30 JUNE 2007

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The Spectator

Rarely has there been such a triumph of expectation management as the arrival in No. 10 of the new Prime Minister. Only eight weeks ago, Labour was agonising over the loss of...

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The Spectator

TONY PARSONS Hong Kong They have moved the Star Ferry. How could they move the Star Ferry? The view of the harbour from my room at the Ritz-Carlton should be one of the great...

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The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator

CHARLES MOORE Han-let Harman seems to have won the deputy leadership of the Labour party by saying she did not want people to spend £10,000 on a handbag when other people were...

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Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

The Spectator

By Tamzin Lightwater MONDAY Horrid, horrid. It's all election war footing and aggression and shouting round here. Jed has decided we are 'too nice'. Says he is going to toughen...

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The Tories have underestimated Gordon Brown. All bets are off

The Spectator

Fraser Nelson says that the new Prime Minister has positioned himself in territory that the Tories have left vacant, and is ready to fight a cultural battle to defend the...

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Thatcher, me and the Hong Kong takeover

The Spectator

Ten years on, David Tang recalls his conversation with Margaret Thatcher, his secret meetings with John Major, and the scant thanks Britain has received for its historical role...

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Memo to Gordon: it's the Broken Society, stupid

The Spectator

As editor of the Sunday Times, Andrew Neil drew attention to the emergence of the underclass. Now, he writes, a generation of feral youth has emerged trapped in welfare...

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Meet New New Labour's Mr Aspirational

The Spectator

James Purnell, one of the government's rising stars, tells Fraser Nelson that the new Prime Minister will do more than Cameron to help people fulfil their potential AJob Centre...

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The Diana inquests are stranded on Planet Fayed

The Spectator

Martyn Gregory, the most authoritative investigator of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, reports from a daily legal circus dominated by Mohamed Fayed astard'! hissed...

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Mind your language

The Spectator

The poet Hugo Williams, in an entertaining ramble around changes in language in the TLS the other day, noted that curate's egg is now widely used to mean 'a mixed blessing',...

'It was all because of The Spectator, you know'

The Spectator

Chinua Achebe, the grandfather of African literature, talks to Clemency Burton-Hill about writing in English, his native Nigeria — and the role this magazine played in his story...

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Global Warning

The Spectator

At my time of life, and in my circumstances, I ought to be calm and unruffled. I should be like a saddhu in a Himalayan cave, whose pulse rate no merely external event in the...

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A partisan presentation

The Spectator

Sir: Last week Melanie Phillips attacked the West's approach to the Palestinians as deluded (Gaza: another front in Iran's war', 23 June). But if her analysis carried sway it...

At war with women

The Spectator

Sir: Further to M.R.D Foot's review (Books, 23 June), I should like to add a note about Joan Astley, now in her 97th year and as delightful as ever. I had the good fortune to...

Bad form

The Spectator

Sir: As one who signed the candidates' book for Andrei Navrozov, might I apologise to Brooks's members for having done so? His views on the smoking ban are immaterial, just as...

Feathered friends

The Spectator

Sir: I have been very interested in the recent correspondence about robins (Letters, 16 June). Many years ago, my mother was befriended by a robin which constantly followed her...

Learn to love them

The Spectator

Sir: Michael Henderson is wrong to call for the removal of the skateboarders from the South Bank (Arts, 9 June). The skateboarders complement the life and general hustle and...

Backing Black

The Spectator

Sir: Charles Moore is right to point out that the world's media have been 'greedily clamouring' for a guilty verdict in the case of Conrad Black (The Spectator's Notes, 16...

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The pirates of Glastonbury forced me to consider the wisdom of crowds

The Spectator

HUGO RIFKIND There are things which fashion can teach us. Real things. Not just things about puce after a heavy lunch, or the invariable inadvisability of headwear. Things about...

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Why Agatha Christie never made camel soufflé

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON Funny creatures have begun to appear in Somerset. Little herds of vicuna, llamas and guanaco, and other similar animals. They are farmed for various purposes,...

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Can private equity halt EMI's decline?

The Spectator

Matthew Lynn says EMI is a giant of the music business and a symbol of British prowess in 'creative industries' — but has stumbled from disaster to disaster in recent years A...

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Red tape and big money

The Spectator

Ross Clark There aren't many people who can say that Gordon Brown has cut their taxes. In fact, as far as I'm aware there are just managers of private equity funds — and me....

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Pollster with an eye for business

The Spectator

Richard Northedge meets Kurdish-born Nadhim Zahawi, boss of the internet-based polling company YouGov The company Gordon Brown will be watching most closely as Prime Minister is...

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Fast bucks all round as Saga and the AA form the Victor Meldrew conglomerate

The Spectator

MARTIN VANDER WEYER The £6 billion merger of Saga and the AA is a gift for cartoonists: a company whose ideal customer is Victor Meldrew with a broken fan-belt on the hard...

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Two giants and wizards

The Spectator

Tim Congdon J. K. GALBRAITH by Richard Parker Old Street Publishing, 14 Bowling Green Lane, London EC1R OBD, Tel: 020 7253 3360, £25, pp. 820, ISBN 9781905847099 £20 (plus £2.45...

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No dilly- dallying

The Spectator

Hugh Massingberd How WE BUILT BRITAIN by David Dimbleby Bloomsbury, £20, pp. 288, ISBN 9780747588719 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Ihave a hazy memory of a 1950s television...

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Love in a time of chaos

The Spectator

Ben Wilson THE CONDOR'S HEAD: AN AMERICAN ROMANCE by Ferdinand Mount Chatto, £17.99, pp. 326, ISBN 9780701181208 © £1439 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 We are promised a true...

