Page 6


The Spectator

T he High Court ruled that a pair of Siamese twins, expected to die in six months as they are, must be separated even though it meant the certain death of one of the girls, who...

Page 7

S P E CTAT THE O R The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL

The Spectator

Telephone: 020-7405 1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 WASTED WINNINGS T he national lottery is the only tax which is fun. It is also the only tax which people pay voluntarily, even...

Page 8


The Spectator

Memo to Mr Hague: populism is not the same as popularity BRUCE ANDERSON T he Tories are in trouble, again. Before the August holiday, the government was stumbling. Leaks,...

Page 9


The Spectator

GEOFFREY WHEATCROFT B efore the war, the Paris newspaper Le Temps used to close down for the month of August. Or so a colleague tells me, and since he's a big cheese, on the...

Page 10


The Spectator

Survival of the not so fit in the frozen sub-Antarctic wastes MATTHEW PARRIS Marion Dufresne .OK,' said the chief at Port-aux- Francais. 'It's the first time you have led, I...

Page 12


The Spectator

Britain spends more than £330 million a year on clearing up litter; but you'd never guess it Mark Palmer on why grime and garbage make this country such a depressing place to...

Page 14


The Spectator

Christie Davies says that the Games should reflect the three dominant forces in the modern world: guns, cash and drugs ALL Australians agree that their nation is the most...

Page 15

Second opinion

The Spectator

AS we know, human life is sacred and its worth is therefore above mere monetary considerations. The same cannot be said, however, of human injury, which, like every other...

Page 16


The Spectator

with two million other people, in a search for extra-terrestrial life I WAS in an Internet café in Reykjavik recently which had three personal comput- ers at which people, for...

Page 18


The Spectator

Nicholas Glass on a meeting in Purley between Sir Wilfred Thesiger and two tribesmen who accompanied him into the Empty Quarter THE small Arab raiding party emerges from the...

Page 22


The Spectator

Frank Furedi says that civilised eating is under greater threat from Brussels than from American fast food I FIRST encountered the Slow Food Movement last summer, a year...

Page 23

Mind your language

The Spectator

`YOU can't trust a special like an old- time copper when you can't find your way home,' I found myself humming after the announcement at church that there was a 'special choir'...

Page 24


The Spectator

Bush still tangles his sentences, but Mark Steyn wonders whether he should continue to mince his words about the Clinton scandals New Hampshire A BAD week for Dubya. The media...

Page 25

Banned wagon

The Spectator

A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit WHEN Robert Maxwell threw himself from his yacht in 1991, the world finally learnt the extent of his dodgy, business...

Page 26


The Spectator

Alexander Wade on the mysterious growth in the number of children with 'special educational needs' `HOPE those children weren't too much of a problem,' says the primary school...

Page 27


The Spectator

The BBC cannot and should not be expected to compete in the marketplace STEPHEN GLOVER T his is not a column attacking Greg Dyke, director-general of the BBC. My col- league...

Page 28

LETTERS Chickens' charter

The Spectator

From Professor Raymond Wacks Sir: There is a fashionable tendency in con- servative thought that, sadly, is increasingly reflected in your pages. It consists in both deriding...

Treasonable Tories

The Spectator

From Mr Bruce Shaxson Sir: Andrew Gimson (Tories: don't be slaves to the free market', 26 August) is mistaken when declaiming that all the Tories need is something much more...

From Mr William M. Ballantine Sir: Congratulations to Andrew Gimson

The Spectator

for his timely article on the free market; times change, and the needs of the country change — for some time now, 'the emperor has had no clothes'. William M Ballantine...

Conjugal rites

The Spectator

From Mr Jeremy Westhead Sir: I doubt whether Ross Clark (Banned wagon, 26 August) has met anybody whose parents have attempted to arrange a mar- riage for their daughter against...

The BBC and Europe

The Spectator

From Mr Robert Coppinger Sir: As a pro-European who reads The Spectator for amusement rather than through any need for reasoned logical argu- ment, I find that P.D. James's...

Judging the PMs

The Spectator

From Mr Tom Benyon Sir: Taki claims (High life, 26 August) that a number of prime ministers, including Harold Wilson, will be forgotten in com- parison with the differences made...

Essence of Is

The Spectator

From Mr Malcolm Knott Sir: In her spirited defence of Islington and its pine tables (`Do they know what Is is?', 26 August), Anne McElvoy omits to men- tion one of its great...

Page 29

Kiss but not tell

The Spectator

From Mr Hugh Axton Sir: Violet Bonham Carter may well have wanted Roy Jenkins to make no mention of her father's affair with Venetia Stanley, but this could not have been...

