6 OCTOBER 2007

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A man worthy to be Prime Minister

The Spectator

Ten years after New Labour came to power, it is remarkable that the unions can still hold us all to ransom. This issue of The Spectator has gone to press a day earlier than...

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IAIN DALE Thank the Lord this will be the last tim

The Spectator

IAIN DALE Thank the Lord this will be the last time conference-goers have to endure the hellhole that calls itself Blackpool. The last time I stayed in a Blackpool hotel at a...

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The hoodie-hugging, Polly-praising, huskie- drawn days are over. The Tories are back

The Spectator

FRASER NELSON For a party still facing defeat at the next general election, the Conservatives left Blackpool feeling remarkably upbeat. 'It's the spirit of Gallipoli,' said a...

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The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator

CHARLES MOORE Blackpool Such is the strange rhythm of politics that this turns out to be the most successful Conservative conference for many years. George Osborne, who only a...

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Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

The Spectator

By Tamzin Lightwater SUNDAY Am shattered from lugging huge bag of policies around. Felt like asking Mr Gove what exactly he'd put in his blasted School Reforms, but just about...

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The sweet contagion of freedom will outlast the bloodshed in Burma

The Spectator

Where the monks have led by inspiration, the younger army officers — who know the present horrors are unsustainable — will follow. Fergal Keane reports from a nation that is...

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We came so close to World War Three that day

The Spectator

On 6 September, Israel struck a nuclear facility in Syria, an event shrouded in secrecy. Douglas Davis and James Forsyth talk to high-level sources to get closer to what...

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Lessons of the tsunami the world forgot

The Spectator

Michael Howard reports on the sad aftermath of the storm that swept the Solomon Islands in April and the need to keep aid out of the hands of its government — and of the EU At...

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Blair said to me: 'Let's not talk about the war'

The Spectator

Robert Harris talks to Mary Wakefield about his new novel, a partial roman a clef about the Blair era, and his sense of personal betrayal over Iraq and the treatment of...

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Global Warning

The Spectator

THEODORE DALRYMPLE When we were students, a professor of public health once told us that the death rate declined whenever or wherever doctors went on strike. This was an even...

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I am not afraid to say the West's values are better

The Spectator

In advance of the next Intelligence2 debate, sponsored by The Spectator on 9 October, Douglas Murray says that the West has become afraid of its own ethical achievement Before...

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A final farewell to the dating game in New York

The Spectator

Amelia Torode marks the wedding of the woman who was her dating 'wing-woman' with some memories of blind dates from Hell in Manhattan The HBO drama Sac and the City arrived on...

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It isn't only rabbits who will suffer from the new surge of myxomatosis

The Spectator

Rod Liddle admits that his horror at the vengeful return of the disease is that of a sentimentalist. But there are serious ecological implications, too, if this foul outbreak...

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Arnie on the big screen

The Spectator

Sir: There's no truth in Fraser Nelson's sug- gestion that Governor Schwarzenegger changed his schedule in response to polls or any other political considerations (This will be...

The Treaty — to and fro

The Spectator

Sir: Nigel Lawson is wrong to claim that the Reform Treaty will abolish the need for parliamentary approval of changes to the EU treaties (Sorry, minister', 29 September). The...

Rommel's beating

The Spectator

Sir: Taki writes with his usual humour and light touch (High life, 22 September). On the subject of Rommel, however, he is wrong to state that no British general 'could match...

In Anita's defence

The Spectator

Sir: It seems a little unfair that Judi Bevan's critical summing up of Anita Roddick was based on the fact that she wasn't perfect (Moral superiority in cheap plastic bottles',...

No Turkish delight

The Spectator

Sir: Bravo to Simon Hoggart for exposing the staged-looking Turkish restaurant scene in Michael PalM's latest BBC travelogue (Arts, 29 September). It was an embarrassment to the...

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The Tory conference made me feel like Simon Callow in Four Weddings and a Funeral

The Spectator

HUGO RIFKIND Aere we sure that party confernces are good things? Are we convinced that they do the job? Certainly, they are great fun. hat, I would never dispute. The booze. The...

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The countryside should be a place of life, not of death

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON This is the time of year when I am irritated by the pop-pop of shotguns near my house in Over Stowey. Not that West Somerset is a great county for shooting. It is a...

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A symbol of change but is she the real thing?

