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 Vol. 298, No. 9235, 2005

A Beatitude of Books
A beatitude of books A READING DIARY: A PASSIONATE READER'S REFLECTIONS ON A YEAR OF BOOKS by Alberto Manguel Canongate, £12.99, pp. 253, ISBN 1841956384 * £11.99 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848Alberto Manguel, novelist and essayist, is a bookman...
A Call for Sir Nicholas Goodison to Save the Stock Exchange for the Nation
We need a fund for the preservation of financial monuments. Sir Nicholas Goodison - successively chairman of the Stock Exchange, the TSB and the National Art Collections Fund - would be just the man to head it. My fund would have saved Cazenove for the...
Boosting the Gangsters
The speed with which the government propitiated republican opinion since last week's so-called declaration of peace by the IRA suggests a prepared strategy. Within days of this palpably insincere protestation of peace and goodwill the watch-towers were...
Celebrating William Blake
St Mary-at-Lambeth, built beside the walls of the Archbishop's Palace, was once the parish church of Lambeth, until it fell into disuse in 1972. Thankfully, this handsome building was rescued from demolition some five years later by the foundation of...
Chess Man
The Smith & Williamson British Chess Championship is under way on the Isle of Man. The favourite this year is undoubtedly the defending champion, Scottish grandmaster Jonathan Rowson, who will be seeking to repeat his success of last year, walking...
Cleopatra's Nose Again
Cleopatra's nose again MAKING IT UP by Penelope Lively Penguin/Viking, £16.99, pp. 247, ISBN 0670915793 * £14.99 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848In these eight stories Penelope Lively imagines how her life - and the lives of her relatives - could have...
Desecrating Europe's Most Beautiful Mountains in the Name of Sport
Do you ski? And do you sign petitions against wind turbines too? Yes? Then how dare you? How dare anyone who claims to care about mountain landscapes object to a row of graceful white blades turning slowly on the skyline, then jet off to enjoy the wreckage...
Diary
I have recently returned from a fortnight spent floating around the Baltic. Because of global warming which seems to be making the Mediterranean very hot - and cheap air travel (which seems to be making it very crowded) I have long suspected that the...
From the Inside Looking Out
From the inside looking out DEATH AT THE HANDS OF THE STATE by David Wilson Howard League for Penal Reform, £12.95, pp. 143, ISBN 0903683784Consider this. Does lightning ever strike twice in the same place? Along the magnolia corridors of the most expensive...
Hot Seats
Choosing where to sit at the start of a new rubber - the privilege of whoever cuts the highest card - is something most bridge players take deadly seriously. There are few of us who don't insist on changing seats if we've just lost, or staying put if...
Irresistible Nights
OperaIrresistible nightsThe Merry Wives of WindsorBuxtonAndrea ChénierHolland ParkNicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor is something I have been longing to see for the whole of my opera-going life. No one, surely, can fail to fall in love with the overture,...
Just the Ticket
Kate Middleton is a Home Counties brunette with pretty, if not quite supermodel, features who has been Prince William's girlfriend for just over two years, and naturally speculation is flourishing that she will one day be his Queen. The couple are now...
King of the Sprint
After last Saturday's Stewards' Cup, trainer Dandy Nicholls was bouncing around the unsaddling enclosure like one of those rubber balls one always coveted as a child: small and perfectly formed but hard and indestructible, too. He carries several stones...
Letters
The evil of HiroshimaFrom A.N. WilsonSir: Andrew Kenny's article on the blessedness of dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima had an unpleasant whiff of 1945 propaganda ('Giving thanks for Hiroshima', 30 July). He seems to base his views on his own visits...
Marriage À la Mode
Marriage à la mode TAKE A GIRL LIKE ME by Diana Melly Chatto, £14.99, pp. 280, ISBN 0701179066 * £12.99 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848It is surely rare to find a book that describes a marriage with such breathtaking intimacy as Diana Melly does in...
