and author — My Three Fathers by Bill Patten — are identical. I read a...

The Grand Old Party

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Sir: Theodore Dalrymple (Global Warning, 15 November) is not alone in being annoyed by incomprehensible acronyms. A perfect example appears on the page facing his article. There...

His eyes deceive him

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Sir: Although Charles Moore’s supposed spotting of Oleg Deripaska in the Wolseley last week (The Spectator’s Notes, 22 November) provides a fascinating insight into Mr Moore’s...

Prussian paradox

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Sir: Taki from time to time likes to dwell on the brilliance of the Prussian officer corps (High Life, 22 November); a fair enough point, and one which it is difficult for...

Page 32

If there really is a secret Zionist brotherhood running the world, why aren’t I a member?

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I know that the Iranian regime is famously confused about quite a lot of things, but if they are right about David Miliband being a member of a shadowy Zionist conspiracy, I’ll...

Page 34

When the leaves fall is the fun time of year for artists

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T here are all kinds of reasons for objecting to Percy Bysshe Shelley. Selfish and often indifferent to the feelings of others (especially young women), while hypersensitive to...

Page 38

A new job for the IMF: as global policeman

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The International Monetary Fund was beginning to look like a has-been, says Elliot Wilson , but in the aftermath of the current crisis it may find an important new role I n...

Page 40

A confusing guide to greener eating

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Elisabeth Jeffries T here’s a modern myth that food miles are bad. But measuring the carbon footprints of food items produces surprising results. We discover, for example, that...

Page 42

General Motors must be allowed to crash

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Matthew Lynn argues that Barack Obama would be wrong to rescue this dinosaur of 20th-century capitalism T here is probably no company in the world as iconic as General Motors....

Page 44

Stars bright and dim

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Philip Hensher S TATE BY S TATE : A P ANORAMIC P ORTRAIT OF A MERICA edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey HarperCollins, £16.99, pp. 608, ISBN 9780061470905 ✆ £13.59 (plus...

Page 45

The spice of danger

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David Crane F ROM THE F RONT L INE : F AMILY L ETTERS & D IARIES , 1900 TO THE F ALKLANDS & AFGHANISTAN by Hew Pike Pen & Sword, £19.99, pp. 237, ISBN 1844158128 ✆ £15.99 (plus...

Page 46

M ESSAGE FROM THE W AR Z ONE Good news Stuck with chemical toilets For seven months.

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Previous Brigade not gone. Temporary quarters Clean and spare of any comforts. Journey here ok Domestic flight fully loaded, Latest films, online catering. Military spur from...

Gruff Justice

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Roger Lewis J AMES R OBERTSON J USTICE : W HAT ’ S THE B LEEDING T IME ? by James Hogg, with Robert Sellers and Howard Watson Tomahawk Press, £12.99, pp. 208, ISBN...

Page 47

Chalk and cheese

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Raymond Carr T HE B RITISH IN F RANCE : V ISITORS AND R ESIDENTS SINCE THE R EVOLUTION by Peter Thorold Continuum, £30, pp. 273, ISBN 9781847252340 ✆ £24 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870...

Page 48

Highs and lows on the laughometer

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Bevis Hillier W hat might seem an obviously Christmassy book is Robin Laurance’s Just What I Always Wanted: Unwrapping the World’s Most Curious Presents (Quercus, £9.99); but...

Page 50

B ADGERS During training, on the Cows Lawn, one of the

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smokers, a boy from Ballylongford, coughed up blood, black clots of it. We stood on the sidelines, clear of the awful mess. This was the time O’Hare, the Border Fox, was on the...

Page 51

The done thing

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Margaret MacMillan T HE P OLITICS OF O FFICIAL APOLOGIES by Melissa Nobles CUP, £19.99, pp. 214, ISBN 9780521693851 ✆ £15.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 G eorge W. Bush,...

Page 52

Not just Hitler

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Edward Harrison T HE T HIRD R EICH AT W AR , 1939-1945 by Richard L. Evans Allen Lane, £30, pp. 926, ISBN9780713997422 ✆ £24 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A ny historian...

Page 53

Deadlier than the male

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Andrew Taylor W hen does a novel stop being a novel and become a crime story? It’s often assumed that there is an unbridgeable gap between them, but that’s not necessarily so....

Page 54

The power of the evasive word

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Michael Howard T HE E CONOMIST B OOK OF OBITUARIES by Keith Colquhoun and Ann Wroe Profile Books, £20, pp. 409, ISBN 9781846681973 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 D e...

Page 56

How to write a wrong

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‘W hen young lips have drunk deep of the bitter waters of Hate, Suspicion and Despair, all the Love in the world will not wholly take away that knowledge.’ This is the...

Page 59

Out of the ordinary

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T ilda Swinton is undoubtedly one of the great artists of her generation, although it is only relatively recently that she has become more conspicuous with mainstream films such...

