4 OCTOBER 2008

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The leader we need

The Spectator

T he latest news in the financial crisis is that, after weeks of blamecalling by all parties — generally misdirected, as Dennis Sewell argues in our cover story — a single...

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I was without my dance partner last week. John Stapleton had

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abandoned me on the GMTV sofa for the comforts of a hotel in Manchester and a well-stocked mini-bar. Apparently this particular Labour party conference was like a family having...

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Cameron has emerged as a serious man for serious times

The Spectator

T he champagne ban was nonnegotiable: David Cameron did not want any of his aides drinking bubbly at the Conservative party conference. Not that they needed much telling. The...

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D avid Cameron’s ‘statesmanlike’ promise on Tuesday to do whatever is

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necessary to save the nation and reach ‘across the aisle’, as they say in Congress, is one of the dirtiest and oldest political tricks, but no less effective for that. It is an...

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Sunday Am exhausted already. It’s this earpiece. Every time I get settled into watching a debate or fringe event I hear Gary’s voice shouting orders and I’m running off to some...

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Clinton Democrats are to blame for the credit crunch

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Our current financial turmoil is not the fault of greedy bankers, says Dennis Sewell . In fact, the banks were bullied into lowering their lending standards by left-wing...

Page 15

The Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards

The Spectator

Nominations for the inaugural Spectator’s Readers’ Representative award are now open. The entries received so far show that there are at least some elected officials who have...

Page 16

The masters of the universe have turned to drink

The Spectator

The failure of the $700 billion bail-out has driven her former City-boy chums to despair, says Venetia Thompson . But they must rally soon to keep the market moving I t’s...

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GCC single currency T he proposition for a GCC single currency was agreed in 2006 as a means to create a monetary union that would protect and improve the members’ economies....

Sex, lies and apparitions

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Millions travel to Medjugorje each year but, says Simon Caldwell , the world-famous pilgrimage site may soon be exposed as a fraud T he Medjugorje story begins early in 1976...

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I’m proud to be famous for being rude

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Swearing and shouting are underrated, says Giles Coren . Four-letter words can be immensely satisfying and extraordinarily effective W hen I was ever so small and sweet,...

Page 22

Why has the word ‘grandmother’ been banned by the Guardian?

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Rod Liddle analyses the extraordinary list of mostly harmless words and phrases that are now considered inappropriate by one of our leading national newspapers T here are too...

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The Church is culpable too

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Sir: Will Rowan Williams start his call for ‘fresh scrutiny and regulation in the financial world’ (‘Face it: Marx was partly right about capitalism’, 27 September) by glancing...

Sir: The trouble with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s public moral

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stands is that they are exclusively directed against right-wing policies. In the left-liberal milieu that he inhabits, these stands require no moral courage at all. But he never...

Fired again

The Spectator

Sir: My friend Toby Young listed the magazines and newspapers he has been fired from in the last 22 years (Status anxiety, 27 September). His list is incomplete: I would like to...

Bad gun

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Sir: It made me wonder, after reading Charles Moore’s anecdote about a shooting accident where the perpetrator denied shooting one of his party (The Spectator’s Notes, 13...

The wrong Tarzan

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Sir: I write on behalf of ‘Cheeta’, who went ape on seeing the caption under the photograph on page 37 in the most recent Spectator . The Tarzan shown in the photo is not the...

Family fortunes

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Sir: Jonathan Mirsky’s review of Alexander Waugh’s book on the family Wittgenstein (Books, 20 September) perhaps reveals more about The Spectator ’s sturdy Europhobia than about...

On Bodmin Moor

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Sir: ‘On an exercise during misty weather on that fearsome place Bodmin Moor, I was the only one to get my platoon back safely,’ says Paul Johnson (And another thing, 20...

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From Hadrian to Gordon: sublime to ridiculous

The Spectator

W hy do men want to rule the world? The question is prompted by the British Museum’s exhibition of objects from Hadrian’s day. They have gone to a lot of trouble. Worth it?...

