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The right stuff

The Spectator

stensibly, Gordon Brown's first Labour conference speech as Prime Minister on Monday was grandly nonpartisan: there was not a single mention of the Tories or of David Cameron....

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The Spectator

OSCAR HUMPHRIES London Fashion Week is one of those events, like the Lib Dem Conference and the Max Power show, that is important to a few people but passes most of us by. It is...

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The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator

CHARLES MOORE Ivas there a single respect in which Gordon Brown made a good speech at Bournemouth? Its delivery was dull, but don't puritanically fool yourself that the matter...

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The Spectator

SUNDAY All eyes on the opening ceremony for what I'm sure will be a truly memorable performance by world-renowned professional speechmaker William Hague. Owing to his...

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This will be Cameron's finest hour or the scene of a lynching

The Spectator

Fraser Nelson says that the stakes in Blackpool could not be higher: some delegates will actually come in the hope of seeing their beleaguered leader 'take a kicking'. But...

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Cameron should heed St Paul, not his advisers

The Spectator

The Tory leader's trumpet must not make 'an uncertain sound', says Norman Tebbit. He must campaign vigorously on immigration, Europe, and English votes for English laws With our...

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'Now we have got to have something to say'

The Spectator

George Osborne, Tory election chief, tells Fraser Nelson that the party is ready to launch its campaign, and criticises the `tiber-modernisers' who won't talk about tax or...

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Don't go greener or get meaner, Mr Cameron

The Spectator

The acclaimed US pollster, Frank Luntz, says it is too early for the floating voter to reject Brown. But Cameron can still prevail if he holds his nerve and sticks to the facts...

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Sorry, minister: The Spectator is right about the EU Treaty

The Spectator

Nigel Lawson There are two reasons why Jim Murphy, the Europe minister, is wrong and The Spectator right about the question of a referendum on the European Union Reform Treaty...

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Farewell to a noble figure in Spectator history

The Spectator

Simon Courtauld, this magazine's authorised historian, says that Ian Gilmour, who died last week aged 81, was a fine editor and proprietor — radical, humane and fearless 1 an...

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I blame Mandelson and the EU for propping up Burma's wicked regime

The Spectator

Rod Liddle says that behind the terrible images of Burmese soldiers brutalising protesting monks lies a shameful story of European inaction and economic complicity 1 t has been...

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Mind your language

The Spectator

Shakespeare plays need surtitles to make them intelligible. Otherwise one only understands what is going on by previous study. I have stumbled across a translation of...

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Welcome to the liveliest of coffee houses online

The Spectator

James Forsyth, The Spectator's online editor, says that the new website is a home to all that is best in the magazine's traditions and a place where readers can join in the...

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Established truths

The Spectator

Sir: Thank you for Peter Oborne's ruthlessly accurate exposé of the Political Class (The Establishment is dead', 15 September). The collateral damage caused by the killing of...

A cold climate

The Spectator

Sir: Charles Moore (The Spectator's Notes, 22 September) works himself into a lather over the Mitford sisters, reeling in admiration at their 'unique, fearless way of looking at...

Sister act

The Spectator

Sir: Sarah Vine's 'Don't upset "the Sisters" (22 September) omitted some key points. Concerning the pay gap, research has shown that women simply do not ask for the same pay...

On their watch

The Spectator

Sir: Mark Penn's observation that 'radicalisation of illegal migrants could determine the outcome of the next US election' (Tips for Gordon', 22 September) could be equally...

Badge of honour

The Spectator

Sir: Colonel Hancock (Letters, 22 September) notes General Jackson's lack of knowledge of the Infantry of the Line 'which he deconstructed'. Some small measure of redemption,...

Explosive issue

The Spectator

Sir: James Delingpole should have paid more attention to the science lessons at school. In his review of the Hindenburg disaster (Television, 22 September) he refers to the time...

