Page 6


The Spectator

T he Department of Health arranged to book for a year a hospital in Redhill, Surrey, run by Bupa, to allow 5,000 operations to be completed. Mr Tony Blair, the Prime Minister,...

Page 7


The Spectator

I t is too easy to see the violence in the Middle East as a never-ending cycle of outrage and revenge; tit for tat, and then rat-tat-tat for rat-tat-tat. When 25 civilians are...

Page 8


The Spectator

W ith the West, or part of it, merrily bombing one Mohammedan country and threatening to bomb another, or several others, I wonder why our leaders are so apparently confident...

Page 10

At last the Conservative party has something to say

The Spectator

PETER OBORNE T his is what lain Duncan Smith had to say just a week before his election as leader of the Conservative party: 'The character of your leadership is set in the...

Page 12


The Spectator

Tania Kindersley believes in freedom of expression and in an unfettered sexuality, but in this frank and disturbing investigation shows why hardcore pornography is repulsive,...

Page 14

Mind your language

The Spectator

WAS standing in the kitchen the other day discussing Christmas cake icing with a friend while the menfolk were sitting down in the next room rambling on about the best way of...


The Spectator

Raehael Jones discovers that her husband surfs the Net for porn, and concludes that we live in a sick society I HAVE been with my husband for almost 30 years. He's 64 and I'm...

Page 16


The Spectator

Tim Luckhurst says that Scotland's land reform Bill reminds him of Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms in Zimbabwe LAST summer President Vladimir Putin recommended a...

Page 19

Second opinion

The Spectator

IF Hamlet were alive today, he would probably ask for counselling; and this, of course, would save the lives of Polonius, Gertrude, Claudius, Laertes, etc. Hamlet would be...

Page 22


The Spectator

Bruce Anderson reports on the latest scientific moves to reduce the West's dangerous dependence on Arab oil IT was a dinner-party conversation, and a mood of eupeptic...

Banned wagon

The Spectator

A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit BEWARE your backgammon set: the time has come for it to join your fur slippers and ivory-handled knives in the deep...

Page 24


The Spectator

Correlli Barnett says we need an army to defend the realm, not to further the PM's pious ambition to spread peace and love THE unfolding mess in Afghanistan, a faraway country...

Page 26


The Spectator

James Bartholomew goes to the brink and argues that the present system seriously damages the health of both the poor and the rich WE should just abolish the NHS. We should not...

Page 28


The Spectator

Jonathan Freedland says the decision to close a school in Islington smacks not so much of loony leftism as of hard-nosed capitalism PERHAPS they can tell this story to the...

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

SIMON HEFFER has been arguing that Enoch Powell's 'rivers of blood" speech was warning against the dangers not of racism but of multiculturalism. But what does multiculturalism...

Page 34

There's no such thing as a free regulator, and already Sir Howard wants more

The Spectator

CHRISTOPHER FILDES G uess what Sir Howard Davies wants for Christmas. That's right: regulators. Already his dockside tower is home to 2,000 of them, but now that they are a law...

Page 35

What's in a name? More than meets the critical eye

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON S pare a thought for the innocent members of the enormous bin Laden family. If they stay put, they are pointed at; if they move across frontiers, they are prime...

Page 38

The sensationalist in me hopes that Churchill threatened to jail two ministers in 1940

The Spectator

FRANK JOHNSON T he December issue of History Magazine has a sensational story, or at least a sensational allegation. The magazine has been in the shops for several days. Yet...

Page 40

Rocky quid pro quo

The Spectator

From the Marques de Lendinez Sir: I must congratulate you on Simon Young's article (Hard rock', 1 December), in which he exposes the rank hypocrisy of the Spanish government's...

Blindly to Market

The Spectator

From Mr Roger Broad Sir: John Laughland paints a pathetic picture of a guileless Britain outmanoeuvred in 1950 by a cunning federalist and supranationalist Jean Monnet (`Monnet...

She of little charity

The Spectator

From Mr Paul Rochester Sir: Simon Heifer criticised Mark Bolland for many things (`Court in the act', 1 December), but complimented him on his successful 'Operation PB'....

We wounded Tories

The Spectator

From Mrs Tessa Keswick Sir: I must write to protest about two articles which you published recently. One was by Bevis Hillier (24 November) that described all Conservatives as...

Page 42

Religion and radio

The Spectator

From Mr Tony Stoller Sir: The complaints upheld in respect of Premier Christian Radio (Tor Christ's sake', 24 November) would perhaps not be so much of a surprise, as they...

