8 MARCH 2008

Page 5

Their Lordships’ duty

The Spectator

O ne of the most compelling arguments for the existence of the House of Lords is what political scientists, borrowing the language of biologists, call ‘redundancy’. We have...

Page 9

Mumbai A city where the children dash from car to car

The Spectator

selling novels is the perfect place for a literary festival: on the way from the airport, snaking past shantytowns and catching my first glimpse of the Arabian Sea, I am offered...

Page 10

The Tories should fear the dynamic new team of professionals that Brown is assembling

The Spectator

I t is a story that could have been scripted to boost morale in Conservative headquarters. At five o’clock one morning, security guards at 10 Downing Street were called in to...

Page 11

T he battle over the evaded referendum on the Lisbon treaty

The Spectator

seems to be following the pattern of all European arguments in this country. The pro-integrationists have used the favourite tactic of claiming that it is all a fuss about...

Page 12


The Spectator

MONDAY Oh dear. We lost the war of Obama buzzwords at the weekend. Now there’s an inquest to find out how Gordon managed to get compared to Barack before Dave. I just don’t...

Page 14

No sleep till Denver: Hillary, the unlikely underdog, takes it to the wire

The Spectator

Once the shoo-in candidate, Senator Clinton has re-invented herself and forced Obama to bear the heavy burden of frontrunner. This race could go all the way to the convention,...

Page 16

Water, Prozac, management consultants: all completely useless

The Spectator

So many of the things we are told to do are a total waste of time or money, says Rod Liddle , who has just completed a failed two-year course in water-drinking to make him a...

Page 18

It is not US Marines who should be on trial

The Spectator

The acclaimed film-maker Nick Broomfield reflects on the making of his film on the bloody battle for Haditha, and the reconciliation he witnessed between US soldiers and Iraqis...

I t has been shown conclusively that people who listen to

The Spectator

the news or read a newspaper at breakfast are more miserable than those who wisely maintain themselves in ignorance. Unfortunately, help for the former is not at hand: one of...

Page 22

If God proved he existed, I still wouldn’t believe in him

The Spectator

Martin Rowson just doesn’t buy the ideology that comes with God. Even a personal appearance by the Almighty wouldn’t do the trick, he says T he syphilitic atheist German...

Page 24

Beware the politician posing as a scientist

The Spectator

Christopher Booker squares up to Sir David King, the former Chief Scientist, whose knowledge of chemistry does little to underpin his crusading rhetoric as a green campaigner O...

Page 26

Education revolution

The Spectator

Sir: Fraser Nelson (‘Made in Sweden’, 1 March) is right to highlight the importance of Sweden’s independent state schools for the debate on school choice and diversity....

Powell unhinged

The Spectator

Sir: Robert Shepherd’s analysis of the reasons behind Enoch Powell’s notorious immigration speech (‘The real tributaries of Enoch’s “rivers of blood”’, 1 March) is...

Moor to the point

The Spectator

Sir: I am relieved to know that my concerns about the possibility of a President Obama are due not to any substantive matters but solely to my ‘primeval racist fears of the...

Disproportionate claims

The Spectator

Sir: According to its website, the British– Israel Communications and Research Centre, of which Lorna Fitzsimons is CEO (‘Israel is getting ready to invade Gaza’, 23...

London calling

The Spectator

Sir: Rod Liddle is not only nasty and sexist and silly, he’s wrong (‘Boris’s most brilliant wheeze’, 1 March). I’m not in Newcastle upon Tyne and I haven’t worked...

Magic lines

The Spectator

Sir: I find myself going along with most of Paul Johnson’s choices (And another thing, 1 March). But there is surely one grievous omission, one total blind spot. Mr Johnson...

Briefs encounter

The Spectator

Sir: Tamzin Lightwater writes (1 March) about David Cameron’s Vilebrequin swimwear. As any keen follower of political fashion knows, whereas Tony Blair wears Vilebrequins...

Page 28

If it’s good that Harry was fighting the Taleban, why are we queasy when Israel fights Hamas?

