Page 2

How to save the Union

The Spectator

Iv hen Nigel Lawson was Chancellor of the Exchequer, he liked to say that the problem with tax simplification was that you always end up complicating tax, too. The same is true...

Page 4


The Spectator

Can anyone lend me quid or two? For the first time in my life I'm borrowing money. Mortgaging property. Scrabbling around for cash so I can live my lavish lifestyle. In case any...

Page 5

Immigration policy can 'swamp' a party's message. But Cameron knows this

The Spectator

!AMES FORSYTH The government's failure to count up the number of foreign workers in this country rightly reinforces the public's fear that control of the borders has been lost,...

Page 6

CHARLES MOORE This week, Policy Exchange, of which

The Spectator

CHARLES MOORE This week, Policy Exchange, of which I am the chairman, produced a survey, The Hijacking of British Islam', of literature found on the premises of more than 100...

Page 7

Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

The Spectator

By Tamzin Lightwater MONDAY Dear me! How are we supposed to have a grown up argument about immigration when silly Lithuanian ambassadors can't see the funny side of a little...

Page 8

Cameron means business on welfare: the Tories are the radicals again

The Spectator

Few noted the significance of the Conservative leader's pledge in Blackpool to import Wisconsin's benefit reforms. But, says Fraser Nelson, the implications of this promise are...

Page 10

The Saudis are in the global saddle

The Spectator

Stephen Schwartz and Irfan Al-Alawi say that the state visit of King Abdullah dramatised the obeisance of Britain — and the West as a whole — to a country crying out for reform...

Page 11

'There are unfortunately a lot of us old guys around'

The Spectator

Tim Walker talks to Peter Vaughan — made famous by Porridge and still on screen at 84— about Joe Orton, Arthur Miller and Sam Peckinpah, and the actor's longing 'to be real'...

Page 12

I am facing up to the fact that I may be a Marxist

The Spectator

James Delingpole is alarmed to discover he agrees with the rationalist, empiricist position adopted by many revolutionary Marxists against the tyranny of the state. So be it, he...

Page 13

Intelligence2 debate report

The Spectator

Capitalism can save the planet (with carbon trading we can solve the climate change crisis without damaging economic growth) 'It's about my cappuccino.' No one expected the...

Page 14

I beg to differ... Briefs

The Spectator

The recent muliplex blockbuster 300, an historical epic concerning the Spartans fighting King Xerxes's Persian forces at the Battle of Thermopylae was remarkable in one chief...

All Hezbollah lacks is a group on Facebook

The Spectator

Lauren Booth tours Beirut as a guest of Hezbollah's media arm and discovers a slick spin operation that still needs to 'drop the Islam stuff for Western journalists' Beintt...

Page 15

I beg to differ... Boxers

The Spectator

About 20 years ago, while on a business trip to the Gulf, I unthinkingly proposed to a male colleague that we visit the souq together. I told him that I wanted to buy some silk...

Page 16

The royal blackmail story is remarkable for the absence of outrage

The Spectator

The collapse of the mystique surrounding the royal family means that these tawdry allegations are met with a collective shrug rather than a national outcry, says Rod Liddle...

Page 18

The nightmare of 'pre- crime' is already with us

The Spectator

Patrick West says that the science fiction of Philip K. Dick's Minority Report has become alarming fact in the powers given to police to take against people who have committed...

Page 20

Has the smoking ban reduced heart attacks?

The Spectator

Tessa Mayes draws on the latest research from the US to show that there is no necessary correlation between bans and declining heart-attack trends 1 t's four months since the...

Page 21

Mind your language

The Spectator

When Gisela Stuart was talking to the dear old editor on the wireless the other morning, she used the phrase 'between a rock and a hard place'. People say this almost as if it...

Page 22

In Dostoevsky time, you worry about stuff like heavy swing doors and Britishness

The Spectator

HUGO RIFKIND St Petersburg The first two things that grab you about Russia are the women's clothes and the health and safety laws. Or, at least, that is what grabbed me. Wander...

