×

The Spectator

October 20, 2007

Subscribe from £12 »

Previous Issues

The Week

The Week

De quoi avez-vous peur, Gordon?

17 October 2007

Let us step aside for a moment from the political posturing and horse-trading at the Lisbon EU summit and go back to the beginning. On 20 April 2004, Tony Blair… Read more

Diary

Diary

Jane Moore

17 October 2007

Christmas is coming. In fact, clock the mince pies on sale in M&S or the ruddy selection boxes in just about every store except Millets, and you could be forgiven… Read more

1.jpg

The Week

Nick Clegg or Chris Huhne: no one can change the Lib Dems’ failure to find a niche

17 October 2007

The past week has seen history repeating itself, skipping the tragedy and moving straight to farce. Two weeks ago a Scottish MP, tipped from his first days in the Commons… Read more

The Week

Notting Hill Nobody

17 October 2007

Sunday Bonjour, mes amis! Am in Paris for Compassionate Conservative hen weekend! All the girls from the office are here giving Abby from Dave’s team a Right-Of-Centre-Yet-Modern send-off. Staying in… Read more

Letters

Letters

17 October 2007

Promises, promises Sir: Fraser Nelson (Politics, 6 October) suggests that the approach that won David Cameron the leadership in 2005 was conveyed in messages like ‘social responsibility’ and ‘general wellbeing’.… Read more

The Week

Global warning

17 October 2007

People have only to talk for a short time for it to become obvious that the greatest of human rights is not freedom of opinion, but freedom from opinion. It… Read more

Features

Once again, Europe threatens to devour another British PM

17 October 2007

In British politics, the Europe question always comes to embody the problems that a Prime Minister faces. So Gordon Brown will fly back from Lisbon with a treaty that emphasises that he is scared of putting things to the country and that he spins just as much as his predecessor ever did. With the ratification process expected to run for six months, Mr. Brown faces prolonged trouble over this document and maybe even his first large scale Labour rebellion. 

1.jpg

Listen to Adam Smith: inheritance tax is good

17 October 2007

Inheritance tax is one levy that makes good economic sense

1.jpg

Brick Lane’s queen strikes gold on the silver screen

17 October 2007

An interview with Monica Ali

1.jpg

The Muslims’ letter to the Pope is not all it seems

17 October 2007

The Muslims’ letter to the Pope is not all it seems

1.jpg

What has this ‘genocide’ to do with Congress?

17 October 2007

Public bodies have no role in historical disputes

1.jpg

The auditor general and Saudi arms deals

Sir John Bourn and the Al Yamamah inquiry

1.jpg

Why living near my old friend Michael Gove can seriously damage your health

17 October 2007

The reaction to the latest drinking survey is hysterical

1.jpg

Hammer’s Dracula is now a beloved British institution

17 October 2007

Hammer’s 1958 Dracula is being re-released

Columnists

Spectators notes

The Spectator’s notes

17 October 2007

Charles Moore on what really did for Ming Campbell

Hugo Rifkind

By the time they stop being mad, politicians are the right age for the House

17 October 2007

This is a column about the reform of the House of Lords. I have a hunch it might not look like one, probably until pretty much the end, but that… Read more

You can admire a roguish old pagan without approving of him

17 October 2007

Recently I managed to get hold of a copy of Alone by Norman Douglas. This series of essays about Italian towns at the time of the first world war was… Read more

Northern Rock: a day to remember

17 October 2007

Martin Jacomb says the crisis that led to the first run on a British bank since 1866 should have been foreseen, but that apportioning blame is less important than learning lessons

‘Emotions are key. It’s not just about sandwiches’

17 October 2007

Judi Bevan learns the distinctive philosophy of the Pret a Manger chain from its founder, Julian Metcalfe

Darling must scrap his tax attack on entrepreneurs

17 October 2007

Gordon Brown can’t stop himself from meddling, even with his own good ideas. Soon after he moved into No 11 Downing Street, he introduced one of the best pro-growth capital… Read more

Vander-Weyer-NEW

Piggy in the middle between the grain speculators and the supermarkets

17 October 2007

The concentrated aroma of — how shall I put it — deep piggy doo-doo that wafts through your car window as you motor up the A1 through North Yorkshire is,… Read more

Vander-Weyer-NEW

Why can’t British builders be more like the Poles?

17 October 2007

Over the past 20 years or so, I have found myself almost continuously on the client side of building contracts, large and small, domestic, corporate and charitable, in four different countries: Britain, France, Hong Kong and Japan. It is an activity in which optimism is rarely justified by experience: builders the world over tend habitually to under-estimate the time required for any task, to have trouble with supply chains, to misread architects’ plans, and to fall off ladders and take time off to recover

Books

1.jpg

A late and furious flowering

17 October 2007

Philip Hensher

1.jpg

King of the lurid spectacle

17 October 2007

Bryan Forbes

1.jpg

The great misleader

17 October 2007

Theodore Dalrymple

Homage to Sebald

17 October 2007

Jonathon Brown

A legend in his lifetime

17 October 2007

Allan Massie

Belfast to Edinburgh

17 October 2007

A poem

The windfalls after the storm

17 October 2007

Linsey McGoey

Going through the motions

17 October 2007

Gilbert Adair

The Cure

17 October 2007

A poem

Not the place it used to be

17 October 2007

Paul Bew

1.jpg

All together now

17 October 2007

P. J. Kavanagh

Prodigious from the word go

17 October 2007

David Crane

1.jpg

Falling foul of fashion

17 October 2007

Matthew Dennison

1.jpg

The importance of being earnest

17 October 2007

Lloyd Evans

1.jpg

Keeping it green and pleasant

17 October 2007

Emma Tennant

The Godfather of the Steppes

17 October 2007

Jonathan Mirsky

Yard sale

17 October 2007

A poem

The golden writer

17 October 2007

Doris Lessing was last week awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Philip Hensher traces the career of ‘one of the greatest novelists in English’.

