Page 8


The Spectator

M iss Estelle Morris resigned as Secretary of State for Education, saying she was not up to running a big department. She was replaced by Mr Charles Clarke, who was replaced as...

Page 9


The Spectator

O f the many New Labour slogans which the government has tried quietly to drop over the past five years, none can have landed with quite such a thump as 'ethical foreign...

Page 11


The Spectator

ROBERT THOMSON E diting a newspaper is not a dinner party, as Chairman Mao would have observed had he been running a tabloid, but you sure do get invited to dinners and lunches...

Page 12


The Spectator

IDS has a plausible strategy. A leadership contest now would be an unseemly farce PETER OBORNE T o turn this week to the Conservative party, rather than deal with matters of...

Page 14


The Spectator

In refusing to toe the Anglo-American line on Saddam, Jacques Chirac is acting in the interests of France, says Daniel Hannan. Tony Blair could learn from the French, without...

Page 16


The Spectator

Chris Patten tells Boris Johnson that Europe and America have profoundly different cultures CHRIS PA I I EN is used to rudeness. When he was the last governor of Hong Kong,...

Page 18

Mind your language

The Spectator

AFTER hearing a reference to 'inappropriate groping' in a recent scandal I wondered what would be 'appropriate groping'. In another newspaper report, a boy who was an arsonist...

Page 20


The Spectator

Sebastian Cresswell-Turner says that the Eternal City has lost its charm for those who want to escape the rat race Rome 'ALL this efficiency — it's a disaster, mate,' said...

Page 22


The Spectator

Rod Liddle despairs of social services departments that insist on 'same-race' adoption pair of blunt shears, is very greasy. Clothes: total grunge. A dirty nylon rucksack lies...

Page 24


The Spectator

Christopher Booker recalls how he celebrated his 65th birthday by tackling Africa's highest mountain IMAGINE you have been walking up into the sky for four days on end, until...

Page 26


The Spectator

Simon Kelner, editor of the Independent, on the cynicism and humbug of our newspapers IN a recent episode of The West Wing, the television drama set in the contemporary White...

Page 29


The Spectator

Stephen Schwartz on how the Serbs have been providing Iraq with military aid Washington, DC THERE is a fog of maritime commerce much like the fog of war, and, as October came...

Page 30

Banned wagon

The Spectator

A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit THE survivors from the Melnikova Street Theatre are unlikely to be in a fit state to read the International Chemical...

Page 32


The Spectator

The Dems have turned right, says Mark Steyn, and a libertarian candidate has, literally, turned blue. The outlook for Bush is not good New Hampshire THIS has been the...

Page 38


The Spectator

When Wittgenstein picked up not the poker but the crucifix PAUL JOHNSON M y heart goes out to the young just enjoying their first term at university. I remember well, in...

Page 40


The Spectator

Row? What row? The real story, as the French saw, was the revival of the Franco-German alliance STEPHEN GLOVER T he British newspapers have been full of 'Le Row'. This is the...

Page 41

Conquering Americans

The Spectator

From Mr James B. Callender Sir: Where exactly does Paul Johnson get the idea that 'Americans have never wanted power over others' (And another thing, 26 October)? This may be...

Scott and Straw

The Spectator

From Mr Norman Scott Sir: While my recollection of contact between myself and the author Mr Jeremy Scott and his wife is at great variance with that stated in his letter (26...

The Godless squad

The Spectator

From Mr Tom Benyon Sir: Rod Liddle (Good God, no!', 26 October) writes 'It is hard to blame the Church of England . for adapting in order to survive and perceives. .. a...

Euro strutters

The Spectator

From Mr Lawrie Brownlee Sir: I enjoyed David Marsh's unusually honest article (The currency with a hole in it', 26 October) stating that we should join the euro mainly for...

Braine's last Christmas

The Spectator

From Janet Bather Sir Your correspondent Mr Wilfred De'Ath (Letters, 26 October), commenting on John Mortimer's review of The Angry Young Men (Books, 12 October), correctly...

Page 42

The case for Ulrika

The Spectator

From Leanda de Lisle Sir: The Ulrika Jonsson rape story is indeed 'appalling', but not for the reasons Stephen Glover ascribes to it (Media studies, 26 October). The alleged...

The deadliest weapons

The Spectator

From Mr Alec Ryrie Sir: Let us suppose that Mark Steyn is right (They want to kill us all', 19 October). What should we do about it? How can a 'war' with al-Qa'eda be fought or...

Ignoble allusions

The Spectator

From Mr George Szanzuely Sir: While I am flattered that my friend Taki should consider me a worthy recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature (High life, 26 October), I feel I...

Marr's tortoises

The Spectator

From Mr Simon Courtauld Sir: 'History or just a bit of fun?' Simon Hoggart asked about the BBC series Great Britons (Arts, 26 October). A bit of an embarrassment. I would say,...