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In the chaos of a conference morning, the celestial strains of a violin made my soul soar

The Spectator

MATTHEW PARRIS Last Sunday morning found me at the Highcliff Hotel in Bournemouth, the conference hotel for Labour's 2007 gathering and — the reason I was there — the temporary...

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Who's eating my favourite lizards on Lake Como?

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON The great thing about taking a holiday every year in the same place — provided it is the right place of course — is that you notice the huge, reassuring...

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The Tories no longer understand the City

The Spectator

Simon Nixon says David Cameron's Conservatives must stop sending out such mixed signals if they want to establish serious credibility with the business community Cordon Brown...

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Northern Rock: morally hazardous

The Spectator

Allister Heath First we heard about 'sub-prime mortgages'; then it was `collateralised debt obligations'; now it's the turn of 'moral hazard' to appear on the Ten O'Clock News....

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RETAILING The new senior partner sets out his stall

The Spectator

Neil Collins finds Charlie Mayfield, the youthful chairman of John Lewis Partnership, to be a chip off the old block The trade could only gasp at the figures Charlie Mayfield...

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Traffic jams on land and water and no desire to sit in a hole drinking Chardonnay

The Spectator

1 f you stand on the shore near the Barrenjoey lighthouse to the north of the great Sydney conurbation and look out to sea you will observe, on the horizon, ships queueing in...

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He does not know how much he does not know

The Spectator

Sam Leith IN GOD WE DOUBT by John Humphrys Hodder, £18.99, pp. 336, ISBN 9780340951262 £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 There's a wonderful story in this book, told by the...

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Papering over the cracks

The Spectator

Martin Vander Weyer THE POWER OF PAPER by Christopher Ondaatje HarperCollins, £19.95, pp. 237, ISBN 9780002008600 £15.95 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 The first thing to be...

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The very special relationship

The Spectator

Jonathan Mirsky THE ISRAEL LOBBY AND US FOREIGN POLICY by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt Allen Lane, £25, pp. 484, ISBN 9781846140075 £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655...

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Not quite there yet

The Spectator

Matthew Parris THE FALL-OUT: HOW A GUILTY LIBERAL LOST HIS INNOCENCE by Andrew Anthony Cape, £14.99, pp. 312, ISBN 9780224080774 £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 n...

The undiscovered county

The Spectator

Jonathan Keates THE BUILDINGS OF ENGLAND: WORCESTERSHIRE by Alan Brookes and Niklaus Pevsner Yale, £29.95, pp. 846, ISBN 9780300112986 £23.95 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655...

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A choice of recent audiobooks

The Spectator

Sargy Mann How do you like a book to be read? There is the way my wife reads to me with her normal, unaccented voice throughout, just as she reads to me from the newspaper, say,...

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No end to hostilities

The Spectator

Andrew Taylor THE CHAMELEON'S SHADOW by Minette Walters Macmillan, £17.99, pp.400, ISBN 9780230015661 © £1439 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 The war in Iraq cast a long shadow...

Nanny comes to the rescue

The Spectator

Sarah Burton JENNIE CHURCHILL by Anne Sebba John Murray, £25, pp. 416, ISBN 9780719563393 £20 (plus 2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Celebrity culture confers celebrity status by...

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A diffident pioneer

The Spectator

Anthony Howard SELECTIVE MEMORY: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Katharine Whitehorn Virago, £17.99, pp. 269, ISBN 9781844082407 £14.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Now Saga's agony aunt,...

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The teddy bares his teeth

The Spectator

Raymond Carr TENNIS WHITES AND TEA CAKES by John Betjeman, edited by Stephen Games John Murray, £16.99, pp. 464, ISBN 9780719569036 £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Ever...

The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau

The Spectator

While my mother chokes on a fishbone, I am shuffled into another room to watch The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau. Bubbles rush upwards from a diver's mouthpiece as my...