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Was I wrong to turn down my chance to star on Tory TV?

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‘W ould you be inter ested,’ said the star tlingly eager girl at the Birmingham conference centre, ‘in recording a message in the Conservative Video Box?’ God, I was pleased...

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Can Comrade Hank find a way through this crisis?

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The US Treasury chief sees his interventionism as a case-by-case response to unprecedented events, says James Doran , but his critics see it as inconsistent, dangerous and...

Page 31

Farewell to the bank that did Dull

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Neil Collins T his is getting serious — so serious that I’ve done something I may have cause to regret terribly a year or two hence. I have sold my shares in Lloyds TSB. I did...

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A laughing cavalier

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Bevis Hillier C ARTOONS AND C ORONETS : T HE G ENIUS OF O SBERT L ANCASTER introduced and selected by James Knox Frances Lincoln, £15, pp. 224, ISBN 9780711229334 ✆ £12 (plus...

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Morality tale with a difference

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Honor Clerk A M OST W ANTED M AN by John le Carré Hodder & Stoughton, £18.99, pp. 340, ISBN 9780340977064 ✆ £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 L ocation, location, location...

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A safe pair of hands

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Robert Salisbury A P OLITICAL S UICIDE : T HE C ONSERVATIVES ’ V OYAGE INTO THE W ILDERNESS by Norman Fowler Politico’s, £14.99, pp. 238, ISBN 9781842752272 ✆ £11.99 (plus...

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Diving into darkness

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Robert Macfarlane C ONNEMARA : T HE L AST P OOL OF D ARKNESS by Tim Robinson Penguin, £20, pp. 359, ISBN 9781844881550 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I n 1972 Tim...

Carrie on shopping

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Melissa Kite O NE F IFTH A VENUE by Candace Bushnell Little Brown, £12.99, pp. 469, ISBN 9781408701119 ✆ £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 O ne of life’s intriguing...

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Unruly children as parents

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Geordie Greig STARSTRUCK by Cosmo Landesman Macmillan, £14.99, pp. 324, ISBN 9780330446280 I f as a child you found your parents embarrassing then this hiss-andtell memoir will...

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The pragmatic approach

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Jonathan Sumption W HAT N EXT ? S URVIVING THE T WENTY - FIRST CENTURY by Chris Patten Allen Lane, £25, pp. 459, ISBN 9780713998566 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I t...

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The end of old Labour

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Alan Watkins D oWNING S TREET D IARY : W ITH J AMES C ALLAGHAN IN N o .10 by Bernard Donoughue Cape, £30, pp. 562, ISBN 9780224073806 ✆ £24 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 B...

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Of cabbages and kings

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Jonathan Bate G ARDENS : A N E SSAY ON THE H UMAN C ONDITION by Robert Pogue Harrison University of Chicago Press, £12.50, pp. 248, ISBN 9780226317892 W hen I was a student, my...

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Back to simplicity

The Spectator

Colin Amery M LINARIC ON DECORATING by Mirabel Cecil and David Mlinaric Frances Lincoln, £35, pp. 320, ISBN 9780711225411 ✆ £28 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I wish this book...

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Stage-effects in earnest

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M. R. D. Foot D eception plays a large part in war, just as feinting plays a large part in sport. The British excel at it, and used it with much success in both the 20th...

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A very slippery book

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A review of another biography of that tiresome poser, Lady Hester Stanhope, sent me back to Kinglake’s Eothen and the account of the visit he paid the Queen of the Desert, who...

Page 49

A power to enthral

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Henrietta Bredin on how book illustrations can bring the narrative to life T he illustrations in children’s books play a crucial role in expanding the imaginative horizons of...

Page 50

Meditation on meaning

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Andrew Lambirth Rothko Tate Modern, until 1 February 2009 T he first thing that should be noted is that this exhibition is not the retrospective that its title implies. In...

Page 52

Losing is the new winning

The Spectator

Deborah Ross How to Lose Friends and Alienate People 15, Nationwide H ow to Lose Friends and Alienate People is based on Toby Young’s best-selling memoir of the same name and,...

