11 NOVEMBER 1995

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The Spectator

Are you, or were you ever, a member of the Conservative Party?' T he House of Commons voted by 322 to 271 to oblige members to declare how much they earn from work outside the...

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The Spectator

I hope I have done only a little harm, but I'm not sure about the Prime Minister BORIS JOHNSON A fter the fiasco, everyone was blaming the Prime Minister. 'Is this a cock-up,...

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PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE I wish I could see some great principle to invoke against MPs having to register their extramural earnings. But try as I may, none carries conviction. The...

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The Spectator

Beyond the mystery of six policemen stuck in a lift AUBERON WAUGH A poignant little news item was award- ed seven lines in the 'news round-up' col- umn of one of the Sunday...

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The Spectator

Dean Godson explains why Yitzhak Rabin might well not have been astonished by his own assassination `HOW CAN one Jew do this to another?' That has been the shocked refrain of...

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Saddam Hussein loves his daughters, writes C©n Coughlin, which is why his sons-in-law might come home HE HAS been bombed senseless by the allies, large tracts of his country...

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John O'Sullivan on the inevitable demise of a president whom only 17 per cent of Americans want their children to take after New York AS THE Spectator went to press, early...


The Spectator

Michael Heath

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Nicholas Farrell & Natasha Garnett find a sado-masochistic evening to be an excruciatingly painful, social experience THE ANNUAL 'Rubber Ball', organised by Skin Two, the...

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Video surveillance has become ubiquitous in France, writes Lucy Wadham, and is damaging the French soul Paris IN FRANCE, the state is a very heavy presence, capable of great...

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The Spectator

David Rennie finds that the people of Exeter prefer a terrorist to a right-wing Toy THE NEXT MP for Exeter, barring acci- dents, will be one of two men: a self-con- fessed...

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The Spectator

Kenan Malik explains why global warming might be good for us THE HOTTEST October since records began has brought back global warming. With the unseasonal blooming of snow-...

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Mind your language

The Spectator

THANK YOU to everybody who wrote in about 'kiss the rod'. I think we have got somewhere with it. Shakespeare did use the phrase, but it had been used earlier. In John Dowland's...

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If symptoms

The Spectator

persist. . . I WAS sitting in my office during a hia- tus between out-patient clinics last week, thinking in a desultory way about the Meaning of Existence. Alas, try as I...


The Spectator

Michael Gove argues that far from lurching right, all is pure politics at Tory selection meetings WHY WERE they there? Not for riches, Lord Nolan had seen to that. Not for the...

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Fifty years ago

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THE LAWLESS action of the London bus-staffs in refusing to carry standing passengers stirred the House of Com- mons to considerable indignation on Monday, when a private-notice...

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Waiting for the whip-crack of firm editorial government PAUL JOHNSON W hen governments weaken, the media grows stronger. This is a good time to be editor of a national...

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The Spectator

After Nolan, just take my advice, says Sir Oran it's all in the way of business CHRISTOPHER FILDES S ir Oran Haut-Ton, MP, chief parlia- mentary adviser to the British...

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Sir: Having just completed a sabbatical from reading The Spectator

The Spectator

to take a certifi- cate in Theology, it was a pleasure to read Edward Pearce's urbane piece and to find that Simon Heffer had departed. But what a shame that Mr Pearce himself...

Sir: Mr. Edward Pearce's peevish article is unlikely to stop

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anyone reading The Specta- tor but his continued presence as a contrib- utor might well do so. He is vulgar, not to say crapulent, and apparently unable to express himself...


The Spectator

An enemy writes Sir: Can I classify myself as an enemy of yours? (Leader, 4 November) I certainly disliked your attitude towards the former Yugoslavia, when you were on the...

But what about Pearce?

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Sir: Edward Pearce is a loose cannon but he writes like an angel (The Spectator? Some other Zeit', 4 November). His gift for metaphor is one which you, sir, are supremely well...