Boos and hurrahs

The Spectator

Jonathan Sumption A HISTORY OF MODERN BRITAIN by Andrew Marr Pan Macmillan, £25, pp. 629, ISBN 9781405005388 © £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 The problem about contemporary...

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A boy lost in Africa

The Spectator

Simon Baker WHAT IS THE WHAT by Dave Eggers Hamish Hamilton, £18.99, pp. 475, ISBN 9780241142578 £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 what is the What cuts through the strata...

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In the steps of Stanley

The Spectator

Anthony Sattin BLOOD RIVER: A JOURNEY TO AFRICA'S BROKEN HEART by Tim Butcher Chatto, £12.99, pp. 363, ISBN 9780701179816 © £1039 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 f all the...

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Familiar but fascinating

The Spectator

Sarah Standing THE DIANA CHRONICLES by Tina Brown Century, £18.99, pp. 481, ISBN 9781846052866 £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 princess Diana was two years my junior and...

A choice of recent paperbacks

The Spectator

Non-fiction: Words and Deedes: Selected Journalism 1931-2006 by W. E Deedes (Pan, £9.99) Crete by Barry Unsworth (National Geographic Directions, £6.99) John Osborne: A Patriot...

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Not a people person

The Spectator

Ray Monk EINSTEIN: HIS LIFE AND UNIVERSE by Walter Isaacson Simon & Schuster, £25, pp. 675, ISBN 9781847370488 £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 EINSTEIN ON POLITICS: HIS...

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Kristin defrosted

The Spectator

Alistair Duncan talks to Kristin Scott Thomas about juggling her family with theatre and film Kristin Scott Thomas has a bee in her bonnet. Actually, she has several bees in her...

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An odd bunch

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Artists' Self-Portraits from the Uffizi: Masterpieces from Velazquez to Chagall Dulwich Picture Gallery, until 15 July phe Uffizi is to Florence what the...

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Mountain people

The Spectator

Angela Summerfield Ruskin Revisited: George Rowlett at Chamonix and Coniston Art Space Gallery, 84 St Peter's Street, London Ni, until 21July; The Ruskin Libraiy, Lancaster...

Heaven before your eyes

The Spectator

Robin Holloway Scripts like sheep, marks dancing out of the ears; but amidst the academic year's most frazzling fortnight there have been five successive events in Cambridge of...

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Damian Elwes was born in London in 1960 and is the

The Spectator

Damian Elwes was born in London in 1960 and is the son and grandson of portrait painters (Dominic and Simon Elwes). At Scream, 34 Bruton Street, London Wl, is Artists' Studios,...

Czech tragedy

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Katya Kabanova Royal Opera House La Clemenza di Tito Coliseum lmost everything about Katya Kabanova, Janacek's first almost perfect opera, is extraordinary,...

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There's something magical about seeing museum-qual

The Spectator

There's something magical about seeing museum-quality pictures in a private, infor- mal space, perhaps the nearest many of us come to having them in our own homes. In Landscape...

Handful of women

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans The Five Wives of Maurice Pinder Cottesloe Pera Pales Arcola Lord of the Rings Dnuy Lane Ath. The Five Wives of Maurice Pinder I ad to suspend my disbelief so hard...

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Shrek goes soppy

The Spectator

Deborah Ross Shrek the Third U, Nationwide h, for heaven's sake, now they've gone and ruined Shrek, and I hate them for it. Indeed, may those responsible be damned to the...

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Who dares and wins

The Spectator

James Delingpole Doctor Who (BBC1, Saturday) has been particularly brilliant of late and I think Spectator readers should know. There were moments in the first two new series...

Books at bedtime

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm phe last thing Winston Churchill (or Ramsay MacDonald, for that matter) would have thought of discussing before taking power as prime minister was the kind of...

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One voice

The Spectator

Taki When a lame-duck draft dodger pardoned a major crook and fugitive — along with his very own drug-dealing halfbrother — American public opinion was righteously outraged. It...

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Forgive and forget

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke e most contentious aspect of our relationship was my habit, in her words, of using her flat like a hotel. I'd turn up unexpectedly, she says, kick the cat, break...

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Summer time

The Spectator

Nick Foulkes seeks summer watches that fulfil his alter-ego ambitions 1 am always ready to be mentored by older, wiser men, and on the important subject of the holiday watch my...

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A secret affair

The Spectator

Tom Williams visits underexploited Alsace 'A lsace? That's a bit far away, isn't it?' That's what everyone said when I told them I was planning to spend a romantic weekend there...

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King of the hill

The Spectator

Stuart Reid on the joy of renting an apartment in Rome ook at this,' I said. "Key management". What's that all about?' My wife winced. 'I suppose it's about key management,' she...

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Ibiza undiscovered

The Spectator

Lucinda Baring There's nothing like a free holiday. Thanks to a banking 'cash-rich, timepoor' brother, a girlfriend and I jumped on a plane and headed to his empty finca in the...

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ViS-a- ViS

The Spectator

Freddy Gray Adecent beach should not be too decent. An overload of litter is of course disgusting, but a light scattering — a crisp packet here, a Fanta can there — pleasingly...

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All aboard the Bada Bing Bus

The Spectator

Tanya Gold 'Can anyone name Tony Soprano's horse?' says Marc Baron, our tour guide, standing in the aisle of a leaking coach at the start of The Sopranos Bus Tour of New Jersey....

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Your Problems Solved

The Spectator

Dear Maly Q. My wife and I have just given a summer party to which we invited around 200 people. Correction — we posted invitations to 200, 20 of whom rang up on the day to say...

The Last Smoke

The Spectator

FRANK KEATING How went our 'Last Smoke' dinner on Thursday, hosted by the Spec's Andrew Neil at London's swish Four Seasons Hotel? If not so grand, there were doubtless other...