The Spectator

D o you reckon they told all the royals? Seriously? All of them? Even the flaky minor ones, like Fergie? Or has she been gossiping with the Countess of Wessex and the bafflingly...

Page 30

A golden rail-pass in the fob is a perk worth having

The Spectator

T here are certain words, carrying overtones of money and privilege, which stir up strong emotions. One is ‘private income’. ‘What’s held me back,’ says Uncle Giles in...

Page 34

New oil giants rise in Gandhi’s native land

The Spectator

Richard Orange visits the Mahatma’s stony homeland in north-west India — and finds local tycoons competing to build oil refineries that will dwarf capacity in Europe G azing...

Page 35

Leadership lessons from Beowulf

The Spectator

Margareta Pagano C hief executives under pressure in these gruelling times should sneak out, or stay in, to watch Beowulf , the 2007 film starring Ray Winstone and Angelina...

Page 36

What scrapes ice, picks locks, tempts shoppers — and bolsters shaken banks?

The Spectator

‘S exual intercourse began in 1963,’ wrote Philip Larkin; con sumer debt, with similar con notations of gratification and regret, began in Britain three years later with the...

Page 38

The downfall of a pessimist

The Spectator

Ferdinand Mount G EORGE G ISSING : A L IFE by Paul Delaney Weidenfeld, £25, pp. 472, ISBN 9780297852124 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I n some moods, I would rather...

Page 42

A tough assignment

The Spectator

Alan Judd T HE W ILDEST P ROVINCE : SOE IN THE L AND OF THE E AGLE by Roderick Bailey Cape, £25, pp. 405, ISBN 9780224079167 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A lbania...

Page 43

Hazy like foothills

The Spectator

P. J. Kavanagh L AST P OEMS by James Michie Oldie Publications, £9.99 inc p&p (UK only) Tel: 01795 592 893117, ISBN 978 0 9548176 4 0 X A s life-expectancy seems to grow...

Remembering Anthony Blond

The Spectator

The publisher Gerard Noel pays tribute to his friend and author who died last week at the age of 79 O ne Friday evening in the early 1980s two brand-new, bright red cars roared...

Page 44

Keeping the bear at bay

The Spectator

Noble Frankland W ARSAW 1920: L ENIN ’ S F AILED C ONQUEST OF EUROPE by Adam Zamoyski HarperPress, £14.99, pp. 160, ISBN 9780007225521 ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429...

Page 45

Flights of fancy

The Spectator

John McEwen BIRDS by Katrina Cook Quercus, £25, pp. 224, ISBN 9781847241993 ✆ £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 BB’ S B IRDS edited and introduced by Bryan Holden...

Page 46

More down than up

The Spectator

Caroline Moore T AKING P ICTURES by Anne Enright Cape, £12.99, pp. 228 ISBN 9780224084697 ✆ £10.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I n one of the stories in this...


The Spectator

‘If you can’t fight, buy a big house.’ Roger McGough You opt for silence, sulk or grouse. The words that hurt can stay unsaid. If you can’t fight, buy us all a big...

Page 48

In tune with poetry

The Spectator

Henrietta Bredin talks to Ian Bostridge about his passion for Lieder and his plans for the future O n an eye-wateringly bright and freezing cold day, Ian Bostridge contrives to...

Page 49

Velvet revolutionaries

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Modern Painters: The Camden Town Group Tate Britain, until 5 May T he Millbank branch of the Tate empire is currently blessed with two major loan exhibitions...

Page 50

Messing around with Lucia

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Lucia di Lammermoor Coliseum Gentle Giant Linbury Studio D espite two attempts, I haven’t managed to see ENO’s new production of Lucia di Lammermoor with...

Page 51

Games worth playing

The Spectator

Giannandrea Poesio The Royal Ballet Royal Opera House I t is a well-known fact that ballet lives, thrives and survives in a world of its own. By the time the ‘new’ ideas...

