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The Spectator

Cover_241112

24 November 2012

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Previous Issues

The Week

Leading article

Hold Brussels to account

24 November 2012

After four years of economic crisis some kind of normality has at last been restored to European politics. The EU is at loggerheads with Britain again. After a prolonged period… Read more

PORTRAIT

Portrait of the week

24 November 2012

Home The General Synod of the Church of England voted against the ordination of women bishops. The measure required a two thirds majority in each house of the Synod, but… Read more

Diary

Diary

Ben Goldsmith

24 November 2012

I once bred a racehorse, half-owned by my mother, born at my mother-in-law’s farm in Suffolk and named ‘Green Moon’ by my daughter. He won a race or two but… Read more

A&M

Ancient and modern

Athenians on voting fatigue

24 November 2012

‘Politics is polarised’ intoned the chatterati after the Obama-Romney race to the White House. ‘Sick of party politics’ said the people after the elections for Police and Crime Commissioners. Ancient… Read more

Any-Other-Business

Barometer

24 November 2012

Stage and screen Agatha Christie’s play The Mousetrap has notched up its 60th anniversary and its 25,000th performance, by far the longest run of a stage show. Yet for all… Read more

Letters

Letters

24 November 2012

For and against Petraeus Sir: The attack on General David Petraeus (17 November) by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos of Antiwar.com was mean-minded, trivial and wrong. After the overthrow of Saddam in… Read more

Features

Israel_SE

Israel under siege

24 November 2012

The Jewish state faces an ever-increasing threat from Islamist neighbours

134366136

Save our speech

24 November 2012

Parliament must not be given the power to control the press

London 2012 Olympic Games Police Briefing and Deployment Centre

Backbench driver

24 November 2012

Nick Herbert has left government to concentrate on politics

L. Ron Hubbard

Going overboard

24 November 2012

The founder of Scientology’s stay in Corfu was brief but eventful

Somalia New Restaurants

Cooking for freedom

24 November 2012

A London chef has returned to Mogadishu to make a stand against al-Qa’eda

General Election - Climate Change

The great British wind scam

24 November 2012

Your taxes are meant to be supporting smaller turbines. In fact, they’re making giant ones less efficient

IOC Executive Board Meetings

House of stars

24 November 2012

A salute to our parliamentarians of the year

Columnists

James_Forsyth-80x98

Westminster waits eagerly for the return of the Crosby show

24 November 2012

Never before in British politics can the recruitment of a part-time consultant have been given so much coverage. The papers have treated Lynton Crosby’s coming arrival at Conservative Campaign Headquarters… Read more

Spectators notes

The Spectator’s Notes

24 November 2012

Lynton Crosby will soon be appointed to run the Conservative strategy for the next election, say reports. Unnamed sources accuse him of saying rude things about Muslims; people mutter about… Read more

Leveson’s tour of Australia, Lynton Crosby’s uneasy return and the anger of Ben Fogle

24 November 2012

Brian Leveson’s epic inquiry into press malpractice is finally drawing to a close. In Britain, the courtroom saga has enjoyed a tiny daytime TV audience of tagged convicts, stoned job-seekers,… Read more

Hugo Rifkind

Within ten years, you’ll be buying cannabis at your off-licence

24 November 2012

The first time I came across skunk cannabis was in an underground out-of-hours bar in Nottingham in 1997. I think I’ll leave that as ‘came across’, if it’s all the… Read more

Vander-Weyer-NEW

‘It’s mine, I spend it’: guessing the rapper’s thoughts about Obama’s fiscal cliff

24 November 2012

The most stylish fellow passenger in Delta Air Lines’ business class cabin from Atlanta to Heathrow last week was a chap in shades and a hoodie with a couple of… Read more

Books

BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2

Books of the year

24 November 2012

A  further selection of the best books of 2012, chosen by some of our regular contributors

Rex Whistler

Portrait of the artist as a young man

24 November 2012

Had the artist Rex Whistler not been killed in Normandy in 1944 at the age of 39, in what direction would his great talent have gone? It is futile to… Read more

Shameful home truths

24 November 2012

One of our more cherished national myths is that we British do not torture prisoners of war and criminal suspects. We support decency and fair play. Ian Cobain’s book proves… Read more

