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The Spectator

Cover_291212_issue

29 December 2012

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Previous Issues

The Week

Leading article

Unholy war

29 December 2012

To attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve in parts of Nigeria is to take your life in your hands. For the last three years, Islamist militants have been attacking churches… Read more

portrait

Portrait of the week

29 December 2012

Home Banks should erect a protective ring-fence round their high-street operations, the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards recommended, and moreover it should be ‘electrified’. The metaphor meant that regulators should… Read more

Diary

Diary

George Carey

29 December 2012

Well, what a year it has been. Another one full of financial doom and gloom. I’ve never known such a prolonged period of anxiety and pessimism in my lifetime. With… Read more

A&M

Ancient and modern

Rome vs the EU

29 December 2012

On the eve of the first day of 2002, when the euro became the official EU currency, this column turned to Tacitus for its judgment: ‘the ignorant called it civilisation:… Read more

Any-Other-Business

Barometer

29 December 2012

Counting the years 2013 might look an uninteresting number for a year but it is in fact a mathematical rarity: a year whose digits, when rearranged, can form a simple… Read more

Letters

Letters

29 December 2012

Distinguished Wardens Sir: Contrary to Dennis Sewell’s statement (‘Assault on the Ivory Tower’, 15/22 December), Wadham College did not ‘elect’ John Wilkins to be Warden in 1647 after Parliament’s victory… Read more

Features

Hunting

The hunt for Cameron

29 December 2012

Why won’t our PM stand up for the hunting lobby?

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, The

Blood oath

29 December 2012

Why pro-life activists have high hopes for the Twilight generation

Badger Dead by Roadside

A badger killer confesses

29 December 2012

How I did it, and how I suffered for it

Indian Finance Minister Mukherjee Unveils FY13 Federal Budget

This old House

29 December 2012

India’s parliament may be about to move out of its rickety old building. Can anyone imagine ours doing that?

144171245

"This coming year, I want to live"

29 December 2012

A new year meditation

Newsweek Announces It's Going Digital Only, Will End Print Edition

Who killed Newsweek?

29 December 2012

Tina Brown can’t just blame the internet

A different sort of Turner landscape: Positano

Amalfi: This blessed plot

29 December 2012

The intoxicating beauty of the Amalfi coast has inspired conspicuous artistic achievements, and a legacy of sensuality. Petronella Wyatt knows why

A poster by Hugo d’Alesi, c. 1900, for ‘Menton, City of Lemons’

Menton: The garden of France

29 December 2012

Giles Waterfield enjoys the charm of a forgotten gem

Salina

Aeolian joys

29 December 2012

It’s 5 a.m., a splashy grey dawn, and we’re out of here on easyJet. Palermo is another world of heat and brightness but we’re not stopping; at the port we… Read more

The port of Marseilles, 1931

Marseilles: Tough love

29 December 2012

Sophia Martelli hopes the port city’s makeover won’t diminish its raffish charm

Archimedes designing a cruise ship

Holidays with the ancients

29 December 2012

For most Romans, there were no such things as ‘summer holidays’. Holidays were for the rich, who went to their Cape Cod equivalent: the bay of Naples, leaving the stench,… Read more

greece

Aegean Greece: Eternal bliss

29 December 2012

Rachel Howard says civil unrest in Greece has not spoiled the perfect idyll of its islands

spain

Andalucia: A culinary odyssey

29 December 2012

Michael Jacobs is enchanted by the food of southern Spain

Columnists

Rod Liddle

2013: good news for werewolves, bad news for Belgium

29 December 2012

So the wassailing and drinking and pigging out has been done. The relatives have mercifully left. You have taken many, many medications to restore to yourself a certain cloudy consciousness… Read more

Matthew Parris

Gay marriage the easy way

29 December 2012

‘The next time we want to import a horse to Russia,’ wrote Laura Brady, Second Secretary in our Moscow embassy, ‘it will be a doddle.’ I quote her story in… Read more

James Delingpole

I’m proud to come out as an Eton parent

29 December 2012

I was just traipsing across the fields towards Common Lane, there to collect Boy en route to his St Andrews’ Day F-Blockers’ exhibition match of the Wall Game, when I… Read more

Vander-Weyer-NEW

Neither catharsis not cataclysm, but a year of mobile money and digital books

29 December 2012

In a recent Spectator panel debate titled ‘Review 2012, Preview 2013’, Matthew Parris startled an expectant audience by observing that in his view nothing very interesting had happened in the… Read more

Books

Portrait of Tsar Alexander I, by Baron François Pascal Simon

A master of tactical retreat

29 December 2012

The tsar who defeated Napoleon had a surprising amount in common with Charles de Gaulle, according to John Laughland

From the playing fields of Eton to El Alamein

29 December 2012

The fascination with the last of the cavalry is enduring, perhaps partly because of the horseman’s apocalyptic links: one of the contenders for the last cavalry charge, about which there… Read more

Musical rivalries

29 December 2012

Donald Greig’s first novel is a fluent knitting together of three distinct worlds: American musical academia, London professional singing and the life of a 15th-century composer. It is also something… Read more

‘Portrait of a Young Woman’, thought to be Caterina Sforza, by Lorenzi di Credi

Renaissance superwoman

29 December 2012

In 1471 Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, led a brash entourage of wine-swilling, jewel-bedecked courtiers into Florence. It was Lent. This was not the most auspicious way to begin… Read more

Torn between ideology and compassion

29 December 2012

On 1 September 1978, the then prime minister Jim Callaghan invited six leading trade unionists to dinner at his Elizabethan farmhouse in Sussex. By all accounts it was a very… Read more

