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The Spectator

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1 December 2012

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Features

north_south

The great divide

1 December 2012

National politics no longer has anything to say to the north of England. The results are frightening

Liz-Truss

The human hand grenade

1 December 2012

Meet the minister who wants to blow away the obstacles to success in modern Britain

Turner Prize Artworks Are Unveiled

The Turner prize is boring

1 December 2012

And people are finally beginning to say so

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A lifesaver’s lament

1 December 2012

I rescued a drowning man. He didn’t thank me

DickensBatman

Not graphic and not novel

1 December 2012

Literary prizes have no business with comics

Guilty of saving the world: Oleg Penkovsky hears the verdict in his treason trial, Moscow, 1963

The edge of destruction

1 December 2012

How the world escaped the Cuban missile crisis – and what Britain would have done if it hadn’t

The Week

Leading article

Why we won’t sign

1 December 2012

Anyone picking up a newspaper in recent days will have noticed that the press has been writing a lot about itself. Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into press practices and ethics… Read more

Portrait-1.12

Portrait of the week

1 December 2012

Home Rotherham Borough Council took away three children from foster parents because they belonged to the UK Independence Party. ‘If the party mantra is, for example, ending the active promotion… Read more

Diary

Diary

Nadine Dorries

1 December 2012

As I returned to the House of Commons, it was clear I had swapped one jungle for another. For the last few weeks I have been in Australia filming I’m… Read more

Any-Other-Business

Barometer

1 December 2012

Local elections in Catalonia, which could lead to an independence referendum, put the region in a race with Scotland to be the world’s next new nation. Some other contenders: NEW… Read more

A&M

Ancient and modern

Democracy and the C of E

1 December 2012

By refusing to consecrate women as bishops, the C of E has failed in the eyes of all its Revd Lucys and Giles to fulfil its sacred calling of acquiescence… Read more

Letters

Letters

1 December 2012

Too busy for terrorism Sir: The Islamisation of countries surrounding Israel may not necessarily constitute an increased threat to the Jewish state (‘Israel under siege’, 24 November).
The reluctance of Hezbollah… Read more

Columnists

James_Forsyth-80x98

Now is the time to buy stock in George Osborne

1 December 2012

Few politicians have a more volatile share price than George Osborne. His career to date has been a tale of highs (the inheritance tax announcement, the 2010 emergency budget) and… Read more

Spectators notes

The Spectator’s Notes

1 December 2012

There is excitement that a foreigner could have been made Governor of the Bank of England. But the truth is that Canadians (and Australians and New Zealanders) are not really… Read more

By_the_books

The Wizard of Oz

1 December 2012

The Conservatives’ next election campaign will be run by Lynton Crosby, an Australian whose success has earned him the title ‘The Wizard of Oz’. On examining L. Frank Baum’s classic… Read more

Matthew Parris

Can anyone defeat the town-hall zombies?

1 December 2012

Others have already swelled a chorus of rage against Rotherham -council for removing three foster children from the couple caring for them, on the grounds that the couple were members… Read more

James Delingpole

Back in the Delingpole fold

1 December 2012

Gosh, I can’t tell you how lucky you were not to have been brought up in the Delingpole family. There were nine of us in all — not counting the… Read more

Vander-Weyer-NEW

The Goldman Sachs candidate wins, but spare a thought for the popular loser

1 December 2012

So now we know. It’s not the popular insider, the All Souls professor or the Whitehall veteran. It’s not an Old Etonian — uniquely, they couldn’t find one for the… Read more

Books

An Irish peasant girl with her family’s last few possessions after eviction for non-payment of rent (The Illustrated London News)

A deeply stricken country

1 December 2012

Ireland has suffered bitterly over the centuries through war and want. And the disastrous famine of 1845-9 proves in itself a divisive subject, says Paul Johnson

Two angry old men

1 December 2012

Though lasting literary friendships between natural rivals are not rare — Byron and Shelley, Coleridge and Wordsworth and Edward Thomas and Robert Frost spring to mind — few have been… Read more