Page 52

Best forgotten

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans The Living Unknown Soldier Arcola Worlds End Trafalgar Studio Ring Round the Moon Playhouse A mnesia? Forget about it. That’s my advice to dramatists considering...

Page 53

To catch a king

The Spectator

Deborah Ross The Other Boleyn Girl 12A, Nationwide T he Other Boleyn Girl , based on the bestselling historical romance by Philippa Gregory, stars Natalie Portman as Anne...

Past perfect

The Spectator

James Delingpole Y ou drink Martinis all day from about 11 a.m. onwards but it doesn’t cloud your judgment and your ideas are always inspired. You’re old enough to have won...

Page 54

An English malady

The Spectator

Kate Chisholm M elancholy is a peculiarly English malady; almost you might say a national characteristic, born out of our long, dark nights and grizzly, indecisive weather....

Page 55

Lines of beauty

The Spectator

Alan Judd P erhaps we need the occasional humiliation to remind us that we are human, though for some of us daily life provides more than sufficient evidence. Turning right off...

Senior moment

The Spectator

Robin Oakley I used to be quite keen on jogging, working on the theory that you add a minute to your life for every mile run. My enthusiasm weakened after a TV colleague...

Page 56

Broken society

The Spectator

Taki W ho the hell does David Cameron think he is to tell Benji Mancroft to think more before opening his mouth? Did Cameron think when he asked us to hug a hoodlum? I’ve...

Page 57

Oasis of calm

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke A t the local swimming-pool, various sessions throughout the week are reserved for the exclusive use of women, schoolchildren, naturists, beginners, GP referrals,...

Page 58

Dizzying spectacle

The Spectator

Alex James A s it is something we all crave, even demand as a right, a lot of research has been conducted into what makes people happy. I’m surprised everybody isn’t aware,...

Page 59


The Spectator

This month we feature luxurious wines from France — some well-known, others which deserve to become much better known. They’re from Yapp Brothers in Wiltshire. The...

Page 60


The Spectator

Spinning a line James Delingpole gets a lesson in coarse language while fishing ‘D on’t do A N Y THING you ****! Let the ****** run like **** till you’re sure he’s got...

Page 62

Tales from the riverbank

The Spectator

Rory Knight Bruce revels in the tranquillity of Kelso T here can be few more gentle prospects in all Scotland than looking across the waters of the Tweed at Kelso to the low,...

Page 64

A country in recovery

The Spectator

Wonders are being worked in Rwanda, finds Ed Caesar O rder one bottle of Amstel at a Rwandan bar and you get two. The barman’s logic runs as follows: Amstel bottles are small...

Page 65

Seals of approval

The Spectator

Andrew Curry E ven before I crest the sand dune, I can hear their growling roars over the noise of the Pacific surf. The sound is something like an idly revving motorcycle...

Page 68

Death by the sea

The Spectator

Clive Davis O n a near-perfect day, when the sun and the Mediterranean were conspiring to live up to every tourist cliché, it seemed perverse to be pottering through a...

Page 78

Mind your language

The Spectator

A medical friend of my husband’s came to me in some distress, having stumbled upon an advertisement in the New Yorker mentioning a ‘documentary débuting November 6’. He...

Page 79

A fortnightly column on technology and the web

The Spectator

A s you probably know (to your cost), Amazon purchases above a certain value incur no delivery charge. This offer works because so many people buy extra books to lift their...

Q. I share a student house with three others. My

The Spectator

room is next to the kitchen and one of my housemates often eats lunch while surfing the net on my MacBook. Some of the keys have been gunked up with the effluent and spores from...

Q. Our wonderful home help from the Philippines, who has

The Spectator

visited us twice a week for 18 years, appears to have declining eyesight, as she now often leaves grease marks on the ironing. She would be mortified if we commented. How can we...

Q. May I pass on a tip to readers? Do

The Spectator

not despair if you leave something in a London black taxi. The driver is obliged by law to drop the item at a police station or at the Transport for London Lost Property Office,...