10 NOVEMBER 1990

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The Spectator

No merger S it Geoffrey Howe resigned from the Cabinet over the Prime Minister's attitude to Europe. In the resultant Cabinet reshuf- fle Kenneth Clarke was appointed Educa-...

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i would stay for an answer, which is a natural reaction. What is a just war? What is a just peace? When these questions are asked the usual reply is a dismissive laugh. But an...

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I t is no good blaming Mrs Shirley Wil- liams for the failure of most MPs and nearly all lobby correspondents to under- stand the rules for the Conservative lead- ership...

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Mrs Thatcher's honesty on Europe is the best policy CHARLES MOORE 0 ne reads quite often (I think I have Written it myself) that the issue of Europe is an excuse for the...

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`Consensus', argues Noel Malcolm, has little to do with Europe, and even less to do with Sir Geoffrey Howe `I WOULD far rather see us in the Community exerting influence, as...

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TRAGIC EVENTS As in 'rebuilding confidence after the tragic events of 4 June,' the phrase appears consistently in Foreign Office material that is in- serted in the press. Lovers...

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Robert Blake thinks Mrs Thatcher should listen to her critics, or face disunity and defeat HISTORICALLY the great strength of the Conservatives has been to avoid schism and...

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Charles Glass on the appalling results if Saddam Hussein uses gas Napoleon never ceased complaining to Kutu- zov and to the Emperor Alexander that the war was being conducted...

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John Simpson waits to be bombed in the capital of Iraq Baghdad THE 4.40 race at the Baghdad Horse- manship Ground would, according to the small, seedy man in thick spectacles...


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Michael Heath

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A reader received this letter explaining the one he received from the 'Ann Camp Customer Postal Service' (Unlet- tered, 27 October). Dear Sir: We are sorry for the letter which...

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Anne McElvoy meets the communist who announced the end of the Berlin Wall Berlin `THE ninth of November? Don't talk to me about the ninth of November: I'll be glad when it's...

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Michael Lewis finally meets the Emperor of Japan, who is to be crowned on Monday MY INVITATION to meet the Emperor of Japan came this summer, as I sat alone in a squalid hotel...

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Peter Mullen on the way the Church of England has trivialised death FUNERALS are not what they used to be. I went to a hospital chapel to pay last respects to a friend's...

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The press: Paul Johnson recalls an oldfriend and former Spectator editor GEORGE Gale belonged to an en- dangered species, the educated journalist. His English was superb:...

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If symptoms

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persist . . . LAST week a patient arrived dressed like the late Enid Starkie, in all the colours of the Rimbaud. To put it another way, she reminded me rather of the Perdita...

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Markets vainly wish that politics would learn to leave them alone CHRISTOPHER FILDES H ow markets wish that politics would go away. They won't, though. It would be nice to get...

Open to all

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GUINNESS bid for Distillers five years ago, and the second of the Guinness trials will, next year, finally reach the courts. This week brought a pre-trial hearing, at which the...

A banker writes

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DEAR Treasurer: Thank you for your letter of 5 November, in which you notify this bank that your borough intends to default on its obligation. You had freely entered, at your...

Lifeboat week

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ONLY the comma, and the word that comes after it, now mark the scar on Baring Brothers and Co., Limited. A century ago the Barings' merchant banking partnership had to be...

Extensive frontage

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THE sage of the property market, Bruce Kinloch, is expecting a kissogram. A charming young lady has been telephoning his office, urging him to ring Katie at the Bristol...

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Judge of inflation

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Sir: In his article about me (City and Suburban, 27 October), Christopher Fildes writes, 'Inflation, said one or both of the Lawsons, would be judge and jury'. This observation...

Lebanese incident

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Sir: I was most interested in the article about Danny Chamoun (Death in the morning', 27 October) mentioning his father Camille Chamoun and his rude arrest by the French on the...