Redemption through rock and roll

1 December 2012

‘I’m the President, but he’s the Boss’, Barack Obama declared a couple of years ago, and most Spectator readers will know Bruce Springsteen as the President’s celebrity pop star friend.… Read more

The only truly great Redgrave: Vanessa in 1966

The gulf of greatness

1 December 2012

Ladies and gentlemen,’ Laurence Olivier declared in his clipped, semi-metallic tones to the audience at the Vic as he took his curtain call, ‘tonight a great actress has been born.… Read more

Rich pickings

1 December 2012

Despite its playfully obfuscating title, the rationale behind this anthology is pretty straightforward. A ‘fake’ is a fictional text that purports to be — or, perhaps more accurately, is presented… Read more

‘Man Writing a Letter’ by Gabriel Metsu

A selection of recent art books

1 December 2012

With one or two exciting exceptions, almost all art books fall into a very limited number of easily identified categories, such as the monograph and the exhibition catalogue. In some… Read more

The thin end of the wedge

1 December 2012

Aunts, generally of an antic or highly unconventional kind, are a literary staple. Anyone wanting to find the best of them would do well to turn to Rupert Christiansen’s excellent… Read more

Shades of Greene: a Havana interior by Andrew Moore, one of many haunting photographs of decayed grandeur from Cuba (with essays by Joel Smith and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo), published by Damiani, £50

A heady mix of vice and voodoo

1 December 2012

By any standards, Haiti represents a great concentration of misery and dashed hopes. From the air, the Caribbean republic is a sun-scorched clinker; deforestation, caused by a ruinous cutting of… Read more

Children's-books

Children’s books for Christmas

1 December 2012

My 20-month-old granddaughter totters into the room. Her eyes are shining with the fervour of St Bernadette. She has caught a glimpse of the divine. Two small stuffed pigs are… Read more

Wild, wild times

1 December 2012

There are, I believe, only two jokes in Diarmaid Ferriter’s latest voluminous tome: one, citing Liam Cosgrave, sometime Taoiseach, considered a rather dull character, who apparently said that ‘the Jews… Read more

Sebastian Coe

Classic Coe

1 December 2012

You sense that writing Seb Coe: The Autobiography (Hodder, £20) must have been a pleasurable task for the Lord of the Five Rings: it’s about his favourite subject. ‘I am… Read more

Arts

Company on parade: Simon Russell Beale, Ben Whishaw, Judi Dench, Daniel Radcliffe x 2, Sheridan Smith, David Walliams and Jude Law

Declaration of independence

1 December 2012

Having left the Donmar, Michael Grandage set up his own company. He tells Will Gore that he never wants to run a theatre again — not even the National

‘Mary Butts’, 1924, by Cedric Morris

Friends reunited

1 December 2012

Christopher Wood (1901–30), billed as the great white hope of British Modernism, who perished by his own hand before his full potential could be explored. Friend of Ben Nicholson, with… Read more

Talking dirty

1 December 2012

Attached to the ménage of every artistic outfit these days will be an employee who believes there is a magic formula which,  once found, will bring in millions of everything:… Read more

Carmen performed by English National Opera at The London Coliseum

Decline and fall

1 December 2012

Some operas become, thanks partly to the frequency with which they are produced, victims of their own popularity. The most obvious sufferer is Carmen, which is a no-winner for singers… Read more

Contemplating a killing spree...Tina (Alice Lowe) and friend  in ‘Sightseers’

Caravan killers

1 December 2012

Here’s a fun diversion for all the family: how many ‘high-concept’ film ideas can you think of in a single minute? These are the films with premises that can be… Read more

Nancy Carroll (Agatha Posket) and Christina Cole (Charlotte) in ‘The Magistrate’

Comic clockwork

1 December 2012

Pinero’s comedy The Magistrate is a marvellous confection of shameful secrets and multiplying concealments. Agatha, a beautiful widow of 36, has trimmed five years from her age in order to… Read more

