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The Spectator

The economy T he government announced that 700 health workers and servicemen would be vaccinated against smallpox, and that it was buying more vaccine so that the whole...

Page 7


The Spectator

D r Rowan Williams, who was this week ceremonially confirmed as Archbishop of Canterbury, becomes leader of a Church which is among the most misreported institutions in Britain....

Page 9


The Spectator

T he 13th Earl of Haddington (Cr. 1619) was minded to revise his theory about crop circles to incorporate pixies, he told me the other day while we were enjoying a pre-dinner...

Page 10


The Spectator

The Hunting Bill is insulting and appalling but it could be worse PETER °BORNE F ew issues have highlighted the more shameful qualities of the Blair government quite as...

Page 12


The Spectator

The rule-book says that Downing Street's difficulty is the big spenders' opportunity CHRISTOPHER FILDES B efore the Great Parliamentarian came to power, five years ago, there...

Page 14


The Spectator

TRUST Doctors, lawyers, accountants aren't trusted. Nor are politicians, churchmen and journalists. Charles Moore on what we can do to restore confidence in our institutions...

Page 18


The Spectator

Rod Liddle says government advice to travellers is cynical and self-serving Langkawi EARLY the other morning, a crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis) broke into my hotel...

Second opinion

The Spectator

THERE has been a terrible outbreak of supposed helplessness lately, especially round here. The number of drug addicts appears to be increasing daily and, as everyone knows, drug...

Page 20


The Spectator

Jen Redshaw on the economy of Zimbabwe, which combines Estee Lauder and mass starvation Harare STROLLING through Sam Levy's shopping village in Harare, you'd never believe...

Page 21

Mind your language

The Spectator

I WAS last in Zaragoza when my husband was bribed by a drugs company to make the sacrifice of attending a conference in a luxury hotel. I was on my own. It was hot and dusty,...

Page 22


The Spectator

Andrew Conway despairs of a dumbed-down A-level system that rewards conformity rather than originality IT is the first week of the new academic year, ten minutes into my...

Page 24


The Spectator

Peter Hitchens says we are living in a one-party state in which all but a few are driven to collaborate THE old East Germany had a Tory party rather like ours. Its main job...

Page 26


The Spectator

Did a conman help the Blairs buy two flats in Bristol? Yes or no? STEPHEN GLOVER A iyone who has ever had breakfast, lunch, dinner or any other meeting with Gordon Brown will...

Page 27


The Spectator

John Gibb says the game is being held back by the duffers on the club committees GOLFERS have a disgusting habit, in late middle-age, of auditing their addiction to the game....

Page 28

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

TALKING about wills, St Augustine remarked on the paradox that 'while the dead man lies, insensible, under his tombstone, his words retain their full legal validity'. Time,...

Page 32


The Spectator

'There arose out of the pit the smoke of a great furnace' PAUL JOHNSON T he sound of the explosion was so loud, so prolonged and so unusual that I knew at once I was listening...

Page 33

Banned wagon: global

The Spectator

A weekly survey of world restrictions on freedom and free trade SELDOM does the European Union miss an opportunity to pursue its protectionist agenda. No sooner had the first...


The Spectator

THIS is the last offer before Christmas, and it really is rather special. Robin Yapp, the famed wine merchant of Mere, is an old friend of Spectator readers. For this minibar we...

Page 34

LETTERS Oil and troubled waters

The Spectator

From Mr Jolyon Mills Sir: Mark Steyn dropped the ball in his article ('Bush and the Saudi princess', 30 November). In it, he cited some of the evidence linking Saudi Arabia to...

Our cheap and cheeky gods

The Spectator

From Mr Paul Williams Sir: Toby Young (Why our gods must die', 30 November) is right — something very primal is occurring in our current cult of celebrity, and a good dose of...

A mission to digitalise

The Spectator

From Mr Andy Duncan Sir: Tim Luckhurst's piece ('Beebosaurus Rex', 30 November) got off to a bad start when he couldn't even get the name of the new digital terrestrial...

