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The Spectator

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3 November 2012

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Previous Issues

The Week

Leading article

Land of the right

3 November 2012

Next week, weather permitting, Americans will go to the ballot to choose between an unpopular Democratic president and an uninspiring Republican challenger. The 2012 US election may have become more… Read more

Potw

Portrait of the week

3 November 2012

Home Hitachi bought Horizon Nuclear Power for £700 million, giving it rights to build nuclear power stations in Anglesey and Gloucestershire. John Hayes, the energy minister, said that Britain was… Read more

Diary

Diary

Conrad Black

3 November 2012

Air Canada has outwitted the superstorm and I am about to return to Canada after my nine-day stay in London following an absence of seven years, and nine years since… Read more

Letters

Letters

3 November 2012

Objections to gay marriage Sir: Hugo Rifkind (27 October) thinks that religious objections to gay marriage can be ignored because Christians have no right to impose their beliefs on others.… Read more

Features

Cover

Whose freedom? Whose press?

3 November 2012

A love for freedom of the press inspired Milton, Voltaire, Jefferson, Madison, Mill and Orwell. Ringing declarations of the right of citizens to read and write what they choose have… Read more

Today's issue of Venezuelan daily "El Na

What the papers won’t say

3 November 2012

The chilling effects of Lord Leveson are already being felt in every newsroom in the country — and it is the rich, powerful and influential who are reaping the benefits.… Read more

Britannia

All together now

3 November 2012

Fraser Nelson British politicians have long dreamt of regulating the press, but have always been hampered by the basic point that the press isn’t theirs to regulate. Only now, with… Read more

Lucky Jim

Leveson and Jimmy Savile

3 November 2012

Last December I received a telephone call concerning Jimmy Savile’s apparent sexual abuse of underage girls in the 1970s. The details I heard were pretty chilling, but the negative reaction when… Read more

The Investigation Into The News Of The World Phone Hacking Allegations Continues

What I’m fighting for

3 November 2012

I’m often asked why I keep banging on about the press. Am I a lefty? I’m not. I’m not a righty either. I drift. (And in terms of impartiality, by… Read more

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Losing the ashes

3 November 2012

I’m pessimistic about the ash trees. It seems unlikely that a fungus that killed 90 per cent of Denmark’s trees and spreads by air will not be devastating here, too.… Read more

Gowers

Should Alice marry Bob?

3 November 2012

Two problems: 1. You are in an airport and are walking from the main departure lounge to a rather distant gate. On the way there are several moving walkways. There… Read more

Dame_Edna

London Notebook

3 November 2012

What is a real woman? My difficult client, the Australian gigastar Dame Edna Everage, is seriously miffed at BBC’s cancellation of her forthcoming appearance on Have I Got News For… Read more

East Coast Begins To Clean Up And Assess Damage From Hurricane Sandy

Sandy in the suburbs

3 November 2012

We live in the age of managed expectations — of projected outcomes and likely damage. It will be some days before the actual effects of the tropical storm absurdly named… Read more

investment_Heath

Markets love lame ducks

3 November 2012

Next week’s too-close-to-call US presidential election must make a big difference to the way stock and bond markets perform over the next few years — or so you might think.… Read more

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Reform at last

3 November 2012

A decade ago I wrote here about the way financial advisers are paid. I told you how, instead of giving you a bill, your adviser is allowed to sell you… Read more

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Turning toxic again

3 November 2012

Five years after the run on Northern Rock, four years after the epoch-making crash of Lehman Brothers, the clouds over Britain’s banking sector remain as dark as ever. We may… Read more

Columnists

James_Forsyth-80x98

The end of the recession, but just the beginning of the PM’s problems

3 November 2012

Since the end of the recession was confirmed a few days ago, confidence has returned to at least one part of -Britain. Ministers are beginning to strut again as they… Read more

Spectators notes

The Spectator’s Notes

3 November 2012

‘England shall bide till Judgment Tide, By Oak, and Ash, and Thorn! says Kipling. Possibly we shall have to bide with just oak and thorn now (and oak, too, is… Read more

Rod Liddle

We journalists can only chase one ambulance at a time

3 November 2012

What I really wanted to do for you this week was uncover a totally new story about a racist paedophile banker — a perfect storm of a story which through… Read more

Matthew Parris

Why a visit to a school persuaded me that young people aged 16 to 18 should have the vote

3 November 2012

Let me guess most readers’ reaction to news that Alex Salmond has arm-twisted Westminster into allowing 16- to 18-year-olds in Scotland to vote in the 2014 Scottish referendum on independence.… Read more

James Delingpole

Why on earth do we think badgers are charismatic?

