3 MAY 2008

Page 5

An inconvenient truth

The Spectator

I n its 6 October 2007 edition, The Spectator reported on Israel’s air-strike on Syria exactly a month before. We noted that the 6 September raid ‘may have saved the world...

Page 9

V anity thy name is Nikki Bedi. I’ve just been for

The Spectator

one of my biannual visits to my ‘derm’ Dr Nick Lowe. The Times recently called him Dr Botox. I’ve been his patient for 13 years; the first seven in Santa Monica, where my...

Page 10

Labour politicians are already preparing for opposition. The race to succeed Gordon is on

The Spectator

O ver lunch about a year ago, I tried to tease out the intentions of someone tipped as a possible successor to Gordon Brown. He was feigning optimism and loyalty to the anointed...

Page 11

I f, when you read this, Boris Johnson is the Mayor

The Spectator

of London, it will, I have just discovered, be thanks to me. When the idea of Boris’s candidacy was first suggested, I spoke on the telephone to Mary Wakefield, who is now the...

Page 13

By Tamzin Lightwater MONDAY

The Spectator

Dear me! Why does everyone take what we say so literally ? When Dave declared that he wanted to end Punch and Judy Politics he was speaking metaphorically. He didn’t mean he...

Page 14

Happy 60th birthday, Israel: well done for surviving

The Spectator

Melanie Phillips says that the prosperity and growing cultural confidence of Israel is a fitting riposte to the Western intelligentsia, American meddling and the daily...

Page 16

Balls wants a 100 per cent tax on inherited brains

The Spectator

Irwin Stelzer admires the Schools Secretary, and so regrets that his admissions policy prevents schools from taking account of a pupil’s prospects of success. Bad news all...

Page 18

Strip clubs are a City girl’s sanctuary

The Spectator

Venetia Thompson , until recently a broker, says that the feminist Fawcett Society should not campaign to outlaw City outings to strip joints: they are harmless after-hour...

Page 19

IQ 2 debate: America has lost its moral authority Big names

The Spectator

at last Tuesday’s Intelligence Squared debate. Our beaming chairman Adam Boulton called on Will Self to propose the motion that America has lost its moral authority. In his...

Page 20

Not even science fiction foresaw the end of fathers

The Spectator

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill seeks to end the child’s right to a father figure, writes John Patten , ignoring all sound research in its obsession with...

Page 22

Sorry, but family history really is bunk

The Spectator

Leo McKinstry says the current craze for genealogy reflects an unhealthy combination of snobbery and inverse snobbery, and is a poor replacement for national history W hen I...

Page 24

This Austrian horror gnaws at our fears about how we treat our own children

The Spectator

Josef Fritzl’s unspeakable crimes against his daughter not only sicken us, says Rod Liddle . They sharpen our confusion about day-to-day parenting in the modern world Y ou...

Page 25

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

Boris Johnson has vowed as mayor to emulate his hero Pericles, turning London into ‘an education to Britain’ as Athens was (Pericles claimed) to Greece. In one sense this...

Page 26

Call that a crisis?

The Spectator

Sir: Ian Hay Davison (‘How to rescue a bank’, 19 April) is right that the Northern Rock episode was far from unprecedented. But there is much more to say. The difficulties...

Anticipating the crash

The Spectator

Sir: Rod Liddle (Liddle Britain, 26 April) welcomes the predicted 25 per cent fall in house prices, and so do I. But comparisons with the last property crash do not take into...

Last call

The Spectator

Sir: Charles Moore asks (The Spectator Notes, 26 April) when the Times might be running a correspondence on ‘the last cuckoo’. Alas, I tried this back in 2001 when, having...

The BNP’s purpose

The Spectator

Sir: Trevor Phillips, in his mission to ‘break the ice’ surrounding the immigration debate (Diary, 26 April), is selective in blaming the continuation of Enoch Powell’s...

Pregnant with meaning

The Spectator

Sir: There is yet another use of the phrase ‘going forward’ which Dot Wordsworth neglected to mention in her wonderfully entertaining recent column (Mind your language, 12...

Dover and out

The Spectator

Sir: Alex James’s navigation is even worse than Father John Thackray thinks (Letters, 26 April). Mr James thinks he can cross from Cap de la Hague to the white cliffs of Dover...


The Spectator

ngraved – or die-stamped – printing, in which the text is printed from a copper die and raised from the paper, is the very best type of printing there is. From shops in Bond...