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iPod dilemma

The Spectator

Marcus Berkmann A musician friend of mine acquired his first iPod recently, and like small boys who don’t realise that everyone else went through this about five years ago, he...

Confusing frolic

The Spectator

Michael Tanner La Calisto Royal Opera House Tosca Opera North, Leeds I t’s not often that you find the Royal Opera going as far back as the 17th century, no doubt for the good...

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Playing games

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Lloyd Evans six Characters in search of an Author Gielgud Riflemind Trafalgar Studios P irandello, the master of pretentious bombast, is perhaps the most talentfree of all...

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Sound sensations

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Kate Chisholm W hy do some sounds endure to jolt the memory and take us back to a specific moment in time, like Proust’s taste sensations, while others fade away? The...

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Campaigning genius

The Spectator

James Delingpole ‘P eople have a problem with me,’ claims Jamie Oliver, but I’m not one of them. I’ve had my doubts in the past — overuse of phrases like ‘luvly jubbly’, the...

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Team tactics

The Spectator

Robin Oakley A n old friend in journalism, well awar e that he was prone to conspiracy theories, especially where his own career was concerned, used to say to me, ‘Just because...

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In praise of older women

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Taki W hen I read that actor Robert Wagner had had a four-year-long affair with Barbara Stanwyck back in 1952, my first reaction was that of envy and more envy. Wagner is 77...

Health check

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Jeremy Clarke ‘M y life’s over, doctor,’ I said. ‘A young man like you! Nonsense!’ he said, peering at me over his half-moon glasses. He was that wonderful combination: a fat...

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Horse Cure

The Spectator

Aidan Hartley W ars never get easier. Since Georgia, I have had flashbacks of an elderly woman crying her eyes out after being driven from her village by Russian bombs. When I...

Garden shorts

The Spectator

W here do you stand on the most important issue of the day, namely, whether the BBC should have passed over Carol Klein, to be chief presenter of BBC 2’s Gardeners’ World after...

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Second-hand heaven

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Alex James T he tent had been a big hit over the summer. They called it a tent, but it was big enough for elephants and tightropes: a big top as big as a ballroom and just as...

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Switching off

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Susanna Gross W henever I leave my mobile phone anywhere — which I do with alarming regularity — I feel as though I’ve been disconnected from the world. Still, there are times...

SPECTATOR MINI-BAR OFFER O ne thing I like about the wine

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trade is that people are always optimistic. If the country is prospering, why, they say, folk will spend loads more on wine. If we are in deep trouble, as today, we will eschew...

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To the manner born

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James Sherwood discovers a new meaning to the phrase ‘fashion house’ I t is both blessing and curse for luxury goods brands that they largely appeal to cads and parvenus. Would...

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Disciplined, cheerful, humble and truly nice -— Simon Pegg is everything I’m not

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I t is a strange experience interviewing the actor who has just played you in the film of your life. Simon Pegg has been cast as yours truly in How to Lose Friends & Alienate...

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A fortnightly column on technology and the web

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Rory Sutherland O ne of the most interesting books from the last year has been Revisiting Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren (MIT Press, £20) — a reprint of a...

Q. Last week I gave lunch to my dear goddaughter

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and her equally dear mother in a fashionable restaurant. Both my goddaughter and I were rendered speechless when her mother produced a plastic bottle of water from her handbag...

Q. How should I react, as a senior citizen, when

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an employee of my Traveller’s Club, whom I have never met, addresses me, uninvited, by my first name? Am I right to be slightly taken aback? E.B., Bromley, Kent A. I assume you...

Q. Due to a misunderstanding, the people with whom I

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am supposed to share a flat at university have given my room away and I have nowhere to live this term. I am going to be able to sofa-surf for a couple of weeks but after that I...

Q. I have just lost my job and was really

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quite pleased about it since I will be getting a pay-off and I want to do some travelling. However, what is making me depressed is the number of friends who ring up and tell me...