8 JANUARY 2005

Page 3

PORTRAIT OW THE WEEK T o relieve the survivors of the

The Spectator

destructive wave in the Indian Ocean, British people donated £60 million in a week to the disaster emergency committee co-ordinated by the main aid charities. The Queen, who...

Page 4

Labour’s attack on the Crown

The Spectator

S ince 1997, in a cynical effort to prove that it values power for more than its own sake, the Blair government has sought to tear up the constitutional map and impose its own,...

Page 5

T his diary is what happens if the editor fails to

The Spectator

get a lobotomy. I had rung him to ask whether he’d like to grace Newsnight and the nation with his views on the affair between the former home secretary and the publisher of...

Page 6

There is a simple explanation for the Tories’ failure to put up a decent fight: David Davis

The Spectator

W hen Michael Howard became Tory leader, time was desperately short. For six and a half years, the Tories had been unable to convert Labour’s negatives to their positives. They...

Page 7

H earing about the tsunami on Boxing Day, I remembered Keith

The Spectator

and Nicki. Keith Lake used to be my driver when I was editor of the Daily Telegraph and remains a great friend. He and his wife Nicki were on holiday in the Maldives. I felt...

Page 8

Why China isn’t going to be a superpower

The Spectator

China has no exportable culture, she is militarily overrated and her economy is not as successful as it is cracked up to be. Martin Vander Weyer says it’s time we abandoned our...

Page 10

Mind your language

The Spectator

From 1 January 1888 ‘all substances, whether compound or otherwise, prepared in imitation of butter’ had to be offered for sale under the name of margarine . I can’t pretend...

The littoral truth

The Spectator

Andrew Gilligan on some of the myths the media have been peddling about the tsunami Colombo T he staff of Unicef’s Sri Lanka operation are in their Colombo offices dealing as...

Page 12

The agony and the osteopathy

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans was left a whimpering wreck when his back seized up. Then an alternative therapist got her hands on him... I was attacked last November. It happened without warning...

Page 13

Phoney war

The Spectator

Max Hastings says it’s about time our leaders stopped playing political games and accepted that ‘international terror’ cannot be defeated by conventional military means I f the...

Page 14


The Spectator

A weekly survey of world restrictions on freedom and free trade The national ‘giveathon’ provoked by Boxing Day’s tsunami in the Indian Ocean is an admirable response to an...

Page 15

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

The Archbeard of Canterbury has proclaimed that the tsunami disaster in Asia justifies people’s doubts about the existence of any God, let alone a good one. If he needs comfort...

The faithful departed

The Spectator

These are hard days for Methodists, but even as their numbers decline they are fighting the good fight. Sholto Byrne talks to their General Secretary ‘W here have all the...

Page 16


The Spectator

by Robert McCrum P.G. Wodehouse is still o n e of the world’s best-loved writers. Nearly thirty years after his death, over fifty-five of his n ovels are still i n pri n t. His...

Page 17

Sex, war and the Word

The Spectator

From Virginia Price Evans Sir: It is interesting how people reveal their prejudices by the words they use. So, to A.N. Wilson (‘Holy Sage’, 18/25 December) those who oppose...

Page 18

When newspapers turn to God, they become as confused as churchmen

The Spectator

T hese days the media do not show much interest in God. On television He was long ago shunted into the backwaters, though it is true He retains a bailiwick on Radio Four. You...

Page 19

Not really the right job for a chap with a collection of trophy penises

The Spectator

P itch it in your imagination, somewhere between Louis XIV on his couch at Versailles and a down-and-out on his cardboard litter under the railway arches at Charing Cross. Now...

Page 20

Instant ethics — just open the package and give your conscience a break

The Spectator

H ow convenient it would be if we could find something out of a package — a computer programme, presumably to do our conscience’s work for us. Then we could switch off and stop...

Page 21

The decline and fall of the femme fatale

The Spectator

M y old friend Peregrine Worsthorne was deploring the other day the decline in the quality of courtesans. And it is true that those who get themselves into the headlines today,...

Page 22

Unsparing, frivolous candour

The Spectator

Sam Leith T HE D IARIES OF C HARLES GREVILLE edited by Edward and Diana Pearce Pimlico, £18.99, pp. 368, ISBN 1844134040 V £16.99 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 C harles...

Page 23

Failure to bore

The Spectator

Philip Ziegler M OMENTS OF V ISION : A M EMOIR by Elizabeth Basset The Ledburn Press, £15, pp. 160, ISBN 095491810X He sees Dickens and Jerrold performing Every Man in his...