Page 23

Gregory and the inquest

The Spectator

Sir: We read once again an attack on Mohamed Al Fayed by Martyn Gregory over the inquest into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed (No "flash before the...

Sex scandals overlooked

The Spectator

Sir: Paul Bew's generous and perceptive review of my Luck and the Irish (Books, 20 October) gently chides me for inaccurately stating that Vincent Twomey's book The End of Irish...

Appeals for a ref

The Spectator

Sir: Sir Malcolm Rifkind (A trap for Eurosceptic Tories', 27 October) declares that the Conservatives must not offer a referendum on the Constitutional Treaty if it has already...

The propaganda problem

The Spectator

Sir: What Philip Stevens calls in his letter last week 'a vast amount of unimpeachable evidence' [about the alleged Armenian genocides] was actually produced as part of the...

Page 24

Are famous writers accident-prone? Some are

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON Idon't want to know too much about writers. The endless revelations about Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes have put me off their poetry. Nothing can shake my love of...

Page 25

Putin's game in European energy: divide and conquer

The Spectator

Neil Barnett identifies the hidden hand of Gazprom, the Russian state oil and gas giant, in a takeover tussle between Austrian and Hungarian energy companies vladimir Putin's...

Page 26

The City's fascination with farming

The Spectator

Merryn Somerset Webb Everyone's an expert on agriculture these days. Talk to anyone in the City: when they're not boring you with how much copper wire it takes to build a...

Page 27

Slums for the masses, fortunes for the few

The Spectator

Elliot Wilson says tension between China's rich and poor is increasingly evident in a booming real estate market Hu Bin is your archetypal Chinese real-estate entrepreneur....

Page 28

The tale of Grand Central's ghost train and why I'm right behind Chris Huhne

The Spectator

MARTIN VANDER WEYER Rail delays are a daily fact of life, but Grand Central's ghost train has set new records. Due to depart from Sunderland last December, it has yet to pass...

Page 29

Heaven scent

The Spectator

Michael McMahon on the extraordinary and varied uses for lavender 'Let's go to that house, for the linen looks white and smells of lavender; and I long to lie in a pair of...

Page 31

Know your mind

The Spectator

Jack Wakefield Collecting art on a budget can be daunting. The galleries are snide, the auctions confusing, the whole apparatus seems to have been set up as a conspiracy against...

Page 32

Light is might

The Spectator

Harry Mount o you remember that ad for the Citroen 2CV years ago? It was along the lines of: number of wheels — four; number of steering wheels — one; top speed — the British...

Page 33

Crowning glory

The Spectator

Molly Watson How much should a sensible woman pay for a hairdo? £20? £50? In most provincial salons one would be hard pushed to spend much more than £80 on even the most...

Page 35

Mega box

The Spectator

Rebecca Jed This year, the prize for the most lavish hamper goes to Fortnums for their £20,000 compilation of inessentials. Nothing in moderation here. 'For one year only, we've...

Heel thyself

The Spectator

Mark Palmer T am buying a pair of shoes. And this is 1 something I have never done before. Not really. Not at a Savile Row tailors where the shop assistant asks you questions...

Page 37

Thanks for the memories

The Spectator

Martin Vander Weyer Sir Roy Strong's eyes widened; his nostrils twitched; his pen hovered as though the horror of what confronted him had momentarily robbed him of the power to...

Page 38

A sensitive bounder

The Spectator

KIPLING SAHIB: INDIA AND THE MAKING OF RUDYARD KIPLING by Charles Allen Little, Brown, £20, pp. 426, ISBN 9780316726559 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 He was a noisy boy...

Page 41

Guru to five presidents

The Spectator

Tim Congdon THE AGE OF TURBULENCE by Alan Greenspan Allen Lane, £25, pp. 531, ISBN 9780713999822 £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Seated next to her at dinner, I was prepared...

