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The Spectator

M r John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, blamed the failure of a compro- mise at the United Nations talks on climate change in The Hague on Madame Dominique Voynet, the...

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The Spectator

T he Dutch have long believed them- selves to be in the van of social progress, and their prospective legalisation of euthanasia will confirm this comforting self-image. But all...

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The Tories must accept Mr Portillo on his own reinvented

The Spectator

values if they wish to retain his services BRUCE ANDERSON S ince his return to the House of Com- mons, Michael Portillo has disappointed many of his own supporters. 'Hamlet...

Page 9

JEREMY PAXMAN T oday was yet another that began with a

The Spectator

wake-up call from my boss at Newsnight. He usually rings to say that I can go back to sleep: there's no need to go to Washington because the presidential pantomime has wrapped...

Page 10


The Spectator

Jackie Wullschlager says that children learn more about Hinduism than about Christianity in school, and a whole generation is being reared without any cultural or spiritual...

Page 12


The Spectator

Toby Young says the crisis in the USA is caused by the 'will of the people' and the absence of a monarch ON this side of the Atlantic, America's continuing political crisis...

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

FIRST Blair, now Kinnock (last week's Spectator), both whingeing away about the electorate and the newspapers. Why cannot people 'move on' and listen to reason, they whine, in...

Page 14


The Spectator

Patrick Marnham says that France is so cross with us over OD that poor Mr Gummer may end up in a Paris court Paris THE cartoonist Plantu, whose work appears on the front page...

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The Spectator

Boris Johnson talks to Judith Keppel about fame, fortune and tabloid envy 00H, it's a fix. It's corrupt, said the Fleet Street moralists, and it's certainly not appropriate....

Page 18


The Spectator

Philip Delves Broughton has been watching the next president of the United States (probably), and he likes what he sees Austin, Texas FROM high in the stands at the University...

Mind your language

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MY husband found me at the kitchen table with a furrowed brow. He took no notice whatsoever. My brow was furrowed over a letter from a sharp reader, Brian Crozier of Finchley....

Page 20


The Spectator

What the trains need now is more private enterprise, not less, says Ross Clark THERE are few expressions more irritat- ing than the 'Sorry is not enough' plas- tered over every...

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The Spectator

Mary Kenny says she will not write for a paper owned by the proprietor of Horny Housewives and Big Ones International WHEN it comes to the role of a Christian in the media, I...

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The Spectator

Edward Chancellor says the doomsayers are wrong: overseas ownership is making the City thrive THE City's oldest merchant bank is com- ing to an ignominious end. Having brushed...

Banned wagon

The Spectator

HORROR has greeted the decision of W.H. Smith to recommence stocking girlie magazines, which it removed from its shelves five years ago after campaigning by women's groups....

Page 30

There's life in the old City townhouse yet as Cazenove

The Spectator

makes the weather CHRISTOPHER FILDES O n a fine day the City feels like Hong Kong West: a global financial centre off- shore of the Thames where nationality no longer matters....

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A First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment

The Spectator

of Scotchmen PAUL JOHNSON T he first important decision of the new Scotch Speaker of the House of Commons was to deny MPs the chance to debate the European army. The Scotch...

Page 34

Age of consent

The Spectator

From Mr Alexander Walker Sir: Roger Alton in his Diary (25 Novem- ber) regrets that the film Billy Elliot wasn't classified with a more lenient certificate, so that his...

Blasphemy and Europe

The Spectator

From Dominique-Georges Many Sir: In his article 'Now it's blasphemy to mock Europe' (18 November), Mr Ambrose Evans-Pritchard makes refer- ence to the 'European Court's emerging...

Laughable Kinnock

The Spectator

From Mr Christopher D. Kelly Sir: The Spectator reports that Neil ICinnock (`Kinnock: the pound is bloody doomed', 25 November) wanted an enabling referen- dum on UK entry soon...

Nasty pigs

The Spectator

From Anne Gwynn Sir: While sympathising with Barry Unsworth's problems in Umbria (`They even kill cats', 18 November), here in Piemonte we have more cause to back our local...

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Operation Ralegh

The Spectator

From Sir Duncan Oppenheim Sir: Before answering Paul Johnson's ques- tion, 'Are these the real reasons why Sir Walter Ralegh is to be removed from his pedestal?' (And another...

Road to ruin

The Spectator

From Mr Michael McAllen Sir: It is preposterous of Bruce Anderson (Politics, 25 November) to suggest that 'the ERM was a mere sideshow' and that 'by 1990 it was necessary to...

Beware of Italians

The Spectator

From Mr Angus Cater Sir: How relieved I was to read Colin Bostock-Smith's account of his experience of 'Italians' at the Scratchwood service sta- tion on the M1 (Italian...

Gordievsky's record

The Spectator

From Mr Nick Djivanovic Sir: It is nice to see that Mr Gordievsky (Letters, 18 November) has lost none of the powers of sophistry and deception that are the trademarks of a good...

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Home rule for England

The Spectator

From Mr Derek M Bartlett Sir: Your ingenious front cover (25 Novem- ber) illustrates to perfection the duplicity with which each successive government since 1973 has approached...