Sir: May I comment on the letter of my valued

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friend Christopher Booker, whose own integrity in this affair is beyond question? 1. Brigadier Cowgill made a serious error in calling a press conference, which ensured that...

LETTERS Reporting on Cowgill

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Sir: There is much that might be written about the Booker-Cowgill 'Inquiry' into the repatriation operations: too much, I fear, to attempt to introduce into your correspondence...

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Should we be told?

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Sir: Poor old Alan Watkins (Books, 3 November). Until I read his review of my book Listening for a Midnight Tram, I had no idea of what a slave-driver I had been or of how I had...

Choice for Ulster

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Sir: I felt compelled to respond to Brian Inglis's continued rantings on the subject of Northern Ireland (Letters, 13 October). First of all, a few facts. The Conservative c...

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Better apart

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Sir: Piers Paul Read uses his review of Lawrence Stone's The Road to Divorce (13 October) to advance a subtle yet reaction- ary defence of marriage at any cost, even when...

Insights inside

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Sir: I think that I can attribute my early appearance before the parole board to an improvement in my character which is a direct result of regularly reading your journal, which...

Double Dutch

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Sir: For the record, the plant which Grin- ling Gibbons used for abrading his carvings is Dutch rush — not `Dutch iris', as unaccountably appeared in the title of my article...

Suffering little children

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Sir: The rich are such easy targets, aren't they? (Wean streets', 13 October). But they are determined to remain so. I too have recently been out collecting, for Action Aid in a...

Memories of civil war

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Sir: Simon Courtauld, and Peter Kemp, are in error (Books, 27 October) in de- scribing 'General Walter', divisional com- mander in the International Brigades, as the Hungarian...

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The writers are off Christopher Driver AS FOOD is perishable, so are its com- mentators. There is a gaseous perishability about most present writing in English on food,...

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Good vintages

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Embarras de richesses Harry Eyres T here is an early Arthur Miller play called The Man Who Had All The Luck, which is a kind of reversal of the Book of Job. A young man, David...

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Soup operas Indigestible plots John Diamond F rom its birth The Archers has been haunted by a phantom cast. Hobbs, Grey Gables' outdoor factotum, is often spoken of but never...

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Drink in food

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Wining and dining Jennifer Paterson A ll Souls and All Saints have passed me by, which is just as well as I have been told to write about wine. I am certainly no expert, so I...

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Shiva Naipaul was one of the most gifted and accomplished writers of our time. After his death in August 1985 at the age of 40, The Spectator set up a fund to establish an...

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One hundred years ago

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THE Prince of Wales on Tuesday opened the "City and South London Railway," a new and most important experiment in the locomotion of great cities. The line is three miles long,...

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Serving God and mammon Christopher Hill THE CAUSES OF THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR by Conrad Russell OUP, £35, £10.95, pp.236 T his is in many ways a brilliant book, which will...

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What are little boys made of?

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David Jenkins SON OF ADAM by Denis Forman Deutsch, £12.99, pp. 201 AN IMMACULATE MISTAKE by Paul Bailey Bloomsbury, £14.99, pp. 167 BRIGHT MORNING by Don Haworth Methuen,...

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A rebel on both sides of the law

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David Nokes HENRY FIELDING by Donald Thomas Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £25, pp. 436 T his is the second fat, full-length biography of Fielding to appear in the space of a year....

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Dwarfs started bigger William Scammell THE DWARFS by Harold Pinter Faber, 112.99, pp. 183 Y ou have to go an awfully long way back into literary history — 200 years or more,...

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Strife between his good and evil side

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On the Death of Margaret Lockwood

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All the old picture girls are dying, The proud posed queens Of the magazines under the cushions The black-and-white touched-up Ladies of all the Annuals. Soft millions of dots...

Confessions of a braggadocio

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Paul Bailey YOU'VE HAD YOUR TIME by Anthony Burgess Heinemann, £17.50, pp. 403 I f somebody told me that Anthony Burgess can sing 'Annie Laurie' in Swahili, should not be in...