The Spectator

Matthew Lynn enjoys a power-breakfast with France's new finance minister, Christine Lagarde — but wonders whether she can drive the reforms the French economy needs 1 t wasn't...

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Penguin's irrational exuberance

The Spectator

James Harland what's the biggest threat to the stability of the global economy today? Derivatives? Hedge funds? The credit crunch? Actually it could be Pearson, the company that...

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Find another planet and plant it with soybeans

The Spectator

Elliot Wilson says there isn't enough arable land in the world to make plant-based fuels a viable alternative to oil C B iofuels?' Ricardo Leiman gives an imperious snort, his...

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As the party games turn nasty, Sharap ova shows bankers the elegant way to lose

The Spectator

MARTIN VANDER WEYER Iv hen I bumped into Barclays chief executive John Varley at Wimbledon one mid-week afternoon in July, I thought he looked remarkably relaxed for a man...

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Memory speaks volumes

The Spectator

Anne Applebaum THE WHISPERERS: PRIVATE LIFE IN STALIN'S RUSSIA by Orlando Figes Allen Lane, £25, pp. 784, ISBN 9780713997026 © £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 t's a...

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How and why the Twenties roared

The Spectator

Bevis Hillier BRIGHT YOUNG PEOPLE: THE RISE AND FALL OF A GENERATION, 1918-1940 by D. J. Taylor Chatto, £20, pp. 307, ISBN 9870701177546 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655...

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Never a dull moment

The Spectator

Alexander McCall Smith SCOTLAND, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY: 2,000 YEARS OF SCOTTISH HISTORY BY THOSE WHO SAW IT HAPPEN edited by Rosemary Goring Penguin/Viking, £25, pp. 483, ISBN...

Accentuating the human factor

The Spectator

Justin Cartwright GRAHAM GREENE: A LIFE IN LETTERS edited by Richard Greene Little, Brown, £20, pp. 446, ISBN 9780316727938 © £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 1 t is a...

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For richer, for richer

The Spectator

Selina Hastings HORSES & HUSBANDS: THE MEMOIRS OF ETTI PLESCH edited by Hugo Vickers Dovecote Press, £17.95, pp. 205, ISBN 9781904349549 1 n her introduction to this...

A ghastly crew

The Spectator

Penelope Lively FOOLISH MORTALS by Jennifer Johnston Headline Review, £14.99, pp. 250, ISBN 9780755330522 © £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Jennifer Johnston is adept at...

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Relishing the death throes

The Spectator

Robert Salisbury THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE by Piers Brendon Cape, £25, pp. 800, ISBN 9780224062220 £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 piers Brendon does not...

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A case of missing identity

The Spectator

Byron Rogers CONAN DOYLE by Andrew Lycett Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 527, ISBN 9780297848523 £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 This could have been a wonderful book. Take a scene...

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How now Browne cow?

The Spectator

Nicholas Haslam THE CORAL BROWNE STORY: THEATRICAL LIFE AND TIMES OF A LUSTROUS AUSTRALIAN by Barbara Angell Angell Productions Ply Ltd, $Au 45, pp. 240 ISBN 9780646473222,...

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The worst of friends

The Spectator

Michael Howard NEMESIS: THE BATTLE FOR JAPAN, 1944-45 by Max Hastings HaiperCollins, £25, pp. 670, ISBN 9780007219827 /n this his latest book Max Hastings aims not so much to...


The Spectator

It glinted on your finger all my life, Clicked on your whisky glass or the steering wheel. You used to twist it off to wash your face In restaurant Gents before we had a meal....

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Riding out the storm

The Spectator

Michael Hese!tine BEECHCOMBINGS: THE NARRATIVES OF TREES by Richard Mabey Chatto, £20, pp. 289, ISBN 9781856197335 1 share with Richard Mabey a love of trees. Beechcombings...

The pleasure of his company

The Spectator

Sebastian Smee Some writers have the ability to poison one's daily existence. James Salter, I have discovered, is one of them. To read him is to be painfully reminded of how...

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Examine my thoughts

The Spectator

The following extracts are from The Blind Eye: A Book of Late Advice by Don Paterson (Faber, £12.99.) please don't be misled by the apparent self1 certainty of these utterances;...

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Surprising literary ventures

The Spectator

Gary Dexter A JOURNEY INTO GOD (1988) by Delia Smith A Journey into God is one of four books by Delia Smith on the subject of Christian spirituality, the others being A Journey...