An interview with David Attenborough

Fame and fortune

1 December 2012

Having planned to devote every one of this week’s 800 words to Sir David Attenborough’s 60 Years in the Wild (Friday, BBC2), I was distracted by fame, fortune and the… Read more

Value for money

1 December 2012

It’s been challenged as ‘elitist’ and at times in its more than 60-year history it’s been threatened with deletion from the schedule. But CD Review, with its specialist ‘Building a… Read more

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Review: The Rolling Stones at the O2 Arena

1 December 2012

‘How’re you doing in the cheap seats? They’re not that cheap, though, that’s the problem,’ said Mick Jagger as he launched into the first of the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary… Read more

Life

High life

High life

High life

1 December 2012

The gossip is that the Washington Post is in bad trouble and losing money as only Tina Brown can. Not that Brown has anything to do with the Post. Tina… Read more

Low life

Low life

Low life

1 December 2012

Last week I received by post an invitation card from The Spectator office to the Parliamentarian of the Year Awards at the Savoy. My goodness, you should have seen this… Read more

Real life

Real life

Real life

1 December 2012

Never turn your back on builders. I only nipped out to walk the dog. I was barely gone half an hour. When I left I had one good room. The… Read more

Long life

Long life

Long life

1 December 2012

The first thing that strikes you when you arrive for an investiture at Buckingham Palace is how polite the police are. In contrast to their colleagues in other grimmer branches… Read more

Bridge

Bridge

1 December 2012

Ever heard of the ‘gum-wrapper coup’? My guess is not — as far as I’m aware, only one person has ever pulled it off, and that was about 80 years… Read more

Chess_011212

Chess

London Classic

1 December 2012

To celebrate the London Classic, which starts at Olympia this Saturday, I shall be paying a series of homages to illuminati of the game who have achieved great things in… Read more

Chess-Puzzle_011212

Chess puzzle

No. 246

1 December 2012

White to play. This position is from Anderssen-Kieseritzky, Simpson’s in the Strand, London 1851. It is known in chess literature as ‘The Immortal Game’. Can you spot White’s immortal finish?… Read more

Investigation

Competition

Remaking history

1 December 2012

In Competition No. 2774 you were invited to supply an extract from the diary of a well-known historical figure that startlingly reverses received ideas about history and the person in… Read more

Crossword-Puzzle

Crossword

2091: Plain and simple

1 December 2012

The unclued Down lights are of a kind, as are the unclued Across ones.   Across 1 Accent reflecting everything at the start of this month (7) 6 Harp, maybe… Read more

Crossword-Solution

Crossword solution

2088: Pathe seat

1 December 2012

The unclued lights (including the pair at 3/34) are all buried in Père Lachaise (when translated may give ‘PA THE SEAT’) cemetery in Paris. First prize Heather Kingham, Barnay, France… Read more

Toby Young

Status anxiety

You either have a free press – or you don’t

1 December 2012

By the time you’re reading this, David Cameron will probably have made up his mind about how to respond to the Leveson report. For members of my trade, it will… Read more

Dave
Spectator sport

Spectator sport

Sympathy for Roman Abramovich

1 December 2012

There’s a rough old whiff emanating from Stamford Bridge these days, and the source of the stench is Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner. Roberto di Matteo, the manager he sacked… Read more

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

1 December 2012

Q. My son attends a drama school and, while I have always encouraged him to be open about his background, I was somewhat alarmed when he reported the following. He… Read more

Food

Food

Tanya Gold reviews Colbert

1 December 2012

A creation myth: Earl -Cadogan wandered into Oriel, the ancient Sloane Square brasserie on his land, like a lardy dachshund, if slightly more cadaverous. For 25 years Oriel served as… Read more

Mind Your Language

Mind your language

Norovirus

1 December 2012

‘I wandered home ’tween twelve and one,’ sang my husband, waving his head from side to side in the fond belief that it made him look more like Olivia Newton-John,… Read more