Fuel consumption figures for Saab 9-3 Range in mpg (litres/100km): Urban 22.4 – 50.4 (12.6 – 5.6), Extra-urban 40.9 – 72.4 (6.9 – 3.9), Combined 31.4 – 62.8 (9.0 – 4.5). CO2 emissions 209 – 119g/km. Model shown is a 9-3 Aero Saloon 1.9TTiD (180HP) Manual at £26,995 OTR. 119g/km CO2 emissions relate to MY12 9-3 SportWagon and Saloon SE manual diesel engines only.
There is a time and place for compromise. This is neither.
The Saab 9-3 range has evolved. New, more efficient petrol engines and a twin turbo diesel range that offers low 119g/km CO2 with class-leading 180HP performance, are beautifully complemented by refreshed styling, inside and out. Add the generous array of standard equipment you’ve come to expect from Saab and every detail is covered. Prices start from just £21,505. We like to think of this as fine tuning at its finest. To find out more or book a test drive call 0845 900 9395, text ‘NEW 93’ to 84118 or visit saab.co.uk
The new enhanced Saab 9-3 Charles Moore
Before we leave the subject of the News of the World, I must take issue with the idea that its closure is necessarily a loss to the cause of a free press (however sad it may be for its staff). For as long as I can remember — which is roughly since Rupert Murdoch bought it in 1969 — the News of the World has been one of the most lowering features of British life. The late Auberon Waugh used to insist that it was read only by people whose main leisure activity was self-abuse. This must be hard to prove — I don’t suppose it is a question asked of focus groups — but it is certain that the paper’s main purpose was pornographic. Nor, for the most part, was it good honest pornography — pretty, topless women smiling gamely out at the poor lonely men who bought it. Its pornography was of the much more sinister kind which uses disapproval as a cover for filth and mistakes the kinky desire to punish others as a symptom of morality. It was never more revolting than when campaigning against paedophiles. In the paper’s farewell edition last Sunday, almost its proudest boast was how it had fought for ‘Sarah’s Law’ to establish ‘the crucial right of parents to information about paedophiles living in their area’. This campaign was, in effect, an incitement to mob violence. It is wholly fitting that it was the paper’s prurient interest in the young girls whose cause it claimed to espouse — in this case, Milly Dowler — which brought it down.
L ooking through all the old Murdochera front pages which the paper displayed last Sunday, I could find no exclusive — with the exception of the one which exposed Jeffrey Archer’s perjury — which really did any good. The rest was just boring pictures of footballers and TV stars taking cocaine, or unpleasantness about the royal family, including a gloriously hypocritical one in which the paper attacked Major James Hewitt for trying to sell Diana’s love letters and then revealed what was in them. All my adult life, whenever I have been to a newsagent or garage on a Sunday, I have been depressed by the view of life screaming from the News of the World headlines visible there.
Words like ‘rat’, ‘cheat’, ‘shame’, ‘beast’, ‘scum’ reflect an utterly miserable picture of human existence. It is not a sufficient defence to say that most of those depicted were indeed rats, cheats etc. We are taught ‘Hate the sin and love the sinner’. Papers like the News of the World reverse this. They have no abhorrence of sin at all, but they hate sinners — in other words, the whole human race — and persecute their chosen victims with the implacable cruelty which always lies behind populism and sentimentality.
The other thing so apparent from the paper’s final edition was how it has got worse. The early- and mid-20th-century front pages which it reprinted had plenty of text and informative headlines which used now-impossible words like ‘accession’, ‘readiness’, and ‘allegiance’. By the end of the century, the total number of words on the front was down to about 25, and the subjects treated had reduced to sex, drugs and football (usually in combination). Defenders of such papers always say how ‘robustly’ they advance the cause of the many against the few, but in fact they have retarded it. They do their best to create what Marxists call ‘false consciousness’ among the many, while their owners and bosses establish collusive relationships with the powerful. This problem goes much wider than the News of the World, of course, but its closure is at least a start. To sum it all up in a red-top headline; ‘good bloody riddance’.
At our hunt’s annual puppy show on Sunday, however, there was consternation at the possible fall of Rebekah Brooks. This is nothing to do with the rights and wrongs of the BSkyB bid, and all to do with her husband Charlie. Charlie, a hero in equestrian circles, is a male version of R.S. Surtees’s Miss Lucy Glitters. ‘Oh, throw your heart over it, and follow it as quickly as you can,’ is his motto. His raffish charm and gifts as a love-god persuaded Rebekah to do just that. She married him and took his name — a very unusual decision for a modern woman already famous in her own right — and, after a bit of foot-following, decided that the hunting ban was a rotten idea, thus changing the line of the Sun on the subject. Pitched into political circles for the first time, Charlie spent the dying days of New Labour upbraiding people like Gordon Brown about the ban. It was he who introduced Rebekah to the nowexcoriated Chipping Norton set, where the word ‘hacking’ has — or had — a more innocent meaning. There she and David Cameron mingled, the Murdoch executive perhaps seeking social advancement, the Conservative leader seeking to get the voice of ‘ordinary people’ on his side. If Surtees were still alive, he would turn it all into a wonderful novel. Everyone at the puppy show was praying that, whatever happens, Charlie will stay in the saddle. The prize for the best working bitch was won by a hound called Ruthless. I decided to sponsor her.
Here is a cautionary tale for those who get titles wrong. Sir Paul Judge generously endowed the Judge Institute of Management in Cambridge. A commemorative plaque was put up in honour of himself and his wife. The Institute wanted it to be to ‘Sir Paul and Lady Judge’, but Sir Paul wanted it to be to ‘Sir Paul and Lady Anne Judge’, despite its incorrectness (Lady Judge, not being the daughter of a duke, marquess or earl, was not ‘Lady Anne’). After a short dispute, the Institute decided to humour him. Then, sadly, Sir Paul got divorced, and remarried, his new wife being called Barbara. He went back to the Institute, and asked that it revert to the original plan for the plaque, quietly removing the word ‘Anne’. But the Institute took the view that Anne, Lady Judge had herself made a considerable contribution to its work and should stay. So there the first couple remain, locked together for posterity, a mistitled mésalliance.
the spectator | 16 July 2011 | www.spectator.co.uk