Muslims Are Right about Britain
Many moderate Muslims believe that much of Britain is decadent. They are right. Mr Blair says that the fanatics who want to blow us up despise us, but he won't admit that their decent co-religionists - who are the best hope of undermining the extremists...
New Squawk
While Rudy Giuliani's zero tolerance policy took care of crime, the Audubon Society, America's RSPB, which celebrates its centenary this year, has been taking care of the birds. After decades when the only bird life that flourished in Manhattan was of...
Picture of Health
The crowded hour I spent at The Spectator summer party was prefaced by nine convivial hours on the terrace of a pub at Liverpool Street station that ended with spontaneous community singing. The next morning I put on sunglasses and wobbled along to see...
Protecting the Infant Republic
Protecting the infant republic THE TERROR: CIVIL WAR IN THE FRENCH REVOLUTION by David Andress Little, Brown, £20, pp. 437, ISBN 0316861812 * £18 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848Ever since Edmund Burke deserted the liberalism that had distinguished...
Pure Pleasure
I was packing for our holidays on the Ile de Ré in France, when my son Edward, 12, turned an inquiring eye on the CDs I was taking. Three of these were extraordinarily naff-looking compilations called the Best Air Guitar Album in the World . . . Ever!,...
Sinatra and the Mob
The height of summer is celebrated by the television networks telling us things we already know. Such as, Frank Sinatra was in hock to the Mafia. Actually, Sinatra: Dark Star (shown on Thursday, BBC1, though made as a co-production with American, German...
Spite and Envy
On board S/Y BushidoWith plenty of time on my hands to read - television and DVDs are forbidden on board although both are available - I am shocked at the severity, downright viciousness, in fact, of the reviews about my two old friends, Jimmy Goldsmith...
Stolen Tory Votes
Matters could scarcely look worse for the Conservative party. Its immediate predicament means that it is incapable of opposition, and Tony Blair has rarely looked more confident. But there is still a strange belief in Tory circles that everything will...
Suffering for Art
Having to give concerts on jetlag is a requirement of modern touring. Gone are the days when promoters would pay for their artists to arrive several days before an event in order to acclimatise. Longer gone are the days when artists travelled between...
The Emperor's Real Clothes
The Emperor's real clothes DRESSED TO RULE: ROYAL AND COURT COSTUME FROM LOUIS XIV TO ELIZABETH II by Philip Mansel Yale, £19.95, pp. 237, ISBN 0300106971Like Philip Mansel I am a passionate believer in the importance of trivia in history, or rather...
The Home of Jihad
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, aristocrat by temperament, catholic in taste, sectarian in politics, and the father of Pakistan, was the unlikeliest parent that an Islamic republic could possibly have. He was the most British of the generation of Indians that won...
The Write Stuff
Some of the Australian cricketers, it seems, are cagey about sport's time-honoured hobby of autograph collecting. At Highbury stadium new signs order you never to approach Arsenal players for autographs. There was a minor fuss at the Open golf when Tiger...
War Balls
At times like this you look for clarity of purpose from your government. And what you get, instead, is Hazel Blears. This is what our junior Home Office minister had to say on the Today programme about police stop-and-search operations. Should Muslims...
Watching over Whicker
Alan Whicker has entertained the nation since he appeared on the pioneering Tonight programme on BBC television in the late 1950s. Apart from the way he looked - unfashionable moustache, slicked-down hair and a London twang much lampooned by satirists...
Web of Deceit
Theatre 2Web of deceitSejanus: His FallSwan Theatre, Stratford-upon-AvonThe Comedy of ErrorsRoyal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-AvonThe other day on Radio Four David Hare set one of his namesakes running when he remarked that the RSC was 'completely...
Welcome, an American Pepys
Welcome, an American Pepys JUDGE SEWALL'S APOLOGY: THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS AND THE FORMING OF A CONSCIENCE by Richard Francis Fourth Estate, £20, pp. 412, ISBN 1841156760 * £18 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848Samuel Sewall, the subject of this biography,...
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