The Spectator

A weekly, UK-based magazine covering current political, economic, and cultural issues. Articles include interviews, commentary, opinion pieces, essays, and cultural criticism.

Articles from January 2007

Ancient & Modern
The country 'needs' more scientists, but no one yet seems able to crack the problem. Ancient attitudes may suggest a way ahead. The earliest Greek 'scientists', c. 600 BC , speculated about how the world was made. They assumed there was a basic stuff...
Brown Will Find That There's More to Foreign Policy Than Disowning Blair
From the moment that the snatched camera-phone footage of Saddam Hussein's execution emerged, it was hideously clear that the sentence had been carried out in a deplorable manner. The Americans immediately briefed that their calls for a delay had been...
Bush's Fate Is Now Entirely Dependent on Iraq
Washington On 5 January the newly installed Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, sent a letter to President Bush. 'News reports suggest, ' the two Democrats wrote, 'that you believe the solution to the civil...
Care for the Dying
From Dr Andrew Lawson Sir: Charles Moore seeks to perpetuate the myth of a 'death threat' for seriously ill patients when going into hospital, alluding to the supposed widespread practice of withholding fluids from sick patients (The Spectator's Notes,...
Confessions of an Oscar Voter
On 16 May 1929 a modest ceremony took place in the Blossom Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. As the age of talkies began, a number of the great and good gathered to partake of squab, lobster, terrapin, salad and fruit suprème before handing out...
Diary
The new year is little more than a week old and while everybody else is no doubt still righteously munching lettuce leaves, joining gyms and going teetotal, I've already broken Personal Resolution Number One: to reduce my carbon footprint. Barely off...
Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody
MONDAY Who would have thought thrift could be so much fun! Am having a ball teaching working people to be careful with their money as part of our 'Live Life For Less' campaign. Obviously we can't actually cut the cost of living or mess about with interest...
Fancy a New Career for 2007? Computer Says No
It has become a cliché of modern political rhetoric and social commentary to declare that the typical 21st-century worker will have not one but several careers. Those in the job market are warned that they will have to be ever more versatile and nimble...
Hope for Iraq
From Dr Duncan Anderson Sir: Correlli Barnett (Letters, 6 January) declares William Shawcross deluded and the Prime Minister deranged. They are, apparently, the only people left in Britain who believe the Iraq intervention to be anything other than...
How at Last We Got It Together
THE NATION'S MANTELPIECE : A HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL GALLERY by Jonathan Conlin Pallas Athene, 42 Spencer Rise, London NW5 1AP, Tel: 0207 692 9984, £24.99, pp. 555, ISBN 1843680181 . £19.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Stand in the Corinthian...
How Cameron Has Made the Tories the Only Party Ready for an Election
The Byron Consort Choir of Harrow School is exacting in its choice of audience. It has sung for popes and for royalty -- and the setting for its performance at Blenheim Palace one night last month was grand enough for either. Trumpeters manned the gates...
In Praise of the Green-Eyed Monster
Like all right-thinking people, I was initially rather dismayed to read about Bafta's decision to drop the current affairs category from its annual television awards. From now on, it seems, current affairs programmes will have to compete against the...
In Search of Genghis Khan
Writing a historical fiction series on Genghis Khan was always going to be a challenge. Mongolia is an alien place, with a hard climate, grinding poverty, rabies and bubonic plague. To write his story, I needed a thousand small details I could not find...
Israel's 'Spin'
From Alex Bigham Sir: Douglas Davis has clearly been spun a good line by some Israeli military analysts if he thinks the Israeli threat to use nuclear bombs against Iran is more than that -- a ruse to scare Iran into returning to the diplomatic table...
It's the Incompetence, Stupid
If a week is a long time in politics, then 13 years is a positive eternity. In 1994 it emerged that the new Leader of the Opposition, Tony Blair, had sent his eldest child, Euan, to the London Oratory School -- a school that had opted out of town hall...
Keep Your Neuroses to Yourself
One of the things I find most offensive about the modern world is the way everyone so easily takes offence. A friend tried it on me the other day in an email which quite ruined my morning. 'I think u have been quite rude to be honest, ' she said, and...
Luminous Serenity
Shanti Panchal: In the Mind's Eye Chelmsford Museum, Oaklands Park, Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, until 18 February Born in Gujarat, western India, in 1951, Shanti Panchal studied art in Bombay before coming to London on a British Council scholarship...
More on More
From Sir Rowland Whitehead Bt Sir: Julian Brazier puts the case for Thomas More (Letters, 6 January). May I respond? In the clash between two passionate men, More poured seething, and at times almost scatological, venom on Tyndale; the latter replied...
Not What Europe Wants to Hear
AMERICA ALONE by Mark Steyn Regnery Publishing, £15.99, pp. 256, ISBN 0895260786 . £12.79 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Between the revolution and the firing squad, a Russian aristocrat once observed, there is always time for a bottle of champagne....