Wiggins

The Wiggins streak

29 December 2012

As the first British winner of the Tour de France and a gold medalist at London 2012, Bradley Wiggins is a national hero, and though he insists he is an… Read more

Arts

‘Plant Spirit’ by Kate Walters

New dawn for Newlyn School

29 December 2012

Laura Gascoigne reports on the resurgence of the Cornish art colony

Marina Poplavskaya as Alice in the rarely performed ‘Robert le diable’

Talk of the devil

29 December 2012

In one of his finest essays, Gore Vidal recalls that when he worked as a scriptwriter for MGM the Wise Hack always used to advise his toffee-nosed team that ‘shit… Read more

‘Alençon’, 1823, by John Sell Cotman

Particularity of place

29 December 2012

John Sell Cotman (1782–1842) is a key figure in the great tradition of English watercolour painting. A prominent member of the Norwich School (he was born in the city), he… Read more

Trading places

29 December 2012

The trouble with this adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Booker prize-winning Midnight’s Children, aside from the fact it is a mess and a muddle, is that it goes on and on… Read more

Simon Russell Beale on parade

Age limit

29 December 2012

Michael Grandage is homeless. After a near-faultless decade in charge of the Donmar Warehouse, he now reinvents himself as a roving thesp, a buskined vagabond, a theatrical mendicant wandering the… Read more

On the bias

29 December 2012

It must be ten years now since I risked life and limb to brave the Cresta Run, go fox hunting and be driven round a racetrack by Lord Brocket in… Read more

Heart of the matter

29 December 2012

Looking back can be fatal and is usually ill-advised, inducing a nostalgia that can only blight what lies ahead. Let’s risk it, though, reliving those radio moments of 2012 (avoiding… Read more

kpop-jpg

Special K

29 December 2012

There’s a K-Pop Academy in London. Students go through a 12-week course and learn not only the finer points of PSY-style hip-hop, but also Korean cuisine, fashion, history and traditional… Read more

Life

High life

High life

High life

29 December 2012

The horror at Newtown, Connecticut put a damper on the unending rounds of end-of-year parties. And that includes my own Christmas blast at the Boom-Boom room in honour of Lindsay… Read more

Low life

Low life

Low life

29 December 2012

My grandson turned three last week. His mum blew up balloons and laid on a sumptuous spread of artificial colourings, preservatives, thickeners, acidity regulators, stabilisers, emulsifiers, flavour enhancers, silicates, stearates,… Read more

Real life

Real life

Real life

29 December 2012

‘What do you mean, your ex-ex-boyfriend is still living with his ex-girlfriend?’ said my friend Sarah, pulling a disgusted face. To summarise the many questions that followed, this bosom buddy… Read more

Long life

Long life

Long life

29 December 2012

At the time of writing, a few days after the school massacre in Connecticut, the National Rifle Association remains creepily silent. This normally loud-mouthed, blustering organisation has made no comment… Read more

bridge

Bridge

29 December 2012

Up to Solihull again (I might as well move there) to play the Gold Cup finals. We sailed through the semis against Ken Ford’s team to meet Allfrey in the… Read more

Chess_291212

Chess

London calling

29 December 2012

In my series of homages to great masters in London, this week an outstanding win by Anatoly Karpov, who took first prize in the major international tournaments in London 1982… Read more

Chess_puzzle_291212

Chess puzzle

No. 247

29 December 2012

White to play. This position is from Alekhine-Yates, London 1922. White has conducted a brilliant strategic game, exposing Black on the dark squares. How does he now continue this theme… Read more

Investigation

Competition

Excuse me

29 December 2012

In Competition No. 2777 you were invited to take inspiration from pupils at a Cambridge school who may escape punishment for minor offences if they can come up with a… Read more

Crossword_291212

Crossword

2093: Leading lights

29 December 2012

The unclued lights (all verified in Brewer 18th and 19th editions) are of a kind. Elsewhere, ignore three accents.   Across 1 Overcome old film broadcast (8) 6 Tawdry item… Read more

Crossword_puzzle_291212

Crossword solution

2091: plain and simple

29 December 2012

The unclued Down lights are PLAIN Janes and the unclued Across lights are SIMPLE Simons. First prize Di Arbuthnot, Hungerford, Berkshire Runners-up Nigel Woolliscroft, Newcastle-under-Lyme; Barry Butler, Birmingham

Toby Young

Status anxiety

I think I might have a condition that no longer exists

29 December 2012

One of the things we’ll have to say goodbye to in 2013, if the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has its way, is Asperger’s Syndrome. In the forthcoming fifth edition of… Read more

Dave 29

Spectator sport

2013: A year of sporting gloriously

29 December 2012

This journal’s gongs are, rightly, recognised the world over, and justly so of course. Sadly, however, this column’s Sporting Awards, which would normally be presented around this time of year,… Read more

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

29 December 2012

From Francis Boulle At a recent speaking engagement at a school fundraiser I had the eerie experience of giving my speech to an auditorium of 300 young men wearing cut-out… Read more

Food

Food

Tanya Gold reviews Goldeneye, Jamaica

29 December 2012

Goldeneye is the house in Jamaica where Ian Fleming wrote James Bond, and spanked his wife; that is why Fleming created Bond I think, even as he ran the Sunday… Read more

Mind Your Language

Mind your language

Omnishambles

29 December 2012

‘Serious fellows, these Americans,’ said my husband, applying stereotypes with a broad, patronising brush. He had a point, though, for Merriam-Webster’s, the dictionary people, announced that their word of the… Read more