Over in Notting Hill, at England & Co., 216 Westbourne Grove, W11 (until 12 June), is a fascinating retrospective of that underrated painter Albert Herbert (born 1925). Herbert studied at the Royal College of Art with the Kitchen Sink painters, Bratby, Middleditch et al., but was less drawn to gritty social realism than to an art altogether more symbolic and concerned with states of mind. (‘Art is not about meanings but feelings,’ he has said.
France gave back artefacts looted by Napoleon. So what’s different today? asks Martin Gayford‘Give us back our marbles’ is the cry. Passionate demands are made for the return of famous works of ancient sculpture. In response, there is equally heated resistance. Sending them back would be an offence against civilisation, it would break up a great collection. Only in a mighty museum in a sophisticated metropolis can such works truly make sense.
A perfect market is a utopian ideal of economists. In such a market, accurate information is instantly available to all, there are no barriers to trade, participants may be buyers or sellers, and there are no middlemen. But it is generally accepted that such perfection cannot exist in practice — the concept is merely a useful theoretical construct. However, I believe that the game of marbles as played at the Dragon School in Oxford in the 1950s came very close to being just such a perfect market.
James Delingpole gives both barrels to the ‘pea-brained’ isolationists who fill the papers — even The Spectator — with their defeatist snivellingAnyone who has ever smoked will be familiar with that awful sinking feeling you get when, one by one, your fellow nicotine-addict friends start to quit. United you feel strong, happy, immune to the finger-wagging of health fascists and probably even to lung cancer, secure in the knowledge that for all their minor defects, tabs are basically great and possibly better than sex.
Sir Crispin Tickell tells Mary Wakefield that George Bush’s ‘illegal’ war has brought shame on us allI’m on the telephone, talking to the editor of this magazine, trawling for last-minute background information, when Sir Crispin Tickell, GCMG, KCVO, our former ambassador to the UN, appears in the doorway. He looks alert, beaky, sleek, like a smallish, zoo-kept hawk. ‘Well, his middle name is Cervantes, does that help?’ says the voice in my ear.
Peter Oborne reveals that an operation has been launched within the White House to protect the President’s most important ally, and that the Tories are under pressure to give the Prime Minister an easy rideF or months Westminster has been alive with talk about the potential damage that defeat for George Bush in this November’s Presidential contest would inflict on Tony Blair’s standing in the Labour party.