Open for Business Again - Thanks to Mom-and-Pop Stores and Voluntourists
New Orleans always had a split personality. There was the picture-postcard city that visitors enjoyed: lovely, languid, funky, obsessed with food and music and bon temps, in the local parlance. Then there was workaday New Orleans, home to poverty that...
Perfect Manners
Winston Churchill's secretary John Colville records that one of the first signs that the great man's phenomenal memory was beginning to fail him, and that dementia was setting in, was when he made the intriguing faux pas of addressing a man by the name...
Radio Days
Ruminating here a couple of weeks ago on those whom the wretched reaper had gaily swiped down last year, Christmas deadlines had a trio of significant hall-of-famers missing: both the Oz horseman Scobie Breasley and the British runner Sydney Wooderson...
Royal Dazzler
The Last King of Scotland 15, Nationwide This film will knock your little socks off. In fact, it knocked my own little socks off so comprehensively that I'm still searching for them. I think it may have even knocked them to Sheffield. But you mustn't...
Shared Hardship
If Sean Langan isn't the bravest, best and most likeable foreign correspondent on TV, I don't know who is. And what a bumper week this has been for his admirers. On Monday, a Dispatches documentary (Fighting the Taleban, Channel 4) about the six-day...
Sing the Unsingable
Everybody needs a new catchphrase from time to time, even Sir Cliff Richard. 'I think I'm the most radical pop star around, ' he now tells most interviewers (or words to that effect), clearly reasoning that his evangelical Christianity, celibacy and...
Slums in the Sky?
ESTATES : AN INTIMATE HISTORY by Lynsey Hanley Granta, £12, pp. 244, ISBN 1862079099 . £10 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Just after dawn on 16 May 1968, on the 18th floor of a block of pre-cast, system-built flats in Cleaver Road, Canning Town,...
Small Is Beautiful
My grandfather used to enjoy eating ortolans in Biarritz, sometimes in the company of Rudyard Kipling. In London, it amused him to ask for these little birds of the bunting family when dining at the Savoy, though I don't think they were ever on the...
Space Invaders
A visit to the Holbein exhibition at Tate Britain last week taught me something new: interest in serious culture has reached epidemic proportions. I don't think I've stood in the same room with the same density of people around me since I last queued...
That Damned, Elusive Prussian
TIP AND RUN : THE UNTOLD TRAGEDY OF THE GREAT WAR IN AFRICA by Edward Paice Orion, £25, pp. 488, ISBN 9780297847090 . £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 'Gott for damn, Rhoades, vos you drunk?' was the indignant outcry of Captain Berndt, as he rowed...
The Law Can't Force Me to Love Other People, and It Shouldn't Try
I have often thought about opening a bed and breakfast establishment, but am discouraged from doing so by two important considerations. First, I live in a place which no sane person would wish to visit voluntarily. And second, I dislike so many different...
The New Year Hangover of Debt
Last week, Britons staggered into 2007 more hungover and overdrawn than ever before. According to separate research by Mintel and Creditaction, the average consumer downed 137 units of alcohol between Christmas and New Year -- nearly four times his,...
The Other Side of Silence
CAGE TALK by Peter Dickinson University of Rochester Press, £25, pp. 296, ISBN 9781580462372 Asked by a journalist whether he went to the opera, John Cage replied, 'No, I listen to the traffic.' The remark, often quoted, was less sententious than this...
The Real 3G Phone Boom: It's about Girls, Girls, Girls
Suppose you have 15 minutes to while away waiting for the train. Why not pull out your mobile phone, punch in your pin number and download a Playboy movie for as little as £5? Not interested? Of course you're not; you're a Spectator reader, for heaven's...
The Spectator's Notes
Obviously Ruth Kelly is a 'hypocrite', but the hypocrites in her party are more admirable than the consistent ones. At least the former show some human feeling. There must be Labour ministers who know that their children would be better off in a private...
To Flee or Not to Flee
TIME TO EMIGRATE ? by George Walden Gibson Square Books, £8.99, pp. 233, ISBN 1903933935 . £7.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 'Why is no one talking about what is happening in our country?' demands the splash across the front cover of the latest...
Vintage Tony
Gstaad About 20 years or so ago, Tony Lambton, the mother of my children and I drove from Siena to Florence in my brand-new Audi Quattro. Our destination was La Pietra, Sir Harold Acton's Florentine marvel of a villa, where the great man was expecting...
Where Are the Women?
Those pictures of Nancy Pelosi, the new Speaker in the House of Representatives in Washington, celebrating her accession to power surrounded by her husband, children and grandchildren were mightily encouraging. She may have used her husband's money...
Why We Need No-Frills, Low-Cost Private Schools
If you ever happen to find yourself teaching an economics class at a private school, here's a question you could write on the blackboard. Which industry manages to keep pushing up its prices faster than inflation, and expanding its market share at the...
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.