Page 28

Gordon can barely speak English either, so why don’t we swap him for Sarkozy?

The Spectator

S ay what you like about Nicolas Sarkozy, but he’s a feisty little tyke, isn’t he? Apparently, he put himself through an hour-long grilling on French TV last week. We’ve...

Page 30

When the corridors of power echo to the strains of ‘Nil nisi bunkum’

The Spectator

W hen did the newfangled service for a dead nob first come in — the one that says it is a ‘celebration’ of the life, rather than a lament for the death? I would like to...

Page 32


The Spectator

For Formula One, sex sells; but not the way Max likes it Christian Sylt and Caroline Reid say the motorsport industry is in turmoil — and could lose millions in sponsorship...

Page 35

Say farewell to gentlemanly

The Spectator

capitalism Tim Curzon Price foresees a new era in which finance will be as tightly regulated as pharmaceuticals E ver since social arrangements became complex enough to write...

Page 36

Ruling the waves

The Spectator

Philip Hensher BREATH by Tim Winton Picador, £16.99, pp. 205, ISBN 9780330455718 ✆ £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T im Winton is a prodigy among novelists,...

Page 37

Recent crime novels

The Spectator

Andrew Taylor L aura Wilson specialises in acutely observed psychological thrillers, in most cases set in the recent past. Stratton’s War (Orion, £18.99) marks a departure...

Page 38

The last laugh

The Spectator

Caroline Moore D EAF S ENTENCE by David Lodge Harvdll Secker, £17.99, pp. 294, ISBN 9781846551673 ✆ £14.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 D avid Lodge’s writing career...

Page 40

Fighting his corner

The Spectator

P.J. Kavanagh I SAAC R OSENBERG : T HE M AKING OF A G REAT W AR P OET by Jean Moorcroft Wilson Weidenfeld, £25, pp. 468, ISBN 9780297851455 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429...

Our new puppet-masters

The Spectator

Jonathan Sumption M C M AFIA : C RIME W ITHOUT FRONTIERS by Misha Glenny The Bodley Head, £20, pp. 426, ISBN 9780224075039 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 T his book...

Page 41

Last but not least

The Spectator

Robert Stewart C ATHERINE P ARR : H ENRY VIII’ S L AST L OVE by Susan James Tempus, £20, pp. 348, ISBN 9780752445915 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 ‘ L ove is...

Page 42

A career in the West

The Spectator

Oliver Gilmour S ERGEY P ROKOFIEV : D IARIES 1915-1922, V OLUME II: B EHIND THE M ASK translated by Anthony Phillips Faber, £30, pp. 775, ISBN 9780801447020 ✆ £24 (plus...

Page 43

Howling to the moon

The Spectator

Jerome de Groot W OLF T OTEM by Jiang Rong, translated by Howard Goldblatt Hamish Hamilton, £17.99, pp. 527, ISBN 9780241143520 ✆ £14.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 D...

Page 44

What Shakespeare thought and felt

The Spectator

W hy did Shakespeare choose to publish his sonnets in 1609? This isn’t the most difficult question they invite, nevertheless an interesting one. His long poems, The Rape of...

The Path

The Spectator

That winds out of the wood, towards the ferns — Beeches, ghost-elms and horse-chestnuts guard The meadows and the rides that slope downhill Through midge-crowded evenings,...

Page 45

Crescendo of polyphony

The Spectator

Peter Phillips on a Zambian chamber choir which decided to perform Byrd, Tallis and Tippett A s calling cards go, renaissance polyphony would not seem to promise a ticket to...

Page 46

American beauty

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth The American Scene: Prints from Hopper to Pollock British Museum, until 7 September Coming of Age: American Art, 1850s to 1950s Dulwich Picture Gallery, until 8...

Page 48

Slump fever

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Gone with the Wind New London Harper Regan Cottesloe Footprints in the Sand Oval House H ow did they get it so wrong? Turning chicklit’s greatest story into a...

Page 50

Tired old friend

The Spectator

Deborah Ross Iron Man 12A, Nationwide I ron Man is a Hollywood superhero blockbuster and probably the first of a franchise, even though it already feels like the 64th. These...

Feeble Fidelio

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Fidelio Teatro Real, Madrid F or all its glories, Madrid is not a city that one associates with great opera performances, as one does Barcelona. Perhaps it’s...