Help is at hand

The Spectator

From Mr Richard Dykes Sir: No one in Royal Mail would argue with the view that Mount Pleasant, which was built in the 1920s, needs a major overhaul, as do two other out-of-date...

Threat to legal aid

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From Mr Stanley Best Sir: In publishing my letter under the head- ing 'Pass the parcel' (18 November), there was an unfortunate printer's error. At the conclusion of my letter...

Not dissing Islam

The Spectator

From Mr David Watkins Sir: William Dalrymple (Letters, 25 November) has clearly not read 'Lepanto'. Chesterton depicts his hero's adversaries as cruel but brave, and by their...

Sir Gerald to the rescue

The Spectator

From Sir Philip Goodhart Sir: Paul Johnson is right (And another thing, 11 November). I was in one of the last aircraft to land at Heathrow before the great fog of the 1952/53...

Fantastic fabrications

The Spectator

From Mr Philip Hensher Sir: I see no point in continuing an argu- ment with Michael Horovitz (Letters, 28 October, 18 November), but he must not pretend to be 'quoting' me when...

No conspiracy

The Spectator

From Mr Bob Shennan Sir: I was intrigued to read your Radio col- umn 'We'll miss you, Andrew' (Arts, 25 November). May I offer two observations which could serve to clarify the...

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Now for the good news: the Tories aren't as hopeless

The Spectator

as the press makes out STEPHEN GLOVER W ith a single voice the press announced that last week's by-election results represented a terrible setback for the Tories. Supposedly...

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Losing both soul and self

The Spectator

Hugh Lawson-Tancred MAN, BEAST AND ZOMBIE by Kenan Malik Weidenfeld, .£20, pp. 470 o rapid is the exponential growth which the human sciences are currently undergoing, in terms...

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Male and female created He them?

The Spectator

Philip MacCann PERFIDIOUS MAN by Will Self and David Gamble Viking, £12.99, pp. 154 I t is roughly 40 years since women began exploring the social and historical roots of their...

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A choice of gardening books

The Spectator

Mary Keen W hither the garden?' has been a turn-of-the-century topic. All the evidence is that our favourite national pastime has reached Spaghetti Junction. Twenty years ago...

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On my right . . .

The Spectator

On my left . . . Andrew Lyeett THE QUARREL OF MACAULAY AND CROKER by William Thomas OUP, £45, pp. 339 M odern literary feuds may be more personal, but they lack the gravitas...

Single girl blues

The Spectator

Olivia Glazebrook SHOPGIRL by Steve Martin Gollancz, £9.99, pp. 130 S teve Martin, the white-haired comic genius who made us clutch our sides in such cinematic gems as The...

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What on earth next?

The Spectator

Robert Macfarlane A BRIEF HISTORY OF TOMORROW by Jonathan Margolis Bloomsbury, £14.99, pp. 276 F ancy a flutter on the 12.30 at Dogger? When Victorian futurologists tried to...

No heart failure here

The Spectator

Douglas Murray ROBBIE ROSS: OSCAR WILDE'S TRUE LOVE by Jonathan Fryer Constable, £18.99, pp. 278 h is contentiously titled book throws up enough concerns before it is even...

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The West Indian lobby

The Spectator

Robert Stewart AN EMPIRE DIVIDED: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AND THE BRITISH CARIBBEAN by Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy University of Pennsylvania Press, £44.50, £18.50, pp. 351 T...

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A land of false bottoms

The Spectator

Steve King ABYSSINIAN CHRONICLES by Moses Isegawa Picador, E16, pp. 462 M oses Isegawa was born in Kampala but has lived in Amsterdam for the past ten years. Abyssinian...

Spoiling for a fight

The Spectator

P. N. Furbank IN DEFENCE OF T. S. ELIOT by Craig Raine Picador, .E20, pp. 516 ere is a collection of Craig Raines essays — or to put it more bluntly reprint- ed book reviews...

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Bumping against reality

The Spectator

Anthony O'Hear PHILOSOPHER: A KIND OF LIFE by Ted Honderich Routledge, £20, pp. 441 T his is an unusual book, by an unusual man. At least, it is an unusual book for a...

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Blowing away the cobwebs

The Spectator

J. F. Cronin INISHOWEN by Joseph O'Connor Seeker, £10, pp. 473 W ith the possible exceptions of Kuwait after it struck oil, or East Germany after the wall came down, no country...

All ghouls together

The Spectator

Roger Lewis VINCENT PRICE: A DAUGHTER'S BIOGRAPHY by Victoria Price Sidgwick & Jackson, £16.99, pp. 498 I d never given Vincent Price much thought, to be honest. His...

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Paradox in Paradise

The Spectator

Katie Grant FARAWAY by Lucy Irvine Doubleday, £16.99, pp. 371 B eing summoned to write somebody else's story, particularly when they are still alive, cannot be easy. Even when...