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Without hesitation, repetition or any deviation at all

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Jonathan Cecil KENNETH WILLIAMS by Michael Freedland Weidenfeld & Nicolson, f15, pp. 242 0 utside our local tube station the news vendor asked rather suspiciously why my wife...

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Their Hermitage for a gorgeous palace

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John McEwen PAINTINGS IN THE HERMITAGE by Colin Eisler Stewart, Tabori & Chang, £60, pp. 653 T his is a companion volume to Paint- ings in the Musee d'Orsay, published last...

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Change and decay not all around

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Jonathan Clark EIGHTEEN CENTURY EUROPE 1700-1789 by Jeremy Black Macmillan, £35, £9.99, pp. 458 W ith the bicentenary of 1789 safely over, the National History Curriculum...

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Exhibitions 1 Firework display James Hamilton William McCance (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, till 25 November) A rgumentative, obstinate, belligerent and...

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Travels With My Aunt (Lyric Hammersmith) Bajazet (Almeida) Bookends (Apollo) Turkish delight Christopher Edwards n excellent season of French theatre at the Almeida...

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Goodfellas (`18', Curzon West End) In the company of savages Hilary Mantel I n the pre-credit sequence of Martin Scorsese's excellent new film, three gang- sters — that is,...

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The Royal Ballet (Covent Garden) Black hole Deirdre McMahon A utumn brings the opening of the Royal Ballet's season at Covent Garden and with it the melancholy inevitability...

Pop music

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Harking back Marcus Berkmann A s one of the more ephemeral art- forms — nestling neatly between perform- ance art and origami — pop music is not really supposed to have a...

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A question of place Martin Gayford L ast year a young American saxophon- ist remarked to me that jazz `used to be a local thing, but it's not any more'. Which is a truth both...

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Exhibitions 2

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Visions of Venice (Bankside Gallery, till 2 December) In the Shadow of Vesuvius (Accademia Italiana, till 27 November) Skills of seeing Giles Auty R ecently I was told the...

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High life

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On the prowl in Prague Taki Prague I had heard about 'Prague the Golden', but wasn't prepared for its patina and dignity. The city is like a hauntingly beautiful woman whose...


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Land of the repressed Martyn Harris N ippon, now halfway through its eight-part run (BBC 2, 8.35 p.m., Sunday), has been watchable, but a bit of a slog so far. It is not...

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Low life

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Feet of clay Jeffrey Bernard new nut arrived on the scene last Monday. She is a sculptor called Sue and she came into the Coach and Horses to model my wretched head in clay....

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New life

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Ordeal by radio Zenga Longmore T here is, as I expect you are aware, an ancient belief that only childless men are able to fight valiantly in battle. Men with children, so...

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Prejudice rules OK Jaspistos 12 YEAR OLD SCOTCH WHISKY I n Competition No. 1650 you were in - vited to describe in amusing verse the qualities of a nation that you do not...


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Level crossing Raymond Keene W ith one game to go in the New York section of the world championship the scores are still level. Defensive play has been taking precedence over...

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CROSSWORD 984: Filer a l'anglaise? by Jac

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A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers English Dictionary — ring the word `Dictionary') for the first three correct solutions...

No. 1653: Worst best man

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The best man's speech at a wedding is rarely good. You are invited to provide an extract (maximum 150 words) from a really toe-curling one. Entries to 'Competition No. 1653' by...

Solution to 981: Not so good 0 , 8 nan 4 E

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rmairdia . a r eneerli3 111 NOCT " P Incanco a CO T I MO_ b a Arqu3E RierrErsa illerlarirrion N a Lac lila N onEllerhilrerr 1 0 R R noneraine 0 P a T dad . N A Ta R A S Lin...

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Chilly and Horse Frank Keating I'VE been IA ith the All Blacks rugby side in France. There was the mother-and-poppa of a punch-up at Nantes on Saturday, and the great...