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When gardens suck, p24

‘It’s the nosey neighbour.’ (More neighbours on p43)

The surgeon’s art, p41

THE WEEK

5 Leading article 9 Portrait of the Week 11 Diary Lynn Barber 12 Politics James Forsyth 13 The Spectator’s Notes 19 Rod Liddle 20 Barometer 24 Ancient and modern 26 Hugo Rifkind 27 Letters 30 Any other business Martin Vander Weyer

BOOKS & ARTS

14 Planet London Britain and its capital city are now totally unalike Neil O’Brien 15 Matthew Sweeney ‘A Pig in God’s Ear’: a poem 16 Murder in Chongqing The killing of Neil Heywood and the fall of Bo Xilai Jonathan Fenby 20 Sweden’s secret weapon

A successful, tax-cutting finance minister Fraser Nelson 22 Plucking heartstrings

Why I’m proud to be a banjo player Peter McKay 24 Please shut the gates

The case against the National Gardens Society Anne Wareham spring Books special 32 A.N. Wilson Seasons in the Sun, by Dominic Sandbrook 34 Andrew Taylor A Foreign Country, by Charles Cummings 35 Peter Blegvad Turing’s Cathedral, by George Dyson 36 William Waldegrave The Last Crusade, by Nigel Cliff 37 Peter Oborne Pakistan on the Brink, by Ahmed Rashid Keith Baxter Luck and Circumstance, by Michael Lindsay-Hogg 38 Fleur Adcock ‘Finding Elizabeth Rainbow’: a poem 39 Eugene Rogan Sandstorm, by Lindsey Hilsum 40 Kate Saunders Preface to An Academic Question, by Barbara Pym 41 Honor Clerk The Healing Presence of Art, by Richard Cork

42 Charles Allen The Naga Queen, by Vicky Thomas 43 Penelope Lively Cheek by Jowl, by Emily Cockayne James Walton Jubilee Lines, edited by Carol Ann Duffy

Cover by Morten Morland. Drawings by Michael Heath, Castro, Kyle T. Webster, Nick Downes, Adam Singleton, Geoff Thompson, Bernie, Tony Husband, Holland, Rob Murray, Chris Madden, K.J. Lamb, Warner, NAF, Mazurke, McLachlan, RR and Nick Newman. www.spectator.co.uk To subscribe to The Spectator for £104 a year, turn to page 27 Editorial and advertising The Spectator, 22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP, Tel: 020 7961 0200, Fax: 020 7681 3773, Email: editor@spectator.co.uk (editorial); letters@spectator.co.uk (for publication); advertising@spectator.co.uk (advertising); Advertising enquiries: 020 7961 0219 Advertising fax: 020 7681 3773 Subscription and delivery queries Spectator Subscriptions Dept., 800 Guillat Avenue, Kent Science Park, Sittingbourne ME9 8GU; Tel: 01795 592886 Fax: 0870 220 0290; Email: spectator@servicehelpline.co.uk Newsagent queries Spectator Circulation Dept, 22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP, Tel: 020 7961 0200, Fax: 020 7681 3773, Email: dstam@spectator.co.uk Distributor COMAG Specialist, Tavistock Works, Tavistock Road, West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 7QX Vol 318; no 9581 © The Spectator (1828) Ltd. ISSN 0038-6952 The Spectator is published weekly by The Spectator (1828) Ltd at 22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP Editor: Fraser Nelson

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the spectator | 14 april 2012 | www.spectator.co.uk Capital letters, p14

45 Cressida Connolly Skios, by Michael Frayn

Bookends Lewis Jones Arts 47 Michael Kennedy remembers the ‘unforgettable’

Kathleen Ferrier 48 Pop Marcus Berkmann 50 Exhibitions Keith Vaughan; Robin Ironside

Andrew Lambirth 51 Memories of Robin

Virginia Ironside 53 Opera Rigoletto; Verdi Requiem; Parsifal

Michael Tanner Theatre The King’s Speech;

A Warsaw Melody Lloyd Evans 55 Cinema The Cabin in the Woods

Deborah Ross 56 Radio Kate Chisholm 57Television James Delingpole Culture notes Peter Robins

Two sides of Robin Ironside, p50 & p51

Learning to love the banjo, p22

LIFE

Life 61 High life Taki Low life Jeremy Clarke 63 Real life Melissa Kite 64The turf Robin Oakley 65 Bridge Susanna Gross

And finaly . . . 66 Chess Raymond Keene 67 Competition; Crossword 68Status anxiety Toby Young Dave Michael Heath 69 The Wiki ManRory Sutherland Your problems solved Mary Killen 70 Drink BruceAnderson Mind your language Dot Wordsworth

I now have 8,000 Twitter followers. I suppose if I tweeted in favour of boiling kittens, I could get a million Lynn Barber, p11

Gardens exist simply as inspiration for other gardens. It is as if the only reason we would read a novel is to take examples from it of what words we would use in our own Anne Wareham, p24

Mary Whitehouse and Margaret Thatcher are like the Norns in Wagner, themselves part of the destructive tale A.N. Wilson, p32

Contributors

Matthew Sweeney, whose poem ‘A Pig in God’s Ear’ appears on p. 15, has a new collection, Horse Music, out from Bloodaxe early next year.

Jonathan Fenby, who writes on p. 16 about the death of Neil Heywood and the fall of Bo Xilai, has just published Tiger Head Snake Tails: China Today.

Eugene Rogan is a Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford and author of The Arabs: A History. He reviews Lindsey Hilsum’s account of the fall of Gaddafi on p. 39.

the spectator | 14 april 2012 | www.spectator.co.uk

Charles Allen has recently published Ashoka: The Search for India’s Lost Emperor. On p. 42, he recalls Ursula Graham Bower, a woman who hated being compared to Lawrence of Arabia.

Penelope Lively’s many books include Family Album and How It All Began. On p. 43, she reviews a history of neighbours.

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