Sir: You may welcome people telling you — and us

The Spectator

— why they do not like The Spectator but at least they should do it with style and wit, which Edward Pearce singu- larly failed to manage. What did it all mean? The Spectator...

Sir: Please do invite Edward Pearce to write for you

The Spectator

again. He may not convert any Catholic Unionist Powellite Johnson-loving fogeys, but he can make us laugh very heartily indeed. Roger Stacey 41 North Road, Hertford

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Shallow end

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Sir: Richard Ingrains' biography of Mal- colm Muggeridge has yet to make it to the bookstores here. So I cannot tell if Alan Watkins in his review (Books, 14 October) is being...

One more thing.

The Spectator

Sir: You have asked for your enemies to get in touch. Though a reader of The Spectator for over 30 years, I shall certainly be a last- ing enemy if there are any more disgusting...

Brushing up on Europe

The Spectator

Sir: Andrew Marr takes me to task for tar- ring his confusion between sovereignty and power with a Hitlerite brush, and repeats his assertion that the nature of modern warfare,...

11 Regent Street, Winckley Square, Preston

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Also.. .

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Sir: On 4 November you invited critics to follow Mr Edward Pearce and show some enmity to The Spectator, including its new editor. Does that apply to all readers? If so, how...

Death's mystery

The Spectator

Sir: Anne Applebaum on 4 November, (`So farewell then. . '), quoting an earlier Spec- tator article, says `Talleyrand, being told that Czar Alexander would not be attend- ing an...

Sir: I read The Spectator for several reasons. First, the

The Spectator

fine quality of its writing. Second, the catholic range of subjects featured. Third, a confidence that I will avoid articles with a high gibberish quota. Your last issue...

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Sir: I see that Alan Clark thinks that his writing

The Spectator

the Diary will cause the Spectator's circulation to drop. He is right. Sidney Vines 1 Willow Close Laverstock Salisbury

Sir: I hesitate to take issue with so felici- tous

The Spectator

a diarist as Alan Clark, but isn't the Nobel Prize for Literature awarded for the body of an author's work rather than for a single book? The grand old men of Stockholm may have...

A fast ferry to come Sir: Your reader Mr Fyffe's

The Spectator

criticism of the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry service under the former French Railways (SNCF) and British Rail partnership sounds familiar but from a different era (Letters, 4...

Jeff's not a cad, is he?

The Spectator

Sir: Why should we be called cads? Sir Robert Stephens is certainly not the first man to kiss and tell and good luck to him. Anyway, he's not a cad. I can't think of a bigger...

Emotive music

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Sir: Alexander Waugh cannot deny music any inherent emotional content, as Michael Kimmins correctly points out (Letters, 4 November). The point is that music is so emotive. The...

Social porkies

The Spectator

Sir: It took me a while, but I finally per- ceived the leitmotiv in Mary Killen's col- umn. It is that the solution to a difficult social prospect is, almost without exception,...

Clark's danger

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Sir: How comely it is and how reviving to discover Alan Clark again in your columns. His limpid prose and unveiled insults soothe and threaten by turns. His early reappearance...

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There's only one capitalist the hacks approve of — the publisher SIMON JENKINS Publishing is one branch of capitalism that basks in intellectual favour. The BBC has (or had)...

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The Spectator

Nation shall speak unto nation John Grigg THE ULTIMATE CRIME by Linda Melvern Allison & Busby, £20, pp. 442 inda Melvern's contribution to the United Nations' 50th...

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Variegations on a theme

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D. J. Enright THE PRIMARY COLOURS by Alexander Theroux Picador, £12.99, pp. 258 A t the start of his fast-moving and far- reaching jaunt through the meanings and manifestations...

A story and a cornucopia

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Cyril Mango BYZANTIUM: THE DECLINE AND FALL by John Julius Norwich Viking £25, pp. 488 CONSTANTINOPLE: CITY OF THE WORLD'S DESIRE, 1453-1924 by Philip Mansel John Murray, £25,...