Page 42

Pioneer of the studied casual

The Spectator

Mary Keen NORAH LINDSAY: THE LIFE AND ART OF A GARDEN DESIGNER by Allyson Hayward Frances Lincoln, £35, pp. 287, ISBN 9781845132576 £28 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Norah...

Page 43

The bad boy comes of age

The Spectator

Jonathan Keates POLANSKI by Christopher Sandworth Century, £18.99, pp. 480, ISBN 9781844138791 £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 As the biopic comes back into fashion —...

Page 45

Master of the masquerade

The Spectator

Andro Linklater OLD MEN IN LOVE by Alasdair Gray Bloomsbury, £20, pp. 311, ISBN 9780747593539 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Not even the Akond of Swat in all his whoness,...

Deadened by shock

The Spectator

Charlotte Moore THE ALMOST MOON by Alice Sebold Picador, £16.99, pp. 291, ISBN 9780330451321 £13.59 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold's first novel,...

Page 46

The story behind the story

The Spectator

Marcus Berkmann WHY NOT CATCH 21? FIFTY BOOK TITLES AND THEIR ORIGINS by Gary Dexter Frances Lincoln, £9.99, pp. 228, ISBN97807611227965 E7.90 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 And...

People keep appearing

The Spectator

Jane Gardam THE MAN IN THE PICTURE by Susan Hill Profile Books, £9.99, pp.160, ISBN 9781846680755 © £7.90 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Susan Hill knows exactly how to please....

Page 47

Joan of Arc with connections

The Spectator

David Caute THROUGH THE DARKNESS: A LIFE IN ZIMBABWE by Judith Garfield Todd Zebra Press, £14.99, pp. 460, ISBN 9781770220027 £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 This is a...

No mean feat

The Spectator

Harriet Sergeant SHANGHAI TANGO: A MEMOIR by Jin Xing, with Catherine Texier Atlantic Books, £10.99, pp. 195, ISBN 9781843546320 £8.79 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Rows of...

Page 48

The artist as a middle-aged man

The Spectator

William Boyd A LIFE OF PICASSO: VOLUME III: THE TRIUMPHANT YEARS, 1917-1932 by John Richardson Cape, £30, pp. 555, ISBN9780224031219 © £24 (plus £2.45p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 t's...

Page 50

The curse of riches

The Spectator

Geoffrey Wheatcroft DIAMONDS, GOLD AND WAR by Martin Meredith Simon & Schuster, £25, pp. 569, ISBN 9780743286183 £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 When the second half of the...

Page 51

Old wine in new skins

The Spectator

Molly Guinness WHERE THREE ROADS MEET by Salley Vickers Canongate, £12.99, pp. 195, ISBN 9781841959863 £1039 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 GIRL MEETS BOY by Ali Smith...

Surprising literary ventures

The Spectator

Gary Dexter THE FIXED PERIOD (1881) by Anthony Trollope The Fixed Period is the most un-Trollopian thing Trollope ever wrote. It is a firstperson futuristic narrative set in the...

Page 52

Glutton for punishment

The Spectator

Mary Wakefield on why Tom Hollander is about to put himself through a terrifying ordeal again Act one, scene one The curtain opens on the offices of The Spectator magazine,...

Page 53

Glowing in the dark

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Renaissance Siena: Art for a City National Gallery, until 13 January 2008 Sponsored by Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena The latest exhibition in the grim dungeon...

Page 54

How others see us

The Spectator

Jane Rye British Vision: Observation and Imagination in British Art 17501950 Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent, until 13 January 2008 This stunning, and constantly surprising,...

Page 55

New order

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Siegfried; Gotterammerung Royal Opera Siegfried is in some ways the most complex of the Ring dramas, showing us alternately, and then simultaneously, the old...

