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James Delingpole

Global scepticism

Great news, guys. Thanks to Live Earth (BBC1 and BBC2, most of last Saturday), recycling is up by almost 6,000 per cent, the icecaps are regenerating, Kilimanjaro has got its snow back and polar bear experts are reporting that the latest batch of cubs are whiter, cuter and fluffier than at any time since records

People power | 14 July 2007

If this column has any overarching theme, it’s that critics know nothing and shouldn’t be trusted. (Which obviously applies to me as much as to anyone.) But this intransigent suspicion of mine does create difficulties. In the never-ending search for the next fantastic record I didn’t know existed, I will look anywhere and consult anyone

Blood wedding

Theatre people know why America invaded Iraq. To secure the West’s supply of angry plays. Here’s the latest, Baghdad Wedding, which opens with a US pilot mistaking a nuptial party for a column of enemy tanks and — whoopsidaisy — opening fire. Bride and groom are wiped out. Their relatives go into mourning. Then the

Blunt edges

I’m not quite sure which of the political weeklies has been the inspiration for His Master’s Voice, the new comedy series on Radio Four (Wednesdays) set in the offices of a true blue magazine, but I can assure you that life at The Blue Touch bears little resemblance to The Spectator. No one at Blue

Danger, baddie, magic…

Don’t care about Harry Potter. Don’t care about the children who love him. Don’t care about the middle-aged weirdos who read the books on the Tube. (Some muggles are too dumb for shame, even.) Don’t care about J.K. Rowling, although I will ask this about her: why does she always look so miserable? If you

Musical nonsense

My first visit to the made-over Royal Festival Hall was to see a semi-staged production of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. It wasn’t an artistic success, as could be judged from the extravagantly genial response of the audience, roaring with laughter that had no trace of nervousness, and applauding one number after another. Sweeney is a failure

Out of this world | 14 July 2007

Masquerade: the work of James Ensor (1860–1949) It’s hard to imagine a more unlikely place for a James Ensor exhibition than the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight, the squeaky-clean temple to Edwardian taste in art founded by Viscount Leverhulme on the profits of soap. Among the fragrant creations of Millais, Holman Hunt, Burne-Jones,

Serious matters

‘Heath Robinson’s Helpful Solutions’ and ‘Metavisual Tachiste Abstract’ I went with high hopes to the Cartoon Museum. Actually, I think the appellation ‘museum’ rather grand for a couple of rooms off a back street in Bloomsbury, particularly when the real thing — the British Museum — is just round the corner. Still, I can applaud

More of everything

Peter Phillips on Nicholas Kenyon’s Proms swansong and a lost masterpiece Nicholas Kenyon’s swansong at the Proms this summer is surely the most elaborately complicated, one might say contrapuntally conceived, series of concerts ever staged. Just reading the blurb makes one’s head spin — so many themes, so many anniversaries, so many reasons for paying