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Single central television

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Peter Paterson FIGHT & KICK & BITE: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DENNIS POTTER by W. Stephen Gilbert Hodder, £18.99, pp. 382 M ost people will remember Dennis Potter as the author of...

All the Happiness Ahead

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Reclining in our armchairs, overfed, we learn of floods and earthquakes, millions dead, switch to a film or football match instead. In his basket, bought from Habitat, sleeps...

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Surviving the Sixties

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Anita Brookner HEARING VOICES by A. N. Wilson Sinclair-Stevenson, £14.99, pp. 214 R eaders should be advised that it will help them to have read the first three volumes of the...

For ever hold up his peace

The Spectator

C. D. C. Armstrong JOHN HUME: PEACEMAKER by George Drower Gollancz, £16.99, pp. 223 J ohn Hume is without question the most widely admired and influential of Ulster's...

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Till the music stops

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Charlotte Moore LET'S DANCE by Frances Hegarty Viking £15, pp. 277 L et's Dance tells the story of Serena Burley, 'one-time intellect and beauty of this and other parishes,'...


The Spectator

In the squeeze of a puddle where the light declines and the rub of cobbles nudge the surface like the backs of whales, I saw my life - shallow, thin and negligible, muddled and...

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Recent first novels

The Spectator

Paul Sussman THE BOOK OF COLOUR by Julia Blackburn Cape, £9.99, pp. 192 HER HUSBAND'S CHILDREN by Sophia Watson Sceptre, £16.99, pp. 254 THE NAKED MADONNA by Jan Wiese,...

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Gone forever and still lost

The Spectator

Andro Linklater THE SUNKEN KINGDOM: THE ATLANTIS MYSTERY SOLVED by Peter James Cape, £18.99, pp. 338 WHEN THE SKY FELL: IN SEARCH OF ATLANTIS by Rand and Rose Flem-Ath...

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They none of them were missed

The Spectator

Gavin Stamp THE MISSING by Andrew O'Hagan Picador, £14.99, pp. 243 T his is an extraordinary book — not a novel but, unfortunately perhaps, a work of non-fiction. In fact, it...

All made of faith and service

The Spectator

Nigel Spivey THE MISSIONARY POSITION: MOTHER TERESA IN THEORY AND PRACTICE by Christopher Hitchens Versa, £7.95, pp. 98 A SIMPLE PATH by Mother Teresa Rider, £9.99, pp. 192 S...

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Mon Pere Est Mort

The Spectator

For an oral exam, when aged thirteen, my father was asked questions in French by a visiting professor in trench- coat and gold-rimmed spectacles, who was lean with the thin,...

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Morning becomes electric

The Spectator

C. A. Hawtree THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF NEW YORK CITY edited by Kenneth Jackson Yale, £40, pp. 13 50 6 o f any city I have seen, I like New York best,' said that excellent poet and...

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Wrong but not forgotten

The Spectator

Richard Cobb ADVENTURES ON THE FREEDOM ROAD: THE FRENCH INTELLECTUALS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY by Bernard-Henri Levy, translated by Richard Veasey Harvill, £20, pp.433 I t is...

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All the silent manliness

The Spectator

Michael Carlson MEMORIES OF SNOW by Alison Dye Sceptre, f9.99, pp. 313 I t is said that Eskimos have more than 50 words for snow. It is fortunate for us that English does not...

The end justifies the jeans

The Spectator

Dot Wordsworth THE REAR VIEW by Jean-Luc Hennig Souvenir, L15.99, pp. 181 t he bottom line for Professor Hennig is that to be human is to have a bum. Among the 193 existing...

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East, West, Homer's best

The Spectator

Mark Almond BALKAN ODYSSEY by David Owen Gollancz, £20, pp. 394 T ortuous peace negotiations may still be going on in Dayton, Ohio, but already another front in the propaganda...