Page 56

Losing the plot

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans The Country Wife Haymarket Rent Duke of York's Ararity at the Haymarket. A new production of a straight play. Such is the despair over the creeping musicalisation of...

Page 57

Anyone who likes the work of Craigie Aitchison wil

The Spectator

Anyone who likes the work of Craigie Aitchison will appreciate the nuanced colour fields of Milton Avery (1885-1965), one of the subtlest of American modernists and as such one...

Dolt ourself

The Spectator

Peter Phillips Vanity publishing is all the rage these days. Not long ago the idea of putting out something by yourself under an independent label, owned by yourself or one of...

Page 59

Poor Cate Deborah Ross Elizabeth: The Golden Age 1

The Spectator

Poor Cate Deborah Ross Elizabeth: The Golden Age 12A, Nationwide Already, the word is out that Elizabeth: The Golden Age isn't up to much, and it isn't. It may even be a dog's...

Pause for thought

The Spectator

Marcus Berkmann With ever longer gaps between albums, it's becoming difficult to identify which rock stars are just having a quick lie-down, and which are actually missing in...

Page 60

Blinking marvellous

The Spectator

Giannandrea Poesio New Art Club: The Visible Men The Place: Robin Howard Theatre Andreja Rauch: Weavers Greenwich Dance Agency According to Tom Roden, one half of New Art Club's...

Page 61

Conversation pieces

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm There's an endless amount of 'chat' on radio and TV, but how much 'conversation'? A recent book by an American, Stephen Miller, reminds us of the difference...

Page 62

Young Muslim Britain

The Spectator

James Delingpole peter Kosminsky's Britz (Channel 4, 1 Wednesday and Thursday) was heavily flagged beforehand as a drama that was going to annoy a lot of people. Naturally, I...

Page 63

Crowded country

The Spectator

Taki ‘Nobody would be happier than me if, in 50 years' time, the Prime Minister, the Archibishop of Canterbury, the Poet Laureate, the Lord Chief Justice, the Regius Professor...

Page 64

Never trust a lady

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke The estate agent was hopelessly late — stuck in traffic, she said — so I gave the couple the tour of our home instead. It was clear that they had no intention of...

Page 65

Mid-life crisis

The Spectator

Aidan Hartley Ihad an epiphany at 5.30 a.m. the other day in a Shanghai club packed with gangsters, prostitutes and flat-bellied Thai transsexuals. I watched a little guy, in...

Page 66

Love thy neighbour

The Spectator

Melissa Kite The curtain of my upstairs neighbours' flat has been hanging by a single hook for three weeks, and if something is not done about it soon I am going to call the...

Page 67

Ethical eating

The Spectator

Richard Sennett ince I wrote in The Spectator a fortnight ago about the 'Say no to foie gras' campaign, my email has been flooded with protests. Animal-rights groups have...

Page 69

Good food down under

The Spectator

Tim Heald goes to Brisbane and discovers an excellent chef with a smart city attached The question has, over the last few years, been persistent and the answer elusive. Bruno...

Page 70

Puzzling times Sinclair McKay lets the pieces fall

The Spectator

Puzzling times Sinclair McKay lets the pieces fall into place When I was a lad, in the tawdry, tatty 1970s, a jigsaw was a thing of thin cardboard that came in a big box and...

Page 73

'Yes,' I said, punching the air. 'Daddy got the highest score' — and other triumphs

The Spectator

TOBY YOUNG at are the two words guaranteed to fill any parents of young children with terror? School fees? Chicken Pox? Gina Ford? The answer, I'm afraid, is half term. My...

Page 74

Your Problems Solved

The Spectator

Dear Maly Q. We live in a small flat and when we have visitors for a weekend or a few days we arrange for them to sleep in a spacious bedroom made available by a neighbour, who...

Happy as Harry

The Spectator

FRANK KEATING With league fixtures into double figures, the autumn's general-excuseme overture has finished and the long winter slog is really underway. The eightsome reel at...