3 November 2012

Did you know that the badger is one of the most charismatic creatures in our countryside? It says so on an advisory leaflet produced by Scottish Natural Heritage called ‘Badgers… Read more

Vander-Weyer-NEW

Branson, Bollywood, Virgin beauties – and a bit less of the usual cynicism

3 November 2012

So here I am on a morning flight from Delhi to Mumbai, sitting next to an Englishman in his early sixties with bright blonde hair and a heavy cold. He… Read more

Books

Belvoir Castle in 1816, by Turner

A family at war

3 November 2012

The Quest for Corvo started something rather peculiar in biography. A.J.A. Symons’s 1934 classic — described as ‘an experiment’ — set out the biographer’s search for his subject, and not… Read more

The plight of the Poles

3 November 2012

Was a nation ever so beset by calamity as Poland? During the second world war, Polish cities were bombed, fought over hand-to-hand and crushingly shelled. Beyond their ideological differences, Hitler… Read more

Slippery slopes

3 November 2012

Being sent to finishing school in Bavaria in 1936 was a dream for some English girls: there were winter sports and sachertorte, opera and sausages, and troupes of handsome Nazis… Read more

Colin Tennant at home on Mustique (1985), photographed by Patrick Lichfield

The worldling’s pleasure

3 November 2012

Two women are the only heroes of this book. One is Princess Margaret, whom the author points out was far more instrumental in the early years of Colin Tennant’s ramshackle… Read more

XIR211784

The company of wolves

3 November 2012

The 15th century is beginning to supplant the Tudor age in its allure for historians and novelists. It comes replete with regicide, civil war and — what seems a necessity… Read more

Homage to the Goddess Mother

3 November 2012

Cometh the hour, cometh the many men (and women). The 2012 centenary of Captain Scott’s death inspired a series of heroic forays into print: glory-hungry (or just plain hungry) authors… Read more

Arnold Schwarzenegger on the set of Batman and Robin, directed by Joel Schumacher, 1997

Bionic bore

3 November 2012

After wading through 646 pages of narcissistic gush and breathtaking vulgarity in the accents of Dr Kissinger and Dr Strangelove, I am consoled by the thought that the ordeal has… Read more

A ladykiller at large

3 November 2012

Ever since Sergeant Cuff appeared in The Moonstone in 1868, we English have loved our detectives. Moody Scandinavian fiction might come and go, but Peter Wimsey, Poirot, Marple and of… Read more

Portraits of Royal Academicians by Johan Zoffany, 1770-2

Exhibitions of narcissism

3 November 2012

The summer exhibition at the Royal Academy, with its overstuffed galleries and motley collection of overblown portraits, twee still lifes and garish landscapes has become an event where you go… Read more

An exhausting mixture of boredom and concentration

3 November 2012

The wartime code-breaking successes of Bletchley Park are deservedly well known.  The story of how they decrypted German and Japanese codes, most famously the Enigma, has been the subject of… Read more

Getting the knives out

3 November 2012

It’s odd that this book should be about a cleaner, because it exactly conjures up the emotions I felt when I worked as a cleaning lady many years ago. Contemplating… Read more

Divided loyalties

3 November 2012

On his first day at boarding school in Kenya in the early 1950s, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o stood to attention as the Union Jack was raised on the school flagpole. Afterwards… Read more

Dawn French

The darker side of Dawn

3 November 2012

I like Dawn French when she is playing a sinister nurse much more than when she’s a jolly vicar. As her new novel, Oh Dear Silvia (Michael Joseph, £18.99) is… Read more

Arts

‘Head of a Monk’, 1625–64, by Zurbarán

Spanish encounter

3 November 2012

Renaissance to Goya: Prints and Drawings from Spain opens well with a superb drawing by Zurbarán, ‘Head of a Monk’, and a Goya lithograph, ‘The Bulls of Bordeaux’. After that,… Read more

The same old story

3 November 2012

Hard on the heels of last year’s television adaptation starring David Suchet and Ray Winstone is a new version of Dickens’s Great Expectations, in cinemas later this month. The new… Read more

Bolivian treasure

3 November 2012

Every so often in my line of business one reads heartwarming stories about manuscripts from the past turning up in unlikely places. The most favoured of these places over the… Read more

Mixed bag

3 November 2012

Last year I raved about Birmingham Royal Ballet, their artistic drive, their freshness, their impeccable artistic eclecticism and, not least, their superb dancing. It was with such memories that I… Read more

Impressively charismatic: Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Master

What shall we do with the drunken sailor?