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The magnum opus of Compton Mackenzie

The Spectator

n Capri in 1925 Scott Fitzgerald met his 'old idol' Compton Mackenzie and found him 'cordial, attractive and pleasantly mundane. You get no sense from him that he feels his work...

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Man with a mission

The Spectator

Mary Wakefield talks to Jonathan Kent about his plans to jump-start the West End Something is rotten in the West End. It's not just the sour smell of lager, or the Saturday...

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Topsy turvy

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Georg Baselitz Royal Academy, until 9 December Sponsored by Eurohypo Making History: Antiquaries in Britain, 1707-2007 Royal Academy, until 2 December -Dorn...

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Pleasure at the Proms

The Spectator

Robin Holloway Circumstances and schedules have kept me out of radio-range most of the summer, and out of the Albert Hall itself; I caught a few memorable Proms, and will...

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Magnificent six

The Spectator

Mark Glazebrook Anthony Caro Annely Juda Gallery, 23 Doing Street, London Wl, until 26 October Anyone who goes into the Annely Juda Gallery in Dering Street expecting something...

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Dazzling Dexter

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Bad Girls: The Musical Gan-ick The Burial at Thebes The Pit, Barbican Fragments Young Vic Too many musicals in London? It depends whether you think the West End...

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Gorgeous George

The Spectator

Deborah Ross Michael Clayton 15, Nationwide Michael Clayton is one of those American films about American lawyers doing American lawyer stuff which isn't usually my kind of...

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Guilty pleasure

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm In 1908 Gerald Mills borrowed £1,000 (worth about £52,000 in today's money) to set up a publishing company with his friend Charles Boon. Among their first authors...

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Porn with knickers on

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart Ionce knew a young woman who worked for a large public-interest organisation. She was clever and well educated, but funds were tight, and she feared she was about...

Bargain hunting

The Spectator

Robin Oakley Any fool can get a horse fit to run,' I have been told by many a trainer. 'It's getting inside their minds that counts.' Particularly with slow learners. Newbury's...

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Mark of distinction

The Spectator

Taki Aletter from Jonathan Guinness, Lord Moyne. It's about Mark Birley. 'He was an artist, but a more unusual one than his father. Rather than turning out portraits and...

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Invisible man

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke He came aboard at Newton Abbot and sat down opposite without acknowledging me. Mid-fifties. Kempt, but only just. Navy blue, well-worn suit. Plain tie. Once he'd...

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Expressions of gratitude

The Spectator

Roy Hattersley The last rose of summer has neither faded nor gone and the geraniums in their pots under the south wall are as scarlet-bright as they have ever been. But we have...

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Merry go round

The Spectator

Mimi Spencer on the spiritual benefits of going round in circles Busy. Busy, busy, busy. Research at the University of Hertfordshire recently revealed that pedestrians are...

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Feather your nest

The Spectator

Nick Foulkes is initiated into the world of togs Ionly realised how important pillows were to my life when I checked into a room at the Carlyle and found that my pillow cases...

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anor from heaven

The Spectator

Matthew Dennison delights in the perfect country-house hotel 1 n St Paul's Cathedral is a tablet erected in the 18th century by the Worshipful Company of Stone Masons. Its...

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Facebook versus MySpace is just how the Web 2.0 world expresses U and non-U

The Spectator

TOBY YOUNG Not long ago, an obscure journal published what must rank as the most controversial essay of the 21st century. No, I'm not talking about The Israel Lobby and US...

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

Last time we observed that Greeks and Romans saw advantages in making citizenship exclusive. But while we long to be dreamily inclusive (as Lib Dems have argued), ethnic,...

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Your Problems Solved

The Spectator

Dear Maly Q. What is the etiquette regarding bowing or curtseying to Prince and Princess Michael of Kent? Last week I attended the memorial for Isabella Blow in the Guards...

Last rites

The Spectator

FRANK KEATING Even before the last splurge of qualifying group games are played in rugby union's World Cup, consensus agrees the tournament has already turned into a calamity...