Our freebies are finite

The Spectator

From Mr Ban Roozendaal Sir: Reading Fraser Bailey's entertaining account of Holland's socio-economic scenery (`Dutch treat', 24 November), I could not help wondering if he meant...

No hope for peace talks

The Spectator

From Mr Michael Day Thompson Sir: On Radio Four's World This Weekend on Sunday, commenting on the appropriate response to the reported multiple bomb outrages in Israel, the...

At home with the Gladstone

The Spectator

From Mr Alistair B. Cooke Sir: It is highly unlikely that a 19th-century Paul Johnson (And another thing, 24 November) would have heard Gladstone's rich baritone singing the...

Page 44

Here comes the Sun. . . and the Telegraph and the Times and the Mirror (but not the Star)

The Spectator

STEPHEN GLOVER L et me make my position clear. I like the Beatles, and still very occasionally listen to their records. They make me think of a misspent youth. One can take...

Page 46

Divinely decadent drink

The Spectator

Philip Hensher THE DEDALUS BOOK OF ABSINTHE by Phil Baker Dedalus, £9.99, pp. 296, ISBN 1873982941 J ohn Hurt has a good story about his first meeting with Quentin Crisp. I...

Page 47

Two gentlemen but definitely not a lady

The Spectator

David Nokes THE PERREAUS AND MRS RUDD by Donna T. Andrew and Randall McGowen University of California Press, £22.95, pp. 360, ISBN 0520220625 A ccustomed to read books in which...

Page 48

The fallibility of theory-mongers

The Spectator

Mark Archer DR STRANGELOVE'S GAME by Paul Strathern Hamish Hamilton, £14.99, pp. 342, ISBN 0241141396 P aul Strathern is an academic journalist with a gift for enlivening...

Page 49

Pedestrian in both senses

The Spectator

Justin Marozzi WALKING THE BIBLE by Bruce Feller Piatkus, £17.99, pp. 428, ISBN 0749922613 A nericans do many things yen,' well. They win wars, invent spacecraft, compose...

The marriage market

The Spectator

Charlotte Mitchell THE MAKING OF A MARCHIONESS by Frances Hodgson Burnett Persephone Books, £10, pp. 328, ISBN 1903155142 F rances Hodgson Burnett was much given to lavish...

Page 50

United yet divided

The Spectator

Anne Chisholm THE PANKHURSTS by Martin Pugh Allen Lane, £20, pp. 560, ISBN 0713994398 A s we all know, women in this country had to fight long and hard for the vote, and the...

Page 51

Esprit de corps

The Spectator

Andro Linklater SOLDIERS: FIGHTING MEN'S LIVES, 1901-2001 by Philip Ziegler Chatto, £20, pp. 352, ISBN 0701169540 REDCOAT: THE BRITISH SOLDIER IN THE AGE OF HORSE AND MUSKET by...

Page 52

Finding the mot juste

The Spectator

Tom Johnson CHAMBERS CROSSWORD MANUAL by Don Manley Chambers, £6.99, pp. 329, ISBN 0550120068 CHAMBERS CONCISE CROSSWORD DICTIONARY Chambers, £9.99, pp. 889, ISBN 0550120122...

Page 53

Hunt the nipper

The Spectator

Harriet Waugh ACID ROW by Minette Waiters Macmillan, £16.99, pp. 352, ISBN 0333907485 o r the second time Minette Walters has chosen to follow Ruth Renclell's more recent...

Talk of the town

The Spectator

Jane Gardam THE VISITOR by Maeve Brennan Atlantic Books, £9.99, pp. 86, ISBN 190003809762 A tlantic Books has published for the first time a short novel by Maeve Brennan found...

Jackson Pollock

The Spectator

The Bayeux Tapestry, seen from behind, Plays square peg to a round-hole mind. Random, chaotic, apparent abstraction, The brain made dizzy by the eye's reaction. From the front...

Page 54

A tool kit against oppression

The Spectator

Caroline Moorehead HUMAN RIGHTS AS POLITICS AND IDOLATRY by Michael Ignatieff, edited by Amy Gutmann Princeton,f13.95, pp. 216, ISBN 0691088934 I t is a good moment to be...

Page 55

Year of the hands-off mother

The Spectator

Juliet Townsend I remember once standing in the uncovered ruins of Skara Brae on Orkney and thinking how very cold and uncomfortable it must have been to live in a time and...