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From the horse's mouth

The Spectator

Jane Feaver talks to Michael Morpurgo about the staging of his first world war novel Following the National Theatre's hugely successful productions of His Dark Materials and...

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Bucolic Pleasures

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Moore at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, until 30 March 2008 Michael Kidner: no goals in a quicksand Flowers East, 82 Kingsland Road, E2, until 13 October It's...

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Scottish love affair

The Spectator

Laura Gascoigne In 1838 the Duke of Sussex was presenting the awards for drawing at the Society of Art, when the silver medallist failed to appear. His Grace complained that he...

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Sinking spirits

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Carmen English National Opera The opera season at ENO began with a new production of Carmen. It was an occasion so dispiriting that I've been toying with the idea...

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Water falling, rippling, bubbling, breaking on roc

The Spectator

Water falling, rippling, bubbling, breaking on rocks or trapping layers of light in its depths is the focus of Christian Wharton's exhibition at Cattura Fine Art, Harlequin...

Teaching shifts

The Spectator

Peter Phillips Wherever I go, I hear that music in schools is not what it used to be. By this it is not meant that the music which used to be taught is now taught according to...

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Knowing when to stop

The Spectator

Marcus Berkmann One of the rudest things you can ever say about a pop record is that it's overproduced. We have all said it at some point in our lives, often before the age of...

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Saved by Jim

The Spectator

Deborah Ross And When Did You Last See Your Father?, Nationwide, 12A Although And When Did You Last See Your Father? is probably not a great work of cinema, and may not even be...

Dynamic duo

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Macbeth Gielgud Rhinoceros Royal Court Life After Scandal Hampstead If you can, get to Macbeth. Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood have set a benchmark that will...

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Survival tactics

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm you couldn't move across the BBC's airwaves this week without stumbling on an anniversary programme celebrating 40 years since the launch of Radios One, Two, Three...

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Today's issues

The Spectator

James Delingpole o the big question this week is: is the Today programme a viper's nest of evil pinkoes, all of whom should be put in sacks and dropped into a deep well? And...

At Casa Verde, five in the afternoon after Rimbaud

The Spectator

I ripped my feet to bits walking the pilgrim trail to Guadalupe as far as Hidalgo. At Casa Verde I ordered a bottle of beer and the special: greasy tortillas, fried cactus,...

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Smoking zone

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke s of this week my boy (17) is no longer legally entitled to buy cigarettes. His half-brother (16) the same. It must be galling for a teenager finally to reach an...

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Blot on the landscape

The Spectator

Aidan Hartley Malindi Iwatched a nest of baby turtles hatch on the beach in front of my mother's house recently. What a hellish start to a life, I thought. You burrow up through...

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Just say no

The Spectator

Richard Sennett In New York, I head for Citarella on Broadway only to be confronted by a noisy demo at the entrance. (Among New York foodies, Citarella is to Whole Foods what in...

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Scratching a living

The Spectator

Cartoonists have a growing following, says Jenny Wilhide Can you imagine The Spectator without cartoons? It would surely lose its heart and soul. Imagine the New Yorker without...

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Driving *ss Johnson

The Spectator

Rachel Johnson cruises the south of France in style So here I am, driving two and a half metric tonnes of machine, a purring, gleaming advertisement for the centuries-old skills...

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Happy anniversaries

The Spectator

Bill Cashmore tries to be in two places on the same day Last year, I made a mess of my first wedding anniversary by foolishly taking my wife's plea of 'Let's not make a big...

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Ten years on, I'm still prone to a townie's faux pas when I go deerstalking

The Spectator

TOBY YOUNG Ams a lover of good drama, my favourite week of the year falls in the late sumer when I make my annual pilgrimage to Scotland. The fabulous scenery, the weird and...

Mind your language

The Spectator

I was having lunch with friends last week in a fairly swanky gastropub, and the menu promised a ballontine of quail. The waiter told me that ballontine meant that the quail had...

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Your Problems Solved

The Spectator

Dear Maly Q. An elderly relative has developed the disgusting habit of licking her knife after using it for, say, jam, and then using it again to help herself to butter. It's...

While you were away

The Spectator

FRANK KEATING This corner has already broken its fundamental annual rule not to get worked up about football till the clocks are altered at the end of this month — there is...