Good men, bad kit

The Spectator

From Mr Gordon Bourne Sir: I read with interest Corporal Bussey's letter (30 November). It is comforting to hear from a man of his experience that the standard of recruits is no...

Page 36

Brotherly values

The Spectator

From Mr M.J. Coleman Sir: As a former pupil, it saddens me to see the continued use of one man's bitter personal experience to blacken both the name of the Christian Brothers...

No oriental Mussolini

The Spectator

From Mr Roger T. Uren Sir: We from the West would see China in much clearer terms (`China is a fascist country', 23 November) if we sought to understand it in its own historical...

The useless UN

The Spectator

From Mr Alan Anderson Sir: Hugh Thomas ('How to save the world', 23 November) argues that the current efforts to disarm Iraq should be expanded into a campaign to place all...

The sounds of Shakespeare

The Spectator

From Mr Richard Adams Sir: Frank Johnson (Shared opinion, 30 November) is puzzled, like many other people, over Tolstoy's rejection of Shakespeare's repute by saying that it is...

Page 38


The Spectator

'Bogus' asylum-seekers are not the problem; it's the millions of genuine refugees we should worry about MATTHEW PARRIS T here has been another huge rise in the numbers of...

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The greatest Briton

The Spectator


Page 41

Found and lost

The Spectator

Jane Gardam THE GREEN LANE TO NOWHERE by Byron Rogers Aurrem, £12.99, pp. 256, ISBN 1854107852 B yron Rogers for years wrote the 'Village Voice' column in the Daily Telegraph,...

Page 42

Whisky and dessert chocolate

The Spectator

P. J. Kavanagh GOOD COMPANIONS by John Bayley Abacus, £7.99, pp. 246, ISBN 034911496X N o one would want it for a constant diet, but it is more than pleasant to listen to a...

Page 43

What will the oracle answer?

The Spectator

Frederic Raphael PERPETUAL WAR FOR PERPETUAL PEACE by Gore Vidal Clairview, £8.99, pp. 176, ISBN 1902636384 THE WEST AND THE REST by Roger Scruton Continuum, £12.99, pp. 196....

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Stand and deliver

The Spectator

Alan Wall THIS IS YOUR LIFE by John O'Farrell Doubleday, £10.99, pp. 313, ISBN 0385600984 T he themes tackled by this novel, the world of comedy and the relationship between...

Playing with Henry James

The Spectator

Alan Judd FELONY by Emma Tennant Cape, £15.99, pp. 190, ISBN 0224060341 T he theme of Henry James's The Aspem Papers is well known: an unscrupulous biographer seeks the...

Page 45

A selection of art books

The Spectator

David Ekserdjian I cannot think of many less festive offerings than Richard Avedon Portraits (Abrams. £24.95), but it has to be admitted that his merciless exposure of such...

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Smoothing the rough edges

The Spectator

Jonathan Keates BRIAN MOORE: A BIOGRAPHY by Patricia Craig Bloomsbury, £20, pp. 306, ISBN 0747560048 M uch is made by writers these days of the need for 'getting distance', for...

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Not rushing to judgment

The Spectator

Richard 01lard BRITAIN IN REVOLUTION, 1625-1660 by Austin Woolrych OUP, £25, pp, 814, ISBN 0198200811 I t is hard to overpraise this admirable — indeed one would have thought...

The price of admission

The Spectator

Tam Dalyell MINISTRIES OF DECEPTION by Tim Slessor Aurum, £16.99, pp. 303, ISBN 1854108778 I first met Tim Slessor when we were contemporary undergraduates at Cambridge, half a...

Page 48

A choice of funny books

The Spectator

Hugh Massingberd I don't know if it is a sign of old age,' wrote P. G. Wodehouse in the mid-1950s, 'but I find I hate Christmas more every year.' Another marked change that the...

Page 49

Pure and impure genius

The Spectator

Jonathan Cecil ALEC GUINNESS: THE UNKNOWN by Garry O'Connor Sidgwick, £18.99. pp. 438, ISBN 0283073403 A s Hamlet said, 'Look here upon this picture and on this.' Early this...