French for illiterates

The Spectator

From Mr Nicholas Steed Sir: Victoria Kaulback (French with tears', 26 October) must be pretty daft if she feels tied 'like a miserable marriage' to a particular French...

Kicking the bucket

The Spectator

From Mr Terence Freely Sir: I found very interesting the comments of Dot Wordsworth (Mind your language, 19 October) on the expression kick the bucket in English literature. As...

Page 43


The Spectator

A feminist upbringing is fine if you want to become an engineer or chairman of the Tory party FRANK JOHNSON F emale models, responsible for draping themselves over new cars...

Page 44

Back to British basics

The Spectator

Jonathan Ray welcomes efforts to revive our national cuisine THE constant merry ping of the microwave gave the game away. I had been conned, lured inside a charming-looking...

Page 46

Drinking and hunting

The Spectator

Up and downing it R.W.F. Poole DRINKING and hunting go together. The first reason for this is that hunting is a social and hospitable business. The second reason is medicinal...

Page 48

I give

The Spectator

Up Stuart Reid MY appetite deserted me 20 years ago at the Royal Free Hospital, in Pond Street, Hampstead, after I had been given a barium enema ('You may find the tip of this...

Page 50

Great expectorations

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart There are endless variations, and all of them control the nausea and temper tantrums associated with diets clipped from the Daily Mail women's pages. Or you can...

Page 55

A gimmick of genius

The Spectator

Marc Carnegie Paris MY friend, a film and theatre director not averse to a longish night out, was ecstatic about the prospect of dinner at Lucas Carton. 'We're going to go...

Page 56


The Spectator

Such painful pleasures Damien McCrystal IT is Friday lunchtime. You have a bit of a hangover and decide to go for a curry to help you get over it. On arriving at the...

Page 58

A talent to abuse

The Spectator

Philip Hensher ANTHONY BURGESS by Roger Lewis Faber, #.20, pp. 418, ISBN 0571204929 B limey. It's some time since I read a book so exhilaratingly lacking in any sense of human...

Page 59

A walk on the wacky side

The Spectator

James Delingpole LONDON ORBITAL by lain Sinclair Gram, £25, pp. 500, ISBN 1862075476 l ain Sinclair is one of those distinctive, oft-name-checked writers you're supposed to...

Page 60

A failure of papal nerve

The Spectator


Page 61

Harmony triumphantly achieved

The Spectator

Francis King A LIFE'S MUSIC by Andrei Makine Sceptre, £12.99, pp. 106, ISBN 034082008X L ike most human beings, most novelists arc neither outstandingly good nor...

Page 62

Screaming with laughter

The Spectator

Katie Grant HOW DO YOU WANT ME? by Ruby Wax Ebury, £17.99, pp. 320, ISBN 0091886627 I f Ruby Wax's shrink thinks she has cured her, this book will put her right. Readers will...

Through whiggish spectacles

The Spectator

Theodore Dalrymple BLOOD AND GUTS: A SHORT HISTORY OF MEDICINE by Roy Porter Allen Lane, £12.99, pp. 185, ISBN 0713996692 T he distillation of a vast quantity of historical...

Page 63

The everlasting power and glory of the shared table

The Spectator

Sarah Bradford FEAST: A HISTORY OF GRAND EATING by Roy Strong Cape, £20, pp. 311, ISBN 0224061380 F rom Apicius to the Ivy: Roy Strong, the possessor of 800 cookbooks, has...

Page 64

Gosse the father

The Spectator

Jane Gardam GLIMPSES OF THE WONDERFUL: THE LIFE OF PHILIP HENRY GOSSE by Ann Thwaite Faber, £25, pp 387, ISBN 0571193285 I n 1984 Ann Thwaite published a life of Edmund Gosse,...

Page 65

The incomparable and inexplicable

The Spectator

Victoria Glendinning MAX BEERBOHM: A KIND OF A LIFE by N. John Hall Yale, £16.95, pp. 224, ISBN 0300097050 THE ILLUSTRATED ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm, with an introduction...

Page 66

The end of something good

The Spectator

Harriet Waugh DEATH'S JEST-BOOK by Reginald Hill HarperCollins, £10, pp. 558, ISBN 0007123396 T wo running stories are brought to a close in Death's Jest-Book. The first was...

Selling sex up the river

The Spectator

Claudia FitzHerbert THE PLEASURE OF ELIZA LYNCH by Anne Enright Cape, £12.99, pp. 229, ISBN 0224062697 A nne Enright is an Irish writer with a startling gift for domesticating...

Page 67

Another good man in Africa

The Spectator

Justin Marozzi SAHARA by Michael Patin Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 256, ISBN 0297843036 INSIDE SAHARA by Basil Pao Weidenfeld„ £25, pp. 200, ISBN 0297843044 M ichael Palin is a decent...