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Interrogation conducted by civilised methods

The Spectator

Zenga Longmore DIALOGUES by Naim Attallah Quartet, £17.99, pp. 327 T he world of letters owes a great debt to Nairn Attallah, proprietor of Quartet Books, The Women's Press and...

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Getting us badly wrong

The Spectator

Michael Hulse THE GERMANIC ISLE by Gerwin Strobl CUP, £16.99, pp. 274 I n 1926 a book was published in Berlin by one Wilhelm van Richthofen, with the intriguing title...

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love of opulence

The Spectator

Andrew Wordsworth on how the Etruscans contributed to the development of European art E truscan art suffers from a sombre rep- utation. It is overshadowed by the larger-...

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Exhibitions 1

The Spectator

Peter Lanyon; Coastal Journey (Tate St Ives, till 11 March 2001) Responding to landscape Laura Gascoigne W alking the landscape that forms the subject of your art has become...

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Random selection

The Spectator

Irritation, fury, boredom: it's Turner Prize time again. Martin Gayford reports A few years ago I remember telling an art dealer friend that I really hated a cer- tain work of...

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Exhibitions 2

The Spectator

Faszination Venus (Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, till 7 January 2001) Take a girl like Venus Nicholas Powell ne day round about 1813, J.B.S. Morritt of Rokeby Park in...

Page 60

Now and then

The Spectator

H.V. MORTON'S collection of essays The Heart of London was published in 1925. His London is compared with that of today: As we crawled through the fog I watched his taut...


The Spectator

Long Day's Journey Into Night (Lyric) A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu (National) Tide of despair Sheridan Morley T he Bill Kenwright revival of Long Day's Journey Into Night...

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The Spectator

La Traviata (Royal Opera House) Moral torpor Michael Tanner T he revival of Richard Eyre's produc- tion of La Traviata at the Royal Opera didn't go quite as planned, because...

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The Spectator

The Grinch (PG, selected cinemas) Hell in Whoville Mark Steyn h e Grinch must be a strong contender for the foulest, ugliest, shrillest, emptiest children's film of all...

Page 64

Pop music

The Spectator

Greatest hits Marcus Berkmann I t was the great fantasy of every pop- obsessed kid. You'd imagine recording your first number one single. You'd look forward to the success,...

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The Spectator

Rambert Dance Company (Sadler's Wells) Wicked humour Giannandrea Poem T hose who expect The Celebrated Soubrette to be one of Javier de Frutos's typically controversial dance...


The Spectator

Simply the best James Delingpole B ecause, unlike the sodding Radio Times, I am not so thoughtless as to give away important plot details in advance, may I urge anyone who has...

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The Spectator

Too much talk Michael Vestey S aid the phone-in host to a caller, 'Hey, you come down here, boy . . . you lily-liv- ered, yella-bellied, egg-suckin' dog, bad- weather, pickled...

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Food for thought

The Spectator

Healing powers Simon Courtauld remember once being offered pickled garlic at a party in Tehran. It would give me protection, my host said, from the cholera epidemic that was...

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The turf

The Spectator

Gruelling contest Robin Oakley S ometimes you back horses coldly, clin- ically, rationally on the form book. Some- times a little sentiment creeps in. You might be tempted by...

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High life

The Spectator

A lost weekend . . . Talu Lucca h ishis ancient walled town has seen many an invader throughout the centuries, but last weekend it got good and blitzkrieged by young Brits,...

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No life

The Spectator

. . and a wreck Toby Young I 've just returned from my first society Wedding and, I have to say, I'm a complete wreck. The reason I found it such a nerve- shredding experience...

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Singular life

The Spectator

I want a dictator Petronella Wyatt I used to like John Prescott — sort of. He seemed a jolly kind of chap. Once, a few years ago, when the Tories were still in office, we sang...

Wait a bit

The Spectator

Susanna Gross THEY SAY bridge is a social game, but you'd never guess it from the way some people play. Neil Mendoza (who, among other things, is co-owner of Hammer House of...

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I TREASURE my hangovers. They're the proof that I don't

The Spectator

drink too much, because serious topers don't get them. When did you ever hear the bushy-faced chap on the park bench saying, Teugh. Take that can of Strongbow away. A drink is...

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US deadlock

The Spectator

Raymond Keene THERE is much discussion on the chess- orientated chat groups as to whether Vice- President Al Gore would make a good chessplayer. The general consensus is that...

The Doctor scores

The Spectator

Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2164 you were invited to supply an exchange between Holmes and Watson in which the latter emerges as the more . observant and intelligent. Great...

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No. 2167: An eclogue for Christmas

The Spectator

You are invited to supply a poetic dialogue between two country-dwellers appropriate to the season. Maximum 16 lines. Entries to 'Competition No. 2167' by 14 December.

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Players please

The Spectator

Simon Barnes THE Twickenham crowd clearly agree with Jean-Luc Godard. 'La morale, c'est le travel- ling,' he said; the moral of the movie is the tracking shots. In sport, the...

Dear Mary. .

The Spectator

Q. I understand that real art is still being pur- chased by the discerning classes, and that making a good living from it is only a matter of being taken on by the right...