A duty to protest

24 November 2012

A few years ago, in West Africa, a woman came up to me and said, ‘You know what’s wrong with our men? They go crazy once they get power. Crazy… Read more

‘Still Life with Fish’ by Picasso, 1922

The ‘ism’ that ruined the West

24 November 2012

In 1974, as editor of the Connoisseur magazine, I ran an ‘1874’ issue to mark the centenary of Winston Churchill’s birth, to which John Betjeman, Asa Briggs and Lady Spencer-Churchill… Read more

A 1922 poster promoting a new development in Greenwich and the issuing of housing bonds to fund it

Little boxes, all the same

24 November 2012

This book purports to be a history not of London but of its suburbs. In the end this amounts to much the same thing, because the author is referring not… Read more

British Royalty. pic: 1933. HRH.The Duchess of York, portrait. The Duchess of York, (1900-2002) born Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, was Queen Consort to King George VI, and on his death became the Queen Mother, ever popular with the people.

Such fun!

24 November 2012

Nearly all the pages in this book are filled with thank-you letters. As a child, Elizabeth Bowes Lyon was writing to thank for presents of sweets and chocolates. As the… Read more

Truth and beauty

24 November 2012

Almost 20 years ago, Alice Munro, the Canadian genius of the short story, was interviewed by the Paris Review. She recalled a time when she was having trouble with her… Read more

Portrait of Proust by Jacques-Emile Blanche

Length and quality

24 November 2012

The final volume of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, released at the end of last month, is a landmark in audio publishing. The seven volumes — over twice the length… Read more

Dreams that fade and die

24 November 2012

The Dutch writer, Cees Nooteboom, was living in West Berlin in 1989 when the gates opened and the Wall finally came down. At the time he wrote a series of… Read more

Business as usual

24 November 2012

Dear old Pesto, we all make jokes about him but we all secretly admire him. The BBC business editor’s strangulated elocution and stream-of-consciousness style were never going to make him… Read more

Neil Young Live

The one who got away with it

24 November 2012

The first track on Neil Young’s latest album lasts nearly 28 minutes, for while he usually has no problem starting, he sometimes struggles to finish. Some of the same prolixity… Read more

Arts

Man of letters:  ‘Dear Kimbo’ by Percy Kelly, courtesy of Messum’s

Lonely Lakelander

24 November 2012

Andrew Lambirth on the rising reputation of the eccentric and chaotic Cumbrian artist Percy Kelly

‘Negative-positive’, 1950–87, by Bruno Munari

Keeping the faith

24 November 2012

In 1929 the founder of Italian Futurism, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, reported from Milan that, after a wartime setback, the movement was ‘in full working order’ under the leadership of ‘the… Read more

English japanned wood cabinet, c.1670, Victoria & Albert Museum

Concealed treasures

24 November 2012

The Holburne Museum of Bath is a delight. Its collections were formed by Sir William Holburne (1793–1874), a naval officer who first saw action at the Battle of Trafalgar at… Read more

Cate Blanchett, in ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’, whose dress is on display

Dressed to impress

24 November 2012

Does the costume make the man or the man the costume? Well, a little bit of both if the Hollywood Costume exhibition at the V&A is to be believed. Five… Read more

Cortina

The Dagenham Dustbin

24 November 2012

For those of us who find passion in national iconography, this is a melancholy historical moment. It’s a very bad time for British manufacturing and an even worse one for… Read more

Hard work: Cameron Diaz as P.J. Puznowski

Faking it

24 November 2012

The star of Gambit, it seems, is the Savoy. And why not? Nobody else seems to want to lay claim to this movie, a refashioning of the 1966 art con… Read more

Roberto Alagna as Nemorino: truly outstanding

Change of heart

24 November 2012

I think I have developed a crush on Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, which is strange, considering that it is so evidently adorable a work that most opera-goers fall for it straight… Read more

Matchless mono

24 November 2012

Record companies: if you insist on sending CDs to my home address without so much as a covering note or a press release, well, that’s just fine by me. West… Read more

Edward (Pip Carter) and Helen Thomas (Hattie Morahan)

Warring outcasts

24 November 2012

Are we barmy or what? Our mawkish obsession with the first world war demonstrates that we’re in the grip of a mass delusion: institutional sentimentality. The latest symptom of our… Read more

