a n d the captain’s choice tour cordially invite you to tea on Tuesday 8th March in The Spectator Boardroom
Free eVent in association with
The Captain’s Choice Tour, acknowledged leaders in luxury travel to the world’s most remote and exotic destinations, are holding two free presentations, in association with The Spectator, to preview some of our exciting 2011/12 tours. Meet our tour team and The Spectator’s Travel Editor and enjoy a delightful morning or afternoon tea, with our compliments. Spaces are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. Admission by advance RSVP only.
compliments. Spaces are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. Admission by advance
Date: Tuesday 8th March
When: Morning tea & presentation
Morning tea & presentation
10:30am-12:30pm; Afternoon tea & presentation 2pm - 4pm
Where: The Spectator Boardroom,
22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP
INSpIRINg jOURNEYS YOU’LL HEAR AbOUT
Magic of South America by Private
Jet from London
The Silk Route by Private Train up to by Private Train saVe £2000
per couple* Bookby31st March2011
This exceptional 20-day tour explores the iconic sights of South America and the Falkland Islands, including Rio de Janeiro, majestic Iguassu Falls and the incredible lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu. Price £15,950 pp Departs 27 March 2012.
On this 28-day tour you’ll explore the 2,000 year old Silk Route linking Asia and Europe, tracing the footsteps of the legendary explorer Marco Polo, travelling in the comfort of your private train. From £12,375 pp Departures March 2011 to September 2012.
This 17-day tour of Japan provides deep insights into the culture and wonders of this unique country and includes Tokyo, Kyoto, the Samurai town of Kanazawa and a visit to Mount Fuji. From £10,645 pp Departures March 2011 to April 2012.
To reserve your place or for more information call 0845 304 1668 email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.captainschoice.co.uk
*Prices are per person, based on twin share accommodation.Valid for new bookings only made between 22 Jan - 31 March 2011; saving is £1000 per person and applies to 2011 Silk Route tours only; not valid in conjunction with any other offer; subject to availability.
THE LEADER IN LUXURY TRAVEL TO REMOTE & EXOTIC DESTINATIONS Michael Ashcroft
How do you persuade a peer to retire? The question is vexing my friend Tom Strathclyde, Leader of the Lords. There are 830 of us — hard to justify when the Commons is to be cut from 650 to 600. (Also, there isn’t room for everyone to sit.) Lords cannot step down — and if they could, why would they give up an agreeable riverside venue, and some expenses, even if they feel they have done enough legislating for one lifetime? An upper age limit would deprive the nation of much-needed wisdom. Tom says a cash payoff would be quite improper (and anyway, there isn’t any cash). A cull of non-attenders has been suggested, but let me offer a less brutal proposal: from 6 April 2010, all Lords have been treated as resident and domiciled in the UK for tax purposes. Peers had a three-month window in which to leave. Why not do the same thing in reverse? From the start of the new tax year, any peer who left the Lords could be deemed a non-dom and enjoy a virtual tax-free retirement. Simple, tempting (though not for me — I’m staying put), and completely uncostable, so no one can say we can’t afford it — though with the average age of a peer at 68, the revenue foregone would barely register in the national accounts.
Speaking of tax, how much does Polly Toynbee pay over and above what HMRC requires of her? Given her outrage over entrepreneurs like Sir Philip Green, accused of the horrendous crime of legally minimising their tax bills, it must be quite a lot. How do you suppose it works? Does she staple an extra cheque to her Self Assessment form? We can presume she eschews ISAs, pension plans, and any other wicked scheme that would protect her savings from the taxman. Perhaps she just posts cash through the door of the Treasury. However she does it, I’m sure the Chancellor is grateful.
Westminster is exhilarated by the appointment of Tom Baldwin, Ed Miliband’s exciting new media
I received from the paper) is detailed in my 2005 book Dirty Politics, Dirty Times. But now that Mr Baldwin is back in the news, perhaps it is time to dust off some of the morsels I didn’t publish at the time. Meanwhile, let us hope for the sake of civilised political discourse that he has found an alternative way to deal with the pressures of his job.
adviser. As deputy political editor of the Times, Mr Baldwin wrote some quite spectacular untruths as part of a campaign to discredit me in general and, in particular, to implicate me in a drugrunning scandal. This was somewhat ironic, given what he was later witnessed snorting in his paper’s hotel suite at the 2001 Conservative conference. The whole business (including the retraction savoiradvertSPEC59x125:Layout 1 14/9/10
For me, the highlight of last year was the opening of the Lord Ashcroft Gallery at the Imperial War Museum — home to my collection of 168 Victoria Crosses, alongside 48 VCs and 31 George Crosses already held in its permanent collection. The museum has done an absolutely magnificent job displaying the medals and the personal stories behind each decoration. Other artefacts are on view, such as the backpack — or what is left of it — worn by Lance Corporal Matt Croucher GC when he threw himself on to a Taleban grenade in Afghanistan in 2008, smothering the explosion and saving the lives of his comrades. (Remarkably, and thankfully, he survived with few injuries.) I felt the medals, and the accounts of their recipients’ astounding bravery, deserved a wider audience, and it has been a humbling experience to help bring that about.
A bed so sumptuous it’s been
100 years in the making
London 104 Wigmore Street, W1 555 Kings Road, SW6 Harrods, Knightsbridge, SW1
Birmingham 282 Hagley Road, B17
www.savoirbeds.co.uk +44 (0)20 7486 2222
London New York Paris Nice Berlin Prague Moscow
Once again, the call went up at the new year for Bruce Forsyth to be knighted. Some have put the longstanding oversight down to an establishment prejudice against entertainers, but this is not so. In fact, according to well-founded Westminster rumour, he was due to receive a knighthood in 2006 — but this was vetoed by shady political operatives at No. 10, on the grounds that they suspected Brucie of being a Tory. He was downgraded to a CBE. Recipients can be considered for an upgrade after four or five years, so perhaps the new regime will right this monstrous wrong at the next opportunity.
Lord Ashcroft of Chichester is a former deputy chairman of the Conservative party.
the spectator | 12 February 2011 | www.spectator.co.uk