Page 56

Favourites old and new

The Spectator

Charles Mitchell R eaders of David Lodge may recall the enjoyable episode in Changing Places when the members of a university English department play the game of Humiliation,...

Page 58

Sumptuous and scholarly

The Spectator

David Ekserdjian h e inexorable rise of the exhibition catalogue continues apace, and many of the most enticing of this year's potential stocking-fillers (or -bursters) fall...

Page 59

The end is where we start from

The Spectator

Michael Howard WAGING MODERN WAR by General Wesley K. Clark Public Affairs Ltd, Oxford, 119.99, pp. 486, ISBN 1903985080 W esley Clark was Supreme Allied Commander of Nato...

The crowded wilderness within

The Spectator

Diana Hendry COLLECTED STORIES by Saul Bellow Viking, 420, pp. 442, ISBN 067089172X W ith Bellow nearing 90, there has to be 'A Collected', though personally I'd prefer three...

Page 60

Adonis of the Lido

The Spectator

Francis King THE REAL TADZIO by Gilbert Adair Short Books, £4.99, pp. 104, ISBN 1904095070 I read this elegantly nuanced essay on Thomas Mann's Death in Venice and the boy,...

Page 61

Dusting off the dead

The Spectator

Stephen Pettitt wishes that recording companies would look to the future as well as the past T he text for today's sermon is necessarily generic rather than specific. It takes...

Page 62

Exhibitions 1

The Spectator

Turner Prize 2001 (Tate Britain, till 20 January) Nothing ventured Martin Gayford Y ou have to be quite old to remember a time when the Turner Prize — founded in 1984 —...

Page 64

Exhibitions 2

The Spectator

Peaks and Glaciers (John Mitchell & Son, 160 New Bond Street, London Wl. till 21 December) Mountain magic Andrew Lambirth F lying over the Alps recently, in autumn afternoon...

Page 65

Chicago calling

The Spectator

Stuart Nicholson I s New York the jazz centre of the world? Well, lots of people still think so. Since the late 1920s it has been at the heart of jazz innovation — most of the...

Page 66


The Spectator

Riding in Cars with Boys (12, selected cinemas) What's done is done Mark Steyn I 'm 22,' says Beverly Donofrio, 'and I still haven't accepted that this is my life.' She has a...

Page 69

New blood at Glyndebourne

The Spectator

Louise Flind asks her father, George Christie, about his retirement h e other day I went with some trepidation to interview my father, George Christie, chairman of Glyndebourne...


The Spectator

The Rake's Progress (Coliseum) Doom and despond Michael Tanner E NO's new production of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress is quite good, but not quite good enough to silence...

Page 70


The Spectator

Boston Marriage (New Ambassadors) Strange union Toby Young B oston Marriage, a play by David Mamet, had been running for 45 minutes before one of the characters uttered a...

Page 71

Festive treats

The Spectator

Marcus Berkmann W hat do you want for Christmas? The age-old question, as ancient as the term 'megastore itself. As ever, many thousands of CDs crowd in for your attention,...

A fair day's work

The Spectator

James Delingpole I n France, Germany, Italy and Spain, Ken Loach's The Navigators was first screened at the cinema. In Britain, it was shown on television (Channel 4, Sunday)...

Page 72

Waspishly witty

The Spectator

Michael Vestey K nneth Tynan's diaries, published posthumously in October, are vastly entertaining, strewn with bon mots, aphorisms, waspish gossip, melancholy self-doubt...

Page 73

In my good books

The Spectator

Robin Oakley O n the racecourse, virtue only gets you so far. Stand back politely for a lady and you'll get only 7-4 where she got 2-1. Tell the barmaid the chap next to you...

Page 75

Payback time

The Spectator

Taki T New York he very first article, not column. I wrote for The Spectator was in 1977. And it was about Greek paranoia. Yes, you guessed it. It was about plane-spotters,...

Page 76

Poisonous prejudice

The Spectator

Petronella Wyatt I have an American friend with whom I often quarrel. He claims that the British are anti-Semitic. I say they are not. I remind him of places such as Florida,...

Page 83

The hand of coincidence

The Spectator

Simon Barnes THERE is a perfect inevitability about the best coincidences. Coincidence, said Dr Trelawney, is magic in action: and magic (ask Harry Potter) is not necessarily...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . . Q. Apropos your reply to the letter (24 November) from the lady with the curmudgeonly husband, I have to tell you I was always taught that it is milk that comes...