Page 24

A woman of some importance

The Spectator

Sarah Bradford T HE P OPE ’ S D AUGHTER by Caroline P. Murphy Faber, £16.99, pp. 315, ISBN 571221076 ✆ £14.99 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 ‘W hosoever wants to do as they...

King’s gambit accepted

The Spectator

Julian Shuckburgh E VENING IN THE P ALACE OF REASON by James Gaines Fourth Estate, £15.99, pp. 328, ISBN 0007153929 ✆ £13.99 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 A lthough for more...

Page 25

Bronx charm and cheer

The Spectator

Diana Hendry S LEEPING A RRANGEMENTS by Laura Shaine Cunningham Bloomsbury, £12.99, pp. 228, ISBN 0747576270 ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 A t a time when publishers...

Page 26

The man who lost control of Ground Zero

The Spectator

Peter J. M. Wayne B REAKING G ROUND : A DVENTURES IN L IFE AND ARCHITECTURE by Daniel Libeskind John Murray, £20, pp. 288, ISBN 0719566541 ✆ £18 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848...

Page 27

Survival, escape, hope

The Spectator

Adam Zamoyski I N THE G ARDEN OF M EMORY by Joanna Olczak-Ronikier, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 322, ISBN 0297645498 ✆ £18 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800...

The battle of the breasts

The Spectator

Toby Young F ATHERHOOD : T HE T RUTH by Marcus Berkmann Vermilion, £10.99, ,pp. 282, ISBN 0091900638 O nce upon a time, long, long ago, people used to argue about politics. Now...

Page 28

Not poor or lowly

The Spectator

John Martin Robinson T HE B RITISH S TABLE by Giles Worsley Yale, £45, pp. 320, ISBN 0300107080 W hich is the finest 18th-century building in England? Not a royal palace, not a...

Page 29

Something for everyone

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth looks at the treats we can expect over the coming year T o get the year off to a good start is the eye-catchingly titled William Orpen — Politics, Sex & Death...

Page 30

Smaller than life

The Spectator

Mark Steyn Alexander 15, selected cinemas E xperts disagree on when precisely Oliver Stone lost it. In his memoir of his time as Stone’s co-producer on Nixon and other work,...

Page 31

Wise work

The Spectator

Petroc Trelawny A ccording to the leader of Gateshead Council, it wasn’t long ago that the River Tyne was like an open sewer. No one went near it unless they had to;...

Ring of hope

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Das Rheingold Royal Opera House A fter seemingly endless drumrolls and fanfares, with the conductor Antonio Pappano and the director Keith Warner giving...

Page 32

Judging Tallis

The Spectator

Peter Phillips T his year is rich in composers’ anniversaries, if one takes a moment to look for them. Sir Michael Tippett, who was born on 2 January 1905 and has already been...

Page 33

Escape from Blackpool

The Spectator

Michael Vestey I wasn’t sure there was much more to say about the late Alistair Cooke, who died at the end of last March at the age of 95. An excellent biography of him had...

Page 34

Suburban fun

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart T he point about Desperate Housewives (Channel 4, Wednesday) is that it’s not remotely a feminist tract about women obliged to live as slavish appendages of their...

Sense of perspective

The Spectator

Robin Oakley T he Soviets had sent a dog into space before they sent Yuri Gagarin. When the astronaut Gagarin, after his feat, came to London, he was mobbed by admiring crowds,...

Page 35

Good old days

The Spectator

Taki Gstaad T his place made its reputation during the Fifties. It was known as the Mecca of old money and good manners, as opposed to other stations d’hiver , where old people...

Page 36

Warts and all

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke O n New Year’s Day I was sitting in the waiting-room of the genito-urinary clinic (the genital warts have flared up again) reading a book of selected writings by...

Dear diary

The Spectator

Petronella Wyatt T ypical of me, I omitted to pack the terribly highbrow tomes I had planned to take to South Africa in my hand luggage and put them, instead, in my suitcase. I...

Page 40

Molineux memories

The Spectator

FRANK KEATING T here is a calming domestic languor about new year sport. Pleasant. Like things used t’be. Olde tyme talk is of minnows and giant-slayers and the ‘magic’ of the...

Q. My parents own a house in Cornwall which they

The Spectator

normally rent out at New Year for a huge sum of money. This year they very kindly allowed me to have it and to invite ten friends from uni. It all went really well and everyone...

Q. May I pass on a tip to country-dwelling readers

The Spectator

who currently have ‘builders in’? Ask the builders to plumb in a hot water tap along with powerful sprayhead hose to run into a ground-level sink near your back door. You will...

Q. I was told off over Christmas when, at a

The Spectator

dinner party, some unusual cheeses came round and I took (tiny) helpings of about five different varieties, none of which I had tried before. My neighbour told me that when one...