Harry and Paul

Top of their game

24 November 2012

God, I’m jealous of Michael Gove. Not for being a cabinet minister in the same coalition as Nick Clegg and Vince Cable, obviously, but for being outed as a queer… Read more

British singer-songwriter of the band Go

Short changed

24 November 2012

Was that it? Was that the sum total of 90 years of radio? Radio Reunited, the three-minute ‘celebration’ of the first BBC wireless broadcast in November 1922, was a very… Read more

World_Apart

A world apart

24 November 2012

Although the starving artist in the garret is no longer the favourite public stereotype, painters and sculptors remain something of a mystery even to those who spend time looking at… Read more

Life

High life

High life

High life

24 November 2012

Why is it that adultery can ruin a man’s career but rarely a woman’s? In so-called civilised countries, that is. (In Saudi Arabia an adulterous woman is stoned to death.)… Read more

Low life

Low life

Low life

24 November 2012

After the open-air night drawing class, the teacher invited anyone who felt like it to repair to the pub afterwards to have a drink and maybe something to eat and… Read more

Real life

Real life

Real life

24 November 2012

When you start renovating your home, it is like pulling the loose thread of an old jumper. Everything unravels. I only tried to fit a dimmer switch, and now my… Read more

Long life

Long life

Long life

24 November 2012

The Daily Mail last week risked alienating its millions of women readers (whom I assume from its normal priorities to be interested only in health, beauty and plastic surgery) by… Read more

TheTurf

The turf

Winners and losers

24 November 2012

My favourite racecourse-bar story this year involved a towel-clad jockey who had enjoyed his game of golf so much that in the shower room he demonstrated the iron shot that… Read more

bridge

Bridge

24 November 2012

Since the beginning of September I don’t think there has been a single weekend when my team was not away playing in one or another tournament, so when I received… Read more

Chess

Chess

Armenian gold

24 November 2012

Armenia won the gold medals in the Istanbul Chess Olympiad for the third time in four years — an astonishing feat for a small nation. Part of the secret of… Read more

Chess_puzzle

Chess puzzle

No. 245

24 November 2012

Black to play. This is from Kalantar-Petrosian, Erevan 1946. Black has various powerful moves in this position but one is completely terminal. Can you see it? Answers to me at… Read more

Investigation

Competition

Rhyme time

24 November 2012

In Competition No. 2773 you were invited to submit a poem entitled ‘On First Looking into a Rhyming Dictionary’. That class act Stanley J. Sharpless’s twist on Keats’ famous sonnet… Read more

Crossword

Crossword

2090: Precipitate

24 November 2012

In September sadly we lost 15 (two words) and 12/19. The former produced the 29 of the 4-winning ‘1A/18/39’ (six words in all) while the latter made a successful 33… Read more

Crossword_solution

Crossword solution

2087: Golden I

24 November 2012

HIEROSOLYMITAN (1D) means ‘of or relating to Jerusalem’. 15, 18, 27, 35A, 38, 5 and 12 may all be preceded by the word ‘Jerusalem’. Title: cf. ‘Jerusalem the golden’ (hymn)… Read more

Toby Young

Status anxiety

Movember, mo’ problems

24 November 2012

I’m currently growing a moustache to raise money for various charities associated with men’s health — or ‘doing the Movember thing’, to use the official terminology. I’m not enjoying the… Read more

Dave
Rory_Sutherland

The Wiki Man

The leftist case for joining a Pall Mall club

24 November 2012

I recently met a friend at the RAC Club in Pall Mall. Leafing through their brochures, I noticed there was an entrance fee of £2,900 and an annual renewal fee… Read more

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

24 November 2012

Q. Even in smart places, waiters have taken my plate away before I have finished, if my head is turned, or they take away a companion’s plate while I am… Read more

Drink

Drink

In the colonel’s cellar

24 November 2012

Like many soldiers, my old friend is a life-enhancing character. Whenever he phones up and says ‘Need your help’, one’s spirits rise. The help always seems to involve pleasure. This… Read more

Mind Your Language

Mind your language

Passion

24 November 2012

Pippa Middleton, I learnt from the Daily Telegraph, has a ‘passion’ for writing. Justin Welby, the next Archbishop of Canterbury, the BBC said, has a ‘passion for resolving conflict’. The… Read more