Page 52

Changing perspectives

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm ‘C ould you account for everything that surrounds you in the course of a single second?’ asks one of the characters in Peter Ackroyd’s first play for radio,...

Page 53

Jane’s sex problem

The Spectator

James Delingpole I ’m always on the lookout for writers who’ve had well-paid, fun, fulfilled lives but I hardly ever find them. Jane Austen, for example. You’d think that...

Page 54

Garden shorts

The Spectator

So a little light housework or gardening cuts your stress levels, does it? Well, I never. I long ago developed a ‘ten-minute gardening’ scheme for stress-busting, and I...

Twelve to follow

The Spectator

Robin Oakley E xperiments don’t always come off. Like the train company trying out new safety glass for drivers’ cabins. It adapted technology from an aviation manufacturer...

Page 56

Fifties glamour

The Spectator

Taki New York S o there I was, at the Waverly Inn, Graydon Carter’s little toy, which has been the hottest ticket in the Big Bagel for two years, when the booth next to mine...

Battle stories

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke C ass Pennant and his wife and son and son’s girlfriend came round the other day for a cream tea. Cass used to be — still is — a top ‘face’ in the world...

Page 57

Happy hour

The Spectator

Alex James ‘I ’m going to look at the dandelions,’ I said. ‘There’s loads of them.’ ‘I’ll come,’ she said. ‘Come on. Hurry up, then. It’s happy hour.’...

Page 58

Knife cuts

The Spectator

Richard Sennett T his week’s column should be guestwritten by Hillary Clinton, who has shown herself a master at sinking the knife into Barack Obama’s all-too-yielding...

Page 59

S WIG of west London offers some of our most successful

The Spectator

mini-bars, and when you try these bottles you will see why. They are exciting, adventurous, mostly New World wines, hard if not impossible to find anywhere else, all at reduced...

Page 61

The greatest oddity of all

The Spectator

Olivia Glazebrook floats like a duck on the salty waters of the Dead Sea O n the way to the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea I inquired of our driver, Mohammed, ‘Will I need...

Page 62

Oasis in a foodie desert

The Spectator

Alexander Chancellor S outh Northamptonshire, where I live, has been for as long as I can remember an area of the deepest gastronomic gloom. There isn’t a decent restaurant...

Page 64

His nibs

The Spectator

Christian House A s Samuel Johnson put it: ‘No man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand, or more wise when he does.’ A couple of years ago I was given a neat...

Page 66

Cranial craze

The Spectator

Sophia Hesselgren B abies scream. This is one of the first things you learn as a new parent (along with sleep matters, and labour hurts). What is more of a mystery is why. Is...

Page 68

The thrill of la chasse

The Spectator

Rory Knight Bruce goes hunting in Burgundy T he arrival of the faster Eurostar to France will doubtless bring more people to Paris and the new bridge in the south is already...

Page 70

Why Frederick was Great

The Spectator

Simon Heffer tours the palaces at Potsdam S o much of Germany is disappointing to the tourist, as indeed England must be. The reasons for this are similar: the most beautiful...

Page 78

Boris has played me like a violin twice in my life — even appealing to my conscience

The Spectator

A t the time of writing, the outcome of the London Mayoral election is still unknown, but I am rooting for Boris, obviously. Doubts have been raised about his ability to run a...

Mind your language

The Spectator

‘Twenty-five years ago,’ writes Mr Peter Gasson from Aylesbury, ‘policies were implemented; services were provided; changes were made or brought about; promises were...

Page 79

I f the climate-change debate has accomplished anything, it has proved

The Spectator

people never say sorry. When I was about 12 the families of the people who now wince at every gramme of carbon we burn carried on their cars a yellow sticker reading ‘Nuclear...

Q. Since I now live alone and have spare bedrooms

The Spectator

my house in London has become something of a destination for old friends who want to stay overnight. I love seeing them. I love making them welcome and giving them drinks and...

Q. I am published by Bloomsbury. I know that other

The Spectator

Bloomsbury authors, most volubly Joanna Trollope, feel the publisher is too ‘J. K. Rowling-centric’ and are dissatisfied with the amount of attention and marketing they...

Q. Further to the solution offered about how to cope

The Spectator

with unwelcome singing in a communal shower at the pool (29 March) — I believe the strategy you suggest is exactly how antisocial behaviour is communicated to the offender in...