Motives and the man

The Spectator

From Mr William Claxton-Smith Sir: Leo McKinstry's article about the right of politicians (and others) to change their views on the back of experience (In defence of treason',...

Hague's laddist errors

The Spectator

From Mr Richard Tracey Sir: The Spectator's treatment of the news that Mr Hague used to down 14 pints of beer a day missed the point entirely. Dr Johnson (oh God, not another...

Slightly foxed

The Spectator

From Mr Tom Jones Sir: I greatly enjoyed Paul Johnson's notes on wildlife in his local countryside (And another thing, 12 August). Like him, we have buzzards and house martins...

Page 30

Market for the world

The Spectator

NOW the Exchange has to learn to live in a market economy. People in markets so often find this difficult. It cannot expect to dictate to its customers or to tell them which...

Beyond the green baize

The Spectator

ONCE upon a time, it was an institution run like a gentleman's club, with the com- mittee on one side of the green baize door and the staff and secretary on the other. Stocks in...


The Spectator

It's open season to bid for the Stock Exchange as the bold Swedes unfiX iX CHRISTOPHER FILDES I may bid for the London Stock Exchange myself. It must now be open season, and...

Virtue and reward

The Spectator

VIRGIN may derive its name from some sentimental memory deep in Sir Richard Branson's past, but I have always supposed that his group was named after the group of Caribbean...

Comrade Governor

The Spectator

MY revelatory discovery that Che Guevara was Governor of the Central Bank of Cuba has been confirmed. 'I have long enjoyed the fact that Che was a fellow-member of the central...

Cloud-capped towers

The Spectator

THE Irish Republican Army cleared the ground for the City's new tower by mistake. When it blew up the Baltic Exchange, the chairman of the Stock Exchange was asked whether the...

Page 31


The Spectator

Gleanings after the harvest Michael Howard TROUBLE-MAKER: THE LIFE AND HISTORY OF A. J. P. TAYLOR by Kathleen Burk Yale, £19.95, pp. 478 A lan Taylor had three wives and three...

Subscribe NOW!

The Spectator

RATES 12 months (52 inTleS) 0 £97 0 £115 6 months (26 issues) o £49 0 . £58 UK Europe USA 0 US$175 0 US$88 Canada 0 £129 0 £65 Australia 0 Aus$240 0 Aus$120 Kenya, South...

Page 32

The queer case of the missing evidence

The Spectator

Byron Rogers BURT LANCASTER by Kate Buford Aurum, £19.99, pp.456 B iography is a cosy enough activity. It allows someone to sit in judgment and have none of his pronouncements...

Page 33

Death, love and filthy Lucan

The Spectator

Martin Stannard AIDING AND ABETTING by Muriel Spark Viking Penguin, £12.99, pp. 182 E stablishing shot: Paris consulting- room of psychiatrist Hildegard Wolf. It is not called...

Page 34

Poetry gets the last laugh

The Spectator

William Scammell BLOODLINES by Fred D'Aguiar Chatto, f12.99, pp. 161 T he last big poem on black history was Derek Walcott's Omeros, which mixed up Homer with the textures of...

Page 35


The Spectator

Wild Minds What Animals Really Think `At last, a penetrating, entertaining, and up-to-the- frelitIDS minute book on the minds of animals Wild Minds should fascinate anyone...

Chess can seriously damage your health

The Spectator

Nigel Short THE LUZHIN DEFENSE by Vladimir Nabokov Penguin, £6.99, pp. 272 A Russian novel about a mad chess- player? It does not sound very promising. One can sympathise with...

Page 36

A bicycle not made for two

The Spectator

Olivia Glazebrook A CELIBATE SEASON by Carol Shields and Blanche Howard Fourth Estate, £6.99, pp. 231 A happily married couple are forced to live 1,000 miles apart for one year...

A hellish dark continent

The Spectator

D. J. Taylor THE BOOK OF THE HEATHEN by Robert Edric Anchor, f9.99, pp. 351 W ith a dozen novels already under his comparatively youthful belt, including two as 'G. E....

Page 37

Can pigeons count?

The Spectator

Chris Lavers WILD MINDS: WHAT ANIMALS REALLY THINK by Marc Hauser Allen Lane, £18.99, pp. 336 N ext time you visit the zoo, take a long look at the chimpanzees. If they have...

Flickering torch-light in the shadows

The Spectator

John Michell LIVES OF THE PSYCHICS by Fred M. Frohock University of Chicago Press, £17.50, pp. 264 T he title is misleading. This is not a `Lives of the Psychics' but a sort of...