Page 68

How the Ming fleets missed Manhattan

The Spectator

Jonathan Mirsky 1421: THE YEAR THAT CHINA DISCOVERED THE WORLD by Gavin Menzies Bantam, £20, pp. 389, ISBN 0593050789 G avin Menzies declares, he does not claim, that between...

Page 69

From arson to altruism

The Spectator

Ian Thomson SOME LUCK by John Bird Hamish Hamilton, £16.99, pp. 341. ISBN 0241141583 J ohn Bird, founder of the Big Issue magazine, suits his avian surname. As a juvenile...

Page 70

Too mediaeval by half

The Spectator

Thomas Wright BAUDOLINO by Umberto Eco Secker, £18, pp_ 522. ISBN 0436276038 I have read with great pleasure every work of non-fiction that Umberto Eco has published over the...

More debit than credit

The Spectator

D. J. Taylor THE BODY AND SEVEN STORIES by Hanif Kureishi Faber, £12.99, pp. 266, ISBN 0571209726 T he people in Hanif Kureishi's short fiction are rarely in the first flush...

Page 71

The fatal consequences of following Wellington's advice

The Spectator

Alan Judd THE LAST JOURNEY OF WILLIAM HUSKISSON by Simon Garfield Faber, 114.99. pp. 243, ISBN 0571210481 I n the had old days of history teaching, you were made to learn a...

Page 73

Sensitive to the drama of light

The Spectator

Martin Gayford says look at Gainsborough's terrific pictures, and don't read the labels f a portrait 'happened to be on the easel', wrote Henry Angelo of Thomas Gainsborough,...

Page 74


The Spectator

Alfred Sisley (Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, till 6 Jan) Offbeat Impressionist Nicholas Powell T here are waters so chilly and choppy you fumble for your wellies, snows so...

Page 76


The Spectator

Wozzeck (Royal Opera House) Berg betrayed Michael Tanner T he Royal Opera's new production of Berg's Wozzeck — these are the first performances there since 1984 — is no good...

Page 77

Pop music

The Spectator

His way Marcus Berkmann N o one pays much attention to Mark Knopfler any more, possibly because his old band Dire Straits have become a byword for 1980s blandness and...

Page 78


The Spectator

Farewell Adolph Green Mark Steyn A rthur Freed was the top producer of film musicals in the days when that was still a competitive field. But he'd started out in the Twenties,...

Page 79


The Spectator

Home and Beauty (Lyric) Contact (Queen's) Adrenalin Heart (Bush) Our House (Cambridge) Weak defence Toby Young I t's been a bad week, I'm afraid. Let's start with Home and...

Page 80


The Spectator

Timely overview Ursula Buchan P enelope Hobhouse is one of the bestknown contemporary British garden designers, who has built up an enviable reputation and practice on both...

Page 81


The Spectator

Why I'm really cross James Delingpole A few weeks ago I heard a BBC programme director being interviewed about the type of things she considered appropriate for the BBC to...

Page 82


The Spectator

Chilling words Michael Vestey Ac cording to Radio Four's In Business last week (Thursday) the remarkable boom in management consultancy over the past 15 years has come to an...

The turf

The Spectator

Short changed Robin Oakley T here are some problems that just can't be solved, like that of the Aborigine who was given a new boomerang and spent the rest of his life trying...

Page 83


The Spectator

Opening nerves Charles Moore I n theory, the season of fox-hunting that begins officially this weekend could be the last. The Editor has asked me to follow it. I say...

Page 84

High life

The Spectator

Norman's wisdom Taki 0Provincetown, Mass ne of the pleasures of owning and being involved on the editorial side of a magazine is the people you meet in the course of business....

Low life

The Spectator

Happy families Jeremy Clarke I 'm living with Sharon's younger brother Robin, in the house their Mum bought for them from her share of the divorce settlement. Other residents...

Page 85

Wild life

The Spectator

Heat and dust Aidan Hartley ILaikipia got a sense of what General Custer felt like at Little Bighorn when the Samburu invaded the farm where I live this month. Even today...

Page 86

Singular life

The Spectator

Give him some jokes Petronelia Wyatt I have been clearing away branches for the past few days, Or rather me and the latest addition to our Hungarian colony, Petra. Petra...

Page 90


The Spectator

Deconstruction, not demolition Kate Chisholm IT's a bit disconcerting to open your blinds in the morning to discover that a cageful of men is being lifted on to the roof of...

Page 95

Shame, set and match

The Spectator

Michael Henderson San Francisco A SPORTMAN's fall from grace is never a pretty sight. Fools that we are, we imagine the players of games to belong to some purer world, even...

Dear Mary. . .

The Spectator

Q. Could you give me some guidance on how to keep my parents' and acquaintances' opinions about my single life to themselves? At 32, unmarried without children and happy about...