13/09/2014
13 Sep 2014

Scotland, please stay

13 Sep 2014

Scotland, please stay

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Features
The Spectator
‘Please, stay with us’: the best of Spectator readers’ letters to Scottish voters

[audioplayer src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_11_Sept_2014_v4.mp3" title="Fraser Nelson, Tom Holland and Leah McLaren discuss how we can still save the Union" startat=50] Listen [/audioplayer]At 9.30 p.m. last Saturday news broke that Scotland’s ‘yes’ campaign had established its first opinion poll lead. Since then, the country has been confronting the possibility of its impending dissolution.

‘Please, stay with us’: the best of Spectator readers’ letters to Scottish voters
Sean Thomas
Countries shape character (so get ready to like Scots less)

[audioplayer src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_11_Sept_2014_v4.mp3" title="Fraser Nelson, Tom Holland and Leah McLaren discuss how we can still save the Union" startat=50] Listen [/audioplayer]As I write this, I am sitting outside a weinhaus in Kaub, a half-timbered town on the wooded slopes of the middle Rhine. If you don’t know the place, I recommend a visit: the scenery is lovely, the hiking is fine, and the Riesling is great (they have to handpick the grapes, like peasants in a Brueghel painting, because the river-ine vineyards are too steep for machines).

Countries shape character (so get ready to like Scots less)
Nicky Haslam
A summer’s social whirl, from Bette Midler to Satan

This summer brought highs and lows, sadness and laughter, some irritating, some exhilarating. I was fortunate to be uplifted by an encounter with Leslie Bonham Carter, a remarkable woman who seems quite British but is in fact American. She is the daughter of Condé Nast, who founded the company that bears his name. He was born 145 years ago, in 1869. Leslie witnessed the full glamour of 1930s America.

A summer’s social whirl, from Bette Midler to Satan
Jenny Mccartney
So, Ken Livingstone, do you like Boris personally? ‘No’

I am standing outside Ken Livingstone’s family home in a pleasant row of terraces in the multi-ethnic, north-west London suburb of Willesden Green (commemorated in the novel White Teeth by the novelist Zadie Smith, perhaps the most widely celebrated daughter of the parish). If the authenticity of a Labour politician’s socialism can be gauged by the size of his house after leaving office, then Livingstone certainly has the edge on Tony Blair: it’s a long way from the hauteur of Blair’s main residence in Connaught Square.

So, Ken Livingstone, do you like Boris personally? ‘No’
Brian Lara
Brian Lara: Why I’m helping build a cricket stadium in Rwanda

Twenty years ago, in 1994, I had a golden summer. I scored 375 against England in Antigua, a Test record that stood for nine years, and two months later I posted 501 against Durham, which remains today the world record in first-class cricket, as my team Warwickshire achieved an unprecedented domestic treble. I was in my mid-twenties, and of course I was very happy, but I was also very aware that in another part of the world, a great tragedy was unfolding.

Brian Lara: Why I’m helping build a cricket stadium in Rwanda
Boris Johnson
The secrets of London’s Athenian golden age

I had a misspent youth. During the period when most normal adolescents were playing Grand Theft Auto or discovering ten interesting facts about Pamela Anderson, I am afraid that I would take the tube by myself — aged about 13 — and visit the British Museum. I would walk through the cat-headed Egyptians and the cloven-hoofed Babylon-ians and the typewriter-bearded Assyrians, and all the other savage and ludicrous Near Eastern divinities, until I penetrated the innermost and holiest shrine of London’s greatest cultural temple, the Duveen galleries.

The secrets of London’s Athenian golden age
Merryn Somerset-Webb
What it means for your savings if Scotland votes yes

[audioplayer src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_11_Sept_2014_v4.mp3" title="Fraser Nelson, Tom Holland and Leah McLaren discuss how we can still save the Union" startat=50] Listen [/audioplayer]I bet that until a few days ago you thought the referendum in Scotland was a mildly amusing sideshow. Perhaps you still do. Perhaps you are convinced that the ‘silent majority’ that Better Together are so sure will step up to the plate at the last minute really exist.

What it means for your savings if Scotland votes yes
Matthew Lynn
How to Ed-proof your portfolio

It was 2 May 1997. Not only was most of the country celebrating the election of a bright young Kennedy-esque Prime Minister called Tony Blair, so too, perhaps more surprisingly, were the champagne-swilling Thatcherites of the City of London. As the government took office, the FTSE 100 index climbed up to 4,455, and it was to carry on rising over the next few months, reaching 5,193 by the year’s end.

How to Ed-proof your portfolio
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