Page 38

Crimes committed, punishments awarded

The Spectator

Anita Brookner PIRANHA TO SCURFY by Ruth Rendell Hutchinson, £15.99, pp. 248 R uth Rendell whiles away her time between writing substantial novels by pro- ducing volumes of...

Page 39

Barefoot to beatitude

The Spectator

Christopher Howse TERESA OF AVILA by Cathleen Medwick Duckworth, £20, pp. 284 A s Jeronimo Gracian got out his saw and began to cut off the left hand of Teresa of Avila, he had...

Page 40

What, when, and from where?

The Spectator

Tony Gould THE BIOGRAPHY OF A GERM by Arno Karlen Gollancz, £16.99, pp. 178 W e live in an age of high-quality sci- ence writing, and Arno Karlen is among the best performers...

A selection of recent paperbacks

The Spectator

Fiction: A Good Place to Die by James Buchan, Harvill, £6.99 The Bedroom of the Mister's Wife by Philip Hensher Vintage, £6.99 Vertigo by W. G. Sebald, Harvill, £6.99 Auto da Fe...

Page 41


The Spectator

A high score for Edinburgh Michael Tanner enjoys the musical offerings of the Edinburgh Festival E dinburgh, the city, has such a striking individuality, both geographical and...

Page 42


The Spectator

Two of a kind Mark Steyn T he last film I saw about Siamese twins was, if memory serves, Chained for Life, with Daisy and Violet Hilton. Before that, it was some excerpts from...

Page 43


The Spectator

Lost in the Stars (Battersea Arts) Betty Buckley (Donmar Warehouse) Steve Ross (Pizza on the Park) La Cava (Piccadilly) Going for a song Sheridan Morley B y the turn of the...


The Spectator

Zaha Hadid (Institute of Contemporary Arts, London SW1, till 10 September) The ethics of aesthetics Alan Powers I n the past ten years, a great deal of modern architecture...

Page 44


The Spectator

Mindless populism Michael Vestey S it John Drummond, the former con- troller of Radio Three, was in fine form on Radio Four's evening arts programme Front Row last week. He...

Page 45


The Spectator

Plain sailing Marcus Berkmann B ank holiday? Send a celebrity some- where nasty. This year's sacrificial lamb was Lenny Henry, sent to sail a catamaran across the Atlantic...

Page 46

The turf

The Spectator

Walking tall Robin Oakley Despite the dramatic gesture at Newmar- ket I doubt if the Woods ticker had been under as much pressure as he indicated, for we had just seen a...


The Spectator

Rover returns Alan Judd BMW, Rover's late owner, spent some £700 million designing and producing this car. Its launch attracted attention — some hostile, most approving — for...

Page 47

High life

The Spectator

That's entertainment Taki But back to television. A study released recently by the Henry Kaiser Foundation in America found that children aged eight years and older spend an...

Page 48

No life

The Spectator

Naked ambition Jeremy Clarke T he same week that I finally went to see the doctor about my depression, I took off all my clothes and went naked, out- doors, in public. I...

Page 49

Country life

The Spectator

Team spirit Leanda de Lisle B ack to school — at least for the chil- dren. I feel as if my own school holiday is about to begin. No more French lessons. No more geography...


The Spectator

No way home Susanna Gross AS Tammy Wynette once said, sometimes it's hard to be a woman — especially if you want to be taken seriously at the bridge table. For some reason...

Page 50

12db eq

The Spectator

The Ultimate Islay Malt. CHESS Rd b e www.ardbes.com Luke of the draw Raymond Keene AT the age of 16Y, Luke McShane, whose promise has been apparent for over a decade,...


The Spectator

Ruthless rhyme Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2151 you were invited to provide a 'ruthless rhyme' which recounts the death by misadventure of an incompetent professional on the...

Page 51

CROSSWORD A first prize of £30 and a bottle of

The Spectator

Graham's award-winning, Late- Bottled Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 18 September, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the latest...

Solution to 1476: Rogues

The Spectator

1, ... , 0mm:imp non's r 'b nringisinn E uric ° E 'Qt E C 0 A 0 k - a I . . . , D s El N Nil c lien roil, oriAm, Cot LnArrertgre gi R E rata v rain pELIN ISTA...

No. 2154: Mrs Grundy's version

The Spectator

You are invited to supply a mealy-mouthed précis of the plot of a Shakespearean tragedy for the eyes of innocent under-tens of long ago. Maximum 150 words. Entries to...

Page 55


The Spectator

Move over Schumacher Simon Barnes IN about half a second, the carefully assem- bled beliefs of three years were shattered. Michael Schumacher of Germany is one of the greatest...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. Q. I want to give a big party soon. What fancy-dress themes are currently fashion- able? E.H., Ludlow A. Proper belly-laughs can be provoked by asking guests to...