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Horrible, that small calf they dragged today To the abattoir, who struggled and pulled away And tried to lick the raindrops trickling down The grey walls of the little wretched...

Some Sunday Afternoon

The Spectator

Some Sunday afternoon what I should like Would be to drive down in the dusty light To dine with some old girl in a big house, Warm-built, with all the washing hanging out, Where...

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An act of cultural vandalism Nigel Reynolds fears that EMI is taking its record labels down-market I t may not be quite on a par with the burning of the library at Alexandria,...

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Art and Power: Europe under the dictators 1930-45 (Hayward Gallery, till 21 January 1996) Sins of omission Gavin Stamp O nce, during the war,' recalled Albert Speer, 'I gave...

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Seeds of discontent Ursula Buchan T he distant rumble of a row about the Lindley Library, first heard last January by readers of this column, soon developed into an almighty...

Sale rooms

The Spectator

Whisky galore Alistair McAlpine C hristie's will hold their annual sale of whisky in Glasgow on 15 November. Among the delights in this sale are bottles of House of Commons...

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Theatre Abundance (Riverside) A Patriot for Me (Barbican) The Cabinet

The Spectator

of Doktor Caligari (Lyric Hammersmith) Revenge of the feminists Sheridan Morley S ome unusually heavy sponsorship from a mineral-water company (who tell us unnervingly in the...

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The Spectator

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (PG, selected cinemas) The Sound of Music (U, Plaza West End) Fishnets and slingbacks Mark Steyn O n one of those tiresome...

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She has to go Alan Judd I fear for the old Land-Rover. This year's MOT was ruinously expensive and next year's could be as much again. It will need chassis welding, and the...

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The turf

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Winning ways Robin Oakley ne of Kipling's female characters complained once that kissing a man with- out a moustache was like eating an' egg without the salt. Horse-racing...

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High life

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Culture clash Taki New York In The Diaries of Cynthia Gladwyn, Americans are described in scathing terms, with words such as gushing and materialis- tic being among the...

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Low life

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Private messages Jeffrey Bernard M y sex drive has been on the wane and, foolishly, instead of regarding it as a blessing in disguise, I found myself moan- ing about it in...

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Long life

The Spectator

Goodbye to all this Nigel Nicolson B y a sound convention, just as neigh- bours in the same block of flats can ignore each other's presence for years on end, columnists...


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No bluffing Andrew Robson `PLAYING the card you are known to hold' is an essential concept for the aspir- ing defender to grasp. Say declarer is estab- lishing a side suit of...

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The Spectator

Christmas for Paupers and Plutocrats Auberon Waugh A though the Domaine de Perches Mauzad" 1994 was up for consideration as a cheapie at £4.69 from the not particularly...

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And a pheasant in a pear tree LaiONLiftvit.-.

The Spectator

FIRST of all, I must clarify a point in last month's sweetbreads receipt which I did not mention. After the sweetbreads have cooked in the stock, bacon and vegetables, they...

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J51%Llf MALI KORN %M\5

The Spectator

U r ISLE OF 7,1u RA 51%1.0 MALI 5(010111M11, , COMPETITION Musing on the job J asp i st o s IN COMPETITION NO. 1906 you were invited to supply poetic musings by some- body...


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Garry grounded Raymond Keene AFTER HIS WORLD championship suc- cess in New York against Anand, Kasparov bravely opted to compete, virtually without a break, in the Credit...

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1235: Short and curlies by Ascot A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1989 Port for the first correct solution opened on 27 November, with two...

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One of the best Simon Barnes MY FIRST reaction was to wonder why on earth Nigel Mansell had the cover photo- graph for his book taken at a motorway ser- vice station. A moment...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . Q. My husband and I have a close friend who has told my husband that in the com- ing weeks he will end his relationship with his girlfriend. The girlfriend has...