The Head

17 October 2007

A poem

1.jpg

Surprising literary ventures

17 October 2007

Gary Dexter

Arts

1.jpg

Packing a punch

17 October 2007

Robert Gore-Langton on why a Sixties satire on the first world war still has enduring power

1.jpg

Restless mind

17 October 2007

Exhibitions 1: Louise Bourgeois

1.jpg

Subversive narrative

17 October 2007

Exhibitions 2: Paula Rego

1.jpg

Less is more

17 October 2007

Theatre: Shadowlands; Cat’s-Paw; Glengarry Glen Ross

Familiar fantasy

17 October 2007

Cinema: Stardust

1.jpg

Indigestible fare

17 October 2007

Opera: King Arthur; Teseo

1.jpg

Blurred boundaries

17 October 2007

Dance: Giselle — on love and other difficulties; Shaker

Competitive edge

17 October 2007

Alan Howard's 70th Birthday (Radio 4), Words and Music (Radio3)

1.jpg

Pointless bickering

17 October 2007

Heroes (BBC 2), The Relief of Belsen (Channel 4)

Life

1.jpg

Life

Live and let let

17 October 2007

When you tell people, they recoil as though jabbed with a lavatory brush. ‘You mean you still actually pay rent?’ is, in middle-class terms, a question akin to: ‘You mean… Read more

Life

Losing our heritage

17 October 2007

Surely, I said, the RAF cannot have bombed them all. No, she said: it was the ‘economic miracle’ which had done for them. Wealthy West Germans had spent the 1960s… Read more

Life

Invest in Budapest

17 October 2007

On a crisp, clear autumn day in Budapest the sun streamed in through tall windows on to the splendid parquet floor of an elegant flat on the east bank of… Read more

1.jpg

Life

Prime time

17 October 2007

‘London House Prices Set to Crash! The Capital’s Property Boom Finally Ends! London Housing Bubble Pops!’ As the reality of the US sub-prime property story leaks across the Atlantic, headline… Read more

1.jpg

Life

Flippin’ amazing

17 October 2007

Here is the scientific formula for calculating London’s top property prices: think of a figure, double it, add a few noughts, and voila! — or should I say nazdarovie, of… Read more

Life

Property porn

17 October 2007

I need help. I’ve got an addiction. It’s reading property magazines and newspaper supplements and watching property programmes on television. I’m not looking for a new flat or house to… Read more

Diversions

Crossword

17 October 2007

http://www.spectator.co.uk/crossword/2007-10-20.pdf

Diversions

Pseuds’ corner

17 October 2007

Who has not stared blankly at a bewildering installation and wondered what the blazes it was all about? Given that ideas are so fundamental to this sort of art, what… Read more

Diversions

Chess

17 October 2007

Why does Fidé, the world chess federation, insist on drug tests for chessplayers? Earlier this year I discussed this problem in the abstract, but after the recently concluded world championship in Mexico… Read more

Toby Young

Status anxiety

I know nothing about rugby, but Jonny Wilkinson is still my favourite quarterback

17 October 2007

‘You’re joking, right?’ The person on the other end of the phone was Grub Smith, a sports-loving friend of mine who I was hoping might get me out of a… Read more

Mind Your Language

Mind your language

Mind your language

17 October 2007

When the postal strike was in full spate we heard quite a bit about ‘Spanish practices’, or at least we did sometimes. On one morning the BBC referred to ‘Spanish… Read more

Spectator sport

Down under and out

17 October 2007

By nice fluke, there has been a heady clash of cultures over the past few days, with comparisons anything but invidious. The intriguing bundle of important international football matches has… Read more

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

17 October 2007

Q. I recently prayed to St Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, in the cause of a friend who was desperately ill. My prayers were answered. I have been… Read more

Diversions

Bridge

17 October 2007

I know I said last week that I was rooting for the US team (which included my friend Zia Mahmood) in this year’s bridge world championships, but that didn’t stop… Read more

High life

High life

Control freaks

17 October 2007

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is as gruesome a fellow as they come. Mind you, he’s not as bad as Governor Eliot Spitzer, but then not every public official is… Read more

Low life

Low life

All in the mind

17 October 2007

The only light came from a reading lamp pointing at the centre of the room. The background music was whale song and randomly plucked harp strings. The room was the… Read more

1.jpg

Life

Bad trip

17 October 2007

Your ordeal starts innocuously enough. ‘Welcome aboard the south east trains service to London Waterloo. This train will be calling at…’ You settle back in your seat and for a… Read more