3 November 2012

Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is his first film since There Will Be Blood and although it stars Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, who give two of the most… Read more

Renée Fleming (Desdemona) and Johan Botha (Otello) in the Met’s production

Creeping confusion

3 November 2012

The legend of Faust is perhaps the dominant one in post-Renaissance Europe, yet it resists satisfactory artistic realisation. The most celebrated versions of the legend, such as Marlowe’s and Goethe’s,… Read more

No more heroes

3 November 2012

The Wharf is an unpretentious venue in Tavistock which offers a menu of entertainment whose criteria are difficult to fathom but are probably linked to the fact that Tavistock is… Read more

Claire-Louise Cordwell and Veronica Quilligan

Ryans’ daughter

3 November 2012

Martina Cole is a rarity among novelists. Her work is set in the ugly, male-dominated world of London’s criminal fraternity and yet nearly all her fans are women. Blonde women,… Read more

Sideshow winner

3 November 2012

I thought my 27th Wexford Opera Festival since 1972 was going to be one of the best. I had seen and enjoyed the Cilea and Chabrier operas on the bill… Read more

The American way

3 November 2012

To the Americas this week, and first to the land of the free and the home of the brave: Gay to Straight (Monday, BBC3) examined the practice of ‘gay conversion… Read more

Hearing voices

3 November 2012

It’s business as usual for the BBC’s radio stations. While the boardroom burns, the production teams are busy creating — weekloads of entertainment, information, erudition. The doomsayers love a crisis,… Read more

Jazz A Vienne 2012

All that jazz

3 November 2012

What London can give jazz music — beyond an audience in its concert halls — is a setting to match the music’s diversity. The city offers access, culturally, to what… Read more

Life

High life

High life

High life

3 November 2012

New York Trains and buses have shut down, people have been evacuated from eastern New Jersey and the southern tip of Manhattan, and as of writing Hurricane Sandy has hit… Read more

Low life

Low life

Low life

3 November 2012

On the Thursday night, my grandson had another asthma attack. Because my boy had had a few drinks before going to bed, granddad had to get up and drive everybody… Read more

Real life

Real life

Real life

3 November 2012

Stefano the Albanian was delighted to hear from me. He was really cross when I got myself a builder boyfriend, which he regarded as a terrible sort of betrayal. He… Read more

Long life

Long life

Long life

3 November 2012

Edward Heath may have been one of the most unsuccessful prime ministers in British history, having presided during his four-year term (1970–1974) over shortages, power cuts, a three-day week and… Read more

bridge

Bridge

3 November 2012

In this country, Andrew Robson and bridge are practically synonymous: he’s the best known, and probably the best, player we have. His love for the game goes to the very… Read more

Chess

Chess

Basman forever

3 November 2012

Michael Basman is in many ways the most important person in British chess. As a player, he is an International Master, who tied for the British Championship in 1973, losing… Read more

Chess_solution

Chess puzzle

No. 242

3 November 2012

Black to play. This is from Velimirovic-Basman, Student Olympiad 1967. Black has just given up a piece. The justification for this sacrifice is revealed with his next move, which leads… Read more

Investigation

Competition

Masque of Art

3 November 2012

In Competition 2770 you were invited to submit a response, in the style of Alexander Pope, to the recently announced Turner Prize short list or to the contemporary art scene… Read more

Crossword

Crossword

2087: Golden II

3 November 2012

Seven 1D lights are unclued. Across 1 Carnivore longing to enter Gordon’s dining room (5) 6 Female musical figure is King’s deputy (7) 11 Constancy of a husband from this… Read more

Crossword_solution

Crossword solution

2084: The Here and Now

3 November 2012

The perimeter quotation is the opening couplet of Marvell’s ‘To His Coy Mistress’. Remaining unclued lights in order 12A, 17A, 35A, 38A, 22D are anagrams of ‘Time’s wingèd chariot drawing… Read more

Brits abroad

Status anxiety

Decadent Brits

3 November 2012

I’m currently in Marrakech for half-term and was planning on writing a column about how disappointed my children are by this cosmopolitan city. To them, it’s not exotic at all.… Read more

Dave
Spectator sport

Spectator sport

Ugly face of the beautiful game

3 November 2012

Football, bloody hell, as that old bruiser Sir Alex Ferguson twinkled bibulously at the turn of the century. But it’s not looking so good now, Sir Alex. Bloody hell, it’s… Read more

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

3 November 2012

Q. I cannot help but notice an alarming prevalence of disturbing eating habits among the middle-aged. Being 13 years of age complicates the matter as I feel it is not… Read more

Food

Food

Dog stars

3 November 2012

Bubbledogs is a restaurant from cinema. It is violently 1980s, American and flash. The sign Bubbledogs shines neon pink from the window, a twin to Tom Cruise’s Cocktails & Dreams… Read more

Mind Your Language

Mind your language

Parkour

3 November 2012

When I heard on the BBC that an organisation in St Petersburg named after St Basil the Great taught teenagers on probation the art of parkour I didn’t understand what… Read more