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A veteran under fire

The Spectator

Patrick Skene Catling THE CAGE: AN ENGLISHMAN IN VIETNAM by Tom Abraham Bantam, 116.99, pp. 299. ISBN 0593049683 h e Domino Theory that a communist takeover of all Vietnam...

Page 51

'When artists were just tolerated'

The Spectator

Mark Glazebrook on how the London art gallery scene has changed over the years I n San Francisco in the late 1970s you could cover the entire modern art gallery scene, both...

Page 52


The Spectator

Eva Hesse (Tate Modern, till 9 March) Iconic rebel Andrew Lambirth M any consider Eva Hesse to be one c f the most important sculptors of the second half of the 20th century,...

Pop music

The Spectator

The return of the has-beens Marcus Berkmann W hen is someone so washed up that they actually qualify as washed up? It's hard to tell these days. Consider these recent events....

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The Spectator

The Nutcracker (Sadler's Wells) Kontakthof (Barbican) Wicked work Giannandrea Poesio L et's face it, The Nutcracker is one of the world's most popular ballets, but it is also...

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The Spectator

Versatile willow Ursula Buchan S omething had to be done. I had become convinced that I was the only woman in middle England who had never attended a willow-weaving workshop....


The Spectator

Eight Crazy Nights (12A, selected cinemas) Only in America Mark Steyn I n its odd little way Eight Crazy Nights is a significant cultural artefact. It takes its title from a...

Page 56


The Spectator

Double-edged sword Susan Moore A obsessive, quixotic collectors go, few could hold a candle to the late Malcolm Forbes. He amassed Imperial Faberge Easter eggs and hot-air...

Page 57

Theatre 1

The Spectator

What The Night Is For (Comedy) The Lying Kind (Royal Court) Kiki and Herb (Soho) Pursuit of love Toby Young W ith the exception of Romeo & Juliet: The Musical, I can't think...

Page 58

Theatre 2

The Spectator

Coriolanus; The Merry Wives of Windsor (Swan Theatre, Stratford) Saddam Butterfly? Patrick Carnegy C oriolanus is famously Shakespeare's most political play, and the hero's...

Page 59


The Spectator

Tosca (English National Opera) Winning warhorse Michael Tanner T his has been a year of Toscas, but strangely — or anyway I find it strange — instead of getting tired of what...


The Spectator

State control Michael Vestey E very century has its social reformers and there's little doubt that the greatest of the 20th century was Sir William Beveridge, whose report in...

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The Spectator

Secrets and lies Simon Hoggart W hy didn't Jeffi - ey Archer — The Truth (BBC 1) quite work? For one thing, it was too long. The core joke, that Jeffrey is dictating his...

Page 61

The turf

The Spectator

Greed or naivety? Robin Oakley G raham Bradley's face outside Jockey Club headquarters, where he had been disqualified for eight years from stepping on to a racecourse, told...

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High life

The Spectator

Beauty and bloodlines Taki SNew York uzy, the society columnist of the bygone era when gossip columnists covered real society — unlike today's lot, who publish names given to...

Low life

The Spectator

Looking for action Jeremy Clarke L ast week Sharon's brother makes an announcement. 'Sharon's down this weekend. It's her birthday,' he says grimly. On Friday night I'm in...

Page 64

Singular life

The Spectator

A walk on the wild side Petronella Wyatt A I wrote last week, there I was in the middle of the South African bush wrapped in a blanket to stave off the cold. Karl, the...

Page 65

FOOD Deborah Ross

The Spectator

SORRY, but I'm still obsessed with this secondary-schools business. Indeed, in my small, panic-stricken corner of Islington few talk of anything else, particularly the mothers....

Page 71

Worsted by the best ever

The Spectator

Michael Henderson Peah AS they had hoped, and as everybody else expected, Australia's cricketers walloped England in the third Test to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . Q. I rarely shoot, since I have always been a hopeless shot, However, I recently went out for a day and was rather pleased to shoot a woodcock, At the end of the...