Page 60

Forgotten wonders

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Andrew Lambirth Byzantium 330-1454 Royal Academy, until 22 March 2009 Supported by the J.F. Costopoulos Foundation, the A.G. Leventis Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos...

Page 62

A perfect cadence

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Stephen Pettitt T his year, on 11 December — and I wish more people knew about it than actually do — the American composer Elliott Carter celebrates his 100th birthday. At a...

Page 66

The fall guy

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Lloyd Evans B reak out the bunting. Crack open the champagne. Spit-roast the capon and prepare to party. Or, come to think of it, don’t bother. The fourth centenary of John...

Page 67

Let down by Britten

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Robin Holloway C aught by chance on Remembrance Sunday, the broadcast of the composer’s celebrated recording of War Requiem kept me hooked, listening with half an ear, half...

Page 68

Lost treasure

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Lloyd Evans Treasure Island Theatre Royal Haymarket I Caught Crabs in Walberswick Bush Theatre Imagine This New London Theatre D uality, yin and yang, twin-tub theatre. Call...

Page 69

Sting in its tale

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Deborah Ross Changeling 15, Nationwide C hangeling , produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, is a most melodramatic melodrama starring Angelina Jolie and her totally amazing,...

Page 70

Enchanted forest

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Michael Tanner Hänsel und Gretel Royal Academy of Music Jenufa Birmingham Hippodrome Pelléas et Mélisande Sadler’s Wells H umperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel loses none of its...

Page 71

Apocalypse now

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James Delingpole T he TV programmes you watched as a child are like acid flashbacks. You never fully understood them at the time and you understand them even less now that...

Page 72

Life lessons

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Kate Chisholm T alking to my dentist, as one does, we discover a mutual enthusiasm for Radio Three’s Composer of the Week (Monday to Friday) and especially its presenter,...

Page 73

Jack the lad

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Robin Oakley E at your heart out, Stubbs. Wrong century, Sir Alfred Munnings. After Nicky Henderson’s Jack the Giant had won the Carey Group Handicap Steeplechase at Ascot last...

Page 74

Party lines

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Taki New York W hen I heard about it, my own inchoate feelings were confused. A party for Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Muammar Gaddafi, and the caller was Nat Rothschild, son...

Page 75

Mechanical error

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Jeremy Clarke O ne day last week I woke up slightly bonkers: a stranger to myself. I couldn’t think consecutive thoughts. Even my vision was blurred. I get days like that now...

Living off the land

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Aidan Hartley The Kenyan Highlands T he Great Depression hit Kenya hard. European settlers were often as poor as the ordinary Africans they were supposed to lord it over. When...

Page 76

Life begins

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Alex James S o cold: I tried lighting a fire, but smoke just kept blowing back down the chimney, setting off the fire alarms. It’s a design fault with that fireplace. It...

Page 78

Watches An English phoenix rises

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Charlotte Metcalf meets the inspirational brothers whose exclusive watches are dedicated to their father W hen it comes to reviewing products for these pages I am not prone to...

Page 79

An outing in St James’s

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Joseph Connolly SHOPPING T is the season for all those smug or withering articles by women insisting how very useless men are at shopping: it’s nonsense — they can do it, but...

Page 80

Money is no object

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James Delingpole LUXURY GOODS W e’re sliding into the worst depression in the history of mankind but Mayfair hasn’t noticed. George, the private members dining-room, is so...

Page 83

Pink and potent

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Matthew Dennison SLOE GIN N ever gamble your pension on a food fashion. Last year sloes were everywhere. Even Waitrose sold them, handpicked at a fiver a pop, in branches from...

Page 84

Best of both worlds

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James Leith luxuriates in the contrasting beauties of South Africa F or some it’s mountains, for others the sea; but for me the desert does it every time. Where there is water...

Page 94

Classlessness means your five-year-old chanting ‘sheepshaggers’ on the terraces

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A ccording to Ferdinand Mount, a revolution has taken place in upper-class manners in recent years. Where it was once socially acceptable to be openly snobbish, drawing...

Mind your language

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‘What?’ said my husband, coherently, thrashing with his stick at a blackboard on the pavement. It said: ‘Quarter chicken with two regular sides, £5.90.’ This was no geometrical...

Page 95

A fortnightly column on technology and the web

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Rory Sutherland I am a great fan of Richard Dawkins the brilliant geneticist Richard Dawkins, that is, not the amateur theologian of the same name. The Selfish Gene and...

Q. The art and engineering expertise of the modern corsetière

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has brought great happiness to men of a more traditional, and red-blooded, disposition. To what extent should one be permitted to address admiring glances at a well-presented...

Q. Having recently been summoned (via group email) to the

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RSA for a talk and reception introducing a new TV series, I now find myself in a social dilemma: the party was fun, I saw some old friends, and now subsequently want to ask one...

Q. Re: addressing envelopes containing invitations to a married couple,

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the female member of which is a doctor (1 November). When I was young we were told that you should address an envelope to one person only as only one person could open an...